August 14, 2020 9 min read
Hey everyone, Brooklynn here!
What a crazy year! Alex and I have had our heads down doing what we can to push through production challenges, organize feedback from our Table Top Simulator (TTS) community, and make sure that the product we’re delivering is as good as it can be.
The Pre-Production Copy (PPC) of the entire first wave finally arrived over a month ago. We only wait this long to post an update to ensure that all the information from our manufacturer was accurate. However, we now feel very confident in our timelines and personal deadlines.
First of all, we wanted to own up to a mistake we made. We underestimated how long the Digital Proofing process would take. Since we had submitted files for the same game previously, we figured it would make the proofing process easier. It did not. Unfortunately, our decision to make so many updates and fixes to files only added to the workload and confusion. This ended up having the opposite effect and we found ourselves spending over two months more than expected ensuring that all the files were correct, edited, and ready to be printed.
In addition, another choice on our end added yet another delay.
After submitting files to our manufacturer we had a span of time while we waited on the PPC to arrive. During this time I was able to dig into our game and listen to feedback from our TTS community. They have provided an incredible amount of invaluable feedback for Middara. We really appreciate their time, hard work, and dedication to help us make the best miniatures dungeon crawl board game.
Using all this feedback, I implemented a vast amount of updates to our digital files when the approval date on our PPC arrived. This allowed me to not only update many quirks about Middara, but also do so without adding significant time to our delivery timeline.
With that said, I did feel that something that would add to our timeline deserved to be fixed before delivering the game. Specifically, a professional line editor. Middara has a lot of text, over 230,000 words in fact. While the game is perfectly playable without fixing all our sentence structures, it felt very unprofessional. Knowing this was something I wanted to fix, I got a professional company (one that specializes in novels) to work on Middara and all future Middra products.
Originally, their work wasn’t going to be finished in time to make the print version of Middara. However, coupled with the two month delay from Digital Proofing, I came up with a plan. Since grammatically editing our entire narrative would normally set us back longer than would be acceptable I approached our manufacturer for a solution. With some negotiation, our manufacturer has agreed to produce everything except the adventure book in the meantime. This means that once the digital files are approved for the Adventure Book, they’ll throw it into the base game boxes and we’re off to shipping.
Both the mistake made in determining how long it would take to digitally proof our game, and the later decision to include a third party grammatical line edit of our Adventure Book before delivery is entirely on Alex and I. We weighed the pros and the cons and decided that adding time to our delivery schedule was worth having a product that we could truly be happy with.
We understand that many of you are disappointed by this decision, and we do apologize. We also understand that with proper planning this could have been done in a way that wouldn’t have held up the project at all. We’re hoping that with each experience that causes a delay or a mishap, we can ensure that we learn as individuals to avoid the same mistakes and circumvent them in the future.
With all that said, there is plenty of good news to share. The PPC has arrived, the physical and digital files have already been approved, and the game is paid for and currently printing at our manufacturer. In addition, the shipping logistics have already been figured out. This means that we have some concrete dates to share that comes directly from our manufacturer and our shipping company.
Lastly, we’ve completed nearly every CAD for our token upgrade pack. We’ve posted each one here for your consideration.
We appreciate your time and patience and can't wait to get this behemoth of a game into your hands.
PRODUCTION AND DELIVERY TIMELINE
So many people have asked us for a timeline of the Wave 1 delivery and we can finally give you one.
This is where we're at in the process:
The production timeline given to us by our factories:
The shipping timeline given to us by our fulfillment warehouses:
First off, it is important to note that the production delay puts our freight and fulfillment during and after the holidays, which means that shipping lanes are going to be packed and delays at the ports and customs can be expected.
In addition, many of our fulfillment partners enjoy holiday vacations and fulfillment schedules will most likely be backed up at this time of year.
All things considered, we expect our freight will reach their respective fulfillment depots during the second week of January 2021.
Considering holiday schedules and potential delays, our fulfillment center has told us that they are confident that they will begin worldwide fulfillment by the first week of February 2021.
Again, we understand the frustration with this delay, and we own up to it entirely, but we can say with confidence that this timeline is accurate.
MIDDARA UNINTENTIONAL MALUM ACT 1
The Pre-Production Copy represents a final printing of the game before mass production. This means that this is the closest thing to a final version of our product that we get before giving our manufacturer the greenlight to go into fully printing our entire order. This has already been approved, albeit, after we found some issues and had them fixed.
