WarStages Update #19 - Raging Heroes

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August 22, 2018 12 min read 3 Comments

Dear Backer,

It really drives me crazy to keep you waiting like this for the update and everything related to WarStages. But the last two months have been a really strange and daunting time for us to the extent that, at some point, it felt like something straight out of a movie!

First of all, let me reassure you, everything is going A OK for WarStages.

It's just that this recent period of time has unfolded in a completely surreal way and made it very hard to just write an update that would not become irrelevant or inexact one or two days after publication.

So let’s start with the cool stuff. Despite the various things that have made this update so long to arrive, plenty of good things have happened since our previous update. Read all about it below.

Then you can laugh at us, pity us, or offer your sympathy when you’ll read the account of the crazy chains of events that have plagued us recently...
As Shakespeare wrote: “When sorrows come, they come not single spies. But in battalions!”

Like in any good adventure movie, we triumphed in the end, but god, it was good when it was over...

What's the current situation of WarStages?

Well, despite our own delays, we are still waiting for about 150 backers to make their selection in the pledge manager! Please, hurry up guys!!!

Once we have that information, we are ready to move forward and launch manufacturing.

We are about to contact the people who have not yet made their rewards selection to make sure they proceed promptly.

In any case, because of the summer holidays and the follow ups at Gencon, suppliers are a bit slow to react during August, so it feels like in September we should have everything properly aligned to start manufacturing. The printing is expected to be relatively quick, but the plastic clips can take a bit longer, up to 3 months.

As you can see we have finished assembling the XL Cathedral, but due to the super chaotic nature of the past two months, we were not able to create a timelapse like we would have liked. This would have required steady uninterrupted work for several days, a luxury that we didn't have as you will read below…

Assembling the XL Cathedral was absolutely great to do because it allowed us to fine-tune so many more details. We spent more than 5000 € (close to $6000) in materials, 3D printing and laser-cutting alone just to finish this particular prototype!

The prototype in these photos is just in plain white, with no printed textures on it, and yet it already looks amazing. We needed to have an unprinted version has it made some of our work easier with testing new stuff.

We also recently received our GlowForge, a great laser-cutting machine and a great tool to test many new ideas and options (well, more on this below where you’ll get all the nitty gritty details of that particular adventure).

Since we are still waiting for some backers to make their reward selection, we used that time to make WarStages even better!

JR and Guilhem have created great new assembly systems to complement the clips when plastic clips were not the best solution. Here are a few of the cool things they developed.

The main doors assembly has been completely reworked so that it doesn’t require any glueing. New little combs are now holding the layers of the doors together. And some pieces have been created to fix the doors on a special floor section so that each door can easily stand on their own.

There is also two new nifty little pieces that will allow you to connect doors together, one at the bottom of the door and one near the top.

The choir floor levels now have a reinforcement made with an assembly of beams. The one shown here is not the definitive one, the final version will be much stronger. But it already gives you an idea of how that thing will work.


We have also created some pillars that will be very useful to increase the stability of your wall sections, especially when they will be used as stand alone Stages.

The bell towers now have a beam system that allows you to connect the two main section of the tower so that they are firmly fixed to each other, yet easy to remove if needed.

The top section of the bell tower have a cross beam arrangement that reinforce the section and support the roof. At first, to do this, we had a cap that needed to be glued and we were not happy with that.

The triangular towers now have a little reinforcing piece in the middle of their main window slot. We have noticed that in some rare case, if the tower is handled a bit roughly, the top of the tower above the window can start to tilt forward. This new addition will prevent that risk.

We have added a threshold to most of the open archways, in the Gothic Cathedral and the Gothic Daedalus. This was a very debated decision, but we felt that if you plan to often assemble and disassemble your kits, it would really extend their life. The added bonus is that, if you need some parts of your Stages to be free of these threshold, you can use a box cutter and get rid of it in a second. This way you have the best of both worlds: stronger sections where you need them and open floors when you need to move your minis around easily.

We had originally designed a great system for the stairs assembly, but it required some glueing. This meant a longer assembly time and the need to re-glue the stairs from time to time as glue tend to not have a great durability when it holds together small surfaces of flat varnished cardboard. So we went back to the drawing board and made a new system of clipable stairs.

The tall side section of the main doors have been reworked for easier assembly with no glueing and now have a support system so that it can stand on its own.

All these new additions will be included in your rewards, free of charge! The Gothic Cathedral kit was already very sturdy and efficient as it was, but we want to make sure to give you the best possible product, so since we have been working on that kit for about 2 years now, we have found many little improvements that we know will make your life easier and we wanted to make them available to you.

