Seize the Bean - A Light-Hearted Deck Builder about Berlin!

Created by Quality Beast

Thematic deck builder with brutal resource management, card drafting, set collection, engine building, modular setup & wild components!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

2nd Round Samples, New Spec Sheets & PAXU
21 days ago – Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 12:38:44 AM

Hey everyone! We hope you’ve had a great November so far. It’s continued to be busy for us but we are becoming increasingly excited because of the progress we’re making on Seize the Bean. Let’s dive right in to not waste time.

When we say “factory samples” we are referring to the components of the game which are not made in an offset printer. This includes the wood bits (meeples), the resin bits (resources), and some of the more specialty items like the scoop and fabric bags.

At SPIEL18 our manufacturer literally hand-delivered the second round of samples to us and we were floored. They were amazing! See for yourself below.

Here you can see 5 out of the 6 meeple colors. The last two are from the 5-6 player expansion. We increased the size and shape of the meeples and we are in general 100% happy with them.

Meeple fronts.
Meeple fronts.
Here is the fixed back print too.
Here is the fixed back print too.

Our only issue with the meeples is the color distinction between these two shades (see below). They look almost identical. Therefore we’re playing with a different color for one of them. (If you are interested, you can see our proposed color in the spec sheet which we’ve linked at the end of this section of the update.)

Hard to tell them apart, right?!
Hard to tell them apart, right?!

The beans are perfect. We’re calling these done and we are very happy with the result! The one thing we are doing is trying to see if we can put about 25 more beans into the 5-6 player expansion and/or seeing if we can have some extra beans added as a loose purchase (some backers had asked for this in the past). The game comes with more than enough beans but we do realize some folks may want more to play with (mostly for fun factor).

Delicious, delicious beans!
Delicious, delicious beans!

We’ve got the same thing to say here with the green beans: no changes, they’re just perfect. Though we do realize y’all may be wondering what these are for. We’ll just keep you wondering for now though... ;)

What could these be for???
What could these be for???

The milk is also perfect. We have no changes. (But if you didn’t get to see these in-person we can already say they are quite heavy and feel terrific in-hand.)

Got milk? We do! :)
Got milk? We do! :)

With the five-value milk we weren’t sure about the color as we chose it specifically to help for colorblind players. That may be working (at least in our preliminary testing it is), but we were having trouble to thematically place what burgundy milk would be. At SPIEL, some very awesome backers suggested it was chocolate milk. We love that idea and we’re gonna run with it so the next step is to play with the color a bit and see what we get, making sure it stays colorblind friendly of course. (If you want to see our ideas jump down to the spec sheet downloads and let us know what your thoughts are on our two variations.)

Chocolate milk, of course – why didn’t we think of that?!
Chocolate milk, of course – why didn’t we think of that?!

Let’s just start by saying the sugar cubes are far better than we ever expected. We are extremely pleased with Panda’s work (that’s our manufacturer and in case we haven’t said it before it’s very much worth giving them and the fabulous Joe Wiggins – our account manager / manufacturing wizard – a shout-out for their endlessly solid work) and honestly we would be happy to call these final. There are some points to raise in the sake of transparency: the bottoms are flat and not textured, the cubes in general look a bit “wet”, and overall they could be slightly more white. We aren’t going to attack any of these topics, though. For starters, the way the silicon molds are made for the game’s resin pieces require that at least one side of a component must be flat. While this may cut down on the illusion of the pieces it’ll raise the safety of people recognizing they are not real sugar cubes. For the comments about the “wet” look, we do agree, however asking the factory to adjust this would lose the sparkle effect the sugar cubes have. We greatly value this effect and we want to keep it for sure. Lastly, yes, we as a team do want a bit more white in the cubes. However, based on time we don’t want to mess around. The color process is not an exact science due to the translucency of these pieces. It’s possible we’d request a bit more white and it’d be far too white and we’d lose another few weeks having to do a fourth round sample. We’re not willing to risk that timeline hit for you all. Thus, we are proud to say our sugar cubes are final!

In our opinion these exceeded our wishes and came out better than our original 3D printed versions!
In our opinion these exceeded our wishes and came out better than our original 3D printed versions!

We have generally the same notes here, but instead of a bit more white we (being perfectionists) would be into seeing these slightly more brown and slightly less orange. Once again though, it’s not worth the time or risk and we do strongly believe all of you are going to be delighted upon receiving these as is.

No comment needed; these are lookin' delicious!
No comment needed; these are lookin' delicious!

Hilariously enough we had trouble getting the right scoop at first (due to its volume not being correct) and now the scoop that our manufacturer has provided is literally the scoop we were prototyping with, just in another color (black, which we prefer). Since we can’t make a custom scoop this is the best possible thing that could go in the game and we are quite pleased.

