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:

PPC Arrived & Approved, Box Fit Test & SPIEL Update
22 days ago – Fri, Aug 30, 2019 at 11:53:40 PM

Hello everyone! Thanks for your patience with August’s update. We’ve been putting our entire team effort to completely finish files for mass production. And we’re almost there! Keep reading to see what’s left to do.

Here’s a brief overview of our progress:

What more information about the above? Scroll to the end of the update for a break down of each category.

We know that we write long updates. ;) So for anyone who doesn’t want to read the whole thing, here is a fast bullet list summary for you:

  • The pre-production copy (PPC, aka the final sample) arrived and it’s gorgeous! We’ve approved it and the factory is ready to produce once we give them final files.
     
  • We still have some files that need final graphics and text.
     
  • All translations are nearly done and require proofing.
     
  • Once submitted, the factory has to approve our final files.
     
  • Unfortunately we cannot produce in time to have games at SPIEL.
     
  • We still cannot announce a final, accurate delivery date until we go into print.
     
  • That said: We intend to go into print next month (September)!
     
  • If that goes as we hope it will, we should be able to announce a delivery date during September.
     

That’s a quick, summarized update. If you care for further details (and awesome pictures!) please read more below. :)

We’re incredibly pleased to say that the pre-production copy (PPC) arrived from our manufacturer and we were able to fully approve it! This is a big step and often where many projects have issues and delays. In our case, any changes and fixes were so minimal that they have already been done. We’ll note these below after we share some photos…

Base game box, front view.

The box came out beautiful! It’s very high quality, sturdy and noticably smooth to touch. We are incredibly pleased with Panda’s work here.

Base game box, side view.

We’re giving the box one vertically-designed side for those of you who like to store your games standing up (this also helps retailers too).

Base game box, laying down.

There was a lot of discussion about whether the other side should be vertical as well, allowing vertical storage to work no matter which way the front of the box faces. In the end we’ve decided that having at least two horizontal sides is quite nice when the box is laying down. While we are always curious to hear what people think about this topic, it’s important to note we’ll not be making any more changes.

We don’t depict the back of the box because it is one side we haven’t finished yet. We’ll share it once it’s done.

Let’s open the box…

Loads of goodies, pouring out of the box!

Right, so this isn’t everything that comes with the game, obviously, since the PPC only includes printed and paper components. But already you can begin to see what a monster of a game Seize the Bean is!

The rulebook came out quite nice, and although this was a test print to check color and material (without having all the final text and diagrams done) we are feeling extremely good about the results.

The rulebook matches expectations and feels quite nice. (We did not order a variant rulebook because it’ll just be the same size and shape, with different cover and content. We did, however, order a blank one to do accurate box fit testing!)

Unfortunately the sticker sheets do not come pre-cut, but the printing and material quality is great.

The sticker sheets are great and came as expected. As the image caption says, unfortunately the PPC does not come with cut stickers. We did however run some tests ourselves, by printing the sheet on sticker paper in our office laser printer and then cutting out on the die lines to see how the labels fit the bags and the aprons fit the meeples. Our tests went well and we’ll share some details on that in a future update (we didn’t want to postpone this one further waiting for images).

Here are the base game player boards. Keep in mind that the design of the back wasn’t 100% finalized and has progressed to a more polished state since we submitted files for the PPC.

The player boards are fantastic! We really love how they came out. Super sturdy, great material, and quality printing. The PPC did have a mistake in it: a missing cut out on the action icons (somehow the factory missed this die line in our files) but they promptly fixed it and sent us new player boards. Unfortunately we didn’t take studio shots of those but perhaps we’ll share them in a future update if need be.

Here’s a close up shot showing the dual-layer of the Hype Track.
And another one showing the dual-layer of the Café Achievement slots.

(It’s worth noting that these PPC boards are laser cut so their edges are a bit rough. The final product will not have that effect!)

Here are a few samples of the punchboards…
...and an example of the front of one of the punchboards.

The punchboards are perfect. We are very pleased with them. As with a lot of these files, it’s important to note that some minor details on these PPC versions have changed already, but the material quality and printing are superb and won’t be shifted.

Let’s punch out some tokens, shall we?

The wonderful Good Reviews many of you helped us write!

