EXPLORERS OF ICY LANDS, ❄️
A sailing trip was made today to verify some of Yepa’s predictions and draw the consequences for the next Great Expedition…
⟴ On the way back, while the blizzard was raging and I was holding this little marvel in my arms, I remembered the very beginning of this adventure… The first preparations and the plans of the sailboats and especially this compass of the Ancients which was discovered several decades ago and which guides us now!
Tymo (Navigator ⟴)
Happy October, Explorers!
A lot has happened in the past month, and so we’ve got a jam-packed Update for you all: Our first production copy of ICE from Panda Manufacturing arrived! An unboxing video! Tons of photos! A promise of Eco-friendly production on our future games. Essen Spiel news! And more…
OUR FIRST PRODUCTION COPY! 🎁
We were so excited to get the first look of a fully produced game of ICE! This game has been several years in the making for us, so to finally be able to touch a fully produced copy…. well there are just no words for how amazing and emotional it was. ☺️
While everything looks beautiful, there are still some adjustments needed that we’ll discuss in further detail below. But Samson made a 12-minute unboxing video for you all to see!
Before you click “play” on the video, there are some things you should know:
- These unboxings are NOT at all the final experience backers will have — it’s just how Panda shipped us the first components that are currently ready for review.
- The first box shown is the Collector’s Version. Inside that one is only the 7 double-layered player boards, and also a full sheet of the Incandescent’s Activation token (but each copy of ICE will only have one of these).
- The second box is the Standard box cover, and it contains the single-layered player boards from the Standard version, as well as most of the shared components from both versions: All of the tiles, cards, rulebooks, and of course the magnetic board.
- The third small box was actually sent a week prior to this copy, and contains all of the Deluxe Meeples
- There are some components not shown here (the Standard Edition meeples and all the metal stuff from the Deluxe which will arrive later).
- Another missing element is the insert (organizer tray) designed by Matt Healey that will eventually come with the game. This will be produced last once all components are confirmed to be the correct size (more on that below).
But please take a look at the unboxing video and see for yourself:
I C E Pre-Production Copy Unboxing Video 📦
For a more close-up look (and for those that don’t have time for a video), Hugo also took several pictures so that you can see everything in better detail! We’ll also mention any “trouble spots” that we saw, and where we’ll ask Panda for some changes.
This was an incredibly unique and challenging thing to produce! We’ve been using a white sample produced by Panda Game few months ago, so to finally see it with fully printed artwork all over, it made us teary. The magnetic board pieces fit and work quite well!
The Guild Boards
Both the Deluxe double-layer boards, and the Standard single-layer boards are just stunning. The UV spot gives a really nice touch with Léonard’s gorgeous art. We’re very happy with these!
The tiles look really amazing, but there’s one problem that we found with them: They’re slightly too thick, and… possibly too wide as well. Unfortunately this makes for a too-tight fit on the board, and they are not fully aligned with the board’s many levels, going slightly higher than them. This is obviously a very important change needed, and we’ve requested further adjustment on these to get everything perfect. Because the tiles AND board bothneed to be exactly right to be in synch with each other, this is the most important issue we’re addressing here.
They are just incredible! While our previous prototypes up until this point have been able to look almost-final to what they will be, we’ve only ever been able to use generic meeples for our demo games up until now. So to FINALLY have actual custom-shaped meeples is a true treasure! 🤩
Unfortunately here too there will need to be some slight adjustments, but only with some colors. The Incandescent meeple is a bit too dark, and should have more green in it. Once again, we will work with Panda on making sure these are done exactly right!
The Request, Decree and Logbook cards
All looks good here. No changes needed, except on 3 cards where a small graphic element is missing.
The Expedition Booklet and Edifice Guide
These look and feel great. The rulebook is definitely thick, while the Edifice Guide is just perfect. We can’t show more, though, due to the soft-legacy elements. 🤫
No complaints here! We really can’t wait to see the metal versions though, which will no doubt look and feel incredible…
Player Aids and Score booklet
They are exactly how they should be!
