Unbroken: a solo game of survival and revenge

Created by Golden Bell Studios & Altema Games

Survive against all odds facing monsters and other perils in a dark fantasy tale. A quick (20-30 min), tense and unforgiving solo game. Test your survival skills in the dark fantasy world of Unbroken. You are the only one left alive after your group was ambushed by monsters - now you must avenge your friends and reclaim your freedom. Quick to learn, easy to set up and playable in a brief 20-30 minutes, the game will challenge you to make the right decisions or fall victim to the many dangers of the monster-infested caverns. Plan wisely and take calculated risks - you do not have much and must use every resource at your disposal to prevail. Each journey in the dark is unique as you play as one of four different characters and face a variety of monsters and encounters. Your character gets better with experience and so will you - Unbroken is a game that encourages and rewards repeated plays to refine your strategies.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Fulfillment successes & challenges
19 days ago – Tue, Jul 30, 2019 at 03:00:55 AM

 Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers,

A shorter update this time to bring you up on our fulfillment process to get Unbroken to everyone. At this point the campaign is about 50% fulfilled and it has been exceptional to hear the encouraging feedback from folks who have already gotten the game. We are thrilled people have been enjoying Unbroken (we encourage leaving your honest ratings of the game on BGG).

United States – All shipping is done as of Jul 23 and the games should arrive by Aug 4. If there are any issues with your order (damaged box, missing components, unsuccessful delivery) – please contact sales@goldenbellstudios.com and they will help you sort it out. 

If you received a double package – best way to return it is to drop it off at the Golden Bell Studios booth at GenCon (#1753). Otherwise – please set the extra shipment aside - there will be an e-mail with instructions on how to proceed.

For anyone that missed it, you can still voluntarily donate the excess shipping costs of $10-15 to Golden Bell’s company PayPal address, marc@goldenbellstudios.com if you are willing and able!

Canada – The games are here and about two thirds have been sent. We’ve heard lots of folks getting their games already – our favorite news to receive! Unfortunately, due to the way the orders were imported into the Canada Post shipping service, notification e-mails don’t seem to be generated for single-unit shipments, but if you’re eager to get info on your package – please message me (Artem) and I’ll respond with tracking if it’s available. 

I will be mailing the rest of the packages over the next two weeks or so and all Canadian backers should receive their games by end of August. Contact me via direct message if there are any issues with your shipment. Check out some photos of myself and Marc and Rob from Golden Bell working like mad men to send out almost 800 units in one day: 

We also had a wonderful launch event at Snakes & Lattes café in Toronto – more photos towards the end of the update.

Once majority of Canadian backers will receive their games – we will be sending the e-mails asking for the voluntary extra shipment help to make up the difference between actual shipping costs and what we charged, as described in Update #24.

Mexico and rest of North America – have all been sent in early July. If you have not received your copy at this point please contact sales@goldenbellstudios.com for assistance.

The rest of the news on the shipping front are not so positive. I will preface this with saying that it is incredibly frustrating for us to be told that the games are on the cusp of being dispatched only to later be told “oh but there’s one more thing”. We get to tell you, the backers, about these extra delays and it is understandably not what you’d like to hear. Our goal continues to be sharing the most accurate information we have with you to keep you informed, so here we go.

ASIA/AUS/NZ – You might recall that there was a delay in this process due to staff changeover at the distributor we are working with. It turned out that the departing staff made a series of errors, particularly some that have affected the costing estimates for the biggest part of this shipment. As a result the new cost estimate we are looking at is 60% higher than the original we were given. We are working on a way to accommodate this increase, given our constraints and hope to get these copies moving as soon as we can. Our apologies for the fact that these were not dispatched in July as estimated in previous update – as soon as we have a solid estimate for getting those moving we will provide it.

UK – Another area where we were told that it is only the matter of finding a freight boat. It now turns out that the agreement there requires additional review before proceeding which is likely to increase the cost due to this review, so Marc from Golden Bell is working on settling all outstanding issues as quickly as possible to allow us to get these moving. Golden Bell will be having an in-person meeting at GenCon with Spiral to discuss this arrangement to see if they can finalize this process to get you your games.  

Europe –  This is another area where we will only be able to convey news once a solution is fully in place (mostly because we’ve seen some negotiations progress up to a point only to become unworkable and we don’t want to provide you information that we then have to backtrack on). At this point, despite several negotiations going on, a final solution is not in place yet. Admittedly, July has been a difficult month to make progress here because of several vacations and high time demands of fulfillment for other regions. But even with all those things in mind – these copies need to start moving. We are currently exploring a starting step solution that would get the games to the most affordable regions in Europe and would offer other European backers an opportunity to jump in on that shipment with a small additional payment.

South America + Rest of the World Will be shipped from China following the AUS/ASIA/NZ shipment, so the timing is contingent on that previous shipment leaving and no reliable estimate is possible at this time.

I think we can all agree that these delays have become unacceptable and all of us here deeply apologize for this. We understand the frustration, as we all share it here everyday. It is hard for us to read hurtful comments from frustrated backers day in and day out, and want you all to know that this is a top priority for us and we are aiming to have this done as quickly as possible. 

We cannot continue asking for your patience indefinitely – people worldwide need to receive their games, and we need to decide on Unbroken’s future. Of course, a lot of this comes down to the financial constraints that the project faces. After a discussion with Golden Bell we agreed that we need a solution in place that increases our ability to move things along, even if that means that potential additional charges will have to be asked for from backers, and not be stalled by every single obstacle we encounter.

We want to make sure we ask for a reasonable amount, so we’d like to collect data on what people would be comfortable with. Please answer this poll:

Golden Bell will lay out the exact plan regarding any potential extra shipping fees in the next update. We want to keep these as low as possible. We also want to be clear that we do not wish to place all the burden on backers and want a solution that everyone contributes to. 

Specifically: 

o Once the Canadian fulfillment is done, the e-mails asking for the extra shipping fees will be sent to Canadian backers. The funds generated this way will go towards driving down the amount that needs to be generated to ship the rest of the campaign.

o As the restock order for North America comes in the next 6 weeks and retail sales will start, Golden Bell will contribute the majority of funds generated through these sales to the shipping solution, covering the project’s shortfall.

o Once the Canadian fulfillment is done in August, Artem will run a personal GoFundMe campaign asking for donations – all money raised will go towards shipping the rest of the campaign and reducing required extra amount.

o Now that the U.S. Fulfillment is completed, we are awaiting any additional funds from backers that are donated which will be used to aid in completing the rest of the fulfillment of Unbroken.

In the August update, Golden Bell will be posting a comprehensive explanation on how we are going to overcome these challenges including specific expectations from all parties involved, solutions that will get games to backers, specific timelines and how we address any remaining obstacles. One of the reasons for this timeline is that some of the information shared will depend on meetings that will take place during GenCon this coming weekend. 

We invite you to ask questions that you’d like to see answered in that update so that we provide as much clarity as possible as we move forward to finally complete this project. Understandably there is a lot of frustration at this point from all sides. Our goal continues to be on getting games to backers and fulfilling this project.

Stretch Goals Report

A reminder that the Unbroken Narrative Video + Soundtrack is available on YouTube so that you can enhance your playing experience and immerse yourself into perilos depths of the Dark :

- The Strategy Guide for Unbroken can be downloaded here (there’s a text-only version here)

- The How to Play video is available here (work on an official video with animation and professional voiceover will begin once the Canadian fulfillment is done).

- Print and Play files in English, Spanish, French and German are available through the “Digital Downloads” section of BackerKit. If you are unsure how to access your BackerKit – shoot me a message and I’ll help you. The rules in all languages are available here.

- Digital Templates – NEW – you can now download a set of PDF templates for the blank cards so that you can create your own Monsters, Characters, Weapons, Encounters and Skills. These files are available through BackerKit's Digital Downloads section as well. Please share what you come up with – we’d love to feature fan submissions!

