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:

Only 1 English File Left, Translation Progress & TTS Update
6 days ago – Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 10:24:19 PM

Hey everyone, it’s been an intense time for us here at Quality Beast, and that’s without even looking at world news! So here’s what we accomplished... (and strap in, this isn't a mini-update by any means!) 

The main English rulebook is done and uploaded. You read that right, it’s done. Done done. Not touching it anymore done. Submitted to the manufacturer done. You can admire it in all its glory as a downloadable PDF. Thank you so much for your patience, input, patience, feedback, and patience throughout the many iterations of this rulebook. 

Click this cover image to download the final version of the rulebook! (Please note, we are aware this version still doesn't have highlightable / searchable text. We're working on that, but for now, we only have time to provide this "flattened" version.)

Despite this victory we haven’t paused working even for a second to celebrate. Instead, we finished the big layout feedback round for the Variant Rulebook. This means once our graphic designer has implemented all the feedback we’ll be in the proofing stage, which is the last step before we can call this file done and share it with you all. (More importantly that will mark the 100% completion point for the English game!) This “big layout feedback” task involved some major layout reworking, so it has been an enormous bottleneck for us, and we’re extremely excited to have finally finished it. You can read Update #43 to learn more about the contents of the Variant Rulebook in case you’re wondering why it’s so important. (Hint: it’s not really just “variants” and this was probably a sub-par naming choice.)

Just for fun, here are a few, work-in progress, sneak preview screenshots of the Variant Rulebook:

Ah, the luxurious cover of the so-called "Snack Menu". Yes, it says "variants", and yes, we know what that means, but really, it should say "Expansion Content, 5-6 Player Mode, Solo Mode, and other Variants". We felt that was maybe a bit too long, eh? (Please note the image quality of this and the other images is lower as they are just preview screenshots!)
One of the most important pieces of content in the Variant Rulebook is right at the beginning. No, it's not the Table of Contents (though we know that helps) it's the Difficulty Tokens. Holy moly, these really help to make the game suitable for veterans and beginners. We tested these a lot and they far exceeded our expectations. We are delighted to be able to include something like that. Also, check out the compatibility list that helps you decide what other content / variants work with 5-6 player mode to make sure you have a smooth experience!
Boom. Here they are. Most of you wondered "why on earth would you need so many pages for variants?" Well, it's a modular game. That's the purpose. And from day one many of you requested that we provide you with suggested setups, so here they are: the Districts. Not only do you get these main Districts...
...but you get these additional 5 Districts too. We actually didn't know how this would pan out, early on in development, but it worked absolutely wonderfully. And we're just sorry there isn't room to fit more, but we're also eager to see what Districts you create yourselves!
Districts don't mean anything if you don't have the cards to use in them. Hence the main, bulk of the content in the Variant Rulebook is the rules for the all of the additional Customer Groups. This is where the term "variant" makes no sense. These are expansion content, in their truest sense. And there are tons of them!
Way back in early design, we had decided to include some "take that" groups as well. We know not everyone wants to play that way so we limited them, but we found that for those who like some more aggressive player interaction, it'd be a shame to exclude them. (Note: not all groups in this screenshot are "take that" groups, but most are!)
There are also some more complex groups, which we really love. The Health Nuts are fantastic, in that they use the resin Green Beans which are included in your base game as a bonus. They act as a wild Resource during Serving! And the Coffee Connoisseurs are very interesting and hard to play, forcing you to feed Beans to other players but allowing you to receive Good Reviews as you do so. Be careful with these more complex groups, they take skill to pull off and they are quite powerful if you do, but they are disastrous if played wrong!
These are two of our favorite groups. They were particularly hard to design and develop. The Board Game Geeks essentially give you maximum versatility, by allowing you to draw some random bonuses or allowing you to convert any other Customers into having a "Play Board Game" ability, essentially netting you tons of Good Reviews. And the Hungry Media are obnoxious and absolutely scary to your opponents, allowing you dump Good and Bad Reviews onto the Customer Group Awards to skew the End Game results. The funny thing about this group is that they always appear more powerful than they really off, often putting your opponents on tilt, early game!
We know it's a lot of preview images but we HAD to share a preview of this spread / section. Yes, as many requested, we found both aesthetic and mechanical uses for the Snack Pack (the resin Special Resources). One of our favorites has been Taste of Mouth, which allows you to Attract Customers based on what they want, rather than their Customer Group. Very neat variant to play!
And of course, though we hope many of you play the game with friends, there is the Solo Mode section of the Variant Rulebook where you battle against the evil Starbots™ corporation. We are incredibly pleased with how the Solo Mode game came out and we hope those of you who play it really enjoy it too!
We'll finish up with one more preview, this one of the way Solo Mode's Difficulty Levels are handled. You'll be applying a combination of Action Tokens to cover up the normal Café Actions. These make Starbots™ increasingly harder and harder. You can then combine these with the player Difficulty Levels we mentioned in an earlier preview image above. And, if that wasn't enough, you can also enjoy the specific, Solo Scenarios.

