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Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE
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TOPIC: Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE
#10410
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Howdy Folks and Happy Holidays!

I Love the Door/Raft Piece, too Kewl... Though until I read the Discription I THought it was some sort of Novelty Destroyed Door...***HINT-HINT***<Grin>...

Anyway, at the Very least I Have to Say that Regardless of My Feelings about LE sets, I Very Much Appreciate the Obvious Effort on DF's part to Improve Communication with us about what we can expect for the Future... I Would Honestly Rather Have DF around and Making New Sets Frequently, thus Risking Missing a Few Here and there, than to Lose DF Entirely because they Can not Survive the Market...

So Count me as With You on Doing Whatever it takes to Keep Going here... (Though Honestly I May Not Be able to Purchase "Every" New Set as it Comes Out, I will Try)...
MyLordVoid
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#10411
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Thanks for the quick response and further explaination of product lines. Happy holidays everyone.
DaggerdaleDM
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#10412
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
I've said this before, but I'll add it here again: I think there should be a rotating "hall of fame" spot reserved for fan-poll-decided sets that have gone OOP.

The only reason DF wants to do limited sets is to keep from spending $ on (1) making excess stock and (2) storing it. They want to make something, sell it, move on. It is too small a company to do anything else.

But that doesn't REQUIRE that sets go OOP forever. Nothing in that model requires it.

So I'd like to put a small extra slot in JK's list. Something like this:

LE sets: Absolute, one-time-only, special set for collectors.

Limited sets: Sets that are made once, but COULD be brought back if fans demand it. These would be the bulk of the products.

Core sets: Basic room/passage/cavern/SF sets that are generally restocked every quarter, so that DF doesn't have to store them endlessly, but that they are never more than 2-3 months away from coming back in stock.

That way, the core sets are always around to build on, add on, bring people in. The rest of the sets -- almost everything that is not a basic room element for some genre -- are only done once, but not listed as "limited rarities" They are simply made, allowed to run out, and brought back only by popular demand. If DoE was popular because it REALLY IS NEAT then it will stay popular and come back (may be a bad example since it was billed as limited, but hopefully you get the idea) If DoE's popularity was based on something else, and nobody misses it, there's no need to bring it back. And so on and so on.

So, with for example the lake and river sets -- don't bill them as "limited, never to return again!" but rather as "we're only making 1000 of these right now -- after that, you may see it in five years or so, but maybe not if you are the only one who wants it"

This really does strike me as the most common sense approach, balancing out as much of what needs balancing as possible.

L
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#10413
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Jeff

I'm 100% here with L. Don't box yourself into a tight corner by saying this is Limited Edition.

DOE - 1500 only limited - perfectly fine

Cavernous River set: Go for 1000. Sell them all. Come back in 2 years and do some more if and only if there is demand. If not - maybe come back in 4 years time. But don't limit it straight away. Don't throw away the molds.

Core Sets: Keep some basic ones always in stock.

This will also allow you do produce individual pieces which are very popular. Think about the 6'' passage. If making the Advanced Builder Set is commercially non-viable - but selling long passages on their own then fine. But saying something is limited wouldn't allow you that freedom.

I'm understand 100% if you say - we can't gurantee a certain set to come back once it is sold out. Think about the narrow passages - slim chance they are back soon. Tell the community that these sets are not core and might not come back. I think most people here can accept this.

But the idea of Limited Editions from now on seems not to be received too enthusiastically.

Thod
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#10414
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
No Jeff, I am not going to let you have it.
I am disappointed though about what DF's stance is on Sci-Fi Master Maze.
Quite honestly Jeff, Sci-Fi Master Maze's situation has been this way all the way through.
Quite frankly, I will be shocked if the genre makes it to Gamma, let alone Epsilon.
I have already pounded on commitment about this genre and so will not again.

