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:

Progress Update, Rulebook, PnP & Mod
over 1 year ago – Sun, Apr 29, 2018 at 12:39:08 AM

Hello everyone! We hope you're having a terrific weekend and that you had a very enjoyable International Tabletop Day yesterday!

We are very excited about this update but first off we just want to apologize: it’s been literally one month (and two days) since our last update and for us that’s too long. We aim at getting you news at least every two weeks so you know what’s happening with the project, but recently we’ve been very swamped and decided to try and push through to this update with full force, spending all our time working without taking a break to communicate. We’ve learned our lesson and won’t do that again!

What’s been keeping us so busy? Here’s what we’ve been working on:

  • New Customer Group designs. (Playtesting the Customer Abilities, tweaking the card values and balancing out all the Pantry and Style Upgrade cards).
  • Art. Art. Art. (Mario has done over 200 character art illustrations in the last weeks. The first 7 Customer Groups even including all 8 Friends & Family are completely done with the exception of two KS backer portraits. More news and previews of his progress in the next update!)
  • KS Backer Portraits. (While this only directly affects a few of you it’s still worth mentioning as we’ve spent some good energy and time on this and it has been a load of fun! With nearly all the portraits in-progress our next step is to review the good and bad reviews y’all submitted!)
  • Rulebook Layout. (This is not the same as the new rulebook release. Our graphic designer, Pietro, has been hard at work laying out the entire rulebook. It looks like he’ll be done this weekend. We’re very excited to share this with you in the coming weeks.)
  • New Rulebook Release. (This is the 99% done version. New rules, tons of fixes to text and iconography, and images that are much closer to the real thing. So far your feedback and tips have been invaluable and we're excited to see what you think of this version!)
  • Store Pick-Ups. (Thank you everyone for the 500 something submissions! We’re busy going through this list and preparing our contact plan to get as many of these retailers on board as possible. The more that say yes the more likely we can save y’all money on shipping!)
  • Design Verification Prep. (Design verification is the first step to getting the game produced with our manufacturer. We are currently very aware that both art and translations may cause delays so we’ve spoken with our manufacturer about how to speed up parts of the process. One way is to send some dummy files before the final content is ready to make sure our process is correct. We’re in the midst of this right now.)
  • Testing Factory Samples. (We have received the play mat samples and are running them through some tests. We’re also waiting to receive the wood samples and the resource bags. Once we have all of these items together and have tested them we’ll get an update out to share the status!)
  • Preparing the Pledge Manager. (And yes, as all of you have been asking, we are pushing to get the PM ready for you. There are three topics that slow this down: Store Pick-Ups, Essen Pick-Up and verification of the final play mat material. We are moving as fast as we can on these topics. The whole team wants to thank you for your patience because we know it’s not easy to wait!)

Whew! That’s a lot. We hope this can help explain why we’ve had our heads down diligently working for the last 4 weeks. But enough excuses, let’s get to what you really came here for…

It’s here! With a huge huge huge thank you to our fabulous rulebook editor, Roman Rybiczka, (as well as everyone else on the Quality Beast team who’s been hard at work on the rulebook) we are proud to unveil the newest version. It’s important to understand this is not final, but rather what we consider to be pre-final; our second-to-last version.

Click the image to read the new rulebook!
Click the image to read the new rulebook!

Here’s what’s changed:

  • New rules added
  • Cleaned up existing rules
  • Support for 5 to 6 players
  • Iconography updates
  • Thematic fixes (for example, replacement of "Cheap Coffee" with "Strong Coffee")
  • Juicy new imagery (a lot of which was generated using the new TTS mod!)
  • Tons and tons of feedback from all of you amazing backers (and others) incorporated into the document!

That’s quite a bit, so we hope you can understand why it took us the time it did to get it there. Head on over to the rulebook now to give it a read and let us know your thoughts!

