Logistics and companion app
We do hope that when reading this update, you are in good health and ready to face the new year that’s almost upon us! Today the list of topics we’d like to cover includes:
- Delivery status
- Horror at the Baltic Hub and its happy end
- The App is ready
As you can see, some topics are nice and others not; fortunately, the not-happy one reached a satisfactory resolution (but more on that later). Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Status of the EN edition deliveries
DISCLAIMER: The statuses below are for the English pledges from the Kickstarter campaign and the pledge manager/GCU store pre-orders also of the English version that has been placed before the 26th of June 2022.
Australia and New Zealand – all EN pledges have been sent out. There are 3 packages that are under the supervision of our Customer Support Team, who are making sure their stories reach a happy end and a happy backer ?.
Asia – all EN pledges have been sent out, besides 30 packages to Turkey, Cyprus and Georgia. Those unfortunate 30 need to be brought back from Asia to Europe and send from here, FedEx has greatly increased its rates for packages sent from Asia. This should not have a great impact on the shipping time since they will have a shorter distance from Europe than they would have from China.
Please keep in mind the incredible distance that our packages need to travel through Asia; the fact that the package has been sent does not mean you will be getting an email notification with the tracking right away; some destinations take a longer time to process, and need to be carried by land or sea before they reach a logistic hub that will eventually give them a tracking number. Only when a package reaches your local hub will it get a label with your name and address, and it will be given to the courier for delivery. We kindly ask for your patience ?. In case anything is amiss, please drop an email to our Customer Support Team: https://glasscannonunplugged.com/customer-support/; they can provide you with contact to your local delivery service.
USA and Canada – all pledges for those destinations have been sent out. Some packages encountered problems and are under the care of our CS Team. If you’re experiencing any issues with your package or the pledge itself, please don’t hesitate to contact our CS heroes; the link is above.
Europe – last week we sent out half of the 4500 English language pledges for this destination. Details of the delay we’ve encountered will be described in the next paragraph of this update. Fortunately, the packages are now in transit, and due to the lack of further customs formalities in the EU and relatively close distances, the packages should be with you soon!
First, we are sending out the full pledges without any add-ons – this way, most of you can get your rewards quickly. In the meantime, more complicated bundles, including core games and some add-ons or additional copies of the core game (or both), are being assembled and prepared for their journey. We hope our distribution center will be able to finalize all the shipments by the end of this month. When you will get them is an entirely different topic – it is highly dependent on the amount of work the couriers have in your region – and Holiday Season is one of the hottest seasons in the shipping industry. Parcels that have to go through customs (i.e., for the UK) will for sure need slightly more time before they reach their destination. But the (snow)ball is rolling!
Africa, South America, and the Rest of the World – these packages are being sent out all the time, but their transit time is very different due to the customs and long-range flights they have to take.
Other language editions
DE, FR, IT, CZ, PL, ES – games in these languages crossed the Straits of Gibraltar on board OOCL JAPAN https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/details/9776195. The ship should reach the port of Gdansk around December 24th. The games, once unloaded and cleared through customs, will be traveling to our warehouse in Poland and, in January, should depart on the last leg of their travels – to your homes. Before the listed languages reach the warehouse, we should be already done with all the shipments of the English edition, so the fulfillment of your localized pledges in the listed languages should move rather quickly and without any organizational delays.
KOR – all the files are approved for print. The samples are being printed and assembled. Once they pass through the last step of the approval process, mass production will start in full swing. We hope that this will happen this month and that we will be able to collect the games from China before the Lunar New Year.
Pre-orders placed in our webstore BEFORE June 26th, 2022 – these orders will be shipped out with KS pledges.
Pre-orders placed in our webstore AFTER June 26th, 2022 – these orders will be shipped out once all the KS pledges are sent out. It will be Q1 2023 – so exactly as we initially anticipated.
Horror in the Baltic Hub
Now it is the time for us to bring some more light on the reasons why English pledges in Europe were delayed. This part of our update has an informational character, but it is also a form of a self-therapy for us 🙂 We had to fight a tough battle that we paid for with a lot of stress, energy, and funds. But first things first…
In order to quickly and swiftly fulfill the orders from the two biggest destinations – English to North America and Europe, we have divided the print run for these two regions while the games were still in China. Once that was done, the cargo started its’ excursion into different warehouses as 2 separate freights (onboard the same vessel). These are the 6+5=11 containers we mentioned in our previous update. Our reasoning behind this idea was to expedite the fulfillment of your games – in the end, 2 warehouses are more than 1 (one of them fulfills North America and the other one Europe). Yes, that meant more work on our end while planning and shipment processing, but it meant shorter delivery time and more happy backers. And everything was moving according to the plan when the 5 containers with games listed for Europe were randomly chosen for customs inspection. Fun fact – since the other 6 containers were officially “a different freight” and were not chosen for the inspection (sic!). (This also allowed us to fulfill the US/Canadian shipments according to the plan listed in the previous update).
