June Production Log Supplemental
A warm Summer Solstice to all Northern Hemisphere society members! Southern Hemisphere members, step away from your plow & do not harvest!
We’re sending you a supplemental backer update to share news on our production progress, our Road Tour event planning, and Twogether Studios projects.
For those of you who like just the bullet points:
- We’ve had multiple delays of our physical proofs from the plant in China due to extreme weather and government mandated limits on power consumption. We *should* have it in our hands for our approval early next week.
- As we wait for mass production of Illimat, Twogether Studios is going to do a short duration and tight scope Kickstarter in July. We’re bringing on a trusted colleague to run it so we continue to focus on Illimat.
- Road Trip events - we’re getting in a van and driving around the US!
Want to know more details about the above? Read on for our Production Blog…. Thanks!
Keith & Jenn
Game Production Delays: Our team at AdMagic (our project manager Kat & owner Shari) have been responsive and communicative about our next production milestone- but there's very little any of them can do about typhoons and government mandates to lower power consumption. As someone who always looks for ways to keep moving, this is super frustrating. In the meantime even though we don't have a ship date we continue to plan our launch as well as our August and September road trip. We’ve been informed that the last pieces of our physical proof are being completed now and we should have the proof by early next week.
Illimat Road Tour: One lesson we learned with our last game launch (Phoenix: Dawn Command) is that you can always delay or relaunch a product but it's just 2x harder to get traction. Focusing product launch efforts while backers are getting their copies of the game is best as it creates momentum. This is a little complex due to the lead times and expense required to put events on at large conventions (sometimes this requires planning a year ahead or multi-year waiting lists to get booth space). What we do know is that the more people play your game, the more people buy it. After lots of worrying about when the game will be available for retail sale so we can plan a tour around it that, we decided our motto is to just get out there and play the game with as many people as possible. August and September have some big game conventions we’ve already committed to but beyond that we’re going to focus on visiting venues that are a good fit and maybe even a few backer house parties. Putting the expense into promotional events without having a game for sale is a little nutty- and if we’re confident the game is close to shipping to backers, we might do pre-orders for the general public during events. We’re just not sure until we get more details from the plant. What we do know is that we’ll have a good time playing it and meeting some of you. We’re fixing up a 1984 VW Westfalia van Illimat style and loading up our pug for the ride. If you’re a Westy fan we’ll be posting pics of our van progress on the @twogetherstudios instagram page. Let us know in the comments where we should make a stop- locals know the best and most Society of Luminary welcoming places! We’ll be posting confirmed dates, locations, and places we’re looking to host events in our July update.
Our July Kickstarter: I hate the idea of launching another project without having fulfilled Illimat. However, we need to change our game release schedule and funding times. A late in the year Kickstarter can have a negative tax impact and would impede our ability to focus on promoting & supporting a successful Illimat release. For us, the the three most time intensive aspects of making a game are designing it, running an active Kickstarter campaign for it, and promoting its release. Right now with Illimat we’re actually in a quiet period as it’s in the hands of AdMagic for production, we outsource our fulfillment, and the game is not yet available to be promoted. A successful Illimat launch and having another game ready as we go into retailer buying decisions for 2018 also gives us a better chance for me (Jenn) to keep running our company full time. We know, however that we need to make sure we’re keeping bandwidth for oversight on the execution and fulfillment for Illimat. Because of this, we’re partnering with Angela Melena - Webber to run our next Kickstarter campaign and do the heavy daily lifting of promoting it and getting the word out. The Kickstarter scope for our next project is super simple: just the game, no extras. We need to submit the game for production prior to going on the road for Illimat and anything extra will keep us from that goal. Although it’s more expensive, we’re manufacturing the game in the US and only shipping physical copies to US addresses. For the game itself- it’s a game that Keith made as a holiday gift for friends last year and people loved it. It’s called Action Cats: a party game about the secret lives of cats. Every backer can submit pictures to have their cat as a card in the game. We launch July 11th and the campaign runs for 3 weeks.
Hope to see you later this summer!