Many of you have rightfully asked for more clarity on what is left to do, so we have also created a Print File Progress diagram for you. Here it is: 

As you can see, all the English files but one are submitted, and most of those are approved by the factory.

Let’s take a look at the language files as well:

You can also see that there is still quite some work left on the language files, and very few have been submitted to the factory. Most are in the proofing phase, which means the translation teams are putting on the finishing touches.

We will also have some time for updating the Tabletop Simulator mod now that we’re out of the big Variant Rulebook bottleneck. Actually, one team member (Remi, one of our developers) got a bit excited and pulled some extra hours to put together 3D sculpts which act as “bags” to draw tokens from:

If you're not familiar with Tabletop Simulator, normally tokens or other game components are stored in containers called "bags" which literally look like cloth sacks. Well, Remi took it upon himself to make some fancy "stack" models, so that you're pulling tokens from what looks like an endless stack! Very neat stuff that we are excited to play with (and have you all play with too)!

The next steps are to add the cards, and then test the mod before release. We’re hoping to accomplish this within the next couple days, so we could share the updated mod at the end of next week. However, if the factory needs us to adjust the print files, or we need to work on language files, that will be prioritized and might push back the TTS timeline. But assuming nothing gets in the way, we’re very excited to share with you the final version of the game next week. So even while we’re still working on print files, you can finally play!

That’s it for this mini-update, we hope you enjoyed it. See you in the next one, and happy gaming! 

Mini-Update for Early June
27 days ago – Mon, Jun 08, 2020 at 12:22:21 AM

Hey everyone, as we enter into June we are wrapping up the English version of the game and beginning to wrap up the language versions too. Finally, a real end in sight!  

Due to the nature of the proofing work we are doing right now, the team is incredibly focused. We don’t want to have come this far to overlook something before sending the files to print. At the same time, we know you all need and deserve a new, estimated delivery date more than ever. You have been more than patient and endlessly trusting of us with your continued belief in this project. We also know that taking our time with proper and clear communication is increasingly important to you as well.

Given these facts, we want to postpone this mini-update so we can finish up the back-and-forth proofing process with our factory, and then take our time writing a clear and concise update that informs you exactly where we are and what is left to do. We will give more details in the next mini-update, but currently a large majority of the English files have been approved by the factory (meaning they are print-ready). We are also now receiving estimations from each translation team how much more time they need to finish completely. We need these estimates to set a print date with the factory. With that date, we can finally predict a realistic delivery date!

Thank you all for understanding, and apologies if you felt this update was unnecessary, but we wanted to stay in touch with you even if it’s just to say “we’ll write more later”. We’ve done that before in the comments but many backers noted they are not active there and didn’t see the notice.

Stay safe until the next update everyone! 

Mini-Update for Mid-May
about 2 months ago – Tue, May 19, 2020 at 02:44:29 AM

Hello everyone, with events cancelling around the world and many people still not back to work, we know it’s a harder time than ever. We hope that you all have loved ones to rely on in these tough days.    

Back to mini-updates! We hope you all enjoyed the bigger update we sent last month. Despite the fact that we love the larger updates, until we have bigger news (or more time), we’re going to return to the every-2-weeks, mini-update schedule for now.

Status of proofing and submitting English files: Since our last update we’ve been proofing all the English files non-stop. Many of them needed minor adjustments and we’ve been making them as we go. By now we are very pleased to say we’ll be submitting all English files except the rulebooks to our manufacturer today!

Main rulebook: Big thank you again to all the backers who gave input here. We had some significant changes we implemented which even affected the punchboards too. Luckily we’ve finished all of this and are now updating the example diagrams to match. As soon as this final English rulebook is done (and we've sent it off to our manufacturer) we’ll share it again.

Foreign language diagrams: To progress further on the language files, we are now preparing all of the rules diagrams to make them easier to for us to swap out the English cards and tokens and player boards with those that match each version’s language. We won’t go into detail, but once we're finished with this step we can prepare each language's rules for proofing as well.