A cautionary note:
If this attitude existed back in 1999 (two years after Master Maze came out in 1997; Sci-Fi Master Maze came out in 2003 so comparable time periods) about fantasy Master Maze, then Jeff, you and the rest of us would not be here now.
Dwarven Forge would have been a very short, very grand, but failed experiment.
Seriously, if this is really all about capital, have either Stefan or you really attempted to remedy this issue lately?
I am positive that either GAMA or the SBA might be able to give you two some good leads and/or solutions.

As far as everyone's feedback about LE Jeff, I honestly think the jury is back with a decision.
LE is nearly a near "no-no" except in very specific cases; if DF forges on with this LE proposition for nearly all new sets, it WILL, without a doubt, alienate a fair number of the existing Dwarven Forge buyers, let alone new ones.
Limited Runs (LR), on the other hand Jeff, seems to be quite popular, yes?
But, is that not what is happening now anyway due to limited capital?
I know Jeff, you and Stefan would probably like to do away with the apparent loads of e-Mails about out-of-stock Master Maze product, but why?
Are they not signs of positive interest in your product?
What Dwarven Forge really needs to do here Jeff, is not to limit their product choices for gamers, but find additional assets and investors so as to make available continuously the fantastic product you already have to sell and to keep the development going at Dwarven Forge.
Once again the idea of having as business plan for each of the next five years plus the 10 & 15 year points Jeff.

One matter of issue here and a possible serious source of more capital Jeff would be an authorized dealer and/or fulfillment center of Dwarven Forge product in the EU somewhere.
The dealer would become the European COO for Dwarven Forge and to do so, you could require that they would have to make a sizeable capital investment into the company.
As far as location, they would probably have to be either in Germany or the United Kingdom since these two European nations seem to have the most Dwarven Forge users.
The European posters here on the forums have had reasonable concerns and these are affecting Dwarven Forge's health.
Why should the tax men get what could be Dwarven Forge's capital?
Some folks have paid more than double for sets than if those sets were for purchase already within the EU.
Less of that money would have gone to governments and much more to Dwarven Forge itself Jeff if you had a fulfillment center in the EU.
A serious matter for consideration Jeff.

It looks like 2006 is going to be a "make or break" year Jeff for Dwarven Forge's continuing prosperity and/or existence.
As you can read on this thread and in the rest of the forums, a fair number of us are quite willing to help with our enthusiasm and capital.
Do not let us down Jeff.
RabidFox*
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SF: Starter(3), Passage(2), Alpha(7), Beta(2) someday soon;
Cavern: Cavern, Cavernous Passages, many individual pieces, Cavernous River & Wall and Cavernous Lake someday soon;
Fantasy: Room & Passages, Room, Octagonal Room, Wicked Additions I&II, Adv. Builder, Diagonal Walls Set, Dungeon Accessories, Medieval Furniture, many individual pieces.
 
#10415
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Okay, I'm just one customer - and not likely to buy huge quantities of DF, not least because I only live in a small house and would struggle to store much more than I have already. So I’m probably not the best person to listen to with regard to how to sell more sets!

And I’m sorry- this is likely to be long, but please bear with me!

It took me a very long time to decide to start collecting Dwarven Forge. I saw pictures of it on the web, shortly after the first sets were released, and thought they were very nice indeed - but expensive. After a while they became available in the UK, and I nearly bought a couple of sets a few times - but kept ‘chickening out’.

And then I decided that I *must* have some sort of 3-d dungeon system. I was attracted by Ainsty’s range - I enjoy painting and modeling, so the ‘bare resin’ nature of their sets was no deterrent. The only deterrent was the lack of caverns. But Dwarven Forge, though they had caverns, only had one Cavern Set, and no passages - it didn’t look flexible enough - and passages/corridors were important. And it was expensive, relatively. So, neither quite fitted the bill, so I did nothing. Once Dwarven Forge released the Cavernous Passages set though, my bank balance was in danger. All it took was seeing some sets ‘in the flesh’ at a wargames show, and I was a lost cause - I bought myself the Caverns and Cavernous Passages sets. We used them a lot, and then this year I began to buy other sets.

