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Board Game Prototype

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earthfire
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Joined: 11/24/2010

A friend and I are creating a board game and I'm looking for tips on keeping the game cost-effective. I know that at the wholesale level, $1 is a lot, and it is generally doubled before it reaches the consumer. Something that costs me $1 at publishing might cost the consumer more than $2. I understand that and so I want to keep costs down right off the bat!

That said, are there board game dimensions that are more common and affordable because of industry standards, board manufacturer standards, printer dimension standards, etc?

Our game will likely contain a board, cards, tokens (plastic or cardboard depending on price), maybe a die, and a scorecard pad.

Can anyone give us some pointers on who can help us, or if you've got experience - flat out answer the question. What are the most cost-effective ways (outside of mass quantities) to produce the parts of the game listed above? BOARD, CARDS, TOKENS, PAD, DIE.

Thank you!

EdWedig
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Joined: 09/15/2009
Have you looked at

Have you looked at thegamecrafter? (thegamecrafter.com) They have a estimator online where you can price out parts, cards, boards, etc.

That being said, the price is really going to depend on quantity. Are you going to print 50, 100, 1,000? The more units that you produce, the cheaper you can generally get the parts (per unit). Scorepads are expensive (they are labor intensive, and most printers don't want to do them) the last time I checked.

As for pricing, a business friend suggested to me to price my games in quantities of 50, 500 and 5,000, with the goal of making each level pay for the next one. For example, the profits from selling the 50 games would pay for production of the 500, and the 500 would pay for the 5,000. On top of that, you need to be aware of discounts to distributors and stores. Most stores want 40% off of the msrp, and distributors want more than that.

Good luck!

-Ed Wedig
edwedig.com
Graphic Design and Web Design Services

hulken
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Joined: 04/18/2009
It basicly comes down to how

It basicly comes down to how manny games you are looking to make. It it is 2000and up I would recomend contacting a proper manufacturer and get several quotes to se wich one is the best bang for the buck. But be aware if you decide to go to china, you might end up with a bad factory so you have to do some research here befor you decide wich one to use.

If you have lower quantities there is several difrent ways to go, one is ordering the parts from several difrent manufacturers and asembel the game by your self. And another is making the parts, board and cards, by youre self and by the other components from difrent stors. This is not recomended.

Also there is a site called the gamecrafter that you moght want to chek. They basicly make the game for you, you can even seööt it from there site and get som potensial money that way. But again not recomended if you want to sell the game by your self.

hulken
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Joined: 04/18/2009
EdWedig, I do not think your

EdWedig, I do not think your friends model is of anny use in the boardgame industry. The margins ar very low al around. So if you where to make a cheap game you should be lucky if you will make 100% return. And that would mean that at the most selling 50 game could finace 100 new games. So having a marcup of 1000% seams not realistic at all to me. I think the reality is more of a 50% marcup than annything els. And for low printruns I would asume even less.

EdWedig
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Joined: 09/15/2009
hulken wrote:EdWedig, I do

hulken wrote:
EdWedig, I do not think your friends model is of anny use in the boardgame industry. The margins ar very low al around. So if you where to make a cheap game you should be lucky if you will make 100% return. And that would mean that at the most selling 50 game could finace 100 new games. So having a marcup of 1000% seams not realistic at all to me. I think the reality is more of a 50% marcup than annything els. And for low printruns I would asume even less.

I ran a few numbers, and you may be right. Thinking back, I think what he meant was that each level should help pay for the next one up, and to re-invest your profits to make more games.

On the other hand, you are not going to make much money with a 50% markup. From what I have heard, most stores ask for a 40% discount off of msrp (distributors ask for 55% or 60%!). So, a game that costs $5 to produce, if you only mark it up 50%, will sell for $7.50. A store buying it at 40% off will pay only $4.50, so you'd actually lose money on each game. Even if you increased the markup to 100%, you would still lose money selling to distributors, who would pay $4 or $4.5 per game.

Now, if you could sell your $5 game for $15 or $20 (requiring an increase in quality), you would be in good shape. At $15, the stores would buy if from you at $9, and the distributors would buy it from you at $6/$6.75. You would make some money on each sale.

This is assuming that you want to make money. If you are just trying to get your game out there, then profit does not matter.

-Ed Wedig
edwedig.com
Graphic Design and Web Design Services

hulken
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Joined: 04/18/2009
I think you have goten some

I think you have goten some numbers back to front or mixed up. And also if the game costs 5$ to produce, with 50% markup you sell it for 7,5. The stors discount is not on youre price it is on the expected prise in the stor. And if the expected price in the stor is 7,5 and the game costs 5 to produce I would say that you are in serious trouble.

The match should be that if you charge 7,5 for a game to a distributor the game will cost 18,75 in the stor. But if you sell it directly to the stor you can charge a higet price, then you should charge 12,5. These numbers are on 60% dicount for retailers and 40% for stors.

