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:
PnP Update, German Vast & Berlin Con
about 2 years ago
– Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 12:50:02 AM
Hello backers! August is almost upon us which means, with another month under our belt, we’re getting closer to the end of the art for Seize the Bean. Let’s go through some updates and catch you all up-to-speed.
Time and time again we have tried to hit bi-weekly updates and failed. While some backers suggest this isn’t a big deal we completely understand how it can let others down, send the wrong message or even just fizzle out excitement. We are big believers in learning from mistakes and also not fighting against the flow, so we’ve decided to follow a new schedule of monthly updates from now on. Hopefully this will set a more realistic expectation for everyone. (Also, for the few folks who were asking for less updates, this should strike a decent compromise.) In-between those updates we’ll keep posting in the comments area of the Kickstarter page for those of you who want more frequent interaction. (And of course, if we have urgent news to share, we’ll do so without waiting!)
We are happy to be releasing today an update to the print and play (PnP). Many have asked if we’ll update the PnP in segments (which was our original plan) and a time for that may come but due to lack of resources and also due to significant card changes (such as adding art to all the upgrades) we are releasing the whole PnP again.
The changes in v3.12.0 are:
Two new Customer Groups: Unemployed Expats and Starving Artists
Nearly full-art on all cards (only a handful missing)
Nearly final flavor text / card names
All card data (the effects and costs) final (with potential tweaks for balancing between now and production)
Give it a download and let us know what you think! And as for art, here’s where we’re at with cards:
Customer Cards = 85% done (boardgame media, quality beast and a few KS backers are missing)
Pantry Upgrade Cards = 77% done
Style Upgrade Cards = 50% done
It’s important to understand these percentages are based on the approved art. We are actually farther when it comes to sketches and even colored illustrations, but we’re not yet counting something into the “done” percentages if it hasn’t been fully approved.
(Note: Dylan misspoke in the video linked below and described both of the Upgrade card types being over 70% but Mario’s focus has been on Pantry cards first.)
It’s really important for us to note that without all of your support and positive energy we would never have been able to grow so much in such a short time. Because of that we want to extend a huge thank you to all you from everyone at the Quality Beast team!
Speaking of growth, we had the largest booth we’ve ever had this past weekend at the Berlin Brettspiel Con. It was approximately 57sqm and contained tables for showing 6 of our games (plus 1 secret one we were demoing for a friend designer of ours), an area for our growing RPG department (Necrotic Gnome) where we ran old school D&D sessions and a win-a-map contest, staffed a sales counter and even had left-over space for our Taiwanese partner, Citie Lo, to demo and sell his games from The Wood Games.
In case you don’t watch the video it mainly includes:
Update about art progress
Show-off of our prototype coffee blends
Explanation that we're still working on the pick-up option in BackerKit
That’s it for July’s update. See you next time at the end of August!
Pledge Manager Opening, Milk Carton Deck Box & Cubee Plushie
about 2 years ago
– Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 12:57:46 AM
The moment many of you have been waiting for: the pledge manager is finally opening! We’ll dive right in and not waste any of your time. We've setup the pledge manager in its entirety and turned on what is called a “smoke test”. This is when surveys are sent to 5% of backers at each backer level. The intention is to flood in a small number of early people to do a live test and check that everything is running smoothly. This may sound strange – rest assured we’ve done our own, pre-live testing too, of course – but this is precisely what BackerKit (our pledge manager provider) recommends. Thus, if you got a survey already you may very well be part of this so-called smoke test and therefore please jump in as soon as you can so that we can verify all is good and send out the full chunk of surveys!
For those that did not receive a survey yet, do not fear: it will be approximately 12 to 24 hours until you receive yours, based on the estimations from BackerKit (and assuming there are no major issues to be fixed). We know this means that many of you won’t actually get into the pledge manager until June 26th. Our apologies for this wee delay!
We previously informed you all that we were delaying the pledge manager so that we could make store connections to supply you with local pick-up options in order to circumvent the cost of shipping. We also wanted to provide a more finalized decision on the play mat. In the end, we decided it made no sense to continue to waiting on both topics and that’s why we set June 25th (today!) as the pledge manager opening date, whether or not those topics got resolved.
