Just checked on our remaining Kickstarted board games, all but one of which are running late, to see when they’re currently estimated to arrive. (It’s hard to hold all the half-promises in my head & keep them straight.) Luckily I ran into the feeling of “we’re getting close to ‘enough’ board games until we get rid of some” at the end of this summer, so there are only a handful:
Surprisingly, Epic Resort (Floodgate Games) is theoretically in the midst of shipping, and should arrive any time now. (Backed in April, original estimated delivery in September—only two months late, with 7 months from Kickstarter to shipping.)
Next up will be Scoville (TMG), bumped back again to “probably after Christmas” for delivery. (Backed in February, original estimated delivery this month—maybe only a month late, with 10 months from Kickstarter to shipping.)
Another from TMG, Harbour, is currently estimated to be shipping in February—this is earlier than their pre-KS (official) estimate of March, but during the campaign they predicted an 80% chance they’d deliver by December. (Backed in July—7 months from Kickstarter to shipping, if they hit February, which would be delivering 1 month ahead of their official estimate and 2 months later than their mid-campaign estimate.)
Technically I failed to back Tiny Epic Defenders (I’d meant to go back and see whether they’d hit the stretch goals on the last day, and I glanced at the total pledges (not high enough), assumed they hadn’t hit them, but didn’t have time that day (busy day) to read the page/updates and see Michael had decided to unlock all the stretch goals anyway…) but saw Gamelyn Games at Maricopacon a few days later and pre-ordered a copy of the Deluxe Edition. According to the updates on KS, it looks like they’re on track to deliver on time, like prior GG KSs. Original Estimate: March, Current Estimate: February. (KS Campaign in July—7 months from KS to delivery.)
Ooh, I did back another one recently: Another TMG microgame, Eminent Domain: Microcosm. Backed a month ago, estimated delivery originally stated to be May 2015, no delays yet announced. I expect it to arrive a month late, at most; they seem to have microgames under control at TMG. (That would be 7 months from KS campaign to delivery, btw.)
…and finally, the first board game I ever actually backed for, all the way back on July 3, 2013, with an original estimated delivery date of February 2014, from Artistic Justice Games, it’s Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale. Technically, due to the scale of response & number of stretch goals hit, they revised their estimate to Summer 2014 at the end of the campaign. As of a month ago, they’ve got finished art for the core game, one expansion, and all the miniatures/models (Kickstarted separately, later), but not the other expansion or three standalone/expansion games (which were stretch goals, included with every copy), and not for the tarot deck, cheesecake deck, or several other sets of cards they made available as add-ons during the initial campaign. I don’t believe they’ve actually finalized the gameplay/rules, at least, certainly not for anything beyond the core game. Their current best estimate is that they’ll be splitting fulfillment into two waves, with the first wave containing the core game and first expansion, plus all the miniatures from the 2nd KS campaign, perhaps as early as Summer 2015—they have no estimate at all for when the second wave will ship. If they make this estimate, it’ll be 24 months from the KS campaign to delivery of the first part of the rewards (containing a little over 25% of the board game content promised, plus a bunch of miniatures—most of which are for backers of the followup campaign) …and maybe the rest by mid-2021?
The pattern here is “about 7 months from Kickstarter to delivery”, I believe. Of note, I did recently Kickstart a card game—Kickstarted in August, shipped in October; less than 75 days from funding day to shipping the last copy (not including people who hadn’t responded to the survey), and my original delivery estimate was December. I would probably have shipped in December, too, if we’d hit 1k+ copies. But 7 months / March? Yech. This is part of why you’ll probably never see me Kickstart a board game again, at least not with the possibility of mass-production. Same as traditionally-published books; the multi-year timelines drive me crazy.
