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Thematic deck builder with brutal resource management, card drafting, set collection, engine building, modular setup & wild components!
Thematic deck builder with brutal resource management, card drafting, set collection, engine building, modular setup & wild components!
3,038 backers pledged €137,334 to help bring this project to life.

Pledge Manager Closing, Pick-Up Options & Sugar Survey

Posted by Quality Beast (Creator)
31 likes

Happy new year everybody! Wow, 2019. By the time Seize the Bean delivers around mid-year the game will have been officially “in the works” for 3 full years, from start to finish. Some days this feels like a really long time to us (we’re learning a lot though, and we’ll be improving our processes to become more efficient in the new year) but other days we feel like the time just flew by. But whatever the day, thank you for being on this wild ride with us!

Our official close date was the 31st. Due to BackerKit staff being on holiday (and a lot of you likely too) we haven’t yet locked down the surveys. We’ll be doing that by the end of this week, so if you have not finished your survey please do so immediately. If you need any assistance at all please email us at support@qualitybeast.com!

Also, regarding payment: we will be charging credit cards next week. We do not have an exact day for this, but it will likely be Monday or Tuesday.

Our support team is only available Thursday this week so be aware that if you’re waiting for a response from Kilian he’ll most likely get to you by then. (Can we just take a quick moment here to give a big thank you and shout out to Kilian, who recently joined the team in order to help us plow through our backlog of messages – thank you Kilian!)

It’s been much harder to accomplish the amount of pick-up options we’d hoped for. This is simply due to team resources (at the moment, we do not have a dedicated sales / PR person). As we’ve focused our primary energy on completing the game we’ve been unable to spend more time reaching out to stores. This does not mean we’ll stop though!

Even though the pledge manager is closing we will continue to contact shops. In the next few months, before games ship, we’ll provide a way for you to change your shipping option if a shop provides pick-up in your area. More details on this once it’s relevant, but rest assured we’ll try to save you all the cash we can.

Last update we said “final samples” but these really are the final ones for a lot of pieces. And in any cases where they may not be final, the decision will be up to y'all via a survey (see below). Let’s look through what our manufacturer has sent us over the holidays.

The new replacement color meeple came in and is looking good!
The new replacement color meeple came in and is looking good!

First up, we’ve altered one of the meeple colors, going for a caramel-like brown (photo may not show the color fully accurately). We’re quite happy with the outcome and we’ll be calling this final. With this change, all of the meeples are 100% done.

Here's the whole set (base and expansion) together.
Here's the whole set (base and expansion) together.

For those interested, even though Seize the Bean specifically does not have player colors, we've conducted a brief colorblind accessibility test for the meeples (depicted below). We've done this because we also want to make sure that folks who suffer from colorblindness can appreciate the diversity in the meeples too.

Colorblind tests via a simulator to help us check the meeples.
Colorblind tests via a simulator to help us check the meeples.

You'll note that the orange meeple from the 5-6 player expansion (on the far right) is definitely hard to distinguish from the new, caramel-colored one from the base game (second from the left). Though again, as there are no player colors and the meeple colors hold no mechanic value, we find this acceptable.

The new Next First Player Token came out great. We’re quite happy with the results. This one we’ll be calling final and the only change to the other First Player Token is that we’d like to remove the highlight strokes of lighter brown on the coffee surface as a lot of backers who saw it in person suggested they were not needed and made it look less realistic. We do not need to request a sample to do this as we already have one, so we shouldn't suffer any delays here. (Note that there are no images of the First Player Token below.)

Here is the new Next First Player Token from above-view.
Here is the new Next First Player Token from above-view.
And an inside shot to show the details.
And an inside shot to show the details.

The new player bag is spot on. The stitching fix we requested was performed perfectly by the factory and we are happy to say the bag is now completely usable.

It's hard to see here but the inside stitching has been fixed!
It's hard to see here but the inside stitching has been fixed!

Also the resource bags came back too. You won’t be able to tell by the quick photo below but the ultimate quality of the final samples is very good. They feel quite sturdy and the increased size for the milk and sugar bags allow them to hold not only the base game resources but those of the expansion too. There are a couple of things to note: 1) the sugar barely closes all the way with the expansion resources, but it’ll work, 2) the bean bag doesn’t close 100% so it’s possible that a bean or two may slip if your game enjoys a turbulent travel but this is not something we can fix without massively reworking the bag, and 3) the clasp buttons were placed the wrong way (upside down) by the factory. This final point should be an easy change. And with that, we can call all of these final!

Quick pic of the resource bags filled to their brims with resources!
Quick pic of the resource bags filled to their brims with resources!

Ah, the tantalizing Snack Pack pieces! We are incredibly pleased to announce that all Snack Pack pieces are now final. With the latest sample of the moka pot (which had its paint job order rearranged, to be sure the black bits didn’t get a metallic spray on them), the croissant and the strong coffee (which were both completely redone thanks to the illustrative talent of Andrea Lagunas) we can call them done. We hope you like them as a lot of work was put into making these perfect.

