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ILLITERATI

Created by Gap Closer Games - Illiterati

A cooperative survival word game for 1-5 players where spelling is only half the battle.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

No News IS Good News
5 days ago – Sun, Nov 27, 2022 at 01:27:07 AM

My fellow Librarians,

Once mass production is underway, there really is little to nothing to report until the process is finished. Therefore we'll keep this update brief and check in with you all next month. 

Production & Fulfillment Timeline

Fulfillment Timeline

Turkey Break

Please note our "offices" will be closed the remainder of the week for Thanksgiving. We'll try and respond to your inquiries as they come in, but odds are we'll get to them on or after November 28. Hope you are likewise able to take a break and play some games!

Survey Incomplete? Change of Address?

If you're not sure whether you completed your survey or not, click here. If you have any trouble accessing it or need to make a change, don't hesitate to reach out to us directly through Kickstarter or through our Contact Form.

For those who need to change your address, you can still do that as we do not lock addresses until we are gearing up to begin fulfillment. You can make this change yourselves, or contact us to make the change for you.

Well, that's it for now.

Until next time,
Rob, Jon, Gary, and Audrey

Today is a glorious day.
about 1 month ago – Fri, Oct 28, 2022 at 09:37:21 PM

My fellow Librarians,

Today is a glorious day. For the past few months, we've been working tirelessly with our manufacturing team to put together what we think is the best final product possible. If you've been keeping up with our updates, you know it's been a labor of love.

From cleaning up the book designs to make them sharper, bringing the box lip in 1mm to improve durability, making the Burn Trackers ever-so-slightly deeper so that the tiles rest in them snugly, testing different materials for the embroidered letter bags, and even experimenting with different dyes for the sand timer to ensure optimal aesthetics and functionality... no tile was left unturned in our quest to bring you a product you can be absolutely proud to bring out at any game night.

Granted, there's always room for improvement--that's part of what drives us crazy! However, we are absolutely excited with how Illiterati has turned out, so much in fact that after many emails, meetings, and several rounds of samples with our manufacturer, we're happy to report that...

MASS PRODUCTION IS FINALLY UNDERWAY!!!

We want to thank you for your continued patience with us as we dotted our i's and crossed our t's these last few weeks. This is by far our largest print-run to date (Illiterati + Rival Restaurants = >20,000 Units), so fingers crossed everything goes smoothly!

Illiterati Box (Open)
We love how the colors came out on each of the components! Although it's not pictured, there will be a clear plastic lid to cover the cards and keep them in place.

Production & Fulfillment Timeline

With production underway we now have a more clear picture of what the next few months should look like. The most recent round of improvements took approximately 2 weeks, so the timeline has been shifted accordingly:

Production & Fulfillment Timeline

Chinese New Year - The Elephant In The Library

As of right now, Chinese New Year is likely to play the biggest factor in whether or not we meet our estimated April 2023 fulfillment date. For those unfamiliar, though Chinese New Year is technically on Sunday, January 22nd, with most people beginning their holiday the week before (January 15th). And by holiday we mean EVERYTHING shuts down for a week and gets backed up for several more. Which means...in order to avoid a 2-4 week delay our goal is to get all of our games manufactured, assembled and on boats BEFORE JANUARY 15th. Naturally, at this point things are out of our hands, but our factory is well aware of this deadline and we'll be working with our fulfillment partners over the next few months to try and get boats lined up and secured to make it happen. Given the complexity of arranging freight to 4 separate regions, we may make the deadline for one, while missing another, but it's too early to say anything for now. Either way, we vow to remain transparent throughout this process and will continue to send out monthly updates as things unfold.

The Next Chapter???