Having the good teviews as actual, thick tokens for the first time has been amazing. We used them in our demos at Berlin Brettspiel Con and attendees just loved them. And we did get all the backer-created good review messages on the PPC files in time so as we played at Berlin Brettspiel Con many gamers were stopping to read out each good review they earned in the game. It was very funny, to say the least!

And we can’t have Good Reviews without Bad Reviews, right?
Here are the 5-Good-Review tokens for change, which have the Gutscheine (ie. Coupons) on their backsides for a bonus when you are the fastest to unlock a Café Achievement.
Here are the Happy and Angry tokens. These are super fun to play with!
Hype tokens and Serve tokens.

Typically when playing our team is actually using some of the fun items from the resin snack pack to mark our serving and hype track, but of course we made sure to include cardboard tokens for this for anyone who didn’t buy the resin pack.

All of you are getting the resin First Player and Next First Player tokens, but here are the cardboard versions that we included in the punchboards too.

Same thing here. Even though the resin bits were a free add-on for all backers, we included cardboard versions. (Also, if you look closely once you receive the game – or once we release the updated variant rulebook you’ll note that we found a very neat variant that works with the cardboard tokens!)

The rest of the tokens are for variants, such as these Cubee Cookies, which are used in the Diverse City variant, which awards Cafés that collect all 6 Customer Groups in any given game.

As the caption says, these are used in a variant that we particularly love because it aligns with our value of awareness here at Quality Beast, rewarding players for embracing diversity. Also, who doesn’t like pandas and cookies?

Cardboard Snack Pack tokens!

During the campaign we made a resin snack pack, mostly for fun, at the request of backers. It started as an aesthetic thing, but eventually it made its way into a few variants. Because of that, we decided we wanted cardboard versions too, for anyone who didn’t get the resin pack to still be able to play those variants.

Also included in these are some cardbaord green bean tokens. Even though 10 resin green beans are included in the base game, we found that some games may require more than that if people go heavy on the Health Nuts customer group. Therefore we added some green bean tokens to represent higher values, lowering the chances players would run out of components.

The Board Game Geeks and Happy Families have abilities which require the use of a token that replaces / covers up other Customer abilities. That’s what these are for. Please note the graphics have been updated since the PPC.
These are used both for the player difficulty levels but also for setting a variety of difficulty levels for Starbots™, the automated opponent in solo mode.

Our testing of the difficulty levels for players and for the solo mode has been exceptionally successful. We are really excited to share more news about this in a future update (hopefully with some more gameplay videos from Dylan).

These are the Upgrade tokens used by Starbots™ in Solo Mode.
Lastly, Café signs, because why not!?

Due to the way that the die cuts worked on the punch boards we had some extra room so Mario did some lovely illustrations of café signs. These work for labeling your opponent, Starbots™, in solo mode, but they also work for labeling your own café in the solo scenarios where you are playing as various different establishments that aren’t based in Berlin.

Puuuuuh that is a lot of tokens. Hopefully this is showing all of you why we take so long for completion of the game. It’s just a massive chunk of work!

Speaking of work, here go the cards!

Base game cards. Sheesh. Loads and loads of them. The quality is fantastic and they were perfect. Absolutely no changes.

Quick view of the Customer Cards laid out by type.
Quick view of the Upgrade Cards laid out by type.
And the player Cheat Sheet cards.

These are one of the few last things for our graphic design team to complete: the back side of these show a ridiculously small café board for those of you who want to play this game on the go (or in a real café) but are concerned about table space.

Don’t worry if you feel like that’s not enough reminder text with all the icons in the game… the back of the customer group awards and the back of both rulebooks will have a lot of reminder text too!

Founder cards!

We’ll let you read about these in the variant rulebook (or maybe watch a gameplay video from Dylan in the future) but in short, the founders act as customers who you can optionally serve at the start of your serve step. Pretty neat for either enhancing customer abilities that you are playing with or even more so for adding a one-off ability to a game that otherwise doesn’t have it! Remi (one of our hardworking developers here at Quality Beast) and Dylan have had a really fun time polishing these for you all!

And lastly, Starbots’ Solo Mode action cards: robo-baristas!

No explanation needed here. Do you really want robots serving coffee to the world? (Maybe so, actually…)

Wow, that was just the base game! Let’s take a quick look at the rest of the PPC, starting with  the sleeve…

Front view of the sleeve for those that ordered the special edition...
Side view of the sleeve.
An earlier version of the sleeve…

We started with a 4-sided sleeve, which would slide over the game box. But after experimenting we decided we’d rather go with a 5-sided sleeve, similar to how a box-set of books is packaged.

