An urban tile laying game for 1-5 players from the designer of Villagers.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
Progress Report #7 - The waiting for a game game.
16 days ago
– Fri, Apr 30, 2021 at 02:47:27 PM
I hope everyone is doing OK out there. I'm here again with a very quick Streets update, so let's do it!
As you may know, the game is being manufactured right now by our friends at Whatz Games in Shanghai. Assuming everything is OK with the final approval copies, our project coordinator has given us a manufacturing completion date of June 23rd. Unfortunately, this puts our schedule back a month, but we did expect delays in these very unusual times.
Once manufacturing is done, we have freight shipping to deal with - this is where the finished games are loaded into shipping containers & sent to six regional shipping hubs in the UK, France, Norway, China, USA and Canada before being sent out to backers. The ones for China will just go on a lorry, but you get the idea. Our freight shipping plan is complete and Whatz Games has been given detailed packing instructions for each shipment.
I’m told that space on container ships is still hard to come by due to the strain the pandemic has put on the shipping industry as a whole. However, we’re in good time to pre-book space, and we’re still two months away from our earliest shipping date, so it’s possible that the situation will ease a little in the meantime. We’ve done everything we can from our end, so we’re now at the mercy of external forces. All we can do is keep you informed, but we should be prepared for things to take longer than we want them to. It's a good job we're all mature adults who can wait patiently for our toys ;)
Here’s what the production schedule looks like now.
We locked pledges last month, which means that you can no longer make changes to the items you pledged for. It is still possible to log in to BackerKit and update your shipping address & contact details should you wish. We will lock shipping addresses and charge for shipping & any add-on items when the boats are underway, hopefully in July.
We took part in Shut Up & Sit Down’s “AwSHUX” online convention last weekend, and played a couple of games of Streets live on Twitch with various special guests. Here’s a 3 player game with myself, Haakon, and Nick Welford playing with the Business expansion. If you want to skip our inane pre-game waffle, the action starts around the 00:09:00 mark: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/999097609
We also showed off the upcoming Villagers: Shifting Seasons expansion in full for the first time, and you can watch Haakon & I face off against Suzanne Sheldon here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/999406409
We'll be taking Shifting Seasons to Kickstarter later this summer, and you can sign up for a launch alert here.
And that is all for now. We'll be back with another update around the end of May.
Progress Report #6 - A deadline & an expansion.
about 2 months ago
– Wed, Mar 31, 2021 at 03:09:19 PM
It's time for another progress report! It's been a fairly quiet month on the Streets front, but very briefly, manufacturing is underway, and we are locking orders in BackerKit tomorrow (March 31st). You can read more below.
Villagers is Expanding!
But first, Haakon's first game, Villagers, is getting an expansion, named Shifting Seasons. Haakon is deep into creating artwork for it right now, but the expansion is in a fully playable state and is essentially finished rules-wise. We think it's going to be a great (and modestly priced) addition to the game.
Shifting Seasons includes new single player rules, and we've released them early for you to play around with if you have the base game. You can find the Monastery Solo Mode rules here.
Since our timeline for Streets has slipped a little (manufacturing began later than anticipated because our factory is at capacity) we are now looking at fitting the Shifting Seasons Kickstarter campaign in before we start fulfilment on Streets. Plans may change again of course, but I wanted to give you all a heads-up about that possibility.
Streets Production Update
As expected, very little has happened this month (apart from that bit of bother on the Suez canal). We've paid a deposit to our manufacturer and turned the "mass production" light to a glowing "in progress" yellow, as you can see here...
Now we'll sit & wait for the factory to work their magic. By the end of April we should have a more accurate estimate of when the completion date will be.
Pledge Manager: Orders Locking March 31st
We're locking orders in the pledge manager tomorrow, March 31st! If you want to add extra items or change your pledge level - PLEASE DO IT RIGHT NOW! After orders are locked, you will not be able to adjust your order, but you will be able to update your shipping address information.
We are not charging for shipping right now - that will happen when we lock addresses closer to fulfilment time.
How To Change Pledge Level
It's not immediately obvious, but you can change your pledge level by following your unique BackerKit link and clicking on the name of your current pledge at the top left of your screen, as illustrated here...
Then, click "Switch Pledge Levels" on the next page...
How to Access the Pledge Manager
If you haven't done so already, you must fill out your survey or we can't send your pledge. You need a unique link to access your pledge which we emailed to you via BackerKit.com.
Progress Report #5 - A delay and some trees.
2 months ago
– Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 12:17:52 AM
I hope you're all doing OK. We have some progress to report so let's hop to it!
The production manager at our factory tells me they are at capacity right now, and this has delayed the start of our print run. I guess it's good to know that the pandemic doesn't seem to have impacted the demand for board games, and at this point I'll take any silver lining I can get!
