Physical Goods Shipping Update

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Jul 18, 2018.

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  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Greetings Avatars,

    As stated in our Q2 2018 Schedule Update our original plan was for the collector's box physical goods for our Kickstarter backers to begin shipping no later than the end of Q2. Unfortunately that did not happen and we are very sorry for the continued delay.

    We have hit several delays in the process along the way that we did not have cushion for in the schedule. Please accept our apologies for these delays. We completely understand how frustrating this is.
    • We were not warned by our suppliers about Chinese New Year's impact on production schedules in Q1. This directly impacted Cloth Map production which then impacted signatures which then cascaded other dates because the signed maps then needed shipping to the assembly location.
    • The shipment label requirements by our manufacturer do not match the address input fields so we have to reconfigure all the addresses semi-manually through some batch scripts to get them to meet the requirements.
    • Shipping vouchers and address information have to be validated against each account, each pledge level, and against due dates for submission of vouchers and addresses
    • The maps were held in customs for 2 weeks due to a misunderstanding about labeling
    • Parts have been manufactured in several places and all have to be shipped to a central location for assembly. Maps = China, Certificates = Austin, Boxes = France, etc. In some cases we have had to ship these to interim locations for signing and then on to the central location for assembly. In most cases this has worked flawlessly but in some cases this has introduced further, albeit minor, delays.
    • Various glitches in the address entry system and tracking were making some listings not appear in our final list. For instance a timestamp was created to track “updated address” but not “first entered”. So through early passes of collecting data, many people were being “lost” from the final list due to coming back and updating addresses post-first-entry. We have fixed this issue and various others but this took time to make sure it was accurate.
    We should have all of this resolved by the end of the month and we can begin shipping then. I realize this puts us 30 days past our original date and again I completely understand how very concerning this all is. We again apologize for the inconvenience and we ask for your continued patience.

    July 25, 18 UPDATE: Physical goods including the cloth map, box, trinket, manual, lot deeds, etc. (and the signed versions of each) have completed production and all of the final assembly has been complete. We have also finalized the address list and final preparations are being made for shipping. We have also completed setup of the Amazon store where non-Kickstarter versions of the box can be purchased. We will be making an announcement shortly when the boxes begin leaving the warehouse!
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  2. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles Avatar

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    No problem here.

    Esp 2 > that stuff for me.
     
  3. Solazur

    Solazur Avatar

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    so I guess this means things are late :oops:
     
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  4. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

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    S... happens ;)
    We all are humans. We are not perfect - and as we know you and your team:
    we are sure you've done your best.
    So we can enjoy the "Christmas"feeling a month longer ... before we open our package :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  5. Rufus D`Asperdi

    Rufus D`Asperdi Avatar

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  6. Jens_T

    Jens_T Avatar

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    Dear @DarkStarr

    I am afraid but I am not frustrated - that word doesn't capture my feelings.

    Let's have a look at the history of physical goods and why I am not "frustrated".
    1. Kickstarter - Expected delivery Oct 2014. - Ok, project changed, scope changed. No hard feeling not to make 2014
    2. Wipe - June 2016 Pre-Wipe Email: Production and Shipping after Overworld polish. Target to have this done end of 2016. Did not happen, game still in development...
    3. R44 / Status Update August 2017: Priority 1 to work on the physical items
    4. Dec 2017 / Q1-2018 Update: Physical item production stated as "has started" and will continue into R51, shipment begins with "Launch Candidate" R52 (March)
    5. Feb 2018: Email to update shipping address by March
    6. Mar 2018 / R52: Shipping delayed to Q2 - no clarification when in Q2
    7. Apr 25, 2018 / R53: Manual/Runic Card/Epic Origins "will be sent to printer next week", production of Ankh will start soon. Certificates will be received next week. Map is done and production begun. DVD will be produced in "a few weeks
    In between we had the news on map-production delays because of the Chinese New Year in Feb 2018 and the discussion on @Lord British signing stickers vs certificates.
    Now, almost three weeks into Q2 I am reading that:
    • Chinese New Year Holiday for maps - ok, map is delayed but that doesn't seem to be the constraint that prevents shipping. So no new excuse but a known fact.
    • Mailing Addresses fields in your customer database doesn't fit the requirements - ok, should be <1 man-day work to reformat the database. Input-Fields have been known since Feb 2018 and it is surprising that now the format doesn't match.
    • Account verification - true, this is work that needed to be done. But your statement is that this work has been postponed since 2016 - and even from Q1/2018 when your headcount still was strong.
    • Complexity of Assembly - certainly something to consider. But Maps are now all in Austin as we saw @Lord British signing them. Certificates in Austin. Boxes in France? As the box design was finished by @Scottie in Q1 that should have been considered in the selection of the vendor.
    • More address bugs..