Here’s the 5-sided sleeve, showing the opening on the left side.

One thing we still need to do regarding the sleeve is add a slight cut mark on the open end to make it easier to pull out the game. It may disturb the cleanliness of the graphic design but our production team strongly believes it is required for usability.

Onto the 5-6 player expansion…

Here’s the front of the expansion box.
And a view from another angle.

Keep in mind, both the expansion and base game boxes (as well as the sleeve) will all have minor details which have already been changed. At the time of ordering the PPC we wanted to give enough of the completed files to get samples but we didn’t want to delay the process by waiting for final files. This is not the typical approach but our manufacturer agreed, that for “easy” print components like the boxes, cards, boards and tokens this is totally suitable.

Also (as mentioned briefly above) please note that we didn’t show the back of either box because we are finalizing those designs now. That is one of the last major pieces for us to complete besides the two rulebooks.

As with the base game, here’s a view of the print components you get with the expansion. It’s worth noting that the extra resin resources and extra barista meeples that you’ll get are not depicted in this image (this is because the PPC is just for print components).
Closer shot of the expansion player boards.
These come in the expansion but also with the sleeved version of the game and further can be purchased on their own.

Here you see how the founder cards are packaged… in a booster pack wrapping.

And here’s a quick shot of what the 3 add-on Customer packs look like in their packaging too.
And here they are, all the cards from all add-ons and expansions together in a giant, lovely pile.

With the base game, add-on customers and the extra founders the game comes to a huge quantity of cards, 645 in total! (We’ll 100% confirm this number for those of you who want to buy sleeves once we go into print. That way you know nothing else changes.)

Lastly, here is a shot of the game, sleeved game, and expansion together.

Whoosh! We have a PPC and it’s terrific! We did mention there were some minor changes, so here are those:

  • Player boards need another sample round but this is already done by now!
     
  • Add a cut out in the sleeve to allow easy removal of the game box. (We don’t need to sample this, just update the die lines on the file.)
     
  • Adjustment of the sticker die lines to make the apron stickers a little larger. (We’ll talk more about this in a future update but the important thing here is that it also doesn’t require a sample round.)
     

From a production standpoint, we are ready when it comes to the materials, sampling and factory preparation. All that is left is to finalize files!

So what is left to do? Here’s a short list of what we’re working on now:

  • Minor graphical adjustments to the base game, expansion box and sleeve.
     
  • Back of both boxes need a finalized concept and the graphic design done.
     
  • The final cards need to be regenerated after some minor changes we made during the last months.
     
  • Both rulebooks have a few last pieces of English text that need to be edited / added.
     
  • Diagrams and examples for rulebooks need to be finalized and polished (but all of them are done in draft format).
     
  • Our manufacturer has to approve all English files so we can copy them for translation.
     
  • Our translators need to 100% finish (they are all very far along though).
     
  • Also they need to complete proofing (most of them are proofing as they go, so to not lose time later).
     
  • Lastly, we need to take all translations and add them to files and submit them.
     
  •  When that’s approved we hit print!
     

We are very much at the tail end now and we are incredibly excited to be this far. We aim to go into print in September but we’ll confirm this once we get closer to submitting final files!

We tried our very best to make this work but unfortunately this is not going to be possible. We are very sorry for this but that is why we announced it as a goal, not as an estimate. Please stay tuned for future updates where we’ll announce an accurate and final shipping date once we go into print.

That being said, please come by our booth (#5H102 in Hall 5) at SPIEL so you can see the final PPC of the game and give it a play if you haven’t already!

A quick note for those that care: we did a box fit test where we tried to get everything (and we mean everything) into the base game box. We are pleased to say everything fits! Yes, we tested with sleeves. And yes, we tested with premium sleeves too! We wanted to share some imagery but we didn’t want to postpone this update any further, so we’ll touch on this topic again in a future update, with images!

As always, if you want a deeper look into our progress please see the detailed charts below. (Note that each item with a small, orange ‘tick’ next to it, indicates that we have noticeably progressed on that topic.)

Thank you everyone, and see you in the next update!

