📚 Alba - an Open World Adventure Book 📚

Created by Inside the Box

An innovative branching narrative gamebook, set in a desolate post-apocalyptic world. How will your journey end?

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Chapter 24...Shipping Discounts Live
5 months ago – Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 10:49:24 PM

Hello Adventurers!


Shipping rate changes have now gone live in BackerKit!


Shipping Revisions Info

As our last two updates explained in a fair amount of detail, we’re changing the way we’re fulfilling this campaign to help save you money on shipping. We’ve also managed to lower the weight of the pledges, so the pledge levels now mostly fall into a lower weight bracket than before. If you’d like more information on how we did this, please check out our last two updates (#22 and #23) for a more detailed breakdown of what changes we’ve made!


Additional credit is applied automatically to your account, and you should see it appear on your pledge information in Backerkit immediately. If you have an issue, please contact us on support@itbboardgames.com rather than commenting below, as it makes it easier for us to respond swiftly and effectively!


Since the price of shipping is very dependent on where you are, what pledge you got, and whether or not you wanted additional add-ons, we won’t be doing a full breakdown here. With that being said, the key differences are:


Any packages that are under 1kg (people who backed digital levels and added a couple of recharge packs) will be sent via Large Letter post (untracked) by us from within the UK via Royal Mail. Depending on where in the world you are and how much you’ve ordered, this should cost between £2-7.

If you’re getting your pledge sent to the UK, assuming you haven’t added any add-ons, shipping should be £9 for Gaia’s Radio or Dagger’s Dagger pledges and just £4 for Morag’s Raft.


Base pledges to most countries in the EU (with the notable exceptions of Malta and Cyprus) will now cost £10 or less for shipping, and backers in Canada, the USA, and Australia are getting between £2-7 in additional savings with the new rates we’ve put in.


I’ve completed my pledge and need to get a refund on the extra shipping cost that I paid before the changes went into effect. How will that happen?


We’ve worked out a system that will automatically refund any over payment you’ve made on shipping directly to the method of payment you used - which means you won’t have to do anything!


We’ll notify everyone when we press go on this system, which we’re aiming to do in a couple of weeks. This is to allow us time to test and refine the system to avoid any issues, and do make sure that there aren’t any odd edge cases from the changes in shipping rates.


Once we launch that, we’ll let you know, and then explain what the next steps of the project will be at that point!


Reminder that if you like, you can use that extra credit to purchase additional add-ons, or you can put it in the 'tip jar', 100% of which will go to UNICEF as a donation from us. After a couple of weeks, when we are able to implement the refund system, the default will be that any overpayment will be refunded, so you don't need to do anything, unless you want to grab extra stuff or make a donation.


Other Updates

  • Digital Map added to all pledges via Backerkit, go to your account on Backerkit to download
  • Standard Edition & Special Edition eBooks amended and reuploaded, go to your account on Backerkit to download the latest version
  • Special Edition printable character sheet amended and reuploaded, go to your account on Backerkit to download the latest version
  • Library App continuing to make strong progress, getting closer to full working draft.

Helpful & Interesting Things

Preorders

If you have a friend who missed out on the campaign (and all those sweet, sweet extras) but still wants to grab a copy of Alba for less than it'll be at retail, the Alba preorder store is now live.

https://alba.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders


Questions & Queries

If you're having trouble with anything, please let us know on the email below! Bear in mind, due to the sheer size of this campaign, it may take us a couple of working days to get back to you - also remember we're in the UK!

support@itbboardgames.com


Prizes & Backerkit

If you were one of the lucky prize winners for any of the competitions we ran during the campaign, then you may have noticed that those prizes haven't appeared in your backerkit survey. Don't worry! We'll be processing these manually at a point along the process when we're able to confidently divert attention away from the other parts of the project. These will appear when we do this, but we'll send a notification to you when we do it anyway so you know.


I can't find my survey :(

Lost your backerkit email, or not got one?

Click the link below to resend the email to complete your survey.

https://alba.backerkit.com/


Know a games retailer in any of the following countries who might be interested in helping us deliver Alba locally to reduce shipping fees? If so we're offering a pretty amazing package for them, so hit us up;

(Subject Line: Alba Shipping Partner - [LANGUAGE])


Want to grab a bunch of copies of Alba for your game/comic/book store? Awesome! We're offering some amazing rates for bulk purchases for stores, let us know on the support email!

(Subject Line: Alba Retail & Distribution - [COUNTRY])


Want to help test the Open World Adventure Book Library App, and see it before anyone else?

We'll be selecting a core group of backers to help us with testing the App on as many devices as possible, to ensure that it's bug-free and ready for roll-out. If you'd like to help, sign up here!


