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:

Production Timeline, Campaign FAQ & Playmat Vote
about 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
about 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. :)

Bonus Founder Cards, Travel Boards, Resin Update & TTS Tournament
over 1 year ago – Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 09:37:02 PM

Calling this campaign fun would be the understatement of the year. What a blast! We hope you all enjoyed the ride and we can’t wait to meet up with you at events, on Discord, in Tabletop Simulator and across from each other at the official Seize the Bean tournament coming up soon (more on this later).

While we don’t have any final surprise stretch goals or add-ons for you we do have a series of freebies we want to shout about before we go…

After a lengthy discussion with backer Chris Conway (aka Bolt) we came to an interesting conclusion: since the 5 to 6 player expansion provides 6 more unique Founder Cards and 2 more unique player boards (regarding their art) it could be an issue for gamers who don’t intend to go above 4 players. The player boards aren’t an issue, actually, since they are simply aesthetic, but the Founder Cards would be, since they’d have unique abilities that would affect gameplay. We didn’t want the cost of the expansion to be a pay-barrier preventing those of you with smaller gaming groups from getting those cards, because you don’t need 5 to 6 players in order to utilize them. Therefore we came up with a solution we think you’re gonna love…

We’ll be including the six extra Founder Cards in with every Blaue Bohne game box sleeve purchased, free of charge. This means if you backed at the Decaf Lover’s or Coffee Lover’s level or if you’ve added on the Decaf Lover’s or Coffee Lover’s upgrades then you’ll be receiving 6 more Founder Cards, with no cost to you! We find that this is the best solution and may prompt some of you who were thinking about the sleeve but didn’t like the price to jump on it last-minute.

Let's talk about those milk carton deck boxes. If they are truly fitting a full game setup of cards (which we are 100% confirming once the sample arrives any day now), then having two of them so that the other could fit the tokens and meeples, and having the sacks to fit the resources, would only leave the player boards being the one thing that’s not easily mobile. Therefore we’ve done two things: 1) you may not have caught it in the comments but our tally of cards in the base game actually includes 4 player aid cards, and 2) the backs of those cards will be miniature player boards with unique art on them.

We’ve tested this out and it works fine. We really hope you’ll dig this mini travel version of Seize the Bean that we’ve managed to squeeze into your base game.

(And yes, before you ask, there will be some extra player aid / travel player board cards in the 5 to 6 player expansion!)

We’ve received a lot of feedback on the way “cheap coffee” works in the game. While we do have a logically good, thematically sound explanation for why it costs 2 beans, we find that if things don’t make sense without an explanation then they need to be looked at. Therefore, we’re exploring the idea of changing the terminology to “quantity coffee”, meaning that a customer just wants a ton. This explains why it costs more beans and why a customer can want both this and high quality at the same time. This isn’t final, but we’re fielding it now.

What you see above is the new snack pack design to reflect this change. Many of you asked for a snack pack that can cover all special ingredients, and that means quality and quantity coffee (if we’re going with that term) too. So, here you have it, the idea we’ve got for the quantity coffee figure: a big ol’ bag of beans! As many backers noted, the moka pot can just refer to quality coffee so that’s all the special ingredients covered. As for the hype token, it can just remain cardboard for now. Hype is overrated, anyway!

That’s not all though, we’re also updating the first player figure that each backer gets as a free add-on. The change is we’re doubling up! One full and one empty cup. We did some testing and paring down to a single token just flopped hard so we’ll be sticking with our tried and true, double first player token method.

As noted above, we want to continue on with the fun and positive vibes by inviting you all to jump over to our Discord server where we’ll be setting up a post-campaign Seize the Bean tournament on Tabletop Simulator. We’ll be joined by the charismatic and entertaining, dynamic duo, Dalton Broback and Lucia Lobosvilla, as our hosts and announcers, and may even be joined by special guests along the way. So, if you want to see new content unveiled and join in to test your skills against other café entrepreneurs, don’t forget to come check in!

(If you’re wondering how to sign up for the tournament, stay tuned! We’ll be releasing information soon via Kickstarter update, email newsletter and on our Discord server.)