What’s a new rulebook if you can’t play the game, right? As promised, we’ve got the newest version of the mod, with a massive credit going out to master modder, OgreYama, from the Tabletop Simulator mod community.

Click the image to play the updated mod!
Click the image to play the updated mod!

What’s new in this version?

  • 5 and 6 player support
  • Updated art and graphics (do note the mod is slightly behind the print and play, though)
  • Updated components to match the new rules
  • Very exciting 3D models for the beans, milk and sugar cubes
  • Grid-based layout guides with snap points
  • Easy setup for customization
  • Resource containers and personal resources for each player
  • 7 Customer Groups (1 of which is new) completely redesigned
  • New Café Achievements
  • Probably other stuff we are forgetting to mention…

Give it a go today and let us know on our Discord server how it plays!

Not everyone owns Tabletop Simulator or enjoys playing digitally so we’ve put a lot of energy and effort into making sure the rulebook release was timed up with the mod and the print and play. This definitely slowed us down by weeks but we hope you’d all agree it’s worth it. The print and play files are ready for you to download so come get ‘em!

Click the image to download the new print and play!
Click the image to download the new print and play!

And as always, if you have feedback, don’t be afraid to shout!

Alright, that’s it for today. We’ll do our very best to give you another update within the next two weeks. Please note that we’ll be in Tokyo for the Tokyo Game Market demoing our next game, Towers of the Sun, so it may not be until about Monday the 14th that we get some more news out to you. At that time we’d like to give a full update on how our production timeline is looking (as well as some juicy manufacturing samples). Until then, enjoy the content and keep on being awesome!

Store Pick-Ups, Pledge Level / Add-On Chart & Peak Oil: Spillover
over 1 year ago – Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 01:06:01 AM

As the month closes out we’re excited to say that we’ve tied up the open topics in the new rulebook and also given the first seven customer groups (yes, that’s including a new one!) a fresh design pass. We’re working hard preparing to release the rulebook, print and play, and TTS mod at the same time. We’re also pushing to get that pledge manager open ASAP so you can get in and get some goodies!

For those of you who either A) pre-ordered by accident or B) pledged at a higher level and are waiting for instructions on how to submit your good / bad review text and character art direction: please continue to have patience! We’ve prepared some more detailed info that we’ll get out to you in the next day or two.

In our next update we’ll aim to give a status report regarding our current progress, but for now we still cannot 100% say if we’ll be able to offer Essen Pick-Up. We’ll be able to give a more confident answer on this once the pledge manager opens, but for today let’s look at another pick-up option: your Friendly Local Game Store (often referred to as your FLGS in industry terms).

Since we can’t partner with everyone, everywhere, we’ll need to focus on the stores that can service a larger number of backers. In order to figure out which stores y’all visit the most, we need to hear from you! So please help us out by filling out his survey to let us know which FLGS would be your preference for a store pick-up in your area. We’ll leave the survey open for a week and plan to launch the pledge manager after that.

Click the image to fill out the survey!
Click the image to fill out the survey!

We’ve received a lot of questions regarding what exact items are in which pledge level. This is completely understandable with a game that includes so many individual items and stretch goals. For your convenience we’ve created a Pledge Level & Add-On Look-Up Chart. Please let us know if it’s helpful in the comments!

Click the image to view the chart!
Click the image to view the chart!

We loved hearing from some of you on our Quality Beast Discord Server that you’ve followed us on Kickstarter and even pledged for some of the same campaigns as we did! Based on that feedback, you might have seen that earlier today we pledged for another game, and we’d love to give a shout-out to its creators who’ve been super supportive of us throughout Seize the Bean's campaign. Our friends at 2Tomatoes are in the last hours of an expansion campaign for their eco-aware game, Peak Oil. The expansion is called Spillover and it’s still live for another 11 hours in case you want to back. Click here to check it out, we can vouch for the quality and creativity of their work!

Click the image to view the campaign!
Click the image to view the campaign!