Are you a gamebook publisher that wants to bring Alba to your language region? If so, we're looking to establish licensing & translation partners for any of the following languages for Alba and the rest of the OWAB series.

Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Albanian, Greek, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew, Swahili, Hausa, Yoruba, Afrikaans, Japanese, Korean, Farsi, Filipino, Taiwanese Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Javanese, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Nepalese.

(Subject Line: Alba Licensing - [LANGUAGE])


Links!

Inside the Box Facebook Page

Inside the Box Twitter

Inside the Box Instagram

Inside the Box YouTube

Open World Adventure Books Facebook Page

Open World Adventure Books Facebook Group

Open World Adventure Books Twitter

Open World Adventure Books Instagram

Inside the Box Website

Alba Preorder Store

Alba Kickstarter Backer Survey Retrieval

Chapter 23...Feedback on Shipping
5 months ago – Fri, Apr 16, 2021 at 09:20:18 PM

Hey there Adventurers!

Thank you to all of you who helped us to recognise the issues with the shipping solutions, and provided us with constructive feedback. It's helpful to know when there's an issue, however tricky that is, or however difficult it might be for us to hear. We're committed, as ever, to working on making everything as great as we can for every backer - so thank you, we think that we've made some good improvements so far, and we hope to be able to find more!


See below for an update on your feedback to our plans for shipping to the UK, Europe, Canada and more. We're still working on alternative solutions for US backers, but we've got some things in the works that we hope to share soon.


Shipping Solutions Feedback

Thanks for filling out the form, to all that did, across the board (with a couple of exceptions where there were only a couple of respondents) we have a strong majority in favour of moving to the new plans for each region.


Notably, however, UK backers were very much not in favour of moving to use MyHermes, due to their poor reputation in spite of the lower pricing.


We will be reverting to exclusively Royal Mail for all UK backers.


Here's a funky report that Typeform generated for us, from your feedback.


For Canada, Europe, Australia we're happy that the vast majority of backers are content with the proposed solution, and will be sticking to that plan, unless we find a better one - in which case we'll come back and do another poll.


Other areas have yet to provide sufficient numbers on the form for us to make a reasonable judgement about changes.


The other issue that cropped up a few times in the text responses was the reduction from the planned art cards. While we actually didn't reach the final art card goal, we included that art anyway - but as explained in the previous update, the additional (unnecessary) paperstock weight and the secretly planned packaging was going to push thousands of pledges into pretty grim shipping rate territory. For the sake of fairness, we had to figure a single solution for all backers (as well as for the sake of not complicating the project to the point of errors), we opted to reduce the stock down a bit, and revert back to the promised envelope packaging for the art cards, bundling the extra art into a group of single cards rather than tonnes of individual ones.


Although this is more than was promised on the campaign itself, we understand people's disappointment, hearing that they've missed out on what could have been. 


We're going to add ALL art card illustrations to the Digital Fan Pack.


 Open World Adventure Book Library App

Once again, it's great news on this front. Resident magician Chris has now got the chapter structure working, is finalising the game logic infrastructure for tracking the items, encounters etc, and is confidently striding forward. I'm really excited by the speed he's ripped through this, ensuring it has all the little bows tied up - meaning that as of now, we're ahead of schedule on the delivery of the app.~

Reminder that this will initially be available on Android, then later on desktop, web, iOS etc as we go through the associated QA processes and review pipelines for those platforms.


Production Progress

As a quick update on how things are moving along, Liam is back off of a well-deserved break and has already been stuck into the prep for the Hardback Special Edition, Slipcase, Collectors Box and all the odds and ends. He's getting VERY excited about really lux printing effects, paper stocks, and all the nerdy specific stuff that gets us GOING. 


I've been spending quite a bit of time looking through binding techniques, with the help of my partner (who's the curator at a museum devoted to women writers), making sure that we select the exact right methods for the paperback and hardback editions to ensure the best durability and finish.


Big thanks to Ruben Dias, Rui Oliviera, Fabio Martine, and Ricardo Dantas for their amazing 'The Book Block' for elucidating the different options for me!


See you in the next update, folks!

Peter, and the Inside the Box team.


Helpful & Interesting Things

Questions & Queries

If you're having trouble with anything, please let us know on the email below! Bear in mind, due to the sheer size of this campaign, it may take us a couple of days to get back to you. 

support@itbboardgames.com


Prizes & Backerkit

If you were one of the lucky prize winners for any of the competitions we ran during the campaign, then you may have noticed that those prizes haven't appeared in your backerkit survey. Don't worry! We'll be processing these manually at a point along the process when we're able to confidently divert attention away from the other parts of the project. These will appear when we do this, but we'll send a notification to you when we do it anyway so you know.