We said it before but we’ll say it again and again: thank you, thank you, thank you everyone! This has been unbelievable. And with that, we say goodbye, but only for now. We’ll be back after we’ve discovered what this funny little thing called “sleep” is, that so many of you keep talking about…

Extra Tokens, Extra Figures & Extra French
over 1 year ago – Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 12:16:35 AM

Holy burnt coffee beans, Batman! We’ve shot through the café roof in these last hours! Yesterday was over €15k alone. You're all shattering our expectations into little, tiny, lovely pieces. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the amazing support, ideas and fantastic discussions (especially on the Discord server, which is growing by the minute). We're now in the final stretch so please keep sharing, increasing your pledges for add-ons and doing whatever else you feel is right to push this campaign to the limit!

We’ve laid out the final three stretch goals so let’s discuss what’s going on there…

By now you’ve hopefully seen the €115k stretch goal, but if not, take a look:

Other than just throwing more cardboard at you (though who can complain about that?) there are actually some intricate tricks at work here which deserve some more detailed explanation so let’s dive in...

While players don’t always run out (it depends on player count), there are three reasons to provide more good (and bad) review tokens: 1) if we want to allow more of you to be in the game (see more on this below) we need to put a few more tokens in the box to do this, 2) with more tokens we can convert some of them into x5 tokens which can be traded in so that less cardboard is required to play the game, and finally, 3) x5 tokens will make end-game score counting much faster.

Beyond reviews, we want to provide something very special. We’ve designed and have been testing difficulty levels for the game (and we want to give a huge shout out to Gert Breugelmans from Spelletjes Enzo for his rigorous play-testing and extremely helpful feedback on this topic). These difficulty levels will require players to change the amount of resources they get from the base actions on (the left of) their player board. We didn’t have a clean way of marking this though. Until this morning, when co-creator Josh Wilson had the brilliant idea of leaving this part of the board (marked with resources) cut out, as well as the card slot (and yes, the card slot will fit sleeved cards too – shout out to backer, Daniele Passamonti, for this tip!). This means we can print a single token that slides into the slot to replace the easy mode values. The token will be double-sided to show medium mode on one side and hard mode on the other. We’ll be putting 4 of these in the box (and another 2 into the 5-6 player expansion).

And lastly, that elusive, not-yet-dual-layer solo mode board... well, it’s gone! Not only can we remove the extra board, what we can do is utilize the slot mentioned above to print a 5th token which has the updated player board actions on it to convert a player board into a solo mode board. And this answers the question “will the solo mode board be dual-layer” with a firm: yes! We’ll explain how and why this works in detail once we show you a solo mode play-through with Penny later this week, but we are ecstatic about this solution.

So, based on all this, at €115k we’ll release an extra punchboard to every base game box to accommodate the above!

At €120k we’ll be implementing some of the fantastic backer suggestions (shout out to METADNA for the non-stop onslaught of design ideas) to improve the resin pieces. While we can’t confirm any bean adjustments for now, we will provide miniature label designs for the milk in two variations so one can be used as a x2 piece. The same will happen with the sugar, adding in 5 extra brown sugar pieces to count as x2 sugar.

But that’s not it, for our grand finale, at €125k we’ll be providing all backers with a resin coffee cup first player marker as a free add-on. We find this to be both a thematic and functionally appropriate way to close off the campaign.

It’s probably not necessary to say by now, but please let us know what you think about these final stretch goals in the comments. We really hope you dig them as much as we do and are happy with the way we've chosen to end this campaign!

Actually, a lot of you did. Thank you to everyone who voted, and we are truly sorry if your language was not picked, but the winner was absurdly clear by a landslide.

Therefore, as promised, we are officially opening up the production run to a French version. With that, we will close down the translation opportunities but stay tuned for more information soon on the Chinese version we’ve been hinting at all campaign.

For those of you who read this far we want to share a final surprise. At the request of many backers we are opening up a final set of pledge levels to get your name, face and reviews into the game. The Matcha Mocha level will open up on the final day of the campaign, tomorrow (Thursday), February 15th, at 10:00 CET. We think this timing is fair as European and Asian / Australian regions should certainly be awake and those in earlier time zones shouldn’t have to pull an all-nighter to catch the drop.

We definitely learned our lesson the last time we opened up limited pledge levels, so above you can see the details ahead of time. At €199 this is a bit more expensive than the previous levels but that’s because it includes all three ways of being in the game (and the math is completely based on the prices of the previous ones). This is the only pledge level that provides all three and it will be strictly limited to 5 backers.

That’s it! We’re so close, can you taste it? If not let us know, and please forgive us for our delays in answering comments, messages and Discord discussions as we tying up the final hours of the campaign.

