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:

Media, Locals and F&F Expansion
10 months ago – Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 02:45:08 PM

We’ve taken a bit longer to get this update out because we fainted from excitement. The entire team is in a big pile on the Quality Beast office floor. The amount of superb ideas and the extremely strong positive energy flying around our Kickstarter messages and the comments section of the campaign page is overwhelming. Thank you all for the love, excitement and belief in Seize the Bean!

Besides crowd-fainting we’ve been busy (as promised) crunching numbers to provide (hopefully) better shipping prices. We’re not 100% there yet but getting much further and should have an announcement soon. We’re also collecting emails for play-testing and getting close to a public release of Seize the Bean on Tabletop Simulator. If you haven’t signed up already please do so at: http://playtest.qualitybeast.com

That’s it for future selling, let’s talk to some currently waiting customers…

Cameras are everywhere. Microphones too. And no matter how grimy, indie, or alternative Berlin wants to be, it also can’t escape this reality. But it doesn’t have to be all bad, actually. When using the media to your advantage you can really achieve some success, but be careful because it might be at the expense of others! Thus, the Media group’s abilities will allow you to swap good and bad reviews, improving your position and lowering that of your opponents!

Just a plain old Journalist, right? Better think again. From ridiculous antics like anonymous artists live-painting busy intersections to the rise of the squatter community to political demonstrations to explosive startups, there is never a dull moment in Berlin. And that means the life of even the most traditional journalists can be a wild and hectic ride, full to the brim with interesting stories.

But on the flip side, there’s a lot of fake stuff going on, with movies, series, commercials and music videos being filmed throughout Berlin’s already-busy districts. Therefore it’s not uncommon to see a Film Crew blocking a street or flooding a train station or taking over your favorite café. Don’t these folks have jobs? Oh, wait, right...

Beyond the traditional folks, there is another media creature in Berlin, this one much more focused on the artistic and independent side of things. While quite talented, the Indie Filmmaker is not a rare breed, but actually a common archetype that you can find scattered throughout Berlin. Competing to put the most amazing works into each Berlinale (Berlin’s own famous international film festival) you’d be hard-pressed to catch the Indie Filmmaker lazing about in a café sipping a latte.

The joke here is that German culture is quite unique in the way people typically express excitement or happiness. There is not much over-exaggeration or dramatization, which is very nice and pragmatic. This does mean that often visitors to the beautiful city of Berlin don’t always call it “friendly” and frequently have things to say about the service in general. That’s why this group’s abilities will allow you to return customer’s to the top of your deck, whether that be the locals themselves (to return every day) or the frustrated out-of-towners (that you never end up serving) is up to you!

It all has to start here, and actually, it’s hard to complain about the service of kebab shops across Berlin, because overall they are top notch. Whether you want a gourmet veggie kebab or something super trashy for that early-morning stumble home from the club you can find it in Berlin. The Doner Chef has you covered, alles komplett!

With such a city in flux it’s no surprise that buildings rise and change like the tide of the canals (which, actually, doesn't change, but you get the point). And who is at the center of all this action? The Architect. Blamed for the dot-com-boom-like gentrification across town, the Architect does a lot of good too: restoring the beautiful “altbau” (older buildings) of Berlin and finding ways to provide much more eco-friendly energy mechanisms for large apartment complexes.

Berlin, although young, has been through its fair share of history, and therefore can be considered a bit of an old soul, just like that storytelling, advice-giving, know-it-all Old Bartender who seems to work in every pub across the city. Sure, there’s a lot of “youth” going on in Berlin, but don’t forget the value and power of the elderly in today’s culture!

This mini-expansion is something we’ve been excited to share for a while. It may seem subtle but it should add a very interesting twist to the game for those that have played before. Let's look a bit deeper at what it does and why...