New PNP Release, Variant Rulebook & Gameplay Videos
3 months ago – Mon, Jul 08, 2019 at 03:06:31 AM

Wow, we have been busier than ever! As usual, we are hard at work over here pushing Seize the Bean to the finish line. This is the second part of the two-part update we sent some weeks ago and we misspoke in that update saying this part would come later that week. We’re sorry for any confusion this caused but it’s here now and we hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised and satisfied with its contents!

As always, here is a brief overview of where we are:

Also as always, for further progress details, you can scroll to the end of the update.

Before we dive in, we want to first share some news that is explicitly tied to getting the game into your hands. Many of you have asked "where is the finish line" and one of the major things we need to get past is the approval of the PPC...

What on earth is a PPC? (We are going to include this question every time we mention it, so apologies if you already know by now.) A “PPC” is the pre-production copy of the game which we receive from our manufacturer, Panda. In other words, the PPC is the hand-made paper version of the game, including the box, rulebook, cards, boards and tokens. Before we can print the game, not only do we have to be 100% done with all the print files but we also have to approve the final paper quality and dimensions and cut marks related to every component.

The exciting news is that the PPC tracking says it is arriving this week! We are very excited to see it and our fingers are crossed there are no major changes required. We’ll keep you all up-to-date as much as we can once we’ve had some time to pour through it. (Please note this doesn’t mean we’ll send another update next week as we will likely be busy communicating with our manufacturer about the PPC.)

Yes! At last, at last, the print and play is here. We realize this has taken quite a lot longer than we expected or shared or hoped but if you download the print and play we think you’ll see why. It’s massive (a whopping 176 pages)! Onto the point: how can you download the print and play?

As usual we have a public version of the print and play available on our placeholder website for Seize the Bean. You can access that here: http://pnp.seizethebean.com. That link can shared as much as you want. It’s a public version. But please note that this public version only has 11 Customer Groups (thus supporting the 2 Districts showcased in the Gameplay Preview videos below, Kreuzberg and Neukölln)

Click the thumbnail above to access the new public Print & Play (or, if you backed / purchased the PNP, then check your messages and emails over the next 24 hours)!
Click the thumbnail above to access the new public Print & Play (or, if you backed / purchased the PNP, then check your messages and emails over the next 24 hours)!

If you want to access the full print and play you’ll need to download the private version. This is only accessible to backers (and anyone who purchased it afterwards for a few euros). We are emailing and messaging out links for it now so please write to us at support@qualitybeast.com if you didn’t receive a link by Monday evening (July 8th, Berlin time).

We are ready to release v0.2.0 of the Variant Rulebook. As with the main Rulebook in the last update, here are some important notes about this release (some of which are copied and pasted from the last update because they identically apply to the Variant Rulebook too):

  •  This is a text-only version. Yes, we have a lot of progress on the full, graphical version, but it is not ready for release yet.
  •  There are almost no images in this rulebook. That does not mean we don’t have and are not working on images, just that they aren’t ready for release.
  •  The examples are not fully written, and those that are written are not polished and may have some typos / mistakes. We did not want to delay the release of this version any longer, so we decided this is OK. That being said, as soon as we polished the examples up (and provided images) we’ll release an updated version.
  • As always we are looking forward to hear your feedback!

Here is the Variant Rulebook link: http://variantrulebook.seizethebean.com

Click the thumbnail above to jump over to the Variant Rulebook to give it a read and/or drop us any thoughts! :)
Click the thumbnail above to jump over to the Variant Rulebook to give it a read and/or drop us any thoughts! :)

We’ve talked a lot about our graphical work on both rulebooks but haven’t shown you much. Here are some quick screenshots below to give you an idea of the visual style we’re working on.