New Characters

We are pleased to release the teaser for our second new character, the Acolyte.

The printable version of the new characters (the Brigand will join the Acolyte there) will be distributed in mid-August to folks who have Advanced Access to Expansion Content as part of their pledge (including those who got it through pitching in extra for shipping). All European backers will also receive the files as a token of our appreciation for all their patience free of charge.

Some neat Unbroken photos

Very grateful to Unbroken backer @TevK who shared his photos of custom insert he made for Unbroken that keeps everything neatly in place :

Click on the image to see a full set of photos of the custom insert
Click on the image to see a full set of photos of the custom insert

Also – wanted to share a few photos from our get-together last week where local Canadian backers could stop by and pick up their game. It was great to have Marc and Rob join us as well as to have Alina, the lead graphic designer who gave Unbroken its stark, austere look be there to chat with backers. These conversations really leave us with a feeling of deep gratitude and appreciation for all the amazing people who made this game possible.

Thanks to everyone who made it to say hello!
Thanks to everyone who made it to say hello!

Finally - I simply must share this review  of Unbroken from Joel's Cardboard Corner. I am in love with the realistic portrayal of how crafting works that starts off the video. Thanks for creating it, Joel!

Next Steps

The only thing left with the North American fulfillment is following up on the few reports of issues with shipments. Now that the bulk of the work with NA fulfillment is done – the team’s attention turns entirely to getting Unbroken moving across the world. 

The process that we used so far has proven to result in too many delays so we are going to ensure we can move faster and get the games out to everyone. This comes down to generating additional funds so that we are not as constrained by budget restrictions. As mentioned above – the upcoming Golden Bell update will provide information on how we are going to move forward to ensure everyone gets their games in a timely fashion.

We look forward to making progress on all the currently stalled shipments and keeping everyone up to date in our monthly updates.

Look forward to hearing more stories of the experience with the game from folks who were able to play a few rounds! Challenge for August is to unlock the Slugger achievement by winning the game never upgrading your weapon. Think you’re up for it? Let us know how it goes.

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience,

- Artem and the Golden Bell Studios team.

Unbroken Soundtrack Premiere, US Fulfillment nearing completion, and overcoming challenges.
about 2 months ago – Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 02:59:46 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

Another update to bring you up to date on our progress to get the game to our amazing supporters across the world.

   Before we dive in - we are having the soundtrack video premiere at 10:00PM EST in just about 30 minutes. Click on the image below to join us for a chat. 

Unbroken Soundtrack + Story Video!

We are proud to announce that after over a year of work, Golden Bell’s Jon Meller has completed the Unbroken musical score! You can tune into the premiere and chat with us here (Jon himself will be making a rare appearance).


Shipping / Fulfillment Update

Summary:

- US: Majority complete, all copies should arrive by end of July.

- Canada: Address lock Jul 8-12. To be shipped Jul 22-26, 5-10 days in transit, arrive by late Jul/early Aug

- Mexico and other North America: Shipped, arriving within two weeks.

- Australia/NZ/Asia – Lost time because of distributor staff turnover, on track for late Jul delivery

- UK – shipment ready to depart from China, waiting for ocean freight, rough delivery early Sep

- Europe – No concrete estimate/no news at this point, working to put arrangement in place. Sorry.

South America and Rest of the World – to be shipped from China once AUS/NZ/ASIA goes. Delivery in August.  


United States

June has been an incredibly busy month for Golden Bell team as they shipped more than 5,000 units, delivering these to our backers across the United States. It’s been a lot of hard work manually preparing and shipping these – thanks to Rob and Nikki who did most of this work — thankfully they’re still with us in the land of the living!

Because of all this work we’ve seen lots of these posts show up:

Dennis Beard, our resident Unbroken Meme Generator on Facebook!
Dennis Beard, our resident Unbroken Meme Generator on Facebook!
Aaron Vidal rocks all the Unbroken swag!
Aaron Vidal rocks all the Unbroken swag!

Here is how Martin Gonzalvez of Mostly Harmless describes the joy of knowing the game is coming :

The team is doing the best they can given the huge volume, but it’s not going as fast as we anticipated. There are still about 1,500-2,000 units (out of 7,500) remaining to ship. The ones with the labels already created are going to be shipped over the next several days and the rest will follow next week. All units should be delivered by next update in July. Here are some shots from the team’s work packing the orders with signed copies and extra dice:

If anyone wants to purchase extra dice - these are still for sale for $4/each + $2 Shipping if your package already came. These will be shipped after fulfillment. You can email andy@goldenbellstudios.com to be on the list for them and to set up and process a payment.

Please note that we had reports of a small number of packages being delivered marked “Postage Due”. In the unlikely event that this happens, the charge should be posted directly to Golden Bell and should not result in inconvenience for the recipient. If for any reason you did need to pay out of pocket – please retain the proof of payment and contact sales@goldenbellstudios.com for support. Our apologies for any inconvenience this causes.

However please be aware, that if these malicious threats against the project continue to escalate and there are thousands of postage due, it will not be feasible for us to continue operating this project so please keep this in mind when you threaten us with false allegations. We highly recommend that people cut the nonsense and false accusations immediately so that we can deliver this project. 

In fact any delivery issues (damage to report, extra postage due, component questions) –should be sent to Andy at sales@goldenbellstudios.com – we’ll make sure you have the support you need. Please expect any component replacements to happen after fulfillment is completed for North America which should be in a little over a month.


Golden Bell team has also provided expanded information regarding the US shipping

As we have described in Update #24, Unbroken considerably under-charged for the shipping portion of the project – a constraint that is really impacting our ability to do things quickly as we have to rely on doing things ourselves vs. outsourcing and spending time looking for most affordable solutions.

This is not just a small error, but one that could have been lethal to the project, rendering us unable to deliver. We obviously wouldn’t allow for that to happen so we had to get creative in how we could ensure delivery of Unbroken.

Please understand that overall the project is facing a shortfall of around $100,000 U.S. Dollars and we are doing whatever we can to not let that impact our ability to deliver. For those curious about the specific breakdown, it must be looked at from a Macro perspective. If you multiply a $10 shortfall PER PERSON (this $10 loss per person is a holistic account, and it was actually closer to $15 but we rounded down in order to get this done as quickly as possible with trying to remain as fair as we could) and multiply it by JUST the U.S. Backers, that's already $70,000. There are constant comments about us taking a little hit on our profit, but there is NO PROFIT, zero, zilch, none. That is the most important thing to understand that the project is entirely in the RED. We are doing the best that we can within the cost constraints that we are facing. We could have just shut everything down, but we chose to find a way to deliver. That way apparently has angered many people, but no one seems to be talking about the alternative; a complete failure of Unbroken, and is that something anyone actually wants?

We tried very hard to avoid introducing mandatory extra charges on the project, opting instead for voluntary donations (which, of course, only yields a fraction of extra funds). There have been other projects on Kickstarter, some that are much larger than us, that did require mandatory shipping extra charges – a route we wanted to avoid. Some have asked about why we wouldn’t offer refunds at this stage, that answer is simple — over 75% of each person’s pledge was already spent on manufacturing, logistics, etc. and all that’s left is shipping; this makes it impossible to be offering refunds because we have no guaranteed way of selling the units and they could sit in a warehouse for months). One of the ways that the Golden Bell was able to meet this goal was to come to an agreement with their USPS representative to use media mail to ship Unbroken, stressing the multi-media nature of the product. After watching the newly released Score and Narrative Video, we hope you understand that the soundtrack is a media-based primary component of the Unbroken experience. This was done in consultation and with approval of local USPS representatives, which allowed us to maintain the voluntary nature of shipping donations. 

Thousands of copies were sent and received in this manner without issue — until several people started trying to police us when they were unaware of the entire situation. Just because something may not be fully understood, does not mean it is illegal — thus, we ask that these accusations stop. In some cases, these accusations have been crossing the legal line, falling under Libel Per Se. These false accusations thrown against us have caused rumors to spread and formed a lynch mob. This must be stopped, because there is a difference between constructive criticism of our business and committing a crime such as libel.

