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Subject: Barrage Update: Shipping in May, and fixed components? rss

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Becq
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Barrage has updated they shipping timeline; they plan to ship in early May. (Assuming that's shipping by boat from China, that means fulfillment in late June/July, after boat transit, customs, repacking, and shipping from fulfillment.)

No specifics on the component quality yet, though they've said they've fixed a number of issues noted in the most recent videos, and will release new videos showing the fixes they've made. No details as to what was fixed yet, or when we'll hear what was fixed.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/craniocreations/barrage...
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It would have been nice if they'd said what was wrong and what was fixed in this update then followed up with the video at a later time. It could have helped assuage some concerns, guess we'll just have to wait and see.
 
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Nic

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Just terrible communication all around. You can tell it's the first project they've run, but the fact that they've backed 46 projects means they should have done much, much better.
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Peter Brooks
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RedEyedGhost wrote:
Just terrible communication all around. You can tell it's the first project they've run, but the fact that they've backed 46 projects means they should have done much, much better.


I have backed a fair # of projects, and there's been as much communication for this most of my others I feel like.

There's just way more questions/remarks in the comments than I typically see in other KS.
 
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Becq
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Jimmydm90 wrote:
It would have been nice if they'd said what was wrong and what was fixed in this update then followed up with the video at a later time. It could have helped assuage some concerns, guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Agreed. They said they would respond to our concerns by last Friday, and this update only addresses one -- shipping schedule. Which was an important one, but overlooks a number of questions regarding component quality. I'm ok with their answer regarding schedule, assuming they keep to it. I go into KS campaigns expecting delays of 3-6 months (more for more ambitious projects), so this delay (which I'm assuming will end up being 1-2 months) is not terrible. (And at least now we have something to go on; an improvement over what we knew up to yesterday, which was "delayed, but we won't tell you how long yet".

Now we just need them to update us on component quality, which currently has the status of "fixed, but we what tell you what was fixed or how it was fixed yet".
 
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Nic

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Frisches wrote:
RedEyedGhost wrote:
Just terrible communication all around. You can tell it's the first project they've run, but the fact that they've backed 46 projects means they should have done much, much better.


I have backed a fair # of projects, and there's been as much communication for this most of my others I feel like.

There's just way more questions/remarks in the comments than I typically see in other KS.


The quantity of the updates is on par with most other projects I back, but the quality of the updates is woefully inadequate. There's zero point following the comments in a kickstarter this large hoping to get any useful information, and that's a terrible way to communicate with backers because kickstarter's comment system is so awful.
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Bernhard W
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There are a few things that stuck out for me between this update and the previous one (in a positive way):

Update #42:
Quote:
"...here's a set of close-up and animation of the final production copies we got flown here!" ... "Hope you'll enjoy this photoset!"

No issues were mentioned here. You could argue that they just came back from Modena an quickly put this video together, completely overlooking the component quality. However...

Quote:
"Of course, we'll do our best to answer all of your questions and concerns!"

No questions and concerns were addressed from update #42 until now.

Update #43:

Quote:
"This is the current situation: we received the preproduction copies and all the images you saw online and in our last update were taken from those copies".

Glad they shifted to calling update #42 preproduction now.

Quote:
"We found out there, and some of you noticed that, there were some issues in the production and we decided to take action immediately..."

While immediately means issues should have been mentioned in update #42, they seem to have taken action to improve something.

I really hoped they would mention what components they were working on fixing. However, here we are again with "New videos will follow..."
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Bernhard W
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Component wise, we now know

1) The thickness of the cardboards are
- Common Boards 2.5mm
- Company Boards 2.5mm
- Punched Components 1.5mm
- Technology Tiles 2.5mm

That's quite a change from what was written here on BGG.
Funny or not, Cranio had an answer to that:
Quote:
"We didn't promise 3mm tiles on the campaign. Riccardo (should be Luigi) only made an enthusiastic comments about this on BGG but, unfortunately, without having the final go from the production team."


2) The Construction Wheel functioning 100%

For that, they had to reprint the technology tiles (now 2.5mm) as they initially rushed produciton to meet their 6 months before Spiel deadline. The thin tiles were slipping underneath the spokes, which looked to be a pain in the update video. The rest of the wheel is unchanged.

