The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund (JVMF) Auction is well underway and well on its way to another great year.
So far, it's up to $22,860 raised in bids, but is open for items and bidding through April 6, 2019.
You don't need to be a publisher or designer either to help with this project (read more here: Jack Vasel Memorial Fund Auction 2019 (CLOSED)). Anyone can offer games, accessories or pretty much whatever (within reason!) for bids. You ship the item to the winner and the winner pays the JVMF. A feel good win for everyone.
Also in the monthly "Games For Geekgold" contest, I'm offering up my M3D Micro 3d Printer (as reviewed here: Boardgaming, 3D Printing, and the Micro 3D - a Ones Upon a Game Review). As little as 1GG gets you an entry to win with of course more GG = more entries. As of right now, three winners will be chosen. One for the printer and two more will receive all their bid GG back + 750GG bonus. So if you're interested in starting on the 3D printing journey, then swing on over and take a chance.
I'm very thrilled that my auction tools tool for auctions has been such a well-received success. I went and made a few little tweaks and improvements as noted here.
First, I reworked the page to update on the same page, so you can easily redo your choices without going back and forth between pages.
A new checkbox is added to allow you to suppress images in the final results (if you prefer not to see them).
There are three new tags you can put in the GEEKLIST HEADER to add to the post the date the auction ends as well as the shipping from and to locations. These are freeform text and take everything to the end of the line they are on (one per line as follows):
%SHIPSFROM% Zipcode 90210 %SHIPSTO% USA ONLY %AUCTIONEND% October 28, 2019 at 11:00pm ET.
These new header options are in addition to the previous ones already there for each geeklist item. Those are the ability to suppress an item (if it's sold or part of a bundle) and the ability to give an item a different display name (again for bundles or "miscellaneous" items).
Update on my post Saturday night (Wetsuit Anyone?) concerning my order from Miniature Market of a 3'x3' neoprene mat (on clearance for $10.50) and receiving a 2.5' x 30' roll of black neoprene.
Called MM this morning and described what I received (and another user report they had received it as well). What happened is that when they received the items into inventory, they put them under the wrong SKU (stock keeping unit) which is what was being offered on the website (the 3'x3' mat)... so it seems everyone who ordered this got this big roll instead. Or multiples.
They asked if I could use it -- which I certainly can! They've also depleted the stock of the wrong product from the site, so sorry latecomers, it's no longer available.
As assumed, MM handled it quickly and professionally.
Win win! Now I can cut a mat to fit my dining table instead of piecing two together.
And still have enough to make mousepads for Christmas!
Note: I will be contacting Miniature Market on Monday regarding their error and how they wish to proceed, but this one was just too funny, IMO, not to share. I trust, as they have in the past, that they will remedy this without issue.
Currently, Miniature Market is having a clearance sale and while I did not find any games worth breaking my "no new games, I really mean it" vow, I was directed to a plain black 3'x3' neoprene gaming mat. Figuring this would help when we played family games on the dining table (vs. a foamcore/felt thing I made) for picking up cards, etc... I ordered one for that purpose for $10.50. I also added a second one for me as a nice boundary for miniatures games with a 3'x3' boundary.
But then I saw a nice, printed one for $13 more, so I called them and changed my order to one of the black and one of the printed. They were very helpful, the change was made and the order was processed and shipped.
My FedEx tracking though said the box was 18 pounds. Wowie... Ok. Then I checked the original order and the addendum order and saw that it still said two of the black mats were ordered and two were shipped. Figured that explained it and could believe each mat with packaging was about six pounds each, though that seemed a bit high. I assumed they messed up and included all three mats and I would contact them about returning the extra. No biggie.
Well today (Saturday), the box arrived and sure enough was quite heavy. I was busy pressure washing our fence to prepare for painting, so I received the box to open later.
Finally, just a few minutes ago I did and boy was I surprised. The pick tickets inside did in fact say that only one printed mat and one black mat were in the shipment. The printed one was on top and looked fine. The second one was quite the shocker.
I could tell right away that had to be more than one of the mats. So like a magician pulling scarves from his (or her) mouth... I pulled out "the mat".
Instead of a 3x3 neoprene mat, I instead had a huge piece of black neoprene. It measured about 2.5' wide and using the ever-so-accurate one-pace = three feet test, was 30 feet long!!!
I cannot even imagine what they had this bolt of neoprene fabric in their warehouse for in the first place. I cannot find any related product on their site that this would correspond to. Are the mats sold off a bolt and cut in the warehouse for each order? But this was not 3' wide either.
An interesting mystery that I hope to get an answer to on Monday... but wowie.
As a software developer, I am very conscious of piracy laws for software, music, movies, etc... When I made for add-on storage crates to be used for Everdell by Starling Games (II), it truly never occurred to me that adding the tiny logo for "flavor" was a violation, but I guess I should have. Fortunately, Starling politely notified me of my villainous oversight and requested as trademark holder that I remove their logo from the pattern.
I guess it's easy to get so caught up in the community spirit of boardgaming that one can misstep without realizing it. The issue was probably more that I was charging a nominal fee for the pattern and that's certainly fair.
So to that end, I have updated the template pattern to a generic "FRAGILE" cargo script on the lid and as a bonus included a larger version of the crate as well.
