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Pirate Game complete - now what?

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Patriarch
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Hi. Me and a friend have designed a pirate game and made apretty nice looking proto type. Ofcourse all the artwork on the prototype is copywrited material, so its not ready for distribution per se. Original artwork needs to be done as well as poof reading.

However the game plays very well, and we are really happy with it. Thing is what now? Do we invest in it ourselves, or do we try go to some game copanies to have them buy it of us? The game is realtively expensive to produce seeing as it would have 5-25 plastic ships, 300 cards (action cards etc which need artwork), a board and quite a few counters. How on earth would one go ahead trying to produce this? What would you guys estimate it would cost to produce?

What companies might be interested in a pirate game for people of 10+ (we who made it are 25 and 30) and lasts 2-6 hours?

OutsideLime
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Quote:
Original artwork needs to be done as well as poof reading.

Is that hilarious, or what? Perrrfect.

~Josh

OrlandoPat
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Joined: 10/16/2008
Tough genre!

Not to be a downer, but you picked a really tough genre.

Between WizKids pirate themed click game, Days of Wonder award-winning pirate game, and the scads of other pirate-themed games that came out last year, the pirate-genre has been a bit overwhelmed. We actually put off development of our own pirate game because the market seemed so tight. I think the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie really spawned a huge amount of games.

This is not meant to depress or dissuade you. By all means keep going forward. If you self-produce, plastic pieces can be gotten from rolco (www.rolcogames.com) fairly cheaply. If you're looking for publishers, I suggest focussing on those that don't already have a pirate game.

Good luck!

- Patrick Matthews
Live Oak Games
www.liveoakgames.com

Patriarch
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

OutsideLime wrote:
Quote:
Original artwork needs to be done as well as poof reading.

Is that hilarious, or what? Perrrfect.

~Josh

Indeed :D

hehe... yep I know there are quite a few pirate games. But I kind of feel that just about every gener is crowded. Also the game mechanics could be could be converted to another theme if needed. However the game is rather different from both DoW and WizKids. In fact you dont even have to play as a pirate, but ould try win the game being a mechant or hunt other pirates.

Other ideas?

Dralius
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

I think the question is not weather you should publish or try to license it. I think the question is have others played the game? Not just your friends and family. So many people fail because they skip all the steps in-between. Once you think the game is good you need to get it played ALLOT! By people who don’t care if they hurt your feelings. Listen to every thing they say especially the people who hate it and then find out why then fix it. If you get a publisher to take your prototype and they find flaw in it on the first play BAM it’s gone. Of course they might find things they want to change even with a well-tested game but that’s just how it goes.

Now if you are self-publishing its even more important that you have the game be at its best because you will spending your hard earned money (likely many thousands of dollars), reputation (future rep if you don’t already have one) and time (hundreds of hours).

So to wrap up finish the play testing if you have not already then decide if you going to self publish. If you are spend about a year doing the research on production, sales & marketing.

I am not trying to be a bummer. Just remember discretion is the better part of valor.

zaiga
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Hello and welcome to the BGDF!

First of all, congratulations on making a game you and your friends enjoy playing. That in itself is already a great accomplishment!

If you are thinking about publishing the game you have to let go the idea that the game is "completed", because it isn't. In fact, you have just started. Without ever having seen the game I can already point to two things that will reduce the chances of the game ever being produced:
1) There's too many components
2) The projected playing time of 6 hours is too long

These are things you can start working on right away. Other than that: test, test, test. Not just with your friends, but also with other groups of people. Don't be afraid to ditch that mechanic you loved so dearly if it turns out people don't like it, or if it simply doesn't work. Designing a game is mostly a matter of adding things to a game, but developing a game (which is the stage you are in now) is mostly a matter of removing things.

If you have succesfully tested the game several times with different people, including a blind test where people had to play the game based on just the rulebook, then you might consider contacting a publisher.

Good luck!

Patriarch
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Thanks... Actually I have done a great many things that you guys suggest - including a blind test. :)

The play time of 6 hours might be too long I agree... but it really varries alot. We have had games last 2 hours, and some last 6. Oh well...

Any idea what a game like this would cost to produce, and how many units would be a minimum? Is it 500, 1000 or 10000?

Lets take a game like Attack from eagle games, but with far less plastic minis... what would that costs?

onew0rd
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

There is a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie coming out in 2006. It's called Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Go to IMDB.com and check it out. This is good news for you as not only does it mean a potential resurgence of Pirate Mania, but it also gives you enough time to whittle down the game from 6 hours and reduce the number of cards. As another option, you could consider a theme change. Space Pirates, Nomad clans in the desert, or Flying Zeppelins in a Steampunk type setting could all be options (as well as pretty much anything else).

Dralius
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Quote:
Any idea what a game like this would cost to produce, and how many units would be a minimum? Is it 500, 1000 or 10000?

If you want some numbers you can count on get a quote from any or all of the companies listed in the professional services area under web resources.

phpbbadmin
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Patriarch wrote:

The play time of 6 hours might be too long I agree... but it really varries alot. We have had games last 2 hours, and some last 6. Oh well...