Essentially, there are people that are actively sabotaging our ability to deliver the product. We don’t say this to ignite fury and rage, but to explain that there are backers waging a war against Golden Bell for reasons seemingly even unrelated to Unbroken but from past grievances that can’t be let go. Again, Golden Bell has delivered over 30+ Kickstarter campaigns in the past few years, there aren't many company’s out there that can say that much. While some have been big like Pretending to Grownup (6,000+ units), there have been small ones too that are only a few hundred backers. Regardless, what is important is the sheer volume of products that Golden Bell has continually gotten out. While Golden Games is their branch for Tabletop, their primary business is not gaming, they have a book publishing division, a stuffed animal division, and even an animation studio. Their activity in the comments section isn’t always possible when there are so many things happening — it should not be expected all Golden Bell does is Unbroken, especially when there has been ZERO money taken into their pockets, 

Many of our most prominent “well-wishers” have suggested they would like to see us go bankrupt. What do people think that would mean or spell for Unbroken? That would be failure, and failure to deliver, not failure of Golden Bell, and nobody wants either of those things. We will explain this so that this stops coming up again and again, Unbroken is it's own corporate entity, if Unbroken fails, that does NOT mean Golden Bell fails, they are separate company's with separate finances and operations, thus for those trying to destroy Golden Bell vis-a-vis Unbroken, you will have no success as they are sheltered away from each other, Unbroken is licensed to Golden Bell Studios to be manufactured, so let's save all of us the time, heartache, and misfortune so that we can continue to deliver Unbroken, because all that you are doing by trying to Bankrupt Golden Bell is attempt to sabotage Unbroken, and only Unbroken.

In some instances, these people find nothing better than to contact authorities with false claims about supposed criminal activity. While these accusations are false – they could lead to lengthy formal processes that, if initiated, would cripple our ability to deliver the project while the process is ongoing. For the sake of all the backers still waiting for a copy we hope that doesn’t happen and we are able to finish the work that we are doing, getting the copies out to everyone. That is all to say – please be patient, all packages will hopefully be sent out by the July update. Please wait until the next update before emailing asking about specific orders as this eats into the time we have to pack. You’ll see Lil' Lady Luna working hard printing those labels (yes, this is why it sometimes takes so long, the sheer volume takes a while to organize, pack, slap the labels on, all the while trying not to get too many paper cuts <those darn labels are SHARP!>. This little picture below is just a few hundred labels so imagine what 7,000+ are! 

Even if you got a shipping notification – it may be a little bit of time before your game ships, as we resolve this. We really regret this latest delay and hope we can move things along as soon as we can to get back to these photos from all our backers.

Ultimately – we at Golden Bell appreciate constructive criticism and this situation will lead to a more transparent approach to different shipping options (and associated costs) for backers on our future projects. No matter what people think, the reality is we aren’t a billion dollar entity, we aren’t Amazon, we aren't able to offer Free Shipping. A lot have asked how do other company’s do it? The answer is simple, they allow shipping to eat up their profit margin and often times charge more for the product and build in the shipping, unfortunately when a product has LOST money, it isn’t possible to offer free or cheap shipping options otherwise it would spell complete failure.

For those that want to contribute on PayPal in advance to ensure Unbroken’s success and future, the company PayPal is marc@goldenbellstudios.com - for those that have asked, this is NOT a personal PayPal, but directly linked to the Company’s EIN number. 

In the meantime – those who did get the game – hope you are enjoying it! Please take a moment to rate the game on BGG and share your photos and impressions on the Unbroken Facebook page.

The game has been receiving a variety of feedback with some reviews glowing, some – generally positive and some apprehensive (which we appreciate all the same!).

There has been lots of tense conversations in the comments lately. Throughout this - Thanks to all those who stopped by at Origins Game Fair to pick up their copy! Hope you enjoyed meeting some of the team behind the game!

We know a lot of people think that these updates just take a few minutes to craft, but it does truly take Artem and the team at Golden Bell dozens of hours of back and forth, while we also rely on waiting information from our partner vendors and shippers for updates to get all this information to you and cohesively lay it out where it isn’t gibberish.

Thanks to our many backers for supporting messages we have received. These are truly appreciated and remind us that we have an amazing community around this project. Marc has gotten to speak with several dozen backers on the phone to gain perspective on the entire community, and while some have been truly hateful, there are a seemingly silent majority that want us to know you are out there, exist, and continue to support us — we hear you and want to thank you for hanging in there with us! We know how hard it must be to sit on the sidelines, feeling uncomfortable to even drop a comment amid the boiling confrontation, but know that we’re hanging in there! We do ask everyone to read below of some of the personal struggles we’ve been enduring and to try and throw in some show of support to show our collective team that there are still some people who care!


Canada

Canadian copies will be prepared and labeled right after the US portion is done (with the delays we have seen with the US it does mean that delay transfers a bit towards Canada).

- We will keep the Canadian addresses unlocked for longer to allow changes until we start printing labels. That should happen in second week of July or thereabouts.

- At this point we estimate that games will be brought into Canada on Jul 22-26 and shipped through Canada Post, taking another 5-10 days to reach backers.

- Local pickup is available in Etobicoke, ON. If you are interested in picking up your game in person in late July (after 24th) – please e-mail me at altema.games@gmail.com – we’ll take your address off the shipping list and I’ll have your game ready for you. I hope I get to personally thank many local backers via this pickup option.

- We will also arrange an Unbroken get-together at Snakes & Lattes (College location) in Toronto for a chance to meet the team, pick up your game, and get your copy signed. The date is set for Jul 23 (in case you want to block it off in your calendars), but we will confirm once more precise information is available. We hope to personally thank many of our Canadian backers there! IF you’re interested in the event – please message me and I’ll add your name to the list to keep informed.

Mexico and other North American countries:

These packages have been sent just in time for this update and should get to backers in the next couple of weeks.

Asia / Australia / NZ

We had a really frustrating setback on this part of the shipment. After last update we were told that everything is pretty much ready to go – we lost communication with our normally responsive contact at the distribution centre, Allie. After a lot of concerned follow-up, we finally got a message that Allie was no longer with the company and that we are being re-assigned to another representative, Lois. It took some time to get things back on track (for example chasing after the wire transfer we sent to pay for the deliveries and re-connecting it with our account), but it’s back to being almost set up now.

It should leave the factory shortly and arrive at the distribution centre shortly. We will confirm once the shipment arrives, but backers from this area should get their games towards the end of July.

Our apologies to backers from these regions – we fully expected this to be father along by now, but these latest challenges had set us back just a bit longer than we had hoped for.

United Kingdom

This shipment is all ready to go on a boat and we are just waiting for our UK partners, Spiral Galaxy Games to arrange the ocean freight. (We were hoping to get it on a boat by this update but no dice). As soon as it is loaded up – we will provide the vessel tracking info like we did for the North American portion. Games should be in backers’ hands 7-8 weeks after the ship departs, so the late Aug-September estimate should still hold. We’ll provide more precise info as we get it. This portion is moving along well and we’re excited to start these on their way!

Europe

While the EU shipment is not ready yet (need to get the UK first) – we continue to negotiate with European distributors (with several promising possibilities). Cost constraints do make it very difficult, but we are absolutely committed to seeing this through. As noted before – it is likely that this shipment might be broken down into several smaller ones (to allow us to take advantage of more affordable shipping within specific regions). This has been the most difficult region to settle for us, but the Golden Bell team is working hard as they can to get everything aligned (and the factory keeps reminding us that they’d like these units out soon — this isn’t free for them either but they are really helping us out in our time of need so we thank them for that!) so we will get these moving soon. Every step we conclude for other regions brings the European fulfillment closer.

Please remember that Unbroken is up on Tabletop Simulator, and translated into many different languages for you to play while you wait over the great big blue Atlantic! We again want to stress our joint apology as it is shameful of us to ask for continued patience, but something we do know is that it’s a game.