Many of you have been asking "What's next for Gap Closer Games? Do you guys have anything in the pipeline?" While our focus first and foremost has been on completing and fulfilling Illiterati, we usually have a few games at various stages of idea/design/development at any given moment. Most of them don't make it too far.  That being said, we are currently working on something we feel very strongly about, so hopefully we'll have more to share next year as we continue to develop this idea. If you're not already subscribed, feel free to do so as we'll share more about the game through our newsletter

One of the perks of having a few games published is all the spare parts we accumulate (no, we are not making a Rival Restaurants X Illiterati crossover 🤪)! Conveniently, this makes building rough prototypes all the easier! Here's a sneak peak at what we're calling "Project Curators" (not the actual title). Care to guess what's going on!?!?

Project Curators - Working Prototype
Project Curators - Placeholder Title & Prototype

Survey Incomplete? Change of Address?

If you're not sure whether you completed your survey or not, click here. If you have any trouble accessing it or need to make a change, don't hesitate to reach out to us directly through Kickstarter or through our Contact Form.

For those who need to change your address, you can still do that as we do not lock addresses until we are gearing up to begin fulfillment. You can make this change yourselves, or contact us to make the change for you.


Well, that's it for now. 

Until next time,
Rob, Jon, Gary, and Audrey

Check out the latest production sample of Illiterati!
2 months ago – Wed, Sep 28, 2022 at 09:18:24 PM

Hello Librarians!

We are so excited to share the latest round of samples with you as well as update you on where we are in the pre-production process!

Production Samples & Updates

As we mentioned in the August update, we received most of the PPC (Pre-Production Copy) last month but were waiting on the 1) Embroidered Bags 2) Sand Timer and 3) Plastic Insert. These are the final 3 things that we need to perfect before signing off on mass production. 

1) Embroidered Bags
We knew embroidering the bags would give them a little extra flair, but we had no idea just how much. But wow. We LOVE how these turned out! For those of you who opted for the Deluxe Edition, both draw bags will come embroidered with the Illiterati logo as shown below. The samples we received were just perfect in terms of color, material, and stitching. Need we say more?

Embroidered Illiterati Bag


2) Sand Timers
Samples of the Sand Timers also arrived (Deluxe on the left, Standard on the right). While they visually accomplish what we want, there was a small problem with the accuracy of the timer. Although we know that most of you will most likely end up keeping time using your phone or some other digital timer,  we still wanted to make sure our timer worked. The issue stems from two things: the size of timer and the "thickness" of sand.  Since the timers is rated for 180 seconds, the sheer amount of sand that is packed inside gives very little room for the sand to flow. Add to the fact that since the sand is dyed a darker red, the individual grains themselves add some bulk and create situations where the sand can get stuck.  The solutions are pretty straightforward (make it bigger, use less dye) which we are currently exploring and should be able to make a decision on once we get a few more samples.

Sand Timers


3) Plastic Insert
We are still waiting on the plastic insert but hope to receive it in the next few weeks. However, this is the component we're least worried about since we provided detailed files with precise dimensions and our inserts from Panda GM have always been sturdy and excellent.


Additionally, we had some thoughts about how we could improve the strength and durability of the Deluxe box, so we thought of a way to make that better as well.  We're happy to report that Panda GM (our manufacturer) took our feedback in stride, and the changes made have made a huge difference. 

As you can see in the pictures below, the Inner Box (the portion that slides out) is now a hair shorter on all sides than the outer box which greatly mitigates the chances of the top sinking into the middle when pressed on. Technically, the box is designed to be stored vertically (like a book), but we know many of you store games horizontally so we didn't want you to inadvertently damage the box when stacking other games on top of Illiterati. Although, let's be real: Illiterati belongs at the top of any game collection, so this probably isn't something we even need to worry about... 😉

Deluxe Box

 
Production & Fulfillment Timeline 

Thankfully, as things stand, everything mentioned above does not impact our previous estimated timeline (see August Update) as we already built in the 2-3 week delay into those projections. We are itching to press "PRINT" more than anyone, but until we are confident with every aspect of production we're going to remain patient. We appreciate your patience and support as well. Here's a brief summary of what to expect over the next few months:

Production and Fulfillment Timeline

Survey Incomplete? Change of Address?

