Important Update: The City of Kings shipping
17 days ago
– Fri, Nov 24, 2017 at 12:48:42 AM
I will be doing a live Q&A, along with a detailed overview of the information in this update on YouTube in 45 minutes (21:00 GMT). Once it is over, the video will remain on YouTube and I’ll post a link in the comments section of this update.
It has been over 6 months since The City of Kings Kickstarter launched and I consider myself very lucky with how smoothly everything has gone. We raised far more money than I ever dreamed, I finished the game on time and to a point where I was more than pleased with it, and then the manufacturing period seemed to fly by.
In fact, a couple of weeks ago I updated you all to say how we were months ahead of schedule and it was even possible many of you would get your game before Christmas, months before our original shipping date.
Today however, I am afraid that this will no longer be the case.
It is extremely unlikely anyone will receive their game before the end of the year. I’m sorry.
The story so far
I’m going to try and set the scene and let you know what’s been going on for the last week, I’m afraid this isn’t something I can easily summarise into a sentence or two and I’ve not slept much recently so I’m afraid my writing skills aren’t at there best.
Last week our fulfilment centre in Asia (VFI) started to sort and pack The City of Kings into boxes to send out to our backers. However, after going through a few cases (boxes containing multiple games) they started to notice some issues.
They contacted me, and we discussed the situation in detail and I asked them to stop packing the games, and to instead simply do a full inventory check. It took a little bit of time, but they came back to me with bad news.
There are a lot of damaged boxes.
At this point I contacted Unicorn Games, our Australian fulfilment centre and asked them if they could do a similar check once the stock arrived with them. They agreed, but it’s very important to note Unicorn Games had originally planned to process all our games over a 2-week period and doing a full inventory check is a long task which they can’t turn around overnight. As of now, they have opened 5 cases of games and reported a lower number of damaged boxes, but still much higher than planned for.
Over the last 72 hours I have been chatting with our US fulfilment centre and arranged for them to do a damage check of their stock as soon as it arrives, and I am hopeful I will get this information back within the next week or so. They are much better equipped to do these types of things quickly and have experience with similar situations in the past. They also have nearly 50% of our stock turning up at their centre so their counts will be much more telling.
Once Funagain have completed their checks, I will have enough information to be able to understand the full impact of these damages and to put a plan in place. Additionally, by the time Funagain have completed this count, the EU games should start to arrive in England and I will be able to get direct access to the games for assessment should it become necessary.
At this point of time I can’t provide much information on the causes of the damage, it could be shipping related, it could be manufacturing related, it could be packing related or it could very well be a combination of all these things. I’m afraid we’re still assessing this and until the larger stocks arrive with Funagain it’s difficult to confirm in any way.
I’m afraid right now we have to wait, it’s likely to be 1 - 2 weeks before I can update you with useful information.
Until Funagain have completed their assessment, and Whatz (our manufacturer) and I have managed to confirm the cause of the issue, I have made the decision to not ship out any games.
I know this will upset some people but please understand, I have chosen to do this for 2 reasons.
1) I want to make sure everyone receives a game in the condition they would expect to receive it. This means we need to identify the issues, possibly manufacture additional things and replan fulfilment.
2) This problem has the potential to cost me £10,000’s, it is very possible all profits we made from the game, my personal savings and other money may be needed to rectify the issue. I have to follow the safest path for all of us until we have a full understanding of the issue and a solution in place.
I will fix this, you will get your games, and you may very well still get them on time (by February), but I ask you. Please trust that I am doing everything in my power to get your games to you as quickly as possible, you don’t need to worry.
I am sorry for this, I am sorry that the games won’t arrive before Christmas, but I know that it will be worth the wait.
The City of Games
As some of you know, we are in the middle of a Kickstarter for The City of Games convention next year. I want to confirm that the funds for this convention are isolated from the game, and any possible financial problems caused by The City of Kings won’t have any impact on the event.
Shipping, shipping, and uhh... Shipping?
about 1 month ago
– Tue, Nov 07, 2017 at 06:59:26 PM
Is it suddenly winter where you live as well? Since returning from Essen it has been a little cold and wet around these parts... Speaking of Essen, it was great to meet so many of you and I'd like to thank you all for coming over and saying hello.
I wanted to let you all know that your addresses have now been sent to the fulfilment centres. Thank you to everyone who supplied their address updates promptly as it saved me a lot of time!
Where are the games?
Asia: Your games are now at our fulfilment centre in China and no damages were reported, it was a quick journey and they are ready to send. We will be holding them back for a couple of weeks to try and deliver them in a similar time to other regions of the world but it wont be long now.
Australia: Your games are on a boat and will be arriving in Australia very soon! I've been chatting with the fulfilment team and they are feeling confident that a good amount of the games should be delivered by Christmas as long as nothing goes wrong.
You can watch your boat here.
