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Subject: A second letter to the friends of Leder Games. rss

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Patrick Leder
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Hello friends.


I never want to involve people in my drama but I have also made an effort to be as honest as I can with the public. I am here to discuss the reprint of Vast: The Crystal Caverns.


Things have been slow. I went back to working full time around Gencon and that ate into my time. I also had to pay attention to shipping particularly in the US. It is beyond the mandate of this communication to discuss those problems, but those of you that follow me closely know about some of the issues.


We have been editing the rules, a project I mostly left in the hands of Kyle Woelfel and Josh Yearsley. You can see our efforts here:


https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0BxGSe67fZvvNNFhf...


The largest delay though has been caused by Paypal. After Gencon I had some of the funds raised in my business checking as well as a Paypal account. I continued spending from my business account and honoring the few pre-Gencon agreements I had that I still had inventory. A fair amount of money piled up in my Paypal account and we started taking pre-orders for the second print run there.


On September 25th (A Sunday) with no preamble or warning Paypal said they were going to lock my account and ask me some questions about my business. I cooperated fully providing them with answers about how I ran my business, how pre-orders from the end of the KS to Gencon had or were being delivered and how I was satisfying my customers needs by providing a pre-order link for the second printing.


Despite this Paypal moved the majority of my money into a reserve and will release it six months after we have shipped inventory. The amount of money reserved far exceeds the actual liability I present to their company, something I have argued with them and provided evidence supporting. The speed at which they are looking and the questions they ask when I called them out suggests to me a pattern of not really being concerned about the appeal process. In addition to reserving this money all money coming in right now is being moving into a reserve. This money is to provide funds for charge backs in case of dissatisfied customers.


Even though we might find a solution in the next few days, it is starting to look unlikely. In that case we will be refunding everyone’s money for the pre-order. I will be getting help from Caryl Tan from Quiche Games who is being very generous with her time.


I will keep everyone’s e-mail address and contact them when and if we find an alternate way to collect the money. I of course want to sell you a game and if a new payment gateway can fix the issue please consider purchasing again.


PLEASE DO NOT DISPUTE THE CHARGES AT PAYPAL as a result of this. Doing that will only make my life more difficult. Contact me at vastthegame@gmail.com and I will work with you through the issue.


At this point I need to figure out how to raise funds to continue the second print independent of the money in Paypal. I have confirmed purchase orders from distributors as well as a few soft offers moving towards purchase orders.


Here are the options I have looked into.
1. Licensing the game with a different publisher. This isn’t a terrible option frankly and I have considered the offers that were on my table prior to this happening. This would let me focus on development of the line and maybe return to some semblance of a normal day. I can't discuss specifics, but up until now, moving forward with a publisher hasn't been the right choice for me.
2. Running a second Kickstarter for the second printing. This is appealing, because I often hear from people who missed the first KS and would like to support us. However, we really want to make the second kickstarter something special. We were hoping to have the miniatures ready to cast for the second kickstarter, and maybe even an expansion to the game. In the timeframe though, we wouldnt be able to bring the quality to both of those that you deserve.
3. Loan. I have applied for loans at the bank. People said it would be easy with purchase orders in hand, equity, and a good credit rating. I am not satisfied with my options there.
4. Raid retirement. Terrible idea, but I could get things done and return the money after the POs start paying off. I could use this as a contingency if things fall apart.
5. Even if I can’t find a solution, Vast won’t expire. I can roll what I have into the Vast 2 campaign when Vast 2 is ready.


The other challenge I am fighting is we are almost to the point where Chinese New Year is going to impact our production timeline. With credit and available funds I could start the order going now, if I knew how I was making my final payment.


I feel bad about this whole thing and keeping it to myself for so long has made me feel worse. I tried to do what is right, things were working and now I am stuck. I feel like I have persevered in a few hard places, but on this issue as each door closes I become more frustrated. In any case sorry for the delay I am working my way towards a resolution. I welcome your ideas to resolve the situation.


