Before anything else - we are still working on BackerKit and are planning to meet our 31st October roll-out as announced.
Apologies to everyone for our lack of updates over the last few weeks. As some of the backers have been talking about it has literally been due to our huge workload ensuring that the quality of the product we plan to deliver is of the highest we can achieve. Part of this involved a trip to China... Hopefully this update will give you a 'behind the scenes' look at the logistical challenges a project like this poses to a company.
We felt with a project on this scale we needed to visit the factories involved directly. So Rich Loxam (Managing Director) & Mat Hart (Creative Director) went on the 12 hour flight across the world to personally see how progress was going. The awesome Ludo Fact Asia Office - so many shiny toys inside!
After travelling from Hong Kong to mainland China we met up with Ludo Fact Asia in the city of Dongguan. They had arranged a full trip to the various factories that are producing each element of the Dark Souls project and gave us a full run down of exactly how it was all happening.
To give you an idea of how production of this project happens essentially:
- Models, Components and some Printed Products are produced in China
- These items are then shipped to LudoFact Germany & LudoFact USA
- Both these locations and LudoFact Asia then compete the printing and assembling processes of the product
- Once completed, these are then sent to multiple distribution hubs around the world
- Once at the hub, parcels are pick/packed and then sent to the customers
On our visit in China, we stopped off at one of the main printing factories that deals with most of the gaming industry printed components.One of the large scale printers within the factory - yes that is a man poking out of the bottom end...
Pretty much every major board game was seen our our trip round (unfortunately we cannot show you images of them!) and we were shown the various stages they go through to make sure the components are of the highest quality. Some of these processes included:
- Cold/Heat treatment of the board components so warping doesn't occur
- Machine fed card cutting for accurate centering (yes, rounded corners!)
- Digital file checking and error flagging from prototype creation and digital samples
- Calibration of machines for perfect wrapping of graphical packaging around outer boxes, etc.
It was incredibly impressive the level of quality checking that happens and confirmed to us we had made the right choice for Dark Souls.Stages of Production - 3D Print Approval Samples (Orange) and Pre-Tooling Samples (White)
Another key stop on our trip was to the modelling manufacturer. We were shown the entire process from mould and tooling creation to production samples. The image above shows some of the various stages the current Dark Souls models were at.
The level of detail achieved on these miniatures is incredible. We cannot wait to update you with the photos of the final production samples over the next few months. We have recently gone through a similar process with our Guild Ball range of miniatures (see steamforged.com - Kick Off! for details) and we are so happy that the level of quality is some of the highest seen in board gaming.Titanite Demon 3D Sample Prior to Tooling Sample...and yes thats a 75mm base!Top Down look at the Gargoyle - with tape measure for scale.A selection of base sizes from 25mm - 75mm. Don't worry, they come pre-assembled on the models in the box
After a few exhausting days we come back from China with a full sense of excitement and amazement at the sheer scale of what is involved behind the screen of emails and communication we normally get to see when producing a new game.
We also have full confidence that the final products will be well received by our backers and customers.
Finally, we can now confirm that every single model unlocked on the campaign is now sculpted and at various stages of approval/production.
The next update from us will be relating specifically with the BackerKit and should arrive on October 31st as planned.
Praise the Sun! \[T]/