South America and all other regions

These copies will be sent directly from China following the distribution of the AUS/ASIA packages. 

The address lock for these regions will be coming in mid-July after the AUS/ASIA packages leave. We don’t want to further confuse our new Chinese distribution centre contact by making them fulfill too many regions at once.


Other kinds of Challenges

We’d like to share with you some important life challenges that we have faced here at Golden Bell. While we of course care about all the backers and our work, which is our livelihood and passion, there are some things that trump a game.

Over the past few months many of you may have noticed Golden Bell being somewhat less active. That is because Marc and Rachel have been traveling, and sadly not for anything good. Rachel, one of the founders of Golden Bell and lead artists on Unbroken, was diagnosed with a hand tumor. We are all hoping this is nothing more than a benign tumor, but there is still a mandatory surgery happening in the coming weeks, which is particularly stressful for Rachel as an artist who works with her hands.

It has been a very stressful and trying time, often leading to heated comments when we are blamed for being such bad people. We apologize for that, but we don’t feel the hate and vitriol being thrown our away is deserved. 

We share this personal information not to elicit sympathy, but to be as transparent of challenges that we’re facing.. Marc and Rachel are not only business partners, but they are life partners. They’ve been together 8 years just the other day which is such a huge milestone! Please let’s wish Rachel well and hope for a speedy recovery.

There can’t be all bad, though. Over the past summer our puppy Lucky had developed a lot of social anxiety since everyone was always so preoccupied and never left the house, so whenever they did go out he would have a really hard time. Lucky’s breeder and real mom had a second litter a year later, and so Lady was born and brought to the family. It’s been the first time Lucky has ever played with another dog, and he’s really part of the family here, so we wanted to share a picture with all of you of everyone together to remember something very important — we are people behind the keyboard. We aren’t some mega giant billion dollar giant corporation that can afford to hire tens of thousands of people. We are people just like you, with feelings, a passion for entertainment, and beating hearts. It has pained us to see how this campaign has devolved into people fighting, not only among each other, but with some of our partners. Please everyone let’s try to maintain a degree of respect for each other, and remember the important things in life don’t always come in a cardboard box in the mail… We recognize that we have a part to play in this and look forward to more respectful conversations from everyone on both sides of our respective keyboards.

Since the founders haven’t been manning the social media lately, one of Golden Bell’s core associates, Nikki Storme (artist on Unbroken), had taken over this work. 

A lot of people seemed to have appreciated her active involvement in the comments, however, some clearly were not a fan of her reciprocity to the barbed comments directed towards Golden Bell. She has always been protective of the team because she knows how hard everyone works and the challenges facing the team described above. 

The few hurtful comments directed at her escalated to the hundreds and it became too much for her. The comments escalated to harmful private messages on social media platforms, and it even gained Golden Bell a ban from BGG to never comment again since it seems many people can dish out comments, but can't take anything else in return when it's thrown back out at them. 

Due to this stress, on top of packing almost all of Unbroken nearly single-handedly (Rob gets partial credit here), Nikki had a traumatic mental breakdown. She was unable to complete her work for some time, because anytime she would get a notification or open her phone, or anything of that nature; (even something as being called a Dejected Child when she’s nearly the same age as the founders of Golden Bell was just too much), she couldn’t escape all the hate and derogatory comments. 

We share this with you because we feel that Mental Illness is something that is all too often not shared or discussed publicly and we take it very seriously, and always seek medical help and opinions when something like this arises.One of Golden Bell’s comics, Lunarbaboon, deals with the struggles of anxiety, depression, and more on a daily basis. 

Thankfully Nikki got out of her downward spiral thanks to a break from work (in case you were wondering why some of the printed labels haven’t moved) and support from Marc and Rachel. It is important to remind ourselves of what a hurtful comment can do to someone who has devoted their time, love, and passion to a project that they aren’t even making money on (we know some people think we’re getting paid and rich off of Unbroken, but the reality is NO ONE HAS BEEN PAID AT ALL). 

Next time someone is thinking of dashing out an insult in the comments, or starting another thread of the same old rehashed vitriol, please realize there are people behind these keyboards. Words can harm people. People should remember that next time they try to trash someone, anyone, not just us, online or in person because it’s not physical violence that can just harm people, but words are sometimes even more powerful than anything else. Think of how just recently a famous YouTuber committed suicide for the VERY SAME THING that many “supporters” are doing. From this point on we will not engage with any offensive / hateful comments, you’ll essentially be ignored — however, if someone continues to post Libel about anyone involved in the project, you will be met with a swift boilerplate response approved by our legal team. The behavior we’ve witness is childish at best, but some of it is truly despicable and harmful. 

We know that we can do better ourselves and do intend to be more positive in the comments going forward, ignoring the more confrontational comments that try to just get a rise out of us, which truthfully is pretty pathetic that people would stoop that low. We have learned that we can all be better people, and with these constant adversities and challenges we are facing, it is up to us all to unite as people that were here from the beginning to not just fall in love with gaming, but to turn to your neighbor and say, “Remain Unbroken!.”

Stretch Goals Report

The art for the second new Character is on hold while the artist, Rachel (one of the Founder’s of Golden Bell) deals with the health issue detailed above, but we should finish these and distribute the printable Character sheets via e-mail in August.

- The Strategy Guide for Unbroken has been nicely laid out using the standard Unbroken style and can be downloaded here. (or if you want to be nice to your printer there’s a text-only version here)

- The How to Play video is available here (and we will begin work on a more official video as well voiced by the same voice actor who did the Unbroken campaign video).

- Print and Play files are available through the “Digital Downloads” section of BackerKit. If you are unsure how to access your BackerKit – shoot me a message and I’ll help you.

o English Print and Play / Rules is available since Jan 5.

o Spanish Print and Play / Rules are available since Feb 1.

o Italian Print and Play / Rules are available since Mar 15

o German Print and Play / Rules –are available since Apr 15.

o French Print and Play / Rules – are available since May 21.

- Next Stretch Goal we will release will be the digital templates to create your own Unbroken cards – monsters, encounters, weapons and characters!

 

Next Steps

Things are moving and by next update we hope to hit several major milestones, including wrapping up the US shipping, imminent Canadian shipping, getting the AUS/NZ/Asian copies out to backers and sending the UK games onto its ocean journey. We also look forward to being able to start providing more specific information on the EU front. We know the passionate backers across Europe are eager for more tangible news. It is not possible to move all parts of the project along equally fast, so we will make sure to put solutions in place region by region and ultimately ensure that everyone receives their game.

Another thing to note here – Artem will be on family vacation July 13-20 with very limited access to internet. So please lower your expectations of responsiveness during that time. 

It’s been quite a journey so far with lots of challenges to overcome and many lessons learned. So much so that we’ve decided that as the campaign nears its wrapping point, we are going to do a Podcast to help the community learn from our mistakes, invite people that were involved in all stages of development from the artists, editors, designers, all the way to factory representatives, freight brokers, and more! Backer perspective would also be invaluable to inform these reflections. We hope this lessons learned podcast will be shared and help prevent similar issues from happening to anyone else in the future. Thank you all for being a part of this journey, thank you for your patience and thank you for your excitement for this game. Unbroken is fortunate to benefit from a community as awesome as you.

Remain Unbroken,

- Artem and the Golden Bell Studios team

Fulfillment update (almost there!), the final translation (French) and new characters.
3 months ago – Wed, May 29, 2019 at 03:10:40 AM

Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

We are thrilled to see that the games started making their way to you – love seeing your photos and impressions of Unbroken! We are hard at work to ensure backers in all regions will get their games soon, this update will provide the most current information we have on our progress.