The final scoop for the game!
The final scoop for the game!
Here’s a pic of the what it looks like with the scoop in the bean bag.
Here’s a pic of the what it looks like with the scoop in the bean bag.

And finally, we are able to unveil the resource bags, starting with the faux burlap sack for beans. All of the bags have really terrific materials, especially the very nice inner linings, and their drawstrings are well done. We’re not even going to show the silk-screened versions, partially because we forgot to photograph them but also mainly because it was immediately obvious that embroidery was the way to go. There is literally nothing to change about this bag, it’s perfect!

High quality, sits great and stores the beans well.
High quality, sits great and stores the beans well.
The bag even closes perfectly and we now use it 100% of the time to store all of the beans for fast clean up and setup of our current prototype.
The bag even closes perfectly and we now use it 100% of the time to store all of the beans for fast clean up and setup of our current prototype.

Milk and sugar bags are a slightly different story. A lot of people asked questions about sizing and while we did do testing for the right size to comfortably scoop beans and grab milk and sugar, we weren’t able to do embroidery or closing tests. Now that we have these, we can, and we found out that there are some issues. First, the embroidery overlapping with the drawstring stitching is a problem for us. We definitely don’t want that, it looks quite messy. Second, while these are truly the perfect size to reach in for resources, they both have issues closing, due to volume, especially if you have the expansion (which adds some extra milk and sugar). The main fix for this is just to make all bags the same size as the bean bag. This solves all of the problems. Except one: the milk bag material is still too thick to close as best as it could. Therefore, we’ll be grabbing a new sample from the factory of both the milk and sugar bags in faux velvet but in two different colors. This should fix all of our bag issues and get these to a final state!

We loved this material but it just doesn't seem viable for the functionality of the bag (see next photo).
We loved this material but it just doesn't seem viable for the functionality of the bag (see next photo).
This photo might not completely show it, but with this thicker material it's a bit hard to get the bag completely closed.
This photo might not completely show it, but with this thicker material it's a bit hard to get the bag completely closed.
The sugar bag, on the other hand, doesn't have any material issues at all...
The sugar bag, on the other hand, doesn't have any material issues at all...
...it closes very easily but could use a resizing to give it some more room (as you can see pictured here).
...it closes very easily but could use a resizing to give it some more room (as you can see pictured here).

The player bags are great too, and happen to work well as a protective layer for the First Player and Next First Player resin pieces. Our only issue is that the inner lining has a stitching right at the center of the bottom of the bag making it almost unusable for storing resources like beans. Of course we’re working on fixing this in the next round of samples.

Quick shot of a player resource bag.
Quick shot of a player resource bag.

Onto the Snack Pack (and yes, we know many of you are eager to hear exactly how this can be used and we’ll answer this in more detail soon, we have some fun surprises to share coming up) and the first piece to talk about is the Moka Pot which represents High Quality Coffee. This is perfect except one minor detail: we want the metallic effect applied in a way that it doesn’t appear on the black parts. Likely this is just adjusting the order in which the parts are painted and we are waiting for a final sample.

These are super fun to use to mark which customer you are currently serving in your line!
These are super fun to use to mark which customer you are currently serving in your line!

The piece representing Strong Coffee needs the most work. We basically want to create a whole new sculpt. Our manufacturer did a great job representing the sketches we sent them but we just aren’t happy with how it’s coming out. Therefore we’ve completely redesigned this piece. With that said, we are happy with the top area where you see the beans and the scoop, we just want a more realistic and organic looking bag. (If you’re curious what our new model looks like, check out the spec sheets below!)

The team at Panda are killin' it but sometimes it's hard to get a sculpt just right.
The team at Panda are killin' it but sometimes it's hard to get a sculpt just right.

Finally we can share the Soy Bean representing Soy Milk and as far as we are concerned they are perfect. We all agree they are a tad bit small but again, the process of updating the molds is a risky one as it means they have to redo the whole thing and it could require another sample round past the third. For this reason we are happy with the current model and sticking with it!

These came out so good, we are very pleased with the results.
These came out so good, we are very pleased with the results.

The sculpt of the Croissant is quite nice but we have issues that the back of it is flat and not the bottom. As well, the coloring is a bit too saturated and feels very airbrush-like. Just like the Strong Coffee we’ve opted to do a new design for this one that more clearly shows the shape and coloring we want to hit and you can see this in the spec sheets below.

These are certainly close, but not quite where we want them yet.
These are certainly close, but not quite where we want them yet.