The added expansion will provide a total of at least 8 unique Friends & Family (F&F) for players to choose between. “Unique” here refers to the abilities, not the art (which may end up also being unique across the whole group, depending on how much time we have to get creative with these cards). At the beginning of the game, players will shuffle the F&F into a single deck, then each draw a hand of 8 and draft them around the table until everyone has 4 (with the rest being discarded). This will allow for a wide variety of asymmetrical starting strategies. Do you take a lot of cards with Opa’s ability to eject customers? Or rather the Popular Friend’s ability to attract extra customers? It’s up to you! And what you take goes into your deck so other player's won't see it until you're serving them, keeping your strategy hidden for the first few turns...

If the space on the punchboards allow, we may also introduce a few additional F&F rewards, for example, one that nets you 5 Good Reviews at the end of the game if you happen to have successfully stolen any extra F&F from the other shops (codenamed “The Betrayer” award)!

That’s it for today. We’ll be back in a few days with more customers and some news about Solo Mode. Stay tuned and keep on spreading the word!

Blaue Bohne, BGG Contest & Heavy Cardboard
10 months ago – Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 02:42:34 PM

We’ve got a surprise for everyone! Our amazing roastery partners at Blaue Bohne (right here in Friedrichshain, Berlin!) are not only going to appear in the game as Founder Cards and on a player board as one of the café artworks, but they'll also be working with us to make a series of unique Seize the Bean coffee blends! But that’s not all, we’re also going to make a special edition, alternate art sleeve for the box to honor Blaue Bohne and give our backers something special to show off on their shelves.

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

We are absolutely hyped about this news and we hope the coffee drinkers (and box sleeve lovers) among you are equally excited as well!

To get these new goodies into your hands we’ve added a Coffee Lover’s Edition pledge level. It includes the special edition box art sleeve plus three 500g bags of specialized Seize the Bean coffee (the flavor details of which will be revealed later).

The price includes the shipping of the coffee so there’ll be no extra shipping cost (beyond the cost of shipping you the game and any other add-ons you purchase in the pledge manager).

If you’re already pledging at any level above Espresso (such as Flat White, Burnt Cappuccino, Low Fat Soy Caramel Iced Latte or Skim Milk White Chocolate Mint Affogato) have no fear, we got you covered! Simply increase your pledge by €60 and you’ll be credited in the pledge manager for the Coffee Lover’s Edition upgrade add-on. This will upgrade your game to be the special edition and include the three 500g bags of beanery! For everyone else at Espresso or Decaf Coffee pledge levels, you can simply upgrade your pledge level without losing any of your rewards.

In you’re not in for the special edition box sleeve but you just want some coffee (or perhaps if you want more than the three 500g bags) we’ll be making 250g, 500g and 1kg bags of all three blends available as separate add-ons in the pledge manager. All of these again have their shipping included so you won’t be charged anything extra (as long as your pledge or add-ons include at least one copy of the game). Feel free to increase your pledge to cover the amount you’d like if you want to contribute towards the breaking of more stretch goals!

Furthermore, we’ve added this information in a new “Add-Ons” section, where you can also see that extra copies of the game will be available to add on to any pledge level (which is a commonly asked question from a lot of you). As the campaign progresses, we’ll be adding some more exciting add-ons to this section so keep your eyes peeled!

Show off your in-depth knowledge of the game by entering in our BGG contest starting tomorrow, February 7th! Four runner-ups will receive free Espresso pledge level rewards while one lucky grand prize winner will get a free Coffee Lover’s Edition!

If you’ve never entered a BGG contest before, don’t worry, it’s easy! Simply head over to boardgamegeek.com and look on the main page for the “Sponsored Contests” section. You’ll see ours there. Just by entering you’ll get the Seize the Bean contestant microbadge and if you can correctly answer enough trivia questions about Seize the Bean, you may just win big!

While Seize the Bean might look like a lightweight, silly filler game it certainly isn’t being described as such by reviewers and preview play-testers. We’ve definitely heard it being called a “middleweight euro in disguise” by some folks, and so we thought it’d be fun to send it over to the heaviest content creators we know: Edward, Amanda and Davis from Heavy Cardboard!

