Hello everyone. As a veteran Kickstarter creator, I have learned many lessons along the way. I love the idea and concept of crowdfunding and have built a living on it over the past 5 years. With 5 Stack being my very first experiment into the wide world of tabletop board games, it has been another milestone for valuable lessons learned.
When we started developing 5 Stack, we did so knowing absolutely NOTHING about the tabletop board game world. As for board game manufacturing, we also knew nothing, but I have plenty of experience with producing playing cards, so I was confident in being able to navigate that process.
One thing that we wanted to do from the beginning was manufacture everything here in the US. With some extra work and pulling different manufacturers together we were able to do that, but unfortunately at the cost of the price of production. After listening to comments and messages about the current price point of the game, we think that it is just too high for the type of game it is. Unfortunately, with producing everything in the US, the production price is high as well. This factor has turned off a lot of people that are really interested, but simply just can’t justify the price tag.
Another factor that has been turning people off has been the price of shipping. If you ask any creator, what is one of the things they hate the worst, 9 times out of 10 it will be the price of USPS shipping. The price of the game + the price of shipping (especially for international backers) has turned lots of people away. While I can’t lower the cost of USPS shipping, I CAN put into place international shippers that can fulfill the rewards for me to bring the price of shipping down (more on shipping in just a bit).With these thoughts in mind, I have to decided to cancel the current 5 Stack Kickstarter. Yes, Yes, Yes I know what you are thinking, “But there is tons of time left!” You’re right, there is, but just in the past week, through the help of some really supportive board game industry vets, I have learned so much that I didn’t know before.
THE GOOD NEWS! We are going to take what we have learned and relaunch the project in the near future. To help articulate the things that will change to make the project even better the next time around, I have created a list of what our plans are for the next phase regarding the 5 Stack relaunch.What is going to be different:
● We are going to modify the design of the board a bit to allow for a much smaller box. The game board will not be smaller but it will be made of a collapsible or “puzzle-piece” style board that will allow us to shrink the overall box size from 13” x 13” x 2” to around 6” x 6” x 3.” Those numbers are estimates, but it will make the new shipping size a quarter of the current size, thus drastically reducing the price of shipping. We will also most likely reduce the number of chip-sets to 5 instead of 6 to help with stuffing the chips into the smaller box.
● We will be manufacturing the game with LongPack Games in China. While finding manufacturers to produce 5 Stack in the states, I also was developing a relationship with LongPack games in China. LongPack is an industry veteran of producing great board games. LongPack has the ability to manufacture 100% of the game components all in one location and at a fraction of the cost. So this will also bring the production cost WAY down. Our goal is to get the price of the game down to around $25-$30 (but please don’t quote me on that just yet)
● We will be partnering with international shippers to offer much more realistic shipping prices for international backers.
● We will be raising the printed playable age to +13 to help us cut the extra costs of safety testing.
● We also already have industry vets like Dice Tower on board for reviewing the game so you will have in-depth reviews on day one of the 5 Stack relaunch.I want to thank everyone who was willing to back this project during its first launch. The 5 Stack team believes strongly in making this game a reality, and we want to continue to ask for your support. As an incentive to have you back our project a second time, We will try to come up with a creative way to reward you within the relaunch. What that looks like, I don't know but we want you to know that your support does NOT go unnoticed.
PS. I included a picture of a prototype version of the smaller box. Everything is the same minus one set of chips. The board is the same size just broken up into 4 smaller "puzzle" style pieces.Same size EVERYTHING, minus one set of colored chips. The board is cut up like a big four piece puzzle.