The donuts are amazing. Maybe one day we’ll do a blog post where we compare the first donut sample to these and we can all have a good laugh. But thankfully this is the outcome. The only things we raised with the manufacturer here was the fact that the bottom of the donut is completely flat and the center hole doesn’t go completely through (not visible in the photo, our apologies for that). These are not topics that are easy for them to do because of the way the molds are built so we’ve let these topics go. We believe you will all be super happy with the donuts as is.

One of our favorite pieces so far!
One of our favorite pieces so far!

The pie is also perfect. You can even make a pie with all six of them!

Yum, pie! :)
Yum, pie! :)

The resin First Player and Next First Player tokens are moving along great. Our only major change is that the Next First Player token is not completely empty, as we requested. We’re adjusting the spec sheet to make that more clear to the factory and waiting on a final sample.

If you haven't seen these in-person yet, you'll likely to love them. They are quite large and heavy in-hand.
If you haven't seen these in-person yet, you'll likely to love them. They are quite large and heavy in-hand.

A lot of you have asked for photos of the play mats with cards on them. Please see below. Our apologies these images aren't better, but it was the best we could provide whilst focusing on finishing the game. These are basically final (the art is for sure) but you might notice they could both use a bit more margin on the sides and if you look super close you’ll see a minor coloration issue in the first play mat’s good review spot. We’ll be sure to get these topics fixed up before we go to mass production.

This is the table cloth play mat design. Mario's favorite! :)
This is the table cloth play mat design. Mario's favorite! :)
And here it is with the game setup on it.
And here it is with the game setup on it.
And the wood tisch design as well.
And the wood tisch design as well.
And finally the wood tisch with the game setup on it!
And finally the wood tisch with the game setup on it!

Dang. That is a load of tasty components and we can honestly say we’d probably be happy if that was the third and final round of sampling. But it’s not, we have one more go at it and we’ve already submitted the new spec sheets to our manufacturer last week so we can expect the new samples coming soon! (We do not have an exact date for that but it should be within the next weeks, as planned, during our pre-production phase that ends approximately in mid-December).

Interested in seeing the spec sheets? Click one of the images below for a PDF download and everyone give a big shout out to the hardworking Pietro (that's our lightning fast graphic designer) and the healthily-recovering Mario (that's our amazing artist if you didn't know by now) for their hard work on finalizing these spec sheets.

Click this image to get a download of our latest spec sheets!
Click this image to get a download of our latest spec sheets!
Or, if you like, click this one for a slightly newer download and try to spot the variant! ;)
Or, if you like, click this one for a slightly newer download and try to spot the variant! ;)

The rest of design verification goes well. For those that do not know that term, that is the time in which we are preparing all the print files for our manufacturer and they are letting us know if things are technically correct. Pietro and Dylan (with Mario’s previous artwork completed) have begun getting all the print files to our manufacturer. We are happy to say that all files have been created though none of them are final yet. One of the key things we are doing now is finalizing the rulebook to be sent out for translation. We’re also starting to pump in your good and bad reviews to the punch boards. Here’s a teaser of the setup before doing so:

Example punchboard. The pink lines are to show the manufacturer where to cut. Remember: these are not final! We are still working out how all the bleed and margins need to be.
Example punchboard. The pink lines are to show the manufacturer where to cut. Remember: these are not final! We are still working out how all the bleed and margins need to be.
Here's an example shot of the backside too, just for fun. :)
Here's an example shot of the backside too, just for fun. :)

If you couldn’t make it to SPIEL or you missed us while you were there you’ll have another shot: Seize the Bean is a featured game at the First Look section next weekend at PAX Unplugged! Come by to give it a play or look for Dylan and Janna (the designer of another Quality Beast game, Quantified, estimated for Kickstarter in late 2019) floating around PAX. We’d love to meet you and say hi!

That’s it for now, we’ll be back with more info on the Milk Carton Deck Boxes (which are 100% done and on their way to our fulfillment centers) and some exciting videos in the next update. Take care everyone and happy gaming! :)

Pledge Manager Extended to December 31st!
about 2 months ago – Thu, Nov 01, 2018 at 01:29:49 AM

Hello all! We survived Essen. Whew!

And we're back with (for the first time ever) a very short, single-topic update: we'll be extending the pledge manager to December 31st. This will allow us time to attempt to get more local pick-up options and also to answer all of your unanswered questions. (Please be aware that we are swamped in messages on all platforms and we are answering them as fast as we can but we are also hunting for a customer support panda to join our growing team.)

Regarding Essen, we'll be sharing some highlights from the event in our next update. Though, we should say, that some of you may have already heard through the grapevine or here in the comments that we received new manufacturer samples. In fact, more samples arrived to our Berlin HQ today. We're going to take a few days over here, recovering from the event and going through the samples to get feedback to our manufacturer, and then we'll be documenting them and sharing them in an update with you all.