Apologies for the sub-par photo; our studio wasn't restored completely after the holidays. ;)
Apologies for the sub-par photo; our studio wasn't restored completely after the holidays. ;)
Here's one yummy (yet lonely) croissant by itself.
Here's one yummy (yet lonely) croissant by itself.
And a whole batch of tasty croissants!
And a whole batch of tasty croissants!
We are very pleased with the new bag sculpt!
We are very pleased with the new bag sculpt!
And they look good in a pile too! :)
And they look good in a pile too! :)

Onto milk! Thanks to two fantastic backers (Michael and Holger) whom we met at SPIEL we were given the cool suggestion to do chocolate milk as the denomination of five. The original idea with the burgundy / red labeled milk was just that the color distinction be as colorblind friendly as possible. What's so rad about Michael and Holger's suggestion is that it helps add thematic value to the secondary milk carton style as well (which as you know is very important for Seize the Bean). We especially love getting ideas from our backers and along those same lines it was cool to further have our manufacturer make a suggestion too: that we go with a fully brown carton. Here are the samples:

Our two options for chocolate milk, side-by-side.
Our two options for chocolate milk, side-by-side.

From our perspective, while the brown carton is surely interesting, we find it doesn't go so well with the regular milk (at least in-person, in the photos it doesn't look too bad). And based on our colorblind tests we think that the brown label milk is fine. Take a look at both variations next to the regular milk:

Brown carton, white label.
Brown carton, white label.
White carton, brown label.
White carton, brown label.

And for those interested, here are the colorblind friendly tests:

Colorblind tests via a simulator to help us check the milk cartons.
Colorblind tests via a simulator to help us check the milk cartons.

The only issue with the test above is maybe the monochromatic. All of that being said, we’d love to hear your thoughts! Please use the survey mentioned below to give your opinion on the milk!

Last but surely not least, we present to you those sweet, sweet sugar cubes. Yes, we said we were not going to touch the sugar but sitting in a terribly delicious pizza place during PAX Unplugged with our amazing account manager at Panda (the heroic Joe Wiggins) we just couldn't help ourselves and he even made it happen over the phone that we could get last-minute samples snuck into the package being sent to us for the holidays. Big thanks to Joe for the hustle!

The results vary a bit. We're pleased to say that – in our opinion – the white sugar is improved. It has pros and cons, the pros being that it’s more realistic in its color and no longer looking wet. The con being that it could be ever so slightly more transparent to retain that crystalline look. (When viewing the new white up close it is less realistic than the older, more transparent one.) Despite the con we think the new white sugar is better but take a look for yourself.

Here's the new white sugar by itself.
Here's the new white sugar by itself.
And here's a few in a pile.
And here's a few in a pile.
For comparison, here it is against the older, more-transparent / less-white sugar.
For comparison, here it is against the older, more-transparent / less-white sugar.

The brown sugar is a bit rough, though. Have a glance:

Here it is just directly compared to the older sugar. :(
Here it is just directly compared to the older sugar. :(

Bit like a corn flake, no? Jokes aside, it’s a shame this sample couldn’t have come out better but it seems that if we want to take another stab at the brown sugar we would need to add another delay (of a few weeks at minimum) to our production time. Our initial response was “absolutely not, our backers have been waiting forever” but after some discussion we decided: why not let you all decide?

Therefore, if you have a bit of spare time we would love it if you could fill out this survey.

Click this image to fill out the production survey!
Click this image to fill out the production survey!

We’ll be making our final decision this weekend so you only have about 48-72 hours to give a response. We realize that is quite tight but it’s important to get your input! (There are a few other questions on the survey as well, regarding the play mat and the milk.)

One last comparison, the older brown sugar against the newer white sugar. Doesn't look too bad! (But click this image to hop to the survey and tell us yourself!)
One last comparison, the older brown sugar against the newer white sugar. Doesn't look too bad! (But click this image to hop to the survey and tell us yourself!)

As with the other components above, we also did accessibility testing for the sugar, and here are our current test results:

Colorblind tests via a simulator to help us check the sugar cubes.
Colorblind tests via a simulator to help us check the sugar cubes.

Monochromatic is a bit close but it should be fine. And that similarity does justify having one type of sugar cube a bit more translucent than the other.

And we did similar accessibility testing with the beans too. Here are those results:

Colorblind tests via a simulator to help us check the coffee beans.
Colorblind tests via a simulator to help us check the coffee beans.

As you can see, the results are pretty good. As with the previously shared tests above, the only area which is maybe of concern is monochromatic, but even there we believe the difference is still acceptably noticeable.

We’re dragged our heels a bit on posting regular art previews but we’ve recently got a few more up. If you’re a BGG user and not already subscribed to Dylan’s art preview GeekList then jump on over to follow along as we continue to post more art!

We’ve been so busy it took us a bit longer to upload videos from our last events but they are available now. Mainly you'll want to watch the Seize the Bean update from SPIEL18:

Click the thumbnail to watch the video!
Click the thumbnail to watch the video!