Customer support: We only have a single, dedicated support panda at the moment and it’s been extremely hard for them to stay focused and productive answering your questions and requests for help during these tough COVID-19 times. As a few months have passed for some of your requests we are taking some action: we’re training a second team member to help out with customer support as well. In the next week or two you should be seeing another “face” around the support@qualitybeast.com inbox. Until then, please accept our apologies for the delayed responses and thank you all for your patience and understanding in these very abnormal times.

Tabletop Simulator mod: We are very very excited to release this, and it’s not out yet for two reasons. First, we want to prioritize the printing of the game so we’ve been making sure we aren’t blocking that side of our work. Second, we believe it makes more sense to release the mod once we have the fully-proofed rulebook for you all as well. Once we have it, we’ll be able to release it and the mod in tandem.

We’re going to end the update here, as it’s rather long. Next update we’ll talk more about the state of translation, as we know this is a big deal to many, especially as we released some print file images which were not meant to show off the text and raised some questions. Until then, everyone please stay safe out there! 

Proofing Print Files, Translation Update & Tabletop Simulator Mod
2 months ago – Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 07:25:08 PM

Hello patient backers! We hope you are all safe and sound out there. We’ve normally been sending mini-updates every two weeks but this month we have a lot to share so we wanted to do it in one big update. Hopefully that’s OK with everyone. :)

Our biggest news towards completion is that we are now exporting print files in almost all languages for our manufacturer. Our internal proofing team still needs to look at these files and typically this is done before asking the manufacturer to invest their time, but even so we are thrilled we are this far. This is huge as far as Seize the Bean progress goes!

Including fronts and backs of cards, we exported over 50 print files in the last few weeks. Here’s a list that breaks down which files are currently being proofed:

  • English - Box
  • English - Punch Boards
  • English - Player Boards
  • English - Customer Cards
  • English - Pantry Upgrade Cards
  • English - Style Upgrade Cards
  • English - Player Aid Cards
  • English - Founder Cards
  • English - Solo Mode Cards
  • English - Sticker Sheets
  • English - Language Sticker
  • English - Expansion Box
  • English - Expansion Player Boards
  • English - Board Game Media Customer Cards
  • English - Board Game Media Pantry Upgrade Cards
  • English - Board Game Media Style Upgrade Cards
  • English - Quality Beasts Customer Cards
  • English - Quality Beasts Pantry Upgrade Cards
  • English - Quality Beasts Style Upgrade Cards
  • English - City Celebrities Customer Cards
  • English - Extra Founder Cards
  • English - Box Sleeve
  • French - Box
  • French - Player Boards
  • French - Customer Cards
  • French - Pantry Upgrade Cards
  • French - Style Upgrade Cards
  • French - Sticker Sheets
  • French - Language Sticker
  • German - Box
  • German - Player Boards
  • German - Customer Cards
  • German - Pantry Upgrade Cards
  • German - Style Upgrade Cards
  • German - Sticker Sheets
  • German - Language Sticker
  • Spanish - Box
  • Spanish - Player Boards
  • Spanish - Customer Cards
  • Spanish - Pantry Upgrade Cards
  • Spanish - Style Upgrade Cards
  • Spanish - Sticker Sheets
  • Spanish - Language Sticker
     

(For those wondering about Chinese, there were some font topics to sort out before exporting files. We've sorted them out now, but it may be another week or longer until we have those files ready for proofing.)

We know many of you want to see proof of progress so that is why we are sharing this list with you.  We’d also love to share some quick screenshots so you can see how the language files are coming along!

A few sample French cards from the larger print sheet...
Some German customers...
Spanish customers too!
And Spanish Pantry Upgrades...
French Pantry Upgrades...
...and some German goodies too! :)
Onto Spanish Style Upgrades...
French Style Upgrades
...and German Style Upgrades!
Example of the back of a French Player Board...
...and a German Player Board...
...and finally a Spanish Player Board too!
Sample first page of the Sticker Sheet in Spanish...
...and the second sheet in French!
Lastly, a cropping of the box lid in French...
...and the box base in Spanish.

Next week we are touching base with translators to see who is done with the Main Rulebook and can move to the Variant Rulebook as their last task. All other print files should be done except for correcting mistakes found during proofing. We’ll be double-checking that this is true before our next mini (or large) update.

We know a lot of you want to at least see the Main Rulebook in your language before the game goes to print. We’ve said we can do this if it doesn’t delay things. We are not 100% sure yet we can provide this option but if we can the time is coming very soon. We believe we can write more about this in detail in our next update.

Since we are down to loading text into print files, exporting and proofing them, and then sending them to the factory, we actually don’t need the whole team on Seize the Bean every single day. Therefore we have a few folks working on an update to the free, digital version of Seize the Bean that is on Tabletop Simulator now.

