Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Everything's coming along nicely!

So, we haven't posted in a month.

Not a long time by regular kickstarter standards, but a bit of a long time for us.

Every couple of days we get ready to post something, but then the patent lawyers say "Wait no don't post that," and we wait for more paperwork to be done.

This makes for very boring blog entries, like this one.

Production continues without any hitches.  It's pretty cool to see the machines in action, and *hopefully* we will have the "How it's made"-esque video ready to show before shipping.  (Which, as a reminder, is likely to be in February.)

Otherwise, there's a lot of weird boring clerical stuff, like import taxes.  (We're still trying to figure it all out ourselves.)

But we are still here, still working hard, and still eager to ship as soon as they get in our hands!

If you have questions, feel free to ask!  We just haven't had a lot to report the last couple of weeks besides "Everything's fine," and it seemed odd to us to just repeat that with such frequency.  But we figure a small reminder couldn't hurt, especially since it's on this blog.  (Which is for people who are more closely following our production progress.)

So, as always, thanks for reading, and thanks for backing us!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Production has resumed!

We solved the supply chain problem!

We got the right magnets!

We're back on track for production!

We even have an estimated shipping date (at last!).  We think it will be in February.  We know it's a lot later than we originally expected, but we thought it was more important to get it *right* than to get it *fast*.

This video shows just how good those magnets are, especially with that powerful double-metal upgrade you guys unlocked in the Kickstarter:

Remember to send us your questions!

We will have other things to talk about in the weekly updates, but it'll be more interesting if you guys ask us your questions.

And thanks for all your patience in this.  It is definitely coming together, and we are excited for the future.

And thanks for supporting us!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Weekly Update: 15-10-06

Although we are still waiting on the magnets to arrive at the factory, we did get a still image camera, and you can see some pictures of the gray, green, and blue below.

These aren't the finished product, but they are pretty close.  In person, the blue tiles' lines are as visible as they are on the green tiles.  We really aren't sure why the camera doesn't pick them up.  We may wind up lightening them anyway.

Here's a video for those of you who hate reading!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weekly Update: 15-09-30

We are experiencing a similar delay to last time.  This time, the magnet provider provided our factory with magnets that were indeed the correct strength...but the wrong size.

We have spent many hours making sure that everyone involved understands the correct magnet strength, and have been assured that yes, indeed, the magnets will be correct this next time around. 

That's the short version. Here's a video saying practically the same thing!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Weekly Update: 15-09-22

In addition to showing the colors of the mats this week, we have a small bit of good news! Right now, in the mail, the factory is shipping to us an updated version of the magnets in the mats so we can test them ourselves.  Also, we should get to see the stickers in the next update.

Remember, colors look different on a screen than they do in person. Here's the video so you can see the mat colors!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Weekly Update: 2015/09/15

Not much happening this week.  Some paperwork, as always, and we expect to see the new magnets arrive within a couple of more weeks. 

In the meantime, though, we thought people might like to see how easily you can fold and stack the square mats.  Here's a video for those interested!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Weekly Update: 2015/09/08

Not a lot happened this week.  We're still waiting on the factory to get all of its magnet-related stuff sorted out, just like we knew we would.

But, as promised, in the video below, you can see some sneak-peek-ness of something that is in the works.  Our prototype is not at all like the finished product will be as far as the artwork goes, but you can see we have a definite proof-of-concept.

Monday, August 31, 2015

A quiet update!

Not much is happening this week.  If you don't like reading, you're pretty much done with this update now.

For those of you who enjoy the small details, however, here we go!

We finally got the last bits of our product liability insurance fully squared away.  If you've ever seen those warnings on items like, "Do not use hair dryer while in bathtub" or "do not use face to stop chainsaw," that's the kind of gross misuse of products that product liability insurance covers us against. 

On a related note, please do not use our mats as shiruken.  That's not what they are for.

We are still waiting for the factory's purchasing department, accounting department, and everyone else to get their proverbial ducks in a row so we can move forward.

Someone did ask this us a few days ago, "Why do so many places have trouble with magnets the first few times around?"  Well...it's because neodymium magnets (like the ones we are using) are significantly more expensive as their magnetic strength increases.  So it can be a huge cost-saving corner to cut, on the end of the manufacturer.

Also, our update for next week may be on Tuesday, rather than Monday, although we can't say for sure right now.  But regardless of which day it is, we will certainly have footage of me (Jerry) holding the smaller tiles that can be used for other board games.  So that's something to look forward to!

The video below says all this, and apologizes for the fact that we are between cameras for the moment at the start.

Bad news & Good news!

We are moving back to frequent video updates, now that we've gotten a bit of breathing room.  Those frequent updates will be on the blog.  Big stuff, like today's update, will be posted here.

