Hi backers. A couple of weeks ago, Panda sent me a rough copy of the insert tray to the base game to test out. While everything fit inside the tray, one thing I noticed was that the wall tiles, when stored vertically, stood several millimeters ABOVE the tray top. In most other games, this probably wouldn't be a problem, but because we have 4 region boards, player boards, a scoring track and rule book that needs to lie flat on top of the tray, it posed a small problem.
There were a few options to resolve this....
A) We could redesign the box to make it deeper in order to accommodate a taller insert tray, but considering ALL printing of the game (including boxes) is completely done, this would be a very expensive and time-consuming option. Not to mention, shelf space is a valuable commodity for most gamers. We REALLY didn't want to make a bigger box.
B) We could just forget about the tray and instead use a generic 2 compartment cardboard insert. This didn't seem worth it since we would still need to pay for the tooling of the work already done on the original plastic insert tray. Also, it is not nearly as nice as a formed tray that holds all components in place.
C) Figure out the best way to make everything fit with the current tray.
After fiddling around with it for a while and getting input directly from Panda, we DID find a way to fit everything in the base game box allowing all boards and the rule book to lie flat on top of the tray.
At the bottom of this update are some photos of the VERY FIRST actual copy of Island Fortress to reach the U.S. I received this advance copy yesterday. In the first photo, you can see how everything fits in the tray. Basically, to make sure all of the wall tiles don't stand above the level of the tray, I put all of the base game tiles (including the small reinforcement tiles) in the long trench at the bottom and then I just leaned the tiles back so they are level with the tray top. In the trench above that (to the right) are the 36 wall tiles that come with the Expansion. They will also lean back nicely and allow the boards and rule book to lie flat on top of the tray. The Governor meeple (as well as the Taskmaster meeples and scoring discs) are lying in the same trench as the Governor's Seal (hiding below it).
So, you are probably wondering where production stands at this point. Well, as I stated earlier, ALL printing is completely done. The only thing left for Panda to do is to finish producing the trays (now that we have agreed to proceed with the current tray) and then they will assemble and collate everything. That's it.
We spoke with them yesterday and they are doing everything they can to try to get everything completed and on a ship BEFORE the Chinese New Year on February 10th. This is important because if it is not on its way by the Chinese New Year, it is a serious delay since all production shuts down from February 9th to the 18th. Again, they are doing what they can to get it to us ASAP.
In closing, I want to thank all of you who nominated Island Fortress as one of the 20 Most Anticipated Games of 2013. Because of you, the game got enough votes to be nominated and is now available to be voted on in the Overall and Thematic categories. We didn't get enough votes in the Strategy category to make the list, but it is an honor and quite an accomplishment just to make it to the final voting at all, sooooo... if you have a moment of free time and would like to cast a vote for Island Fortress in the "Overall" category and "Thematic" category, you can do so at this link... http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/151507/item/2448787
I certainly appreciate all of your overwhelming support and humbly thank you for your votes. I couldn't get there without all of you. You guys are the best. Thank you!
And now for some cool pictures....