Hey there Everyone,
Today I was planning on sharing some of the adventures I had at San Diego Comic Con. I was going to talk about my first year as an official Guest of Honor there, include links to videos of some of my panels, and maybe even fess up to the fact that I drank some rum and did a *little* bit of drunken tweeting.
But other news takes precedence over a chatting about how I goofed off at a convention. We have some info about Tak, and I owe it to y’all to give you details as soon as possible here on the blog. I wanted to be sure you heard it from me at the same time as James sends out an update over at the Kickstarter.
As many of you know, (because you backed it) we recently ran a kickstarter for Tak.
What you might not know is that James and I had been working together on the project for more than two years before the kickstarter ever launched. We talked about concept. We discussed the shape the kickstarter would take. James playtested the game exhaustively. And we spent a long time bringing together all the things required to make not just the *idea* of a game, but the game itself. We needed art. Boxes. Wooden pieces. Linen Boards. Wooden boards. Different wooden boards. Little baggies. Design for capstones. A printer for the book. Illustrations. Prototypes. Quotes. Etc etc etc.
There’s a ton of little things that go into making a game. And that’s not even counting logistical stuff like warehouses to store stuff, packaging and transporting all the pieces, assembling the game…
And then you haven’t even started the process of fulfilling everyone’s orders. All the picking, packaging and shipping that involves….
(No. Not that kind of shipping. The other kind.)
Simply said, there’s a lot of moving parts to make something like this work.
So for months before the kickstarter, we were getting quotes, making prototypes, finding printers and shapers and makers who could turn Tak from a beautiful daydream into a beautiful game. Then we crossed our fingers, pulled the trigger, and hoped y’all would want to be a part of it.
Then this happened.
When I say that we weren’t expecting this level of success, I’m not being midwestern or modest. Yeah, I was pretty sure we’d hit $50,000 without much trouble. But my realistic expectation was that we’d hit something between $250,000 and $500,000. Hell, the contract James and I wrote up between the two of us, didn’t even include terms for anything higher than $700K.
Because of your enthusiasm, we blew the doors off the kickstarter. But some types of success are problematic. There’s a big difference in producing 5000 games, and producing 20,000 games. The scaling breaks down at a certain point.
Recently, we found our wooden piece manufacturer wasn’t prepared for an order of this size. And this isn’t a podunk guy in his garage, either. We’re talking about a professional woodworking facility here. But even though they’re pros, they don’t have an infinite amount of space. The wood has to be bought, dried, stored, milled, and finished. There are a finite number of hands and machines that they can use to perform these tasks.
Early on, James and I agreed that we wanted to produce things here in the US. We didn’t want them made cheap in China in sweatshop conditions. We wanted well-made, craftsman wooden pieces made in a shop that follows good safety regulation and and pays their people a decent living wage. Because of that, we had to accept that things would cost a little more, and take a little longer….
But then the kickstarter pretty much doubled our absolute best case-scenario…
Anyway, I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. Like so like many other hugely successful Kickstarter campaigns, Tak is going to ship a little late.
And I am so sorry about that. I thought we were pretty much bulletproof. We planned our best plan. We padded our schedule. Even so, we’re going to be late.
The good news is that it looks like we’re only going to be shipping about a month late, which isn’t bad for a kickstarter that raised more than 20 times its original goal. To say nothing of the fact that if you’re a fan of my books, a month is barely even a blip on the Rothfuss Late-o-Meter.
Gech. I just made myself sad with that joke. Again. I’m sorry. I hate disappointing y’all.
The first batch of pieces will be finished the first week of November. After that, the games must be assembled (at the board game plant) and shipped twice (once to the warehouse, and then to you). Which means that our earliest date to begin shipping these rewards will be mid-December.
Most of the other perks we’re making are on schedule or ahead of schedule. But we didn’t collect enough money for shipping to pay for sending everything out separately. With one exception.
Devi’s Box and Devi’s Board are still scheduled to ship on time. (Either if you ordered them in the kickstarter directly, or if you upgraded to them in the Pledge Manager.) The reason is that Wormwood is making their own pieces for their board, so they aren’t affected by this production delay. And we always planned on those boards being shipped directly from Wyrmwood Gaming, so the shipping cost was already factored into that item’s price.
And since I’ve mentioned the Pledge Manager, please note that the deadline to update your information and/or upgrade your order is August 5th (about a week away). Not only will that be your last chance to order the kickstarter exclusive stuff, but he more people who complete the pledge manager, the smoother the fulfillment process will go. So if you haven’t gone in and done that yet, please consider doing so.
James has written his own update over on the kickstarter here. So if you’re looking for more info, or if you have questions, head on over there.