(we were asked by backers to include a short summary for each of our updates (I know they're a bit long but we try to be as detailed as we can), so here’s a handy table of contents / TL: DR version)

Shipping Update

o US copies shipping now. All units shipped by Jun 14, delivered by end of Jun.

o Canada up next, brought into Canada 1st week of Jul, delivered by mid-Jul

o AUS/NZ/ASIA – shipping starting any day now, delivered by end of Jun.

o UK – preparing shipment, freight departs in ~3 weeks, delivered by mid-Aug

o EU – one step closer, finalizing arrangements, timelines to be available after UK departs

o South America and Rest of the World - sent by end of Jun, delivery by end of Jul.

Shipping Cost Adjustment recap (as described in update #24)

Retail Availability Explanation

New Unbroken Characters (to be available to backers with Advanced Access to Expansion Content)

Stretch Goal Report (French translation now available, Soundtrack to be released next update)

How to Sleeve Unbroken + “Story Order” of the Encounter Deck


Shipping / Fulfillment Update

United States

The fulfillment is in full swing with the Golden Bell team shipping ~1,500 units per week. Here they are hard at work preparing a batch of packages to go out:

Lucky the Chief Puppy Officer doing some quality assurance
Lucky the Chief Puppy Officer doing some quality assurance

The process had to be paused for about 10 days in May as we found a way to add extra packaging to ensure maximum safety of your games by putting them into mailer envelopes at negligible cost. That additional packaging work is now complete, and we are back to generating shipping labels and sending the games off.

At this point around 2,500 games have been sent, so 5,000 games still need to be shipped. Reminder – you will get a shipping notification from USPS when your label is created, your game will be sent shortly thereafter (might be up to a week). BackerKit status is not an accurate indicator of your package being shipped, all that means is that your address has been locked and exported to our excel sheet.

A reminder that there is an option to pick up your game at Origins – if you’re interested in that – please e-mail Marc Goldner at marc@goldenbellstudios.com . Golden Bell will have presence in the Event Space and the Demo space locations at Origins so please stop by to say hi to the team. 

All US shipments should be sent out by Jun 14 prior to Origins. If you have not received a shipping notification by Jun 17 – please get in touch and we’ll sort it out. All US copies should be delivered by end of June.

Canada

Canadian copies will be packaged up right after Origins. The Golden Bell team will bring in the shipment into Canada first week of July and these will be sent out, due to be delivered about 5-10 days later. You should see your copies in early July.

- We will be locking the Canadian addresses on June 19. Please ensure you have the most up to date address on file.

- Local pickup is available in Etobicoke, ON. If you are interested in picking up your game in person in early July – please e-mail me at altema.games@gmail.com – we’ll take your address off the shipping list and I’ll have your game ready for you. I hope I get to personally thank many local backers via this pickup option. If you’re interested in having your game box signed when picking it up – I’ll be happy to oblige.

- We are considering a small get-together at a local game cafe, Snakes & Lattes to offer local pickup and get Toronto supporters to meet the Golden Bell team, myself and Alina, the lead graphic designer. But before we commit to it – we’re looking for a show of interest (if at least ~10 people are interested – we’ll make it happen). Please let us know in the comments if this is something you’d attend. It would be a weeknight first week of July.

Mexico and other North American countries:

These packages will be sent out in second half of June as well and should arrive in early July. The address lock for these regions will be coming on Jun 19 as well.

Asia / Australia / NZ

These games have been packaged, labeled and are en route to the distribution facility in China. They will be shipped in the next week (two at most) with the estimated delivery time of about a week across Asia and about 10 business days for Australia and NZ. Please contact me if you do not receive a shipping notification by Jun 21.

United Kingdom

We are happy to let you know that we have set up an agreement with Spiral Galaxy Games who will be delivering the games to our backers in the UK. Preparation of the shipment will begin next week (as the Australian/Asian copies clear the factory) and we will get to work arranging freight. Once the freight leaves the factory (which should happen within the next few weeks as an available container is located by the freight forwarder) - it will take about 7-8 weeks to get these into UK and out to backers. We’ll aim to provide a more precise timeframe and the ship tracking (if available) next update.

Europe

We have been busy negotiating with multiple distributor / logistics partners across Europe and are close to finalizing our arrangements there. To meet the cost constraints the project is experiencing (as described in Update #24) – we might have to split the shipment into two regional ones to take advantage of favorable rates by country – that is being finalized. For now, we can say that one shipment will come from Germany and the location of the other is being settled. As soon as the UK shipment leaves, we will begin preparing the EU ones, so these should be ready to head out towards the second half of July. We will provide the more specific information as it becomes available both in the comments and in the next update when arrangements should be in place and specific timelines available.

We acknowledge that the shipment situation for UK and Europe has been far from optimal and we had to ask you for your patience far more than we would have liked. We are truly sorry for this inconvenience and understand how frustrating this must be. To thank our UK/EU backers for their patience – you will receive the two new printable characters for Unbroken regardless of whether you provide additional funds to cover the shipping discrepancy (more details on the new characters below). 

Do you have thoughts on other ways we can thank our EU/UK backers for their patience? We’d love to hear your ideas as we want to make up for the frustrations caused by delays. Let us know what kind of digital content you’d like to see as an extra thank you for your patience!

South America and all other regions

These copies will be sent directly from China following the distribution of the AUS/ASIA packages. 

The address lock for these regions will be coming on Jun 19 and they should be sent out by end of June (with delivery time varying by region).

Making arrangements for all these shipments has been a huge amount of work. My thanks to the Golden Bell team for their hours of work getting the US shipments packaged and sent and especially to Marc Goldner for setting up the arrangements for getting Unbroken across the world. 

Overall – as you can see, we are very close to getting the majority of copies delivered over the coming 6-8 weeks. We cannot wait for games to end up in backers’ hands regardless of where you live.

Shipping Cost Adjustment recap

As described in update #24, because of some poor initial estimates on my part, the project has undercharged for shipping and as a result we’re running at a considerable loss. To help mitigate it, we will be following up the delivery of the games with an e-mail letting backers know the actual cost of shipping and asking them to consider helping us cover the difference. For the US backers the difference is $10. The payment is optional, and the e-mail should only arrive after you receive the game.

Many backers have generously offered to provide the extra shipping cost before receiving the game – our sincere thanks to them. If you’d like to help at this time – please message me and I’ll provide the instructions on how to do it.

Folks who provide the extra $10 will unlock the Advanced Access to Expansion content reward, immediately getting access to two new printable Unbroken characters to enrich your playing experience. You will also receive a 20% off coupon for purchases made at the Golden Bell online store which has awesome games like my previous design, Cauldron: A Board Game of Competitive Alchemy -  a light-hearted highly interactive resource management game with potions and spells aplenty!

I also wanted to let you know that to minimize the effect of this on my personal family finances, I will be running a GoFundMe campaign later this summer to raise some additional funds for those interested in helping. Reaching funding goals for that campaign will unlock perks like me recording videos on Unbroken playthroughs, sharing my design process, doing silly photos posing as Unbroken characters and more. None of it will be exclusive or essential to the game, just having some fun to correct a very unpleasant situation. Details will be provided in the next update. (If you have suggestions for entertaining Unbroken-related ways for me to debase myself for fundraising - I'm all ears :).

Retail Availability Explanation

Over the past couple of weeks, we have heard reports that a few copies of Unbroken were spotted in Canadian outlets. This was troubling to us, as we are committed to keeping the game unavailable in retail until backers in any given region get their rewards.

We did some investigating and found out that a distributor who received a direct shipment from China has ignored our explicit instructions to hold sales to stores until at least September and as a result a very small batch of games made it into stores (~100 units). This was not meant to happen, and I apologize to all backers for this slip-up. Minor as it is, it undercuts an important principle for us. No more units will be available in US/Canadian retail until the fulfillment of the campaign to backers is complete.


New Unbroken Characters!

We are starting to roll out some new content that will eventually make its way to Unbroken extensions (provided we manage to course-correct the project’s finance enough to make it financially feasible). Meet the new characters that will be distributed to the Advanced Access to Expansion Content group!

