2019 Wrap Up & The Year to Come

2019 was a big year for Parallel. We are so thankful for the great support you’ve all shown us and we’re very happy that City of the Big Shoulders has become a favorite game for so many people.

With the closing of the year we’re happy to announce that the first edition of City is completely sold out! This is phenomenal news and we’re already hard at work on the second edition reprint.

City of the Big Shoulders Second Edition Changes

We’ve had some feedback from customers and reviewers alike and while the game is solid, we believe in improvement when improvement is necessary. Thanks to the help of Paul Grogan and some awesome folks on BGG, we’re currently wrapping up a reorganization and clarification of the second edition Rulebook. There were a few things that weren’t clearly stated or needed some refinement to clearly convey all the complexities of certain rules. We will absolutely release this rulebook for you to peruse in the coming weeks. We believe this is a team effort and would love your input before we go to print! We will also be releasing the final second edition rulebook free for download once it’s finalized.

In addition to the Rulebook the game board will have two minor changes – the Appeal track and Stock track will be reoriented so that they go from top to bottom instead of bottom to top. This change should not impact game play at all.

The player aids will also get a minor update to make sure all rules are clear in alignment with the rulebook updates. These will be available for download once finalized as well.

Pre-Orders for City of the Big Shoulders

In the past few weeks we’ve had inquiries about purchasing the game. Once the changes are finalized you will be able to pre-order the second edition of City. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or join our mailing list to get a notification about pre-ordering the second edition.

Future games, Nemo’s Island and Astrolabe!

This upcoming year is planning to be just as busy as before for us. We’re excited to announce that we’re producing the game Nemo’s Island from Ed Wedig. This is a 45-60 minute exploration game where player’s will explore an island and collect treasure and resources. We will post more information in the near future, but for now we’re quite excited. Currently, we’re working with our WONDERFUL illustrator, Simona Ceccarelli, on the absolutely fantastic artwork, as we playtest and refine the rules.

In addition to Nemo’s Island we’re very happy to announce that we’ll be working on developing Astrolabe by Daniel Newman. We will have tons of additional information on Astrolabe in the coming months, but be sure to follow us on social media or check back for more soon.

Join us at GAMA Expo

2019 was a huge adventure for Raymond and I and we’re excited to see what 2020 brings. Our first con of the season will be the GAMA Expo March 9-12th in Reno, NV. Be sure to stop by Booth 801 to say Hi.

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KS Update #23: Gen Con and Final Fulfillment

Hello friends!

First off, I want to thank you all for helping us make this game a reality. Without you standing behind us and our game none of this ever happens. Thank you!

Final Fulfillment Updates

Me with the pallets we air-shipped into Gen Con for the show. :)
Me with the pallets we air-shipped into Gen Con for the show. πŸ™‚

Folks in Australia and most of Asia should have either already received their copies or should be getting them in the next few days. πŸ™‚

For US Backers, the warehouse has started unpacking the games from the pallets and are prepping them for shipping to your house. They will begin to ship out next week, and should arrive on your doorstep by the end of the month.

For EU Backers, GamesQuest has received your pallets of games and are prepping them for shipment to your house. Folks closer to the UK will get their games first and folks further way in central Europe will take a bit longer, but the games are on the way.

For Canadian Backers, Snakes & Lattes will be getting pallets of games in a couple weeks and they will ship out by the end of the month. You should get your games either during the last week of August or the first week of September.

I am monumentally proud of the fact, that as a new company we were able to hold onto our promise for final delivery. It shows us that the incredible amount of care and planning we put into this, and the partners we chose to work with were the right things to do. πŸ™‚

Why Games Quest?

I understand there has been some hesitation and anxiety around our choice to use Games Quest to ship games in Europe. After a few of you reached out to us about problems they had with other campaigns we went into investigation mode, speaking with both Games Quest and Quartermaster Logistics directly. The story goes that Games Quest a couple years back, had a really rough year where they over-promised, over-committed, and then suddenly lost vital personnel who were managing this projects. This lead to Games Quest partnering with various folks on an “emergency contract” basis who did not put much care into how they handled shipping things to backers.Β 

I discussed this situation with QML at length and they assured me, in working with Games Quest that Games Quest has put several measures in place to prevent anything like this happening again in the future. Here are a few of them:

  1. They hired not 1 replacement Project Manager, but 3 and put redundancies between them so projects are no compromised by someone getting sick, leaving the company, or otherwise being unavailable.
  2. Regular *weekly* check-ins between QML and Games Quest to ensure projects are delivered on-time and at a high quality.
  3. Ongoing training and a commitment to process improvement around training folks who are new how to properly pack out games and quality checks along the way to ensure standards are exceeded in every way.
  4. QML and Games Quest will be sending us “pack out” example pictures showing us exactly how they will be packaging the games so we (Parallel) can be confident that there is a very low-risk of damage during final shipment to backers.
  5. We also reached out to a few other creators who recently used Games Quest and they all had positive things to say about the quality of the shipments and customer support that Games Quest provided them.

