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Update from meeting between Elan and PoT

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:05 pm
by Powers Of Tesla
Much of the information in this post is NOT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION. It's just for us. Keep the discussion here on this board please.

We met for breakfast and conversation on Saturday the 15th, Elan, Bella, my wife and I. It was delightful!

Elan was friendly, cheerful, and very down-to-earth. Precisely what I had hoped for. We spoke at length about the campaign and what is to come, you're gonna be happy. I promise.

First the campaign. Talking with Elan I really got a sense of just how immense this thing is, how it exploded in front of them, they honestly had no expectation it would become what it did and they had no plans at all in place to deal with the beast that is Exploding Kittens. It has been a mad scramble to cover themselves since day one, and they still feel like they're behind the 8 ball, every day they receive somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 emails, that does not count duplicates sent to multiple email addresses. One of the BIG problems they are having right now is the plethora of email accounts that are receiving constant dunning emails. Blackbox and are the ONLY two accounts that are being checked hourly/daily for support/troubleshooting, send people to those two addresses only. (As I know you have been doing)

Of the emails they are receiving that are not duplicates they are spending between ten and thirty minutes per customer to sort the problem out and resolve it. A big part of this is that MANY emails contain nothing more than the word "Help!". So again, let's keep encouraging people to be specific in their subject headers and in the body of the email to cut down on back and forth b.s. that wastes everyone's time. There are people at Blackbox working to answer emails, plus the Kittens staff of three, you can see why the backlog. There may be an update coming in the next day or two, Elan decided to have a meeting about putting one up with his staff today, keep your fingers crossed. Part of the problem with putting out updates is that they are a permanent part of the campaign and they last forever, even if things/situations change, so they need to be careful what they say and how they say it.


People who are paying additional for shipping - Elan is committed to making sure no one pays additional shipping. People who have had to pay additional will be reimbursed if they send an email to DO NOT TELL PEOPLE THEY WILL BE REIMBURSED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION, just tell them to send an email to support. Part of the problem here is people taking advantage, telling the team they were charged when they weren't. In many cases people are showing up at the post office to pay extra to get their boxes and finding that the charges have been rescinded.

Elan is committed to making sure no one who was told they would get free shipping pays extra for shipping (like people in the U.S.) for those overseas there may be additional shipping charges involved, they did the best they could.
---END EDIT---

People claiming they received empty boxes - That shit is real. Apparently Blackbox screwed the pooch and sent out 1200 boxes that had not been taped shut. Shit happens. All will be made right. Send an email to Blackbox.

New game - NOT FOR PUBLIC DISCUSSION - I have been within arms reach of a new card game (with Original Mathew Innman sketches) currently titled Bears and Babies. It took every ounce of my self control not to knock Elan to the ground, snatch the deck, and run like mad.

Gen-Con - NOT FOR PUBLIC DISCUSSION - I brought up the possibility of Exploding Kittens at Gen-Con in Indianapolis next year, it seemed to strike Elan as a good idea. They had not spent any real time thinking about/discussing this. Apparently Ad Magic had encouraged them to do something this year, but since they didn't have everything covered for the backers yet they felt it would be premature. Ad Magic has a large booth area at Gen-Con. The possibility exists that they might be able to work with Ad Magic to get some space in the AM booth, perhaps even playing area. The idea is just too new to be anything but a "what if?" proposition.

Shane Small The Hermit Game Designer - NOT FOR PUBLIC DISCUSSION - It appears Shane has a family to support and he landed a "Real" job right about the time the Kickstarter opened. He kind of backed out of the whole EK thing so he could devote himself to his full time gig. He asked to be credited for the game design and very little more apparently.

Money - NOT FOR PUBLIC DISCUSSION - There is no pay day involved for these cats. I repeat, NONE of the creative team is walking away rich, at least not yet. Everything about this campaign (particularly the meowing sound card) cost more than anticipated. Plus they have dumped what profit there might have been into extra card production (for backer fulfillment and future retail sales), hiring full time staff, and farming out work they simply could not undertake themselves (90% of the shipping to Blackbox, for instance), and expansion pack and future game development. They have sufficient cash reserves to get to the end of the year at current expenditure levels and that's it. So the game has to hit the retail market AND do well for the Christmas season for this to continue. Elan was very clear, if he had it do over, he would have charged more for the Kickstarter.

That's about all I can remember at the moment. If anything else pops out of my memory bank I'll add on below. For now I will leave you with a photo.

Re: Update from meeting between Elan and PoT

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:07 pm
by Powers Of Tesla
The photo.

Re: Update from meeting between Elan and PoT

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:04 pm
by Powers Of Tesla
Something else that happened...

Expansion Packs. There will be some type of direction reversal card in future expansion packs, it has become a real issue and the team is fully aware and working to address the desire for this ability. BTW Elan is amused and a bit baffled by comparisons to UNO and other games, he has seen the game compared to more than one other game that he has played and he is able to point to specific differences that make them all different from EK and each other. Just a weird tidbit for you. He seems to be a hard core table top gamer as well, with what both he and Bella described as "hundreds" of different games at home.

Re: Update from meeting between Elan and PoT

Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:41 pm
by Powers Of Tesla
Another tidbit.

The reactions of Elan and Matt were apparently VERY different during the campaign. Elan told me that Matt Inman set up the center display on his Tesla to display the Kickstarter campaign while it was running so he could keep track of the numbers even when he was driving around. Elan, on the other hand, got so stressed out by the rapidly changing numbers that he put post-it notes over the monitor screens on his computers so he couldn't see the numbers changing.