July update - Files sent to printer!

Dear backers, dear friends,

Hooray!

A long journey of designing Fog of Love has finally come to an end. We’ve sent our files to the printer a few hours ago.

We’ve sent in 58 different print files with a total of more than 600 unique prints (card fronts, card backs, box, etc.…). The only file missing is for the rules, which will be sent in next week.

A giant stretch goal

We’ve earlier written about how the game has grown since we initiated the Kickstarter. Today we have more news to share with you.

We’ve added even more to the game. We’ve been lucky and have landed a big exclusive retail contract. We didn’t announce this before, as it has been uncertain for a while. But now we know for sure (we can’t yet tell you who it is… but it’s a huge retailer). 

This contract allows us to make a larger initial print run, which translates to lower production cost per item. Instead of going for increased margins (and earn more), we've chosen to keep margins constant. 

We are therefore adding to the quality of components for the benefit of all, including you. Basically, we treat the contract as a giant stretch goal for all.

The material quality of the components has therefore increased dramatically since we initially thought about publishing the game:

  • The game board will be thicker than originally anticipated (going from 1.8 mm to 2.0 mm).
  • The box will be of amazing quality. We only know of one other box on the market made of similar high quality material. It will be a luxurious drawer box made of 3.0 mm thick cardboard (was 1.8 mm). The drawer box will help secure the game when you transport it. The lid won’t suddenly go off, making a mess of all cards. It will also look pretty on the shelf.
Drawer box mockup

Drawer box mockup

  • The insert in the box will be extra solid and will contain printed card dividers to help you organise everything. This will decrease setup time and increase usability a lot.
  • We’ll have 2 elegant plastic boxes for each player’s coloured tokens. Here is a mock-up. They will be transparent.
2 plastic boxes for player tokens (will be transparent)

2 plastic boxes for player tokens (will be transparent)

  • Everything will be printed in 5 colours, which is unheard of for games. We chose to add an extra printing colour to make sure that our text will stand out in full quality and contrast, without having to be pure black (which is often rough to look at). The extra printing colour also allows us to add extra quality to the look and feel of all surfaces that are printed.
  • One of the expansions you get (Paranormal Romance) contains a legacy mechanic. To support this, we have chosen to add stickers to the game, so you can keep track the legacy element without damaging permanent components.

Production has begun

We have not talked about our manufacturer before. It's Whatz Games. They are a large board game manufacturer in Shanghai and make a lot of high quality games. They make most of Iello's games, including titles like King of Tokyo and King of New York. Our components will be of even higher standard than what's found in these games.

We have been speaking with all the major manufacturers in the world, but Whatz games have beaten all the others when it comes to service, offered quality and final price for the total package. The last is important, since this has allowed us to add more stuff and more quality for you. 

Production of non-print components has now begun. We’ve received the first non-mass-production samples last Friday. We are very happy with the quality they represent and are ready to go to mass production with most. The colours are just as we want them to be (the colours on the picture are a bit off how they look for real... we just couldn't capture them perfectly... but it's close).

Samples of tokens and choice tokens

Samples of tokens and choice tokens

New timeline

Besides quality of the game the question on everybody’s mind is of course about delivery. Even though we worked as hard as we possibly could, we have again underestimated the effort needed make everything ready for print. So, our schedule has slipped once again.

All game production will be finalised and shipped from China in late August. This is 5-6 weeks later than we had anticipated in our last timeline in March. The shipment will be on boat for a month, before reaching the US and Europe. This means that estimated delivery time now is around mid-October.

We are immensely sorry for this added delay and will – as we have said before – offer you a full refund if you are unhappy. The window for full refunds will close end of July, as we then are moving towards organising the last things towards shipping the products. 

We are tired but happy

We have been working very hard to make it to here.

Just to give you an idea of how hard: The last 4 months Jacob J. has slept at the office around 3-4 nights a week to press even more time out of his already tight schedule. He has a (good) full-time day job that helps him sustain his family, pay the rent of his office, fund the development costs of the game and pay for the salary of Jacob E. It’s a good job that pays enough to make all this possible - but it also takes time. On top of this he worked on the game. In total, he has worked 110+ hours a week for more than two months – after having “enjoyed” 80+ work hour weeks for more than a year since the Kickstarter. The last 15 days he has slept less than 4 hours per night on average (seriously!).

Jacob E. is full time employed focusing on Fog of Love. This “full time job” has similarly resulted in excessive extra hours, where he has worked most evenings and many weekends to help develop the content.

Proofing and tightening everything up has been extremely demanding.

We are both newcomers to developing board games and have continuously been underestimating the effort needed to make everything work smoothly (and not just work ok). There is a usability improvement and design decision to be found everywhere when developing a board game, even in the last phase before print.

To be frank and honest, this amount of work has been far too much for us and our families. We however wanted to make the great game that we had set out to do - and we kept working on it until it felt right.

Here and now we are therefore very, very tired - but we are also very, very happy. We feel that we have succeeded in doing what we aimed for!

We look so much forward to sharing it with you.

Coming days

The next days we will finalise the rules and take care of some other urgent matters. Then we’ll take a few weeks’ vacation. After this we’ll take care of Kickstarter fulfilment logistics, preparing for Gen Con, Essen and the retail launch. We will also do more to see our loved ones. They deserve it.

Have a great summer,

Jacob and Jacob

PS: Many of you are probably eager to see what all the fuss is about. How is the new design? How is the tutorial? This update is already far too long to talk about this, but next week we'll share a video showing you the changes. A backer and his wife came visiting us from the US and tried the latest prototype a few weeks ago. They filmed everything and are right now putting some preview videos together to share their impressions with you. We look very much forward to sharing these with you.

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