The XL Gothic Cathedral

The day we shot the pictures in our backyard, we had a friend who dropped by. He happens to be a well-known artist, photographer, director, and he was just coming back from showcasing his virtual-reality-based exhibition in Arles, one of the biggest art photography event in Europe. He was completely floored by what he saw:






This massive model, towering at about 2,5m from the ground up when set up on a gaming table, is truly something to see, even in plain white cardboard! It is just like we aimed from the beginning, an amazing convention gaming board, the size and epicness of which you would have thought impossible to own!

An unfortunate series of events

A simple move...

So we had prepared our move to our new place. It has been nearly two years that we were slowly gearing up for this.

We were super excited to move to a better working environment, we had everything ready.

What could possibly go wrong ?...

The Short Story

A massive series of unpredictable events piled up over the last two months and completely derailed our normal schedule. Every two or three days we would think: “Ok, we are good to publish the WS update,” and then something else would happen and make what we wanted to tell you irrelevant, mostly in terms of planning.

Maybe you’re telling yourself: “Well, since last autumn, they've been telling us that stuff happened and derailed their plans”. In a way, you would be right, this year has really been tough for us, and then the level of annoyances has really culminated these last few weeks!

Below, we have chosen to tell you this story in a lighter tone, but there was much more hardship than this, all happening at the same time and that was really no fun at all, it was just extremely trying.

The Long Story

This story starts with another crowdfunding campaign…

In March, we were waiting for our Glowforge machine to come in.
The Glowforge is a laser cutter that has been funded through one of the biggest crowdfunding campaign in history. It raised about 30 millions of dollars in 30 days!

This project is the brainchild of Dan Shapiro, the founder of Photobucket and the ex-CEO of a Google division.

Yet, despite this amazing pedigree, it was about 3 years late. This somewhat made us feel just a slightly bit better regarding our own delays.

And as we know how hard it is to make any ambitious project happen, we patiently waited for our own machine delivery. After many delays, it had been promised to arrive one year ago, but it finally took another year before we received a message telling us that the machine would arrive in March.

But, when we wrote our previous update, it was yet to arrive.

This was not a major problem in itself... except that our regular Laser Cutting workshop ran out of the type of cardboard for several weeks, just to have his machine break down when the material arrived.

No problem, it delayed things a bit but we could manage. And when the Glowforge would come in, we would finish this job in a breeze...

At that time, everything was running pretty smoothly at Raging Heroes: the XL Cathedral was nearly done, we were in the process of sending the last 50 shipments related to TGG2, and we were in a very serene mood regarding our move to our new offices as everything on that front was running smoothly.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well… These last two and a half months have been indeed hell. In fact, the past 12 months have been very hard for many different reasons, but the last two and a half months really topped it all!

We cannot tell you everything, it would be too long. But let’s give you a sample of what happened:

While we were quite excitedly packing up all our Raging Heroes stuff for the move, a good friend was working at our new place, setting up a tons of things, rewiring the electricity, breaking down walls, updating the water system, etc. The place we are settling in had been empty for nearly 7 years, so it needed a certain amount of basic work to be habitable.

The packing is nearly done at our old office. You can see the XL Cathedral prototype about to be moved to its new home

Things were actually moving faster than originally planned. It was fantastic.

Then our friend suddenly got a massive and paralysing toothache. He could not work for several days. It was just before moving day.

He was supposed to help us move with his truck, finish key electricity and building works along with a few other key things. The day before he got sick, he had just completely torn down a full room: there were 2,5 tons of debris laying around!

The room halfway through the demolition process

We thought: “Ok, we can manage this. If he’s away for a few days, we’ll just rearrange our plans a bit, it’ll be fine”. But after a few days, he was not feeling any better. That’s when his dentist realized he had forgotten to prescribe him painkillers!!! Does that sound like bad comedy, or what?

In the meantime, the company that was supposed to come and install a new door for the big garage that serves as our new stockroom contacted us to tell us they would have to delay for at least two weeks. Crap!

It meant that once the stock would be fully installed, half of if would need to be removed while the door installation took place. That would take one, perhaps two days just to do that properly.

Installing the stock for the very first time

But on the other hand, our friendly builder was back, tooth healed. Yet the very same day… his knee collided with a radiator, and the radiator won. Badly. His knee was broken!

We felt so bad for him. And once again, our plans were thwarted.

It also meant that now the stock would need to be moved another time because he couldn’t finish the electricity in time. Double crap !

To keep us on our toes, the weather in Montpellier decided to go for new record highs: one has not lived if one has not done a company move during a 40°C / 105°F week!

It was intense but OK. We were just completely exhausted but we were happy as finally we received confirmation of the delivery of our Glowforge. Yeah !!!

The day we got it, we plugged it in, ran the software, and right away it was working!!! Amazing!!!

It worked flawlessly... for 2 full minutes.

