A change of plans - but no delay!
5 days ago
– Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 01:15:07 AM
Hello again from Knot Dice world! (Another post so soon?)
So, here's the thing. Two things happened in the last couple of days to change my plans, but there should not be any delay as a result.
First, I finally managed to find a staff of workers in China who are able to do the quality control for me, and they can start soon - sooner than I would have gotten over there. So I've given them a detailed document with photos of what I require quality-wise (that I was going to use myself), and written instructions, and I think this is going to work.
I had actually been looking forward to just going over there myself and doing what I could, finishing it up and putting my hands on the dice, but I would have been just one person, and there are a ton of dice... plus, other events in the news arose.
In case you haven't heard, protests have been ongoing in Hong Kong for the past several days, and the airport has been closed. Yesterday (or earlier today? the time zones are tricky), Chinese military vehicles rolled into Shenzhen (just across the border from Hong Kong), which is where I was headed. This is not a good time to go to Shenzhen.
I had bought my ticket for the flight on Expedia before I heard from the staff. Fortunately, I was able to cancel the ticket with no penalty. And now hearing the news from Hong Kong and Shenzhen, I am more confident that this is the right move.
I will keep you in the loop as we keep getting closer to finishing up. Thank you so much for your support and comments - they mean a huge deal to me as I want to make you proud of what we have created.
Knot Dice & China
9 days ago
– Sat, Aug 10, 2019 at 12:49:54 AM
Another in an ongoing series on quality control...
The dice arrived at the packaging factory, and things look pretty good! Here are some photos the packaging factory sent me:
There are no visible misshapen dice (phew), and all-in-all it's two thumbs up.
At this point, I could just send everything out to everyone. But I've decided to take one more step. I'm still unsure that those dice are up to snuff, because of the glare, and because I'm only looking at a few sets out of thousands, and because I don't feel totally confident in the manufacturer's QC (that's an understatement). In addition, there are a large number of the original Knot Dice that the dice manufacturer did not do the additional round of QC on. So...
I'm going to China.
I'll be heading over there in a couple of weeks, and then we can start packing up the dice into the game boxes by the end of August (I'm not sure how long that process will take yet), and then send them to fulfillment.
I've done some dry runs of quality control here, and I should be able to review all of the dice sets within a week. I have to remember to take photos while I'm there!
I will make sure that of the dice that exist, you have the best.
I'll post another full update when I'm back!
Big Step Forward (and more related info)
about 1 month ago
– Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 01:42:15 AM
Hi again! I'm glad to be back with some actual news about things moving forward.
Here's the news: the dice manufacturer is done with their quality review and is trucking the dice back to the packaging company now. This is a huge relief, because not only does it mean we can start things moving again (quickly, I hope)... but I've also gotten post-review numbers and there will be enough dice from this manufacturing run for everyone. The blue squared dice are going to be very close!
I was concerned that since a good number of dice would be eliminated by this quality step, I might have to do another manufacturing run somehow to get everyone their dice. Looks like that won't be an issue.
Once the dice are back with the packaging company, I will get a timeline from them for finishing the run. I will let you know as soon as I have that.
While the quality control review was going on, I got a backup plan in motion and started talking with another manufacturer in case I needed to do another run, and to improve on quality in the future.
They sent me some samples of blank dice (using 16mm molds they already had), and they were able to match the color quite well, though I think it looks just a little "plastic-y". Perhaps a little less pearlescent would be better. Here is a photo of the samples (bottom is sample dice, top is original Knot Dice):
Of course there is still the question of the design on the dice and whether they can do a good job with that... and just how close to the edge they can get.
Right now my attention is squarely on getting you your dice as soon as possible -- the dice that are already made. I just wanted to share what I have been working on while waiting for the quality review to finish.
My role now is mostly logistical, getting quantities and addresses and money to the right places. Once that is all sorted, I hope to talk with you about the future of Knot Dice (but I'm focused on finishing this project first!).
I'll be in touch again soon - hopefully very soon - with some more dates.
Schedule Update and Tariff News
2 months ago
– Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 01:02:15 AM
First, let me apologize for not posting another update sooner. I've been replying directly to questions on the previous update and in the general comments, but I should have posted a full update to everyone. Here it is.
The manufacturer took back all of the Knot Dice Squared dice (the 3 new dice) and a portion of the original Knot Dice and they are still going through them. Once they finish, they'll take the second half of the original Knot Dice and go through them as well. I don't have a final completion date from them yet.
I received an update last week, saying that they had finished going through 2 of the types of dice. They are using a brush to remove debris from within the silver lines, using thinner to wipe away any paint issues on the faces, and removing any structurally damaged dice. It is turning out to be a very time-consuming process (which is what I expected, and why I thought their original time estimate was overly optimistic).
I'll post another full update like this one when I've gotten some dates from them.
I'm a small business and will lose money due to the Tariffs imposed on imports from China.
In short, unless something changes with US-China trade policy before Knot Dice Squared arrives in the US, the new tariffs are going to cost me (that's me, not you) a good bit of money - 25% more than expected.
Each Kickstarter project is different and has different margins and costs -- some projects are dealing with this and requesting additional support from backers. I do not begrudge them that, especially when it may be necessary to cover the cost of a project.
However, I still believe I can deliver just under budget and I do not want to ask backers to contribute additional funds. I just want to make you aware of everything that is going on with the project, in an effort to be transparent.
I'm crossing my fingers and looking forward to a smooth operation this summer...
Quick Update on Quality Control
3 months ago
– Thu, May 09, 2019 at 01:57:03 AM
Hi again. I wanted to send a quick update about the progress of the quality control work that the dice manufacturer is doing (if you need a refresher on what this refers to, take a look at the previous update).
The long and short of it is that the dice manufacturer is having the dice sent back to them and they are going to do another pass at removing ALL of the dice that don't meet my standards. I've sent them photos of what does pass and what does not pass, and I'm going to ask them to send me photos as well.
Then they're going to see if any of the dice with paint-only issues can be touched up, and do what they can with those.
My contact says this might actually be finished in a couple of weeks, but that sounds overly optimistic to me. I will be in touch with him regularly, however, and will let you know where things stand in two weeks.