Darwin's Journey

Created by Gonzalo Aguirre Bisi

Retracing Darwin’s journey to the Galapagos in an exciting Worker Placement euro game by Simone Luciani and Nestore Mangone.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Collector’s Edition plastic insert, now modular!
11 days ago – Tue, Aug 02, 2022 at 03:59:41 AM

Dear explorers,

We hope this message finds you well and that you were able to take a bit of time off this summer to play a few games and get your deserved relaxation.

The team members are taking a week off here and there throughout July/August, but we haven’t stopped working on everything, and we are taking turns to make sure we take care of everything that needs to be accomplished this year.

During the last update, we showed the printed components and the layout for the Collector’s insert. In this update, we have photos to show you!

But first, if this is your first update in a while, you might want to read all of these:

Collector’s Edition Modular Insert

There were a couple of things that you really wanted during the campaign that we didn’t plan at all. The double layer boards of which we have white samples already while we are waiting for the printed samples; and the plastic insert for the Collector’s edition.

We were very thankful for your interest in this game and we wanted to reward you with both of these improvements. Initially, we thought it would not take too much work to get these done but it was definitely challenging, I’m very proud of the team and thankful for all the help Panda (our manufacturer) gave us in this process.

For the insert, aside from unlocking it, we have improved it in four different ways:

  • The insert is now modular (3 different trays will hold all the components for Darwin’s Journey, including add-ons).
  • The insert has been improved in thickness and quality (if you have Iwari Deluxe Edition you can expect the same manufacturing process).
  • The insert will also include a lid to protect all the components from moving around.
    Considering how the insert was done, the box doesn’t have to be that big. We have decreased the size from 30x30x12 cm to 30x30x8 cm. This means you will have a bit more space for other games, or a smaller box to carry if you are bringing this game somewhere.

We need to apply a minor change (increasing the size of a slot by a couple of millimeters and we will be ready to go. The insert fits Sleeved Cards as shown in the photos.

In the next update, which is scheduled for this month, we will show the last final piece which is the double-layer board, and a more detailed timeframe based on the feedback from Panda.

We really appreciate you and we are looking forward to sending this game out to you. As soon as the first few mass-manufactured copies are assembled, we will be sending them over to a selected group of backers and you’ll be able to hear from them what to expect!

If you have any questions, please feel free to write a comment in this update.

We wish you all the best and thank you so much for your patience.

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games

📌 Printed samples photos and what's next!
about 2 months ago – Sat, Jun 25, 2022 at 01:15:22 AM

Dear explorers,

We hope this message finds you well and safe.

If you think about this journey with us and close your eyes, you might feel the sun touching your skin and the breeze running through your hair just like being on the HSM Beagle, or maybe you just feel angry about it. Neither is to say this game has been a colossal work that we have done with so much love along with your kind patience. Thank you for that.

Instead of sitting on my couch and talking to you about this, I wanted to do something different. I’ve been reading and seeing misinformation about the shipping prices and I felt I wanted to talk about it. This video is not a must, but will definitely give you an overview of how we felt during this Pandemic.

📌 If this is your first update in a long while, you might want to see the rest first

Printed samples arrived!

If you visited the comment section a week ago,I posted a short video to notify we received the printed samples from the manufacturer. I will start doing more of that in the upcoming weeks.

Here are a few photos from our playtest sessions. Please notice that these were printed digitally and cut by hand. The final product will be bright and well-cut as you have seen in the press videos.

Here is what happened during the last week:

  1. I unboxed all the printed items during a video conference with the team (as many of you know, we have always worked remotely from home), checking that the right file version was printed and to see if we missed anything inside the boxes.
  2. I revised the structure and finishes and the materials, to see if everything that was unlocked was there.
  3. I sent the copies to Pier, our game dev and art director for Darwin’s Journey. He spent several days playing the game with each of the expansions along with a rotation of players (some of them our backers!)
  4. We sat down to discuss what we all found. There are only seven small things to change/update which is definitely the lowest number we had so far for a game. To give an example, we will update the lids on the envelopes of the mini-expansions to make sure the glue doesn’t go over the cards inside the envelope. We also still need to receive the dual-layer printed board.
  5. We had a video call with Panda, our manufacturer, to discuss manufacturing and assembly. While they have been amazing to us, recently there were complications in Shanghai.
    Looks like to print all the rest of the printed components and assemble them for freight, they will need 2 to 3 months. We are all doing all we can to have it made as soon as possible.

We need this game to be a 2022 game for several different reasons, and before that, we need to send this game to you, our backers. We appreciate your understanding and we are here if you want to open a dialog with us.

What’s next?

  1. Panda will update the changes and start the production of the printed components of all the versions and languages required. All the rest is already manufactured and waiting for the rest to be done.
  2. We have already sent our dieline for the Collector’s insert to Panda and they will make the 3D version and start manufacturing it along with the rest.
  1. The first few mass-produced copies will be air-shipped to be used for a special product QA session with some of you that have been playing the game extensively on Tabletop Simulator over our discord channel. Selected backers will be helping us recheck all the components that they have received to understand if the assembly was done correctly and avoid any mistakes once we start fulfillment for all of you.

    This is the first time we are doing this and if this goes well, we would like to start doing it in all our campaigns. Minimizing the margin of error will help us immensely and will limit any frustration that you may have about it.

    We will be posting an update with their considerations and opinions about the game too!

Thank you so much for reading this update. Until next time, take care, stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games

June Update - FAQs
2 months ago – Sat, Jun 11, 2022 at 06:38:05 AM

Dear explorers,

We hope this message finds you well and safe.