That’s it for now, we’ll be back in touch as soon as we have more news!

Pre-Orders, PayPal & Play Mat Verdict
over 1 year ago – Wed, Mar 14, 2018 at 12:59:49 AM

We’ve been a bit quiet lately, but we want to assure everyone it’s not because we’ve vanished! On the contrary we’ve been heavily at work. Besides pushing forward artwork, design, an updated rulebook and various translations we’ve also been trying to get the more dry parts of the project up and out. This includes announcing the pre-order store (more below), finalizing the pledge manager, and arranging orders for our retail partners.

We’re happy to say that Kickstarter has released the campaign funds to us by now and that we’ve signed the contract with our manufacturer making the production official. This means we’re clear to begin receiving material samples from the factory. This is especially important for items like the play mat, which we’ll go into more detail about below. But first, let's talk about the pre-order store...

Let’s start by clarifying something that we’re noticing may not be known to everyone: if you're a Kickstarter backer you should not be putting in any orders in the pre-order store. We’ve seen that some of you have done this and we’ll message you individually to inform you (in case you don’t see this update) and help you sort things out. It’s very important to understand the pre-order store is for people who missed the campaign. Therefore, if you know anyone who is interested in Seize the Bean, whether that’s a friend, family member, or colleague, please send them over via this link: preorder.seizethebean.com

 

As for all of you wonderful (and very patient) backers, you will be able to pay for shipping, select your desired base game language, adjust your pledge level and select add-ons in the pledge manager (not the pre-order store) once it opens.

“When does the pledge manager open?” Great question. We do not have an exact date yet, but now that we can pay BackerKit (they don’t allow the pledge manager to be opened until after they receive their payment from the campaign) we estimate about a week from today. This could stretch by a few days during our testing phase if we find any issues with the setup.

“How will I know the pledge manager is open?” Another great question. You will receive an email from us once this happens. You’ll also see it mentioned in a Kickstarter campaign update. You’ll also very likely see people mentioning it’s open in the Kickstarter comments. In short, it should be hard to miss. ;)

"Won't I miss out on the limited items if pre-order customers can buy them before backers?" No, you won't. Even though we've signed the manufacturing contract it has a flexible option for item quantities. This allows us to adjust the final production numbers after we've seen a lot of your orders roll in on the pledge manager. So rest assured if you're hoping to get some killer add-ons you won't need to worry about them selling out. :)

"I have more unanswered questions about the campaign!" If you have any issues at all please write us on Kickstarter via their messaging system. We may be slow to respond while we are pushing to prepare the pledge manager but this is still the best way to contact us regarding any campaign questions. Before you message, however, please take the time to read the official campaign FAQ on BGG first as the vast majority of questions we're receiving from backers are already answered there. We absolutely love talking to you all (as you can see by our participation on our Discord server and the comments section here on Kickstarter) however the more time we spend re-answering the same questions the less time we spend preparing files for the manufacturer. As trivial as it may sound, that adds up and can be a cause for production (and delivery) delays!

As always, throughout our campaign as well as beyond crowdfunding and as a company in general we want to be as transparent and upfront as possible. Therefore we want to make it clear that we will not be providing PayPal as a payment method for pre-orders or for our pledge manager. We realize this may be a surprise or an annoyance for some of you, but our decision is based on a few things:

1) Other campaigns have had their money frozen by PayPal.

2) Frozen assets not only affect us, but also all of you, our backers.

3) We do not want to even risk the slightest chance that you face a delayed delivery.

4) And lastly we assume that all of you have credit cards since you’ve backed the project on Kickstarter.

If this is a problem for you or you’re afraid you won’t be able to pay, please don’t worry. Simply write us directly on Kickstarter through the messaging system and we’ll assist you in finding a solution. If you’d like to discuss the detailed reasoning behind this choice in more depth please do feel free to join us on our Discord server where we can chat about it in the Seize the Bean Kickstarter Questions or Feedback channels.