    If I am benevolent I'd interpret this as "we moved physical goods out since 2016 to concentrate all resources on programming the game. And we didn't expect the complexity of a global supply chain".
    But this is not what you're saying. I read many "explanations" why you need another few days to weeks. (Support told me on my email shipment will start very soon...)
    I don't see any update on the printed novel (and it was never shown unlike the other items).

    Given that you are asking us players to trust you and provide you with funding for future episodes it would help tremendously if you shed some more light on the status:
    • Are all addresses & physical rewards validated
    • What is the production status of the individual items (produced, signed, locally stored?)
    • Does everything fit into one box and is shipped at a single date?
    • Will you have several fulfilment centres or ship everything out of one site? How is customs handled.
    The above would be a start. Nothing more to quench my "frustration".
     
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  7. Duffrey Blake

    Duffrey Blake Avatar

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    It’s all good. Delays happen. As long as the Quality of the goods is as expected I am fine.
     
  8. Solstar

    Solstar Avatar

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    You sure have a lot of brain space invested in this. They've had my (rather substantial amount of) money for nearly 5 years. Getting my blood pressure up about it seems futile.
     
  9. FrostII

    FrostII Avatar

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    Thanks for the update, @DarkStarr
    If I didn't believe in your and LB's credibility and creativity, I wouldn't still be here. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  10. Stryker Sparhawk

    Stryker Sparhawk Avatar

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    Thank you for the update and status.
     
  11. Malimn

    Malimn Avatar

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    @DarkStarr @Lord British

    Well since there is now a delay on the physical goods shipping, have you found boxes big enough to add the book / book signed versions?? This way you do not have a major issue with shipping things out twice??
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
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  12. Sentinel2

    Sentinel2 Avatar

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    I appreciate the update. Life is problems. Solving problems is what we do. Or should!

    Oh and I blame that guy in game. Darkstarr, agent of Chaos. I suspect he has something to do with this ;-)

    Maybe we should gather a party and hunt him down. I'll bet he has our physical goods in a large box...
     
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  13. Razimus

    Razimus Avatar

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    I never doubted physical goods would ship, looking forward to it, thanks for the update
     
  14. Godra

    Godra Avatar

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    The address verification is my biggest concern and probably also a complaint. We were asked to verify our address and in doing so it was all good. But every time you purchase an item from the add-on store, that address becomes unverified and you have to do it all over again. To me, that is an issue. I hope this is fixed, not just for the physical goods mailing but just because it’s annoying to have to verify your mailing address every time I purchase something.
     
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  15. Rufus D`Asperdi

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    I had this issue for a few months, but haven't had in probably the last 4ish... maybe more? I make purchases on multiple accounts regularly, and none of them have run afoul of this issue for quite some significant time.
    If it's still an issue for you, you might want to drop a line to support@portalarium.com.
     
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  16. fonsvitae

    fonsvitae Avatar

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    What is the status on the RG and TH signed books?
     
  17. gtesser

    gtesser Avatar

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    It's all good!
     
  18. Curt

    Curt Avatar

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    seems address gets unverified each time I buy any with paypal
     
  19. Elwyn

    Elwyn Avatar

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    The boxes, maps, certificates, booklets, and whatever else have to all be in the same place at the same time to put them into the box before they can be shipped. Portalarium is not going to be stuffing the boxes in their Austin office, that would be silly. So they have to depend on other people that do this for a living. The devs don't ship boxes for a living, so they can't know in advance what does and doesn't work. And when individual tasks take longer than expected, other tasks can't start on time, which causes the schedule to slip. Have you ever used a Gantt chart?

    I don't know what your point is, are you implying that they have been sitting on this stuff? What do you they should be doing that they aren't? Why you care so much about a few more weeks after 4+ years, when they clearly have been working on it for months now? What do you expect them to do, drop everything, buy international plane tickets, fly out there themselves to run the map and box printing machines, the box wrapping machines, drop the game boxes into shipping boxes, print the labels, then get on a sleigh and fly them around the world in one night?
     
  20. Elwyn

    Elwyn Avatar

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    I know I've verified all four of my addresses before, yet when buying things during the stream two weeks ago I noticed it still was telling me to verify my address. Something has apparently been un-verifying addresses. I was only buying with a credit card, and also with store credit back when it was still a thing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
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