I do wonder about the wisdom of some of the recent decisions. I can understand the reasons behind them, I’m just not sure how wise they are.

Selling ‘direct only’ means that you get all the profit - none goes to the ‘middle-men’, and therein lies a lot of its attraction. Selling ‘direct only’ is okay, perhaps, if you only want to sell in North America. The cost of shipping individual sets to Europe makes them *too* expensive - roughly double the US price, assuming one doesn’t get ‘stung’ for duty, VAT and Royal Mail handling charges (which will likely add another 25-30% onto the already doubled price - shipping costs are VAT-liable). And, if there aren’t any retailers carrying the sets, you have to rely on the WWW alone to promote the goods. I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I rarely buy things I haven’t at least seen ‘in the flesh’. Going ‘direct only’ will probably hurt sales to potential new customers - so the customer base is likely to shrink rather than grow. And it hurts overseas sales - limiting the potential for growth in sales to customers in your own country/continent.

Making sets ‘Limited Edition’ is likely to be a two-edged sword too. On the one hand, it means you don’t have the problem of having to try to keep everything in stock all the time - which ties up increasing amounts of capital. On the other, it doesn’t please the customer - there is the feeling that, unless you buy that set you want *now*, you may never be able to. Not a nice feeling. If you *do* go down this road, you need to be *very* careful that you make sufficient sets ‘Core Sets’. In my opinion, the Caverns range is unlikely to be viable if *only* the original Cavern set is ‘Core’. That line needs the two current sets to be really useful. The same probably goes for the Dungeon and Sci-Fi ranges - you need to keep sufficient ‘interesting’ sets in stock at all times.

I would suggest that, rather than making the likes of ‘Cavernous Rivers’ limited edition, you make them ‘limited run’. This is a concept Japanese manufacturers (of models of all sorts, as well as other goods) use. Make a batch of say, Cavernous Rivers. Make the batch of a size that you’re fairly sure will sell out in a reasonable time (so you don’t have a lot of capital tied up in stock for a long time). Once that’s selling well (or all gone!) order a batch of something else. After a suitable period (which will probably vary, depending on how fast the first batch sold out - it might be three months, or it might be three years), re-run the first set.

This system works (the Japanese wouldn't use it otherwise...). The regular customer is inclined to ‘buy now’ because he has no idea when the item will become available again once it has sold out (so you get a high turnover of sets). The new customer who can’t get the sets which have just sold out, knows that, if he sticks around for a few months or years, he probably will be able to get any set he wants eventually. Providing you know your market reasonably well, you should never (or rarely) have large amounts of capital tied up in stock. If anything doesn’t sell (or sells really slowly), it does, in effect, become ‘limited edition’ because you don’t make another batch.
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Medieval Buildings Set, Caverns x2, Cavernous Passages, Room and Passage, Deluxe Room, Octagonal Room, Narrow Passages, Advanced Builder, Wicked Additions I, Wicked Additions II, Traps I, Traps II, lots of individual pieces. I want Cavernous Rivers, and Cavernous Lakes, and Cavernous Ledges. Can you tell that I like caverns?
 
#10416
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Oh, and if I was using the 'limited run' system there would be no 'core sets' to be held in stock at al times (tying up capital) - everything would be produced as 'limited run', but popular sets would be re-run more frequently.
philhendry
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Medieval Buildings Set, Caverns x2, Cavernous Passages, Room and Passage, Deluxe Room, Octagonal Room, Narrow Passages, Advanced Builder, Wicked Additions I, Wicked Additions II, Traps I, Traps II, lots of individual pieces. I want Cavernous Rivers, and Cavernous Lakes, and Cavernous Ledges. Can you tell that I like caverns?
 