Though we're now at a 99% survey completion rate (great job y'all!), there are still 66 Backers in the wind. To avoid losing your pledge and/or incurring additional shipping costs, please fill out your survey ASAP.  If you're not sure whether you completed your survey or not, click here. If you have any trouble accessing it or need to make a change, don't hesitate to reach out to us directly through Kickstarter or through our Contact Form.
 

For those who need to change your address, you can still do that as we do not lock addresses until we are gearing up to begin fulfillment. You can make this change yourselves, but as we've learned (and this primarily applies to US Backers) if you are moving to a different state, the system does not allow you to make the change thus you'll need to contact us to make the change manually for you.
 

Well, that's it for now. Thank you all for coming on this journey with us and we hope to bring you more good news soon
 

Until next time,
Rob, Jon, Gary, and Audrey

🤩FIRST LOOK🤩 at the PPC (sample), update on fulfillment, and GEN CON!
3 months ago – Sat, Aug 27, 2022 at 03:01:57 AM

At long last... THE PPC HAS ARRIVED!!

In case you didn't know, "PPC" stands for "Pre-Production Copy." It is the first official printing of the game done by the manufacturer, with the primary purpose of ensuring component quality and dimensional accuracy. We're still waiting to see a few minor components (bag, timer) but all the major stuff is here and we couldn't be more thrilled with the quality! Here's a sneak peak at some of the components and boxes:

Is that not an epic spread or what? 😍
They may be nice to look at, but be warned. The Illiterati villains are out for blood. (Okay "blood" may be a bit overdramatic, but they definitely want your words!)
Books are now 25% brighter with better contrast for both aesthetic purposes and increased legibility. Who says you have to pick between form and function?
The Deluxe Sliding Box will make everyone ooh and ahh with jealousy. (Game insert not shown but will be included in production.)
We're planning to make the bookmarks 33% wider and have rounded corners, but they still look 🔥. Y'all still read books right? 😅
The Colonel is back and reporting for duty. This is a special promo chef for Rival Restaurants that we're including for all our deluxe backers.

As you may have noticed, we made significant changes to the graphic design of the Book and Villain cards and are really happy with how they came out. Upon reviewing the PPC, we found a few more ways that the game/production copy could be made better, so we will ask PandaGM to send us a second PPC with the following corrections (not an exhaustive list):

  •  Deluxe Box: It's hard to describe, but we're basically making the inner box a hair's width smaller to improve the durability and strength of the box when closed.
  •  Burn Tracker: The space between the tile slots is too thin, thus we are redesigning the layout of the card to be in portrait mode as opposed to landscape.
  •  Bookmarks: We are going to make them wider (from 1.5" to 2") and have the corners rounded

We're also still waiting for physical samples of the following, which is why they're not pictured above:

  •  Embroidered Bags 
  •  Sand Timer 
  •  Plastic Insert (component organizer)

Production & Fulfillment Timeline

So what does this all mean? Getting a second PPC does add 2-3 weeks to our timeline, but our first priority is to putting out the absolute best quality product we can, so we hope you understand (and thank you for your continued patience). Once everything is up to the Gap Closer code, we will be able to give PandaGM the green light to begin mass production. We realize waiting longer is never ideal, but we're confident you'll appreciate these changes when you receive your pledge. At this time, most of the work is effectively out of our hands and while we don't expect there to be much to report over the next few months, we still plan to send out monthly updates to keep you informed of where we are in the process. Here's a brief summary of what to expect over the next few months: 

Production and Fulfillment Timeline

Sea Freight* varies by destination, and can has historically range anywhere from 4 weeks to 8 weeks. In all honesty, this is the step we anticipate being the most unpredictable and ask you be patient with us as information around freight can be complicated. Oftentimes it's not the actual time it takes for the boat to travel from point A to point B that is the issue, but rather the time it can take for containers to get on and get off the boats.

Likewise, Pick & Pack and Fulfillment varies by fulfillment center and just how many projects are ahead of us when our games arrive regionally. We'll provide more details about this as we get closer, but the plan is to freight inventory to multiple regions (North America, Europe, Australia and Asia) and fulfill locally through individual "hubs". Given the number of moving pieces involved in this process, it is likely that certain regions will start and end before others, though we will do our best to keep overall fulfillment as close together as possible.

