The COVID-19 Update
12 days ago
– Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 03:07:16 AM
I sincerely hope everyone is safe and secure these days! The coronavirus has now impacted us all, not just businesses, and I believe it is important for everyone to be as careful as possible. I was very lucky to have been so close to the virus and still avoided any major illness. Unfortunately, many of our business partners were not so lucky. However for many of them, life is returning to normal, and I now have an update for you all.
First, the good news. Our factory is back online, and workers have returned to their jobs. The virus did not have a major impact besides halting work for a period of time; the bad news is that some of our key workers, including dongshifu (whom you may remember from our early updates) are still confined to quarantined areas, and so cannot return to the factory. This is preventing the final touches needed before we can begin shipping. A conservative estimate is 30 more days of quarantine, then 2 weeks to finish the work needed by dongshifu and our other team members. Once we have more defined dates, I'll post another update.
For my part, I have been working through messages, but, like many of you, I have also been dealing with the consequences of the economic shutdown that is affecting so many people. The last few weeks have been a dance of shutting down our storage and warehousing, while working to keep relationships in place for when the crisis has passed. And like many of you, I have been assisting family members who are at risk.
Please continue to stay safe and follow the guidelines of the CDC, medical professionals, and the authorities in your region. We will continue to focus on keeping Wooded Realms alive so that everyone can enjoy their tabletop gaming in person, when we're ready!
Wooded Realms, Coronavirus, and You
about 1 month ago
– Wed, Feb 26, 2020 at 08:01:42 PM
I have been away for a while tending to family matters, but I wanted to keep you up on what's happening with our table production. Unfortunately, since our factory is so close to the Hubei province, production is still shut down. Our general timeline of 10-12 weeks still holds, but the clock will begin when the factory is allowed to open again. I don't have a firm date for when that will happen, as it is determined by the Chinese government.
Furthermore, there is a travel ban within China itself. I finally got a hold of Michael after not being able to contact him. It turns out he and his family are currently stuck in a province in the middle of China (Michael and his family live in Beijing), where they were visiting family when the travel ban was enacted. Please keep Michael and his family in your thoughts as they get through this difficult and scary time.
Since the travel ban is in effect, and the factory is shut down, we obviously can't take any new pictures or videos, but once things have opened up again, we will get some new media posted. As before, I'm still working through the backlog, and I will get to everyone's messages asap.
Hang in there Realm dwellers!
Happy Chinese New Year! CNY 2020 Update
2 months ago
– Tue, Feb 04, 2020 at 12:35:32 AM
Wow I am so happy to be home and done with travelling (at least for now). As many of you have guessed, I was in some locations of interest to many these days. I arrived in Shanghai the same day the first case of Corona virus was reported in that city. Zhumadian, the city where our factory is located, is in the Henan province, just north of Wuhan, aka ground zero for the Corona virus outbreak. And I flew out of China from Beijing, right when the Chinese government announced the outbreak which included 11 cases in the nation's capitol.
I've been back in the US now for almost 4 weeks, and neither I nor the people I've interacted with have shown symptoms, which as you can imagine is a huge relief. A fair bit of time has been spent ensuring my own health and the safety of my friends and family (as well as some other unrelated complications), so I do apologize for missing my mid-month update in January. But let's look ahead to the next couple of months!
What is the Corona Virus doing to our timeline?
First off, yes the recent events in China are messing with our schedule. The current major change is the extension of the Chinese New Year holiday. This extension applies to our factory, which was planning to prep and ship our first 100 tables after the new year. This extension didn't add too much to our table timeline, but it is also affecting our production of playfields. I don't have exact details on how much of an impact this will have (waiting to hear back from the supplier), but if we have an extended delay, we may just ship the tables first. I'll know for sure by the next update.
Secondly, there has been essentially a travel ban from China to the US until April. This is impacting Michael, as he was planning to come to the US to handle certain business related tasks. I can't say for sure that this ban will affect our shipping timeline, but if we end up being blocked by an inability to handle some in-person tasks, well it might come back into play. For now though, it mostly means we won't have Michael around for those first shipments (a real bummer for me personally!).