As of an email received this morning (March 10th) our manufacturer is ready to start on our order "ASAP", and they estimate being finished by the end of May at the earliest, which pushes our fulfilment estimate to August. We don't know what the freight shipping situation will be like when our time comes to load our games into containers & send them to our fulfilment hubs, but it is out of our hands and we'll just have to roll with it. I would say that further delays are likely, but maybe things will have calmed down by then. We shall see.
So here's what the updated production schedule looks like...
We still have nearly 500 unanswered surveys in BackerKit. It's really important that we have shipping addresses from everyone! Backers who fill out their survey late risk incurring extra shipping fees. We are sending weekly reminder emails to the relevant backers, so if you don't remember filling in the survey and you aren't getting those emails, please check your spam folder. Failing that, please contact us.
We are going to lock orders at the end of March, which means you won't be able to adjust the items in your pledge. Address changes will still be possible until a couple of weeks prior to the start of fulfilment - whenever that is!
How to Play Video
Paul Grogan of the excellent Gaming Rules! channel on YouTube has completed his tutorial for Streets, and he's done a great job. The video will be released when fulfilment begins.
We stated during the campaign that we were going to try and positively offset the carbon emissions from the manufacture and distribution of Streets by planting trees. The following is an account of our progress on this, taken from the updated environmental policy section of the About Us page on our website.
How do we calculate our emissions?
As a small business it’s hard for us to come up with an accurate estimate of our C02 emissions. You can’t just Google “what is the carbon footprint of manufacturing a board game” and get a simple answer, so all we have are educated guesses. However, because we’re aiming to be carbon positive rather than neutral, our estimate doesn’t need to be perfectly accurate – we just need to overcompensate by a decent amount.
Our games are mostly made of paper & cardboard. Speaking very broadly, we estimate that to manufacture 1kg of cardboard generates 0.33 kilograms of C02. This doesn’t take into account printing, non-cardboard components, or the running of factory machinery, but if we heavily overcompensate we think it’s safe to assume that everything is covered. One 40ft shipping container of board games (say 20 pallets at 500kg each) costs about 1 ton of C02 for its ocean journey from the factory to our distributor. Again, these are very rough figures, but they’re sufficient for our purpose.
From this, we can roughly calculate of how many tons of C02 we generate when we print a game. We recently placed an order for 25,000 copies of Streets and Villagers, weighing an average of 1kg each. From this we can estimate that the C02 cost to manufacture and transport these games will be about 15 tons.
How do we compensate for our emissions?
We’ve chosen to sequester our C02 by planting trees, in partnership with TreeSisters. An average tree absorbs 1 ton of C02 over the course of its life. So 15 trees would technically cover our 15 tons of C02, but they’d take 100 years to do so, assuming they all survived. Clearly we need to capture C02 faster than that, and since we want to do more than break even on our C02, we should plant many more than 15 trees.
This is where TreeSisters comes in. Not only are they an utterly brilliant and inspiring organisation, but they charge just £0.40 ($0.50) to plant a tree. At that price, we can clearly afford to multiply our tree planting by quite a bit. Multiplying by ten and planting 150 trees might cover us, and multiplying by a hundred for 1,500 trees surely would. However, we are a small company with low overheads, and we make enough profit on 25,000 games to go a bit overboard with this, so instead we’ll multiply our 15 ton C02 estimate by a thousand, plant 15,000 trees, and be fairly confident that we’re giving more than we took. Until a better solution comes to light, we’ll do the same for every item we manufacture from now on, based on the weight of goods produced.
And with that, we're done until next time. Not much will happen between now and the start of fulfilment, but we will update again in roughly a month and let you know where we're at.
If you need our assistance with anything in the meantime, the best option is to use the contact form on our website.
Progress Report #4 - We're going to print!
3 months ago
– Fri, Feb 05, 2021 at 04:51:30 PM
I hope you're all OK. We have exciting Streets news, so let's go!
1. Production Samples
The final production samples of all versions of Streets have arrived from the factory and we have approved them for production with only a couple of minor corrections. Here's some photos of the finished articles. I quite like them :p
The next job is to place the manufacturing order. I am going to make my best guess on how many we need to print based on the pledge manager surveys submitted so far. Just over 90% of backers have answered now so we're close to an accurate number, and I will pad the order generously to avoid shortages.
2. Pledge Manager
If you haven't yet filled in your survey, please do so as soon as possible - if you don't complete it and give us your shipping address, we can't send you anything!
If you can't find the original email from BackerKit with your unique pledge manager link, please try to retrieve it here before you contact us.
A couple of weeks before fulfilment begins, we will lock down all pledges and charge cards for shipping and add-ons. The current estimate for that is May / June, but is subject to change. We'll communicate everything via these updates.
UK BACKERS WITH LOCKED SURVEYS
There are ~300 UK backers who pledged for a copy of Villagers with early shipping. Due to the way BackerKit works, these partially fulfilled pledges are now locked to further changes. We didn't realise this would be the case so it's a goof on our part - sorry about that! Here's how we'll get around it:
If you need to update your address before your copy of Streets is shipped: please contact us with your old and new details at any time before fulfilment begins, and we'll update it for you.