Tune in this Thursday, February 9th, at 1900 MST / 0200 UTC / 0300 CET to catch the Heavy Cardboard crew teaching Seize the Bean and then getting hooked into a 3-player game. (If you want to be reminded about the stream you can already click here to visit the stream link and setup a notification for when it starts.) Lead game designer Dylan Howard Cromwell (aka dilkROM) will be in the chat to answer questions and may be joined by Co-Designer Andy Couch as well. And, who knows, maybe something really interesting will be revealed…? ;)

That’s it for today’s update. We hope you’re excited about the above. And if not, stay tuned, we’ve got a few more special updates to come…

Unlockable Add-Ons, Decaf Lover’s Edition & TTS Stream
10 months ago – Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 02:40:50 PM

With only one week left we really wanted to pull out all the stops, so to speak. Many of our ideas are doable as long as we have enough funding but a majority of those wouldn’t be financially possible as free add-ons. We know that many gamers (ourselves included) don’t particularly enjoy stretch goals that unlock things backers have to pay for (it just feels weird), and thus we’ve decided to create unlockable add-ons which will be made available in parallel to the stretch goals. We really hope this sits well with all of you wonderful coffee (or tea) loving deck-builders out there and if not, we’re sure to hear about it from you in the comments! :)

With that said, let’s go through the juicy unlockables we’ve thrown up for you on the add-ons section…

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

We’re giving you the first one already unlocked, and that’s a very exciting collaboration with Sam Zhao from KakapopoTCG who is actually running his own Kickstarter campaign right now too! He’s offering some very cool, milk-carton-shaped deck boxes for storing cards and other gaming peripheral, so naturally we reached out to see if he’d be up for teaming up on a custom, Seize the Bean milk carton deck box and he said yes! Thanks, Sam! (And shout out to our backer, Jill, from Adelaide, for the awesome idea!)

How do we imagine these being used in Seize the Bean? As many people guessed, the stickered / printed baggy stretch goal is in fact a sign that we are not going to pursue an insert. The complexity and cost of one just doesn’t make sense in the end, and as our manufacturer wisely advised, we “might be trying to organize the box at the detriment of the game itself”. (Thanks, JW!) So, with the baggies covering storage, we thought that the milk carton deck boxes can aid with setup instead. This works because Sam promises us that a single deck box can hold 120 cards, double-sleeved. With 60 customers, 30 products and 30 upgrades (plus some Friends and Family and maybe some Founders) a setup game of Seize the Bean could entirely fit into a single milk carton deck box (maybe even sleeved – well, single-sleeved, at least)! We’ve requested some samples from Sam to double-check the quality and spacing, and if a second box would fit the tokens, meeples and resources then the only thing from keeping Seize the Bean from being a travel game would be the player boards (and while far-fetched, we’ve some fun ideas there too…).

(Please note that the artwork on the deck boxes is just a fast placeholder and that Mario will be putting in some quality time to conceptualizing out a few potential designs!)

With so many people requesting a play mat we couldn’t ignore it. Cardboard wasn’t an option for us because the game is already estimated to weigh near 2kg and the folded board would take up more space then we’re willing to give. Rubber or neoprene just wasn’t something we felt fit the aesthetic nature of Seize the Bean, and canvas, while more fitting, has physicality issues when used in conjunction with lightweight components (like cards). We thought we were stuck until one of our backers, Varga Olivér, came up with the idea to do a tablecloth play mat (also, shout out to Brian Lewis for seconding the idea, as well as anyone else who encouraged it along). We find this to be so thematic that it’s a must. And so, we priced it out and we’re happy to say we’re going for it! Keep an eye out: once we break €80k we'll make this add-on available for all backers to purchase by increasing their pledge and/or selecting it later in the pledge manager!

(Please keep in mind that our super fresh artist, Mario, will require some time to put together a few different concepts of the play mat. As he works, we’ll keep all of you in the loop as to what we’re thinking for potential artwork.)

We admit it. It’s not a strict, Seize-the-Bean-related add-on, but we just couldn’t help ourselves. Inspired by the likes of Leder and Gamelyn we’ve decided to make a Cubee plushie. While we do have the process already started and safely priced out we don’t yet know if our idea of an optional apron (that Cubee could wear when she wants) will be possible. As soon as we know and have our actual concept art prepared we’ll share it! Meanwhile, let's push towards €90k so we can make this add-on available for all backers to purchase!