I can't find my survey :(

Lost your backerkit email, or not got one? 

Click the link below to resend the email to complete your survey.

https://alba.backerkit.com/


Know a games retailer in any of the following countries who might be interested in helping us deliver Alba locally to reduce shipping fees? If so we're offering a pretty amazing package for them, so hit us up;

(Subject Line: Alba Shipping Partner - [LANGUAGE])


Want to grab a bunch of copies of Alba for your game/comic/book store? Awesome! We're offering some amazing rates for bulk purchases for stores, let us know on the support email!

(Subject Line: Alba Retail & Distribution - [COUNTRY])


Want to help test the Open World Adventure Book Library App, and see it before anyone else?

We'll be selecting a core group of backers to help us with testing the App on as many devices as possible, to ensure that it's bug-free and ready for roll-out. If you'd like to help, sign up here!


Are you a gamebook publisher that wants to bring Alba to your language region? If so, we're looking to establish licensing & translation partners for any of the following languages for Alba and the rest of the OWAB series.

Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Albanian, Greek, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew, Swahili, Hausa, Yoruba, Afrikaans, Japanese, Korean, Farsi, Filipino, Taiwanese Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Javanese, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Nepalese.

(Subject Line: Alba Licensing - [LANGUAGE])


Nice one. You get a treat for reading through the update in full! Remember we mentioned that we're planning on doing more Open World Adventure Books? What we didn't tell you was that we're planning on launching something prettttty big, in the coming months. A global writing competition to find new writers to join us in our mission to bring branching narrative fiction to as many people across as many genres as possible. If this is you, well then you're going to want to keep an eye on future updates...

Chapter 22... Logistics in the Apocalypse
5 months ago – Wed, Apr 07, 2021 at 01:55:39 AM

Adventurers.


It's been a hardcore couple of days, but we've got a lot of information to share with you. We promised, after we launched the Backerkit and many of you were rightly dismayed at the cost of shipping to some regions rising by such a substantial amount, that we would roll up our sleeves and get to work, so that's exactly what we did.


This is going to be a long update, so we've broken it up into sections so you can find the information that's relevant to you.


tl;dr

Everyone is getting cheaper shipping, some places are getting MUCH cheaper shipping options, and we're adding even more stuff to EVERY pledge, as well as a range of other long-term benefits to backers. We're open to additional ideas/suggestions, please let us know what you think here.


Contents

  • FAQ updates on Shipping/Backerkit
  • Update on Digital Map for eBook Backers
  • Reduction in Pledge Weight
  • Proposed Changes to Shipping Methods/Rates by Location
  • Update on Book Development
  • Update on Open World Adventure Books Library App
  • More Digital Content for Everyone
  • More Physical Content for Everyone

FAQ on Shipping/Backerkit

  •  My shipping came out at £999?!?! - Don't worry! This is a placeholder rate where we don't have a quote for the weight your pledge has come to available from our partners. If you get this, please contact us on support@itbboardgames.com so we can get you a customised shipping quote.
  •  If shipping goes down, and I've already paid - what happens? - If and when we amend the shipping rates, if you've already completed your survey and paid for shipping, extra credit will appear on your backerkit account. After a pause period, to allow people to make any adjustments needed, we will refund any overpayment for shipping via Stripe (the payment processor used for Backerkit). Refunds will appear 5-10 working days after we hit go. It may be necessary to temporarily pause the Backerkit to do this neatly. We'll let you know if that's the case!
  •  I haven't filled in my survey yet, should I wait until the new rates are confirmed? - You can if you'd like to, but if you'd rather get it out of the way now, then any overpayments on account of us managing to secure lower rates will be refunded as above.
  •  I don't want to wait for a cheaper option, can I get a refund? - If, for whatever reason, you would like a refund on your pledge, as always - you're completely welcome to one! We have committed to a no-questions-asked refund policy right up until fulfillment, so if you absolutely want to back out, then we wish you all the best and hope you join us on another campaign some time. Just email us on support@itbboardgames.com with your backer number using the email address registered to your Kickstarter account and we'll get that sorted.
  •  I've already paid my shipping, but I'd rather just spend any savings on shipping on more stuff, what should I do? - If, for whatever reason, you'd prefer to just grab some extra add-ons you hadn't anticipated or would like to donate the extra to charity, you'll have the opportunity to do so during the 'pause period' between applying the shipping rate changes and processing the overpayment refunds.
  •  How on Earth did the prices go up so much so quickly? - The short answer? The world is on fire. The long answer? A perfect storm of unexpected price increase announcements, short staffing in fulfillment centres, Brexit making UK>Europe shipping super expensive, and a range of other pandemic, politics and paper problems have made the normal shipping solutions painful and unpredictable.
  •  Why didn't you guys wait until closer to fulfillment to determine the shipping prices? - rather than wait for the prices to rise again, we thought it would be best to lock things in as soon as we could, then get things moving so we didn't end up with endlessly rising rates we couldn't control. We realise this was a mistake, and hope the solutions below show a better way forward for everyone - so that we balance getting things moving swiftly while keeping shipping rates low.

