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Terraforming Mars» Forums » General

Subject: Component quality? rss

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David Miller
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Livonia
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I cracked open my game last night and someone asked if it was used. The cubes looked a bit work, some of the metallic cubes have un-metallic corners. A couple cards are slightly off printed. The back image is shifted slightly and they show a white print corner as if the image didn't line up properly.

Anyone else have these problems? I am trying to see if these are common before contacting the publisher.
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James Mathias
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I've heard others complain of these same issues.

Be forewarned, Stronghold is not very good about replacements. I've had to request replacements from them for both Dark Moon and Core Worlds, both experiences were on the lower end of customer service spectrum, and in the case of Dark Moon, my replacements were in the same condition as the originals, so I consider my Stronghold purchases very carefully now.
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Bill Buchanan
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The metallic cube having a corner that has "chipped paint" is a well documented issue that the designers have commented on numerous times in other threads.

The cause is the manufacturing process, as it is the spot where all the cubes were broken from the mold/each other. As far as I'm aware every game will be like that, not just yours.

As for the cards, I'm not sure.
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Enoch Fryxelius
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warpi9 wrote:
I cracked open my game last night and someone asked if it was used. The cubes looked a bit work, some of the metallic cubes have un-metallic corners. A couple cards are slightly off printed. The back image is shifted slightly and they show a white print corner as if the image didn't line up properly.

Anyone else have these problems? I am trying to see if these are common before contacting the publisher.


It's very sad when a game you've just opened doesn't feel fresh and new!

At the same time we have to remember that games are mass-produced so there is a gray-zone here between what we should tolerate and what the retailer/publisher should replace.

All the resource cubes have one corner that is chipped. That's the injection point for the mold and the holding point for the metallic coating. Unfortunately we can't avoid this, so we made a decision that we wanted these shiny cubes anyway and that they looked great, even with this little defect.

Among the millions of cubes manufactured, there is a few that will not be perfectly coated (especially the silver cubes - I got one in my demo ex with one black side). If you find 1-3 cubes that doesn't look nice, just throw them out of the game. There is more than enough resourse cubes in the game.

Cards - of course they should be printed and cut straight, and you shouldn't have any misprinting marking out individual cards.
A friend of mine got cards with weak stripes on the back of 3-4 cards. He managed to just smooth the colours out with a wet finger and when the cards were sleeved, the defect wasn't visable anymore.

I'm just saying there are grey zones here. You have to decide for yourself if defects you find in your (mass-produced) game is serious enough. If they are - you should of course get help from the publisher - Stronghold in this case. I know the factory doesn't have any extra card decks in stock to send out right now but we will make sure to make some extra in the reprint soon.

While we're on the subject we have also noticed that the paper insert in the box is too weak so it's going to be replaced with stronger paper in the next print. It's hard sometimes to predict what problems you are going to run into when you produce a game for the first time...

Thank you all for your patience! The only wish from me and my brothers is that you all will enjoy this game!

Enoch /CEO FryxGames, Sweden, designer/developer/publisher of Terraforming Mars
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Morten K
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Well Said, Enoch.
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Brett Smith
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The quality of this game is not the greatest its really are only complaint about the game wish they had a deluxe version of the game cause the game play is amazing just the components are not the greatest for the price point of this game.
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Leo Borg
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Hope for cardboard dual layer player mats with receded holes for the cubes.
And a thicker cardboard for the game box.
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James Mathias
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EagleEye80 wrote:
It's hard sometimes to predict what problems you are going to run into when you produce a game for the first time...


Fair, if it's really your first time printing a game, but Stronghold has been in the biz a while, and has printed a lot of games, and I see the same quality defects over and over from them. It's not a matter of inexperience at this stage.
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Erik Isch
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chandler
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I think that people are getting a little spoiled, because they are expecting the quality level to be at the Scythe level all the time.
Deluxe the game your self. Get metal cubes from tree BGG store. I like the prices from MM and cool have it at. Imo
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Paul Newsham
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greasygoblin wrote:
I think that people are getting a little spoiled, because they are expecting the quality level to be at the Scythe level all the time.
Deluxe the game your self. Get metal cubes from tree BGG store. I like the prices from MM and cool have it at. Imo


In the UK, the price difference between this game and Scythe is £5. Stronghold games are now among the most expensive you can buy here.
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Hamhock DeShabado
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Half my cards were not cut right so in the main deck 50% of one side have square corners and the rest are rounded.

