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 Ordered, Production Update & Delivery Update
over 1 year 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 email@example.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?!
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.
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.
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
over 1 year 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:
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!
(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!
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
over 1 year 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!
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.
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!
Survey Results, Final Spec Sheets & Mass Production Begins
over 1 year ago
– Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 12:13:53 AM
Hey everyone! Thanks for your patience over the last two weeks as we prepared this update. As you know, we try to aim for monthly updates but there are occasions where it makes sense to send out news earlier or later than that, and this is one of those times!
Thank you to everyone who filled out the recent production survey. While we have to balance our choices between our vision and your requests, it means a lot to us to have your input and engagement in many of our processes. We know a lot of you are quite curious about the results so here are some transparent numbers.
343 respondents (approx. 11% of backers)
Note: percentages that follow below are based on the total number of backers who voted not all backers who backed! ;)
White Sugar Cubes:
296 backers (86.3%) want us to keep the current, almost opaque sample
34 backers (9.91%) want us to create a new sample
12 backers (3.5%) want us to use the older, more transparent sample
Brown Sugar Cubes:
163 backers (47.52%) want us to keep the second-to-last, more transparent slightly-too-yellow sample
131 backers (38.19%) want us to try to do another, new sample
48 backers (13.99%) want us to stick with the latest, opaque sample
206 backers (60.06%) want us to keep the carton itself white
136 backers (39.65%) want us to change the carton to be brown
“Woodtisch” Play Mat:
52 backers (15.16%) want us to change the play mat to have round corners
39 backers (11.37%) want us to keep the square corners
251 backers (73.18%) didn’t order the “woodtisch” play mat
Based on the survey results above – and some additional data and testing of our own – we’ve come to some conclusions. We want to be sure to express that when and where we can do exactly as all of you have requested, we certainly will and do. However, in cases where votes are close, it creates a situation where we can’t please everyone, and so if we have additional information which infers our decision it may be that we actually go with the minority versus the majority. Hopefully that’s understandable and doesn’t ruffle anyone’s feathers too much! :)
For the milk, after extended discussion, play-testing and close examination of the accessibility tests we did, we have decided to go with the minority here and produce the brown carton version. Our main reason for this is that while we believe the white carton version matches the regular milk better, it not as well designed for accessibility. It’s definitely not safely passing the test for those who have monochrome color blindness and from an above-view it's indistinguishable from the regular milk. We found through playing that the brown carton version is just as enjoyable as the white carton version, and ultimately the votes from both groups of backers were close enough that either way a large portion of people wouldn’t get their first choice.
For the white sugar, we are definitely sticking with the newest, more opaque, more white sample. This vote was a landslide and all of our team are in agreement too. They look amazing!
As for the brown sugar, based on the vote and our previous delays we were inclined to just produce as is. However, after discussing with our manufacturer, it turns out they can start mass production of the resin bits and get samples at the same time. They’ve said they can “catch up” the brown sugar later, meaning we can get samples without suffering any delays. This is awesome news and we’re very excited that this is possible as it satisfies both groups from the vote.
Lastly, the play mat. As hard as it is to not follow the request of the majority, we were presented with a very good argument to leave the corners square: some backers already purchased the “woodtisch” play mat under the assumption it had square corners. They are right it would be cheeky to change it now. Also, from our perspective, the design is supposed to have square corners. That, and the major reason against square corners is that they supposedly curl. From our tests the play mat works fine and any curling is similar to that of the round corner play mat (ie. yes, they curl some, but not to the point of it being a usability issue, at least for us). Therefore, the only changes we’ll be doing are denoted above: a reprint to fix the minor color correction issues we saw in the first samples.
We've made a couple of other, small adjustments for our manufacturer to be aware of, such as placing the clasps button-side-up on the bags and making sure the handles on the First Player and Next First Player tokens match the latest (more rounded) sample. If you're curious to see more into the process you can click the image above to view our latest (and final) spec sheet. (Or click here!)