Thanks for your patience and special thanks to anyone who came by the booth(s) at Essen!

Talk soon. :)

Art 100% Done, New Samples & Essen SPIEL
about 2 months ago – Sat, Oct 20, 2018 at 02:40:09 AM

As promised we’ve stuck to our new schedule and we've completed all the artwork for the game earlier this week (on Monday). Actually, let’s be honest – our amazing artist, Mario, completed all the artwork. We want to express how proud and thankful of him we are for the last two years of work. And we’re wishing him well as he goes into his eyeball surgery to activate his telescopic laser night vision. You know, just a routine operation for a true Quality Beast!

To honor Mario’s work, let’s dig through some previews together!

If you want to see the finished card art we’re sharing it piece-by-piece on a geeklist posted by Dylan on BGG. We’d love to share it all at once but it takes time to put up images and we need to balance that with finishing up the pre-production for the game. That, and we’d like to also share some notes with each image! Now we're trying to share at least one or two images every other day or so, but give us some time to get ramped up (things are a bit hectic leading up to SPIEL). We hope to see you subscribe to the geeklist and help us share it. We’re eager to hear what you think of the cards!

Click the image to head over to Dylan's card art preview geeklist on BGG!
Click the image to head over to Dylan's card art preview geeklist on BGG!

Our graphic designer, Pietro, will be working with Dylan and Galen (our new usability designer at Quality Beast) to finalize the functional parts of the player boards but meanwhile we’d love to share the different café artwork with y'all.

Concierge Coffee, Kreuzberg. The game began with these lovely folks, who quit their job at Bonanza to start their own café!
Concierge Coffee, Kreuzberg. The game began with these lovely folks, who quit their job at Bonanza to start their own café!
Speaking of Bonanza, they represent the true Berlin coffee scene. One of the most famous cafés in the city, and for good reason, you can't visit without passing by their Prenzlauer Berg location!
Speaking of Bonanza, they represent the true Berlin coffee scene. One of the most famous cafés in the city, and for good reason, you can't visit without passing by their Prenzlauer Berg location!
Another member of the hot coffee scene in Berlin is Silo, who pride themselves on their service of food as well. Their location in Friedrichshain is classy and humble, but always buzzing with life.
Another member of the hot coffee scene in Berlin is Silo, who pride themselves on their service of food as well. Their location in Friedrichshain is classy and humble, but always buzzing with life.
Also located in Friedrichshain but on the opposite end of the spectrum, Blaue Bohne represent the science side of roasteries (at least for us). They're also the only founders who are avid board gamers too!
Also located in Friedrichshain but on the opposite end of the spectrum, Blaue Bohne represent the science side of roasteries (at least for us). They're also the only founders who are avid board gamers too!
Mitte. It had to be included. The "center" of Berlin but more importantly a very different feel than the other districts we've mentioned above. And St. Oberholz reps it well, being a self-proclaimed "home of startups", where even SoundCloud was founded!
Mitte. It had to be included. The "center" of Berlin but more importantly a very different feel than the other districts we've mentioned above. And St. Oberholz reps it well, being a self-proclaimed "home of startups", where even SoundCloud was founded!
And last but not least, Barettino, a much lesser known but still very vibrant café heavily focused on edibles in Neukölln.
And last but not least, Barettino, a much lesser known but still very vibrant café heavily focused on edibles in Neukölln.

We'll definitely share these again in our BGG-hosted art previews and give some more details and background when we do, but for now we hope you've enjoyed the sneak peek!

A while ago we had a vote. The “woodtisch” design of the play mat won by a landslide. However, while working with samples, both Mario and Dylan fell in love with the “tablecloth” version. So, we’ve discussed with our manufacturer and gotten approval to do two different prints. We realize that people have already ordered the play mat, and they may be expecting the “woodtisch” version. What we’ve done is loaded up two variants into BackerKit and automatically moved everyone over to the “woodtisch” version. If you’d like the tablecloth version, please jump back into the pledge manager to update your order!

First, we are pleased to present the final art for the "woodtisch" play mat.
First, we are pleased to present the final art for the "woodtisch" play mat.
And here's an actual sample photo from the factory. Our main adjustment to these is going to be adding a bit more margin.
And here's an actual sample photo from the factory. Our main adjustment to these is going to be adding a bit more margin.
Second, we are also very happy to present the final art for the "tablecloth" play mat.
Second, we are also very happy to present the final art for the "tablecloth" play mat.
And here's an actual sample photo from the factory. Our main adjustment to these is going to be adding a bit more margin.
And here's an actual sample photo from the factory. Our main adjustment to these is going to be adding a bit more margin.