The Brigand is a cutthroat outlaw who uses brutal force to overcome anything that stands between him and the riches he craves. 

Another new character, the Acolyte (her art is coming next update) braves the horrors of the Dark with her faith as her shield, defiant in the face of adversity and peril. These two characters will be distributed in a Print and Play format at first and can be used immediately to add to your Unbroken experience.

We always like to offer an opportunity for backers to be involved in the naming of our characters, and these two will not be an exception. We welcome backers’ suggestions on the naming of the Brigand! The Golden Bell team and I will review all suggestions we get, and we’ll pick the one that most fits our gruff greedy friend. 

Once the Acolyte portrait becomes available, we will announce a contest to determine who gets to name her. We considered making the naming rights available for a fee, but we’d rather get people involved in a fun and interactive way that makes you really feel like a part of the community around Unbroken.


Stretch Goals Report

- The Strategy Guide for Unbroken has been nicely laid out using the standard Unbroken style and can be downloaded here. (or if you want to be nice to your printer there’s a text-only version here)

- The How to Play video is available here (and we will begin work on a more concise official video shortly – I’m excited that it will feature the same voice actor who made the Unbroken Teaser trailer so awesome). 

- Print and Play files are available through the “Digital Downloads” section of BackerKit. If you are unsure how to access your BackerKit – shoot me a message and I’ll help you. Rules in all languages can be accessed publicly here.

o Updated English Print and Play / Rules is available since Jan 5.

o Spanish Print and Play / Rules are available since Feb 1.

o Italian Print and Play / Rules are available since Mar 15

o German Print and Play / Rules –are available since Apr 15.

o French Print and Play / Rules (NEW!) have been released on May 21. Huge thanks to Albin Chevrel a.k.a. Razoupaf for his work on the translation (check out his blog - lots of French solo game goodness!) and to Alina Marchewka (who did the graphic design for the overall game) for working on the graphics layout.

- This release concludes our list of intended translations. It’s been quite a journey, but we’re happy that we’re able to extend Unbroken’s reach through these files. Maybe I’ll do a Russian one sometime in the future :).

- The soundtrack has now been completed in all its orchestral glory. Golden Bell’s Jonathan Meller has done an exceptional job composing the score. We are preparing an equally awesome YouTube video to have it in public access and with best presentation possible. The soundtrack along with the video will be released by the next update, right in time for US, Asian, Australian and NZ backers to get their copies (and Canadian backers about to get these as well).


Other helpful resources

For the dedicated sleevers out there – I found this BGG thread extremely helpful in listing all applicable sleeves for different cards in Unbroken.

Chuck Onbass also did a helpful series of photos showing how the sleeved cards fit into the box:

(Facebook users may find more detailed instructions on his post)

One of the coolest things that Golden Bell writers added to the game is that the Encounter deck in its pre-packaged order actually tells a consistent story of what happens to a survivor in Unbroken’s premise. Try not shuffling the Encounter cards for your first game to go through the story the way it’s intended. Thanks to the work of Andrew Vogel you can now restore the order of the Encounter cards to enjoy that original story again if you’d like. Thanks for putting that list together, Andrew!  

Next Steps

The next several weeks will see the majority of Unbroken games make their way to backers in US, Canada, Ausrtalia, NZ, Asia and South America. The UK and EU shipments are finally being prepared and getting on their way from China. This is extremely exciting and rewarding for us and we are thrilled to get the games to you. This has been a long journey, but the finish line is in sight. Thank you for bearing with us through all the uncertainties and challenges.

Seeing this process roll towards completion is also very welcome, as it allows us to start thinking about the future of Unbroken and the new awesome things that will follow this campaign. But for now – let’s get these games to everyone so that you can roll those chunky dice and face the terrors of the Dark!

As always – thank you for your support and patience throughout this process. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing and it makes us appreciate our backers’ positive attitude even more.

- Artem and the Golden Bell Studios team

Mini-update: US shipping under way, Local + Origins Pickup, Australia update, Launch party
3 months ago – Wed, May 08, 2019 at 02:08:51 AM

Hey you awesome Unbroken Backers!

This is a mini-update going outside of our regular monthly schedule to cover a few specific points. If it does not cover a particular point - it is safe to assume there is no new information available since the last update.

The US shipping is under way this week- labels will be printed in big batches (of 2-3 thousand every couple of weeks) and attached to packages as these are mailed in batches of a few hundred a day. Please note that BackerKit now shows all US packages as “fulfilled” as those orders have been exported to Excel. Seeing "fulfilled" in BackerKit does not mean that your package was already sent out. Once your label is generated you will receive an e-mail notification. Because labels are printed in big batches (to streamline the process and minimize errors) - it may take up to two weeks between you getting the notification and your shipment going out. We understand this part may be somewhat annoying but rest assured your games will get on their way shortly. If you will want to check up on the status of your game about ~10 days after getting your e-mail notification - drop me a direct message and I'll be happy to help you out.

All backers who provided the payment for tracking are guaranteed to have it active on their package. It may or may not be available for rest of the packages depending on shipping method assigned by the automatic USPS algorithm used by Golden Bell.

Huge thanks to Marc Goldner from Golden Bell for spending tons of hours over this past weekend making sure everything was in great shape to get the shipping going.

There are thousands of packages to ship, which altogether will take 3-4 weeks. For those who don’t want to wait for their package’s turn to come up, we are happy to offer the following local pickup options:

- Columbus, OH – any time in May.

- Washington, DC – May 9-12

- Long Island, NY – May 12-26 (North Shore, Nassau County)

- Origins Game Fair (Columbus, OH) – Jun 12-16 (this is a really good opportunity for Canadian backers)

- And if you’d just like to meet the team and pick up at Gen Con that is also an option!

In order to confirm details of your local pickup – please e-mail Marc Goldner (marc@goldenbellstudios.com) noting Unbroken Local Pickup in the title of the message. Given the situation with the undercharged shipping (as described in the last update) – local pickup helps us with shipping costs and gives you an opportunity to meet the team behind Unbroken.

Shipping Cost Adjustment

Speaking of the messages asking for help in covering the extra shipping costs (after your games have been shipped to you, as described in the last update). We were overwhelmed and humbled by positive comments and understanding reaction we received. We thought about how we can show our appreciation for backers considering helping with this and came up with a couple of ways to do it:

- Your game box can be signed by members of the Golden Bell team who worked on Unbroken (artists and writers) to show our appreciation. Please e-mail Marc Goldner (marc@goldenbellstudios.com) noting your Kickstarter e-mail if you'd like a signed copy.

Here's an example of one backer's signed copy
Here's an example of one backer's signed copy

- US backers who contribute the $10 optional shipping payment will unlock the Advanced Access to Expansion Content reward. To make sure that this unlock has an immediate benefit – we will be releasing two new Characters within a couple of weeks that you will be able to print out and play right away, enriching your Unbroken experience. (If your KS reward already included the Advanced Access perk – you will be able to access the new characters as well). We look forward to revealing the new characters soon!

The Brigand (early sketch) looks forward to bringing the pain to the monsters of the Dark.
The Brigand (early sketch) looks forward to bringing the pain to the monsters of the Dark.

Thank you once again for helping with the shipping situation. Our goal is to ensure financial feasibility of Unbroken as we hope to publish more content for the game. If you’d like to help with the extra shipping cost ahead of your game arriving – please send me a direct message and I’ll provide instructions for how to do so, along with assurances of your awesomeness.

Extra Unbroken Custom Dice Available 

We got quite a few questions about possibility to purchase an extra Unbroken Custom die. We are happy to offer a very limited quantity to the US backers at $4 a die. If you’d like one to receive one along with your reward – please email sales@goldenbellstudios.com by the end of the week so this can be added to your package.

Australian/NZ Shipment

We hit an unexpected obstacle in our processing of the Australian shipment. Last week, right before the shipment was supposed to be leaving, our former distribution partner informed us that the terms of the agreement we have been working towards had to be changed substantially with a much higher price point than previous agreed on along with other unacceptable revisions that only came up once the necessity of a contract was mentioned. Given the shipping cost constraints we’re experiencing – this was clearly not an option for us.