Your friend,
Patrick Leder
Leder Games
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James G
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Very sorry to hear these troubles Patrick. While I am not affected as I haven't ordered yet your overview and sharing is appreciated. When options are taken from you without reason and no true recourse it is incredibly frustrating. Futility is one of the feelings I personally struggle with in life and is a huge trigger to my depression.

All I can say is keep doing what you do, keep talking to your positive supports, and look after yourself. Nothing is insurmountable and nothing is worth causing yourself more stress and risk.

Regarding your outlined options - Don't risk your future. Take the distributors at their word. If it turns out to be empty words and they cannot put people before business then do you want to be a partner?

Keep doing what you love!
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Brent Brown
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Very sorry to hear of the problems.

Grrrr... Paypal...

Well, I will be setting my refund aside and keeping it ready for whatever method you decided to go with. For what it is worth, my vote would be for a second printing Kickstarter.

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Silver Bowen
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Sorry to hear about your problems with Paypal. Unfortunately, as an unregulated entity these sorts of things happen all too often with Paypal. They simple are much more interested in keeping your money than your business.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If you use Paypal, whenever money is deposited in your Paypal account, immediately transfer it to your bank account. Never, ever leave money in your Paypal account. That is all.
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Jason Tagmire
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I've had some issues with Paypal being so pro-consumer to the point that it's anti-business. They tied up a good amount of money, but not as long as yours. Good luck with this ridiculous frustration.
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As someone who has had his PayPal account frozen for no explained reason as well, I empathize with your plight. I am now an avowed PayPal hater and certainly echo the other sentiments posted about caution regarding Paypal's access to one's funds. They are not a company who communicates nor are they one that cares about their customers. I look forward to a serious competitor in that space and recommend that those who post BGG auctions to be aware of PayPal as an occasional bad actor.
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Isaac Shalev
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Why don't you set up a merchant account and take pre-orders through a full-service payment processor? You'l get better rates too.

Here's one good option:

https://www.trycelery.com/
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Katharina Schrempf
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That is too bad to hear. This is the second time for me that a publisher/author had their assets frozen in paypal, while I preordered. Paypal is just awful as soon as you are a little bit successful.

I will not refund or anything and just wait. I hope, you find a good solution.
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jtagmire wrote:
I've had some issues with Paypal being so pro-consumer to the point that it's anti-business. They tied up a good amount of money, but not as long as yours. Good luck with this ridiculous frustration.


I've even had struggles with Paypal as a consumer. A merchant did refund me a purchase only for Paypal locking down the payment immediately in case of any disputes. WTF. In the end I took matters in my own hand and recalled the money originally going to Paypal rather then waiting months for them to release it. Yes, the can be horrible. So I hope Mr Leder will be able to find a solution that works for him soon..
 
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daugenet breaux
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I hope you figure something out. Right now I am locked in on a preorder through MM for the game. Thanks for the update! I would love to back the kickstarter if you chose to do it but I dont know if they let you cancel a preorder.
 
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Brandon Kempf
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daugenet wrote:
I hope you figure something out. Right now I am locked in on a preorder through MM for the game. Thanks for the update! I would love to back the kickstarter if you chose to do it but I dont know if they let you cancel a preorder.


Miniature Market will cancel, but I'm not sure if they will refund the money to your account or if they will just give you store credit. It's been awhile since I have cancelled anything with them, but when I did they just gave me credit. But all you have to do is email them or call the store.

Patrick, I hate to hear about all the issues, but know that while everyone here is really anxious for the game, 99% of them will understand the issues and be patient. I don't know what we can do to help, but holler at us if you think of anything.

 
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Kirk Dennison
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I am so sorry to hear about your troubles! I am now especially glad we went with Stripe instead of PayPal for our payment processor. I would encourage you to setup a pre-order page on your own website using a third party system like Celery (Stonemaier and many others use it), or implement you own web store. We went with the latter for more control over the store page. Stripe fees are almost identical to PayPal. They transfer funds to my bank account every week.