Here it is, our big €100k unlock reveal. A pack of resin figures representing the three different snacks in the game, plus the soy milk icon (a soybean) and a bonus moka pot to use as a player hype marker. Each of these figures will come in quantities of 6 in the pack, which should be more than enough to enjoy in the game. We hope that those of you who enjoy extra deluxe components for your games will find value in this snack pack, and as with the above-mentioned add-ons, we’ll be providing more information as we work with our manufacturer on the samples!

It’s important to note that all of these add-ons will be limited. It is totally fine to increase your pledge in order to cover their cost if you already know you want them. This will actually help us a lot, because not only will it smash more stretch goals but once we send out Kickstarter surveys we’ll be able to get a better idea if we need to produce less (or more) of each add-on.

This has to be the funniest part of the campaign for us: putting out something and seeing how people react, and gosh are you a very exciting bunch of backers! It’s amazing how many non-coffee-drinkers are into a coffee game. We love that and we’re very thankful for your support! We know that actions speak louder than words so we want to “say” thanks by showing you we’ve heard your requests for a sleeve sans beans.

As you’ll now see on the campaign page we have released a Decaf Lover’s Edition of the game. This includes all of the rewards in Espresso but also has a sleeve included. We’ve based the price off of some input we had from a few of you. We really hope this is inline with what you were after and is priced fairly.

Right, but why is there an add-on? Because some of you who have backed at a higher level may also like a sleeve sans-coffee and thus we wanted to make that available to you as well. Backing for multiple copies of the game? This add-on is applicable there too! 

Many of you have been waiting for it and we are dedicated to get you Tabletop Simulator (TTS) access before the campaign ends, if possible. We are in the final steps of testing our module (aka “mod”) and we thought it’d be fun to get a live stream going. In fact, we’ll be inviting three wonderful guests in to join us showing off our Seize the Bean TTS mod publicly for the first time: video game stream artisan, Penny, from SnapCube will be running the stream on her Twitch channel, joined by the creative superhuman duo, Dalton Broback (who built the mod with his own two, coffee-stained hands) and Lucia Lobosvilla (voice actor, writer, director and self-proclaimed dog-petter).

Join in on Penny’s Twitch channel this Saturday, February 10th (yes, tomorrow!), at 2 PM CT / 21:00 CET and if you can’t wait until then go ahead and watch this preview video she has created!

Whew, what an update! We’ll be back on the weekend if we have any other news about the print and play, public launch of our TTS mod, and what exactly that weird looking stretch goal at €95k is… ;)

Connoisseurs, Geeks & Solo Mode
10 months ago – Fri, Feb 09, 2018 at 01:19:00 PM

Whew, we are almost down to the final week and things are continuing to go well. We’ve heard your comments asking for more updates so we’ll try to pick up the pace a bit again. We’ve been silent over the last few days because we’ve really had our hands full working on some very cool surprises to come. We’re still working on shipping updates and while we have many late-campaign stretch goals worked out you can see that we’ve not yet revealed the one at €75k (or beyond). Stay tuned for more info there...

Meanwhile, let’s finish up introducing the unlocked customers, shall we?

Meet the Coffee Connoisseurs. These are the folks that judge your every move, examine every bean, and complain about the quality or price unless they’re making the brew themselves! In fact, it’s safe to say that players play the role of these very characters… regardless, they are wizards of the barista profession and for this reason their abilities will allow you to exchange resources whenever you’re caught in a bad situation!

Probably the one customer we can all relate to the most is the Espresso Junkie. Three cups of coffee a day is normal (and maybe below their average intake) for this highly-caffeinated character. You can find them using any excuse to get back to the café: for meetings, for lunch, for just about anything. And don’t be fooled by the name: they’ll drink coffee in nearly any form, espresso, latte or cold-brew too!

The Coffee Snob is actually more into judging coffee than drinking it. Filled with roasting trivia and regional knowledge, the Snob can easily identify any blend by taste and smell alone and then deliver a plethora of criticism about the way it was roasted or brewed. You can’t please these people so don’t even try!

