There is a common mantra out there today: “Hardware is hard.” There is a lot of good anecdotal evidence of this too. How many of us have backed something on Kickstarter only to see it go up in smoke? So why does TLG think we can do any better? …This ain’t our first rodeo. Gameboard-1 is coming.
To be successful in a hardware/software platform, you need real world experience and experienced partners. TLG fully understands this and has assembled an incredible team and partner network to ensure our success and ability to deliver a paradigm shifting tabletop gaming experience.
Why doesn’t this exist already?
That is the most common response we get at TLG. This is an idea who’s time has come. We have spent the last 18 months working and reworking our vision to ensure we align technology with our main value of bringing people together again in gaming. This means gaming experience is of utmost importance. Our north star is to ensure playing a completely analog game has the same experience on the Gameboard. There are no special ways to register pieces as they are played, nor a (re)learning curve around how to use private screens in game play. We want you to play games – not play technology.
Our first prototype was using existing COTS hardware. We realized that if we were to do this right, we had to create something entirely new or our obsession with User Experience would significantly suffer.
With Rob’s experience designing the Xbox, PS3, Magic Leap and many other hardware systems, we know how to make a scalable and durable hardware design that will delight our gaming community.
Rob set out evaluating a number of different processors and tech stacks that would best integrate with our Sense Screen as well as provide a known environment for ease of game portability onto the platform.
From there, we have been working with Arrow Electronics to consolidate the Bill of Materials (BOM) and ensure we have sufficient inventory and price stability to build our projected customers for 2020 and beyond.
We’ve also been working with eInfoChips on the Mechanical and Industrial Design to ensure we have a durable, manufacturable and certified design. This includes Engineering Validation Testing (EVT), Design Validation Testing (DVT) and Production Validation Testing (PVT) and Ramp. We’ll spare you the details, but these are very well known manufacturing steps that ensure our products are well designed and tested prior to final production runs and ultimately get a fantastic product into the hands of our customers.
Sourcing and Logistics
Beyond Arrow, we work with specialized vendors from across the world to procure all components for Gameboard-1, including industrial rated displays from China and our patented Sense Screen technology from within the USA.
UX / UI
In order to drive exceptional user experience, we know we must have an intuitive user interface. We have internal and external teams focused on delivering a “it just works” experience while ensuring digital and physical registrations and interactions with the Gameboard or game are simple and straightforward. No rulebook needed here.
Certifications! Get your certifications! Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), CE for European Union markets, RoHS, etc., and that doesn’t even cover the hardware component level certifications that we are working with Arrow to achieve.
Contract manufacturing (CM) has dramatically lowered barriers to start-up hardware companies. We have partnered with Arrow’s Advanced Manufacturing Support Services (AMSS) Division to identify the correct CM for TLG. They not only help to ensure quality control and quality assurance, but also help navigate the import/export and tariff waters.
Freight and Distribution
We have a worldwide distribution strategy. In order to maintain cost efficiencies for our gaming community, we will be setting up warehouse space within the EU, South Asia and North America. This will help ensure fast shipping, lowest VAT and customs costs.
Warranty & Repair
AMSS is also our warranty and repair partner. They broker warranty and repair contracts with CMs to ensure fast and quality turnaround.
We are 100% gamer focused. We know you will absolutely love your Gameboard-1, but want to make sure you are able to return your unused Gameboard-1 for any reason. We know how button clicks can sometimes work faster than our budgets will allow. Simply send us an email at info@lastgameboard within 30 days or your purchase (or pledge), and we’ll refund your Gameboard-1 purchase (up to $349 minus shipping costs, if any).
In keeping with EU requirements and being all around good stewards of the Earth, AMSS will help us provide recycling services for any Gameboard-1s.
Duties & Tariffs
Today’s international trade world is … interesting. We are very aware of the impact that tariffs can have on both the sourcing and manufacturing cost side for TLG as well as the distribution costs for our gaming customers. We will work with AMSS to create a dynamic tariff and distribution strategy to ensure we minimize any added costs.
Don’t worry – our TLG Operating System (OS) is going to be VERY familiar to mobile developers. For all intents and purposes, it will be a very familiar version of Android. The main limitation here is that we cannot bring you the magic of Gameboard-1 with Google Services. However, we will make use of many of the traditional and well known/tested tool sets that mobile developers use today.
Single TLG App
We hate apps for apps sake. We have one TLG app (available on Google Play and Apple App Store) for all games on Gameboard-1. We do this by allowing data blobs to be passed to the app from the selected Gameboard game. These blobs can skin and control functionality from within the overall TLG app.
We see you Netflix and we call.
Everything seems to be a subscription model nowadays. But our approach is a bit different:
If you want to purchase a game, purchase a game. No strings attached.
If you want to play the latest games and the latest expansion packs or themes or legacy content, then subscription is for you. Our goal is to align the interests of our game player community with the game maker community. When you play a game, your subscription cost is attributed to that game creator. This ensures game creators are rewarded for their work and incentivizes them to put out great and continually updated content.
We are building a comprehensive platform bridging hardware, private screens and a gaming application library. We have the hardware, software and gaming expertise to pull this off and we can’t wait to share this with you. Pre-order your Gameboard-1 today.