PRODUCTION UPDATE 🏭
Now that we’ve bombarded you with all those lovely visuals (which we hoped you enjoyed!), it’s time to get down to serious business, and the question that you all are wanting to know the most:
When will you get your games?
Here’s the thing: We will NOT ship out an imperfect game to you — and because we’re requesting changes from Panda, we are uncertain how this affects our planned end-of-year delivery schedule. We’re going to be 100% honest here with all of you backers, and with ourselves as well: Getting the necessary changes needed, and then sent back to us, and then approved, and then giving the green light for mass-production, and then getting games on boats, and then shipped to you all before the end of the year… is not looking very likely at this point.
The possibility of yet-another delay for this game is incredibly painful for us, and puts a major monkey wrench in all of our plans. But we believe that, deep down, in our heart of hearts, delivering the BEST possible version of the game is way more important than getting a faster (but imperfect version) out to all of you.
And what exactly this means for our next game, FOUNDERS, is also unknown. We had currently set the Kickstarter to launch in February, but we will NOT launch another game before backers have received our first one. (In fact with Kickstarter’s new policy, we couldn’t even do that if we wanted to — which we don’t).
So this next month, and the speediness (or not) of all the next steps we need to take, will determine just how much this will affect everything.
We’ll have a much better understanding of this by our next Update, but we wanted to be as transparent as possible now to keep you informed about what might happen.
So many Kickstarter games are running very late right now, even from some high-profile companies. We were hoping to avoid this and make a better first impression, but we feel failed a bit in this regard. Our first project was very ambitious — perhaps a bit TOO ambitious. But we truly believe that once you see and play the final product, that you will come to understand why we needed the time to get it right. We promise it will be worth the wait! 😅
OUR ECO-FRIENDLY PATH 🌿
Protecting our environment and preventing an increase in climate change is very important to us. So going forward, This Way! is promising to take part in Panda’s offerings of all-FSC certified materials for all of our future games, beginning with FOUNDERS.
Please take a moment to read our latest blog post, “Our Path to Eco-Friendly Boardgames,” which you can find HERE. And make sure to take the poll at the very end!
ESSEN IS HERE!
This week, Samson, Hugo and Anton are heading to Germany for Essen Spiel (October 6-9) — the largest international boardgame convention in the world!
If you are also attending, please make sure to visit us at the This Way! booth (1D120), where you can:
- Play ICE : We will have the components straight from the manufacturer mentioned above for you to see!
- Playtest FOUNDERS : We will have a very early prototype of our next game which people can playtest. This will be our widest sample of playtesting for this game so far, and we look forward to hearing people’s impressions. Playtesters may even have a chance of influencing the game!
- Enter our Essen-exclusive Giveaway for a chance to win deluxe versions of BOTH games! That’s right — ONLY at Essen, and only by visiting our booth, can you potentially win both games at once. All you need to do is scan a QR code at our booth to subscribe to our newsletter (even if you’ve already subscribed, you will need to enter your details again just for the giveaway — but don’t worry, you will NOT be subscribed twice).
- Buy posters featuring the stunning art of Léonard Dupond! 🎨
We look forward to seeing many of you there!
FOUNDERS GIVEAWAY CONTINUES!
Not going to be at Essen? Don’t worry — there’s still a chance for winning at least a pledge of FOUNDERS, as our monthly giveaway (leading up to the campaign launch) continues. There have already been two winners. Will you be the next?
Make sure you’ve subscribed to our newsletter HERE for entry. 📰
And don’t forget: If we reach 300 subscribers on the BGG page, we’ll choose TWO winners that month instead! Subscribe also to the FOUNDERS BGG page HERE.
THIS WAY’S NEW ADDITION!
And finally, team This Way has added a +1: our artist extraordinaire Léonard Dupond and equally talented artist Roxane Campoy have welcomed a new addition to their family:
Timothé Dupond-Campoy! 🥳🥂👶🏻
We wish the warmest congratulations to the happy parents!
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more news next month…