#10417
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Let me state unequivocally that there will always be room on my gaming table for Dwarven Forge. I don't have a crystal ball that can show me the contents of the company ledgers, therefore I'll kindly keep my opinions of how you should run your business to myself - which is to say, Jeff, that you know best. You guys. So far, I've always been able to get DF stuff. Some of it I've got retail, some of it direct purchase from y'all, some from online business, but I've always gotten it.

SO...

Do what you think is best, man.
TheDungeonDelver
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Too much Dwarven Forge to list!
 
#10418
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Hi Guys! Happy days!!!

Well, I'm with Philhendry, Thod, L... I think there's no need to make something LE so you can answer "this will never again produced", instead of "well, I don't know when it will be released again". I prefer "I don't know" rather than just "No". If there's no problem in keeping / storing the molds... I prefer the "limited run" that Philhendry has proposed. Door Open. No garanties of restock. But if everybody knows the terms of the deal... no problem!

That's my vote. Of course, that doesn't mean that we think you don't know what is best for the bussiness, you have always the last word, and all the knowledge about the circumstances but... well, comunication between DF and customer, and the interchange of ideas, has shown to be great. :-) So... that's our ideas...

One thing more: Thank you very very much for the long explanation Jeff. It's huge appreciated!
arsthein
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I want my DF Spiderweb Accesories Set!!! ^O^U
 
#10419
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
I Hate to Jump onto Bandwagons, but I Really Like the Idea of Limited Runs, that "Could" Make a Reaapearance every Now and then...

Regardless, I Know that we who post here are Only a Small Number of DF's Customers, So Pleasing Us ALL of the Time is Not Likely to be the "Best" Business Plan...

As Already Stated, You Folks are the Ones In Business, And The Fact that You are Exploring Options for Staying that way is a Positive Sign in My Book...

I Doubt any Single Arguement is Going to Sway you Folks one way or another, so if I were to Guess, I would say that You Folks will Know in Time Rather this Approch is Best for DF or Not...

I Have Always Said, (At Least Since Early Teenhood), that I Always reserve the Right to Change My Mind... And I Extend that Curtessy to others as well...

I Hope that Everyone Had a Great Holiday...

maj!
MyLordVoid
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#10420
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Happy Holidays all...

I have to agree with the majority of people here, with a slight twist. I mainly agree with the wise JKratzer.

Create Core sets... always in stock

Limited run sets... these sets will be made at least once... it creates the same urgency in collectors and gamers who want the stuff because it MAY not be made again. As for creating collectibles...

Limited Edition sets...
This I envision as a once a year thing... something small and detailed, created as a thank you to your core fans and a way to create fun things... This is where I would put the ogre's den, a library, temple, a lair in a cave, graveyard... whatever... something that is just a few pieces and collectible. Make a small amount of them and destroy the molds... charge a bit more of a markup as a way to increase profits on it. Maybe make it a holiday tradition.. always releases on Oct 31st.

The last idea is just a thought... but if you come out up front and say we are making 1200 of this set and if they sell well, we will make more later.. if they don't... then too bad so sad!

Robert
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Robert
 
#10421
Cavernous River and Walls Set UPDATE 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Happy Holidays all...

I have to agree with the majority of people here, with a slight twist. I mainly agree with the wise JKratzer.

Robert;

I thank you for the kind strokes, but who ever told you I'M "wise"?
Man, you catch THAT blatant liar, shoot him! Not fatally, but use a dull bullet, so it hurts more! That way, he'll stop lying to you! :P

Anyway, it IS nice to get kind words sometimes. I've gotten used to the slings and arrows of derision, although, to be fair, they've usually been in the Game Room at Shore Leave - good Gawd, they hate me there (but they still come back to play; masochists, one and all!).

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukah, and/or Kwanzaa, and got ALL the toys they asked for!
And most of all, I hope we all get the REAL Christmas gift we'd like to get.

Peace on Earth, good will toward mankind.

See Ya!

Jim Kratzer
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Jim Kratzer, a/k/a The Mad Yank
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