Week 67: Final Update

07. March 2022

Hi Everyone,

How are you? 😊 I hope you had a great February. The fulfillment is now around 95%+ complete. In the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, ROW, China, Hong Kong and Macao all pledges are sent/completed. Backers from the other Asian countries should all have received a notification from VFI Asia that their pledge was sent to a "hub" (within their country) and once it will arrive there, it will be individually sent to them (with this approach you don't have to pay VAT/customs, because this is paid by us). The arrival times at the individual hubs are…

Japan 10.03 ; South Korea 15.03 ; Singapore/Malaysia 25.03 ; Thailand/Philippines 31.03

(if you have questions, please contact me with an email to [email protected])

And once this is done, this campaign is finally 100% completed!

Since this is the final update of this campaign it is also the perfect moment to take a look back to analyze what went well and what didn't.

Generally speaking, this was a really good campaign. We delivered what we promised, in the quality we promised. We were able to produce the product that we wanted to produce. The artwork is absolutely beautiful (big praise to Johanna) and I am also 100% happy with the print quality/the material quality. One of the things I liked most about this campaign was the cooperation with Suyana. Everything went very smooth with them, and it was simply awesome to be able to include a real Bolivian bag in this game! We will certainly do such collaborations with smaller NGOs in many of our projects in the future. Larger NGOs are better known, but there it is all about money and everything has to be written down in thousands of contracts. With Suyana I did not sign a single contract, everything was based on trust and love/passion for the project.

What was definitely a big annoyance was the production error, which was not our fault but that doesn't change much for you. It was really unnecessary and delayed the campaign by a quarter to half a year. In the future, I'll just have to rely more on my gut feeling and know-how. I have asked the manufacturer several times whether, for example, the frame pieces really need no clearance so that all hexagons fit in (same for the demand flags). This was confirmed to me several times, even if I was not 100% convinced, I trusted the manufacturer. Next time I have to stick to my own feeling, because no one knows the product as well as we do.

Then again, shipping was quite a pain. On the one hand this is normal, you can probably ask any KS creator which part of a Kickstarter campaign is the most annoying one and 99% will tell you the shipping (because it takes time, is very complicated, can be very expensive and you have almost no control over it -> not a good mix xD). On the other hand Covid just made things even more complicated, shipping to Asia for example normally takes a month, now we waited more than 3 months. That was unthinkable before Covid. In addition, the costs have exploded, fortunately we calculated with a buffer, but still every calculation was exceeded. That especially the delays annoy you backers is totally understandable and that you want clear, precise information is of course also clear. I can well understand that it may not always be understandable for you why I do not have more precise information, because you very likely do not deal with shipping in your daily life. I think the best explanation I have is that many people (with whom I collaborate for fulfillment) don't work very professionally in their job, which amazes me every time. Sometimes I don't get any answers from fulfillment centers for weeks (even if I ask 2-3 times), then you get different information from everyone you ask, sometimes whole pallets disappear and reappear again at some point etc. Now you may think, "then change the fulfillment partner". Good point, but in certain smaller regions e.g. Asia/Australia there is unfortunately not a wide selection of reliable partners and our partners there are not primarily bad (pledges are correctly packed and arrive undamaged = already good xD), but simply slow and above that quite unreliable in communication. And when choosing a fulfillment center you always have to weigh what is most important to you - low prices or good customer service/communication or well packed packages etc. Most of the time you don't get everything from one single fulfillment center ;) So for this "problem" I don't have a final solution, but will simply continue to give my best to make the experience for you the backers as smooth as possible and try to solve all problems asap so that you don't even notice them :)

Apart from shipping/production, there is actually not much more I would change for future campaigns (as written in the beginning, we are quite happy with this campaign). The only thing we will adjust are the weekly updates. In the next campaigns we will release an update every two weeks, I think this is a fair compromise between those people who love the updates and those who would prefer to receive less :) also it saves me some time and when I write an update I have more content to include (because in two weeks more happens than in one).

Feedback on this project from you is of course always very welcome, feel free to write a comment, send a KS personal message or email to [email protected]

Now I wish you a great time and thanks again for your gigantic support for this project. I will definitely keep you up-to-date regarding new projects. Our next project will be live in the end of August, I'm very confident that this could be a project that is also interesting for you, but more on this later 😉

With best regards,

Marc & Samuel