3) Unlike their promise in update #23, there is no UV spot to find on the 3D map, and

4) The foamcore is white, not blending in with the rest of the map. There are magnitic locks in them though (not shown so far).

5) The plastic water drops have issues too:
" we noticed that sometimes it is not that easy to handle it, because of the shape... so it's hard to pick them up.

So we are thinking of using... in the RETAIL version of the game... wooden water drops".

I'm soooo glad they realized that they are foremost publishing for retail. Why expect a funtional upgrade from a KS right out of the box?
(As a fix, backers will at some point be able to get wooden drops through normal distrubuiton, if they desire).


6) By the looks of it, their central promise of "6 months exclusive play" is partly gone too: "it is not me (= Giuliani, chief editor of Barrage) to take this final decision, but it will be most probably that we will present and sell the game in Essen".

Great, that's why we had no multi-pledges, no late pledges, no 1 box solution, no improved wheels, a rushed production that brought us almost too thin tech tiles, no time for feedback, ect...

7) Other than promised here, the old score track did not make it into the final production, but at least features the initial font style.
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Becq
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1) I have to agree with Cranio -- although Luigi was representing Cranio on BGG, and we *ought* to be able to accept what he says as representing Cranio's policy, at the same time he doesn't have the power to *create* Cranio policy. So if he wasn't authorized to make that promise (and that thickness was never stated in "official" Barrage updates), I'm not sure there's much room to accuse Cranio of backing down on a promise -- just that their rep wasn't repping them well during that post. If some random guy who worked for Apple said that Apple would be selling their next gen iPhones for $19.95, could you hold Apple to that? Even if it was, say, a sales guy at an Apple store? Apple would go bankrupt if they followed through on that 'promise'. I'm concerned about the dual-layered player boards, but the others seem acceptable.

2) Yeah, I'm still a bit worried about the wheel. I think the 2.5mm thickness is enough to prevent them from slipping under the spokes, but the durability of the spokes concerns me.

3a) I'm not convinced that the coins are an issue, at least not yet. They do look thinnish, but not overly so (the recessed areas more so than the edges and raised portions), and look nice. I don't recall them making any specific promises about the coins, beyond that they'd be metal and in several denominations. They never presented much of a picture or mock up, and the coins that have visible edges in the background of the 400k stretch goal image look similarly thin to me. (The design looks almost identical, though the final font is different, and to my mind better.)

3b) I don't recall seeing a picture clear enough to make a judgement regarding the drops yet.

3c) Yup. Unless there was a typo or language slip on that post, it sounds like they dropped the ball on the UV spot. Ironically, I'd feel better about it if they didn't have UV spot on *either* board, but the way it is I'll have a choice between the cool 3d board or the nicer-looking flat board -- and I shouldn't have to make that choice. I'm also wondering about the magnets, since it seems like they'd be necessary to avoid the boards slipping around annoyingly during play.
 
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1) It would be more like if the head of Apple's marketing said the new iphone would be twice as thick/thin as it ended up being.

3a) I need a better look at the coins. They do look kind of thin but they'll probably be ok.

3b) This is the best look we have of the water drops.



They do look pretty thin. The one upside I can say is that more often than not you'll be sliding them rather than picking them up so being thin, though likely problematic, won't be as problematic as it could be as thickness doesn't really matter when sliding things.

3c)Yeah I'd much rather have UV spotting on the 3d board than on the box for the expansion which I will likely recycle to save space.

Man I wish they'd just made a deluxified one box version pledge like every other kickstarter. It would have made Cranio's lives easier and lead to a superior product.

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Bernhard W
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Becq wrote:
1) I have to agree with Cranio -- although Luigi was representing Cranio on BGG, and we *ought* to be able to accept what he says as representing Cranio's policy, at the same time he doesn't have the power to *create* Cranio policy.

Jimmydm90 wrote:
1) It would be more like if the head of Apple's marketing said the new iphone would be twice as thick/thin as it ended up being.

Indeed Jimmydm90!

Luigi was running the Kickstarter together with Riccardo, starting from the gathering of feedback for the KS page before launch and responding to all the comments in the KS comments section.

Whoelse were backers to get official answers from about anything in this KS? If you can't trust the chosen KS campaign manager (which I think is a better fit than just some sales dude), then whom can you trust in a KS Becq?
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Becq
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Jimmydm90 wrote:
1) It would be more like if the head of Apple's marketing said the new iphone would be twice as thick/thin as it ended up being.

