Prosperitea: A Game of Artisanal Tea Blending

Created by Al Gonzalez

A simple and elegant card game about blending, selling, and trading loose leaf tea. From the studio that brought you Cantankerous Cats!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

State of the Game: Luminary Boxes, Bespoke Meetings, Games on a Boat!!
10 days ago – Thu, Jun 23, 2022 at 07:25:50 PM

Greetings, Teariffic Humans!

Aven here with a few updates on what we've been doing since last month. This is an update I have been working on since last Thursday because, similar to winter, the situation kept changing as I would write updates and I would have to scrap everything, rewrite, and reshoot. But the big news is that our games are on a boat!! More details at the end of the update, but the TL;DR is we have an estimated arrival date of mid-end of July. We will ask for updated addresses then. Read on for more after the video:

Luminary Box Update

The first completed Luminary Edition box!

I've finished tinkering in the workshop on the final Luminary Box design! The final detailing has been getting a lot of positive feedback here in person, and I hope you all enjoy the final look. I am particularly happy with how the gold accents came out! (I couldn't resist adding a bit more "bling" to the Luminary boxes)

All standard components neatly packed.

My laser cutting folks are currently on vacation, but we will start cutting all 150ish boxes as soon as they return. I will be enlisting some help speed the assembly process along so they are ready by the time our games potentially land here in the states next month.

A peek at the process

You can check out a video of me showing off the box here:

WATCH THE LUMINARY PREVIEW VIDEO (60sec)


Bespoke Meetings

In the time since the last update, we have been meeting with Bespoke Backers individually to discuss their teas and custom labels. These sessions have been great so far and we have really enjoyed interacting with these backers to geek out about tea, show off the game components, and in some cases catch up with people we haven't seen in YEARS.

We still haven't heard from everyone, so I will be sending a follow up e-mail to all Bespoke Backers to make sure we discuss your tea!


We're On a Boat!

We finally have a shipping update! As I mentioned in the video, yesterday morning we received notification that our games are estimated to arrive at the Port of Los Angeles by the end of July. There really isn't much more to say here that I haven't said in the video, but the TL;DW is that I am incredibly thankful for all of the patience and support that has been shown so far. And I am immensely grateful to the folks we are working with in China for manufacturing and shipping. Everyone has been working hard to get our games out as quickly as possible since their lockdown period ended and that isn't an easy feat given the small size of our project.

We will be sending out notifications to update your addresses once we have confirmation that our games have landed. And when that happens we will be able to start the packing and fulfillment process to bring this leg of our journey to a close.


That about wraps up this edition of "State of the Game." You all have my apologies for how long it has been since the last update, but I try to save big updates like these for delivering large chunks of info. I do constantly update my social media channels with snapshots of things I am working on (including the Luminary Boxes, conventions, and my other freelance/performance work), so if you really need up to the minute visual updates you can follow me there and keep an eye out for #prosperitea content.


Thank you all again for your continued support and patience. It looks like we may finally be seeing the light at the end of this tunnel, and I can't wait to be able to drop everything I am doing to focus on this full time when we get everything in hand.


<3

Aven

IG/Twitter: @menthadesigns

(the business account. Only updated with super polished materials, convention updates, and client work when I have permission to do so.)

IG: @bardofmanythings

(personal but not TOO personal. Where I dump a lot of my work in progress, unrefined images, and "not ready for prime time" content.)

Twitter: @bardofmany

(Slightly more personal than IG. Still learning how to navigate existing on this space as a performer/designer hybrid because they are VERY different beasts with very different expectations.)

State of the Game: Thanks, Tea Updates, a Wedding, and the Future
about 2 months ago – Sat, May 07, 2022 at 12:11:23 AM

Greetings, Beauteaful people!

This week's update starts with a huge thank you to all of the supportive comments I have seen. This is a very frustrating time for me and reading your comments has helped ease my mind. I appreciate all of your understanding, and will do my best to make sure that understanding is not wasted as we move forward. You can check out the video (on a new camera!) below:

 Watch the video here! (Kickstarter doesn't seem to like embedding YouTube videos right now) 


On that note, we have a couple of talking points:

Bespoke Backers

Bespoke Backer appointments are now open! I will be sending a message to all Bespoke Backers with a link to our Calendly page so you can book appointments to discuss your custom teas. This is tied into or calendars, so this should make it easy to click on a date and time that works for you when we are available.


