Monday, July 4, 2016

Stencils & more!

We have been working hard with getting everything to folks like we promised.

Here's a little bit about the stencils!

The Design

The idea we had was to try to put as many useful map-related things in one spot as we could.

This meant three things:
  1. Symbols often used on a map, but that were hard to draw.
  2. Blast / cone templates for area effect stuff (like fireballs and rocket launchers).
  3. A functional ruler.
On top of that, we wanted something supremely durable. Something that wouldn't shatter like one of those protractors you used in middle school.

And so, this was what we came up with:

You can see how this works:
1. The symbols all over typically are hard to draw; the lines being accurate divisions for angles.
2. The basic shape of the whole stencil, including the large spaces, allows for the most common sizes of cones and blasts.  (The arcs are divided at 1" intervals.)
3. The bottom edge of the stencil is designed to be a ruler (although this silhouette doesn't show that).

A Slight Correction

So, ever so long ago, we were a little surprised to find that the material that one of our original suppliers used had shrunk slightly.  This meant that the ruler, and the basic shapes for the blast radii and cones, was off by a little bit. (The 8" ruler was only about 7.35")

The supplier we are working with right now for the stickers (an update for those should be very soon!) also now be making these stencils. And they are actually located close to where Jerry lives, so that makes checking in very easy and frequent.

A Tiny Video

Just a quick visual of them!

Upcoming News

We want to put updates out more frequently, but the samples have been a bit slow to come lately. Part of the challenge involved with that is that we can't just get a production-quality sample, we have to have an actual production run.  This makes confirmation about what we're going to get a big, big step.  Having experienced problems with that in the past, we're preferring to take our time. However, this is a factory renown for actually getting it right on the first try, so we're just following their processes to make sure it happens that way.  Unfortunately, this means less-than-interesting updates.

For now, everything still seems to be on track!  Aptus assures us that this is the case, and that we are still moving along at a slightly-faster-than-average pace for a new product.

This week we should also have a look at the corrected stickers!

So, if you have any questions, feel free to email us any time!  Sometimes we get backed up and it takes us a little time, but we always get around to responding to everyone.

And as always, thanks for supporting us!


  1. Awesome. I'm not good at visualilzing things - perhaps show us using the templates for cones & blast radius?

  2. I am excited to see where this is going. I know it's been a long wait, but it feels like the final product just around the corner! Thanks for the update!

  3. Any new updates? It has been about 3 weeks.

  4. Any new updates? It has been about 3 weeks.

  5. Jerry, sorry to bother you but I'm curious if there is any new news. You have recently been posting about once a month and in preparation I've been checking the site a few times a day :)

  6. From Kickstarter :

    "Shipping update and other news

    The Mats

    This morning, we got the definitive information we needed to be able to say if our delivery was going to be according to our original projected schedule.

    Nobody would like to say "Let's move forward!" more than us, but we are not taking any chances. Because we are intending to use a significantly higher quality drawing surface than anything that anyone else has, we have to get components custom-made, and that means a significant amount of tweaking.

    Like we've said before: This is about making stuff that will last a long time. Not just the stuff you'll be getting in the mail this time, but years later, too. We're looking to make not just these mats for years to come, but lots of other stuff, too. (Stuff that we are really looking forward to showing you, just as soon as we actually get this shipped out!)

    So, right now, it looks like we are going to have to wait for at least one more sample cycle to make sure that they have done the color correctly (for all colors) and have the correct surface. We are genuinely sad that the factories missed the deadline we set up ahead of time so that we could get this stuff in time for Gencon. But better safe than sorry, for sure!

    This means we are looking (most likely) at a late August / early September production date. As we get samples, we will put out updates. My commitment, though, is that what you get will be well worth the wait.

    The Stickers

    We did get the samples of the stickers like we were hoping. They are just as thick and durable as the original Colorforms stickers, which was the inspiration for what we are doing.

    They adhere extremely well to the drawing surface, and come up just as easily. This took several rounds of testing to get them to that point!

    Here's a video of what it looks like to apply and remove them!

    URL if it doesn't show up for you in this message:

    Right now we are working on making sure that they play well with dry erase and wet erase markers. (So that you can draw across them like you would the mats.)

    Please realize that what you see in the video is primarily about the material, not the artwork or anything else!

    Thank you for your patience!

    Getting these mats manufactured has been quite the journey, but we are nearing the end. I know that these delays have been frustrating---nobody feels that more than us!

    For those who are frustrated about the wait, please remember: we basically started completely over when our original factory failed to deliver. (Or rather, delivered a hugely defective product.)

    This is why we partnered with Aptus; they directed us to work with the factory that we currently are. We all definitely want to move forward---the factories realize there is no profit for them in just waiting around. And I want to make sure that what we deliver is actually as amazing as it ought to be.

    And we are definitely heading in that direction.

    Thanks for your patience, and thanks for backing us!"

  7. So. Any ETA? I would like to know if my cash was for nothing...

  8. No no we swear, everything is going great. We don't answer questions or post anything like a real update but we will string you along a bit longer. I know we are a year overdue and sure, there are other kickstarters that have been created, funded, made in china and shipped but ours is much more complex than say... Scythe... really.

  9. Chill out man. You obviously know nothing about manufacturing if you think Scythe was complex from a manufacturing standpoint. It wasn't. I'm fact it was very VERY straightforward. I own it, I play it, its great. Not complex. This project is. Buckle up, the ride will be over shortly.

  10. @Fred
    Have you emailed them with your questions or are you just claiming they "don't answer question"? Personally, when my questions have exceeded beyond what has been here or on Kickstarter they have been very responsive.

    Is there something you need to know beyond what they have not already shared with open transparency? Perhaps I can help. Not directly affiliated with them but I've paid attention and understand what is going on.