Whew, with all of that said we are happy to say our production deposit has been paid and the final spec sheets are in! Once Panda’s workers return to the factory from Chinese New Year we are informed they can immediately begin production on the non-paper parts of the game. This means mass production starts February 18th!
We are extremely excited as this is a huge milestone for our team. We’ve been working hard, non-stop, on Seize the Bean since the campaign and it’s super rewarding to see it coming together! :D
By the end of March all of the paper parts (offset printed aspects) of the game should be in mass production too and we’ll have a much clearer view of the delivery timeline.
Regarding the offset printing, we’re currently finalizing the text (such as rulebook text and translations). We wanted to get a final version of the rulebook over to you all in this update but it looks like it will be another week or two. Meanwhile, translation has begun on the cards and other components in German, Spanish, French and Chinese. We are very pleased to have all aspects of the localizations going so smoothly considering how many there are!
That’s it for today’s update. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you have any further questions, concerns or simply words of encouragement!
Pledge Manager Closing, Pick-Up Options & Sugar Survey
over 1 year ago
– Thu, Jan 03, 2019 at 01:25:33 AM
Happy new year everybody! Wow, 2019. By the time Seize the Bean delivers around mid-year the game will have been officially “in the works” for 3 full years, from start to finish. Some days this feels like a really long time to us (we’re learning a lot though, and we’ll be improving our processes to become more efficient in the new year) but other days we feel like the time just flew by. But whatever the day, thank you for being on this wild ride with us!
Also, regarding payment: we will be charging credit cards next week. We do not have an exact day for this, but it will likely be Monday or Tuesday.
Our support team is only available Thursday this week so be aware that if you’re waiting for a response from Kilian he’ll most likely get to you by then. (Can we just take a quick moment here to give a big thank you and shout out to Kilian, who recently joined the team in order to help us plow through our backlog of messages – thank you Kilian!)
It’s been much harder to accomplish the amount of pick-up options we’d hoped for. This is simply due to team resources (at the moment, we do not have a dedicated sales / PR person). As we’ve focused our primary energy on completing the game we’ve been unable to spend more time reaching out to stores. This does not mean we’ll stop though!
Even though the pledge manager is closing we will continue to contact shops. In the next few months, before games ship, we’ll provide a way for you to change your shipping option if a shop provides pick-up in your area. More details on this once it’s relevant, but rest assured we’ll try to save you all the cash we can.
Last update we said “final samples” but these really are the final ones for a lot of pieces. And in any cases where they may not be final, the decision will be up to y'all via a survey (see below). Let’s look through what our manufacturer has sent us over the holidays.
First up, we’ve altered one of the meeple colors, going for a caramel-like brown (photo may not show the color fully accurately). We’re quite happy with the outcome and we’ll be calling this final. With this change, all of the meeples are 100% done.
For those interested, even though Seize the Bean specifically does not have player colors, we've conducted a brief colorblind accessibility test for the meeples (depicted below). We've done this because we also want to make sure that folks who suffer from colorblindness can appreciate the diversity in the meeples too.
You'll note that the orange meeple from the 5-6 player expansion (on the far right) is definitely hard to distinguish from the new, caramel-colored one from the base game (second from the left). Though again, as there are no player colors and the meeple colors hold no mechanic value, we find this acceptable.
The new Next First Player Token came out great. We’re quite happy with the results. This one we’ll be calling final and the only change to the other First Player Token is that we’d like to remove the highlight strokes of lighter brown on the coffee surface as a lot of backers who saw it in person suggested they were not needed and made it look less realistic. We do not need to request a sample to do this as we already have one, so we shouldn't suffer any delays here. (Note that there are no images of the First Player Token below.)
The new player bag is spot on. The stitching fix we requested was performed perfectly by the factory and we are happy to say the bag is now completely usable.