Tea is Done!

All of the tea is bagged and here! We've been sticking labels on bags since they arrived last month. They look cute and they are the most environmentally friendly bags we could find while adhering to food safety regulations. I also have the Kickstarter extras in my possession like the tea strainer and metal First Player pin, so I will shoot and post photos in the next updates.


A Wedding!

IMMEDEATELY after posting my last update, we all feverishly wrangled ourselves down to San Diego to celebrate Josés wedding!! (José Pimienta is the illustrator who drafted all of the pencil work for Prosperitea and was one of the four artists on Cantankerous Cats.) This took a LOT of energy and time, but it was all good, positive energy. Many congratulations and well wishes to José and Kristen as they start the next chapter of their lives together. <3


Other Projects

While we haven't delivered Prosperitea yet, I still have to begin work on the "What's Next?" part of life as a game designer, So you will see posts of art and design on my accounts from projects that are NOT Prosperitea. And the two games I am working on are looking great!


One of them is a pirate game designed by some of my cohorts from my time at IndieCade, and another is a smol TTRPG project with a friend who's work has achieved some fame. This doesn't mean I am shifting my focus from Prosperitea, but I DO have to start showing the answer for "what's next?" that we get from pretty much everyone we talk to, be it industry or consumer folks.


In addition to these new games, I will be focusing on building Luminary boxes through the month in anticipation of our games being shipped at some point.


Thank you all for your support, patience, and continued understanding. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and remember;


Stay Safe, Take Care, and Be Kind to Each Other

<3 Aven

Alpha Hoomin of Mentha Designs

State of the Game: Game, Coins, and Tea are Complete! But There are Lockdowns in China.
2 months ago – Fri, Apr 22, 2022 at 05:59:45 AM

Greetings, Tea Folks!

As the title may imply, this was an emotionally draining update to write and shoot, so the text is just going to be a full transcript below the video.

RELATED READING: Wall Street Journal | National Public Radio

Greetings everyone. Been a busy month and there is some progress to report, but also some more bad news. And I am not happy about having to deliver it. I have been trying to figure out the best way to deliver this and there is no "good" way to do it, so I will be brief and to the point.


Our situation very quickly and very suddenly went from "we will ship the game any day now!" to "Well nothing is getting into or out of the country" almost overnight. And we gave the situation about a week to sort itself out one way or another before making an update so we wouldn't be creating emotional whiplash with contradicting posts.


The short version is both the games and the coins are complete, but they are currently stuck in China because of the very sudden series of COVID lockdowns happening right now. And our manufacturers have no idea when this is going to end. And things are BAD over there with no obvious signs of getting better immediately. If you want more info on the situation, you can check these links from NPR and WSJ below.


Without getting into politics: this is something we literally cannot do anything about. Nor is it something we could have planned for. But we HAVE been making progress on the things we DO have under our control, which I will get to in the rest of this post.


I know this will upset a significant number of people, but the only thing i can say is that we are NOT the only ones being affected by this. And as angry as some of you may be, I promise you I am the one most upset about this whole situation as this is my actual livelihood at stake here. I built my career on delivering fast, on time, and with meticulous attention to detail. And I have not been able to do that with Prosperitea. And there is a lot that I can't do for my future with an undelivered project on the books.


And I will own that, but I also have to do it with compassion for our manufacturers and their freight partners in China who have to LIVE in this situation. I am not going to throw anyone under the bus for situations that cannot be helped. There are people suffering far worse conditions than I have ever had to witness. And I can't imagine what it must be like to not be allowed basic necessities like food, water, and shelter. Their problems are more important, dire, and require more of their attention than making sure a small board game gets on a boat to one of the most privileged countries in the world.


And I say this not just to make excuses for myself, but to vocalize what other indie designers and manufacturers may not feel safe or strong enough to say in public. Because they fear the blowback of being late. Because they fear the harm that will come to them from some of the small, but very vocal toxic elements of the Kickstarter and Board Game communities. So I am doing the only thing I know how to do: be open. Honest, and as compassionate as possible. And focus on the things we CAN control.


