Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Production Update Eighteen: Kickstarter Wrap-up

When that first prototype arrived from the laser cutting shop, it was wobbly, too small, and wouldn't even stay together for a whole game. But, I took pictures of it anyway, and launched the Kickstarter. In 42 short days (they really blew by me) I went from that to being able to produce two dozen boards in a few hours, which are rigid, strong, and an absolute joy to play games on. I could not have done that on my own! I received support from the Kickstarter community, my family, and friends, and here I am, finishing up a semester of school (as usual), while getting ready to produce the first edition run of a game I've been developing for over a year (very not usual). Thank you, everyone, for this incredible experience. There's nothing like having an idea and people to share it with. For all you math-o-phobes, this will sound weird, but the only time I've had so much fun is working with my classmates on a challenging proof or computation.
I now have the privilege of sharing my idea with people all over the world. In a couple weeks, I'll start shipping to backers scattered through
the U.S., Canada, U.K., Russia, Singapore, India, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Portugal, and I'm sure a few others. That's every populated continent except Africa! That's a big missing chunk, so I have plans. But, before I start thinking about how I'm going to make ΔV the international board game of the 21st century, I have more pressing responsibilities. So, here's the to do list, starting as soon as I press 'publish' on this post;

  1. Study for finals! Really, I'm going outside in crazy Colorado snow to study calculus (and maybe drink some beer).
  2. Wrap-up survey- I'll be sending this out soon, hopefully late tonight. I'll need to know your color preferences, referrals, add-ons, community shipping options, and last-minute changes.
  3. Set up the final prototyping session- I have one more design choice to make concerning the supports.
  4. Set up the rulebooks for printing- I've been constantly editing and revising my word choice the last month, so I'm pretty happy with what I've got! Downloadable pdf will be available then, too.
  5. More studying!
  6. Set up production drawings- once I've totally finalized the design, these drawings make absolute best use of laser time.
  7. Order rulebooks- I'm hoping once I'm this far, the funds will be available to start actually placing orders. This is going to be a fun one!
  8. Order marbles- equally exciting! It's probably going to end up being about 100lbs (45kg)! It will be hard to resist mixing them all up and just playing with my mountain of marbles. :P But we shall overcome.
  9. Start cutting!- Once things are ordered, I'll start cutting production boards so my elves can be assembling sets and shipping while I continue cutting. I have about 30 hours of cutting to do. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it will be on a community machine, so I can only do six hours per day on the best days. Also, you only want to breathe so much plastic fumes in a day. :P
  10. Finals- essays and tests oh my! No lasers :( but fun math! :)
  11. Set assembly- this is my girlfriends' favorite part- picking out fleets! Then, we bag and sort everything so it's ready to go.
  12. Start shipping!- I'll start shipping the earliest backers' rewards as soon as it is possible, before I've even cut all the boards. There are some of you who have elected to go without the rulebook to get your shipment earlier- just let me know and this is no problem. 
  13. Set up website- once people are receiving their ΔV boards, I want a central hub of ΔV information available. It hasn't been a priority so far, but at this point it will be.
  14. Finish cutting production boards, start on the unique ones.
  15. Finish set assembly
  16. Finish shipping
  17. Woooooooo! Party!
  18. Deal with inevitable shipping problems
  19. Party! Again!
  20. Open online storefront.
And that's how I expect my winter break to go. In January, around the time I'm finishing shipping, I'll be heading back to class. I'm taking Topology, a second semester of Real Analysis, and maybe a few other courses, but I intend to keep on supporting ΔV. I'll be selling boards, marbles, and accessories through the storefront, and continuing to develop scenarios and variants. Hopefully, I'll even have a reason to host a tournament or two next year. So, without further ado, it's time to get started on that beast of a to-do list. Thank you, everyone, for sticking with me this far.