You might want to employ the help of one of the members here to tackle this length problem. It wouldn't be that difficult at all to introduce a mechanic to limit the game time, AND it would probably make it a more intense gaming experience at the same time.

-Darke

Patriarch
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Thanks.. we have been discussing how to put a cap on the length of the game since my first post. We are thinking of offering different limit options for those with little time... We personaly just love long games :)

Maintaining an overview of all those professional companies here on the site is quite daunting. Dont any of you have a rough estimate of the price?

zaiga
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Patriarch wrote:
Maintaining an overview of all those professional companies here on the site is quite daunting. Dont any of you have a rough estimate of the price?

Yes, I have a rough estimate. Producing your game could cost anywhere between $1 and $100 per copy. It really depends on so many things, that it's hard to come up with a better estimate. The most important questions are:

How many different pieces of artwork do you want? The quality of the artwork will matter as well. Color, or B&W?

Do you need to produce custom made plastic ships (injection mould perhaps), or can you buy them off the shelf? How many different types?

The print run you are aiming for. Producing 5000 copies of a game will result in lower costs per game than producing 500 copies.

Remember that typically a commercial game will retail for up to 10 times its production cost. If you want to set the price point at around $50, you need to be able to produce a single copy for around $5.

Don't forget to factor costs such as shipping, warehousing, phonebills, etc, into the price.

Patriarch
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Thank you... seems amazing that a game of say Attack! ot Axis and Allies have a single unit price of $5! Thats seems very low... but again thats why I'm here... to learn :)

The optimal game would have 25 plastic ships... 5 shop types in 5 different colors.

A cheap version of the game could have as little as 5 ships, 1 in different colors. Then 1 ship would be standard ship... But obviously it would be cooler if ones miniature in fact looked like the ship type that your captain is actually sailing.

zaiga
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Patriarch wrote:
Thanks.. we have been discussing how to put a cap on the length of the game since my first post. We are thinking of offering different limit options for those with little time... We personaly just love long games :)

Well, if you are thinking about publishing the game then it's not only important what you love, but also what potential customers would love. There's still a market for long and involved games, but that market is pretty small. Just take a look at GMT's P500 list. For some games it takes a very long while to get to the minimum requirement of 500 pre-orders. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try and get the game published, but it does give you an idea of how may copies could potentially sell.

Patriarch
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

GMT's P500 list... link? :)

zaiga
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Patriarch wrote:
GMT's P500 list... link? :)

http://www.gmtgames.com/p500/gmtp50.asp

markmist
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Pirate Game complete - now what?

While you are there, you should check out another Pirate-themed game that is in production (Winds of Plunder).

It's weird that GMT would have a pirate game as 99% of their games are war-related games.

Patriarch
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Interesting,.. and this game has had 442 people who have said that want to order the game? (Or have actually ordered it?)

I took a look at the pirate game... looks fine, but does not discourage me from bringing my own forward. They seem to differ on quite a few areas :)

hpox
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

(Just to be an asshole...) :) :)

This works too: http://www.google.com/search?q=gmt%20p500&sourceid=mozilla2&ie=utf-8&oe=...

zaiga
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

hpox wrote:
(Just to be an asshole...) :) :)

This works too: http://www.google.com/search?q=gmt%20p500&sourceid=mozilla2&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Lol, that's what I thought about doing too, hpox. I guess I'm just not as big an asshole as you ;)

Patriarch
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

And thank you for that ;)

trnardo
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Patriarch wrote:
Interesting,.. and this game has had 442 people who have said that want to order the game? (Or have actually ordered it?)

450 (as of 7/14) copies have been preordered. The preorders won't turn into actual orders (i.e., credit cards won't be charged) until there is a sufficient number to justify the print run. Still, for all practical purposes, you could say that 450 copies have been ordered.

It has taken two years to reach that 450 mark, which is a pretty long time in terms of P500 titles. There are several reasons for this: the game is well out of GMT's core audience, the initial game cost was considerably higher (it took until last September for GMT to get the game re-bid in a range competitive for its target market), and a glut of pirate games has reached the market since "Winds" made it's debut.

You asked about print run sizes. Typical "small company" print runs in the Euro games market tend to be on the order of 3000-5000 copies. I've seen initial runs for some games down in the 1000 copy range. The problem with low print runs is that some costs don't scale (e.g., artwork, setup fees for printing cards & rules, professional layout, etc.), which would force your cost per unit up.

Of course, high demand will kick off secondary runs -- for example, winning the Spiel des Jahres (hey, we can all dream!) will almost certainly spark 6 figure order volumes out of Germany. However, while printing large numbers of copies will spread out your fixed costs nicely and let you take advantage of economies of scale, selling those copies without prior demand could be a nightmare.

Patriarch
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Pirate Game complete - now what?

Hi.. thanks alot for you information. I really appreciate it! I'm trying to work out how to get this thing going... how to advertise the game, and most importantly how to get it into production :)

The amount of different production companies, all offering more or less the same makes it quite a jungle :)

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