If I can PnP a copy (including a box) in a couple of hours, or have a card game (with no box) printed & shipped by DriveThru within 7-10 days (they seriously printed & shipped 300 copies of Teratozoic within 10 days—same 7-10 days they take to print & ship 1 copy), and if (at least one) overseas printers can print & ship 2k or 4k copies of a game (cards, rules, box, shrink—everything) within 5 weeks, why does it take the pros 7+ months to fulfill their games? If I hadn’t had to wait 2 months for SuperiorPOD to print the boxes & instructions (DriveThru has nice clear, plastic boxes, actually—I like the box I designed & the professional/finished feel of the completed product, but aside from the rules, Teratozoic is really just a set of 110 cards; retail packaging is meaningless for a game which will never be sold at retail), I could have started shipping the game a mere 20 days after funding closed; I had all 300 copies of the cards on hand. grumble, grumble
I know, I know… a lot of campaigns only have a fraction of the art finished when they Kickstart, and a lot of the funds they’re raising are to pay artists, and art takes time… and most reputable overseas game manufacturers have a waiting list / delay before even the “5 weeks” or “2 months” to manufacture even begins, and for games larger than card games which get mass-produced you have to use sea-shipping, which takes 3+ months (sometimes more if your container gets “flagged by customs”) instead of a week, and then you also have the games shipped to distributors, whose processing/fulfillment can add another month or more (not to mention huge expenses! The difference in price between POD manufacturing and overseas manufacturing is significant, but for my game it was actually less than the cost of paying for professional fulfillment!) and on and on and … yeah, no wonder I’m working on fiction-writing again, lately: I can just upload the eBook & boom people can read it, plus… look at all these words, aching to escape my head/hands! ((You wouldn’t believe the amount of world-building I’ve been doing this week—if I don’t write something from this stuff, I … I just don’t know:
I’m doing everything from designing complex & unique economic structures to sketching in the gross anatomy of hundreds of species and sub-species (which generally have nothing in common with Earth life) of a world (whose cosmology I spent multiple weeks fleshing out—but which is just a bit … physically impossible, I fear) and also developing social structures, reproductive relationships (and organs & processes, sometimes down to a molecular level), and interesting back-stories and attitudes for the ~18 “main” characters of the core set of stories I want to tell, so they’ll have engaging and meaningful interactions and responses to the challenges I intend to throw their way as the stories unfold, not to mention their space ship… I really want to 3D model this thing, maybe put together a physical sculpture of it; it’s remarkable, and unlike any other space ship I’ve been exposed to in science fiction (or science fantasy)—though the FTL propulsion system is made-up, only loosely based on warp theory. Plus, I mapped out (roughly) the entire history of the main cultures/life-forms across their entire galaxy this Summer, sketching out a skeleton/guide for a 100-story arc and specific plots for the first 13+ stories… though next I suppose I’ll have to dig into developing the biologies, economies, and cultures of all the other beings in the galaxy, in at least as much detail as I’m giving my protagonist-species (whose home world doesn’t technically even appear in the main storyline!), for when they meet.
Earlier this week (and a big part of why I’m so excited/engaged by what I’m creating, here) I came to the realization that, between the idea that few/no people will ever actually read what I’m considering writing (my current estimate is that the entire project requires me to write 7 to 10 million words) and the further eureka-moment of “no one will ever make a movie version of this—there’s no need to make it in any way affordably-filmable!”, I’m actually really free to write … anything. I don’t need humanoids. I don’t need close parallels of Earth-politics, Earth-economy, Earth-culture, or even human-like thoughts, feelings, romance, or even human-like bodies, life-spans, conceptions of time, or space, or duty or … I don’t know, even the senses. My current conception of these guys doesn’t even give them mouths, as such—certainly not mouths for eating, and I’m not sold on giving them a dedicated organ for speaking, since they respirate through their surface-flesh (~skin), not via lungs/gills/etc, and are partially telepathic, but have excellent sight+ (Do you remember how Fantastician/Job could see all radiation? Or how the Radiant communicated, in Untrue Tales… Book Six? These guys definitely have radiation-based senses & awareness, well beyond a tiny sliver of electromagnetic radiation!) and probably communicate via some combination of radiation, digital gesturing (think fingers, except they don’t have fingers, not computers (although they have quantum computers by the time my story gets to them)), and telepathy. I’m not going to begin to describe their bodies, here, except to say: I guess a small sub-species of them could vaguely be mistaken for something in the category of ‘Greys’ (if Greys had no mouths, weren’t in any way grey, and were far away / out of focus), but most of them don’t actually resemble anything you’ve probably seen or imagined before. And each variation or feature or new way of putting together bones has good reason, and leads to interesting characters.
I just need to learn how to describe them without in any way referring to an Earth-based or human-experience-based frame of reference; even if I don’t decide to write any of the stories in first-person POV, the descriptions should be native and immersive of these people’s experiences.))
…I should probably go to bed…
((It is now November 23rd, and I haven’t yet decided whether or not I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. A couple of weeks ago I’d been hoping my world-building would have reached a point (or gained enough momentum) where I could write a quick expository novel laying the groundwork for the project and setting things in motion—the free prequel novel which introduces the characters, the setting & background, and the plot of the series/project, getting readers hooked/interested before it breaks them up into … well, more on that later, but I think it needs at least a prequel [long] short story. Alas, at this point & rate, I’m not sure I’ll get there in time to make much progress before the end of the month. Especially considering I’m expecting to be reading a book on Monday & Tuesday, then have Thanksgiving weekend coming up from Thursday through the end of the month—how much novel do you suppose I can write in a day?))