Merry Christmas and The City of Games
3 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 ( email@example.com ) 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
3 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!
4 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!
Please confirm your address and the art book is here!
5 months ago
– Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 12:42:17 AM
It’s the end of August and here in England that means one thing, rain, lots of rain. In fact, I’m pretty sure I won’t see the sun again for another 6 months so it’s time to start talking about some exciting things so I can ignore the fact my socks are soaking wet.
OK, I lied, this isn’t exciting but it is important, the exciting bit is a little further down!
I want to inform you I will be locking down shipping addresses next week (on Monday). After that, if you need to change your address you will need to contact me directly.
Whilst it is still a while until we start shipping, I want to get ahead and start auditing the addresses. It’s very typical for typos and special characters to cause delays in shipping and I want to start fixing this now, rather than when the games are ready.
So please, make sure your address in Backerkit is up-to-date and correct!
If you have forgotten your BackerKit details, you can get them resent to you here.
Designing a World
At last, the exciting bit!
I have received a sample of our art book and I am incredibly happy with the end results, it’s 100 pages of beautiful art, concepts and insights into the world building process. A few people managed to see the book in person at Gen Con and it was well received. Personally, I’m over the moon with the end result.
If you would like to get a copy of the book you can still pre-order it.
Once we have locked down the shipping addresses we will be starting to move to a new system for future pre-orders. Whilst it may still be a few weeks until this happens, I should warn you that the price will rise again and get close to matching the RRP.
Everything is going well in the manufacturing department! Before Gen Con I received most of the proofs and everything looked great, there were a few minor issues but we’ve managed to resolve these. Luckily, I had the opportunity to meet with the guys from Whatz whilst at Gen Con and it was very easy to go through the samples and finalise some decisions.
I’m now waiting for another set of samples to arrive but we’re still on schedule!
Thank you to everyone who came and said hello at Gen Con, it was great to meet you all and I really had a fantastic time. I’m certainly going to be considering ways of doing more demos and events in future years and will keep you posted.
I recently received some exciting news from EGX, the UKs largest (video) gaming convention with an annual attendance of 75,000. They are trying to grow their board game section and as a part of this have invited me to give a talk on the main stage alongside some huge video game designers. This is a really great opportunity to spread our hobby to new audiences and I hope a few of you will be able to attend.
The talk will also be live streamed on the EGX Twitch channel and on YouTube afterwards so for those not in the UK you’ll get a chance to watch it if you would like to.
Development of Rising Blades is going well and I’m now doing regular playtesting with new players. To help with this, I’m investigating options for blind playtesting and hope to be able to include some of you in this. In a future update, I’ll add some information about how you can get involved.
As always, thank you all for your support and being with me on this journey.
Blank Samples, printing proof, and Gen Con
5 months ago
– Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 09:55:04 PM
A few hours ago a box arrived at the office. At this moment I had a small heart attack as I began to worry I had gotten the specification of the box slightly wrong.... Perhaps it was an offering of Toblerone from the manufacturers?
Luckily though, another box arrived shortly after!
With the panic over I started to open the packages.
For anyone wondering, yes, we are about to go through a whole load of photos of things that are still wrapped up.
Inside the triangular box was pages and pages of print samples, in fact there was a lot.
In terms of scale, for the following 3 photos you will see a 1 meter (39 inch) ruler for scale.
I'm starting to realise why it took me so long to prepare all the files...
It looks like it will be a long night as my flight to Gen Con leaves in just over 12 hours and I need to get this all signed off before I leave.
But let's not forget the other package...
For anyone wondering how big the final box is, hear is a comparison with Eclipse.
If you aren't familiar with the manufacturing process, these images are of the white samples of the game.This simply means they represent the final game without anything printed on them.
I don't have any of the non-printed items yet, so we're still waiting on the dice, bags, wooden tokens and so on, but there's still a fair amount in the box already....
So there it is! A good chunk of The City of Kings in sample form and now I need to get to checking it. I will try and put out more photos and go through things in a bit more detail when I return from Gen Con, but I am really short on time today.
Overall I would say I'm really happy with where we are at, we're keeping to the timelines and the samples are looking good.
I will be arriving in the US tomorrow and heading to Gen Con for the entire weekend.
I do not have a booth and will not be exhibiting, however I will be there with copies of The City of Kings and Rising Blades. I'd love to get a chance to have some of you playtest Rising Blades!
On Thursday I will be scouting out the event and get an idea of how things work, I'll then make a post on Board Game Geek in The City of Kings forums with details on how to find me and when.
I've been working on a new range of T-Shirt and will be wearing them all weekend, so look out for The City of Kings characters and you'll find me.