These samples are on their way to us now and with good timing we should be able to show them off at SPIEL18. (Please keep in mind the photos from the factory have not been color corrected and may have been taken under bad or misleading lighting. Once we receive them we'll take better photos and send out another update with a detailed look at them explaining what the different sections are and how they're used in play.)

We're going to repeat that important part from above: if you bought a play mat in our pledge manager please return to the pledge manager to select your choice between the two (and remove the current play mat from your cart). If you don't, you'll still receive one, but it will be a random one based on available quantities (very likely "woodtisch").

While there is some graphic design work to flesh out on the rule books (and we'll have solo book text to share after SPIEL) the main artwork is done. We are very happy to unveil a sneak peek with you all now. (Don't mind the chunky border visible in all of these images... it's simply some extra bleed used for the manufacturing process.)

Here's a quick preview of the outside cover art for the main rulebook. It's thematically styled like a café menu!
Here's a quick preview of the outside cover art for the main rulebook. It's thematically styled like a café menu!
Here is the inside of the main rulebook, which has inner lining that you'll see on the first and last pages.
Here is the inside of the main rulebook, which has inner lining that you'll see on the first and last pages.
Here is an example of the pages. Mario has done a few variations so not every page is identical (different stains, etc) and the middle binding line is missing because we believe the real-life fold and staples will create the right effect.
Here is an example of the pages. Mario has done a few variations so not every page is identical (different stains, etc) and the middle binding line is missing because we believe the real-life fold and staples will create the right effect.
Here's the cover for the solo (and other variants) rule book.
Here's the cover for the solo (and other variants) rule book.
And like the main rulebook, here is the inner lining artwork.
And like the main rulebook, here is the inner lining artwork.
And lastly, here is how the pages would look for the solo book.
And lastly, here is how the pages would look for the solo book.

 That's the rule book preview for now. We'll share more with you once Dylan and Pietro start filling out the pages!

Our manufacturer has continued to push on the more complicated parts of the game. We want to share a few quick photos from the factory with you here. First lets look at the resource and player bags. (Keep in mind, these are made in a way where they'll hold their structure once they have pieces in them, so standing empty they may look a bit strange.)

We are very pleased with these. They appear to be the right sizes, have the correct drawstrings, the materials and printing look good, and they have inner lining!
We are very pleased with these. They appear to be the right sizes, have the correct drawstrings, the materials and printing look good, and they have inner lining!
Here's another view of the silkscreened bags.
Here's another view of the silkscreened bags.
Also, here you can see examples of the bags with embroidery instead of silkscreening. Which do you like more?
Also, here you can see examples of the bags with embroidery instead of silkscreening. Which do you like more?

One thing we should note is that we can't fully give feedback on these until we receive them in-person but we can already tell from the photos that the print or embroidery overlaps a bit with the drawstring stitching. We'll certainly be working with our manufacturer to address this as it could be done in a cleaner way.

Next, let's take a look at the new resin samples. While we don't have a picture of the painted samples, we do have an image from the factory of the new sculpts, which look much much better:

The first player token is much smoother, the donut, pie, milk and croissant all look on-point. We haven't seen the soy bean and the strong coffee still needs some work, but we are very happy!
The first player token is much smoother, the donut, pie, milk and croissant all look on-point. We haven't seen the soy bean and the strong coffee still needs some work, but we are very happy!

These should be available at Essen SPIEL if shipping treats us well. And, from what we hear, they could be painted by then too.

Oh, and while our favorite little buddy won’t be making it en-mass to the fair she’ll be turning up in small numbers at least! We've been told by our manufacturer that we can expect a couple of pre-production plushie samples at our booth. Let's take a look at how she's turning out:

Here she is! Cubee in the flesh! It's been hard to get her face right but we think we're finally there. :)
Here she is! Cubee in the flesh! It's been hard to get her face right but we think we're finally there. :)
We're quite pleased about the profile too, which has been challenging to get right, especially the snout!
We're quite pleased about the profile too, which has been challenging to get right, especially the snout!
The back has been quite easy and we are excited to receive the newest sample that has wire in the tail to see how it works.
The back has been quite easy and we are excited to receive the newest sample that has wire in the tail to see how it works.
Finally, we've added in some velcro to the apron so it can be removable. Cubee doesn't have to go to work and be a bearista everyday! ;)
Finally, we've added in some velcro to the apron so it can be removable. Cubee doesn't have to go to work and be a bearista everyday! ;)

Speaking of Essen, are you going to SPIEL? We’d love to see you there! Please come catch us at one of our booths:

  • Hall 4, Booth 4F107 = current board game releases (Seize the Bean and free coffee!)
  • Hall 4, Booth 4F115 = future board game releases
  • Hall 6, Booth 6L101 = RPG releases

And if you want to grab any of our games, don’t forget to head over to our pre-order page where we’ve got a few titles up: http://spiel18.qualitybeast.com

Click the image to jump over to our Essen SPIEL18 pick up pre-order form!
Click the image to jump over to our Essen SPIEL18 pick up pre-order form!