America: Your games are half way across the ocean and should be arriving in the docks next week. It'll take some time to get them to the fulfilment centre but I will keep you updated.
You can watch your boat here.
Canada: Your games are on the same boat as the American games and will be sent via our US fulfilment centre to our Canadian one. So your games will likely arrive a few weeks after the US ones, but I will try to reduce this by as much as possible.
UK and Europe: Your games were the first to be put on a boat, but unfortunately the boat had technical issues in the docks. I was informed that no damage was done to any cargo (ours or anyone elses) but it did delay the ship leaving. I'm still trying to get an update but I believe the boat is at least 1 week behind the original schedule. This means a December delivery is going to be much harder to achieve but I'm still hopeful some games will get out. I'm working with the teams to see what our new timeline looks like.
You can watch your boat here.
Rest of the world: Your games are shipping from the UK, so will be sent at the same time as the European games.
A word on boats
Please be advised, that a boat arriving in your country does not mean your game is going to be there soon. It takes a long time to unload the ships, truck the games to our centres and then process the games before shipping them. I'll keep you updated as best I can.
The City of Games 2018
Some of you may have noticed I launched a Kickstarter for The City of Games today, our 3 day board game convention we're hoping to run in Bristol next year. Whilst I know many of you aren't local, I'd appreciate any support in spreading the word and hope to see at least a few of you there!
Frank plays ____
During the Kickstarter all those months ago I promised I would be working on my video setup and it's finally up and running. I've now started a new video series where I play through games, and yes, I will be doing runthroughs of The City of Kings soon. Currently I've done Indian Summer
, Bunny Kingdom
, Coaster Park
I hope you all have a great week and I'll update you again soon!
Merry Christmas and The City of Games
about 2 months ago
– Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 12:56:18 AM
Today is a very special day because I have 3 incredible things to share with you, and honestly my fingers are trembling just typing these words.
As promised here is the unboxing video of the production sample of The City of Kings. I am so pleased with how the game has turned out and I hope you enjoy exploring the box as much as I did.
2) The City of Games 2018
I am pleased to invite you to The City of Games 2018, a 3 day board game convention in the centre of Bristol city.
I have been planning this for a very long time and it’s great to finally by able to launch the first of what I hope will be many events.
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2213629928863550/
3) Merry Christmas
When I launched the Kickstarter for The City of Kings I had one goal, a secret goal which I could never speak out loud due to fear of what might happen if I failed. What was it you ask? To deliver The City of Kings by Christmas.
I am pleased to announce that the mass production and assembly of all copies of The City of Kings is now complete and that the games are starting to load onto trucks and ships this week.
The estimated shipping time right now is 8 – 12 weeks
What does this mean? Assuming all things go well you should have your game before February, and some of you? Some of you might have your game for Christmas.
Now please, let me be clear. There is still a lot that can go wrong between now and the game arriving, and we may again end up back in February. But I need to start supplying the final addresses to the fulfilment companies next week and as such today seems like a great day to make this announcement.
Who is likely to get their games early?
Honestly it's hard to know, the biggest challenge now is Christmas and the different local postage systems we'll be working with during the busiest times of the year.
The current predictions show “some” of the EU and Asia will have their games prior to Christmas.
Australia is still an unknown I am afraid and I’m sorry to say Canada is more likely to be early January.
The US is right on the borderline due to thanksgiving, I'm hoping some will get there game but I don't expect fulfilment to complete in the US before Christmas.
For anyone in other parts of the world, your game is still likely to ship in January.
I know this is exciting, and I promise you I want to get the games to you before Christmas as well. But I ask of you to not hope too much and to forgive me if delivery falls back to January/February.
This is your final chance to update your shipping address. If your shipping address has changed please email me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) ASAP or message me through Kickstarter. I will need your backer email and your new address.
After next week, altering anyone’s shipping address may not be possible.
Thank you all for making this happen, and hopefully, this will be a very happy Christmas!
Manufacturing and The City of Games
about 2 months ago
– Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 09:01:15 PM
Hi everyone, I hope you have all had a good few weeks? It's been a while since the last update and that's for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, I've been at 3 conventions in the last 3 weeks, as always it was really amazing to meet so many new people and to get your continued support so thank you. There's nothing better than watching our backers come and play the game for the first time and to leave happy.
Secondly, some of you may have seen a tweet I sent out the week before last saying we hit our first bump with manufacturing.
We hit our first bump and this was a problem that I needed to fix, the frustrating thing was we found out only a few hours before our manufacturers closed for a 1 week long Chinese holiday. So, I literally had to wait 9 before I could start looking into solutions. I didn’t want to send out an update saying “there was a problem and we don’t know how to fix it yet” so I decided to wait until they returned to work and I would have more information.
What was the problem?
There had been a mix up in documentation where Whatz internal team had translated 2 quick setup trays into 1 quick setup tray which contains 2 parts (the lid and the base). This resulted in the measurements for how much space we needed in the box being wrong.