Here’s a full list of new Quality Beast content (in chronological order for you to enjoy):

That's it for today. We'll be back soon with some detailed updates on where we are with the printed files (such as cards, rulebooks, player boards, tokens and the boxes). Until then, take care everyone, and welcome to 2019, the year of the bean! :)

Comments

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    1. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @@Torsten Stelling & Serrrg: By now our support pandas should have refunded everyone for the local pick-up. Stripe tells us this can take between 5-10 days, which is a long time, but please keep your eyes open for your refund. :)

    2. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Torsten Stelling & Serrrg: Don't worry. Our customer support Pandas will be sorting this out. It's a bit tricky because a majority of the solutions in BackerKit are workarounds, but rest assured you will be getting a refund for the shipping if you selected a pick-up option. :) Thanks so much for your patience with us and with BackerKit!

    3. Missing avatar

      Serrrg on

      @Quality Beast: Just wanted to write the same as Torsten ;)

    4. Torsten Stelling
      Superbacker
      on

      @Quality Beast: Now 10 Euro shipping was processed. I'm now waiting for the refund ;) Thanks for the information.

    5. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Olivier Peter: Glad to hear you appreciate it because you are right it does take time. ;) And good point about the survey! We'll definitely take that into consideration for any future surveys. Thank you for sharing your feedback. :)

    6. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Torsten Stelling: Yup, that's normal. Everyone with pick-up selected will be refunded. Not the ideal process but this is the solution we were provided by BackerKit and we are bound by their system's limitations. Thanks for checking in about it!

    7. Olivier Peter on

      @Quality Beast: Thanks for taking time of your day for explaining this for us. It's really interesting to see how everything works. And yes it make sense to me, and I'm very glad of that level of interactivity and detailed update ;)
      But next time, I don't know if this his possible with google form but could you make a survey with multiple choice with a 1 for our first choice, a 2 for our second, etc etc it could help if our first isn't chosen :)

    8. Torsten Stelling
      Superbacker
      on

      I updated my pledge manager with local pickup but was charged 10€ shipping. Is this normal?

    9. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Olivier Peter: Right, great great great question. And here we exactly cross the line why many publishers do *not* do such a level of interactivity with their backers; this is because it's hard to explain everything in a way that is 1) concise and 2) detailed enough. In an effort to summarize: sometimes working with the factory and requesting samples is not a 5 minute thing. In order to request new coloring for both it *will* potentially take time away from other work we are doing. So while it could produce amazing results, it might also be a dud. If that distracts us from finishing the rule book translation, for example, that'd be a bad call. Basically, there are a lot of moving pieces in production and it's hard to understand why we wouldn't do things sometimes. We also do our best to explain though!

      Workload aside, doing two samples "in parallel" is not up to us, and that's a risk too. What if we send 2 request to the factory and it takes twice as long? It's entirely possible. And while you'd assume we'd get a clear word from the factory that is not always the case. Thus, we rather play it on the safe side if the white sugar cube is good to go. Does this make sense?

    10. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Steven Crane: That's great to hear and thank you for the kind words. We're glad to hear that some folks are enjoying the decisions we are making here regarding communication and interactivity during the campaign!

    11. Olivier Peter on

      @Quality Beast: For the white one I wasn't going for a change, but I was going for a change for the brown one so why not doing the white one with it since it will take the same amount of time. I supposed that they will do the white and the brown one in parallel ?

    12. Steven Crane
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm in no rush for the game so I'll vote for a delay to improve quality when I get home tonight. Thanks for such an indepth update and the choice to the backers to see what people thought

    13. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Olivier Peter: So you're a perfectionist too! Hehehe. We'll see. It may be that a lot of backers do not find it such a big topic. The vote will tell us a lot. :) Thanks so much for providing your feedback.

    14. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Saul: Hey, thanks so much for saying so! We are too. We're sorry if that didn't come across for everyone in the update – perhaps we let our perfectionism shine a bit too much. ;)

      Yeah, let's see how the vote goes. This is the major downside of how Kickstarter is these days. It's more about the pre-ordering aspect then about the creation aspect. And of course we completely understand that for all of you the waiting time has been *much longer* then you were ever led to believe.

    15. Olivier Peter on

      I voted to wait for a new white and brown sugar for trying to have perfect sugar cube. But if we cannot have a new white sugar cube, I prefer less translucent, the more white.

    16. Saul T. on

      Super pleased with the quality of components being achieved 😀 - congrats on the awesome job done. I'm also ok with waiting for another round of brown sugar, but the current one is also fine anyway (voted to wait -- had to choose one).

    17. Quality Beast Creator
      Superbacker
      on

      @Jon Hueing: Thanks, Jon! Let's see how the voting goes, we have a hunch that a lot of backers may not agree about waiting. ;) Either way, it's going to be a very wonderful package to receive in the mail once it arrives. We are sure of this.

    18. Jon Hueing on

      It was super awesome getting to play the game at PAX Unplugged and seeing what the components look like in person. I am totally ok waiting a little longer for the brown sugar to look more accurate, but heckin' excited for the game to arrive!!