We are very happy to have had such a great response to the survey we sent out some weeks ago and it’s not surprising to share that the “woodtisch” version won by a landslide (mock up art pictured below). What wasn’t as clear were the votes regarding material. We had a very close race and given that there were so many votes for both we’ve decided to stick with the linen. Now that we can begin to receive factory samples we’re requesting at least three different fabrics to test. We're confident we’ll find something that fits the theme and provides a great, functional playing surface. In the rare case that there is no suitable linen option we will then pursue a switch to neoprene but people should not count on this when adding the item in the pledge manager.

That’s it for now, we’re pushing forward at full speed and aim to share some juicy game-related info in the next update.

Thanks everyone, and have a great week! :)

Production Timeline, Campaign FAQ & Playmat Vote
over 1 year ago – Wed, Feb 28, 2018 at 11:40:49 PM

And hello wonderful backers! We’ve missed you all and must admit we have a bit of “campaign withdrawl”. The Discord server has been very busy though, so thank you to everyone who has been active there. Besides having component and rules discussions we’ve been getting a mod-testing and playtesting community set up. If you’ve signed up for our Playtesters’ Guild stay tuned for an update coming soon!

Beyond being in touch with all of you through various channels we’ve been busy wrapping up design, briefing the remaining artwork and graphics, preparing for translation and checking in with our manufacturer about the timeline. We know you’re not only eager to receive your games but also many of you have questions about pick-up options. Let’s go into some brief details to get you informed…

We’ll prepare a more visual representation of this in the near future, but for now a quick bullet list should do:

  • March = Non-printed component samples (resin figures, play mats, etc)
  • April = Design verification for printed parts (cards, boards, books, boxes, etc.)
  • May = Pre-production (samples of printed components)
  • June = Mass production
  • July = Mass production
  • August = Assembly
  • September = Shipping
  • October = Delivery & Pick-ups (if available)

As noted above, we’ll provide a more detailed look into the timeline in the near future and do our best to give more exact dates at that time. For now let’s go over a few important points:

“Can we expect our games in September?” Hard to say for sure. Our current goal puts the games at our fulfilment centers in September, but rather near the end of the month. Depending on how fast the fulfilment centers can turn around and send them out (and how long they take to get to you, which is very different for different regions) it may be better for you to anticipate the arrival of your rewards in early or mid October. It’s possible that we may make it earlier than this, but it’s also possible we could require some extra time if the below-mentioned topics slow us down (or if, for example, unforeseen things like longer-than-quoted freight shipping slow things down).

“Where can there be delays?” While we anticipated the extra amount of content and artwork, it’s important to remember that Mario is the only artist on the team and thus needs time to make all the cards look beautiful. However, we have brought in a back-up graphic designer to assist with rulebook layouts and boxes so that we can move a bit faster without sacrificing any quality. Beyond art and graphics, the translations could also slow things down, as we did not anticipate such a demand for the game in three foreign languages (four if the Chinese campaign succeeds!). We’re doing everything we can to not suffer from these topics but it’s important that we stay transparent with you all to set the correct expectations. Also, as you could maybe guess, we have built in some buffers to our timeline to absorb any delays we may suffer.

“What does that mean for Essen pick-up?” This means that things do look good for an Essen pick-up. We're currently leaning towards making this available once we open the pledge manager. The caveat here is that if we don’t make it (for whatever reason) we need a plan in place to deal with the shipping to those of you who had expected a pick-up. We’re looking into all aspects of this so we’re prepared no matter the outcome. We’ll alert you to our findings on this topic as soon as we can!

“What if I’m not going to Essen?” We’re looking into other pick-up options, especially in Berlin, but also in other cities and countries too. This is much harder to arrange but we’re putting energy into it to see if we can’t offer a few pick-up spots to save you some shipping costs. If we can get this together in time it will likely be provided by your FLGS (friendly local gaming store), if your region is supported.