If you'd like to add extra items to your pledge, please make a pre-order here. UK shipping is free, so this is the least messy way to do it. Be aware that your items will be shipped separately.
To be clear, the above issue only effects UK backers who have received early copies of Villagers, and who need to update their add-ons or shipping address. All other backers can access the pledge manager and update items & info as usual until the pledge manager closes.
3. 🇮🇳 India 🇮🇳
I'm pleased to say that we've secured a shipping solution for India. It's part of shipping Zone 5 as detailed on the main campaign page, and I'm told it's a very good, reliable service. Fulfilment will be handled by VFI Asia.
India is now available as a shipping destination in the pledge manager, and pre-orders can be made here.
4. BGG Most Anticipated
Streets made it into the top 5 most anticipated games of 2021, according to the unofficial but hotly contested annual poll on BoardGameGeek! Final voting is now live and you can help us out by voting for Streets here in the Overall, Euro, and Family categories. You must be logged in to your BGG account to cast your votes.
5. Production Schedule
So this is where we're at, another green light!
I made a tweak to the steps for January - March to more accurately reflect the situation. I'll give it a couple of days after this update for more BackerKit surveys to be completed, and then place the order with the factory.
That's all for now. Stay safe and play games!
Progress Report #3 - pledge manager is open!
4 months ago
– Thu, Jan 07, 2021 at 02:12:38 AM
I hope you've all been keeping safe & well, and enjoying the holidays as much as possible. Let's hope 2021 is kinder to us all than 2020 was. I'm back in the office now and am pushing forward with all things Streets, so let's get into it!
1. Production Schedule
Here's where we stand:
The last entry for October - December 2020 was the creation & approval of blank samples, but we've removed it because we're skipping straight to final samples. We already had fully printed pre-production samples made (the ones we sent out for video previews etc) before the campaign began, so we agreed with the manufacturer that there's no sense going backwards & making blank ones. We do definitely need to check everything is right with the Standard, Deluxe, and Retail editions though, and all the free promo content, so those final samples are being made as I write & should be done before the end of January.
Also, THE PLEDGE MANAGER IS OPEN! (or at least it will be very shortly after I post this update). Let's talk about that.
2. Pledge Manager
If you've used a pledge manager before, you'll know what you're doing, but for those who haven't, here's the deal: many Kickstarter creators, including ourselves, use a third-party pledge manager service to organise pledges and shipping after a Kickstarter campaign. This gives us useful features that Kickstarter doesn't yet offer, like giving backers the ability to adjust pledges, and to charge for shipping after a campaign ends. The pledge manager we're using is called BackerKit - it's the industry leader, and we used it on our last campaign.
What happens now?
Very soon after this update is posted you'll get an email from BackerKit containing your unique link to the Streets pledge manager. It will be delivered to the email address you use for Kickstarter. Click the link in the email and go through the simple step-by-step survey, which will ask you for your shipping information, give you the ability to add extra items to your pledge, and finally tell you how much you owe for shipping.
You can log back in to the pledge manager any time before it closes (sometime in May probably) if you need to update your address or alter your pledge.
If you're in the UK or IE and you already confirmed your address last year, we do need you to do it once again now - sorry about that!
Fortunately, we are able to stick to the shipping costs as advertised on the campaign page. This will be automatically calculated for you in the pledge manager.
If you're a retailer with a brick & mortar store, you should see our bulk pricing when you go into the pledge manager. If you don't see the correct pricing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll fix you up.
Missing BackerKit email?
If the BackerKit email doesn't arrive, you can go here to retrieve your unique pledge manager link. You will need to enter the same email address that you used for Kickstarter at the time you backed Streets.
If you're having trouble with BackerKit, please use their support system before contacting us. If the issue is something we need to deal with, they will contact us on your behalf.
Please note that we can't offer personalised support via Kickstarter comments. If you need to contact us about anything, you can do that via email@example.com
3. Most Anticipated Game Of 2021?
Every year there's an unofficial poll over on BoardGameGeek to find what the community there thinks are the most anticipated games. There's a nomination period followed by final voting on the top 50 nominees. Since we have over 8000 backers who I assume are looking forward to the game, I think we stand a chance of making the finals! It's just a bit of fun, but it does give the finalists some free publicity, which is always nice.
Nominations end on January 16th and final voting is from the 17th (my birthday!) to the 23rd. If you'd like to cast a vote for Streets, please go to BoardGameGeek and click the green thumb, as illustrated here...
We could also use some thumbs on the two comments directly underneath the main entry for the game, which are there to nominate it for the Euro, Family, and Artistic categories. They only need 5 votes each to be accepted.
Haakon's work on Streets is basically done at this point, but he has not been resting on his laurels. In fact he's currently working on something that may look familiar...
I can't say much right now, but we will reveal more in the coming weeks over on the Villagers Community group on Facebook.
Thanks for reading, and we will as always keep you up to date on our progress as & when it happens.