Dear WarStages backer,
Wow, from the middle of October until now, a lot has happened! A lot of good stuff, and problem fixing that has caused a bit of delay. But overall everything is looking good.
You might be wondering why we didn’t sent an update earlier to show you the samples?
Well, we did receive the samples, they were great apart from one issue that we thought was a mistake, so we wrote an update, we were about to send it around the 15th of October… and then, we got an email from the Chinese manufacturer who told us that the “mistake” was in fact a real problem and nobody could understand where it was coming from.
So instead of sending you some info that could prove incorrect in the next coming days, we decided to wait a bit until we would get some clarification about what was going on.
Punchboards craziness. Starting to punch out the parts to test the assembly
Large elements straight out of the punchboards
Testing structure assembly with our old clips. They work even if they had been made for another type of cardboard!
Playing around and testing the sample assembly of furniture and structure. At this stage the assembly of the furniture is not perfect, this comes from that problem with the die-cut and this is what we have been working on this whole past month.
Testing new types of layout mixing Daedalus Kit and Cathedral parts. The samples are printed with a glossy finish, but the final version will have a matte finish.
In the end we found out that some technical aspects of WarStages were pushing the manufacturer’s machines to their limits and we had to redesign several of the slots and cardboard connections for several WarStages elements. It seems pretty straightforward told this way, but it took us a full month to understand what was causing the problem and how to fix it.
The result is totally invisible to the naked eye but the manufacturer’s team worked really hard on testing and creating a whole new batch of samples. And on our end we had once more to rework most of our files. The samples were placed in the mail for us yesterday and we will receive them in about a week.
If you want more details about how our month went, here it is:
The first set of samples we received looked great but there were a few strange problems in how several cuts were made on the punchboards. Nobody could understand why at first.
While the manufacturing team was trying to understand what was happening, our contact at the Chinese manufacturing company told us that she and her boss would be at Essen in Germany (the biggest boardgame event in the western world) and that right after, they would love to come and visit us.
This was the perfect opportunity to look together at the samples and maybe get a better feel of what the problem was and how to correct it.
In the meantime, their team worked on all the other minor issues that we had spotted on the samples (you can read more about that below).
We had a great meeting all together the day after Halloween. It was great a great thing for WarStages, we reviewed tons of stuff together and solved minor issues that were hard to solve by email or Skype.
The team from Eastar gave us a very thorough and impressive presentation of their work with some of the biggest game companies on the market.
Also, gathering info from their team and from our own observations and tests, we came to realise that some of WarStages technical constraints were pushing their machines to the limit.
After that meeting, we all worked in concert to rework all the files once more and come with a new set of samples through which we could make sure all the problems has been dealt with.
The manufacturing team worked very meticulously to make sure each piece of furniture and several other elements that use cardboard-only connections would assemble perfectly. They reworked and tested each and every connections and adjusted the die-cuts accordingly.
You can see the result of their work in the following images and video.
Some Cathedral sample parts assembled at our office. Of course the final clips with be black.
Below is a series of videos showing the testing of the furniture assembly.
The manufacturer told us they would give us an updated schedule as soon as we approve the new samples. We will receive the new samples in about a week. We expect it to be something like an additional month before they can start shipping but we’ll keep you posted on that.
We will also get samples for the floor mat in about 10 days. It will be made of polyester, like a football (soccer) t-shirt. The good thing is that this is a material that doesn’t crumple much and it is printed using a sublimation process, which means that the colours are very intense and super resistant.
Taken directly from that update we didn’t post, here are more details about the first batch of samples and our first impressions about them by October 15:
The WarStages samples have arrived to our workshop and they look great!
It’s a bit magical to see our own creation this way.
Probably just like you did throughout your gamer’s life, throughout the years we’ve opened many game boxes to get the joy of punching out tokens, markers and other accessories from the many cardboard sheets enclosed in these boxes.
Well, doing so with our own product feels a bit magical!
The samples are of really high quality but there are a few things that need to be corrected:
-First of all, the final print will be matte and not shiny. So the overall finish will be similar to what you saw in the WarStages videos. That way it will look much more elegant and you won’t get shiny reflections that make taking pictures for your battle report a real nightmare.
-Second, on the samples, the parts were fully cut out of the punch board, the punch board being the pre-cut cardboard sheet that holds the WarStages elements. This would mean that if this stayed this way, when you would unpack your WarStages products, there would be a good chance of many parts falling off from the punch board, making it hard to find which part goes with what.
It’s not really a problem for a game, because usually there are not so many parts, but for what we do here, we think it’s essential that you can keep the parts well-organized.
So we asked the manufacturer to add a little connection to each part (as is often the case on many games punch boards) to make sure the parts won’t fall off.
(Plus, punching off the parts will be a more pleasurable experience, like punching bubble wrap ;) )
Here is the video we sent to our supplier to explain the problem
-Finally, there were several strange mistakes here and there with the die-cut (the blade shapes used to cut the punchboards to shape) and some cuts didn’t come out as they should have. We think there was probably a glitch somewhere in the files and we will review that with the manufacturer (note: this was the “main problem” discussed above)
-There were also a few other minor things to fine-tune here and there, that have by now already been dealt with.
Everything looks very, very good and we are very excited about it :)
As you can see our initial impression was mostly very good with nearly no problems apart from the “bad cuts”.
That’s about it for today, we will publish a new update as soon as we receive the new samples and have the final manufacturing timeline.
If you haven’t done your rewards selection yet, please, please do so now as we will soon have to close the pledge manager !!!
Questions? Comments? Requests? Contact us right away at RagingHeroesTeam@gmail.com
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