We’re very glad we did this because, lo and behold, those topics are not resolved. Please stay tuned though – we’ll still be working hard to get store pick-ups running (it appears we already have near-confirmations in Berlin and Belgium) and as soon as we can confirm them we’ll update the pledge manager with that as an option.
If you can believe it, we’ve got something mooo-re fun to share today: we’re very excited to unveil Mario’s finished milk carton deck box designs. We’ll have to provide an even closer look once we get back a printed sample from the manufacturer (again, someone different than Panda) but meanwhile let us know how you feel about these!
Lastly, we’ve gotten our “turnaround” (as it’s called) off to our plushie manufacturer. Because that company is different than Panda (it’s Symbiote, the same company that both Gamelyn and Leder Games have used for their plushies) the production timeline won’t be halted by our delay in art. This means we’ll very likely have the plushies available at SPIEL. We may be able to work out a pick-up option for those that want them but we’ll report back on this later. For now, simply gaze on in glory at these early turnaround graphics that our fantastic artist, Mario, put together!
It’s worth noting that we did not depict the apron nor the cup on the pledge manager because we’ll still pricing these out and waiting to see if they’re possible.
Alright, that’s it for today, a short update but back on track for bi-weeklies as we promised. Let us know if you’re interested in anything in particular for the next update, whether that be further news on production samples or perhaps some exciting leaks of Mario’s massive stack of artwork being lovingly crafted for the final game!
Timeline Update, Factory Samples & Pledge Manager Opening Date
over 2 years ago
– Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 02:09:54 AM
Whew! It has been a suuuper busy 6 weeks since our last update. We want to fill you in on everything going on, but first, we want to apologize (again) for betraying our commitment to bi-weekly updates. This is the second time we’ve taken longer than we aimed and we’re aware that for some of you that is really disappointing. In truth, Seize the Bean has been much more successful than we expected and we’ve been overwhelmed with all the (mostly positive) messages and comments coming our way on every platform. As you know by now, transparent communication is very important to us, so when we’re not timely with our responses or updates, we’re really not proud of it. We’re still learning how to balance this part of the business with all the cool, creative stuff we’re doing. So, thank you all for giving us the benefit of the doubt and hanging in while we sort out our messaging!
In the last update we said we wouldn’t put a bunch of things together into one update, though due to our busy event schedule recently it’s been hard to get things out separately, so we have to admit we’ve got another chunky one for you all. With that said, let’s get into the nitty gritty of production timelines, manufacturing samples and that eagerly-awaited pledge manager...
This is no easy way to say this so we’re just going to give it to you straight: we won’t be able to deliver in October as we had hoped. In fact, if we are 100% transparent, a safe delivery date is February. Yes, February, 2019. We know that while reading this a lot of you will feel upset, let down, or just straight-up angry. That’s a five month delay from our originally estimated delivery date (of September, 2018). We want to explain this and we hope your excitement for the project and your understanding of our situation and our mistakes might help balance out any sorrow or impatience you might feel.
It all comes down to art. We had originally thought that we had enough of a headstart on the art and that we could get a lot more done in a given week than we actually can in reality. Our early estimates were way off. With only a single (amazing) artist there is a limit to what can be done. In case you’re wondering if we’ve just been over here lazing about, we’re happy to report we do have the art of almost 300 cards done (277, as of today, to be exact), and a majority of that is the hard stuff first (customer art, Kickstarter backer portraits, etc). We did originally attempt to speed up the process in a few ways, but the drop in quality was noticeable and so we promptly scrapped that approach. We felt it best if we went back to allowing Mario to work at the pace required to deliver the quality we expect for Seize the Bean (and frankly, anything from Quality Beast). We wanted to wait a bit to get an average of how much card art we could get done in a given week and now that we are confident with that average we’ve taken some serious time to granularly estimate a more realistic timeline and reconfirm it not only with our team but with our manufacturer, too. Here it is broken down:
September 3rd, 2018 = All Files Uploaded to Panda (our manufacturer)
September 14th, 2018 = Design Verification Complete (meaning, all files 100% approved)
September 28th, 2018 = Pre-Production Copy Arrives (for our feedback and proofing)
October 8th, 2018 = Mass Production Begins
November 19th, 2018 = First Mass Production Copy Arrives (for last minute emergency checks)
December 3rd, 2018 = Mass Production Finished & Assembly Begins
December 17th, 2018 = All Games Leave the Factory
As you can see, we’d have the game on its way this year and even beat the holiday season shipping crunch, however, it would be on an estimated 6-week-boat-ride to each fulfilment center and then be on its way to you. This is why we estimate an arrival time of February. Depending on where you are in the world (and if games get slowed down in customs at certain fulfilment centers) it could be a bit faster or slower.