Here's a quick screenshot of the first spread in the main Rulebook. We're obviously still working on it (especially the visual components list on the right) but it's really coming together and you can see the overall style we're going for.
Here's a quick screenshot of the first spread in the main Rulebook. We're obviously still working on it (especially the visual components list on the right) but it's really coming together and you can see the overall style we're going for.
Here's another quick screenshot of the second spread in the main Rulebook. This one begins to share setup information and starts to show the various types of formatting we're using. Again, there are still some unfinished bits, but we are really getting big chunks completed!
Here's another quick screenshot of the second spread in the main Rulebook. This one begins to share setup information and starts to show the various types of formatting we're using. Again, there are still some unfinished bits, but we are really getting big chunks completed!
Here's another quick screenshot, this one depicting where things really get complicated / time-consuming for our team. Many of the rules need visual explanations and often we're adding in examples as well. For each of these we have to write up and build diagrams. We've made massive headway and while these aren't final we thought it may be neat to share a few...
Here's another quick screenshot, this one depicting where things really get complicated / time-consuming for our team. Many of the rules need visual explanations and often we're adding in examples as well. For each of these we have to write up and build diagrams. We've made massive headway and while these aren't final we thought it may be neat to share a few...
This will be the last screenshot we share today. It's pretty rough, but many of you have asked for a big reference of all the icons. This is where we are currently at: having a section in the back of both rulebooks that shows all the icons and explains them. We may want to cut down the longer explanations by thoroughly defining the icons elsewhere (with examples) and just using shorthand to give brief reminders here...
This will be the last screenshot we share today. It's pretty rough, but many of you have asked for a big reference of all the icons. This is where we are currently at: having a section in the back of both rulebooks that shows all the icons and explains them. We may want to cut down the longer explanations by thoroughly defining the icons elsewhere (with examples) and just using shorthand to give brief reminders here...

Whoosh! That's a lot of work. Hopefully this quick peek into the Rulebook layout has given you some ideas of what the final outcome will be like and all the effort and love being poured into it not only looking good, but reading clearly too.

Speaking of previews, we promised some gameplay previews in the last update. We know that due to our delays it’s hard to keep your excitement for the game. We hope to put an end to that and rekindle your spirits when you see a bit more of the gameplay that we’ll be bringing you in the finished version of Seize the Bean.

For now we’ve created some playlists on our Quality Beast YouTube channel which we’ll be adding to if and when we film more gameplay previews. We don’t have any shoots scheduled so for now we’ll have to leave that open-ended.

Here are the 14 videos we’ve managed to shoot and upload so far:

Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Kreuzberg District setup for Seize the Bean!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Kreuzberg District setup for Seize the Bean!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Hipsters Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Hipsters Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Tourists Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Tourists Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Musicians Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Musicians Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Cyclists Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Cyclists Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Start Uppers Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Start Uppers Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Party Animals Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Party Animals Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Neukölln District setup for Seize the Bean!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Neukölln District setup for Seize the Bean!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Funemployed Expats Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Funemployed Expats Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Friendly Locals Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Friendly Locals Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Starving Artists Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Starving Artists Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Performers Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Performers Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Health Nuts Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Health Nuts Customer Group!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Friends & Family Variant modes!
Click this thumbnail image to watch a video about the Friends & Family Variant modes!

As always, if you want a deeper look into our progress please see the detailed charts below. (Note that each item with a small, orange ‘tick’ next to it, indicates that we have noticeably progressed on that topic.)

Thank you everyone, and see you in the next update!

PPC Ordered, Production Update & Delivery Update
3 months ago – Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 02:09:44 AM

Hello wonderful backers! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we took a bit more time this month to get an update over to you. As promised in the comments it’s a big one, so we’ll actually be breaking it into 2 separate updates.

Update Part 1:

Delivered now (you’re reading it!) and includes:

  • News about the pre-production copy (PPC) of Seize the Bean... 
  • ...an exciting production update...
  • ...and finally a delivery update! 

Update Part 2

The next half of this massive update will come later in the week and will include:

  • A new print and play (PNP) release…
  • ...the first public release of the Variant Rulebook (containing solo mode rules)...
  • ...and a few gameplay videos to show what development has been completing!

We hope you are as excited about all of this content as we are. Now let’s jump in!

As always, here is your progress snapshot of where we are.

We know some of you wanted a timeline break down and while we do include a delivery plan update below we do not have the ability to share detailed timeline information in this update. Our apologies about this point! If you want more details please see the end of this update for further, broken-down charts! :)

Let’s start with this since it is likely the #1 topic all of you want to hear about. Please note that we do not have a new delivery date set in stone yet. Everything you read now is a goal or an estimate that we are striving for. Please treat it as such! That being said, we are hearing too much speculation in the Kickstarter comments about delivery dates and we know you’ve all been very patient so we want to be 100% transparent. We are currently targeting a delivery around October. Our hope is that we could overlap the fulfillment with a SPIEL pick-up option. We know many people requested this in the past so if we can offer it and save you some money we’d love to.