“What if I have questions not answered here?” Super glad you asked, read on…!

As you may have noticed we're no longer updating the campaign page or campaign FAQ. How lazy of us, right? Actually, it may be news to some, but Kickstarter locks these down when a campaign ends. We realize this is not that helpful and we’ve been getting a ton of repeat or similar questions from backers. This isn’t a bad thing at all – because we really do love talking to you all – but answering the same or similar questions in private (instead of publicly, so all can see the answers and share the information) isn’t the most efficient use of our time and in order to stick to our production schedule we need to optimize our working hours. Therefore, we’ve created a new campaign FAQ!

(Click the screenshot to read our new campaign FAQ!)
(Click the screenshot to read our new campaign FAQ!)

Currently, this new campaign FAQ lives at BoardgameGeek.com but we’ll duplicate it onto the Seize the Bean website in the future (once it’s relaunched, as right now it simply redirects to the Kickstarter campaign). Please feel free to bombard that thread with any questions you might have, but do take a moment to check the table of contents on the first page of the thread to make sure your question hasn’t already been asked and answered already. If you need a quick link to the thread you can simply use: ks-faq.seizethebean.com

(Please note that this is not a rules FAQ. Once we’ve released the final version of the rulebook in early April we’ll create a similar FAQ under the Rules category on the BGG forums for Seize the Bean. Stay tuned for that and if you need help before than, our Discord server has an active rules questions and suggestions crowd you can join if you wish!)

There has been a great number of backers commenting on the play mat design and we love that. The more input the better! We’ve not only created a new design, but based on some comments from our awesome Discord community (who got an early preview) we now have two designs.

Option A: a white (but dirty) tablecloth design (based on backer ideas!)
Option A: a white (but dirty) tablecloth design (based on backer ideas!)
Option B: a classy wood table design (also based on backer ideas!)
Option B: a classy wood table design (also based on backer ideas!)

The changes between them are more aesthetic then functional but we wanted to give you all the power to decide what we’ll ultimately go with. Therefore, it’s voting time! Please fill out this survey to cast your vote for which design you like best and whether you think we should stick with a linen material or go the traditional route with neoprene instead.

That’s it for this week’s update. We’ll be in touch as soon as we have more news to share. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week!

Founders Update, Deckbox Sample & Playmat Preview
over 1 year ago – Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 12:25:12 AM

What a week that was last week! Many of us are still sort of shell-shocked, but in the good way, of course. And we just can't say it enough: thank you to every one of you 3,038 amazing people for supporting what we're doing. For us, this is really the start of something great and we're excited to have you join in on our journey. Now that the team has had a chance to catch a breath or two (and some of that “sleep” stuff) we’re back in action and ready to report what’s going on!

We’ve had a lot of questions and comments regarding the extra 6 Founder Cards so we’re happy to explain some details here. (Special shout out to backer Ritchie Ang for giving us a friendly poke to get some notes out to you all via this update!)

“How can I get the extra 6 Founder Cards?” These will be included in the 5 to 6 player expansion or packaged with the Blaue Bohne sleeve or even purchasable as a stand-alone add-on via the pledge manager. (And yes, any pledge level which includes either the expansion or the sleeve will automagically include these 6 extra Founder Cards.)

“Why are they available in so many ways?” Originally they were just to be included in the expansion. We had an awesome chat with backer Chris Conway (as we mentioned in our last update) which led us to believe they needed to be available for folks who don’t need or want the 5 to 6 player expansion. This is why we packaged them with the sleeve, especially to award those who were buying just the sleeve alone (without coffee). After a lot of thought we’ve decided we don’t even want to force that, since some people may want just the Founder Cards and not even the sleeve nor the expansion. Thus, the standalone offering.

“Are they the same in the expansion as they are with the sleeve (or as a standalone)?” Yes. The extra 6 Founder Cards are identical no matter how you buy them.