The only three things we can do about this timeline is to communicate it transparently to you all (as we are doing now), apologize for it, and learn from it. We are truly sorry if this upsets anyone but this does not change a single thing about the project: we are dedicated to delivering you a extremely fun, high quality game dripping with theme. And we hope you will stand by us on this wild ride which is a learning process for us too!
With the bad news out of the way, we’re extremely excited to be able to share our first round of manufacturing samples! What we haven’t formally announced until now is that we’re working with Panda as our manufacturing partner. If you’re new to that name, they’re known in the industry for delivering super hiqh quality components. They produced the amazing Stonemaier Treasure Chests, and now our resin Snack Pack is following the same production process, which we’re really stoked about.
For those wanting something a bit more dynamic then a text-and-pictures-update, check out our video recap from the UK Games Expo in which Seize the Bean’s lead designer, Dylan, goes through each of the samples one-by-one and in detail:
Here’s some more detail on those components, are you ready?
Let’s start with the most important component: the beans.
These are pretty much spot on and totally put us at ease about what Panda is capable of. You can see the resin sculpt is very accurate and the paint job is quite realistic. There’s a nub on the bottom that we’re discussing with Panda about (though highly unlikely you can even see it in these pics, it’s so small) but in general the only thing to do here is increase their size to about 7mm x 12mm.
Milk samples were given to us, but we won’t go through these now. Why? Because the sizing on the spec sheet was wrong and we ended up with some very… elongated milk cartons. Don’t worry, Panda has assured us that with a simple update of the spec sheet we’ll be seeing more cubic milks as intended. We should be seeing a second round of resin samples at the end of this month (June) so we can share more then. The coloring and sculpts were looking good though.
Sugar cubes. Well, what can we say – it’s a start at least…
These are definitely not yet meeting our expectations. And Panda knows that and has assured us they will continue to work on the shape, size, sculpt, texture and coloring to get it to look as close to our 3D printed prototype as possible. More info about these as the second round of samples come in.
Regarding variations on milk and sugar for dealing with the issue of running out of resources, we did get samples of two color versions of milk (two different label colors) and brown sugar samples though we’ve got a lot of feedback on these for Panda so we’ll show them when the next round comes in. Same thing for the scoop, we did receive a sample, but it’s not quite the right size so we’re doing some back-and-forth there and we’ll share it in the next round.
Barista meeples are looking pretty close to perfect.
The main change here is size (we want to bump them up to about 16mm x 20mm, which is the size of the meeples in, say, Topiary). We’d also like to tweak the color and back print. For the color, even though there are no player colors in Seize the Bean (and we’d encourage everyone to play with a diverse set of baristas) we’d still like to have four unique colors and as of right now two of them are too close together. Also, for the five and six player expansion we’d love to introduce a fifth and sixth color, to increase that sense of diversity (and fun).
Cubee meeples are 100% done.
Size, shape, print, color – everything is rad. We’re stoked about these and if you were at the UK Games Expo in-person then you got to see them in the flesh! (Er... in the fur, rather?)
Resource Bags are started, but not yet meeting our expectations.
The main issue here is that the bags need to be a bit more sturdy. We’re exploring the possibility of an inner lining with Panda. Also, the sizing is wrong, and to make the contents as accessible as possible we really need to lock that down. The drawstrings are also not present (yet) but will be sewn into the bags, and the prints will likely be different on the bean, milk and sugar bags. We may also play a bit with some color tweaks on the bag materials themselves.
We did also get player resource bags, but like some of the items noted above, we’re not very happy with these as they are, and we’d rather wait for the next round of samples to show some imagery of them.
The first player and next first player tokens are steadily on their way, too.
Weight and size-wise these are grand. We’d like to see the sculpt a bit more polished, which is quite hard with a resin figure of this size, but Panda has said they’ll see what they can do. On a very exciting note they’ve agreed to try a cool experiment with us: we want to make the two cups much more distinguishable so we’ve been discussing details for both. We don’t want to give away too much yet, but let’s just say this might be another chance for us to work latte art into the game…
And finally, we come to the resin Snack Pack. Or, at least half of it, for now.
