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Cardboard, wood and the price

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adagio_burner
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I am geting ready to publish my next game, Galaxy's Edge, and I am talking to manufacturers right now.

This process involves making painful decisions and I'd appreciate some input from you folks :)

After much negotiation it looks like I have the following options:

1. Have lots of wooden parts. Include wooden markers for colonies and star bases (we'll need at least 20 colonies and 20 bases per player), wooden space ships (1 per player) etc. The manufacturing costs rise significantly, and the game box will have to cost at least $40 in the stores.

2. Have colonies and star bases made out of cardboard. We can still do wooden spaceships and other markers that are needed in 1-per-player quantity. Then, we can make it a 30-dollar game, or maybe even a 25-dollar game.

What do you think is a better choice? What kind of game would you rather buy?

Dralius
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I would rather buy a game

I would rather buy a game with wood in most cases.

With the prices you’re listing I’m wondering if you are allowing enough markup so that you can make some money on the deal. Most producers will set a SRP at 500-600% of the cost of production. Are you getting the wood sets made for $8 or less?

truekid games
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wooden pieces,

wooden pieces, definitely.

can you multipurpose the pieces? when set one way, they're bases, flip them over and they're colonies? (a la galactic emperor)

Katherine
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I prefer wood.

I prefer wood.

adagio_burner
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Thanks everyone, I think I

Thanks everyone, I think I know what to do now :)

Dralius wrote:

Are you getting the wood sets made for $8 or less?

Yes. Simple shapes like discs and cubes can cost as little as 1 cent each if ordered directly form the manufacturer and if your game needs a lot of them.

brisingre
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Wood

I'd definitely prefer a well-made game to a cheap one. Wood over plastic, plastic over cardboard, metal over wood.

truekid games
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actually, i just like the 3D

actually, i just like the 3D of the pieces (for thematic immersion)... if the pieces were cardboard, plastic, whatever, and 3D, then that's my preference. It is comparitively rare that i think a chit, even a full color one, is better than a representative 3D piece.

rtwombly
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$10 is not going to stop me

$10 is not going to stop me from buying a well-made, entertaining game. $15 will make me think about it harder, but $10 is right in that "who cares?" sweet spot.

Are those really the only tradeoffs you're having to make in terms of components? Have you already budgeted for high-quality cards and a mounted board? A $40 pricetag seems low for a small printrun with decent components.

adagio_burner
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Are meeples 3D?

Are meeples 3D? Here's a mockup (not actual photograph) of what kind of spaceships we plan to have. Would you consider that 3D?

truekid games wrote:
actually, i just like the 3D of the pieces (for thematic immersion)... if the pieces were cardboard, plastic, whatever, and 3D, then that's my preference. It is comparitively rare that i think a chit, even a full color one, is better than a representative 3D piece.

adagio_burner
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Yes, the plan is to go for high quality

Yes, the plan is to go for high-quality cards, board, box etc.

We're really trying to do a high-quality game, without any slack cut for being a small publisher.

I have been fishing for references to different printers (mainly in China) all over the Web for over two years. I found some of them right here on this forum :) This is now paying off as I can really look for good deals.

rtwombly wrote:
Are those really the only tradeoffs you're having to make in terms of components? Have you already budgeted for high-quality cards and a mounted board? A $40 pricetag seems low for a small printrun with decent components.

hoywolf
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Distribution

Since you are in the process of going to produce your game, who do you play to market and distribute it? I'm hoping to release a game too in the next year or two, but overall those two are what I'm most afraid of, if people don't know your game they wont buy and how will you get your game on the store shelf?

adagio_burner
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Well, we already have an

Well, we already have an ongoing relationship with the major distributors so getting them to carry the next game should be easier.

But in general, marketing is a problem. I am not very good at it :(

We plan to buy some ads, on BGG and maybe in some magazines, and send out lots of review copies, free samples and door prizes. Going to cons also helps.

I realize all this is not enough. But this is probably as much as one can do on a limited budget and with very little free time between the daytime job and the family.

hoywolf wrote:
Since you are in the process of going to produce your game, who do you play to market and distribute it? I'm hoping to release a game too in the next year or two, but overall those two are what I'm most afraid of, if people don't know your game they wont buy and how will you get your game on the store shelf?

truekid games
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yes, meeples count :) and i

yes, meeples count :)

and i thought the production value on cotfl was very reasonable, btw.

InvisibleJon
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A minority dissenting opinion.

I suspect that I'm in the minority in that I don't care if the game has wooden or cardboard pieces, as long as the use of the pieces is clear. For example, I really like Agricola when it has the sheeples and piggles and pumpkinles and such, but I have a hard time playing it when it just has the little colored wooden discs. In that case, I would rather have cardboard chits with pictures of sheep and pigs and pumpkins on them.

It's also worth noting that I've seen some very nice, high-quality cardboard pieces.

I suppose my point is that component quality is important, of course, but so are clarity and playability. If I can get the same quality of play out of a game that costs less, I generally prefer the less expensive version of the game. Take Twilight Imperium, for example. The original version of the game had little cardboard chits and was rather inexpensive. The current version of the game is frikkin' huge, very expensive, and would give you a concussion if it fell on your head. My play experience is roughly the same with both sets (actually, the portability of the old set makes my play experience with it more favorable) My preference? Old TI.

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