If you want help with implementing your own store page, my web developer would be happy to help. Reach out with any questions.

Kirk
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Douglas Ward
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You should run it through Kickstarter. It would be awesome if the original backers could order any improved bits or rulebooks. I'd buy it!
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Patrick Leder
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Sorry I didn't get back to any of you until now I was busy with my aniversary, Halloween parties, and generally freaking out yesterday.

There have been many kind offers to help with a bridge loan and I am getting more traction at the bank now. If you want to be part of the bridge loan effor feel free to contact me.

This loan might mean we don't need to do the refund but then the funds are hanging out for 6 months.

Either way its eating up time to deal with this and my little girl is only going to be 3 once. The extra work for no gain is really what eats me up.

Furiuzmnky wrote:
Very sorry to hear these troubles Patrick. While I am not affected as I haven't ordered yet your overview and sharing is appreciated. When options are taken from you without reason and no true recourse it is incredibly frustrating. Futility is one of the feelings I personally struggle with in life and is a huge trigger to my depression.

All I can say is keep doing what you do, keep talking to your positive supports, and look after yourself. Nothing is insurmountable and nothing is worth causing yourself more stress and risk.

Regarding your outlined options - Don't risk your future. Take the distributors at their word. If it turns out to be empty words and they cannot put people before business then do you want to be a partner?

Keep doing what you love!

I agree with the distributors. As much as I am excited to work with them, if any of us are going to make money I need to get through this crisis.

silverbowen wrote:
Sorry to hear about your problems with Paypal. Unfortunately, as an unregulated entity these sorts of things happen all too often with Paypal. They simple are much more interested in keeping your money than your business.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If you use Paypal, whenever money is deposited in your Paypal account, immediately transfer it to your bank account. Never, ever leave money in your Paypal account. That is all.

Even then I have heard and read some horror stories about the other unregulated money takes. Even if transferred back if Paypal puts a hold on your money the bank is probably going to take their side.

jtagmire wrote:
I've had some issues with Paypal being so pro-consumer to the point that it's anti-business. They tied up a good amount of money, but not as long as yours. Good luck with this ridiculous frustration.

Its my fault for running a high risk business.

True wrote:
As someone who has had his PayPal account frozen for no explained reason as well, I empathize with your plight. I am now an avowed PayPal hater and certainly echo the other sentiments posted about caution regarding Paypal's access to one's funds. They are not a company who communicates nor are they one that cares about their customers. I look forward to a serious competitor in that space and recommend that those who post BGG auctions to be aware of PayPal as an occasional bad actor.
True

The challenge is of course any of the other vendors can do the same thing. I assume you just hear about it more from Paypal because they either do it more or because they have a greate volume of business.

ender7 wrote:
Why don't you set up a merchant account and take pre-orders through a full-service payment processor? You'l get better rates too.

Here's one good option:

https://www.trycelery.com/

I will need to move to a better provider from now on. I am talking to my bank about what to do.

Candacis wrote:
That is too bad to hear. This is the second time for me that a publisher/author had their assets frozen in paypal, while I preordered. Paypal is just awful as soon as you are a little bit successful.

I will not refund or anything and just wait. I hope, you find a good solution.

Thanks!


elitusprime wrote:
Very sorry to hear of the problems.

Grrrr... Paypal...

Well, I will be setting my refund aside and keeping it ready for whatever method you decided to go with. For what it is worth, my vote would be for a second printing Kickstarter.




I might run a short 2 week one to take the pinch out of the loans. I'm sure a KS expert out there will tell me why not to do this.
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Chris Dennett
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GreenM wrote:
I might run a short 2 week one to take the pinch out of the loans. I'm sure a KS expert out there will tell me why not to do this.

Honestly, that's the best way to get your initial backers (and people like me that snagged a copy before it sold out) to help you out, assuming you'd also add the option for an "upgrade pack" for the first edition (as had been discussed previously). Not looking at add to your burden, but that would be the time to do it if you're still willing to offer it (since you're already printing the components and shipping from China).