KS 1 PROMO PACK
The Promo Pack contains all the Esper standup replacements from our first campaign. In addition, it contains the updated tarot sized cards that assist in playing with two or three players. Lastly, there are three Adventure Cards that can be used in the Crawl Mode. Two of these Adventure Cards (Shayliss Arsen and Nyx) will eventually be used in future stories.
1.1 UPDATE PACK
Our Update Pack is huge. I’ve personally purchased many games on KS. Some of which have provided updated cards. I’m not a fan of digging through all my cards and picking out the specific ones that require ‘updating’. To get around this, we’ve simply replaced the entire lot of cards in your game. When you receive the Update Pack, you can take every single card from Middara and replace it with every single card from the Update Pack.
Of course… I suppose you need to swap out some status tokens. In either case, the tokens that are not status tokens are new additions to the game.
Lastly, the pad of Adventure Sheets means that you don’t have to print out an Adventure Sheet or mark your Rule Book to play Middara’s Story Mode. Let’s be honest though, this isn’t something I should brag about, it’s something that should have been in the first edition of the game. I apologize for that and hope that this free inclusion can make up for not providing it in the first printing.
Replacing all the cards has allowed us to take any and all the feedback (That we deemed a good idea worth implementing / had the time to implement.) learned from the TTS community and implement it without worry. The Update Pack also contains a significant amount of Rule Book Excerpts from the updated Rule Book. This means that if you didn’t purchase a new Rule Book, you can still play with all the new rules. It might not be as convenient, but it’s still something we wanted to offer.
In fact, you can find the entire 100 page Update Pack Booklet posted here on our website. You can also find a list of all the major changes since taking it to TTS here. Every change listed on this Change Log document made it into the final printing. Any errors found will be added to an Errata at a later date. Lastly, you can find a PDF of the Print Version of the Rule Book here. (Which at the time of this KS Update is the newest Rule Book.)
We wanted to give another special shout out to our wonderful and very active TTS community. If you want to pop in, ask questions, or chat with the community don’t hesitate to grab discord and join the channel here. We pride ourselves on listening to our community and their recommendations. While not every idea can make it into our game, we hope to take many we like and implement them in future products. This includes issues with the game and negative feedback we get. We’ve found that many civil negative comments can be very constructive and have allowed us to learn where we can improve moving forward.
You'll notice damage to the top of the box. This was rectified by increasing the thickness of the box itself (by about 50 GSM), and by adding a plastic tray to add rigidity to the box. This is a perfect example of why a PPC is so important. We don't want your box exploding before it gets to you.
5x6 SLEEVES (AKA THE SEXIEST SLEEVES)
As a sleeve snob, I made sure these weren't penny sleeves. They're very nice, probably too nice for something that you don't typically shuffle.
We’re very proud of our Resin Kits. Making good resin is an uphill battle with so many pitfalls it’s hard to explain each one without getting bogged down in an NDA. As a very transparent person, it’s been hard to navigate an industry with so many individuals that (rightfully so) work to protect their trade secrets. We’re happy to finally have landed in the wonderful and snuggly arms of Trenchworx. The company is a great example of engineers and artists coming together to create something truly special.
The miniatures are made here in Salt Lake City Utah. The boxes and cards are printed in China. This means that you'll be receiving them separate. Strange, we know. Still, we wanted to give you what we promised. That included a nice box with great looking artwork.
ACT 1 TOKEN UPGRADES
We had so many cardboard standups in the first edition of Middara. We’re happy to finally be moving forward to offer a plastic miniature alternative to those who want them. Obviously, this was something our Kickstarter backers will get for free.
These are part of the second promobox. While we don’t have an exact date on delivery for these, we wanted to show off the efforts made by our CAD artists. Right now, we're working on beefing up certain details and reconsidering some poses. You can check out their renders below.
Note: some of these renders are colored. These will not be delivered as colored plastic. Instead, these colored renders exist to show off paint schemes and more detail.
WAVE 2 MINIATURES AND CONCEPTS
Below you can find some artwork we've been working on. These are a work in progress. Some, none, or all of it may make it into a final product.
Thanks again for your support and we will talk to you soon!
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