Monday, July 15

All Systems Go!

For the last six months Paul and I have been managing FlickFleet construction between two sites that are 100 miles apart.

I’ve got all the printed stuff (box labels, dashboards, Zombology bits) and to begin with had the greyboard for the boxes too. Paul has the laser cutter, acrylic and wooden bits (and for the last couple of months has had the FlickFleet box greyboard as well).

Paul, who works part-time, has been blasting through his half of the construction and we’ve been periodically meeting up so he can supply me with the bits I need to finish copies and ship them - either through family visits on the weekend or a quick pint in York (where Paul lives) station on my way home from frequent work trips to Manchester.

With my house move looming over us for the last several months I’ve been trying to minimise the stuff I’ve got in my house, so I managed to offload the greyboard onto Paul (and he cut all the box blanks from it!) and I've been trying to turn the stock around as quickly as possible to minimise finished stock in the house.

With the move now safely behind us, I need to reverse that trend. I'm aiming to make and ship 16 copies of FlickFleet a week now, and the last couple of times we've met up I've taken 20 or so copies from Paul (which due to the weight of the acrylic and wooden bits is pretty much all I can carry!). I go to Manchester every three to four weeks - that's clearly not a solution we can rely on, so this weekend we invited Paul and his family up to see the new house and bring everything I need to complete the Kickstarter rewards - that's around 100 games' worth of box blanks, acrylic and wooden bits and all the postage boxes he had.

Now I have everything I need to complete the fulfilment - Paul's done (more than!) his fair share. Though he did take eleven finished copies back with him to post while I'm in Manchester next week. He also took a bunch of labels - so he can cut them out - saving me a further three minutes per game (about five hours for the rest of the Kickstarter rewards).

All I need to finish Kickstarter fulfilment!

In related news, I'll be at Tabletop Manchester at The Wharf pub tonight for gaming and will have Zombology and FlickFleet with me if you're interested to try them out!

Monday, July 8

Back in the Saddle

This week I have resumed FlickFleet crafting in the new house!

We’re still in a chaotic state with boxes everywhere, but I’ve found the FlickFleet materials and started making games again. 

With my crafting table in pieces on a pile of boxes in the garage I’ve had to improvise, and I’ve been using the kitchen island instead.

Bon app├ętit!

The good news is that this is a better height for standing at (I stand up to cut out the labels and dashboards) but worse for sitting at (the bar stools are much less comfortable than my office chair!).

Last week I made 16 copies as planned and this week I have everything I need to make 10 of my 16 target, then I've run out again. So we’ve arranged for Paul and his family to come up and see our new house (and bring everything he’s made that I need to complete the Kickstarter rewards: 87 cut box blanks, 87 bags of sorted bits and all the postage boxes he’s got). 

That will remove one of the obstacles to hitting our deadlines: our need to meet up periodically and exchange things made at one or the other house!

Monday, July 1

Box Fort!

Last Tuesday we moved into the new house. It all went fairly smoothly on the day and now we are just sorting through all the stuff we still have in boxes trying to work out where it will all live.

My half of the Eurydice Games stuff ready for the move!

Long term the plan is that the smallest bedroom will end up as a crafting studio for me to make Eurydice Games, but in the short term The Toddler is in there while we sort out the other rooms.

On Friday I brought the bits I’d collected from Paul and left at work home with me and I intend to resume crafting this week. Progress will be slow for a few weeks while I sort out the rest of the house, but at this point I’m still right on track for completing the Kickstarter rewards in August.

Monday, June 24

All Change!

Tomorrow we move house. It's only a short move (about 1.5 miles), but it's the first time we've bought and sold a house on the same day and the first time we've moved with kids (now aged 6 and 2). It's been remarkably stressful, but hopefully by mid-afternoon tomorrow we should be in our new house surrounded by piles of boxes.