Just my $.02.
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Patrick Leder
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This has been discussed before and would be in the campaign for sure, though margins on upgrades might be tighter, at least that will help spread the word.
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Ian Avery
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Yes please!

I'd love to back a Kickstarter for a 2nd print run as I missed the first one. Please post in the news section here if this happens so that my subscripton picks it up.

I want this game and Kickstarter has always been hassle free for me.
 
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Chris Dennett
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GreenM wrote:
This has been discussed before and would be in the campaign for sure, though margins on upgrades might be tighter, at least that will help spread the word.

Just please make sure you don't lose money on the upgrade packs...
 
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Patrick Leder
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What I was trying to say in my haste is the margins on the upgrade packs might be too thin for retail.
 
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Patrick Leder
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Hello everyone! I have secured bridge loans to get me through the present crisis. Folks that ordered through paypal will not need to adjust their payment in anyway and I will just collect it as soon as the 180 days are up.

Production will start very soon. We have a few more changes to make that Josh has documented as well as adding in the example (unless someone can think of another compelling use of the pages) to make but you can review the current rules here. We mostly just rewrote but some rules did change to simplify the Goblin turn.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1661861/rules-pass-2

Since the loans will have other costs to them I will be running another KS to try to draw more money in in order to reduce debt. People don't need to but if they want to switch their Paypal payment over we will figure out a way to allow for it, bearing in mind it can take time to release enough money to make the refunds.

We are currently pricing out the miniatures, the upgrade pack, and some addon stretch goals for the campaign. Once that is done and we have a video we will be all set for the KS. Chad Hoverter is working on the minis and has 2 designed. He will complete the rest of the designs mid-project based on drawings we have in hand right now.

Thank you for your support.
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Brent Brown
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Huzzah! Congratulations!
 
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Michelle
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Awesome, really looking forward to it!

Is the second print run going to be a separate manufacturing activity from the miniatures/upgrade pack? If the miniatures are going to take longer than the game printing, I'd love to have the option to pay to get the upgrade pack shipped separately.

Almost everyone I've seen do miniatures on KS for the first time, has underestimated their production time, run into problems with the molds, not realized Chinese New Year would add delays, etc, etc. I'm totally fine with minis being delayed, but would love to have the base game in my hands ASAP. (online retailers are showing this as January 2017...is that looking likely?)

Oh, also, don't forget that shipping costs will go up with the new year! (Maybe this is obvious, but I've seen people not take that into account, or not mention it on their KS page and then people are upset later).

Very glad that things are back on track! Great work!
 
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Dave K
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Patrick, what is the best way for someone who is interested in getting a copy of the new print run to support you? Wait for the KS to start and back it there?
 
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Patrick,
Just sent you an email for a refund. Sorry you're dealing with this nonsense with paypal. I will definitely back the game if you do a kickstarter.

 
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Patrick Leder
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breegull wrote:
Awesome, really looking forward to it!

Is the second print run going to be a separate manufacturing activity from the miniatures/upgrade pack? If the miniatures are going to take longer than the game printing, I'd love to have the option to pay to get the upgrade pack shipped separately.

Almost everyone I've seen do miniatures on KS for the first time, has underestimated their production time, run into problems with the molds, not realized Chinese New Year would add delays, etc, etc. I'm totally fine with minis being delayed, but would love to have the base game in my hands ASAP. (online retailers are showing this as January 2017...is that looking likely?)

Oh, also, don't forget that shipping costs will go up with the new year! (Maybe this is obvious, but I've seen people not take that into account, or not mention it on their KS page and then people are upset later).

Very glad that things are back on track! Great work!


Basically I'm kicking off the print run for the games and the upgrades ASAP. My factory will do it in 60 days. So yeah the online retailers might be a bit disappointed. Not much I can do as I explained.

I agree that is one of the risks miniatures presents. I will probably end up having to figure out a way to split the shipments or just sit on those orders. I am open to ideas of what to do. It is the one thing I haven't settled on yet.

Thanks Michelle.
 
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