One of the 5 “European” containers has been chosen for scanning, and another one has been chosen for inspection. Scanning happened on the very next day and didn’t show anything incorrect. So, the only thing was the inspection. And here, the port has failed all along the way – terminal Baltic HUB in Gdansk was not able to prepare the container for the inspection for 2 weeks. Usually, it takes 2-3 days to prepare the container for the customs officer, but currently, due to the disturbances happening because of the war in Ukraine, the transports are highly disrupted (Poland does not import coal from Russia with trains, but we are transporting it from different countries using… ships) the deadline for such preparation extends to “we do not know when”. And this was the case with our transport. On top of that, another reason for the delay was to be the reorganization of the port of Gdansk (more about it – full article in Polish: https://biznes.trojmiasto.pl/To-juz-koniec-DCT-Gdansk-teraz-bedzie-Baltic-Hub-n172131.html and a short note in English: https://www.bssc.pl/2022/11/06/dct-gdansk-becomes-baltic-hub/). We were informed that this fact caused even more chaos in the port. Unfortunately, the port has a monopoly on services, and there is no option to influence their behavior. We had to wait…
And once our container was finally prepared for the inspection in the middle of November, it turned out that its’ floor is damaged!
As you can see, the damage was not a big one – a few of the pledges were crushed (we had calculated that risk – we have a 1% overprint for situations like this one, and the cargo was insured). But… the situation significantly changed the rules for customs inspection! Instead of the regular “official look at the cargo with the naked eye of the customs officer,” the officers had to unload the entire container, count all the goods one by one (in order to check whether anything was lost during transport or, what would be even worse, anything was added to the cargo) and then pack it back. I don’t know whether you can imagine the amount of stress we felt on our shoulders when it was happening. The necessity of unloading the container, tallying everything up, and loading it back extended the inspection time to a whole week. Luckily, it ended with a positive result; the customs officers didn’t investigate any incorrectness. But it was not the end of the story – the container was not allowed to leave the port – because of the damage. The freight forwarder had to supply us with a new container, and move the games from the old, damaged one to the new one. It felt a lot like a replay – the games had to be unloaded and loaded again. And you can think what could go wrong in moments like this one…
Once the new container was loaded, the games were released from the port and could reach our warehouse – 25 days after being unloaded from the ship!
Four containers that had to wait because of the inspection process reached the warehouse 3 days earlier. Three of them were unloaded without any problems, but once the fourth one was opened, it turned out that the cargo shifted during travel!
We cannot say if this happened due to faulty packaging or bad handling of the container by one of the harbor workers, but this was one other reason for many sleepless nights in November for our Logistics Team. After the container was unloaded, it turned out that a part of the outer packaging of our packages was damaged. These were set aside by the warehouse workers for us to inspect.
To evaluate the damage to the fourth (loose packaging) and the fifth (held in the harbor and damaged floor) containers, we’ve sent our elite troops. Kamil from our Customer Service Team and Bartek, our Lead Tester, went together to inspect the games onsite. These two are especially well equipped for field work, Kamil, an ex-professional soldier, and Bartek, with years of Police background. As you see, we do take our quality control seriously ;-).
Kamil and Bartek witnessed the opening of the 5th container and prepared a detailed protocol for damages caused by the double unloading of it and transport damage. Earlier, they evaluated the damage to the 4th container. When our field operatives were doing their part, the rest of the company ate our monthly candy rations and some nails.
After the first several hours messages from the lads’ started to reach us in the HQ. They were shocking. “So far, no damage to the games. Packaging is great.”. We couldn’t believe our eyes, from the photos of the outer packaging, it looked like the whole container would be ruined, but then Bartek wrote: “We’ve checked everything. Zero damage to the games. We’ll need to repackage some games but otherwise… we’ve witnessed a miracle.”. A wave of relief washed over us all. The packaging made in the factory by our manufacturer proved sturdy enough to take all that punishment and save the day.
Kamil and Bartek spent the entire day in the warehouse and opened every package; they were like Tomy Lee Jones in “The Fugitive,” like bloodhounds on a hunt! Thank you so much, guys. You did a great job!
This whole situation caused a couple more gray hair to grow on Michał’s head (so much that he shaved his head;-P) and cost us a lot of money. Our contract with the sea transport company says that the container should be returned after 10 days from when it is delivered to the harbor. Four containers were returned after 22 days, and one was delivered after 25 days. Each day costs 20 Euro at the beginning and 200 Euro after several days. So at some point, it cost us 1000 Euro daily for all five containers. This is why we had to drop the idea of transporting the containers by train (it would take several days more) and pick the (usually) more expensive truck transport. Altogether we’ve lost a little under 5000 Euro in this whole ordeal.