Digital Map for eBook Backers

There was a bit of confusion expressed by backers who had got stuck into the ebook edition, as they had expected the map to be included - even though the character sheet includes the necessary game elements to track your chapter progress. This was an oversight by us and the ebook editions will be updated to include the map as a page in the ebook. We'll also be making a pdf available for all backers through backerkit in the coming week.


Reducing Total Pledge Weight

One major issue we are contending with, is that Alba is massive. The paperback on its own without any additional stuff, packaging or postal void fill is a touch under 1.5kg. The hardback is over 2.1kg. This in itself makes the challenge of getting shipping costs down at any time exceptionally difficult, never mind in the current climate of unpredictably timed shipping price changes or fluctuating packaging costs.


Without any changes, basic pledges without add-ons or taking into account postal packaging would weigh:


Morag's Raft - 1.62kg

Gaia's Radio - 3.52kg

Dagger's Dagger - 4.07kg


That said, although the books themselves couldn't realistically be made lighter by an amount that would affect prices without compromising on quality, we do have more wiggle room on the extras - for example the recharge packs, the art cards, pins and patches etc. The worst offender here was by a long way, the art card pack - the free pack of A5 art cards that comes with every Gaia's Radio and Dagger's Dagger pledge. 


The original plan for the art cards pack was to produce 1 art card for every illustration, 29 main chapter illustrations, 2 special edition chapter illustrations, 12 ending option illustrations, 2 special edition ending option illustrations, 7 lost ending option illustrations and the cover art. That's a total of 53.  Along with the planned (secret) rigid board presentation box this would have come with, this put the total weight of the art card pack alone at a whopping 1.1kg


Obviously, given the jumps from each shipping price break to the next are pretty punishing at the moment, this had a pretty substantial impact. We've gone through all the detail, and have reduced the weight down to 0.3kg, meaning every single pledge at Gaia's Radio and Dagger's Dagger has gone down by a shipping price bracket, saving backers around £2-3 on average (in some cases a lot more!).


After implementing this, we reviewed all the other items included in the pledges, and found that there weren't any changes we could make that would have anywhere near the same impact as this change, and none of them (alone or in combination) would have pushed the base pledge bundles down another level, so at this moment, we have no plans to make further changes to any items - though we're open to ideas!


New Basic Pledge Weights

Morag's Raft - 1.62kg

Gaia's Radio - 2.68kg

Dagger's Dagger - 3.22kg


How did we do this?

By putting the focus on the main chapter illustrations, and bundling together the illustrations for the end chapters and lost chapter endings, we've reduced the total number of prints to 39, rather than 53. We've removed the plan for the rigid presentation box and have returned to the originally planned paper envelope (which will still be lovely). By changing the art card paper stock from the originally planned 310gsm to ~200gsm, we've also reduced the core weight by approximately a third.


Changes to Shipping Rates & Methods

As you can imagine in this frighteningly complex world, where you live affects the cost of getting a parcel to you pretty dramatically. Generally speaking, countries and territories that are highly populated and have a high volume of individual international parcels going through consistently have lower rates. Isolated locations, those with underfunded postal services, those impacted by border issues, or others that have other factors affecting them can be much more expensive, even when they may be the same distance as somewhere much cheaper. It's a minefield.


There are a range of different options available to us for each region or territory, and we'll have to handle each of these differently as a result, as the 'one size' method hasn't worked well for this project where it has for others - partly as a result of the fact this project has an unusual price-to-weight relationship compared with many other projects. Please see the information below for your shipping destination to better understand what we're proposing. None of these changes will be implemented until we have heard your feedback, have adjusted accordingly, and have allowed you all a chance to let us know how you feel about these changes if there are any relevant to you at this point. 


For the avoidance of doubt, shipping rates are calculated based on the weight of items included in your pledge. If packaging material pushes your pledge into the next category, that's on us.  


Feedback Form

https://itbboardgames.typeform.com/to/DG0rSkGv


 Pledges to Canada 

As Linda, our Canadian Ops Manager knows, shipping in Canada is often exorbitantly high, due to the extreme distances involved. Nevertheless, we've worked out some possible solutions.