It makes for a very interesting stack

when I contacted Stronghold the reply was...

Please jump threw these meany hoops then we may consider reviewing your complaint...
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Erik Isch
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chandler
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Don't get me wrong guys. I feel your pain. My legendary deck builder was miss cut and missing cards. I know the frustrations... except international shipping. In the end upper deck finally came through for me. Strong hold games in my opinion is better at Customer service then them, just give them time





VWValker wrote:
Half my cards were not cut right so in the main deck 50% of one side have square corners and the rest are rounded.

It makes for a very interesting stack

when I contacted Stronghold the reply was...

Please jump threw these meany hoops then we may consider reviewing your complaint...
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Joel Brighton
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VWValker wrote:
Half my cards were not cut right so in the main deck 50% of one side have square corners and the rest are rounded.


Yikes - hearing this is enough to question whether I should actually buy this game. soblue
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Bart Rachemoss
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Silver City
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joebri wrote:
Yikes - hearing this is enough to question whether I should actually buy this game. soblue

Converting a hostile alien planet into a world that is conducive to human life, and doing this across many generations, is not for the feint of heart!
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Jacob Fryxelius
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joebri wrote:
VWValker wrote:
Half my cards were not cut right so in the main deck 50% of one side have square corners and the rest are rounded.


Yikes - hearing this is enough to question whether I should actually buy this game. soblue


It is indeed a serious (and very odd) production fault, and he'll of course get replacement in due time. LudoFact (the factory in Germany) always replaces such things, but Stronghold must handle it. Their response must have been a standard response in order to assertain exactly what the problem is.
A production fault can happen in any game, but that doesn't keep you from buying games, does it? The customer service is more important I think, and that always takes some time.

I hope the deck is replaced asap.
Cheers!
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Frank Hamrick
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Rocky Mount
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The corners of our cubes may look slightly worn, but you REALLY have to look at them to see it. Our crowd of 5 didn't even notice. I had to hold a piece up and get them to focus on it before they even noticed it. A total non-factor.

The player mats are too thin and being laminated made them slick. I have ordered the laser-cut overlays from Board Game Innovations which will take care of the problem. It would have been nice if they had been made like the amazing player boards in Scythe, but no one complained or felt it was a problem in the two games I've played (with 9 different players).

My only real concern was the insert. As Enoch stated, it is 'too weak.' The weight of the board, etc. caused it to tear a bit from the weight. That was actually the only disappointment I had with the game bits.

But - the game play more than makes up for a slightly torn insert. I love the game.
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Sebastian Stückl
Germany
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Is there any difference as far as quality is concerned between the German and English version of the game?
I have the German version,

and as far as the quality of the game components and cardboard is concerned, I am pretty happy; so I don't understand why people keep saying they dislike the poor production quality. I think it's quite good!


The only two exceptions are:
a) There are tiny gray dots on the surface of some of my silver resource cubes, similar to the damage on neodym magnets that flick together. (Basically, the paint will flake off)
Since I did not notice any of these when I opened the game, and now there are quite a lot of these marks, I believe this is damage as a result of game play, but I am not sure if this a quality issue that can be avoided.
However, it's entirely possible those dots were already there when I received the game.

b) 3(?) cards in the German version appear to have incorrect rules text, which deviates from the symbols on the card. I assume this is a translation error, but perhaps I'll open a seperate thread for this some day...
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Jaime D.
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swYck wrote:
Hope for cardboard dual layer player mats with receded holes for the cubes.
And a thicker cardboard for the game box.


+1000 Specifically for the dual layer player mats.
 
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Enoch Fryxelius
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Gregory Adama wrote:
Huge red flags for me, knowing this. Sorry to say that in this day and age component quality is a pretty big deal, especially considering the premium price tag of TM. A few chips on cubes is one thing, but card cutting issues? Not cool. And the "Well, it's a MASS PRODUCED game" argument sucks. Total bullshit. Lots of high quality games with great components are mass produced with little to no issues. And saying that other games have "spoiled us" is spurious at best. It's a competitive market. Publishers are upping their component quality (Mechs vs. Minions, similar price too!) to stand out, to be noticed, to be competitive. Why didn't someone, anyone look at the first printed copies and insist the game manufacturer fix these issues? Don't manufacturers give sample copies indicating the quality of the final product? And, side note. I had a negative experience with Stronghokd customer service too, asking me to go through hoops to replace a few cards. Sounds like someone dropped the ball w/Terraforming Mars and it's the customers who get the short end of the stick, except the customers who buy the 2nd printing. So, I'll wait for a reprint, if I get it at all.