Ok, I'll accept that as an example. Let's say Apple's head of marketing said that the new iPhone would have a 12" screen instead of a 6" screen. Which is the more likely result:
a) Apple produces their iPhone with a 12" screen, as the head of marketing "promised"
b) Apple sticks with the design their engineers came up with, possibly with variations made to accommodate testing and production feedback?

And do you think that there would be a new person providing product announcements when the discrepancy was discovered?

whistle

Quote:
3b) This is the best look we have of the water drops.

Hm. Still not a great picture. I think the aspect that (slightly) worries me is not the thickness, strictly speaking, but the shape (in concert with the thickness). Those look like they might be frustrating to pick up, though as you point out, you might not need to pick them up much in practice. If you have a decent tray/container with a rounded bottom, picking them up from there would be easy enough, then you drop them onto the correct spot on the top of the board, slide them down as necessary, then pick them up by sliding them off the bottom edge of the board. I guess we'll see.

Quote:
3c)Yeah I'd much rather have UV spotting on the 3d board than on the box for the expansion which I will likely recycle to save space.

Or on the deluxe board rather than the standard board.

Quote:
Man I wish they'd just made a deluxified one box version pledge like every other kickstarter. It would have made Cranio's lives easier and lead to a superior product.

"Deluxified" games (which is exclusive to TMG, as they've apparently trademarked it) generally have a retail and deluxified version offered in parallel, so not too different than what Cranio did...

Even widening that to non-TMG campaign, I'd say it's fairly uncommon that a campaign has exactly one pledge level. It happens, but it's much more common to have a base pledge and a base+expansion or base+addon structure. At least in my experience, anyway...
 
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I'd say it's fairly uncommon that a campaign has exactly one pledge level. It happens, but it's much more common to have a base pledge and a base+expansion or base+addon structure. At least in my experience, anyway...


I never said there should have been only one pledge on the KS. Only that there should have been a one box deluxe version. Something that is completely separate from the retail version of the game.

That is what I'm saying is a much more common practice.

Many companies will do a retail pledge and then some version of the deluxe edition pledge which comes in its own box with upgraded components. The benefit of doing this vs what Cranio did is it gives you the opportunity to eliminate redundancies. For example, All-in barrage backers are getting cardboard coins (don't need them they've got metal), an extra board (more questionable but they've got the 3d board so the flat board is some what unnecessary) and three uv spotted cardboard boxes instead of just a single box that holds everything. Undoubtedly those redundancies cost Cranio something, not just in production but in shipping too, and if they weren't there Cranio could have used that money to upgrade other aspects of Barrage or lower the price.

Another issue of not keeping the two versions separate is that Cranio was hamstrung when it came to upgrades/stretch goals. They couldn't upgrade components only in the deluxe box (say screen printed score markers or custom meeples) because then that's even more redundant cost since they'd have to give the all-in backers both versions of those markers/meeples so instead all/most of the component upgrades had to go into the retail version to eliminate as much redundancy as possible.

The problem with this is every upgrade you make will have to be sold in every copy of Barrage for years to come and that becomes a lot more expensive than just saying "we'll splurge this one time for x copies and then that's it." The more you upgrade the retail version, the more expensive it becomes, the higher the MSRP has to be to cover the cost and the harder it is to sell your game at retail. In the end this leads to one of two things, a super expensive, hard to sell retail game or conservative upgrades/cut corners in order to keep the MSRP at retail down. I think we're more likely looking at the latter in Barrage's case.
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Jimmydm90 wrote:
I never said there should have been only one pledge on the KS. Only that there should have been a one box deluxe version. Something that is completely separate from the retail version of the game.

Oh, right. Yeah, that would have been great. I guess I don't see that as being common, but I do heavily prefer to have a big-box game rather than multiple boxes that I need to manage.

I definitely agree that I don't need two boards (or wouldn't if one was actually an improved version of the other). That would have been a great way for them to reduce production costs without sacrificing utility, assuming they had made that plan public from the start. (While I would have jumped at the opportunity to get a single big box with only one board as an even trade, there would surely be complaints if they made that change after the campaign.)