If it is the case that there is a preference from Canadian backers to ship out with a cheaper alternative, we will do the following for Canadian pledges:

  •  Pledges under 5kg will be shipped out domestically via Canada Post rather than courier using the flat-rate box postage method, meaning Morag's Raft backers will save £3, Gaia's Radio backers will save £5, Dagger's Dagger £7.
  •  For the few backers who backed a digital-only level, but then added a couple of recharge packs etc, your package will be sent via Canada Post oversized (untracked), which will cost between £1 and £3 depending on weight (100g - 750g)(saving you £13-15 against the default parcel rates).
  •  Pledges over 5kg will be shipped out domestically via Canada Post rather than courier at variable rates by weight, we will update the rates to reflect these changes.

Feedback Form

https://itbboardgames.typeform.com/to/DG0rSkGv

 Pledges to Europe 

Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Czechia, Portugal, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia

We have a very high number of backers in Western EU, (approx 1,000) with physical pledges, so we will be working to secure local coordination by domestic post (likely from France and Germany), rather than standard tracked courier services, to reduce the costs for all backers in this region - by working with our established partners. We are guaranteeing these locations AT LEAST as good as was originally quoted (£10 for basic pledges below 4kg), by using this method - in many cases better by more. We will also seek to reduce rates for heavier pledges too in whichever locations this is feasible via this method.


Greece

Due to the unusually high number of Greek backers for this campaign compared with what we'd normally expect, we've already been able to work with one of our retail partners in Greece to coordinate local fulfillment, meaning that rather than paying exorbitantly high rates shipped out of the UK or Germany, Greek backers will enjoy a pretty hefty discount on their shipping.  We're still working out the details for this solution, but we're guaranteeing at least as good as the £10 rate for all pledges under 4kg originally quoted as with the other locations above.


  •  Packages under 4kg (All basic pledges) - max £10
  •  Packages over 4kg - standard rates or better
  •  For the few backers who backed a digital-only level, but then added a couple of recharge packs etc, your package will be sent via Large Letter post (untracked), which will cost between £1 and £3 depending on weight (100g - 750g)(saving you £££ against the standard parcel rates).

Rest of EU and Europe

Where there are countries which suffer from extremely high tracked rates, the default we're proposing is that we send all packages under 2kg from the UK, via Royal Mail international economy. This way, we can guarantee a maximum of £13 for basic Morag's Raft shipping. Unfortunately, we're not able to get better rates for weights above 2kg than presently (accounting for the reduction in weights), without first securing local fulfillment partners. Where the rates are already lower than this, or we're able to secure another, cheaper option, we'll do that.


  •  Packages under 2kg (Morag's Raft) - max £13
  •  Packages over 2kg - standard rates or better
  •  For the few backers who backed a digital-only level, but then added a couple of recharge packs etc, your package will be sent via Large Letter post (untracked), which will cost between £1 and £3 depending on weight (100g - 750g)(saving you £££ against the standard parcel rates).

If you run a game store/cafe, and have the capacity and expertise to coordinate domestic postage of 50-200 parcels in any of the following territories, please contact us. We will be providing these partners with a large shipment of free Inside the Box product (a combination of their choice) as well as the funds and information needed to process all orders within their territory via the method described. If this is you, please let us know on support@itbboardgames.com and include ALBA SHIPPING PARTNER - [COUNTRY] in your subject line. You must have a physical business based in the country to qualify.

Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Austria, Spain, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Czechia, Portugal, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia.


Feedback Form

https://itbboardgames.typeform.com/to/DG0rSkGv


 Pledges to the United Kingdom

Here in our wet little island, we're used to using Royal Mail, our domestic postal service, for pretty much everything (even Amazon uses it for some stuff). It's usually very reliable, and due to the size of our little country, it's pretty cheap to send anywhere, plus international rates have historically been decent. While a lot of that has changed for international mail, for a million and one reasons, domestic shipping remains pretty low-cost. The fortunate difference between the UK and many locations being, that our untracked domestic mail is very reliable, so tracked shipping isn't often necessary for anything except important  documents or very expensive/fragile items. It still gets there quickly and consistently.

Understandably, many of our backers in the UK are looking at 7-9 pounds and are thinking 'What the heck!?', when they aren't necessarily expecting tracked courier shipping for a book. 