5-6 Player Expansion, Player Sacks & Shipping Update
over 1 year ago – Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 09:39:34 AM

As some of you have said in the comments: we’re really sad to end this campaign! It’s been such a fun, exciting, and challenging experience for us, chock full of learning. Getting to connect to you all and explore the universe of Seize the Bean together has been a blast. We’ll do our best to take it out with a bang though, so it’s one you’ll remember for days to come…

...and on that note...

You heard it right! Thanks to a miraculous session with our Kickstarter video voice actor, Ben Maddox, as well as receiving similar feedback from other play-testers and backers (special shouts out to Gibbo, Eva, Basil, Andy Couch, Jazz, Salome and Roman for all the testing on this), we’ve made a minor rules change which significantly impacts the down-time in the game. We were aware of this possibility but had no idea exactly how impactful it was going to be, and had put it off for a while. Upon testing it we realized the game is fully capable of becoming not only 5 but even 6 player-friendly.

(Artwork is just a rough draft and may change later.)
(Artwork is just a rough draft and may change later.)

Isn’t this a bit late to introduce something like this? Actually, no. We’ve always wanted Seize the Bean to be a 1-6 player game, and we tested like this from very early on. However, there were a few major downtime concerns we had at higher player counts. As of this change, these problems have literally vanished from the game. The change is so fitting and so subtle that there was very little development and testing required to be confident in its success.

Why an expansion and not in the base game? We’re not sure that all game groups require such a high count and to be honest the cost of manufacturing enough components isn’t trivial (not to mention the serious, potential weight of the box and impact on shipping it will have!). For this reason we’ll be putting the required pieces into a separate, smaller box. We will, however, attempt to make the main box fit everything for those that want to store it all together, but we can’t quite promise this yet.

What exactly is in the box? There will be 2 dual-layer player boards, extra resources (exact quantities undetermined at this time), 16 Friends & Family cards, 6 Founder cards, and at least 4 more barista meeples.

How can you buy it? You’ll note that the expansion is now available both as a pledge level (lovingly named Double Espresso, as pictured above) as well as an add-on. Feel free to grab it either way, it’s already unlocked so there’s no waiting around for it!

That’s not the only add-on you’ll be seeing made available. After having a really healthy discussion about player cups with all of you in the comments section we have collectively come to the conclusion that extending production of the burlap resource sacks to also make player sacks would satisfy both the theme and the functionality of the game. We’re happy to say that since we already priced these out we were able to go back to our manufacturer and very quickly finalize a new offering.

As you can see in the image above, at €110k we’ll unlock a set of 4 player sacks. We really hope this is something that all of you enjoy and at a price that you find to be affordable and fair. Feel free to already increase your pledge if you’re confident we’ll make it or wait to grab them in the pledge manager if you’d rather play it safe.

(Please note: we are aware that you'd need extra sacks if you go for the 5-6 player expansion and we've planned for this. The sacks will also be sold in sets of two in the pledge manager, so you can add an extra 2 onto your order if you like.)

On this topic: we want to really say thank you to all of our wonderful backers for being open and honest and vocal in expressing what they want to see in this campaign. While we might have built this café-ship you’re all here helping us sail it in the right direction!

Speaking of ships, let’s be transparent: it’s really hard to estimate exact weight in advance. We’ve done some really serious testing and even on the safe side this is looking like a 2kg game. It might be hard to imagine but in many regions of the world our first-provided shipping estimates were actually very close (within a couple euros / dollars) of what our fulfilment partners are quoting us for such a package. But, regardless of this, we’ve done our very best to drive those prices down and we are pleased to announce our new, updated estimates.

If you look at the campaign page you'll notice the shipping section has now been updated! You also might’ve noticed those symbols at the bottom, which mean we are now officially able to say we offer Canada-friendly and US-friendly shipping in addition to the EU-friendly support we already had. Once again, we really hope you appreciate this news as we’ve put a lot of hard work into passing any savings we can onto all of you.

(It’s important to note that we’re still working on Australia / Asia though likely won’t have confirmations before the campaign ends so the estimate in that area will need to stay as is for now. Our sincere apologies to all our backers in those regions; we didn’t forget about you!)

(And a second important note is that this doesn't yet include bulk or combine shipping – which many of you have asked for – but we can say we are seeing discounted rates from most of our fulfilment partners and we'll be able to officially confirm more soon.)

And with that, we’re out! Off to record a solo mode preview in Tabletop Simulator and prepare for the final days we’ll spend here with you on Kickstarter. Thank you for everything.