What about the first 100 tables? Am I part of that list? Also Messages?
Okay! So now that I'm back and settled at home, I will begin sending messages to those individuals who are part of the first wave. As some of you know, my invaluable KS partner Mike has been busy lately so responses here in the comments may slow down, but I think the right priority is responding to private messages and notifying early backers.
As we've said from the beginning, who gets a table is prioritized first on logistical considerations, and second on backer order. I will definitely try to get those of you who backed early on and stuck with us through everything because you are all darlins. Once everyone has been notified, I'll post an update so we know for sure. Also, if you pre-ordered a table after the KS ended, you are part of the pool of potential First 100.
If you have sent a message, expect it to be replied to this week!
Finally, I will be adding things to the store this week that I know folks have been waiting for. If you are part of the First 100 and you want to order additional things (like legs, acrylic etc), we'll have that conversation through messages so I can ensure we get everyone what they want and time to think about it.
I can't tell you how happy I am to be home with my family and friends! Like many of you, I am re-energized by the amazing progress I saw on this last trip, and I really can't wait to get our tables out in the wild for everyone to enjoy. I'll talk to y'all soon!
The Factory Tour
3 months ago
– Sat, Jan 11, 2020 at 12:11:17 AM
Hey guys, I can't wait any longer to share this with you! I've got some basic video of the factory and a full demo of our first real actual production table (as in it was put together using parts from the first 100 tables). I'm still on the road (posting this at a Starbucks) so I can't sit down to go through Mike's questions or the comments yet, but I will post another video that does that in the next several days.
In the meantime, I absolutely cannot wait for you guys to see these tables! Take a look!
- 0:00 - 03:40 - Travelling to the factory
- 03:40 - Internal Components
- 05:25 - Risers
- 06:05 - Floor (bottom of the table vault)
- 06:20 - Legs
- 06:50 - Leaves
- 07:00 - Skirts and Frames
- 07:55 - Risers
- 08:20 - Another look at components
- 09:15 - A look at components being produced
- 11:00 - Leg size comparison
- 12:35 - Factory painting and curing area
- 13:35 - Chairs being dried and cured
- 16:10 - LEDs in table
- 17:15 - USB and AC ports, and switches
- 18:30 - Skirts and rail accessories
- 19:30 - Riser installation
- 20:45 - Table height measurements
- 21:30 - Leaf assembly (dining table side)
- 22:10 - Leaf lifter demo
- 22:35 - Leaf assembly (recessed side)
- 23:05 - Recessed tabletop up close
- 25:00 - Chair height with table demonstration
- 25:55 - Weathertop and Veldt shelves attached to the table
- 26:55 - Installing risers
- 27:15 - Chair with risers height demonstration
New Year's pre-update "I'm Alive" post
3 months ago
– Sun, Jan 05, 2020 at 03:01:46 PM
Hey Realm Dwellers!
Apologies for no info just yet; I'm deep in the heart of China, visiting the factory. I have tons of great footage, and lots of video and info that I know you all are dying for! But the Internet here S-U-C-K-S! I am just posting while I have enough data to let you know that I am working on a big update that I will post as soon as I possibly can (probably either in about 18 hours or 30 hours). Here are the hits:
I've seen the tables, they are this close to being in boxes! We have 2 delays from factories producing components, and rather that rush to try and beat the Chinese new year, we're going to wait until after to get everything properly boxed and on boats. The first 100 will ship in mid-February, and the second they arrive in US safe and sound, we'll begin production on the rest. Fingers crossed, we'll have the last of the original backer and pre-order tables built and on a boat by May (big ol grain of salt here, but keep in mind these estimates are now coming from the source directly, and so are much less likely to be wrong). After that, expect tables to begin showing up in retail (!).
Once I'm back, I will be at CES, and PAX South (as an attendee, but I would be happy to set up some time to let folks come chat at either event).
Ok that's it for now; full update with video coming as soon as I can internet better!