Jerry just spent a month at the factory, and here's the TL;DW --- Something beyond our control happened, and production is delayed. (For more information, check out the video below!) The moment we have more details, including a better idea of the exact date, we will inform everyone here. But right now, you know what we do.

The good news is, we're saying "We're sorry about all this!" in the form of a full set of stickers for everyone.  More on that as we finalize the artwork, of course, and those updates will be (like all updates that aren't directly through Kickstarter) on the blog.
Here's a bit more info in video form, for those who have time to listen to all the details: 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Final Stencil Design!

So we've been working a lot, and next Tuesday, we should have plenty of interesting pictures for you guys.  And shortly after that, we hope to resume lots of videos.

But for right now, everything is going well, but we thought we would show the finalized design of the stencils for now:

There should be photographs of this li'l fella next week, along with many of his buddies.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Onward, to the next step!

So there's a bunch of good news, and a tiny bit of bad news that is inherently tied to one of the bits of the good news.

First, we obtained and are nearly finished calibrating the machines.  These machines are super durable, and will likely *very* rarely require more than minimal maintenance.  This is important because of the number of tiles we intend to put out now and in the future.

The one bit of bad news: This machine's impressive durability is due to it being slow and steady, like the noble tortoise.  This means the end shipping date will be pushed back, (probably) until September.  If we manage to stick with the August date, we will have a tiny party, but we want to brace people for realistic possibilities.  We aren't happy about it, either, of course. :)  But we are more concerned with getting it done *right* than we are getting it done *fast*, and we get the sense that most of you feel the same way.

Another big advantage of this machine is that it will be able to handle future projects, like our smaller tiles that can be used for other games (keep your eyes peeled for a future blog post about that project!).

So this will save a ton of time in the future, but will cause a small delay in the short term.

Second, we have some artwork of the stickers for people to check out!  There are a few things to note about the stickers: in order for them to print properly, they have to be 3 colors (or less).  We think our resident artist has done a great job working within that constraint, and we want feedback and thoughts! Most of our stickers will be scaled to a single 1" space, but some will be obviously far larger.

The stencil seems to be in the final stages of design; go back and read earlier posts if you want to weigh in on it.

We try to answer everyone's messages as soon as we get them.  Sometimes we get backed up, though!  Don't worry if it takes us a little bit of time to get to you.  We are just trying to make sure we answer everyone's concerns! (Sometimes we get caught up, and those times are precious to us.)

For those wondering: we will be missing GenCon this year, sadly.  But we do plan on coming *next* year, with the mats, stickers, and a whole lot more. :)  Keep an eye on the blog for all the details!

We will post more pictures as they become available.  Thanks for all your patience!  We are really excited about the future, and look forward to lots of adventures.  And thanks for backing us!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Almost ready for an actually interesting update!

We've been silent for quite a while, not because anything was wrong, but because everything was going right, but it was rather boring.

But, to help allay any fears, we will go ahead and convey those boring details to you in this post, and if there are questions, we will try to edit this post to answer those questions.

Soon, though, we expect a post with some exciting details (like pictures of the machine and stuff).

1. How's that machine coming along?

Perfectly fine!  The challenge is in tweaking it to do not only the magnets for the two boards we have now, but also for smaller tiles for use in other tabletop games in the (near!) future.  This means making it capable of handling multiple magnet configurations, and for multiple sized mats.  It's not terribly complicated, but it is time consuming.

2. How is it with the timeline?

One of the reasons we haven't updated yet is because everything was on time.  And as of this writing, there are still no delays.  However, something could go crazy at any minute, and we do plan to alert people (via this blog) the moment we anticipate a delay.

3. What all have you been doing during this time?

Well, there's lawyer stuff, insurance stuff (those two take more time than we'd ever thought necessary), artwork stuff, production stuff, website stuff, distribution stuff...many, many boring paperwork-y things. Another reason we haven't really posted about that is we thought it might make people nervous to hear about such boring things.

4. How do those stickers look?

In the next few days we will make a separate post here about the stickers, and get some feedback about them.  You'll see plenty ahead of time!

We will try to answer all the questions we can on this blog.  We'll just try to answer questions in an edited post, rather than making people chase down our answers in the comments.  (So that means we won't post answers to individual comments, we will answer them here in this text.)