“Won’t I have extras if I buy the sleeve and the expansion?” Yes.

“Isn’t that wasteful?” Yes, unfortunately, it is. And our original intention to mitigate this was to make those cards customizable, though our awesome manufacturer has given us some other ideas along that vein (we'll talk about this later). However, you can certainly play a variant of the game where players may utilize the same Founder Cards (or at least have the option to choose between some of the same) or even where players play with more than a single Founder Card. More on this later from dilkROM as he continues to pass these aspects of design to our development team.

It’s arrived, as Sam Zhao promised! And on first glance, we have to say, the quality is pretty on-point. The printing (which Sam has said will actually improve) already looks great, the structural integrity of the box is sound, and the opening and closing mechanism is easy to use (it’s quite satisfying actually!). We’ve been stress testing it a bit (100 or so openings and closings) and it seems pretty solid. All in all, we’re sold!

(Printing is just a default sample and *NOT* the final Seize the Bean art!)
(Printing is just a default sample and *NOT* the final Seize the Bean art!)

Onto the important bits though: capacity. At our current test, 180 sleeved cards* fit horizontally across the box, with another 30 comfortably fitting in the leftover space (keep in mind that these deck boxes were originally designed for larger cards so we can make use of the extra space without worry). That’s 210 cards in total. Playing at the average count of 6 Customer Groups (since the increase above this is not yet 100% confirmed for different player counts), that’s 126 cards for the City (10 customers, 5 products, 5 upgrades and 1 customer award / cheat sheet for each of the 6 groups), 6 player aid / travel board cards, 48 Friends & Family and 18 Founder Cards. All in all, for everything to allow a 6 player setup it’s 198 cards, just under the 210 limit. In fact, it’s nearly enough space to also fit the solo mode deck (approximately 20 cards) or the City Celebrities (which can be thrown in on top of the 10 customers per group). And this is all sleeved! We'll run some un-sleeved tests soon, but quite frankly, it's sort of unnecessary to.

(*We used a mixture of MayDay premium and standard sleeves, meaning that perhaps a few less cards may fit if all premium sleeves had been used. We’ll be running a fuller test once we get our hands on more MayDay premium sleeves!)

Loaded up with 180 sleeved cards.
Loaded up with 180 sleeved cards.
Another 30 more sleeved cards for good measure.
Another 30 more sleeved cards for good measure.

For us, this is a pretty great success for the sake of providing a travel solution for cards. But what about the other components? We were successful able to fit in 150 cardboard test tokens as well as 16 meeples (all in bags) and even our prototype scoop. This leaves only the resin bits, which we’re confident will go nice in the resource sacks and we have priced those out to include securely closing drawstrings. This means that everything should fit just fine if you're planning to pick up a pair of deck boxes!

Finally the part of the update that some of your have been eagerly waiting for: the play mat preview. It should go without saying that the image we posted on the campaign page was just a placeholder as we didn’t want to leave a big, empty black hole there for all eternity (if it’s unclear by now, once a campaign ends, creators can no longer update the campaign page nor the FAQ… more on this topic in an update later in the week). Now, please keep in mind this is just an early view of one of Mario’s concepts, but if people respond well to this we’ll probably keep going in the same direction.

As you can see, Mario is quite aligned with many of the comment section suggestions from backers to represent a real-world café setting in his illustration style. The play mat is intended to look like a tabletop where one might play the game, with various odds and ends from the environment thrown about. We’re still working out how to place everything and of course how much guidance to give the players regarding the city cards, but you can see the direction we’re taking so far.

Let us know what you think in the comments of this update, in the campaign page comments, and also on our Discord server!

That’s it for our start-of-the-week update. We’ll be back in a couple of days with some more dry (but very relevant) info regarding our production timeline, ongoing campaign FAQ (since we can no longer edit the Kickstarter one, as noted above) as well as a heads up about the pledge manager and pre-orders.

Thanks for reading everyone! Have a great week. :)