Also the resource bags came back too. You won’t be able to tell by the quick photo below but the ultimate quality of the final samples is very good. They feel quite sturdy and the increased size for the milk and sugar bags allow them to hold not only the base game resources but those of the expansion too. There are a couple of things to note: 1) the sugar barely closes all the way with the expansion resources, but it’ll work, 2) the bean bag doesn’t close 100% so it’s possible that a bean or two may slip if your game enjoys a turbulent travel but this is not something we can fix without massively reworking the bag, and 3) the clasp buttons were placed the wrong way (upside down) by the factory. This final point should be an easy change. And with that, we can call all of these final!
Ah, the tantalizing Snack Pack pieces! We are incredibly pleased to announce that all Snack Pack pieces are now final. With the latest sample of the moka pot (which had its paint job order rearranged, to be sure the black bits didn’t get a metallic spray on them), the croissant and the strong coffee (which were both completely redone thanks to the illustrative talent of Andrea Lagunas) we can call them done. We hope you like them as a lot of work was put into making these perfect.
Onto milk! Thanks to two fantastic backers (Michael and Holger) whom we met at SPIEL we were given the cool suggestion to do chocolate milk as the denomination of five. The original idea with the burgundy / red labeled milk was just that the color distinction be as colorblind friendly as possible. What's so rad about Michael and Holger's suggestion is that it helps add thematic value to the secondary milk carton style as well (which as you know is very important for Seize the Bean). We especially love getting ideas from our backers and along those same lines it was cool to further have our manufacturer make a suggestion too: that we go with a fully brown carton. Here are the samples:
From our perspective, while the brown carton is surely interesting, we find it doesn't go so well with the regular milk (at least in-person, in the photos it doesn't look too bad). And based on our colorblind tests we think that the brown label milk is fine. Take a look at both variations next to the regular milk:
And for those interested, here are the colorblind friendly tests:
Last but surely not least, we present to you those sweet, sweet sugar cubes. Yes, we said we were not going to touch the sugar but sitting in a terribly delicious pizza place during PAX Unplugged with our amazing account manager at Panda (the heroic Joe Wiggins) we just couldn't help ourselves and he even made it happen over the phone that we could get last-minute samples snuck into the package being sent to us for the holidays. Big thanks to Joe for the hustle!
The results vary a bit. We're pleased to say that – in our opinion – the white sugar is improved. It has pros and cons, the pros being that it’s more realistic in its color and no longer looking wet. The con being that it could be ever so slightly more transparent to retain that crystalline look. (When viewing the new white up close it is less realistic than the older, more transparent one.)Despite the con we think the new white sugar is better but take a look for yourself.
The brown sugar is a bit rough, though. Have a glance:
Bit like a corn flake, no? Jokes aside, it’s a shame this sample couldn’t have come out better but it seems that if we want to take another stab at the brown sugar we would need to add another delay (of a few weeks at minimum) to our production time. Our initial response was “absolutely not, our backers have been waiting forever” but after some discussion we decided: why not let you all decide?
We’ll be making our final decision this weekend so you only have about 48-72 hours to give a response. We realize that is quite tight but it’s important to get your input! (There are a few other questions on the survey as well, regarding the play mat and the milk.)
As with the other components above, we also did accessibility testing for the sugar, and here are our current test results:
Monochromatic is a bit close but it should be fine. And that similarity does justify having one type of sugar cube a bit more translucent than the other.
And we did similar accessibility testing with the beans too. Here are those results:
As you can see, the results are pretty good. As with the previously shared tests above, the only area which is maybe of concern is monochromatic, but even there we believe the difference is still acceptably noticeable.
We’re dragged our heels a bit on posting regular art previews but we’ve recently got a few more up. If you’re a BGG user and not already subscribed to Dylan’s art preview GeekList then jump on over to follow along as we continue to post more art!
We’ve been so busy it took us a bit longer to upload videos from our last events but they are available now. Mainly you'll want to watch the Seize the Bean update from SPIEL18:
Here’s a full list of new Quality Beast content (in chronological order for you to enjoy):
That's it for today. We'll be back soon with some detailed updates on where we are with the printed files (such as cards, rulebooks, player boards, tokens and the boxes). Until then, take care everyone, and welcome to 2019, the year of the bean! :)