If it is the case that there is a preference from UK backers to ship out with a cheaper alternative, we will do the following for UK pledges:

  •  Packages under 2kg in the UK (Morag's Raft pledge) using Royal Mail 2nd Class (untracked), saving those backers £3 or more. 
  •  Packages between 2kg and 5kg in the UK (Gaia's Radio/Dagger's Dagger + room for some add ons) via MyHermes Standard (tracked), saving all other UK backers at least £3. 
  •  For the few backers who backed a digital-only level, but then added a couple of recharge packs etc, your package will be sent via Royal Mail Large Letter 2nd Class (untracked), which will cost between £1 and £3 depending on weight (100g - 750g)(saving you £4-6 against the standard parcel rates).
  •  Almost all other UK packages (5kg-15kg) (for example, a Gaia's Radio or Dagger's Dagger pledge with a bunch of extra books/add-ons) will also be sent via MyHermes Standard (tracked) (£8 up to 10kg, £9 up to 15kg).
  •  Any unusually large packages (15kg+) destined for backers in the UK will be sent by tracked mail via courier at standard rates.

Feedback Form

https://itbboardgames.typeform.com/to/DG0rSkGv


 Pledges to Australia 

You're gonna like this, we hope!

While we always expected shipping to Australia to be expensive, thanks to the support of our Australian logistics partners, and some bigbrain(tm) planning - we'll be able to offer everyone radically reduced shipping rates, utilising Australia Post's flat rate pre-paid postal boxes. This more than halves the rates in some cases, saving the average Australian backer £8.


  •  Packages under 2kg will be sent via Australia Post at £10
  •  Packages under 5kg will be sent via Australia Post at £12
  •  Packages under 22kg will be sent via Australia Post between £14 and £25
  •  Packages over 22kg will be sent via courier at standard rates.
  •  For the few backers who backed a digital-only level, but then added a couple of recharge packs etc, your package will be sent via Large Letter post (untracked), which will cost between £1 and £3 depending on weight (100g - 750g)(saving you £££ against the standard parcel rates).

Feedback Form

https://itbboardgames.typeform.com/to/DG0rSkGv


 Pledges to the USA

The USA is a tricky place to do shipping, as many of you know, similarly to Australia and Canada, as a massive country rates can vary a lot.


That said, we've worked the problem hard, and while we do not have a definitive solution yet for the US, we're confident we can drive the shipping rates down. The reduction in weight of the Gaia's Radio and Dagger's Dagger pledges account for a saving of £2 and £1 per backer already, but we'll keep pushing.


As we have nearly 4,000 backers in the USA, we have to be extremely careful not to jump the gun on announcing rate changes, as a mistake could be crippling for the campaign. While the current rates we've got for the USA are the best we can currently get, we'll continue to work the problem to reduce the rates as much as we can without compromising the integrity of the operation.


Please bear with us, while we solve this particularly challenging one!


Feedback Form

https://itbboardgames.typeform.com/to/DG0rSkGv


 Pledges to East Asia

China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam

Utilising the same domestic batch shipping method as in Europe, by shipping in all pledges to a local game store or seller, then redistributing via domestic post rather than the more expensive courier mail solution.

  •  Packages under 2kg (Morag's Raft) will be AT LEAST as good as was originally quoted (£13)
  •  Packages between 2kg and 4kg (Gaia's Radio and Dagger's Dagger) will be AT LEAST as good as was originally quoted (£16).
  •  Packges larger than 4kg will be charged at the existing courier rates, unless we secure better rates via domestic partners.
  •  For the few backers who backed a digital-only level, but then added a couple of recharge packs etc, your package will be sent via Large Letter post (untracked), which will cost between £1 and £3 depending on weight (100g - 750g)(saving you £££ against the standard parcel rates).

If you run a game store/cafe, and have the capacity and expertise to coordinate domestic postage of 10-50 parcels in any of the following territories, please contact us. We will be providing these partners with a large shipment of free Inside the Box product as well as the funds and information needed to process all orders within their territory. If this is you, please let us know on support@itbboardgames.com and include ALBA SHIPPING PARTNER - [COUNTRY] in your subject line. You must have a physical business based in the country to qualify.

China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam


Feedback Form

https://itbboardgames.typeform.com/to/DG0rSkGv


Rest of the World

Under the proposed plan:

  •  Packages under 2kg (Morag's Raft)  - £13
  •  Packages over 2kg - standard courier rate

If you run a game store/cafe, and have the capacity and expertise to coordinate domestic postage of approximately 50 parcels in any of the following territories, please contact us. We will be providing these partners with a large shipment of free Inside the Box product as well as the funds and information needed to process all orders within their territory. If this is you, please let us know on support@itbboardgames.com and include ALBA SHIPPING PARTNER - [COUNTRY] in your subject line. You must have a physical business based in the country to qualify.

Israel, New Zealand.


Feedback Form

https://itbboardgames.typeform.com/to/DG0rSkGv


Book Development & Other Items

While we've largely been focused on the Backerkit, and the logistics associated with that over the last couple of weeks, we've also been pushing the other items forward in the background, as well as setting the stage for the next big milestone in the process - manufacture. Below you can see where each individual item is at:

eBooks

All text has been laid out and released as epub and mobi format via Backerkit. We're soon to rerelease the ebook to include the map as a digital image, as well as release an interactive pdf version of the character sheet and a pdf of the main map.