All of the Competitive Baristas of Berlin are the cream of the crop when it comes to both customers and connoisseurs. They have good taste, drink in moderation, and are oh-so-classy when both ordering and serving beverages. From local hobbyists to international legends, one can never underestimate the power of the Barista!

Seize the Bean would just not be complete with a group to represent all the wonderful board game fanatics out there in the world. As many have noted, there is no “Kickstarter backer” customer group (and this is because we like to think our backers fit diversely across all the groups in the game) but it’s safe to say that many of you can likely relate to this group quite a bit. We debated a lot about the ability of this group, at one point considering to allow them to steal other customers but we wanted them to remain non-aggressive in their nature. For this reason, we’ve set their abilities to allow you to increase the rewards of other customers in your line, because we all know that board game geeks are just great to have around!

Front and center at every tabletop event we’ve ever been to (and also often found on the U- and S-Bahn trains of Berlin) are the beautiful, creative and dedicated Cosplayers. DIY costumes, fictional accents and elaborate backstories are just a few of the immersive experiences that these real-life, role-playing individuals bring to any location they frequent. Seriously, who can complain about a viking sipping a latte in your café?

Admit it. This is you. Or someone you know. From the so-called Cult of the New to those that have just been in the hobby for years, the all-too-common full-wall “shelfie” has become a staple of the board game industry. And thus, the Collector cannot be ignored. But can they ever play all the games they own? That’s the real question…

You can’t have board games without the friendly and hardworking publishers out there, and we’re happy to present one of our favorites, Smoox Chen from Taiwan Boardgame Design! A friend of ours since we first ventured into the industry, we love the spirit of his team and find that he’s a great example of an awesome and energetic publisher!

That’s it for the customers today. And actually, the only bonus customers we haven’t intro'd yet are the two promo packs (Boardgame Media and Quality Beasts) which aren’t unlocked so we’ll leave them out for now. However, we also haven’t introduced the initial 10 core box groups yet, so you can expect to learn more about those in the coming updates.

Meanwhile, we heard that some of you maybe wanted a solo mode? ;)

That’s right! We heard you, we priced it out, we pulled together our early design notes, we pushed hard to thoroughly play-test it, we further developed and now we are proud to say we have not only unlocked a solo mode but created one that we have a lot of confidence in!

We’ll certainly be updating the rulebook with more details but let’s step through a bit of how solo mode works. In the basic version, players will need to get used to building up their own engine while racing against the competition, which we have codenamed Starbots for now (it’s a mega-conglomerate, gentrification-causing, robotically-controlled café franchise chain, so obviously it needs to be put down).

We don’t have a sample art image of it yet, but a fifth, modified player board will be added for the Starbots competitor. They will have 6 actions: take a customer, take a product, take an upgrade, gain 1 hype, earn a good review, or earn a bad review. A deck of 20 cards are used to determine which action the Starbots staff takes. Each time the first action of a game day is taken, the Starbots café gets a combo token added to that action. This enhances the action for the next time it’s taken!

In order to lower player admin, you won’t need to process a line of customers nor manage resources for the robo-competitor. Instead, during each Serve step the Starbots opponent simply gets good reviews equal to their hype. And the only way to mitigate the opponent’s progress is to trigger certain icons in your Product and Upgrade cards which allow you to either lower their hype or flip over their combo tokens. Flip an already flipped token and it’ll vanish, but allow the opponent to trigger a flipped token and it’ll be flipped back face up!

You should by now be able to gather that the opposition in solo mode is just a mean, bean-eating, good-review-earning machine. You’ll have to push pretty hard to keep ‘em down and pull off your own engine combo. And all this without the scenarios in the solo mode book providing you with specific setups and additional goals to meet in order to win.

How can you check out solo mode? We’ll be adding it to the print and play once we have a semi-passable, functional player board art-wise. This may not be during the campaign, but stay tuned for updates about it, we know you are eager to try. And those that are interested to play-test digitally, don’t forget you can always sign-up for our playtesters’ guild to join in on Tabletop Simulator once we launch.

That’s it for today. Let’s rock these last 9 days!