Ok - one more time: Card cutting errors is not OK, and I never said it was. LudoFact (in Germany and now just opened in US) are reknowned for card and cardboard quality and I'm very surprised to hear about these issues at all...
The sample games opened for quality check did not have these problems (and no - they didn't open ALL the boxes).
The start-up costs for plastic trays and figures are enormous!!! But the upside is that you normaly get very good quality even in big quantities. Mechs vs Minions truly look amazing, even compared to other games that focus heavily on component values. My guess is they are a big company with good strong business in China, printing in very large numbers.
You're right - it is a competitive market: "Hey - I just found another Kickstarter! I have no clue if it's good but the components look amazing!! Let's back it. Oh, 1 million dollars already and 20 stretch goals - who needs a local lonely game store anymore?" Established publishers with a strong market can buy a lot of customers by simply offer better quality components to a better price than smaller publishers.

So don't buy Terraforming Mars if you only want shiny cubes at a good price - you are going to be disappointed!

Again, I'm only trying to share another perspective here. We are really sorry for any defects in production. And it's too bad it takes focus away from the game itself...
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Wim van Gruisen
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Den Bosch
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EagleEye80 wrote:
At the same time we have to remember that games are mass-produced so there is a gray-zone here between what we should tolerate and what the retailer/publisher should replace.

I have to agree with a previous comment that this is a nonsense argument. Mass-produced doesn't mean inferior quality (many luxurious, excellent quality goods are mass-produced), it just means a more constant quality. The level of that quality is then the choice of the producer. Many games that are around the price point of Terraforming Mars have good quality components. I bought the game yesterday and was disappointed when opening the box. Some components are definitely low quality for a game of this price.

The metallic cubes, that was a choice of the producers. I have to see how problematic this will be in play, but for the moment give the producers the advantage of the doubt. I wonder, though, what the advantage of plastic cubes is over the standard wooden ones.

The player boards are not mounted. This I do have issues with. It's definitely the inferior choice.

And then the insert. I opened the box and found the insert damaged - torn, bent, ugly deformed. A terrible first impression when opening the box.

The box itself - the cardboard feels thinner than of the standard box, and I have the idea that it could easily be damaged.

And that is too bad. The other stuff - cards, tokens, board - are of good to excellent quality.
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Edwin Nealley

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Just opened my copy last night as well, and while I OCD'd/pre-checked components, I noticed some cubes had a corner less perfect, and the thematic printed insert was a little worse for wear.

However, my cards were fine, and I didn't even notice the insert, or the cubes while enjoying my first play.

It may not quite be Scythe (what else is?) but the experience quickly takes one away from that.

Thanks for the terrific game play in-box-

A satisfied gamer.
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Andrew Johnson
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I was looking forward to this game. Now I am not so sure. I may wait for the reprint, especially since there are a few other games I am looking at right now.
 
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Andrew Johnson
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EagleEye80 wrote:
[q="Gregory Adama"]

So don't buy Terraforming Mars if you only want shiny cubes at a good price - you are going to be disappointed! :)



Fair enough. I won't.
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Jonathan Fryxelius
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Gregory Adama wrote:
And the "Well, it's a MASS PRODUCED game" argument sucks. Total bullshit.


You're missing the point. The overall quality is set, but in mass production, some faults will slip through the process unnoticed. All publishers have this problem. For example card cutting, which is an automated process. These faults are practically unavoidable, and 99,9% of all customers will never experience this. Of course, publishers have made choices for which they are responsible, like material used, sizes, quantities and the like.
In short, mass production inherently involves a few damaged/faulty copies. That was the point.
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Bitchy Little Boy
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It may not be the case now, but in my experience on both sides of the fence, there are customers not worth having. If replacing any defective parts is not enough, perhaps this is not the right product for the dissatisfied customer.

EDIT: It is better to be honest about your product and sell less than to sell a lot of copies and then have a mob with pitchforks and torches clamouring for a refund.
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