Obviously this is past the previously announced delivery date. Once again, this is not final. It could be that we deliver earlier or later than this. You might wonder why it’s so hard for us to pin down a final date. While we can’t explain all of the challenges in a single update we can say that once we begin printing the final game files we’ll be able to share a much more accurate delivery date. Despite this reality, we are very sorry that you have to wait so long and we only hope the following Part 2 of this update (coming in the next few days) will help to rekindle and maintain your excitement by showing off some long-awaited gameplay details!

If you have any questions or concerns about this news at all please do not hesitate to leave us comments or email us directly at support@qualitybeast.com. We are here to hear all of your feedback and to work out any issues during the course of this project.

Also, before anyone asks: no, we will not be selling the game to anyone until after backers and other pre-order customers have received their copies. Retailers and distributors will have their copies shipped to them after backers and pre-order customers have been sent theirs. And if we make it for an October delivery and bring copies to SPIEL we will prioritize backers and pre-order customers for pick-up. Any leftover copies after that may be available to the public, but we are very aware of the bad feeling backers can get if they don’t have their copy of a game yet and they see it out in the wild. 

With the heavy and more serious news out of the way let’s share something that our team finds quite exciting! Be honest: are you tired of this damn brown sugar yet?! 

Here you can see the final white sugar next to the final brown sugar. We are super happy with the results. The coloring, transparency, and texture are all incredibly on point!
Here you can see the final white sugar next to the final brown sugar. We are super happy with the results. The coloring, transparency, and texture are all incredibly on point!

We are so pleased with the final version that our manufacturer, Panda, has produced. The transparency, the color… everything is perfect. We are 100% done with this component and that marks the completion of all non-printed aspects of the game. It’s important to note that the final sampling of the brown sugar did not delay us at all. Though, that is not to say that it wasn’t a historical journey for us and for Panda. As it turns out, they ended up doing 8 different samples over the course of the project, which is more than they have done for any other piece like this in the history of their company.

Here you can see 5 of the 8 samples that Panda created. From left to right: 1) too yellow, 2) too red, 3) too opaque but nearly perfect color, 4) too transparent but nearly perfect color, and 5) the winner! (Note that the coloring of this photo may not be entirely accurate to real life, of course!)
Here you can see 5 of the 8 samples that Panda created. From left to right: 1) too yellow, 2) too red, 3) too opaque but nearly perfect color, 4) too transparent but nearly perfect color, and 5) the winner! (Note that the coloring of this photo may not be entirely accurate to real life, of course!)
And lastly, here they are again from above view. The final one is on the far right. (Note that the coloring of this photo may not be entirely accurate to real life, of course!)
And lastly, here they are again from above view. The final one is on the far right. (Note that the coloring of this photo may not be entirely accurate to real life, of course!)

We are very honored that they’ve put in so much work and love to Seize the Bean and we are confident you’ll feel it once you open the box!

With all the non-printed components 100% done and in production we move onto finalizing the print components. This is the last thing standing in our way to complete this game!

Last week we have finished preparing and approving all the files for our PPC. You may still be wondering what is a PPC? It’s a pre-production copy of the game, which includes hand-made cards, player boards, box, etc, which our manufacturer, Panda, sends to us to verify all of the quantities, sizing and material choices.

The creation of the PPC files was a huge undertaking for our team. Since Seize the Bean involves so many cards that each have their own configuration of text, art and iconography, we’ve needed a way during development to quickly produce new prototypes. To solve this challenge we built our own software which automates a majority of the process.

Click the thumbnail image to jump over and watch the video!
Click the thumbnail image to jump over and watch the video!

Check out this video above for a glimpse into the process. It’s pretty cool if you like nerding out on how technology can be used to design, develop and produce a board game!

We do not have an exact delivery date yet, but we should be seeing the PPC in the next few weeks. Once we have it, and have approved it, we are cleared on their end to put the whole game into production. On our end we will need to be sure our files are final, and that is what we are working on now, and until the PPC arrives.

As with the last update, we’ll sign off here, leaving you with some detailed charts below to get a deeper look into our progress. (Note that each item with a small, orange ‘tick’ next to it, indicates that we have noticeably progressed on that topic.)

Thank you everyone, we’ll see you again in a few days with Part 2 of this chunky update!