Fortunately, we’ve come on top of this crisis because we didn’t spare money on the good outer packaging for all pledges.
If the packaging had been less sturdy, we would have lost a part of the print run. Even with the insurance, we would have been in a terrible situation since it would have been a big challenge (timewise and costs) to make a short, quick printing for the lost copies of the game. Not to mention how bad we would feel for our backers who would have to wait for who knows how long for the second print. I mean, how do you choose who gets their game and who doesn’t… that’s the real stuff of nightmares, and the fact we avoided it by a hair’s length is what you call luck. Some nightmare scenarios were running through our heads, and the relief was as natural as possible. This is why we’re informing you about this now, when we know the whole situation; we wanted to learn all the options and see what the damage was to communicate with you. Fortunately, we can now tell you about this in terms of a fireplace scary story.
As you can see in this example, the logistics of a Kickstarter campaign is a risky and tricky process and, unfortunately, has very little to do with the joy of running a campaign and working on game design. This is where experience, safety, procedures, and a bit of luck come in handy ;-).
Phew, we’ve thrown this out of our system; thanks for reading this and being with us! Let’s get back to more positive news now!
Frostpunk: The Board Game Companion App
We’re happy to announce that you’re now able to download and install Frostpunk: The Board Game Companion App. Search for the app on Google Play or Apple Store, or head to this link to download the app for your device:
- Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gcu.frostpunkcompanionapp
- Apple Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/frostpunk-tbg-companion-app/id6443654377
Currently, the app is only available in English but don’t fret. Our local partners have already received the translation files with the goal of delivering the localization for the app in Q1 of 2023.
What can you expect from the app? Official Frostpunk OST, sound FX from the game, a knowledge base with all the rules, and phase tracker for your convenience, and most importantly, a totally new Trade mode! What is that? Let me explain!
Once you have the Beacon built, you’ll gain access to the special Trade tab, which shows the available Trade options with the groups of Survivors in various locations.
Each Trade option consists of Cost, Gain, Distance, and Favour gain.
- Cost is the requirement of Food or Resources that must be spent to begin the Trade.
- Gain is the reward gained once the Transport arrives. Distance shows how far away from your city the Transport is. The Transport travels each Round, during the Weather Phase, according to the expedition progress shown on the drawn Weather card, thus reducing the Distance.
- Favor with a location is gained after each completed Trade. Once the Favour bar is filled, the group of Survivors will want to repay the kindness by providing a special, one-time Bonus Reward.
How to perform a Trade action during the Action Phase?
- Place an available Worker/Engineer Meeple on the Beacon. This action counts as heated.
- Choose one of the available Trade options from the Trade tab in the application and pay the Cost.
- Selected Trade will change its status to “transporting” at the end of the Round. The app will track the Distance and Favour gained for you.
- Once the Transport arrives, you will be notified in the app during the Action Phase to collect the reward (Favour is added automatically).
There is no limit to the number of Trades in transportation, however, as with any other Large Building, you may only place two Meeples on the Beacon each Round. You can always click on the tooltip icon in the Trade Tab to display this information again.
Big, frosty THANK YOU to Dawid, Sebastian, Adam, Rafał, and Grzesiek for delivering the app.
If you’d like to report a bug, please go to the app’s settings and click on the report a bug button.
We hope this app will bring new emotions and experiences to your playthroughs, thanks to the thematic soundtrack (original Frostpunk soundtrack!) and sound FX from the game! And please start using the Trade mode once you’ve completed the basic scenario, at it is not recommended for your first encounters with the game.
We want to keep developing this app, adding new scenarios and such; we’ve got a couple more ambitious ideas, but their implementation depends on your reception of the game and its popularity.
Before we say goodbye
Once your games reach you, we kindly ask you to let us, and even more so the community of board game geeks, know how your playthrough has gone. The best place to do that is the Boardgamegeek forum: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/311988/frostpunk-board-game and the official Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/frostpunktheboardgame
We recommend you the videos section on Boardgamegeek, where you’ll find a lot of useful material about the setup of the game and 1st playthrough: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/311988/frostpunk-board-game/videos/all
It is also worth mentioning that one of our backers began working on a new game scenario. More details here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2969159/scenario-expansion-making
Enjoy the game!
As we’re not planning on publishing another update before the New Year, we’d like to use this occasion to send you all our warmest and hearty wishes for the upcoming celebrations, no matter what is your religion, lack of it, or custom. We wish you health, love, and time to spend playing board games with people who bring you joy.
Jakub & GCU Team
And please accept this special gift from our new Project Manager – Michał Zwierzyński, a real expert on “dad jokes”. Delivered to you a while ago by Fozzie Bear:
– What will you get when you mix a vampire with a snowman? Frostbite!