So given the crystal clear transparent communication by QML, and Games Quest understanding their past failures, admitting to them, and instituting changes to prevent them from ever occurring again, paired with other recent creators and backers great experiences with them, we are confident in using them. I think everyone deserves a second chance, and I think Games Quest has gone above and beyond in proving their capabilities here.

We will post pictures of how they are packing games in a future update to help lessen anxiety around their handling of your games. πŸ™‚

Gen Con 2019

I wish I took more pictures. :(
I wish I took more pictures. πŸ™

Oh man! What an event! It seems like I blinked and it was over. Pure chaos, fun, excitement, anxiety and awesomeness all rolled into four days. πŸ™‚ I loved every minute of it.

My partner Erin and I drove in Tuesday night with a U-Haul packed with stuff. We queued up for the docks at the back of the convention and unloaded our U-Haul into the booth, before dropping off the U-Haul 5 miles away and Ubering back to the hotel to unpack. We finished around 11 at night and went to sleep prepping for the next day.

On Wednesday, during setup we swung by BoardGameTables.com’s booth to pick up two Jasper tables we ordered for the show. We arrived back at our booth to coordinate setup with Patrick and John at Genius Games to figure out position of tables, banners, sales tables, etc. — Wait…. hold up. Did you say Genius Games? — Oh right. Yeah. I totally just did. πŸ™‚ If you haven’t heard, Artana was bought by/merged with Genius Games at the show! Huge congratulations to everyone!

After setting everything up our team met in the Crown Plaza hotel for some training on how to teach and sell the game to folks where we had pizza, soda, and snacks and just had an awesome time getting to know each other. Finally, we went back to the hotel to prepare for the following day. I got to hang out in the JW Marriott lobby briefly with a few friends and fellow designers before calling it a night.

From that point on everything was just a blur. You know those movies where someone goes on an all night drinking / drug binge where there are time-skips everywhere. That was what Gen Con was like for me. Haha! I woke up Thursday morning headed to the booth, and then next thing I remember was having dinner Friday night with Erin at Fogo De Chao (an excellent Brazilian Steakhouse). After our lovely dinner I went on stream and hung out with Josh & Matt at Twist Gaming where we played through a full game. I had a blast.

Saturday through Sunday afternoon was also a blur. I got to meet so many awesome people, and see everyone reach so positively to City of the Big Shoulders along the way. I want to think everyone who stopped by to buy a copy, or just to check out the game and say hello. I love you all. πŸ™‚

When it's all over :(
When it’s all over πŸ™

Next thing I knew we were tearing down the booth, and loading it back up in the U-Haul. Erin and I decided to stay for another day to relax. The plan of course, was to stay up late and play some games, but alas we passed out exhausted instead. :/ The next morning we hung out in the swanky JW Spa, met some new friends, and decompressed from everything before hoofing it back to Columbus.

By far, this is both one of the best Gen Con’s I’ve every experienced and also I think the fastest one. It was here and gone in a flash. πŸ™ I could have used another week of it.

Overall Gen Con 2019 was a monumental success for us. We brought 2 pallets of games, and sold through 2/3rds of our stock gaining us nearly $22,000 in revenue which thankfully will allow us to put on an awesome show at BGG Con, and give us some wiggle room to explore attending other shows. More importantly, we got the game into the hands of no-less than 40 different reviewers, made some deals with international partners, and landed on the BGG Hotness list. Had we not attended the show, City of the Big Shoulders could have easily been looked over. But now…. now we are going to fly.

Specifically I want to thank Nils Herzmann, Katrina Demeanour, Adrian Jones, Jonathan Sullivan, Izaac Gibson, Alexander Jaycox, Timothy R Warner, Shaina Pardue, Kenneth Phillips, and Heather Harkless for volunteering in our booth and helping us point on an amazing show. Dirk Knemeyer, John Coveyou, Marcus Muller, and Patrick Fitzgibbon for allowing us to share their space at the show.

So, where should we go next? Right now, we’re debating Geekway to the West, Dice Tower Con, and PAX Unplugged. πŸ™‚ Of course, we will be at BGG Con and Buckeye Game Fest later in the year. πŸ™‚

As always, thank you so much for supporting us along this journey. Because of you we get to live out a life-long fantasy in real time. We are so proud of what we created, and even prouder of the community we are building. I love you all!

