Greetings backers and friends!
We’re in what I consider the most anxiety producing aspect of production- the waiting. This is the point in which most of the timelines and communication for the game are dependent on the factory in China. As reported in our earlier updates we have provided all of the game production files to our manufacturer and as of today all of the files were reviewed and approved by the plant but we’re still waiting on our digital proofs and physical proofs for production which enable us to get to the next milestone. We’re expecting our digital proofs for the game and expansion on Wednesday. Although our milestone progress chart has not changed since the last update, there have been multiple small steps accomplished. We’ve included a section below called “production blog” detailing some of our recent production process below for those who would like to know more.
Tell us your address/ Change your address
A big thank you to everyone who confirmed their pledge last month. We went from having 1300 unconfirmed backers to 815! If you still have not confirmed your address or need to change you can still do so right up until we’re close to shipping. All the how to information is in our last update here.
Those are our high level updates for the month. We'll make a small post as soon as we get our proofs so we can provide new delivery estimates. Continue reading below for an inside peek at production details.
In the journey of getting a product to market there is an opportunity each week for it to be delayed or to keep the project on it’s rails. As the producer, I'm always looking for opportunities to head off potential issues at the pass. Concurrently, we’re all keeping an eye on the critical objectives- which is to make something you will be delighted with and that all of us working on the project feel proud and excited about. To give you some additional insight into our process I’d like to share two of the plates we kept spinning this month; Okus Tokens and our freight and fulfillment plan.
After completing some requested edits from the factory on our 3D molds, our Okus Token molds are now being created. We’re making 8 different tokens and tooling for all of these molds for pre-production physical proofs take about a month to complete. Prior to submitting our 3D files, we made a few small changes to the designs in keeping with our primary objective. First, we decided to give the tokens an antique gold finish instead of a silver finish as it made them too close to looking like monopoly tokens. Secondly, we moved the bird token out of the core set and it’s now part of the Kickstarter backer bonus items along with an antique book. In it’s place, we added an antique chess pawn to the core game set. One of the reasons for this is that the antique chess piece felt more along with vein of many of the Okus tokens that backers shared pictures of- something a little worn and feeling as if it belonged to something else. We also felt that it gave the core set a little more of a “collected” feeling and was intriguing. The bird replaced the proposed cannon balls that were proposed for the kickstarter bonus. When we looked at cannon ball 3D models and at the scale we’re making these it just didn't stand up as well as our other choices.
Shipping & Fulfillment Plan
In our update last month we did a big push to get backers to confirm their addresses. Some of you asked why we were doing this as we are potentially months away from fulfilling your rewards. One reason for this was that getting the last 20% of your remaining backer addresses takes a long time and we wanted to get a jumpstart. Secondly, it allowed us to feel more confident in our shipping plan ( from the factory to our warehouses) and head off potential delays in fulfillment ( from the warehouses to your door). First, we needed to make sure we had enough backers in countries outside of the US to ship directly from China to warehouses in Canada, Australia, and the UK. There's a host of costs associated with splitting up our total print run, but if there is enough backers in these countries it hits a tipping point where it's worth it. Thanks to backers taking action, we were able to determine that we hit the tipping point that enabled us to ship (factory to warehouse) to Canada, Australia, US, and the UK. This also gives us a chance to have product in these countries to sell after we fulfill Kickstarter backer rewards. In addition, we took the opportunity to do a test data extract to our fulfillment partners at Blackbox. They were able to make sure that our extract includes the data they need to pick and pack all of your items accurately and that the address formats follow best practices. Doing this prevents delays in fulfillment due to address format issues or errors in the rewards you receive due to bad information from us.
Those are details on just two of the spinning plates of production and getting Illimat on the streets. If you want us to continue to include a production blog of this level of detail as part of our updates- please let us know in the comments so we know this is something you’d like us to continue. Thank you all for your support of this project and your excitement for this game!