That’s it for our mid-month update. We know we’ve said monthly updates for now but we were just too excited to wait! See you next month and thank you, as always, for the support and trust!

Timeline Update, Art Preview & First Store Pick-Ups
3 months ago – Tue, Oct 02, 2018 at 01:59:44 AM

Bad news gang, we absolutely hate to do this but we’re nothing if not transparent: we have to announce another production delay. This is really hard for us to say, as we really do not want to let you all down. So we’ll start this update with some whys and wherefores, before hitting on some more positive news.

It appears that a safe delivery date of Seize the Bean is now going to be mid-July, 2019. We can imagine how annoying and worrisome that can be to read. We are neither proud nor pleased with this at all but we promise that we are working to the best of our abilities to deliver you this game! The next few sections below will explain the delays.

The biggest issue we’ve been facing, despite our extremely detailed calculation and Mario’s unbreakable work ethic, is our optimism. Getting hundreds of unique, high quality and fun card illustrations is just taking longer than we planned. We won’t be done with art until October 15th. And this is 1.5 months later than our calculated date of September 1st. (We waited to announce this until we were able to align with our manufacturer over the last two weeks.) What we can promise is that every single piece of art, every single work day is planned out right now so we are confident there is no miscalculation this time. Here’s the schedule for this last month of art:

  • Week 1, Sept. 17th - 21st: Finishing the last Style Upgrade cards (this is done!)
  • Weekend 1, Sept. 22nd - 23rd: Sticker sheets (this is done!)
  • Week 2, Sept. 24th - 28th: Working on Customer cards (this is done!)
  • Weekend 2, Sept. 29th - 30th: Finishing the last of the Customer cards (this is done!)
  • Week 3, Oct. 1st - 5th: Finishing the Founder cards (in-progress!)
  • Weekend 3, Oct. 6th - 7th: Final play mat artwork, non-art cards (player aids, etc) & tokens
  • Week 4, Oct. 8th - 12th: Completion of player boards & rulebook style guide
  • Weekend 4, Oct. 13th - 14th: Completion of box art for base game and expansion

There will be a one-day buffer on Monday, October 15th but after that Mario will head into the hospital for eyeball surgery (unrelated to the demands of Seize the Bean art creation!). This means that we have to be done with art by then. So far, he has been pouring every bit of energy into the game and it shows in the artwork. As of today we can say we’re on schedule to begin design verification on October 15th.

Besides general art delays, we were about 1 month late on delivering our new spec sheet. Unfortunately, due to the bandwidth of our team, there was no way to handle this and make sure the rest of our tasks were completed, so we had to prioritize our work directly on the game over this. It was a hard decision but not one we regret, as we need to get the spec sheet right to ensure the resin components come out as we’ve been planning. And if you recall our manufacturer's previous attempt at mirroring our 3D printer sugar cubes, you can see the pay-off of taking our time with the factory snapshot below:

Boom! This is just a quick snap from the factory floor but the new sugar cube samples are looking great!
Boom! This is just a quick snap from the factory floor but the new sugar cube samples are looking great!

As you can see above, the fruits of our labor are really starting to show and we are very excited to get new samples in the mail! Despite the cool news of the sugar cubes, this late spec sheet changes our manufacturer’s initial estimate of an 8 week mass production time to a 12 week mass production time. And thus, adds another 1 month to our timeline.

We shared a spec sheet screenshot in Update #24 but here's a look at another important page. Above you can see the new design of the resource and player sacks that everyone has been asking about...
We shared a spec sheet screenshot in Update #24 but here's a look at another important page. Above you can see the new design of the resource and player sacks that everyone has been asking about...
...and a following page, detailing the updates to the rest of the Snack Pack and some changes to the First Player Tokens.
...and a following page, detailing the updates to the rest of the Snack Pack and some changes to the First Player Tokens.

The good news here is that the spec sheet is in (as noted in our last update) and our manufacturer is busy at work on the next round of resin pieces, barista meeples, burlap sacks and play mat samples. We do not have an exact delivery date from them but we should be receiving these by the end of October.

Because of these changes in our timeline, it makes it impossible to avoid Chinese New Year, and puts us into manufacturing limbo for a month as factories won’t be running for most of February. We were well aware of this holiday, but our plan had been to see manufacturing away before the holiday. We need to eat our own words in response to backer Kawarazu, who in a comment on Update #21 pointed out the dangers of running into Chinese New Year. It’s a big shame that this overlap exists, but it does, and we just need to deal with it, as it adds another month onto our timeline.