Quote:
The problem with this is every upgrade you make will have to be sold in every copy of Barrage for years to come and that becomes a lot more expensive than just saying "we'll splurge this one time for x copies and then that's it." The more you upgrade the retail version, the more expensive it becomes, the higher the MSRP has to be to cover the cost and the harder it is to sell your game at retail.

True, but my guess is that most of the upgrades were always intended to be part of the retail version. The extra tiles added as stretch goals, for example. And I definitely prefer for the *gameplay* upgrades to either be included in retail or available as an expansion; I dislike gameplay KSEs -- you know, like the ones they added as stretch goals an hour or so before the campaign closed. (Go all out on component upgrade KSEs, though!)
 
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Yeah the gameplay stretch goals were clearly always meant to be part of the game. For example pre-stretch goals some parts had the minimum or almost minimum number of components to make the game playable...

Pre-stretch goals
. Only 4 headstream tiles (need 4 per game)
. Only 6 bonus tiles (need 5 per game)
. 6 executive tiles (need 4 in 4 player game)
. Only 3 national contract tiles (need 3 in 4 player game)
. Only 5 personal buildings in the expansion (need 5 in 4 player game)

Without them this game would have way less variability and would have hurt Barrage in the long run.

I agree gameplay should never be exclusive but I think making some of the component upgrades deluxe exclusive would have given Cranio financial room to produce a better product.
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And to think that they have just announced this is normal and will probably happen to our boards!
 
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Jimmydm90 wrote:
1) It would be more like if the head of Apple's marketing said the new iphone would be twice as thick/thin as it ended up being.

3a) I need a better look at the coins. They do look kind of thin but they'll probably be ok.

3b) This is the best look we have of the water drops.



They do look pretty thin. The one upside I can say is that more often than not you'll be sliding them rather than picking them up so being thin, though likely problematic, won't be as problematic as it could be as thickness doesn't really matter when sliding things.

3c)Yeah I'd much rather have UV spotting on the 3d board than on the box for the expansion which I will likely recycle to save space.

Man I wish they'd just made a deluxified one box version pledge like every other kickstarter. It would have made Cranio's lives easier and lead to a superior product.

And to think that they have just announced this is normal and will probably happen to our boards!
 
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Magicarl3974 wrote:
And to think that they have just announced this is normal and will probably happen to our boards!

And what an onerous suggested fix: having to lay the boards out on a table for a bit when first unpacking them. How could they do this to us?!

whistle
 
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I'm more concerned about the water drop video as Cranio basically just said, "yeah these are pretty terrible to pick up and use that's why retail buyers will be getting wooden pieces that actually work."
 
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Jimmydm90 wrote:
I'm more concerned about the water drop video as Cranio basically just said, "yeah these are pretty terrible to pick up and use that's why retail buyers will be getting wooden pieces that actually work."

I missed that; will have to look for it.
 
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Becq wrote:
Jimmydm90 wrote:
I'm more concerned about the water drop video as Cranio basically just said, "yeah these are pretty terrible to pick up and use that's why retail buyers will be getting wooden pieces that actually work."

I missed that; will have to look for it.


Here it is.

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I am frightened.......and not very confident. We will certainely have another surprises....surprise
 
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Jimmydm90 wrote:
I'm more concerned about the water drop video as Cranio basically just said, "yeah these are pretty terrible to pick up and use that's why retail buyers will be getting wooden pieces that actually work."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8SYznMpwUw

Ohhhh what?

"This item could add a shiny value to the game, and in fact we are very satisified with this component.

However,... we noticed that sometimes it is not that easy to handle it, because of the shape... so it's hard to pick them up..."

So we are thinking of using... in the RETAIL version of the game... wooden water drops.

If we desire to do so, we will produce extra copies for the backers who decide to have the wooden components... we will give all our distrubutors in the world sets of wooden water drops for the backers who require them..."
Yes, I do want functional components over shiny ones, please.
 
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Ok, so he said "yeah, some people might have trouble with these, so if you want we'll make good with replacements that focus more on function than aesthetics."

Where's the complaint regarding that?
 
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They should hold off on shipping for another month and put wooden drops in the backer boxes. It's clear they're not "very satisfied with the component" if they're planning to completely do away with it in the retail version.

They had to have known during testing that these drops were to small/thin. If they just addressed it then, it would have been a lot cheaper for them but they just had to rush, rush, rush.
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