Cheers,

Raymond

Parallel

Find us in Booth #1641 at Gen Con!

Gen Con Logo

We’re so excited to exhibit at our very first Gen Con! Find Parallel Games in booth #1641 with our friends at Artana.

Stop by our booth to demo or purchase City of the Big Shoulders or to check out this sweet, limited edition lapel pin we’re selling! We’re so excited to be at the con, and we’re looking forward to the best four days in gaming, so be sure to stop by and say hello!

CotBS Locomotive Lapel Pin

KS Update #21: Post Origins Recap

Hey friends,

We got some fresh updates for you, hot off the presses. πŸ™‚

Origins Game Fair

Origins was a blast! The con started off with Edward and I crashing what I assummed to be a very important meeting between Clay and the legendary game designer and force behind Winsome Games, John Bohrer. πŸ™‚

Crashing the party
Crashing the party

and thanks to our friends at Tabletop Game Cafe we had booth space to exhibit and show off the game on a budget.

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Picture courtesy of @DualWinGames
Picture courtesy of @DualWinGames

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At lot of people stopped by to take a look at the first production copy from the factory. It was great to meet you all in person. Sadly, we didn’t yet have enough to sell but we did get a chance to get a few games in with some backers and supporters.

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Make sure to check out Punchboard Paradise
Make sure to check out Punchboard Paradise

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The Capstone Games room was cold, cold, cold so Clef from Punchboard Paradise (@Punchboarders) convinced me to go down to the Origins merch booth and buy a hoodie. He’s a trendsetter, that one. Clef also was kind enough to introduce me to Irish Gauge (which I preordered) and to Navegador (which may be the first rondel-based game I’ve played that I liked). πŸ™‚

My three favorite moments from the show is:

#1 The family that rushed to the booth to buy a copy “while they still could” after checking out the game in the Origins Board Room game library and playing through 2 rounds. That’s like the best compliment that a game designer can get and it really brought a smile to my face to see them later on playing a second time after the exhibit hall closed. πŸ™‚

#2 Dinner with Edward and Jess from Heavy Cardboard at The Pearl in the Short North along side my girlfriend. It was the nicest, low-key, heartwarming, and storytelling experience I’ve had yet with industry folks. It’s great to connect with other creators as people and just laugh and have a good time. Something is telling me, it might become a bit of a tradition. πŸ™‚

#3 The short form interview with Edward, where Emily finally had a chance to talk about art direction and give input on her perspective for helping make this game a reality. Emily has been so pivotal to this project, and unfortunately she doesn’t get all the screen and air time she really deserves. Her passion for creating great games really shows in this interview. Keep an eye out for her on HeavyCardboard.com. (it should be posted in a few days)

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This is the way Emily looks at me, when I get a little too excited about making games. :)
This is the way Emily looks at me, when I get a little too excited about making games. πŸ™‚

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Lastly, we were able to meet up with Tommy Hong at Meeple Realty and hand off a production copy of the game, so that he can get started on a wooden insert. Keep an eye out for that one. We should have more news and take pre-orders for that in a few weeks. πŸ™‚

We’re out of money!!!

Well… that’s kind of true. What’s more important is all the important bills have all been paid. We’ve paid our final invoice to Panda and to Quartermaster Logistics. It’s a bit surreal to tell a bank teller you need to wire over 50 grand to someone (and then over 40 grand to someone else, right after that). πŸ™‚

So we’re all paid up at this point! The games are done. They’re being kitted at the factory and loaded on pallets right now. Soon they’ll be on the boat, and not long after — on your doorstep.

It’s the final stretch now!

One last thing…

So… we’ve had it planned for awhile to sport some kick-ass poker chips that match the theme of the game at Gencon in August. When we learned that Roxley was launching their Iron Clay campaign we reached out to them for a bit of a partnership. They’re going to hook us up with chip sets for the show!!! As a backer of the Brass campaign, I can tell you these chips are gorgeous and I absolutely love them. So of course, I backed the Iron Clay Campaign going on right now at the 400 chip Wooden Chest level, and I think you should pick some up too. If you decide to go with the 200 chip set, make sure you also get a sleeve of the $2k chips because it will help a lot during final payouts but otherwise it should be enough for the game. If you play a lot of economic games or think you might want to get into 18xx then the 400 chip set is the way to go.Β 

Check out their campaign by clicking on the image below.

Thank you again for your support and for backing City of the Big Shoulders!Β 

We hope to see you at Gencon!

Cheers,

Raymond

Parallel

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