Introducing more delays to the project is not something we’re keen on, so Marc from Golden Bell worked out an alternative agreement with the company that handles our Asian fulfillment. We were able to get a favorable rate to send Australian packages directly from China, so that’s the arrangement we are currently pursuing. We are arranging for transport to the distribution facility – the games should arrive there within 10 business days, and from there the games should get to our Australian/NZ backers within another 20 days or so.

We think this is a good way to address this situation that gets games into backers’ hands around the same time (possibly even a bit earlier) than if we would have sent it by freight first, so we hope this is a win-win scenario for everyone!

Following the departure of the Australian shipment our next priority will be the shipment heading to the UK – we will provide more detail on that in the next full update towards end of May. The information regarding the rest of EU packages will follow as well – we are keenly aware of the frustration of our backers in the EU and are working to get the games to them as soon as possible.


A few photos

Huge thanks to local backers from Columbus, OH who came to help unload the North American Shipment!

(Facebook users curious about the unloading project can check out the feed from the unloading here  video is long, may take some time to load up)


The launch party on May 1 was a lot of fun from the videos that I watched. Thanks to Golden Bell for organizing it and to the The Forge Tavern for hosting. My favourite thing was seeing how engaged people were in playing through the game and how many folks there are already who were familiar with the game and able to give some solid strategic advice!

 Huge shoutout to Zane and Mr Kelly a former professor of Rachel and Marc who surprised the team at the launch party!

Back to fulfillment for now. The end of the month update will provide a more comprehensive overview of the shipping plans across regions as we wrap up the US fulfillment (leading to the Canadian portion) and get the Australian and Asian copies on their way.

Thank you all for your ongoing support for the project and patience as we work through all the logistics.

Artem & Golden Bell Studios

Here we go! Start of fulfillment, shipping cost adjustment, Golden Bell FAQ, How to Play video, first review, and Launch Party!
4 months ago – Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 02:59:05 AM


Hey, you awesome Unbroken backers!

We have arrived at a very exciting point where the games are about to get on their way directly to the US backers. We are thrilled to get these into your hands and get all the other portions of the shipment moving. There will even be a launch party in Columbus, Ohio to celebrate this milestone (make sure you read on until the very end of the update to RSVP).

But before we jump into the exciting news that lead to games getting to you – there is an important point to cover, and we wanted to do this first in this update. Both Golden Bell and I wanted to convey this information to you as soon as possible, so this update comes a little earlier in the month than usual. We hope it helps address the many questions asked in the comments.


Shipping Cost adjustment

This is a difficult admission to make and one that I do with a lot of anxiety, but something I consider to be very important for the transparency of running this project, which is crucial to me. When planning Unbroken I have considerably underestimated and under-charged the shipping costs.

This happened for a couple of reasons. One is me using more optimistic estimates in my calculations where I should have been more pragmatic. Another was the unfortunate fact that additions of some of the stretch goals and packaging upgrades we unlocked led to the weight of the final package jumping to the next cost bracket, despite our efforts to avoid it. These are errors on my part that I admit and take full responsibility for. 

In a smaller campaign, we could just roll with the error and take on the extra cost. In a campaign of Unbroken’s size, with tens of thousands of packages to be shipped, the extra cost unfortunately brings the campaign into running at a considerable loss that we are trying to make up for in order for us to continue pursuing the Unbroken brand and future expansions.

Before you get too worried – I would like to reassure you that both myself and the Golden Bell team are fully committed to getting the games to all the backers regardless of these circumstances. This will not change the fact that everyone will get their game.

However, operating this project at a loss would likely either really complicate or considerably delay our plans for further development of Unbroken content – something that we are very excited about and were hoping to roll out shortly after delivering the current campaign to everyone.

We are going to turn to backers asking for help in remedying this situation – something that we do not take lightly, trust me, and hoping for understanding and goodwill. After your games have been shipped (as part of the post-campaign communication ensuring you got the reward and providing links to the available Unbroken resources) – we will let backers know what the actual cost of shipping for their region was and will ask, if possible to help us cover the difference from the original amount paid. (For reference the optional payment for US would be something like $9-10).

It is not a situation that we revel in (quite the opposite), so it is extremely important for us to do this in an appropriate and respectful way. We hope that doing it this way makes it a less frustrating request on your end:

- We will only ask for this optional payment after your game is shipped, when your reward should be in hand.

- We will make it clear that this is an optional payment because the error that led to it was on my end.

- If your order currently does not include advanced access to expansion content, we will offer to apply your optional payment to that reward.

Ultimately our goal is to return the project back into the break-even territory to make Unbroken financially feasible and ensure we can continue further development of the game’s content. I understand that there are people who will be uncomfortable with this request – I want to stress that this will be entirely optional, and no action is expected on your end if that is your preference. 

I thank you for your understanding and hope you will consider helping us in this way. Sincerely appreciated. If anyone is keen on doing this early, prior to receiving your game, you are welcome to do so - send me a direct message and I will help you set it up, along with expressing lots of gratitude.


Clarifications on our collaboration with Golden Bell Studios

There were lots of questions regarding the role and the specifics of our collaboration with Golden Bell. Since we write these updates together, they helped provide the following information to help clarify things for those interested.

This is very much a collaborative project and it is as much Golden Bell’s as mine. We have a positive working relationship and joint responsibilities are clearly outlined by a contract that was reviewed by attorneys on both sides. The accusations that I’ve seen somewhere that Golden Bell are “stealing” or abusing the project in any way are unfounded as far as I am concerned. Their team has contributed countless hours to the development of Unbroken, including producing additional art, writing tomes of flavor text, composing the musical score and overseeing production. 

Their whole team is doing this work at no profit at all (at a loss in fact, as described in the shipping portion above) and they have my sincere thanks for that. For full disclosure – I had retained an advance following the campaign, a third of which I returned to the project fund to help with to help with the shipping and a further third had to be paid in taxes. I hope this helps dispel any misconceptions that I am somehow treated unfairly in this. Our hope is that the future iterations of Unbroken will become profitable, but to do that we need to ensure we need to bring the project back to financial feasibility.

It doesn’t seem right that there has been an outpouring of credit that has been entirely one sided from some backers. I want to stress that Golden Bell was not involved in setting up the pricing of the campaign and should not be blamed for that error. That is a mistake that I detail above and one that I take ownership of. Both Golden Bell and I are focused on delivering the project to backers as soon as possible – that is our key priority now.

Note that there are several people manning Golden Bell’s social media accounts, including the Kickstarter comments, as it would be impossible for one person to do that, with the multiple projects they work on.  While Marc is often comfortable saying he is writing his specific comments, others at Golden Bell feel less comfortable due to the threats they’ve received as detailed below. 

We really appreciate our backers’ comments and questions and are happy to address these. With that in mind, we ask that people refrain from cursing and confrontational comments that only start arguments rather than providing constructive criticism of the project we’re all working on night and day. For example, we’ve heard conspiracy theories that we are photoshopping the images with produced copies of the games or the thousands of boxes being loaded on pallets, which is absolutely not true. Further, Golden Bell staff have received some alarming threats, including threats of physical violence. These will not be tolerated whether via email or on the phone, if this happens again, it will be investigated by the authorities.

To clarify the email asking for optional additional shipment payments that went to pre-order backers, that email was legitimate. It covered the errors we found within BackerKit (some add-ons that were supposed to be available only for a limited time or for KS only backers were still available to non-backers) as well as the shipping error described above. Our sincere thanks to all late backers who have generously provided additional funds and encouraging comments.

Please keep in mind Golden Bell has delivered nearly two dozen campaigns in the past few years and have shipped well over 100,000 units around the world. They are a business that works with very well established companies and licenses such as Disney, Nickelodeon, VIZ, Funimation, Sony, and many others that you can find on their website. There is no concern of Golden Bell’s ability to succeed, they are working within the constraints of the project’s size and complexity, made more challenging by the shipping cost situation. 