And for those things, we are still pushing forward. We have made all of the tea, we are opening our calendars for Bespoke Bakers starting next week, and I am about to close the books on my contract work so I can start cutting and building Luminary boxes for all who ordered them.


And those details will come in future updates. But for now I wanted to talk about the big thing. The most painful thing. Because I don't like giving bad news. But hopefully all of the good news we will be rolling out will help take a bit of the sting out of this update. You have my apologies, and I hope you can show us continued patience and understanding as we wait out this latest storm.


Take care, be safe, and be kind to each other.

Aven Gonzalez

Alpha Hoomin of Mentha Designs

A Wee Update: Tea progress!
3 months ago – Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 02:22:27 AM

Greetings Tea Folk!

 First off, I want to say thank you for filling out the Luminary Box survey! And for all of the comments/suggestions on that post.  I will go over the details in another post, but the responses were split very close to 50/50 on this. In the end, making the boxes fit the paper components (larger size) won. And there were a lot of great suggestions on how to address the size difference.


For now, I want to let you all know that the tea is ready! And it's on the way to me here in SoCal!

From left to right: ProsperiTEA, TranquiliTEA, and IngenuiTEA (Prepared by St. Bastian's Tea Company)

Our friends at St Bastian's will be dropping by next week to hand off the tea and have a meeting to talk about the next phase: Bespoke Blends. I will have more polished photos then, but for now here's some shots Cynthia sent over from their NorCal studio space!

Scooping the tea into baggies!
Ready to be boxed up and sent to SoCal!

There are A LOT of tea bags to sort, pack, and prep and we will start finishing the job here in Los Angeles in preparation for receiving and packing the actual games.

The rich golden hue of TranquiliTEA in a cup. <3

 Game Updates: Freight Is Happening Soon

While tea has been happening, we've been wrangling our manufacturers and dealing with freight logistics, which will be a whole update. For now, what I will say is that the actual games have been completed. Our coin manufacturer has hit another snag, but have completed enough sets to fulfill all Kickstarter orders. We decided to split the order and take everything that is complete immediately, so games should be on the water as soon as our game manufacturer receives the completed coins.


There is a lot more to this situation but that's the TL;DR. Tea is done, games will be on the water soon, and I will be working on the final version of the Luminary box!


Thank you all for your continued patience, understanding, and support. There is a lot more to talk about, but I will be spreading things out over smaller updates so our content stays focused.


Stay Safe, Take Care of Each Other, and Be Kind.

<3

Aven 

Survey: Luminary Box Size
4 months ago – Sun, Mar 06, 2022 at 06:58:00 PM

Greetings, Baristas!

I've started fine tuning the design for the Luminary box and have come to a crossroads. Because of the significant difference in size between the paper and metal coins, I am going to have to make an imperfect decision.

The metal coins are SMALLER!

As you can see here, there is a pretty significant difference in size between the paper coins and metal coins. Surprisingly, the metal coins take up LESS space than the paper coins!

Paper coins in the retail box. (The coins fit in the included paper box. Favor tokens and player tokens do not)
Metal coins in the retail box. (ALL coins and favor tokens fit! With room to spare!)

As you can see in the images, the metal coins take p considerably less space when loosely packed. So I need to make a decision on which coins to accommodate with the Luminary Boxes. To that effect, I made a survey! SURVEY: HOW SHOULD WE SIZE OUR LUMINARY BOXES

The "One" coins

There are two choices for this one:

1. Size to the METAL coins. This means the paper coins will NOT fit into the Luminary box, but the metal coins will fit well.

2. Size to the PAPER coins. This means the metal coins will be VERY loose and rattle/jingle more than most people would like. Which will also cause extra wear to the coins over time.


SURVEY: HOW SHOULD WE SIZE OUR LUMINARY BOXES


I will leave this survey open until Wednesday, March 16 so I can keep up the pace on the box design. My current schematic accommodates for the metal coins, but resizing for paper isn't a ton of extra work as it is mostly a depth issue.

The "Three" coins

That's it for today's update! As always if folks have any feedback please drop it in the comments or reach out to us via messaging. I am really excited to finally be up and operational in my new space and can't wait to get more crafting done.

The "Five" coins.

<3

Aven

Master Barista of Prosperitea