New Rulebook, Solo Mode Playthrough & Preparing for PPC
5 months ago – Thu, May 09, 2019 at 12:51:19 AM

May is upon us! But we are also upon May, steadily progressing towards the finish line. We’ll try to keep this update concise and to the point.  

Before we dive, we want to start this update (and all following updates) with a clear summary of our progress. Please see the graphic below.  

Here are a few quick notes on what has noticeably progressed:

  • Scenario design
  • Additional variants / modes testing
  • Overall balancing, polish & final tweaks
  • English rulebook and variant rulebook
  • Game boxes & sleeve
  • Illustrations & renders for both rulebooks
  • Iconography and color updates
  • English files (continually) prepped for translation
  • Pre-press file proofing with our manufacturer, Panda 
  • Creation of the card print files (automated data merge)
  • Updating the punchboard files (adding the custom Good / Bad Reviews some of you wrote!)

For further (broken down) details, scroll to the end of the update. 

We are ready to release v0.6.0 of the rulebook. Before we give you the link here are some important notes about this release:

  •  This is a text-only version. Yes, we have a lot of progress on the full, graphical version, but it is not ready for release yet.
  •  There are almost no images in this rulebook. That does not mean we don’t have and are not working on images, just that they aren’t ready for release. Also, we removed the images from the last version because by now they are outdated.
  •  The examples are not fully polished and may have some typos / mistakes. We did not want to delay the release of this version any longer, so we decided this is OK. That being said, as soon as we polished the examples up (and provided images) we’ll release an updated version.
  •  This version will not be compatible with the last-released PnP and TTS mod. Yes, we realize that is not optimal, but at the moment we must focus our primary resources on completing the game to get it into your hands. As soon as it is appropriate for us to release a PnP (and/or TTS mod) that matches the new rules, we will certainly do so!
  • As always we are looking forward to hear your feedback!

Here is the new rulebook link: http://rulebook.seizethebean.com

(Note that this is the same link as before, so if you don’t see “v0.6.0” at the top you may want to hard refresh the webpage in your browser.)  

Actually, that’s gonna be playthroughs, as in plural videos! Dylan has been hard at work recording three different Solo Mode videos. Each one showcases the different difficulty levels for the player: Regular, Hard and Expert. Click the thumbnails below to watch the videos!

Click the thumbnail to watch the first video!
Click the thumbnail to watch the first video!
Click the thumbnail to watch the second video!
Click the thumbnail to watch the second video!
Click the thumbnail to watch the third video!
Click the thumbnail to watch the third video!

But where are the Solo Mode (written) rules? We are not done yet with a release-ready version of the Variant Rulebook, which is where the Solo Mode rules live. We are moving as fast as we can there and as soon as it is ready we will of course let you all know!  

What on earth is a PPC? That is the pre-production copy of the game which we receive from our manufacturer, Panda. In other words, the PPC is the hand-made paper version of the game, including the box, rulebook, cards, boards and tokens. Before we can print the game, not only do we have to be 100% done with all the print files but we also have to approve the final paper quality and dimensions and cut marks related to every component.

Right now we are preparing files this week and next week to approve Panda to make and send a PPC. We are incredibly excited as this means we are steadily finalizing files, one-by-one, at least structurally. This is a huge milestone towards the full completion of the game. Please stay tuned for more news on this topic and of course we will eagerly be sharing visuals of the PPC once we have it in our coffee-stained hands. :) 

As promised, we want to keep this update shorter than usual, so we’ll sign off there. We will be back as soon as we can with more information but in the meantime, if you want a deeper look into our progress please see the detailed charts below. (Note that each item with a small, orange ‘tick’ next to it, indicates that we have noticeably progressed on that topic.)

Thank you everyone, and have a great start to your May!

Progress Charts, Manufacturing Update & Brown Sugar Samples
6 months ago – Thu, Apr 04, 2019 at 02:39:28 AM

Hello everyone and welcome to April! We’re quite a few weeks off schedule with this update and we want to apologize for that. Currently we are very focused on completing the final stretch of development, graphic design and production of Seize the Bean. This often leads to us prioritizing completion of the game over communication. We know that communication is quite important though, so we’re going to try something new. :) 

Based on some great backer feedback (and a neat suggestion to take inspiration from the Villagers campaign progress chart) we’ve created some visual graphics to show our progress. We’ll be updating and including these in each KS update from now on. These should help you get a better understanding where we currently are with progress and also how much work actually goes into the game.

