Status Report - 2018.01.13 - Board Finish Challenges & Production Schedule Update
about 2 years ago
– Sat, Jan 13, 2018 at 11:11:05 PM
TL;DR - Glare and potential for wear issues with the linen finish on game board has resulted in a material change. This has resulted in a 3 week delay, exacerbated by Chinese New Year delay. Fulfillment to now begin in April. We are incredibly sorry for this delay, see more below. We are adding 8 additional Iron Clay coins to Brass Lancashire and Birmingham (30 chip fillout unchanged). Brass and Iron Clays on display at PAX. Payment processing coming January 20th
The challenge: We are extremely happy with the dark and different creative direction we have taken with Brass. Because it is different, it has been absolutely important for us to playtest the game in different levels of light to ensure the game remains absolutely functional.
Originally, we had thought that the game in lower light would be the challenge. After testing the press proofs though, we discovered the opposite to be true: playing in low light is amazing, but playing in bright light is a problem. The reason is that dark graphics under linen finish reflects too much light, which causes glare. This glare can reduce the usability of the game for some players at the table if you are playing the game under direct light.
But this was not the only trouble we were seeing with the linen finish on dark art. Because the board is double sided, one side of the board has a fold line all the way across it. These fold lines on a normal board are not overly noticeable. However, because of the art style in Brass, there is a high probability that this line will wear greatly over time creating a bright white and unattractive line through the middle of the board.
This problem is not present on the tiles though, as the colors of the tiles are much lighter.
Because Roxley always strives for usability and quality above all else, this is something we needed to address.
We looked at other games that have dark boards, and we one that really stood out for us was Clank. Not only does clank have a very dark board, but it does not create glare. It also does not have the white "wear" line on the board folds that we saw on the linen board proofs we have. So what's the difference? The difference is that Clank is finished with in matte PP laminate, rather than linen finish.
We immediately had the manufacturer send us different finish options, including different types of linen finish, and an option for us to upgrade to matte PP finish.
After playtesting each of them, the results were immediately apparent. Matte PP finish is not only the most usable for our art style, but also is the most resilient.
Because matte PP is very flat, it also has the positive side effect of making the tiles stand out from the board, which also increases usability.
Side effects of this change
- Because matte PP board go through a lamination process, and requires different material, it does cost slightly more than linen, but Roxley will absolutely cover this additional cost.
- Missing Chinese New Year - In December when we announced that we were trying to hit Chinese New Year for production being completed. This was contingent on there being no major challenges. So because we lost a few weeks with getting new press proofs, we will now miss the opportunity to ship before Chinese New Year. For those who don't know, Chinese New Year is like Christmas in North America, where everything shuts down for 2-3 weeks. This realistically adds 4 weeks to the production schedule. We have updated the production schedule to reflect this.
Buck Stops Here
While our team has many years of experience in the print industry, and knew there were potential challenges with going with such a different graphic style for Brass, this was absolutely not one that we had anticipated.
For this additional delay, I am incredibly sorry. If you have any questions about this, please contact our team at email@example.com.
All component printing is under way now. We are extremely pleased with how well everything has turned out.
The revised production schedule has been placed in the status report graphic. We have also updated that preorder delivery date on backer kit and added a graphic to campaign page that makes it easier to see at a glance what the slated delivery date is.
More Iron Clays Automatically Being Added At No Cost
Because of the nature of how money is spent in Brass to the turn order track, the game requires more 1-denomination currency than nearly every other game out there.
32 1-denomination chips is technically the maximum number of necessary in a copy of Brass. This is how many we initially included.
However, when playtesting the proof of the game, we felt that while we weren't running out, there were times where we felt we were making change too often.
To remedy this, we are adding 8 additional 1s to both Lancashire and Birmingham, bringing the quantity of 1s to 40 (the amount of 1s in the original printing of Brass), and the total Clay quantity to 78 in each game. This change came at a large cost, but again, usability is paramount to us.
For those of you who have added the 30 chip fill-out upgrade, do not worry, you will still receive 30 chips in that box. This will mean though, that you have 8 extra Clays that won't fit in the container (108 total). I suggest you keep these on your desk to endlessly fidget with. :) There is not way to change these at this point as the 30 chips upgrades have already been produced and packed.
PAX South and Photos
Paul Saxberg is at PAX south right now with the press proofs. If you are there, please come by booth 1104 to say hello, and see Brass and the Iron Clays!
Paul is in possession of the first final complete set of Iron Clays.
We have not shown any photos of the final design, but we do have some surprises for you that have been added to the game that we have not even told you about yet (none of which have affected the schedule). We will show photos and video of this when we get the proofs back into the office.
20 Most Anticipated Games of 2018 Reminder
Brass is neck and neck with about 4 other blockbuster titles in the running for most anticipated game of 2018. Please consider voting for us here, as we absolutely cannot win this without your help: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/235922/20-most-anticipated-board-games-2018-final-voting
As always, if you have any comments or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment Processing Reminder - January 20, 2018
We will be processing payment for all preorders, extra owed shipping, and addons on January 20, 2018. On January 20th, your card will be charged in the amount owing in Canadian dollars indicated on your survey.
Please note that you will only be charged what, if anything was remaining owed for extra shipping or addon costs. The amount you pledged during the campaign is of course applied to this, and if your survey showed you owing nothing back in September, you will not be charged.
Can I still add to my order? YES. But you will have to get your survey unlocked to do so. Please email email@example.com to have your survey unlocked.
Can you process my payment sooner? YES. If you would like us to process your order immediately, please fill out this form and we will process your payment within 24 hours. As always, if you have any comments or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep rollin' sixes,