2020 Year in Review

2020 Year in Review

Kickstarter

Fun & Nerdy

January 4, 2021

 Min Read

It’s safe to say that 2020 has been *a* year. So much disruption in all of our personal lives, in our work and even in how we usually like to have fun and relax has brought unexpected ups and downs for our team, for our manufacturing and game dev partners, and for you our backers. It has been a challenging year across the board, and as with all worthwhile challenges and main quests, it’s critical to celebrate victories, milestones, and treasured moments along the way.

This was sooo much fun! In this challenge, participants submitted screenshots of their fastest map runs and/or top scores on a single map. We loved seeing your top scores, creativity and excitement over this beautifully crafted game. Thank you for all your submissions, we’re excited to run more contests in 2021!

Wallace Wattles, the American New Thought author once wrote, “It is essential to have good tools, but it is also essential that the tools should be used in the right way.” We believe in giving developers the best tools possible, and in our responsibility as creators to use our tools for good. The Unity SDK Preview is the first step of many in making Tilt Five fun to build for and we're excited to see our tooling continue to improve and be more helpful for developers and creators. See the setup video guide HERE.

It’s always a bit nerve wracking to let someone else toss your babies around, but we knew our first early test glass to see the light of day were in good hands with our small group of partners and local testers. They’ve been very gracious and candid in their feedback and the rest of our backers will greatly benefit from this group’s willingness to put up with early hardware wonkiness.

Joe is our hero in China, on the manufacturing floor keeping that essential flow of information, communication, and improvement possible. The challenges of hardware manufacturing are very real even in the best of times, and it’s so easy to miss a beat if communication is not carefully handled. Joe has helped manage these communications so well and we’re so fortunate to have him working with us!

Left: Parts ready to ship to us | Right: Parts ready for inspection

Manufacturing can sometimes seem like a black box, where a button is pressed, and out pops a finished product. In reality, there is an enormous amount of back and forth between us and our manufacturer partners testing, prepping, and debugging and doing it again and again. This isn’t just for the first batch either, but is a continuous process to ensure quality for following batches as well. Here we were very proud to see the first parts ready for inspection before sending back for next steps.

Early tests thankfully uncovered a strange issue we hadn’t planned for, insufficient glue application on the projectors! Sometimes it's the little things you don’t expect that can bring some manufacturing heartache and essential learning opportunities. Future units will have a more robust build as a result of these early tests.

L: Custom USB cables | TR: Micro Projectors | BR: Wand tube

We love seeing all the hardware components for the headset and Wand come together, each with their own unique and complex production process, testing, calibration, and debugging mechanisms.

This first robot moves the glasses into various positions, and the left and right projectors flash a set of patterns at each position

Wobulator robot spins the headset around for calibration testing

This is another area of manufacturing that’s easy to underestimate and overlook from a casual outside perspective. We’re building something that’s never been built before. Manufacturers don’t have the tools, software, and ROBOTS needed for testing and calibration our hardware so it was our great pleasure to build them ourselves! These robots, tools, and software all take time to build and test and implement into the manufacturing process and are worth the care.

Hoorah! You believed in us first, and because of your enthusiasm and pre-orders, our venture friends wanted to join in the fun and make sure we’re able to get you your headsets, get great games on the platform, and keep moving above and beyond.

Our most recent major milestone has kept us very preoccupied. We’ve been prepping fixtures and our robots for the last many weeks and are shipping them now to the factory so that they can use all this equipment for next steps in manufacturing.

Throughout 2020, multiple manufacturing partners all over the world have been making all the necessary components for the Tilt Five headset and Wand. Then we’ve spent time hand assembling and testing and testing and testing these components to plan for any adjustments where needed. Now we’re transferring these raw components in bigger bulk quantities, converging in Shenzhen, China. This process takes time and careful coordination each step of the way.

We’re grateful for our team and partners who have all done their best to push through the gauntlet that is 2020 and move towards the promised land. We’ve worked with the resources available to us with all their constraints and with a fair bit of creativity and teamwork we’ve come out in fair shape, more fortunate than many companies have fared in such a difficult year.

Last but not least, we are incredibly fortunate and grateful to have such amazing backers supporting us on Kickstarter, on Twitter, in Discord, and everywhere else. Your support and enthusiasm has kept our spirits up throughout the year. We’re committed to making the best product possible and we want you to know that we’re …

Cheers to you all and have a Happy New Year!

-The Tilt Five Team

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