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Subject: Open letter to Ed Carter rss

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Randall Bart
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Open letter to Ed Carter, Grand Poobah of Cambridge Games Factory.

Ed, please sell. Sell the company. If you really love games, show some love for all of us game players by getting out of the game business.

The latest charlie foxtrot is with the Black Box edition of Glory to Rome. You ran a Kickstarter drive asking for $21K. You got $73K which is $52K more. With that $52K you produced some extra trinkets and doodads, and you even got some brilliant white premium cardstock. But it now turns out,
You neglected to produce a single copy of the product you advertised.

You sold a new look. I find the new look as exciting as a glass of water on a snowy day, but there are some people who bought that look. The new look was beige, but the cards are white.

When you took in the extra $52K it would have been very easy to have two print runs, one in beige, one in white. You could have asked the people which set they wanted. That's what Skallops did. They took in so much money that they decided to upgrade everyone's cards, but they asked the backers to choose. The alternative is standard Bicycle playing cards which they could buy off the shelf. The alternative for GTR Black Box backers should be beige or white, but you didn't make any beige cards.

Ed, let me explain the three things you need to do.

1) Give a refund to anyone who says they do not like the white cards.

2) Print the beige cards you said you were going to print. Offer to sell them to your Kickstarter backers, but not until you have actually printed them.

3) Sell the company. Get out of the game business. You can do what Z-Man did, where CGF is a line of games from a real game company, and you choose which games get the CGF brand. You can be financing games or whatever, but get yourself completely out of the business of producing and distributing games.
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Tadeu Zubaran
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lol

I have no horse in this game since I didn't even see the white cards although I think I would not be bothered by it, but if you don't like a company behavior vote with your wallet.
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Lacombe
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I didn't buy the beige cards. I never even assumed / thought they were beige. I just figured the old pictures of Heiko's work didn't have good white balance. I'm glad the cards are white. I just want the damned game. This is a silly thread.
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Wesley Kinslow
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Tell us how you really feel.
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Jordan " ; " Czop
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Is not having beige cards really a reason to ask for a person to resign?
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e schild

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wedgeex wrote:
Tell us how you really feel.


I'll bite.

While Randall had the elegance of a sledge hammer, he's not wrong. CGF is run incredibly poorly and while Heiko probably deserves a great job doing what he loves (which is NOT customer facing PR of any sort), Ed is a terrible businessman.

Whether he likes it or not, businesses should be in the business of making their customers happy and making money. This is apparently a side-project for nearly everyone involved at CGF and they have no interest in making it a full time job. Which is fair, since GTR:BB isn't even remotely one of the most financially successful Kickstarter projects and puts a pretty strong glass ceiling on the profitability of CGF's games.

In addition, the campaign brought to light all of their failures as a COMPANY. The game might have an amazing design, the art might be amazing, and everything associated with their games may be the bees knees.

Unfortunately, not a single ounce of any of that speaks to their business. They are bad at doing business and should feel bad - and should seriously consider offloading the heavy lifting - at which they are shit, comparable to Mayday (though, admittedly, CGF publishes better games than Mayday) - and just do the design and art in house. Turn that operation into a 3-4 man thing, and maybe one day they'll achieve some level of profitability.

The only thing that stands between success and failure here are the people involved. They are not uniquely good at getting things done and need to stop trying.

I'm looking forward to the Black Box Edition, the extras, and the print I randomly won in a Twitter drawing - but I have absolutely zero faith in them to conduct business in any sort of timely or professional manner.

Quote:
Is not having beige cards really a reason to ask for a person to resign?

Of course not, but it is most certainly icing on a cake that has already been baked thrice over.
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Lacombe
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The one thing I do think they should do as reparation is just ship the games to our houses for the same cost [i.e. free] that they offered to ship to our FLGSs for the purposes of pushing their product on the stores we frequent. Many of us, in the time since we pledged, don't have the same stores available to us [either due to a move or due to businesses closing up shop] and the concept of offering customers free shipping if they convince their FLGS to submit to CGF's subterfuge-laden way of trying to get into distribution channels was silly to begin with. Just contact backers and have all the games shipped direct to the people that bought them.
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e schild

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NateStraight wrote:
The one thing I do think they should do as reparation is just ship the games to our houses for the same cost [i.e. free] that they offered to ship to our FLGSs for the purposes of pushing their product on the stores we frequent. Many of us, in the time since we pledged, don't have the same stores available to us [either due to a move or due to businesses closing up shop] and the concept of offering customers free shipping if they convince their FLGS to submit to CGF's subterfuge-laden way of trying to get into distribution channels was silly to begin with. Just contact backers and have all the games shipped direct to the people that bought them.

This would be quite the olive branch, but Ed strikes me as more than mildly greedy. We'll see what happens I suppose.
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Vince Lupo
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I funded for a graphical redo of the card art. It is up to THEM what color the background is. And perhaps you should wait until you get a copy in your hands before you naysay the white background version. Sure we don't have a copy in our hands yet and that's a little annoying but from here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/139775/glory-to-rome-black...


It appears we will get it this summer.