Wrapping all of those delays into one summary, here is our new timeline for you to visually consume:

Our new timeline for production and delivery.
Our new timeline for production and delivery.

While all the delays are a drag (to put it lightly), we want to keep everyone’s spirits up and to show that – while we’re not doing everything right – we are making progress, and the game is going to look amazing when you do get it! Therefore, we’d like to begin sharing, day-by-day, bits and pieces of Mario’s fantastic artwork. We think this will help to keep us connected, to let you know we haven’t gone anywhere, and also to share with you the vast amount of work and love being poured into this game. (And it may help you all to better understand the time it takes to finish a game of this size.)

Here's a collage of some of our favorite recent artwork.  From left to right: BGG's own Ernie, as a Customer Card, a Style Upgrade for the Happy Families group, and a Meeple Cake Pantry Upgrade!
Here's a collage of some of our favorite recent artwork. From left to right: BGG's own Ernie, as a Customer Card, a Style Upgrade for the Happy Families group, and a Meeple Cake Pantry Upgrade!

In order to not spam everyone with super frequent or giant updates (as we know our updates are very long already!), we’ll be posting art every day or two on a series of BGG forum posts. Please click here to find out more!

Click this image to jump over to the Art Status & Preview Thread at BGG!
Click this image to jump over to the Art Status & Preview Thread at BGG!

Finally, we can start to supply some good news for you all! We’ve been incredibly slow to get there, but we’re happy to announce the first three (of hopefully many more) stores that have agreed to offer their location as a local pick-up. The following locations have already been added to BackerKit:

Würfel & Zucker board game café in Hamburg, Thursday Game Night @ RuDi's in Berlin, and Worlds' End Comics & Games in Gent, Belgium!
Würfel & Zucker board game café in Hamburg, Thursday Game Night @ RuDi's in Berlin, and Worlds' End Comics & Games in Gent, Belgium!

In order to provide transparency on our process (and also hopefully slow down the absolutely endless stream of questions about local pick-ups) we’ve setup an entry regarding local pick-ups as a part of our Seize the Bean Kickstarter FAQ on BGG. There you can see the current status and we’ll update this every time we add a new shop to BackerKit.

We realize this is not the update you wanted to read. And we know that due to this second and very-large delay some of you may become quite skeptical. Rest assured we are well aware that we have to prove ourselves to you all! We are dedicated to do this and we simply want to say thank you for any and all understanding you can give us. We are not perfect and as this is our first Kickstarter, we have made some mistakes. But we are learning from them and we are honored to have your support and your continued trust along the way. We hope you stick with us and stay excited, because when the games do arrive, we think you’ll be very happy!

Until next update, everyone!

Art Progress, New Spec Sheets & Store Pick-ups!
4 months ago – Sat, Sep 01, 2018 at 01:51:54 AM

What an August! We hope everyone has had a great time during the Summer (it's been hot in Berlin!) – It’s always the busiest for us because of the dense event season it brings. And while we travel a lot, we don’t let that get in the way of our primary focus on making great games though, so we have some progress updates to share.

We are happy to report that currently we have:

  • 85% of the Customer Card artwork completed (this hasn't changed because we’ve focused almost entirely on upgrade cards the last month)
  • 100% of the Pantry Upgrade artwork completed
  • 77% of the Style Upgrade artwork completed
  • In total we are approximately 88% done with all cards for the game!

Keep in mind that as we finish the artwork, it’s not only visuals that we’re completing, because each card’s art is inspired and directed by its flavor text. With all that flavor text completed, our translators can begin preparing the non-English language files for print as well. This is necessary for production (since all games are being made together, using what is called a "plate change") but as a bonus this will also help us to provide the final print and play files in multiple languages.

In our next update we’ll give a more updated view of the overall timeline in general, but it appears that our estimate on card art was quite accurate, perhaps off by a week or two at the most (our previous estimates did have some minor margins built in, so we'll be crunching the numbers again to see if they can swallow the art time as planned).

Many backers have been asking (quite urgently too, which we take as a generally good sign, though we also take very seriously, as we do not want to let any backers down!) for updated photos of the resin pieces and add-ons. It’s important to understand we’ve been more focused on making sure the art and text is completed for the next stages of file prep for production than we have been with getting updated spec sheets to our manufacturer. This in turn directly slows down the rate at which we get updated samples. This is not because we don’t deem samples and component progress important, it is simply a matter of resource delegation. As an independent publisher, this is very important to do, as the creation of this game is very much a marathon, not a sprint!