Please keep in mind these charts do not denote anything about timing but simply list our completed, in-progress, and pending tasks. (Also, in the future, we won’t put as much text with the charts as there is below, but as it’s the first time you’re seeing these we want to explain some bits; feel free to skip the text if you just want to glance at where we are!)

It might be scary to read that game design is not 100% done. Please do not misinterpret this. The entire game is completely designed, however we cannot fully write the solo scenarios until we are certain all the cards (Customers and Upgrades) of each Group have the right costs and balanced abilities. That being said, Dylan (lead designer) and Ore (co-developer) already have quite a few scenarios mapped out so that is why we’ve noted this as being about 30% done.

As we promised, we did manage to sneak in some non-delay-causing extras as a big thank you to everyone for your patience and trust in our extremely extended timeline. Each of the new variants is marked with an orange text “(surprise!)” and these will be explained in full once we release the public version of the Variant Rulebook. 

This chart may also look scary. But don’t let it mislead you: it’s important to understand that the major bulk of final development is going extremely fast. You won’t be able to gauge progress until you see the next update from us, but aspects such as Variant Mode and Solo Scenario testing will fly by much faster and easier than our District testing and overall balancing has gone. It’s worth calling out that the hardest piece on this list is likely the Blind Playtesting (which means giving a prototype with rulebook to playtesters and having them self-learn the game) because if it doesn’t go as well as we hope we’d need to make some improvements to the rulebook. We’ll definitely be reaching out to backers to help here with the upcoming public releases of both rulebooks and an updated PnP! Stay tuned if you are interested and feel free to sign-up here: http://playtest.qualitybeast.com/

Not much to explain here, simply that all artwork is 100% done and we are at the stage where our graphic designers (Janna, Pietro and Andrea) are tackling the final layouts and arrangements of the game. Biggest challenge here is finishing the rulebooks with renderings of the components for examples and diagrams but once all the print files are 100% complete this shouldn’t be too cumbersome.

Pretty straight-forward, we’re making steady progress on this front!

En toute franchise, nous faisons des progrès constants sur ce point.

Kurz gesagt, wir machen kontinuierlich Fortschritte!

Estamos haciendo continuos progresos en este aspecto!

一切都一目了然,我們在翻譯的進度上有穩定的進展!

Again, pretty straight-forward, steady progress towards mass production of all pieces. As we’ve said before, we already have the non-printed components in mass production (such as the wood, resin, and fabric parts of the game) and we are just pushing hard to get the printed bits there too!

A bit silly to include this as it’s obvious we are not shipping yet but we know this is one of the most important parts for all of you so here you go. :) It’s worth noting that we are prepared for Brexit happening or not and everyone in the EU will still get EU friendly shipping as promised (and of course, everyone in the UK will get UK friendly shipping too)! 

In a nutshell, manufacturing is going well. We’re waiting on Panda to provide some factory pics to whet your appetites for the game. We’ve also requested that they grab one of each of the pieces being produced to send our way so we can share pictures of the actual production components with all of you.

Based on the above charts you may assume that our delivery date is likely to change. We realize that everyone wants to know what is the current, estimated delivery date. We will be waiting until we've gotten all final files to our manufacturer before we announce any timeline updates. The logic behind this is that we don't want to continue to disappoint any of you with false promises. The best case scenario now is to wait until we have the printed components in mass production so we know there are much less variable factors involved that could potentially modify the shipping date. Stay tuned for more on this topic in future updates! 

We are extremely excited to announce that our manufacturer has finished the brown sugar sample. Here’s a quick picture to see it compared to the older, overly-yellow one. 

Old sugar on the left, new sugar on the right!
Old sugar on the left, new sugar on the right!

It’s hard to tell because factory photos are never taken in great lighting, nor are they color corrected, but from our perspective this is quite potentially the fix we all wanted! They are sending this and a second (more opaque) sample our way with the production pieces mentioned above and we should have them any day now. Please remember that our manufacture has assured us this doesn’t slow down production and that they can “catch up” the brown sugar later on in the production process.

That’s it for today’s update. As we were late with this update (trying to fit in the rulebook release as well as the above info) you should be hearing from us sooner than 4 weeks from now with further updates.

Thanks everyone and have a great April!