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PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

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DrTorch
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Hi,

We just got our first production run of our first board game.

And one set of cards is completely mis-printed!

We had an issue w/ the prototype on this set (font too small) and only received proofs to verify the correction.

Now the font is still too small and everything is off-centered!

What to do? Will the design company be responsive? They were really BAD during the design phase. Countless errors, and we're 2-3 months behind the original delivery date.

The production company was highly recommended on this site, is this normal?

seo
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Joined: 07/21/2008
PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

From the little information you provide is hard to tell who exactly is responsible.

I work as a graphic designer, and through the years I've seen lots of this situations. The usual and safer way to avoid this from happening si for the client to sign an aproved proof (usually an inkjet or color laser print) before anything goes to the printer. That signed proof frees the designer from any responsability (it is YOUR responsability to check EVERYTHING is OK), and passes the burden to the printer, who should match that proof.

I know this might sound as bad news for you, but it's the best advice I can provide. :-(

Seo

DrTorch
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Joined: 12/31/1969
PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

I understand your point. We did get hard copies of the original proofs that came from the manufacturer, and that's where we found the font size error.

No other changes were needed, so a new font size was called out, and we approved a graphic which was correct (from an inkjet source like you cite).

We would have waited for the proofs on this, but the designer was already months behind schedule.

sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

It sounds like you DID try to fix the proof, so if it didn't get fixed, seems like the printer might have made a mistake. If the proof were not offcenter then I think that supports it.

I don't really know how dealings with printers go, but I would think you need to go to the printer with a copy of the proof and a sample of the finsl product and show them the problem.

- Seth

seo
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Joined: 07/21/2008
PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

But you got a corrected version by mail or something? If you did and THAT was what you approved, then the designer must have messed up when sending the files to the printer, providing him with one older version of the job.

I'm not sure how much value will this have legally, but most times, if you aproved one thing and the designer sent another to the printer, you can hold him responsible and, at least recover something by cutting his pay. But this is serious stuff, so you should check with an attorney before any payment holding.

Has the designer any familiarity with the printer? I have messed a job a couple times (not too often, but we're just humans, and you make some mistakes in 15 years), and managed to get the job done again, with the printer charging just the paper and other consumables. Most small printers, if they think you're potentially a good client, will at least give you some special discount if you need to redo a job because of some problem like this one.

Seo

DrTorch
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Joined: 12/31/1969
PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

Just for clarification, the design company was our go-between with the manufacturing facility (off-shore).

So, the design company had scads of errors during the design process, but this was the reminaing one when we finally received the prototype and proofs.

We received another proof before approving manufacture, but just from the designer, not from the off-shore manufacturer.

As to who is at fault, I am so discouraged by the designer that I can easily believe he sent bad deigns. His software seemed antiquated, buggy, and straightforward changes were alleged to be difficult.

The question is, when you've had problems like this, have the designers been responsive? We could probably just accept 1000 decks of new, individually wrapped cards and include them in each sale. That's a pain in the neck for us, but far cheaper for them.

And I'm a little panicky b/c we've paid in full at this point. Legal recourse is costly and risky. We were prepared to take a risk on this investment, but not a 100% loss b/c the games are unsaleable.

seo
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Joined: 07/21/2008
PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

I can't really answer your question. I'm a designer, and am extremely responsive with any client when I mess up. I'm even responsive when it's THEY that mess it.

But from what you say, it doesn't looks like your designer was very responsive before... :-/
But if they sent you a final proof with the text size corrected, then they must have mixed files when sending to the printer or something. I would ask him to fix the problem, in a politely yet firm way, and at no cost for you. He would probably be reticent to that petition, and there starts the negotiation.

I think it looks like you have some good ground to ask for the cards to be printed again with the right design. You should let him know how much this is a problem to you, how you are loosing money (and time) even if they print the cards again at no cost for you.

Best of luck,

Seo

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Re: PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

DrTorch wrote:

And one set of cards is completely mis-printed!