Coincidentally just yesterday someone had requested a more generic pattern to use with other games, so this worked out well overall.
You can find the pattern here if you're interested.
UPDATE: Starling Games contacted me and didn't like my use of the name and logo on the crates themselves, so I have re-editto remoe the logo. Fortunately someone else was interested in them without branding already so it might work out for the best all the same.
First off, have to say, Everdell is an absolute gem (or resin?) of a game. Designed by James A. Wilson, published by Starling Games (II) and beautifully illustrated by Andrew Bosley, Everdell is a breath of fresh air. Quick to play, easy rules, but medium complexity, the game will thrill soloists, groups, and families alike.
Resource Storage Crates
One thing I noticed during my playing the game though was the piles of resources (twigs, resin, pebbles, and berries) that sit in designated spots on the board tend to roll and shift around as fat fingers try to pick one up. I wanted a solution to this problem that would be thematic as well as provide storage for the resources in the game box.
You've probably noticed by now that I like to design custom boxes for various games (like for Too Many Bones and others)... but I've never delved into designing a box with full graphics. Thinking on the theme, I decided on a shipping crate motif that would look good on the board, keeping the resources in place as well as have a lid so they could go right into the game box.
This pattern is available now on Etsy for $2.49. You get two full crates from a single sheet of 65# or 110# cardstock, so you only need to print two copies. Full instructions with photos included.
Surgery of more the cosmetic variety. The Evertree included with the game is quite lovely. Made of five pieces of coated chipboard, it adds a wonderful 3D element to the game and thematically your little critters are waiting in the tree to help in later seasons (a turtle up the tree???).
However, being chipboard, I was worried the assembly/disassembly would eventually create too much wear and softness on the pieces. Also, being chipboard, it has the ugly raw edges for such a beautiful component.
First thing, I used dry erase markers (with a bit of help from Mr. Sharpie and yellow highlighter) to color the edges of the boards. For the tree I simply used black as that blends well with the brown and looks like shadows of bark lines. For the spring/summer areas of the tree, green was used and yellow highlighter on the autumn area. As groovy as the tree is shaped, it was a little challenging to get into some of the nooks, but patience and a little "bending" remedied that.
Next for protection, I wanted to seal the edges to prevent them from fraying, but also give a protective coat for the faces of the pieces. For this I turned to a wonderful product called "Right Step" (https://jwetc.com/products) which is a clear varnish. It's "self levelling" so you put it on thin and brush strokes should disappear. I used a Satin finish (between matte and gloss) and turned out great. Downside I didn't plan for was the varnish dripped over the edge and puddled on the reverse side, creating some interesting textures on that side, but nothing too bad. Looking back, I'd rest them on dice or something to keep them lifted off the wax paper when drying.
In the end though, the effect worked perfectly. The edges are mostly colored and the tree components have a nice sheen to them and fit together smoothly.
Of course whether you're jumping in new or just waiting for Undertow to surface, now's a good time to start getting ready to organize all the content. So this is a friendly reminder that if you were considering ordering custom dice boxes for the game, get your order in.
These boxes reduce the amount of space each Gearloc's dice take up in the box. You could also solve this by combining two Gearloc's in a single plastic tray, but then you still have to pull out extra characters to get to the ones you want for a game session.
As detailed in my previous post (Make Room for Undertow!) I was able to get all the TMB content and expansions into the single TMB box with extra room for Undertow when it arrives. Here's how these boxes play into that organization strategy.
Prices have been recently reduced to $27.50 for the full set of 10 boxes and the other sets are comparably discounted.
We love the BGG Marketplace of course, so they are listed there as follows:
The first is the ability to specify the link text that appears directly linking each geeklist item in the index of items. For uses outside of auctions "Auction Item" is not an intuitive choice. And rather than having to manual edit them post generation, you can specify it in advance.
Also added the ability to use alternate name for items as well as excluding items that have sold, part of a bundle, or just exempt for whatever reason.
To exclude an item simply drop %SOLD% or %EXCLUDE% into the item description. These will not be considered when you regenerate the list (to update auction posts, etc...)
To add an alternate name add %NAME% followed by whatever name you want to call the item. The entire rest of the line will be used, so make sure you put it on a line by itself. This can be good for specifying bundles or misc items not in the BGG database.
I've long admired when folks manually look up the representative image for each item in their GeekBay Auctions and produce a nice image array to head their post. And then to add to that, they add links to all the games in their auctions as well as a link to the actual auction item.
Whew! A lot of work!
I'm already doing geeklist processing for the Aggregator family of sites... So why not take the same logic to create a quick engine to generate the posting code from an auction geeklist!
Simply enter the geeklist id you want to process and click 'generate'. The code reads it in (if valid), sorts the items alphabetically, and then produces BGG editor code for the images and then a list of each game as well as a link to the auction item directly. While geeklists can be sorted in a few ways on the site, the API returns in the order items were added... so alphabetical made the most sense.
Cut and paste this generated code (in full or in part) into your BGG announcement or forum post and voila!
As I said, the primarly purpose is for auctions, but really any geeklist you want to create perhaps a header index to is fair game. You would need to change references to auction with something else, but that's a simple search and replace away.
A link is included in each generation to promote the tool, but I don't require it be kept in there or anything. You wanna be a jerk, go ahead (kidding!)