Paperback/Hardback

All text has been laid out, after being professionally proofed and edited a final time in both the paperback and hardback editions, including all the extra bits at the start and end of the books. The cover design for the paperback is complete, the hardback design is complete. Next step is for the Art team to produce the layouts ready for manfacture on the slip case and the hardback special printing/production effects.

Collector's Box, Bookmark, Bookplate, Prologue Booklet, Map/Art Prints

These have been concepted and product-designed, the next step is for the Art team to produce the layouts ready for the manufacturer to evaluate.

Recharge Packs

All of the sticker sets and character sheets have been completely designed, laid out, proofed, and are ready to submit to the manufacturer for review. The outer packaging for recharge packs supplied separately from the books is yet to be completed.

Signed Art Print (Part of Dagger's Dagger)

These have all been laid out, printed, sent to Mexico and have all been signed and numbered by Marco the amazing illustrator. They're soon to be on their way back to us in the UK to start organising ready to number-match all 490 of the Dagger's Dagger pledges.

Patches & Pins

We've solicited a range of up-to-date quotations from the suppliers we surveyed prior to the campaign and have concept designs ready for them to supply final specifications for us to begin production.

Digital Fan Pack

All the bits and bobs going into this will be distributed via the Backerkit as soon as we have confirmed all the other parts are progressing swiftly. All the assets for this content has been completed, next is for the Art team to layout the various deliverables and package them up ready for distribution.


Open World Adventure Books Library App

I'm really pleased to announce that the Open World Adventure Books Library App is progressing very swiftly, thanks to the incredible 'Chris' (you know who you are). Chris, the developer, has already figured out an incredibly smart method for generating the digital version of the raw content in a format suitable for mobile and desktop devices across a range of operating systems, paving the way for us to start work on the visual aspects of the app. 


The method he's developed is also flexible enough to work for any future OWAB title, meaning we won't need to redevelop the app every time we come up with a new mechanic! I'm confident that we'll be able to start testing the Library App with a small group of backers soon, with an alpha release within a few months, and the full featured app within the same timescale as the physical book.


 More Value for Everyone

Understandably, many you who were hit by the nasty shipping rates felt as though you weren't getting good value for your money. While we're absolutely confident in Alba after all of the incredible feedback we've had so far from you all, and that even with super high rates we feel it's still worth it - that's not for us to decide. Above, you'll see all the things we're doing to make the shipping of physical pledges as low as possible for everyone around the world, but we're not stopping there.


We fully recognise that without the unbelievable response to Alba you've given us, not only would Alba not be primed for success to anywhere near the degree it is today, but our plans for the Open World Adventure Books series would just be a pipedream. We're working on loads of international deals to try to get Alba into as many libraries, book stores, game stores and more around the world in as many languages as possible - as well as looking to the next step in the process, more Open World Adventure Books.


So what does this mean for you, a backer?


In recognition of your critical support, all backers of Alba will receive an advance copy of the alpha-version ebook of the next two Open World Adventure Books completely free, no strings attached. You might be thinking "well that's great, but that could be ages away, right?"


While at the moment the Inside the Box team is eagle-eyed on the Alba project (as well as its other project obligations), we've already commissioned the writing for the next book, also from Alba author H.L. Truslove. They've already completed a large section of the planning work, and are primed to begin work on the narrative draft very soon. Keep an eye on updates coming soon for more information!


In addition, as well as all backers receiving the Open World Adventure Book App version of their backed edition of Alba for free - all Alba backers will receive a LIFETIME 50% discount on all future titles in-app.


More Stuff for Everyone

After reviewing the plan in detail post-campaign, as well as in the context of trying to pack as much value into every pledge as we physically could without compromising on the reductions in shipping rates, we've done the maths, and will be adding in the following to every physical pledge. These extras are pretty light, and although they're not cheap for us to produce, because we're producing vastly more of them than we ever expected - we're just about into the 'negotiate with us' kind of price brackets, so we're able to shave off a bit here and there from the pricing to wedge in more content for you all.


Morag's Raft Backers

  • + 1 (New!) KSE Enamel Metal Pin [Morag's Raft]
  • + 1 Standard Recharge Pack

Gaia's Radio Backers

  • + 1 (New!) KSE Enamel Metal Pin [Gaia's Radio]
  • + 1 Special Edition Recharge Pack

Dagger's Dagger Backers

  • + 1 (New!) KSE Enamel Metal Pin (numbered) [Dagger's Dagger]
  • + 2 Special Edition Recharge Packs

Questions & Queries

support@itbboardgames.com


Feedback Form

https://itbboardgames.typeform.com/to/DG0rSkGv


We took a wrong turn, but as in our Open World Adventures, we always move forward!