With that said, we’re very happy to share that we’ve completed the updated spec sheets for the base game. There are still a few minor tweaks, but the sizing and visual descriptions of all the base game pieces are vastly improved which should help us get a better second round of factory samples, and we'll be sending these off to our manufacturer over the weekend (yup, that's right, all of you backers are seeing the spec sheet updates even before our manufacturers).

Just a preview for now. If backers are interested we'd be happy to share full spec sheets later!
Just a preview for now. If backers are interested we'd be happy to share full spec sheets later!

For those wondering where the expansion and add-on spec sheets are, don’t fret! They are coming just around the corner. We estimate to have the components not pictured above (such as the snack pack, resources bags and player sacks) done and off to our manufacturer next week. Once we receive an estimate from them on the turn around time for the second round of samples we’ll let all of you know promptly (instead of waiting a month to drop another large update). Meanwhile, thank you for your patience and understanding, we know the wait is difficult, and we promise: we’re dying to see the end result just as much as the rest of you!

Yes, it’s true. We do have a confirmation from BackerKit that there is a way they can implement store pick-ups into the pledge manager. In short, their solution is that we can add a new “add-on item” to the pledge manager labeled something like “Pick-Up Option” which will have different “variants”, each of which provide the name and region of the pick-up location (these will generally be retail stores). What’s nice is that we can add stores in one-by-one, and send out short, brief updates informing everyone once a store (or set of stores) has been added. Please have patience with us as we begin to add stores! Now that the hardest part is done (getting things sorted with BackerKit) the rest should go quite smoothly.

Also, please beware: after selecting this soon-to-appear option, your cart may still show a shipping price, but BackerKit assures us there is a back-end “chore” (as they called it) that they can do to make sure all of the people who have selected the pick-up option won’t be charged (or will be refunded) the cost of their shipping. We'll supply more explicit details on this in the next update when we announce the first stores.

Don’t get too excited: Seize the Bean will definitely not be available for pick up at Essen. However, some items may be! Right now we are working out the logistics of this possibility with our amazing event manager, Kerstin (who was also a huge help on Seize the Bean when she was previously wearing the hat of a developer too!). If things seem not too complicated we’re inclined to allow those of you who attend Essen to pick-up whatever items we can provide you with there, and help lower your shipping by removing those items’ added shipping amount (if any) from your total. Even if your shipping isn't adjusted by these, you'd at least get to grab them earlier!

(Please note that this option has not fully been discussed with BackerKit yet, though we can’t see why it won’t be possible, as it's simply a variation of the store pick-up option they've already provided us. The main issue is that it just may be too much work to pull off. We'll report back as soon as we know for sure!)

As promised we’ve also been getting other tasks out of the way such as completing any production we can with our additional manufacturers. This includes the milk carton deck boxes and the Cubee plushie, both of which are in production now and we’re attempting to have delivered in time for SPIEL (though this is still yet to be 100% confirmed, due to how tight the shipping estimates are currently). Regardless, have a peek below at a preview of the final deck box samples, their packaging, and the current state of the plushie samples!

Photo of both final deck box samples. We think they came out great!
Photo of both final deck box samples. We think they came out great!
We've found the material and print quality to be as promised, matching our expectations.
We've found the material and print quality to be as promised, matching our expectations.
We also absolutely love the functional and fun-factor of the hidden meeple compartment in the lid! (Note: meeples sold separately.)
We also absolutely love the functional and fun-factor of the hidden meeple compartment in the lid! (Note: meeples sold separately.)
Take a look at this preview of the final deck box packaging. We really like what Mario did with it!
Take a look at this preview of the final deck box packaging. We really like what Mario did with it!
Here you see the actual, photographed plushie sample on the left, and the fixed photoshop rendering (by Mario) on the right.
Here you see the actual, photographed plushie sample on the left, and the fixed photoshop rendering (by Mario) on the right.
Some more fun (and super geeky) details for the manufacturer to fix the head...
Some more fun (and super geeky) details for the manufacturer to fix the head...
Now for a side view, again depicting the actual, photographed plushie sample on the left with our updated rendering (with fixes) on the right.
Now for a side view, again depicting the actual, photographed plushie sample on the left with our updated rendering (with fixes) on the right.
And lastly, some more final notes, further letting you all into the production process!
And lastly, some more final notes, further letting you all into the production process!

Hope you've enjoyed these images and they not only help you to rekindle some of your excitement but also share with you just how much work goes into this process and further assure you that we are indeed taking the entire production of all the items related to this campaign seriously.

That’s it for today! Thanks so much to you all for your continued trust in us and patience as push towards a high quality, and truly exceptional finished product.