Yikes! That's definitely a bummer. Your story reminds me of an article I read by Jim Doherty of Eight Foot Llama games. The article is here. The salient section:

Jim Doherty wrote:
Who Stole Ed's Pants? Second Edition looked great, except for one thing: Quebecor had forgotten to round the corners on the cards. At first, this only bothered me a little, so I accepted the games and filled the first few orders. But a few days later, it grated on me, so I called them up. Much to my surprise, they took the games back, unpacked them, cut off the corners off the cards, repacked them, and returned them to me.

I think you're on pretty stable ground sending the cards back and insisting that the cards be printed to your original specifications. Of course, I think you've lost some of your leverage by paying up front, and I'm not sure why you had to do that; I'm not at all experienced in this area but it just seems like it would be normal that not all of the money would change hands until the job was done. Still, a reputable company should recognize that it's in their interest to do the job to your specs if they haven't done so the first time through, and as long as you can document that they have failed to do so, you should be on pretty stable ground.

Quote:

What to do? Will the design company be responsive? They were really BAD during the design phase.

By "design company", do you mean a game design company (like MJS Creations or GamesPlayUK, eg) or do you mean a graphic design company?

Quote:

The production company was highly recommended on this site, is this normal?

Hmm, you must have spent more time in the production forums than I have; I definitely couldn't name a single company that I could say has been "highly recommended" on the site (or, for that matter, a company that has been highly panned).

I think that a general guideline is probably in order, although it comes too late to help you, I guess. This site is a gathering place for designers, and if you need help balancing a combat mechanic or being told not to worry about copyright, we're great for that. Publishing a game is a major financial decision, and you shouldn't construe the responses that people post in the forums to constitute advice that you should follow and base thousands-of-dollars decisions on. Moreover, today is the first time we've heard from you, so clearly you haven't asked questions on the forums about the design company you used; did you contact the people who recommended the company off-line, ask many specific questions about their experiences, ask the company for references, chase those down and verify that those clients had good experiences, get samples of the company's work, etc?

I don't like the implication in your post that it's somehow the site's fault that this happened to you. I understand that you're frustrated, and I do sympathize with your predicament. But finger pointing is not going to help you now. (Neither is my giving you a hard time, of course). It sounds like it's either the fault of the design company or the printer or both. They are the only ones who can make the situation right. I really hope that they choose to do so; at an ethical level, they really ought to.

Best of luck.

-Jeff

johant
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Joined: 12/31/1969
PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

ok, it went wrong, i would focus on what to do next

print the cards again!

First let the ones responsible pay for the extra cost, if it doesnt work, share the expences with the ones involved!

Its still only part of the material that doesnt work!!!
good luck
johan

DrTorch
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

jwarrend wrote:
DrTorch wrote:
The production company was highly recommended on this site, is this normal?

Hmm, you must have spent more time in the production forums than I have; I definitely couldn't name a single company that I could say has been "highly recommended" on the site (or, for that matter, a company that has been highly panned).

I think that a general guideline is probably in order, although it comes too late to help you, I guess. This site is a gathering place for designers, and if you need help balancing a combat mechanic or being told not to worry about copyright, we're great for that. Publishing a game is a major financial decision, and you shouldn't construe the responses that people post in the forums to constitute advice that you should follow and base thousands-of-dollars decisions on.

I'm sorry that I've left you w/ the impression that I believe it's your fault. Not at all. I just meant that it was a company that people here have dealt with, and maybe some past expereience would come to light.

Paying fully up front wasn't my preference, but it was in their contract. In retrospect we should have negotiated to have some balance due until receipt and inspection.

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

Doc,

I'm slightly confused. Was it the whole deck of cards that was incorrect or was it a single card?

-Darke

DrTorch
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Joined: 12/31/1969
PRODUCTION DISASTER: HELP

Darkehorse wrote:
Doc,

I'm slightly confused. Was it the whole deck of cards that was incorrect or was it a single card?

-Darke

One full deck.

We have 5 various decks, the others were ok. This is the biggest deck (35 cards). The common backside was fine, the printed text on the front was wrong.

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