Here is a short update on how we are doing with Darwin’s Journey where we will be answering your FAQs
We will follow up next week with another update.

It has been a while since I’ve read about this game, what have I missed?

  1. A final look at the mass-produced non-printed components
  2. A final look at the game rules and player aid
  3. Need to update your address or complete your pledge? Click here 
  4. To complete the game, we need to produce the printed components (rulebooks, boxes, cards, punchboards) and go into the assembly of the games.

Why is it taking this long?

The lockdowns in Shanghai are adding another layer of complications to everyone, but mainly to the people who work in the manufacturing facilities.

We cannot approve the mass production of printed components unless we see their final look. We have been waiting for the samples for a while because of this situation since they have a backlog of work piled up, but we received news saying that the manufacturer has completed the printed samples and will be sending them to us between today and next Monday. Hopefully, the package will arrive in around 72h and we’ll be able to immediately draft another update with more information on how it looks, where we are at, and we should also be able to give you an exact timeframe once communicated by the manufacturer and accepted by us.

Thankfully the production of printed components should be immensely faster than everything else that has been mass-produced already.

This is unacceptable, I’m frustrated.

We always visit the comment section and we read frustration but also understanding.

At this point, we are frustrated too, as it is incredible how making something fun can become a stressful process sometimes, but it is also true that nobody expected what happened these past couple of years and how the production cost and process of several things produced in China have changed drastically forever.

We owe you so much. We were born thanks to crowdfunding and I hope you understand that we have always shipped all the games we have crowdfunded and we maintain the promise of creating a game you will feel proud of without asking for more funds or requesting anything else from you.

This campaign has been twice as big as our other ones, and making a tiny mistake can be considered dangerous for a small company like ours.

We will be talking again next week, but if you have any questions you want us to address in the video where I’ll show the received components, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Thank you so much for reading this update. Until next time, take care, stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games

April Update - Language rulebooks, pledge manager reminder, and dual-layer
4 months ago – Sat, Apr 16, 2022 at 12:59:39 AM

Dear explorers,

We hope this message finds you well and safe.

In our latest update, we showed photos of the produced non-printed components for Darwin’s Journey. If you haven't seen it, please do!We would love to know what you think.

📌 Update index:

  1. Language Rules and timeline
  2. Dual-layer layout
  3. Pledge manager reminder
  4. [General News] The stolen Darwin’s notebooks

Language Rules and timeline

While we haven’t received any printed samples yet due to general complications and lockdowns in China, we have good news as we are finally done with all the localized rulebooks. These have been an enormous amount of work and we thank all our translators for the immense help on this project: The Rulebook Translator, Wabbit Translations, Matthias Webel, David Martínez del Amor, and Juan P. Betanzos Soto.
And we would like to thank all our localization partners for their kind revision: Blackrock games, Skellig games, TCG Factory, and Ghenos.

If you have the time, we would like to know what you feel about the translations as we are ready to start the production of these rules.

We are aiming at wrapping the project production in June, but we are still waiting on news from our manufacturer with fixed dates of completion. We remind you that assembly normally takes around 2-3 weeks and freight 4-7 weeks. We understand and share your frustration, but we are hopeful that 2022 is a year of transition where all the projects and the pace will go back to what it was before. 

Dual-layer development update

We had to do a couple of revisions to the dual-layer board that all the backers of the Collector’s edition will be receiving.

As the game is made of several components, we wanted to keep information on the player board in an organized way, but every cut needs at least 3mm of margin which made the work much more complicated.

After a couple of revisions, we decided to create single, bigger cuts on the top board to accommodate the components better. You can see how we have done it in the image below. We hopefully will receive this along with all the other printed components.

Pledge manager reminder

Darwin’s Journey is twice as big as any other of our Kickstarter campaigns and we want to make sure we keep it under control every step of the way.

We need to start working on the logistics to make sure freight will be smooth and vessels will be booked way in advance to be ready as soon as production ends.

We still have 1000 backers that need to complete their pledges and share with us their information (which is crucial to understanding freight much better).

We encourage everyone that hasn’t completed their pledge to visit Backerkit and update it as soon as possible.

📌 We are automatically closing down all the 1€ pledges on May 15th, 2022. At that point, you won’t be able to upgrade your pledges but we will be planting a tree for each one of you with Trees for the Future.

The Stolen Charles Darwin notebooks

Unrelated but related to our game, Darwin's notebooks have been returned to Cambridge University Library after going missing more than 20 years ago.

The manuscripts were found to be missing in 2001. The leather-bound notebooks, which were wrapped together in clingfilm, were left in a pink gift bag on the floor at Cambridge University Library, with a typed note wishing the librarian a "happy Easter".

They were first found to be missing from the library in 2001 after a routine check discovered that the small blue box containing the scientist's work had not been returned to its proper place.

Thank you so much for reading this update and we look forward to talking to you soon!

Until next time, take care, stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games

March Update - Non-printed final components
5 months ago – Fri, Mar 18, 2022 at 12:21:25 AM

Dear explorers,

We hope this message finds you well and safe.

📌 A few weeks ago we published an exhaustive list of FAQs about the project. If you have not read it, we encourage you to do it as it answers the questions you may have.

In this update, we are excited to show photos of the final non-printed components. All of them are ready for assembling once the printed components will be ready.

As statedin our previous update, we should receive the samples of the printed components anytime. Hopefully, we will be able to do a complete unboxing in our next update.

Thank you so much for reading this update and we look forward to talking to you soon!

Until next time, take care, stay safe and have fun!

Sincerely yours,
Everybody here at Thundergryph Games

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