I don't think he should do any of those 3 things you suggested. My only suggestion might be to try to find a US printer so it doesn't take as long to print and receive the games. Perhaps they should consider hosting their games up on the game crafter instead of printing in china.
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Jonathan Harrison
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schild wrote:
[CGF] are bad at doing business and should feel bad - and should seriously consider offloading the heavy lifting - at which they are shit, comparable to Mayday ...

This is an optimistic assessment of the proportion of Seth Hiatt's makeup that is inept versus outright dishonest.
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Doug Click
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Neo42 wrote:
I funded for a graphical redo of the card art.
That is what I funded too. I don't think the white cards are that bad, I liked the orig background better, but I also like the fact that the white cards will last longer being a better grade card stock.

Like in life itself, however, each person has their own likes/dislikes and reasons for pledging the game. I am just looking forward to finally getting a game I purchased back in Aug.
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Cilantro V
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tkzubaran wrote:
lol

I have no horse in this game since I didn't even see the white cards although I think I would not be bothered by it, but if you don't like a company behavior vote with your wallet.


I also have no horse in this game, but I must point out that everyone who does have a horse in this race has already voted with their wallets. They already paid for the game. That's done.
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Geo
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Sooner or later you will discover that Kickstarter has become a "safe money making machine" and many companies - new and old - will turn to it to get loads of money selling rubbish (do you want my signed pic for $25?).

shake
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NateStraight wrote:
...I just figured the old pictures of Heiko's work didn't have good white balance....


Exactly what I thought. I always assumed the background was white.

In the evening, with a typical 'warm light' room, white cards will have a slightly beige look anyway.
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Kangyu Chia
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CIlantr0 wrote:
tkzubaran wrote:
lol

I have no horse in this game since I didn't even see the white cards although I think I would not be bothered by it, but if you don't like a company behavior vote with your wallet.


I also have no horse in this game, but I must point out that everyone who does have a horse in this race has already voted with their wallets. They already paid for the game. That's done.


This.

While I'm not sure where I stand with the new white background, I should point out that part of the impetus for the black box edition was the appeal and demand for Heiko's original graphical design with the cream background, and was advertised as such during the kickstarter campaign.

I can understand why some people might feel they have been misrepresented because of this.

Personally, I feel that the white cards seem like quite a graphical disconnect from the cream camp cards, and my personal gripes with CGF is more due to the utter lack of communication and constant delays.
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David Dawson
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Thanks for the new story I can tell my non-gamer friends who think us boardgamers are crazy. "You think it's weird I put cards in sleeves? This one guy called for the owner of a game company to resign because his cards were white and not beige!"
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Len
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tkzubaran wrote:
lol

I have no horse in this game since I didn't even see the white cards although I think I would not be bothered by it, but if you don't like a company behavior vote with your wallet.


The problem is, when you participate in kickstarter, they already have your money.
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Chris Wood
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I have to agree with the OP that the white cards look terrible. The contrast between the white cards and the colors is too high. Also it really makes it look like a half-assed print n play.
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NateStraight wrote:
Many of us, in the time since we pledged, don't have the same stores available to us [either due to a move or due to businesses closing up shop]....


Funny thing is, I didn't think of this as a measure of time till now....

My original FLGS that was supposed to get the shipment closed down. (worth noting though... this venue lasted ALOT LONGER than the next one below, so it was moreso the timing that this GtR ks came than the ks itself)

We were graciously taken in by another proprieter to use gaming space and a new store. The gaming space is something we're about to lose, but at least the store will still be there to receive this ks BB edition.

As of now, I'm still not out of the woods yet. I need to pay keen attention if this new game store will close down, as now I'll need to re-redirect my shipment.

.

Thing is, I never did bother with GtR since the only places where it'd get played were ones where others already had the game. To show hoiw much I don't care, even the original art works for me (let alone issues like beige vs. white). However, this bb edition will have new art (which I also like) and new cards, so add that and the saying "the longer you wait, the more you'll appreciate it" all apply here.
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Steven Metzger
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I also backed white cards, not beige. It doesn't hurt that I created my own PnP-style copy with most of the same look as heiko's (and I print on white paper/stock, not beige).
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Randall Bart
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dawson_osu wrote:
Thanks for the new story I can tell my non-gamer friends who think us boardgamers are crazy. "You think it's weird I put cards in sleeves? This one guy called for the owner of a game company to resign because his cards were white and not beige!"

I'm going to tell that one!
 
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Jonathan C
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What a colorful story!!!

...queue GtR thread which devolves into an endless stream of puns...
 
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Beige vs. white cards?

Resign? As if there were a dozen mid level VPs just waiting to take his place?

shake

You people are seriously off the fucking rails....
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Len
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Joseph Hill wrote:
Beige vs. white cards?

Resign? As if there were a dozen mid level VPs just waiting to take his place?

shake

You people are seriously off the fucking rails....


Barticus is not suggesting that Ed sell his business due to a color change in the cards (BTW, the entire reason for the kick starter campaign was to change the look of their existing game).

The reason is poor execution on several fronts. Not only do they not communicate well with their investors, they made changes to the product on a product that is a year late.

Their "spokesman" who is supposed to communicate with is a joke, and clearly Ed has better things to do, i.e., his consulting business.

I could careless about the white background, but to suggest no one should care about the aesthetics of a KS backed game that was released based upon changing an existing game's aesthetics (with ZERO communication) is obtuse, even if you use the word "fucking" to make your point.
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