As some of you may know, there is a previous version up but it’s with the old rules and old components. Our team has been getting new 3D models together with the new art and all of the new design elements. We don’t have a release date yet, but we thought this would be a wonderful treat for all of you, for how long you’ve waited, and especially given that many people are stuck at home all over the world right now. We even thought it might be fun to invite some folks to play with the team and of course we'd like to stream some game play as some backers have been requesting. Let us know what you think!

We will send an update as soon as it is ready, but in the meantime please enjoy some in-progress pics below!

First, we just want to give a huge shout out to Eva and Remi, two Quality Beasts who are leading the charge on this project. They are really learning a lot and stretching their limits, working together remotely on this topic, and Eva was doing so even while stuck Australia (she's back now though, thank gosh)! Kudos to them both for the energy and proactivity here.
We began by doing all new 3D models, even ones we hadn't done before. And this is a big deal for the team, since the previous mod was made almost entirely by friends of Quality Beast contributing and helping us, but now we're able to do it ourselves!
We're even including the dual-layer Player Boards!
Once the model is made, we have to make a texture map for it, and often we'll label these so we know what art goes where...
...here's a similar map with some of the art getting placed onto it.
Before the art, this is what that map looks like on a 3D model, inside of Tabletop Simulator!
Once the art is applied things start looking really cool...!
We run through all the models and even make sure they fit together... here's an early image of the team working out how the collider mesh of a dual-layer player board will accept tokens in its gaps!

That’s it for today’s update. We hope you enjoyed this longer one, as they are rarer these days, and didn’t mind the wait for it given how much progress is shown above. Take care, stay safe, and happy gaming out there!

Mini-Update for Mid-March
3 months ago – Tue, Mar 24, 2020 at 02:37:28 AM

Hey everybody, we sincerely hope you are all safe and healthy out there. We know the world is a bit of a wild place right now and we’d like to extend our positive thoughts and wishes to everyone.

First, we must apologize for being 1 week late on our new update schedule. The last week had us scrambling a bit to restructure ourselves as the effects of COVID-19 hit both the Netherlands and Germany harder, where most of our employees are based. We know everyone is talking about this right now and many of you may want to avoid further noise regarding the crisis as it can be stressful to repeatedly hear, but it’s important for us to transparently share how this has affected our team so far.

Right now the following changes have occurred in our team, due to the virus:

  •  All employees are working remotely, from home.
     
    • In addition, we are actively making sure employees are not feeling pressured into being productive or meeting deadlines: this can add unnecessary stress to an already stressful situation and we are taking a human-first approach to our team expectations.
       
    • This may not be what you want to hear for Seize the Bean’s progress, but rest assured we are driving a balance whilst putting people’s health first.
       
    • Luckily, some of our team was already working remotely and thus the transition hasn’t been too hard on us.
       
  •  One of the key members of our production team has gotten stuck in Australia and may not be able to safely return anytime soon.
     
    • This has cut our workforce on print files down by approximately ⅓.
       
    • Our solution to the issue is to finance and setup a production computer in Australia. We are currently discussing the details with the employee there.
       
    • This may not be solved for a few weeks, given the time it takes to spec out, order, build, and then setup a new machine.
       
  •  We have multiple employees who came in contact with the virus, either confirmed or suspected.
     
    • At least 2 members have gone through testing. Luckily no one tested positive.
       
    • Most who were in contact have passed the majority of the quarantine time and thus we believe are safe and sound.
       
    • One employee got semi-seriously ill but we later discovered it was not related to the virus and they are safe and in recovery.
       
  •  Both our manufacturer’s factories and our fulfillment warehouses are still up and running but they could shut down partially or completely anytime.
     
    • We have no indication of this from them, so we don’t want to worry anyone, but it’s important to set the proper expectations, especially if there are secondary waves of infection that spread through China where our manufacturer’s factories are.
       
    • As our fulfillment warehouses are all over the world, it’s not easy to predict what will happen, but we are keeping close to current events so we can inform all of you if we foresee any shipping issues.
       
    • We are also not aware yet of effects on freight shipping and will be in touch with our freight partners soon.
       
  •  Overall, we are all safe, healthy, and even somewhat happy, but to say we have not suffered minor delays due to the situation would be dishonest.
     
    • At most, it looks like our work was slowed by about 1-2 weeks.
       
    • If we experience any further delays due to the world situation or even foresee any we will inform all of you promptly.
       

    We’re going to leave it at that for this mini-update. We are definitely still making progress despite everything, but more on that in the next update. We’ll see you again in 2 weeks, and until then, be safe, stay healthy, and try to enjoy some board games with loved ones to pass the time.