Ok so for those of you watching my blog you may have seen my post in regards to the Strange and Numenera games I have picked up and tinkered with from Monte Cook Games. You may also remember my comments about the quality issues I faced when getting copies, and the lack of response from MCG when I emailed them on their own site.
So color me surprised when I get a post on the blog from someone at MCG, thanking me for the review and even asking me to send them pics of the damage I am seeing. Now THAT, is quality control. Even from a blog as small as mine with a limited views as I get. I say something, and suddenly I am getting someones direct email at MCG to look into the issue I am seeing. Personally I think it is awesome that they want to see what their customers see, and want to address the issues. I am very interested in seeing where this goes, and I want to share what happens with anyone who cares to read… if you wish to see Charles post to me please check the original post… ( https://gimmethedice.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/numenera-strange-a-k-a-start-of-the-cypher-system/)
My reply to him is below, minus the pics I took, and with store names XXXXXX’d out.
I hope you will forgive the quality of the pics I am attaching. I could not find my regular camera and so I was taking them with my iPad 2. Not the best cam on the planet. What did not come out well is the creasing in the spine on the exterior. You can feel it running a finger down the spine, but it just did not turn out with the cam as visible. As I said in the blog post this level of wear on the spine and the binding is something I would expect to inflict on a well used game book after a few years. Not something that I would see at time of purchase. The fact that the books are made with an extra firm spine board may contribute to the separation from the cover of the binding pages, and that may well be intentional. The pic of the damage to the cover of Strange was there at point of purchase. Also as said in the blog these two books that I purchased I did so only after refusing to buy books that were in worse shape. I checked out copies at three local gaming stores (XXXXXXXXXXXXX, and two XXXXXXXXXXXX stores) and two book stores (both XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX). All of the books that I passed over had more dings in the covers, and or more spinal damage. At the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX in Washington I took three copies of Numenera to the counter and told them they should send them back as the pages were not really attached to the spine and sections were falling out. They said they had not noticed when stocking them that they were damaged. Considering I was there on release day when they opened, I dont feel the damage could have been caused by people browsing. The tears in the pages look like something from over use or someone trying to open the book and turn it inside out. This kind of page damage is prevalent in both books to some degree. Again, this existed at point of purchase.
I hit the same five stores for both books, and in the end had to get them from the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX both times because all of the other books I saw were more damaged than the ones I took home.
I know I may seem like something of a snob or very picky with the books I pick up, and when I am paying current prices for new books, yeah I am very picky. As I said I would have expected these books to be in this shape after I was playing with them regularly for a few years. But then again I also take care of my books. I have seen people damage books in this way in a few months, that is not my way though. I still plan on using them, and enjoying them, and would not want them replaced. I would only ask that you keep an eye on your supply chain and the quality of work that is passed from your printers to your distributors. I love the games and would hate to see a quality issue hinder your company.”
Now then I am sure that some people will say “Oh but the only reason they reached out to you is because you took things public and they either have to address it or you can say all kinds of mean things about them.” And to all those people I say… Get over it. This is the internet. People post mean, evil, spiteful bull shit all the time. And you know how much of it gets a reply… ever? No, and neither do I. I am willing to bet though that it is only about 1% on any given topic. “Well what about the fact that you are on their Kick Starter for No Thank you Evil!?” Again I say so what. Look, just like I said in my letter to them, I dont want replacements, I dont want anything really, save for them to keep an eye on quality control. Printed materials are a pain in the ass to keep in great shape. Especially when they are printed overseas. I am keeping my copies and I am playing my copies, but unless their reply tells me they are taking quality control seriously, with terms someone who works in transportation and logistics can understand… then I will keep suggesting folks get the PDF version of these awesome games. 🙂 Thats how I roll.
So Gimme the Dice… I gotta see if the d12 will actually stick to surfaces like I saw on that… ohhhh… ohhh thats bad… gotta go…