To answer why Golden Bell isn’t often on the comments or on sites like BGG or Facebook, their team works 100-120 hours a week, and there is a limited time to focus on social media. As part of our agreement I lead the work on answering questions on social media and flag questions that require GB attention for them to address. This is not a reflection of one of the partners being better or worse, less or more visible - just fair division of responsibilities. 

There were questions about the discrepancies on the price of Unbroken on different locations. Please note that the Golden Bell sales portal has the Unbroken pre-order at $39.95 (correct price that was supposed to be on BackerKit).

Regarding questions about taxes, yes Golden Bell must pay taxes. Contrary to popular belief, Kickstarter projects are not exempt from paying taxes, and not doing so is considered fraud and tax evasion. Questions of why Golden Bell charges taxes is because they are legally obligated to do so.

As promised, we will not be selling to retailers apart from fulfilling the late pledges made on BackerKit. 

Shipping / Fulfillment Update

Working out all the logistics of Unbroken has been quite a task and I’ve been in daily contact with Marc Goldner of Golden Bell Studios as he works to set everything up. My big thanks to Marc for all the work he put into this area of the project.

Here are some photos of the proud owners of expedited copies (that's me in the middle and our French champion, Raz, on the left!). I expect to be able to show a ton more of these in the very near future.

North America

The shipment will be arriving at Golden Bell this week (estimated tomorrow evening), and work will then be in full swing to get the games out to backers! There are thousands of games to ship, so the process will take some time – likely about 3 weeks (thankfully all the games were already pre-packed into shipping boxes at the factory). The first US backers should start receiving their games in a week or two. Thrilled for this stage of the campaign to get going! Thanks to the Golden Bell team for preparing and sending these out! The copies to be sent out to Mexico will go out as part of this shipment as well.

For anyone interested in following along the Livestream of the unloading of the Unbroken container please tune into the Unbroken Facebook Group and Marc will be doing a LIVE Q&A for the time he’s able to answer any and all questions that everyone may have for us!

Local Pickup is available at the Launch Party 

If you live in or around Columbus, OH and don’t want to wait for your game’s turn to be shipped – you can pick up your copy at the Launch Party on May 1 (see end of update for details on how to RSVP)!

The US addresses are being locked once the fulfillment begins. If you need to update your address after this update – please contact me via KS message. It’s not guaranteed (in case your rewards were already shipped out) but we might be able to help you. Marc sent out a BackerKit email with a 48 hour notice last night, so please follow that link to change your address and if there are any problems then please contact me via KS message. Thanks!

Canada

Once the US copies have all gone out, the Canadian orders will be prepared, brought across the border and shipped out from a central Canadian location. We will provide the expected timing on this as the US shipment gets close to wrap-up.

Asia / South America

The Asian and South American rewards should start going out to backers towards the end of next week from China, so backers in Asia should have their games in hand within a month.

The Asian/South American addresses are being locked towards the end of this week. If you need to update your address after this update – please contact me via KS message. It’s not guaranteed (in case your rewards were already shipped out) but we might be able to help you. We will be sending out a BackerKit notice 48 hours before locking the address as well.

Australia/New Zealand

The shipment has been ready to go at the factory for some time now, but we have faced a couple of annoying setbacks with getting it out. We are working with the Australian distributor, Let’s Play Games for this portion and the previously arranged freight shipment had to be cancelled and re-arranged because of a logistics shift on their end. The key staff in charge of arranging the new freight shipment is currently away, returning Apr 29 – as soon as they are back, we will prioritize getting it going from the factory. Once it leaves we will be able to give a good estimate for when our Australian/NZ backers can expect it to be delivered. Our apologies for this delay and thank you for your patience.

Europe

The European shipment will need to be packaged up for shipping after the Australian one goes out. That will take some time as there are quite a lot of copies to put in cartons/on pallets. This gives us some extra time to explore additional options for fulfillment partnerships, given the cost constraints I mentioned earlier in the update (also – potentially speed things up and not be dependent on Brexit uncertainties). I understand that our European backers are probably experiencing the most frustration at this point - truly, my apologies, but I just want to emphasize that just because the shipment is delayed – it does not mean there is any risk of you not getting your games. It may take a bit longer, but they will get to you.

First Unbroken Physical Copy Review!

My sincere thanks to Robert Yates, one of our expedited backers, who wrote up his detailed impressions of the physical version of Unbroken in this excellent review on BoardGameGeek. Check it out – “Unbroken : A Nail-Biting Roguelike Puzzle

I’m very encouraged by the positive reception of the game so far and hope that it will hold as we get the games out to more and more people! 

How to Play Video: 

76% of respondents to our poll from the last update asked for a How-to-Play video first, so I put this one together to help you learn the game. The previous version of this was much shorter and contained mostly dry rule recitation, but I didn’t feel that actually taught you how to play, so instead I re-recorded a longer video with a focus on talking through things rather than just reading off the script. Hope this will be helpful! Would love to get any feedback on this :


Stretch Goals Report

- The Strategy Guide for Unbroken has been nicely laid out using the standard Unbroken style by Golden Bell’s Nikki, one of the artists of Unbroken, and can be downloaded here. (or if you want to be nice to your printer there’s a text-only version here)

- Print and Play files are available through the “Digital Downloads” section of BackerKit. If you are unsure how to access your BackerKit – shoot me a message and I’ll help you.

o Updated English Print and Play is available since Jan 5.

o Spanish Print and Play / Rules are available since Feb 1.

o Italian Print and Play / Rules are available since Mar 15

o German Print and Play / Rules (NEW!) are available since Apr 15. Huge thanks to Marco Mewes for his work on the translation and to Golden Bell’s Nikki Storme for putting the files together.

o French Print and Play / Rules – translation is complete, layout is about 80% finished. These will be posted in mid-May (we seem to have a good streak of releasing these on 15th going).

- Error Report Form. A reminder that any errors you see on any version of Unbroken should tracked using the Error Report Form. It will help us make sure these errors are addressed in the future. 

- The soundtrack’s preview (scored by Jonathan Meller and Directed by Marc, Rachel, and Rob of Golden Bell) will be featured at the Launch Party and the final version should be released to all backers towards the end of May (look for it in the next update). The current status is that Jon is working on Mixing and Mastering the final musical elements which includes perfecting the sound design and separating the tracks which has hundreds of instruments! In Jon’s last visit to GB HQ, they all wound up composing a special introductory theme to Unbroken which we hope you all will love! You can check out a preview of the soundtrack here.

Unbroken Launch Party!

To celebrate the arrival of Unbroken in the US the Golden Bell team have partnered with their friends at The Forge Tavern for a launch party on May 1! Here is the Facebook event. The evening will start at 5 pm and will go until midnight with prizes, the Unbroken soundtrack premiere, a special signing with the writers & artists, and lots of high-fives all around :).

If you’d like to pick up your game at the party – please e-mail Marc Goldner (marc@goldenbellstudios.com) letting him know so that your game isn’t accidentally shipped prior.

I am bummed out that I’m not making the party myself, but I hope there will be some way to tune in for a livestream. Hope those of you who are local (or willing to make a little trip) have a chance to attend and have an amazing time! I will be there with you all in spirit!

Next Steps

This is it, folks! Games are getting on their way very soon! While the US copies get delivered, we will continue to work on getting the other regions moving so that our backers across the world get to enjoy the game as soon as possible. (literally standing on our heads to make it happen. Karim and Angela, this one is for you, you wouldn’t think I’d forget?)

We know this process has taken some time (and continues to do so) but just a huge word of thanks to all our backer community for their support, excitement and patience throughout. We really appreciate it. I expect the next update will see a considerable amount of progress in shipping the games to all regions. We hope you’ll love Unbroken once it arrives. 

- Artem and the Golden Bell Studios team