SKEPTICS Board Game

Created by Usiak Games and Designs

SKEPTICS is a cooperative, dice rolling game, where players explore potentially haunted locations to prove the existence of ghosts. 1-4 players take on the role of Investigators gathering evidence of the paranormal. Investigators race against the clock exploring rooms and rolling dice to match icon sets to Search, Reveal, and Solve Clues. Each Clue will lead Investigators one step closer to revealing the Ghost. Environment Cards are drawn every hour, which may have hazards and conditions that will impede the Investigators’ progress. Investigators win if the existence of the Ghost can be proven in time, but Investigators fail if time runs out.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Manufacturing Update and Available Pre-Order Quantities
18 days ago – Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 12:27:14 PM

Hello everyone,


We have a few updates to provide today. Unfortunately, we do have a bit of disappointing news that will likely result in a slight shift to our schedule, which is out of our hands. I will then follow up with some general updates.


Manufacturing Update

Originally, our manufacturer was expecting our games to be done by January 31st, and they would have the final manufacturing sample in the mail to us before their Chinese New Year begins. However, the region where they are located has been impacted by a recent energy conservation regulation requiring a reduction in energy usage. This means, they will likely not have our game done until late February after they return from their two-week holiday. 


At this point, I am expecting the game to be delivered to backers in early summer (June) timeframe. Once we get into the start of February and known for certain they didn’t finish before their New Year, I will provide an updated graphic for the schedule, but I basically expect it to shift two months to the right.


Because of this shift in schedule, I am going to extend the Pledge Manager to late February to allow more time for the 156 open pledges to be completed.


Games and Dice Quantities

Since we are a first-time publisher and don’t have access to existing funds from other released games, the current stock of games is all we expect to have for some time. We do have plans to do a second print run with the next expansion Kickstarter, but since that expansion is currently in development, it may be a year or so before we launch that Kickstarter. 


Additionally, this print run is the only print run that will include the promo cards and the expansions. In future print runs, the TWiiNS, Entity, and Storybook mode will be a separate box and purchase. The promo pack is currently a first print run exclusive; therefore, we don't know when/if these will be printed again. If you have any friends or family who would be interested in this game, please pass this information along to them; the current print run is the best value to get the game and the expansions mentioned above. The pre-order store will remain open until the Pledge Manager closes.


We almost ran out of the full Dice Collection in November, but we were able to add in another batch with the manufacturer before they locked our order. Like the game, once we sell out of these, we won’t have any more until a future print run.


We currently about about 275 copies of SKEPTICS and roughly 100 of each of the dice packs left for sale from this first print run.


Tabletop Playground Mod?

I recently got a copy of Tabletop Playground on Steam. I am looking into the level of effort to port SKEPTICS to this platform. Obviously, we care more about the physical game getting to you all, but since I have no control of the current state of the manufacturing, I wanted to see if there would be any interest with backers having access to the game on that platform. Let us know in the comments if you would like to see the game on that platform; if there are enough positive comments, I will work on the port for that platform when I have some free time. I know people have strong opinions about Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia, and I imagine there is a crowd who are fans of Tabletop Playground so I wanted to potentially offer this option for those people.



We hope you all are having a great start to 2022. Let us know if you have any questions or comments about the update or finalizing your pledge. 


Brian and Jon

Usiak Games and Designs

Unboxing Video and Project Update
about 1 month ago – Wed, Dec 29, 2021 at 11:28:51 PM

Hello everyone, 


We hope you all have had a great holiday season. We are definitely looking forward to the new year and all of the new possibilities 2022 will bring. 


Pledge Manger Surveys and VAT/Taxes

806 of you have completed your BackerKit pledge manager survey providing you updated address, paying for your shipping, and adding any add-ons you may have wanted. We still have 181 who need to still complete this survey; if you are not sure if you have completed your survey or not, be sure to check your email for survey reminders that are sent out periodically. This includes the $1 backers; you won't be asked for an address or payment unless you decide to order a game via add-on. Having these surveys completed simply helps us gauge when we can provide the shipping details to our freight forwarder and get that ball rolling. We plan to keep the pledge manager open until late January so there is still time. 


VAT/Taxes were included shortly after the pledge manager went live (check the update on November 18th for detail). Most people went in and updated their payments after this inclusion, but there are a few we see negative balances for. If you don't recall paying the VAT/Taxes, please double check your pledge manager link for a negative balance. 


SKEPTICS Manufacturing Sample Unboxing

And finally, I found time to do an unboxing video of the pre-manufacturing sample of SKEPTICS. Jon provided a number of pictures back in October, and I had planned to do the unboxing at that time but then life happened. There were minimal changes between this copy and the final copy that is currently being manufactured. We did find a few typos, the green dice needed to be a slightly different shade of green, and a minor tweak was made to the magnifying glass space to allow the fifth one to sit in the space better. We hope you enjoy seeing how the game turned out. 

Schedule/Manufacturing Update

Due to the schedule conflicts with other projects with the manufacturer, our game did not start as soon as we had planned. It has started and is expected to wrap up in late January. At that point, the components and boxes will not be assembled. They will assemble a single copy to send to us before the Chinese New Year begins, and we will provide detailed instructions on how it should be packaged. Once that is provided, they said it will take about 1-2 weeks to assemble everything and have it ready for freight to pick up. This should be late February/early March. 