Gen Con

Gen Con Lucas Oil Stadium
We have now stood where Peyton Manning stood.

Words cannot describe just how massive Gen Con really is! Spread across the Indiana Convention Center,  the Westin, the Hyatt Regency, the Embassy Suites, the Marriott, the JW Marriott and THE LUCAS OIL STADIUM,  50,000 attendees graced the halls for an extended weekend of play! But what mattered to us were the players (some of them, you, backers) who we got to engage with and play a game or two. Thank you to those who came up to say hello and make us feel welcome. Though this was one of our shorter convention trips to date, it was an absolute blast!


As always, if you're not sure whether you completed your survey or not, click here. If you have any trouble accessing it or need to make a change, don't hesitate to reach out to us directly through Kickstarter or through our Contact Form. Can't Find Your Survey? Click Here


Until next time,

Rob, Jon, Gary, and Audrey

Sitting, waiting, wishing... 😪 (but at least Gen Con is coming up)!
4 months ago – Thu, Jul 28, 2022 at 01:21:47 AM

Justin Timberlake Waiting

Pre-Production Copy Is En Route

No one likes waiting... especially us. (Just look at the two games we've published--Illiterati and Rival Restaurants--both have real-time, no-waiting mechanisms!) 

We were hoping to have the pre-production copy in-hand by the time we published this update, but it looks like we won't have it for another week or two.  Just as a reminder, we've already approved all the digital files (yay! 🥳) and just need to sign off on the physical printing of all the components and cards. The August update should have some nice shots of everything along with any notes on adjustments we may need to make, but until then...still waiting.


Gen Con - Indianapolis, IN - August 4th - 7th

GenCon Logo

That's right! For the first time ever, Gap Closer Games will be attending Gen Con! In case you didn't know, Gen Con is the largest and longest-running gaming convention in North America. It attracts tens of thousands of attendees from around the world for The Best Four Days in Gaming™. If you plan to attend and can't wait to play your copy of Illiterati, or just want to see us, we're happy to share we'll be running demos in the First Exposure Playtest Hall during the following slots (all times EST). 

Registration for these slots is free, but please note it does not guarantee you a slot for Illiterati, but rather a seat to one of the many games available. It's our first time doing this, so we don't 100% understand how it works from the participant side of things, so we appreciate your patience. Either way, it's going to be a blast getting together and playing games so be sure to stop by if you're there!

Pinned Comments and Alt Text

Per Kickstarter's recent announcement Pinned Comments and Alt Text are now features available to help us communicate better with all of you. You'll feel the impact of the former right away, while the latter will be more useful in future campaigns (since we don't use as much imagery in updates). You can read about each update in greater detail on the announcement, but here is how we plan to utilize them:

  •  Pinned Comments: Now that we are able to pin comments (up to 5) to the top of the comment section, we'll use that as "mini updates" to share news as they come in. This will be especially helpful once we enter the fulfillment phase and different regions are on different schedules.
  •  Alt Text: The ability to add alternative text to images may not seem like a big deal to some, but for those with visual impairments who rely on screen readers, this change vastly increases accessibility. 

Change of Address? 

Now that pledges are locked, a few of you have inquired about address changes and we just wanted to make a general announcement to ease any confusion: YES, you can update your address up until the moment we start shipping out. In fact, we will send a reminder to everyone once we get to that stage. Changing your address can be done directly through BackerKit, or by sending us a quick message. NOTE - If your address change involves moving to another country, odds are you will either have an underpayment or overpayment on shipping that will have to be resolved.

As always, if you're not sure whether you completed your survey or not, click here. If you have any trouble accessing it or need to make a change, don't hesitate to reach out to us directly through Kickstarter or through our Contact Form.

Can't Find Your Survey? Click Here

Thanks again everyone and have a great rest of July!

Until next time,

Rob, Jon, Gary, and Audrey