Then it it defaulted to safety mode: it could not run if the ambient temperature was above 27°C / 80°F… But with that crazy Montpellier weather and without any air conditioning, the temperature in the office was around 35°C / 90°F nearly all day long.

We ended up getting a small portable air conditioning unit but it took another two days to find a way to cool down the Glowforge enough so that it would work.

In the meantime, as we were constantly re-installing the stock, then tearing it down again for a new intervention, a uneasy feeling was slowly creeping upon us: there was something wrong somewhere with the stock… We should have finished sending all TGG2 shipments to our backers over a month and a half ago, and yet we were getting messages from a few bakers asking: “Guys, what’s going on, still nothing in the mail…”

That’s when we discovered we had a nasty bug in our logistics software that was feeding us false information: a few backers had received their shipments twice, while others had been erased from the system. Crap, crap, crap !!!

So with the physical stock in constant rearrangement and the logistics software in disarray, we had to solve that problem. Thank God we had some backups that were not affected by the bug, but it took us several day to sort out all the mistakes.

I could also tell you how we started to set up the XL Cathedral in a room to have to break it up the next day because of space requirements, how our 3D printer suddenly did not like our new resin and forced us to reprint hundreds of clips, how the water and electricity broke down, … the list goes on and on. And that’s just for the stuff related directly to Raging Heroes. It was as crazy, and on some levels harder in our personal lives as well.

But in the end, we prevailed. TGG2 is completely done and the WarStages prototypes look gorgeous!!!

It was tough and crazy but like in any stupid comedy, in the end, things works out.

Also, we've already told you about Mireille's mother and we want to sincerely thanks all of you who wrote or left us messages on this. Even if we didn't reply directly, please know that it means A LOT.

What did we do to manage it all?

With our schedule constantly disrupted in such manner, we decided to work on nothing but the key jobs related to WarStages and TGG2, such as finalising technical tests, assembling the XL Cathedral, etc. But we couldn't find a way to write proper updates in time, mostly because everyday when we would say: “Ok, tomorrow we are assembling the cathedral for the photos,” something stupid would come up and we had to delay for a few more days.

Some of you also told us: “How come I don't get an update but I see some of your ads on Facebook?” The reason for this is that our marketing is one of the things that can mostly run on auto-pilot and so it is less impacted by disruptions. However, there are also many things in that department that we need to work on but that we can't currently take care of.

It is also why some of our other projects like the TGG Game website or the Painting Contest that we've been announcing a few months ago have not been finalized yet. Such projects are currently moving at a slow pace, although, if nothing crazy happens, the contest could be ready for launch soon.

And so many things (like a special project for Cosplayers, other games, more video content, a the webshop revamp, etc.) came to a stop or slowed to a crawling pace because first and foremost, we are focusing on WarStages and fixed the delivery of the last very few TGG2 rewards that have been caught in the Logistics Bug.

What’s next?

TGG2 is now done and WarStages is moving along nicely and is our first priority.

This update was a bit special, and with all these adventures, we did not have the time to finish the next PDF file but we will resume with this next month.

We will shoot photos of the Small and Large Cathedrals in the next two weeks and send you a new update about it.

Please know that we are there for you and you can always contact us at RagingHeroesTeam@gmail.com

And if you haven’t made your reward selection yet, please, hurry up to the pledge manager at http://warstages1ks.com/

3 Responses


October 07, 2018

I was just looking up news on the kick starter as I had realised it had been about a year since I backed the project, and I had not heard anything! I was very pleased to see it is still in operation, and that the pledge manager is open. I wonder if other backers have had the same issue, which maybe why they haven’t sorted out their pledge yet. As I have not received any emails at all regarding warstages, I tried logging in to kickstarter yet they do not recognise my email address as being a member for some reason. I wonder if the kickstarter mailing list has lost a load of the backers details. It maybe worth checking your own backers list against theirs. Also, I’m quite certain I’am one of the original backers, please can you double check this for me, and if confirmed please could you email me the PDF’s as I have not received them either. Don’t worry about how long the project takes, it looks amazing and is definitely worth the wait, I know from backing your previous project’s that the end result always surpasses expectations. Keep up the fantastic work, best wishes, Sam


September 03, 2018

Sorry about the bad luck. I backed this with my brother under his account so I can’t comment on the Kickstarter. We all understand stuff happens but just let us know when it does, even just a couple sentences. It would let us know you are thinking about us and give us an idea of what is going on. If you go weeks without letting us know anything, all we can do is guess. Which everyone jumps on the worst case scenario. For me I am patient and currently I never get to play games so I am not out anything right now. When my kids get older and I can actually have time to play, I will be glad to have this terrain!


August 22, 2018

Sorry to hear about all the madness! I hope your team is doing well :) Take all the time you need for the Cathedral, it is looking stunning so far. 40 degree weather is terrible for any working environment :/

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