Hopefully this shows that we haven't fallen off the face of the planet---far from it, we're working hard to make sure that this is the first of many projects from GameNightLife!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Production Timeline

Here's the standing Production Timeline:

Here's the dates & details:

1. Recieving Backer Responses 
       (please respond before May 22 to ensure that you get the shapes & colors of tiles you want)
We are actually holding off on machine selection until we get 75% of our backers to respond to the new survey.  There's two reasons for that: 
First, we will be able to make sure we print all the colors & shapes that all our initial backers want.  We think we have a pretty good idea right now, but we want to make certain that we print everything in the right proportions.  So if you haven't filled out your survey yet, and you want to make sure you get the colors and shapes that you want, you need to fill it out as soon as you can!
Second, we will be able to more accurately select the machine that we will be using in the future.  We don't plan to make just the mats you've already seen!  Which leads into...

2. Machine Tweaking        (45 days after Recieving Backer Responses)
For those who don't know already, we are working closely with one production facility, and we will be having a new machine made for these mats, and future projects.  
One of our near-future plans is to produce smaller tiles for use in other tabletop games, but with our tiles' drawing surface, stickers, and magnetic awesomeness.    
Right now it (tentatively) looks like squares are twice (or more) as popular as hexes, for tabletop RPGs.  But we would like to make sure of that before we move forward.  And hence, step 1.
During the machine tweaking, we try to make sure that this thing will last as long as possible, and easily adjust to different shapes and sizes of mat.

3. Production        (Immediately after Machine Tweaking)
The day that Machine Tweaking stops, Production starts.
Jerry will personally be at the factory for quality assurance purposes.  He will also be getting prototypes of future projects nailed down (like terrain stickers, smaller tiles for other tabletop games, and more).  
This step will probably take about 2 weeks to a month.

4. Shipping to GameNightLife (from the factory)
       (Immediately after Production)

This boring but necessary step takes place after everything has been produced.  

Some people have asked if there's any way we can start shipping to them immediately after production starts.  

Unfortunately, no.  Jerry won't be at the factory for the entire production process, and he can't carry that many mats with him anyway.  

It would be possible, of course, since this is the real world.  But it would also significantly increase the shipping costs involved on our end, so we're planning on just getting it all in one shipment.

5. Shipping from GameNightLife (to you!)
        (Immediately after we get the stuff from the factory)

This is what you care about most, of course!  Us, too.

We are planning on shipping from us to you in August (probably the latter part of August, to be safe in our estimate).  

We are currently on schedule for that delivery date, but you never know what will happen in the meantime.  However, barring serious disaster, we should be able to ship on time. :)

We hope this was informative, and if you have questions, post a comment here!  It'll help people who have the same questions you do about this timeline.  

Chibi PSenet
Bonus: PSenet's plug!

PSenet made sure that we hit the $175,000 mark in our Kickstarter by buying a huge number of tiles.

He talked with us, and we wanted to do a small favor for him as a "thank you."  And so, he asked us to mention to everyone a completely different & not-GNL project that he cares about: Dot & Dash: The Mystery of the Red Dot

Dot & Dash:  not a game about Morse code
Not only does PSenet like this enough to back it, he cared enough about it to get involved, and is part of the creative team for the project!

It's a cute li'l game about a cat & a laser pointer.
If you're interested in checking it out, I won't try to present it any better than the creators.  But you ought to hurry if you like it too! It's in the last week of its backing.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Post-Kickstarter Survey is READY!



Tuesday, May 5, 2015


We are still designing the stencil.  But here's our current mockup, where there is a big chunk of space where we are trying to think of other common, useful shapes to draw.  (Shapes that are hard for most of us to make, like perfectly straight lines or squares or something.)

We considered a 1" octagon, but it REALLY looks like a circle when we try to actually use it.  We thought we'd see everyone else's ideas, but we thought the only "good" way to do the hexagon was to make it 3" and put it where we did, so you also get that nice "arrow" as well.

Here's the basic idea of what we have here:
  • 8" straightedge 
  • 8" arc edge (blast radius)
  • Large (4") stairwell
  • Small (2") stairwell
  • Cone AoE blast (45 degree)
  • Cone AoE blast (90 degree)
  • 1" circle (huge columns, pits)
  • 1" square (tables, traps, walls)
  • 1" triangle
  • 1/2" circle (stools, 
  • 1/2" square (support beams, footstools)
  • 1/2" triangle
  • All of this fits nicely over a 7"x7" square tile (so it will fit nicely over any stack of tiles!)
And lots of room, still!

Of course this may suck, and may be the totally wrong direction from what you guys want. 

Be aware that this is a *mockup!*  Not a final version by any means.  We've been busy with the website as of late, but we thought we'd share our initial design thoughts.

Monday, May 4, 2015

One big list of news & updates for GameNightLife

This blog is where we will put a running progress update about everything we are doing. 

This way, there is one easily-searchable way everyone can see where we are on every project!  We'll just name the updates accordingly.  Like "Stickers!" or "GNL Mats!"  That way you can see where we are with production, shipping, &c.