Peter, CEO @ Inside the Box

Linda, Operations Manager @ Inside the Box

Kaysi, Communications Assistant @ Inside the Box

A Quick Note on Shipping
6 months ago – Sat, Apr 03, 2021 at 03:09:47 AM

It’s Kaysi, the Comms Assistant here! Just wanted to check in with you all to let you know I hear you and I completely understand your frustrations regarding Alba’s shipping costs. 


Why is it so expensive?

We did not expect such a leap between the estimated rates and final costs. Regarding our estimates, these figures were given to us by our Fulfillment Partners prior to the campaign. Usually, these figures are updated very infrequently (about once a year or so), but due to Brexit and overall global shipping chaos, this has changed rapidly (the UK post office has already upped prices three times recently).

 In addition to this, the weight of the book (especially the hardback) is heavier than we anticipated due to the sheer volume of content, extras, and quality of the materials we selected. 


What's being done?

I’ve forwarded your feedback to the rest of the Inside the Box Crew and we’re dedicated to working on a solution that works for all of us. At this moment in time, we’re not sure what this solution will look like, but we’ll be looking for ways to reduce the fees where we can, ways we can increase the value of what you’ll be receiving, and how we can add more clarity on Alba’s current weight and shipping costs.  We'll be updating you again next week with more information on how we'll be approaching this.


We’re truly sorry for any frustration caused and we’re right there with you. We’re extremely proud of our first Open World Adventure Book and we want to ensure that this is an exciting, positive new experience for all of our Backers and we’re focused on making sure that we come to a solution that can maintain that experience.  As always, if you do decide you cancel your pledge, we'll be able to assist you with this, no questions asked. 

If you need a hand with anything regarding your pledge or need a place to ask questions/vent, please feel free to email me directly at support@itbboardgames.com.

Chapter 21...
6 months ago – Sat, Apr 03, 2021 at 02:24:27 AM

Hello, Explorers!

The BackerKit has officially launched to ALL BACKERS! The smoke test went out last night, meaning some of you lucky humans have already been able to fill in your surveys. We’re really glad BackerKit has this feature, as it means we could sort out some technical issues - such as the digital rewards not actually being attached!


What’s going on with the digital rewards?

As many of you keen-eyed backers noticed, the files didn’t properly attach, meaning you couldn’t download them and instead were getting a .jpg. Honestly, we aren’t sure why this happened - as far as we can tell, it’s because we’d uploaded multiple files as .zip files, but it had all of us scratching our heads.

For now, we’ve updated the ebook files so you should have access to the generic .epub, as well as a .mobi version. We’ve also changed the character sheets so they’re just the printer-friendly versions - they’re less nice to look at, but we can guarantee they download and work, which is what we’re aiming for.

The final digital bits (app codes and the digital fan pack) we’ll be updating as soon as we can.

We’ve checked everything on our end, and everything’s as in order as it can be given staff holidays and sickness, so we’ve now launched for ALL backers. Within the next 24 hours, all of you should receive your surveys to the email address associated with your Kickstarter account.

If it hasn’t reached your inbox by the end of the day tomorrow, please check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it, please contact us at support@itbboardgames.com


Why is the shipping cost higher than it said on the campaign page?

Unfortunately, between when we launched Alba on Kickstarter and now (when we launched the Backerkit), shipping prices for our fulfilment partners have gone up. The difference in shipping prices between then and now is honestly staggering. Add on the fact that Alba is a pretty weighty book (especially the hardback), the actual shipping cost is higher in a lot of places than we had expected.

The good news: we’ve spoken to our fulfilment partners, and they think pricing will either stay stable or in some areas go down a bit between now and when fulfilment starts.

The bad news: we can’t guarantee this will happen, and we don’t know when it will come into effect if it does happen.

The end result: if shipping prices go down between now and fulfilment, we will reflect that in the pledge manager and refund the extra amount you’ve had to pay. If shipping prices go up, we’ll eat the extra cost so it won’t cost you more to get your books.


I have other questions!

If you need help with something specific to your pledge, such as if BackerKit is showing the wrong items, please send an email to support@itbboardgames.com - it’s easier to sort through requests there than it is via Kickstarter messenger, especially when so many of you are asking questions!

Feel free to still ask questions via Kickstarter messenger, as comments on the main page, or as comments on this update, but we do check support@itbboardgames.com more frequently and the ability to share images and tag certain issues (or team members) means we can usually get to the bottom of your problem more quickly.


Team ITB x