We’ll be quick here, as this update is already huge: the moka pot is on point as far as sculpt and size and color. We’re requesting that the factory put some finishing touches onto it with a bit more detailed shading, but generally we love the direction it’s going in. The pie is pretty much there, but we want to go the extra mile and try to stick a dollop of whipped cream on top, and also adjust the color so that the crust is distinguishable from the inner top and bottom layers. Other than that, like the moka pot, the pie’s sizing and sculpt are both really clean and we’re quite impressed with Panda’s resin work so far. Lastly, the strong coffee needs a bit bigger size and it needs an improvement in the sculpt to get the bag looking more plump and organic and less geometrical. Also, the paint job needs to be a bit less sloppy (that silver scoop shouldn’t be partial brown) and include some more realistic shading. But it’s certainly on its way too!
What about the rest of the snack pack? We’ll show the soy bean, the donut and the croissant in the next wave of samples. We received some of these, but were quite unhappy with the first round. However, don’t let this worry you; Panda has assured us this is quite normal in the process and the steps that Stonemaier took for their Treasure Chest pieces were very similar. We can expect to have at least three rounds of samples for the resin so there’s a lot of room to improve things.
And finally, the player mat. It’s mentioned in the video (and depicted!), briefly, so we should note it here. We won’t be showing pics or describing it in detail yet as we’re still conducting some tests, but what we can say is that Panda is open to try and add a thin backing to it to help it from sliding around. As far as our early experiences go, this is about the only thing we had major feedback on.
Boom! That’s a lot! But hopefully this should all be exciting news as it shows some real progress on what Panda is calling “a monster of a game”. You can all be proud to be a part of this project – without your support we would’ve never gotten this far. And having seen even these early rough draft samples we’re getting extremely excited for the final product. It’s going to be wild to unbox!
June 25th. We promise. And unless you have questions, that’s about all we think we need to say on the topic! ;)
Jokes aside, for those that missed our notes in past updates or in the comments section, we waited this long for two main reasons: 1) we wanted to try and contact as many regional retailers as possible to provide more opportunities for store pick-ups. We did this because early on in the campaign it became apparent that shipping costs were a financial barrier for a lot of avid gamers. Since discovering this we’ve done everything we can to cut those costs down, and partnering with retailers for store pick-ups is part of that. The problem is that it slows things way down (much more than we would’ve guessed). And 2) we really wanted to get a final verdict on the play mat material as well. By now, we’re done waiting on these two topics and we’re just going to open the pledge manager on the 25th of June whether or not these topics are resolved.
What’s that mean? It means that if we get agreements for store pick-ups later, after the pledge manager is open, we’ll be sure to inform everyone and give you the chance to go back in and change your shipping (where possible).
It also means that if you order a play mat and we have to change the material later we will do our very best to not alter the price. If for some reason we’re forced to, we won’t lock anyone into anything, but instead refund the cost of the original play mat and give people the chance to decide if they want the second version. That being said, we’re working closely with Panda to discuss a good compromise that will avoid this whole process and we’re excited to share more news on that as a second wave of samples arrive!
We said it in the past update and above in this one but we want to say it once more and commit to it (third time’s a charm, perhaps): we’ll do our very best to get back to a bi-weekly update schedule. At this point, we have only two more events on our immediate schedule (Ducosim on July 1st and then Berlin Brettspiel Con at the end of July) so we shouldn’t be getting slammed with too much travel preventing us from communicating more consistently. And for those of you requesting event photos, perhaps we’ll save those for the next update! ;)
See you all on June 25th (if not sooner), for the next update, celebrating the opening of the pledge manager and some more awesome news as we progress on other topics such as the Cubee plushie and the milk carton deck box!
From all of us here at Quality Beast, thank you so much for your support, your understanding, and your positive energy as we push towards the finish line of this amazing project.
Progress Update, Rulebook, PnP & Mod
over 2 years 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.
Here’s what’s changed:
New rules added
Cleaned up existing rules
Support for 5 to 6 players
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.
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…
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!
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 2 years 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.
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!
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!
That’s it for now, we’ll be back in touch as soon as we have more news!