In pre-COVID times, freight would take about 3-5 weeks to reach the shipping hubs, and it would take 1-2 weeks for games to be shipped out to your homes.

I had a lot of slack in the schedule for this, and it appears we will be using most of that. While April delivery is still possible, it is very unlikely and likely will slip a month or two. We hope by the end of April, the games will be at the shipping hubs being packaged for individual shipments to all of you. I will have a better projection for you in late January once manufacturing has wrapped up, and we see the state of freight in the new year. In late January, I will work up a new schedule graphic based on what we know at that time and when we expect the games to begin reaching backers homes. 


New Year

It is almost a new year. 2021 has had many ups and downs for all of us. We are looking forward to the new opportunities 2022 brings and to working on our next projects (yes, two projects) we can't wait to tease and start playtesting with the community. Have fun and stay safe as you celebrate the new year this weekend. 


Brian and Jon

Usiak Games and Designs

Holiday Update
2 months ago – Tue, Nov 23, 2021 at 10:16:29 AM

Hello again! 

I know it has been a very short few days since our last update, but just wanted to say that due to the Thanksgiving holiday, we might not be around on Wednesday the 23rd and Thursday the 24th to answer questions you might regarding orders, or general questions. One of use should be back on track on Friday. 


For the Friendly Local Game Stores, I sent out a message to each of you regarding the next step to process your order. We will be correcting a few things and should hope to have things resolved over this coming weekend.


Thank you very much, and if you celebrate, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Jon

Dice update!
2 months ago – Sat, Nov 20, 2021 at 09:23:41 PM

Hello everyone. 


We just wanted to give a really quick update. Due to popular demand of our 17 dice set collection, we asked the manufacturer if they could print more for us. 

So now there are more of sets available for those who wanted to get these, but were unavailable due to a fast sell out! There are still many of the nine dice sets left too, which are more of the common dice types you will use during the game. 


You can never have too many dice!!


Thank you everyone for making this campaign awesome and bringing this game to a reality!


Jon

UK/EU VAT and NY Sales Tax
2 months ago – Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 12:37:18 AM

Hello everyone, 


So we have been so excited to get everything up and running with the Pledge Manager and bring you good news via our updates. Unfortunately, this not one of those good news updates, and I fully expect to receive some backlash over my oversight. 


As you know based on our previous updates, we had to switch to a new UK/EU fulfillment company due to changes in July with our primary fulfillment company dropping support for that region. Our goal was to find a partner that was UK/EU friendly so we would collect the VAT charges up front and pay those so you would not need to deal with that upon receiving your game. We did find that partner and had everything setup...except...


We somehow did not activate the collection of the VAT or NY state sales tax in the Pledge Manager. Many of you have private messaged us wanting to ensure there wasn't an issue with the system. First off: Thank you to those who quickly alerted us to this. Obviously, it would have been better for everyone if we had realized this issue before hitting the send to all backers button, but we are grateful we found out as early as we did at least. 

It has been fixed so those who have not completed your survey, it should be correct when you go to check out. 


ACTION for those who already completed the Survey in EU/UK and NY: 

You will need to go back into your survey and pay the VAT (or Sales tax for NY). I hate having to ask so many of you to help us correct this issue especially after we got to over 50% of the survey responses already. For that, we are very sorry. As we have said before, this is a two person project so this was our oversight. We hope you can forgive our mistake. 

Those who only pledged $1 and did not add any add-ons (a copy of the game or dice) within the Pledge Manager should be fine and shouldn't have any updates to make. 


What Else to Expect

Once we get this straightened out, the expectation is there should be no further charges for you unless you decide to add additional add-ons to your order before the surveys are locked in late December/early January. We are already prepared to deal with the ever shifting cost of freight and shipping, and we have no plans to ask for anything beyond what we quoted in the Kickstarter. 


Dice

You all really enjoy dice! We added the Dice add-ons pretty late into the campaign's life since we were blowing passed our stretch goals. We assumed a small percentage of you (including myself) may want an extra set of dice for your game. We were blown away how quickly the full sets of dice sold out. We still have about 100 of the Clue/Key Dice sets, which are the dice you use most frequently in SKEPTICS. We are asking our manufacturer if we can add additional of the larger dice sets to our order since it is so popular, but we have not heard back yet. Initially, we were told once we locked our order, additions would not be possible, but maybe since it is so early, they will let this one slide. Once we know more, I will post and update and update the available quantities. 


Final Thoughts

Again, I apologize for the oversight on our part for somehow missing the VAT and NY sales tax; it wasn't in the normal campaign setup steps and hidden underneath other menus so I simply missed it as I finished the setup. 


Hopefully, the pitchforks and torches will be minimal...but I am ready to become a ghost for the next game if needed. Just spare Jon since he is already working on the draft art and mechanics for the next expansion. I can work on my side project from the great beyond. 


Message us if you have any questions on how to update your survey payment. 


Brian

Usiak Games and Designs