As mentioned in an earlier post we are now at a stage of contacting manufacturers to see who gets to materialize our visions of making a game that is not only fun to play but also an object that can hold it’s own when seen proudly lazing around the savvy owners coffee table (yes that is possibly you dear reader of exquisite taste and intellect).
The moral here is that you are going to spend a pretty penny on manufacturing, (well all of the penny to be exact), so make sure you know what you are getting with your money. Get the quotes you are offered as analytical as possible, remember nothing is implied if it is not written on paper and also do not forget to ask for a samples of what material or games with similar specs to your own your manufacturer has actually made.
About a week ago we asked one of the manufacturers we are approaching for some sample work. Today a box arrived in the post office. I cannot describe how surprised I was to find out that the manufacturer had sent us about 15 full games. The quality is perfect and they have completely sold themselves to us.
Ok guys we are convinced. Manufacture sorted..On to the next step….
This is a post about your two best friends when it comes to actually making your game. Yes I am talking about mr Designer and mr Manufacturer. You’d think that since everyone is on the same team here things would be hunky dory between those two. After all mr designer makes your product look good, and mr manufacturer well he actually makes the thing, so it is no longer stuck in the limbo of concept-land. Since mr manufacturer actually makes mr designers ideas materialize you’d thing that mr designer loves mr manufacturer. No…they hate each other…keep them separated…Have you seen the photos of cute cat and cute dog cuddling along…well they are not true…dog makes a move on the cat seconds after the photo is taken.
We are at a stage in our project now where our lovely most talented goddess of graphic design has got everything tied down and it all looks nice and impressive… so as natural progression goes we are approaching manufacturers to see how much it will actually cost to make our glorious game.
First point of conflict is that after receiving a couple of quotes you’ll have to convince your graphic designer that fold out shapes using spot uv and ultra rare specialist paper handmade by virgins in the amazon rain-forests using ecofriendly zero carbon state of the art inks is out of the question, as most manufacturers when you inform them of your budget want to print your game on loo paper.
Since printing on loo paper is not an option try to keep things simple at first… get to a game of acceptable quality and you build from there on. Oh wait I forgot here you have an issue with mr manufacturer…They don’t like changes, even the smallest change in your games configuration bears a huge impact on your games price.
Another think that I have noticed is that you are going to have as many different game configurations as the manufacturers you approach. Each one makes his own box sizes, card sizes, pawn sizes etc, so it is my advice to find one that you can work with and stick with them….I nearly gave my graphic designer a cardiac when I told her that I was considering to go from bridge size to tarot size on my cards. No don’t worry Chiara bridge size is good I love bridge size bridge size is our friend….
This is my piece of wisdom for today…they say opposites attract so maybe my Manufacturer will get to be best friends my Designer and they can have long conversations about color palettes. Who knows?
Things are running pretty fast right now and I have to make final decisions on practical issues, such as box sizing. The tip is to make your game fit in an amazon flat rate box (or squeeze more games in that box). But, you have to plan for extra goodies and stretch goals and t-shirts and all that stuff in advance: If you have extra items to ship, you will have to choose early if you are going to put them inside your core game box, or not! If not, make sure you have sufficient space inside your shipping box.
Your best friend in this endeavor is Usps’s box sizing in this link, and if like me you come from a country where decimals are appreciated your *BFFEAE* is your conversion calculator .
*Seriously, people? Inches? INCHES? What’s wrong with the metric systems? Ahhh!*
Anyway, keep in mind that the sizes on the link describe the inside of the box (which helps a lot). Usps has recently added the “board game box” flat rate box, so remember that if you jump into some older game designers forum or post, this small detail will be omitted. Besides that, talk to your manufacturer cause he may have standard box / board / cards etc sizes to provide you with, and adjusting your game to fit into standard sizes will save you a lot of headache and some money. I think that the Game Crafter is a very handy guide for sizing – even if you don’t intend to work with them for printing, you can always check out their standard sizes – they are widely common between manufacturers (those damn inches again…!).
Further reading here (BGG) and here (BGDF)!