The good news is, now Whatz are back in the factory and we’ve been working together using videos to re-plan the contents of each box and to make sure we can fit everything in.
I have made the decision that the unopened game will be sent not fully closed, but wrapped in a thick plastic to make sure the contents are secure.
The green line on the left side represents the edge of the top of the box.
However, once you have opened the game and removed the punchboards everything will fit and the lid will close. This will only affect the Deluxe and Collectors Editions but is the best solution to a frustrating issue.
The bad news is, this has delayed us by 8 days, the good news is we have been ahead of schedule in other areas so I am still confident everyone will have their games by February.
The City of Games
Some of you may have noticed I have recently started rebranding Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Kickstarter to “The City of Games”. This is in preparation of some announcements I will be making in the coming weeks but should not worry you. The City of Games is still me, Frank and no one has bought us or taken over in anyway. It’s simply a branding exercise so future projects can sit under the same name without having to be “The City of Kings”.
If you were already following me on any of the social platforms then you will notice my handles have changed, but you will still be subscribed. You can now find me at:
Samples and announcements
I have received a few samples this week but I am about to receive a full sample of the final game and will put together a video of the unboxing as soon as I can.
I’m expecting to send out another update on Kickstarter within the week containing the video but if you want to see it sooner then I recommended subscribing to the YouTube channel.
Last week I spoke with Richard from We're Not Wizards about things that have been going on and future plans. Richard runs a competition for the episode that gets the most listens each month so I'd really appreciate you checking it out. Not to mention there might be some interesting information and his podcast is great! Listen here
Coffee and Dice
Next week I will be at Coffee and Dice giving a designer talk and showing people both The City of Kings and Rising blades, if you are free, you should come along as I'd love to meet more of you. You can find the event here.
This has been a bit of an all over the place update but hopefully it's giving everyone a good idea of what's going on. The next update is going to be a lot more exciting!
Bags, Dice, EGX, DragonDaze and more!
3 months ago
– Sat, Sep 16, 2017 at 11:11:02 PM
Hi everyone, I hope you're enjoying your September and all the great games that have come from Gen Con.
In todays update I want to talk about a few important things and share some photos, but first - Let's talk about the early address lock down.
Address lock down
Last week I locked address changes in BackerKit so I could start processing the data and make sure we have a smooth fulfilment process. With that said, if you do still need to update your address, or it changes in the next few months you can message me and I will manually process the change for you.
Did you get the Collectors Edition?
For those who backed the Collector Edition, you are getting one of our limited edition art prints which you will have selected during the backer survey.
Today I would like to confirm that I am planning to send these out before Christmas, as these will ship separately to the game. I will confirm the exact dates for these in the next update but please make sure if you are receiving one, you let me know if your address changes.
This also applies to anyone who added a print as an addon.
To be clear, I am only talking about shipping the art prints and not the game. The game will ship later.
Dice and Bags!
I'm getting regular samples from our manufacturers now and I'd like to share with you some of the dice and our ability bags.
I'm incredibly happy with how these look! The designs on the bags have come out great and the colours really work well with the game.
The dice are looking good too, I was worried about the engraving but they've turned out much better than I could have hoped for.
The Scavenge dice had a few issues but we're working on that one now.
Next week I am heading to EGX and hope to meet some of you there, we will have demos of The City of Kings running and I'm also hoping to get a few people to try out Rising Blades.
The week after I'll also be at Dragon Daze, so again please come and say hi!
In the next few days I will be closing the pre-order system for The City of Kings, so this is likely to be your last chance to grab a copy in the first shipping wave.
The reason for this is due to the high amount of pre-orders I'm taking each week (which is fantastic by the way, so thanks for spreading the word!). It's causing us to need to move to a new platform to better manage orders from different regions. I'm in the process of building this but with all the events I'm attending in the next few weeks it's not going to be ready just yet.
New office and videos!
Finally, I'd like to talk about videos, as I feel people deserve to know what's going on with these. After the Kickstarter finished I mentioned I was planning to create some videos and it's taken longer than I had hoped.
The reason for this is because I want to create much higher quality content than I could with my existing setup. As I knew I was moving office in September I decided to buy some new equipment and wait for the move in order to get everything right. Over the last 2 weeks I've been setting up the new office and getting the equipment tested and in position. I've wired in 250meters of cable this week! I would say the setup is now 85% complete and I'm really pushing to have it finished ASAP.
So videos are coming and it wont be much longer now!
Playtesting for Rising Blades has been going extremely well, the recent playtests have all been a huge success and the game is getting closer to completion. I'm now working on the graphic design, art and lore for the game and will be putting videos out about it as soon as the setup is up and running.
If anyone is travelling to Bristol or any of the events I'm attending then get in touch and you'll be welcome to come and play.
I'll update you all again soon!