I've spent the last week trying to get as much stock finished as possible and then getting that in the post (or stored under my desk at work so that the movers can't damage it in transit). The un-assembled stock is still here though, but as flat sheets of card or greyboard in sturdy boxes I'm less worried about that!

I'm not expecting to get much crafting done over the next couple of weeks as we'll still be frantically unpacking/working out where things live/sorting out our stuff, but at this point we're still on track for finishing fulfilment by the end of August - four months ahead of schedule!

In time, we're hoping to make the smallest bedroom an office for Eurydice Games, but for the moment it'll be The Toddler's room until we sort out some of the other rooms. I'm really looking forward to having a dedicated crafting space :-)

Until then I have a lot of stuff to put in boxes, and then a lot of stuff to take out of boxes - wish me luck!

Monday, June 17

Hiatus II: Return of the Hiatus

After three months of living in limbo, it appears that we finally have a date for our house move: next Tuesday. So I have just over a week to sort our stuff out and get rid of as much finished stock as possible to avoid it getting damaged in the move. The good news is that I currently only have one finished copy of both FlickFleet and Zombology and three half-finished Zombology copies. I need to finish those by Thursday as I'll be restocking our only retailer, Travelling Man, in Manchester on my way home from a work trip.

I’m also going to meet Paul in York and pick up some more FlickFleet bits on my way through, though I’ll leave those under my desk at work until I get the move over with.

I’ve planned for a few weeks of no crafting as we settle into the new house and start sorting out all our stuff and yet still expect to get all the Kickstarter rewards in the Post by the end of August - several months ahead of schedule.

For now though my focus needs to be on sorting out our belongings for the move!

Monday, June 10

No Take Backsies!

The prevailing wisdom when fulfilling a Kickstarter (i.e. Jamey Stegmaier) is to expect about 1% fulfilment errors - games that fail to arrive at the backer.

With just over 300 backers we would therefore be expecting about three. This week we got our first two returns, one from the USA (insufficient address) and one from France (not collected). This is a first for me, despite eight years of selling games over the Internet.

I’ll be looking to get those both back in the post this week. Hopefully we’ll not have any more, but at least with a signature required and tracking for international parcels and the return address on the box we’ve got a decent chance of not losing the games themselves, just the postage.

I’ve got a very busy week at work this week, hosting visitors all week, but I’m hoping to get 6 of the last 9 Bomber pledges in the post today and then the last 3 early next week.

Our move is hopefully a week or two away now, so there will be a shipping hiatus while we pack everything up and then settle back in again.

Monday, June 3

Doubling Up

Until now our focus has been wholly on making copies of FlickFleet as fast as we can and then getting them in the post to complete the FlickFleet Kickstarter fulfilment.

We’re now on the Bomber pledges (a copy of FlickFleet and one of Zombology), so Zombology is also required now too. We had a few of the earlier pledge levels get an additional Zombology, but that was a total of  seven copies over the months of Jan to May, now we need 20 copies of Zombology in fairly short order.
A blast from the past!

Because Paul does most of the FlickFleet crafting they're only take me about 19 minutes now, but Zombology is still 42 mins per copy so doing 20 will take me 14 hours - that’s several weeks’ crafting with another 20 copies of FlickFleet on top. It’s going well at the moment - I’ve made 12 FlickFleets and 11 Zombologys (and eight of those rewards are in the post, with the rest going in the post tomorrow). Next up will be the remaining eight FlickFleets and then it’ll be nine more Zombologys and the Bombers are done.

The final reward tier is 98 FlickFleets which we’ll do in July and August I hope.

The other thing that is splitting my focus is the next project. We’re planning to do a second FlickFleet Kickstarter once the first one is completed (i.e. all pledges in the post). There’s a ton of stuff that needs doing ahead of time (the KS page, video, photos of finished games and working out exactly what the Scenario Pack expansion will contain), but thankfully most of it can be done during lunchtime on a PC (on the days I don’t go to the Post Office!).

Busy, busy!