Dear Journal readers,
We hope you spent a great holiday with your loved ones.
2019 has been the year we started writing these Journals and we really hope you have enjoyed receiving and reading these updates. We would like to start a tradition by using the last Journal update as an overall review of how the year went.
What we learned in 2019
Timeline is everything.
While we always set important goals for the year, revising the timeline is something we have been doing for the past 3 years, and it was not a surprise for us that Tang Garden was about to create an important change in our timeline for 2019. Shaping the games together with our backers is one of the most interesting things of being a Kickstarter creator, but all of this additional content needs to be meticulously calculated before the campaign starts to add enough buffer time to the communicated timeline. All of these without knowing how successful a project will be.
Revising the timeline affects your perception towards us and affects the company stability by postponing future releases.
Kickstarter is changing.
When you back one of our campaigns, you are not pre-ordering a product, you are really helping us make the game happen. This is a feeling we don’t want to lose, but we also understand that a game needs to be fulfilled at the right pace.
For Iwari, we segmented the success of the project into four different outcomes and we decided to establish the proper buffer based on the best-case scenario. This gave us room to listen to our community without compromising what we love the most about launching on Kickstarter: shaping a game together.
We are pleased that we have managed the workflow correctly this time, with the game being fulfilled by March, having only a small delay because of the multiple freights happening at the same time along with Tang Garden.
A settled pipeline of releases is mandatory.
When we started as a game publisher, we announced the games as we completed them by focusing only on a title at the time, but Kickstarter and distribution are two completely different things and you need to plan ahead all the releases for a year to be able to communicate your plans to the different distribution partners. This means that to become an established game publisher, many projects need to be handled at the same time, but how long does it take to complete a game?
I always refer to what John Cleese said: “If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.” And while this may sound like a cliché, as in any other creative process, it is very hard to plan when something will be ready to be published. During the past years, we have been discarding games and postponing others because of how this industry is blowing with innovation.
Starting in 2019, we decided to split our team into groups. We would be working at the same time on different projects and we would request help from freelancers if needed, without compromising our main tasks as a team.
The best possible scenario was starting with smaller games, which gave room to work on the matchbox collection that we have talked about in the previous journal. During the first week of January, we will reveal the five games that we have been creating during the past year.
We also managed to work on two distribution only releases for 2020, and on our first expansion for one of our titles you liked the most. We can’t wait to talk more about them soon.
Communication is crucial.
While we have been always striving to improve on this important aspect, we renew our interest to expand the team and improve our communication with backers, distribution and localization partners.
To our backers, it will be fundamental for us to explain what we have already accomplished for pre-production and the time we need to produce and send a game. Starting in 2020, we are adding the timeline section in our campaigns, with more information on every aspect of the development, by taking into account all our previous experiences.
To improve our communication in distribution, we have divided all of our titles into categories by creating a game catalog which will be an important tool to give a better timeframe of our releases to both retailers and localization companies.
To improve our distribution presence, we are partnering up with Lucky Duck Games which will assist us with distribution in the USA and Canada. Vince from Lucky Duck Games has been a friend before being a colleague. Both our companies started at the same time and Lucky Duck has grown incredibly in the last years. We are all very excited to have them as partners for the distribution of our games.
Trees for the future
For 2020, we will renew our commitment to plant a tree for every game sold. Starting with Tang Garden and for future titles, we will add a sticker on each box to create more awareness regarding the cause.
We recently created an exclusive section in our website for “Buy a game, plant a tree”. You will be able to see the number of trees planted growing with each production of our titles and find out in which ways you can contribute.
Planting trees provides families with more than just food. It provides income, empowerment, unity, personal growth, education and even saves lives. When we can help people to value themselves and their environment, they see amazing improvements in their standard of living.
- In our latest update (#49), we talked about freight time and delivery.
- In our latest update (#26), we talked about freight time and delivery.
- Starting January, we will reveal all the lineup and unveil one title at a time, starting with 15 days from Francesco Testini, game designer of Tang Garden.
The only way to access our Seals and our monthly special offer is by subscribing to the Journal over the side bar on your right.
In each Journal, there is always a special code for a discount or a gift in our online shop. Moreover, each month you will be able to collect a seal. Once you gather 10, you will receive a new message with a small gift from us for all your support!
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