So I think you will se that the numbers will ad up if you use the price for the game in the stor, and then deduct 40-60%. But this caluclatiosn should already bin done befor anny one orders a production of a game. If you can not make some money on it it is a bad investment and hou would be better of saving your money.

salish99
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Joined: 02/22/2010
artscow

Artscow sold a 54 set of cards for 2.99 recently.

hulken
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Joined: 04/18/2009
Yes but that is ordinary

Yes but that is ordinary playingcards with costome backs. So that will not help. Unless he wants 54 of the same card, but with diferent backs. =S

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Direct to consumer, to retail, or wholesale?

earthfire wrote:
A friend and I are creating a board game and I'm looking for tips on keeping the game cost-effective. I know that at the wholesale level, $1 is a lot, and it is generally doubled before it reaches the consumer. Something that costs me $1 at publishing might cost the consumer more than $2. I understand that and so I want to keep costs down right off the bat!

I'm pretty sure that this is what several previous people are saying...

In the publisher - wholesale - retail - consumer chain, you can expect prices to work like this:

Retailer sells product to consumer for $50
Wholesaler sells same product to retailer for $25
Publisher sells same product to wholesaler for $20
Publisher (ideally) spent $10 or less to make product.

So, regardless of whether your plan is to sell to wholesalers, retailers, or direct to consumers, try to ensure that you can sell the game for at least twice what it cost you to make it. The market you're targeting has a big impact on how much you should spend per unit.

If you're going for small press, small runs, direct to consumer, consider Artscow (as previously mentioned) and Guild of Blades POD (currently not accepting new customers, but may accept new ones early in 2011).

If you're considering larger (500, 1,000, etc...) runs, talk to the printer. Different printers have different capabilities, so what may save $$$ with one printer may not save $$$ with another. Printers to consider: Panda Game Manufacturing., Ludofact, Marek.

Sorry to be short on specifics, but I don't have lots of time today. Best of luck!

gameprinter
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Joined: 08/06/2008
Flat out answer

Ok. Here is the math you need to base your finances on:

Your cost to produce the game needs to be 15%-25% or the full price.
You will sell to distributors at 40% of the full price.
THEY will sell it at 52-57% of the full price.
Retailers will sell it at full price.

Quick and Dirty rule: Multiply the cost of production by 4 to get an estimated retail price.

In regards to the most cost effective way to produce parts outside of mass quantities: There is none. gamecrafter.com might be a way around this but otherwise, you'll need to produce 1000 or more games to get anything like a price that lets you resell the game for a profit. Plastic pawns and dice are available fairly cheaply from rolco games and other suppliers like Koplow, but boards, cards and pads are going to be extremely pricey below 1000 units. Even getting 1000 games done in China is about the same as a US price after shipping.

I know this sounds negative, but the economics of scale are a tough nut to crack. Thus, go in with your eyes open! Good luck!

bluepantherllc
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Joined: 07/29/2008
Game Quantities

The advice already given is good. If you're going to sell in retail game stores and online game stores, plan on an MSRP of 4x-5x your production cost.

Lower volumes are possible, but they may involve tradeoffs. Do you need a "regular" game box? Getting 100 or 500 boxes made is hard to do - it's even hard to find a traditional box mfr that will consider it, but there are one or two out there. Does it have to be a folding game board? Or can it be "puzzle cut"?

Are you willing to do the project management yourself? Order the pawns from one place, the dice from another? There are minimum order quantities for these things that make the unit prices reasonable. Pawns for 8 cents each, dice for 7 or 8 cents each, but you need to order a certain minimum quantity. How about assembling all the components into the box and shrink wrapping it yourself? You can trade your own labor for a lower unit cost.

How "fixed" is the design? Are you willing to make changes to reduce unit cost? Example, if you want a 12x20 playing board and we tell you that if you make it 12x16, it would be half the cost - would you change your design to take advantage of our "standard board size"? If you are flexible, you can often achieve significant cost reduction while still getting 95% of what you really want for your game.

Finally, the question of selling price from another perspective - where do you plan to sell it? How much money do you need to make? Do you want to break even or use the proceeds of the sales to go make your next game or a bigger print run of this game? If you go traditional you(or your agent) - distributor - retailer, you do need to sell for 4x-5x MSRP. If you're going to sell primarily at conventions and/or through the Internet then the math changes. You can accept a larger mfg cost for the same MSRP or a lower selling cost because you don't have two stops on the way between you and the customer.

You can pay $25 for your game and sell it for $50 if your only expense is a demo table at a con. Or you could pay $25 for your game and sell it for $30 - your choice....

We have a customer that we did a small print run for, they got a booth at a major convention, sold out - took pre-orders for a second printing at the next major convention. And their second printing was alot bigger. Rumors of a major publisher picking them up too. The only question is - why weren't we smart enough to offer to publish it? :-)So the scenario can work that way - but for every one of these, there are many more that don't get as far.

SJ

salish99
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Joined: 02/22/2010
hulken wrote:Yes but that is

hulken wrote:
Yes but that is ordinary playingcards with costome backs. So that will not help. Unless he wants 54 of the same card, but with diferent backs. =S

Oh I ordered them with 54 totally random faces and designs made in photoshop for that price - just unclick "poker number" or whatever it's called, and you can just have your uploaded graphics displayed there, the ordinary cards face can be turned off.
The one thing it couldn't do was have 54 different backsides, they all had to be the same (which I wanted, anyways, in my game)

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