Since launching our plan to provide a substitute Seafarers reward fulfillment to our lovely backers, we have received a great deal of feedback. Much of the feedback was quite strongly in favor of waiting. As the project creator, I felt a great responsibility to provide a timely reward, to the best of our ability, so waiting didn’t seem to be an option. I’d have preferred, in fact, to send everything out before Christmas, but unfortunately that wasn’t in the cards.
However, the strength of the feedback we’ve received has expressed that not only are most backers willing to wait, they would prefer to wait if that was an option, in order to receive the true Seafarers board. I’ve struggled with this, because we don’t have an accurate ETA on when we’ll be able to start the Seafarers project, which means we don’t have an accurate ETA on providing reward fulfillment to our backers. And I’d like to be able to tell you “We will start the mold on XXX day, and start production on XXX day, and then ship product on XXX day.” Unfortunately that won’t be possible.
Last week we produced enough product to complete our substitute fulfillment for our Seafarers 3-4 and 5-6 player backers. After posting the last update, however, the feedback became so overwhelming that I put fulfillment on pause and went to have a good think at our local coffee shop.
The end goal of this project is two-fold: to start a successful company, and to make every backer happy to the very best of our ability and resources. Part of making every backer happy is providing them with what they pledged for, and exceeding their expectations in product quality and play experience.
For the Settlers of Catan board, we executed well. The market shows that our product is high quality, great to play on, and serves a need for people who love to play Catan. Unfortunately, getting to that point turned out to be more expensive than anticipated so we weren’t able to execute the Seafarers board with the resources (~$55,000) we had available from the Seafarers portion of the Kickstarter funds. We are planning on running a separate Kickstarter next year for the Official Seafarers of Catan Board. Though we do not have an exact timeline for when that will occur, we will be taking the time to incorporate all of the valuable lessons learned in this Kickstarter. We hope this means that we'll be able to provide the same high quality product design with fewer hiccups along the way. But again, the timeline for this is currently unknown.
So rather than disappoint our backers and prolong the delay, we wanted to provide as close a solution as we could as quickly as we could, so we came up with the substitute Seafarers solution. It wasn’t ideal, but it provided a large board, as well as substitute scenarios for each Seafarers scenario. This would require a significant capital outlay, but it would be manageable, and seemed to be the only viable solution aside from waiting which I really didn’t want to do. It just felt like waiting would cause our backers to be very disappointed with us and I want all of our backers to be happy.
After receiving all of the feedback we did, however, I realized that not only would our backers not be disappointed by waiting, they were vehemently rallying in favor of it.
I discussed this with Catan and our manufacturers, and mentioned that, in the end, the only thing that matters is whether or not we have happy customers, and everyone agreed that the best solution is to wait and provide every backer with exactly what they pledged for. Even if it took significantly longer than anticipated, providing the right solution would be superior to providing a temporary solution earlier.
What this means for fulfillment is all pledge levels will be defaulted to wait for the true Seafarers board. Once the new Seafarers board is in production, your reward will be sent out before anyone else. We don’t have an ETA on when it will be produced, but we will certainly keep everyone updated on the progress as it happens. There will also not be a $35 coupon provided.
Important Note for Those Who Provided Early Shipment Costs
For those backers who provided additional money to receive their shipment before Christmas, we will be sending out the substitute Seafarers reward to you. If you do not want to receive the substitute and would like a refund, please message me and I will refund your shipping costs immediately. Otherwise, all early shipment backers will be sent out on Wednesday, December 18th. Again, if you want to be placed back in the queue to wait for the original Seafarers board, please message me to let me know and we'll get you refunded.
For all others, if at any time between now and when we produce the Seafarers board you decide you would like the Seafarers substitute sent to you, please message me via Kickstarter messages to let me know. The substitute will be sent and you will be removed from the actual Seafarers board fulfillment.
We want every Kickstarter backer to be happy. You spoke and we listened. Our backers helped us see that waiting for the right product is better than getting a close facsimile now. So thank you for speaking and I hope you’ll forgive me for taking so long to listen.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas, and look forward to the new year ahead.