Episode 024 - Will Bauer, Levy & Campaign, Inferno, New Survey
This episode features an interview with long distance gaming buddy Will Bauer. We talk all things Levy and Campaign.
As well, there are all the usual ramblings and mutterings, and a new segment for new players.
Links to a few things mentioned in the podcast:
Compass Games catalogue
Lock n Load post (see below)
Heroes of Normandie post (see below)
Unboxing Clash of Carriers
Not mentioned: Check out my latest Shelfie video!
PODCAST SURVEY <<<----Don't miss this!
Lock n Load> From David Heath on Facebook:
First and foremost, I want to extend my sincere apologies for the delays in releasing our recent games. As some of you may know, my family and I had to go through an unexpected move, leading to a series of setbacks. This involved putting all my personal belongings into storage, limited access to communication, and additional delays in settling into our new home. Thankfully, we've now moved in and are in the process of unpacking.
I won't spend time addressing any unfounded rumors or speculations about LnLP or myself. I'll be sharing all official updates exclusively on Gamefound and our LnLP company page only. I am grateful for the supportive emails and comments I have received from many of you during this challenging period.
Regarding production, the final printed copies have not reached me yet due to the aforementioned delays. We're expecting the two cases within the next 2 to 3 weeks for our final review. Unfortunately, this means we will not meet our planned October shipping target. I want to make it clear that this delay is entirely my responsibility and should not reflect on my team or designers.
I am deeply disappointed about these setbacks, but I assure you that the quality of our games remains uncompromised. I have a long history in the gaming community, and LnLP has always been committed to delivering top-notch products. Rest assured, once these final print copies are approved, we will keep everyone updated on the new planned arrival dates and provide the shipping transport tracking information for the games as we have always done in the past.
I'll personally will be hosting a live Q&A session in the next week or two for anyone who has any further questions. Once again, I apologize for the delays and thank you all for your ongoing patience and support.
Heroes of Normandie post (from FB as well):
First of all, please forgive us for this long silence. We had to take the time to think about the best way to react to the situation and to check with our legal advisers what we could or couldn't say.
It is with a heavy heart and not without some anger that we write these lines. As you may have noticed, the Pledge Manager as well as the Devil Pig Games website and shop have been closed. You have to know that we learned of this at the same time as you did, as no one from "Management" saw fit to warn us.
But what management are we talking about?
Let's take a step back...
Following problems encountered by DPG a few years ago, the company had to close its doors. Its business was later taken over by another company called The Board Game Strategist, run and owned by Arnaud Charpentier, who did everything in their power to honor what DPG had pledged to deliver.
The Board Game Strategist and Arnaud Charpentier are at the helm of several companies, including Pig From Hell Games (formerly DPG), Surfin' Meeple, and above all Matagot. De facto, since this takeover, management has been in his hands, and he is in charge rather than Yann and Clem. The "Heroes of..." trademarks no longer belong to us, all administrative and financial decisions are taken by The Board Game Strategist (including fulfillment contractors), only editorial choices remain the prerogative of the two authors of Heroes of Normandie.
During the Kickstarter campaign for Heroes of the Pacific (March-April 2023), Arnaud Charpentier shared with us his concerns about Pig From Hell's financial health.
Arnaud asked Clem to suggest that Basile resign. Clem refused to do the dirty work, of course, but agreed to terminate his own contract at the end of November 2023 to ease the financial burden and allow the business to continue.
Basile nevertheless left the company during the summer.
Meanwhile, a serious disagreement between Yann and Arnaud led to Yann's dismissal from Pig From Hell. He was ready to finalize the project, but discussions with Arnaud soon proved impossible, and he finally decided to take the situation into his own hands, suing the company and ending his collaboration after having delivered everything he had to for Heroes of the Pacific.
In our eyes, this situation wasn't perfect, but it allowed us to keep our commitments to our community. With these three salaries saved, it seemed to us that the company's financial situation would allow the delivery of Heroes of the Pacific and a light follow-up of the ranges. That's why Jules and Clem didn't slam the door and kept on working, encouraged by Arnaud, to deliver the files on time, which they managed to do at the end of the summer, just one month behind schedule.
Once this task had been completed, Arnaud insisted that we start preparing a Kickstarter campaign for Heroes of Stalingrad V.2. It was also decided that we should simultaneously carry out graphics and editing work for a 3rd party game, published by Matagot. This situation lasted throughout September.
Arnaud then asked us to stop working on Heroes of Stalingrad, and on September 29, 2023, he announced that Pig From Hell's credit card had been hacked. He told us no more, but a few days later, the Pledge Manager was shut down without warning. When we asked, by mail, the person in charge of the Pledge Manager to explain the situation, he replied that he has been instructed not to communicate on the subject.
At the end of September, we did not receive our salaries. Arnaud explained that he would be able to tell us more on October 26...
On October 3, we were astonished to find that orders placed on our website were not being delivered. We asked, via Discord, what was going on, and were told by an employee of the company responsible for deliveries (also owned by The Board Game Strategist) that they too had been instructed to stop handling orders placed with Pig From Hell. We noted, therefore, that the website was still accepting orders even though it had been decided to stop deliveries. We don't know whether they will be honored.
A few days later, on October 11, the website finally closed its doors, again without warning, depriving the community of its forum. We asked management for at least a press release, and this message was published without our agreement:
« Devil Pig Games is facing serious difficulties due to recent unforeseen and brutal events beyond our control. We are making every effort to find a long-term solution, but until this has been fixed we are stopping all operations. As soon as these troubles cease we will resume our activity and inform you. »
We asked Arnaud for more information, but the only reply we got was: "I can't tell you anything before October 26th. By the way, can you deliver the files for that 3rd party game?" "We refused to comply...that was quite an ask when they left us unpaid and scrambling in the dark."
So we don't know what the situation is, and we're truly dismayed.
Yann has had to leave the team, and Clem should do so soon. It has been made clear to us that Heroes of the Pacific will only be delivered if Pig From Hell is bought out by a third party, and that royalties will not be paid. Employees haven't been paid for over a month, we lost control of the "Heroes of..." trademarks, the website and newsletter passwords have been changed, no one is telling us anything, and we feel like we're being treated like dirt...
We'll wait until October 26 to tell you more, but we're not confident about the future. We've worked hard to deliver all our previous projects, despite the difficulties, and we've even put ourselves in financial jeopardy at times. But we have always chosen to make every effort not to abandon the community that has supported us for ten years.
At this stage, we are unfortunately no longer in control of events and cannot make any decisions.
We're blind, distraught, angry, sad... and waiting to see what the future holds.
The Devil Pigs (Yann and Clem and Jules)