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The Game Crafter

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3ddevine
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Joined: 10/13/2010

Hey Everyone,

I was curious to hear opinions on the Game Crafter, has anyone one used them before? What level of "sucess" did you find with it, did you make any sales? It seems like a good place to start for someone like me that has never put a game out in public before but I figured I would toss this question out there to see how others feel about it.

Mattterzi
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Joined: 07/27/2011
Prototype on the way

I just ordered my first prototype, and it should arrive by early next week (today if I'm lucky). I'll re-post and let you know when it arrives.

whoshim
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Joined: 05/02/2011
I used them for a deck of

I used them for a deck of cards and was pleased with the quality. I have not made any games public on there though.

fecundity
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I sell the Decktet through

I sell the Decktet through The Game Crafter.

I used to sell it myself, but at the end of a print run I decided it was easier to let them handle it. Their service allows me to sell it in several different configurations (three different card backs, single or double deck sets) and also to sell supplemental suit chips that are used in some of the games.

The quality is fairly good. When there have been problems, they have worked with people to resolve them.

In all, I've had a positive experience with them.

sswisher
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Joined: 07/14/2011
Glowing Recommendation

I have used the game crafter and have been very pleased with the results. The card stock and print quality is very nice and since the newest version just came online it's even better than it was before. Any problems that I have seen people have had been dealt with very fast and very professionally. Also, they have a great community of designers that are willing to answer any questions you might have.

I would totally recommend The Game Crafter to anyone with an inkling to design games.

The Game Crafter
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Joined: 06/09/2009
One of the owners

I'm the creator of The Game Crafter (my name is JT). I know that since I'm behind the service you can't really trust my opinions on quality or anything, but I'd like to reply anyway. So I'll try to give you some facts instead of opinions.

We've produced nearly 10,000 games for our customers. More than 60% of our orders are repeat customers, and the average person buys 1.8 games when they come to our site.

Though not everyone has seen success, because not all games are created equal, we have seen quite a bit of success in our community. A half dozen of our designers have had their games picked up by traditional publishers after using The Game Crafter. Last year, a game in our shop won the "Traditional Game of the Year" award from Games Magazine. And another half dozen designers have sold more than 100 copies of their game from our shop. While 100+ copies doesn't sound like a lot, it's really not bad for an indie title.

And all of this happened while our site was still in beta. We just released a new improved version of our process and web site last week. We now have more accurate cutting, better pricing, an easier web site, and a more attractive shop. We've really only just begun our efforts.

bonsaigames
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Joined: 12/20/2010
IP ECG

We just received our first proof set from them yesterday and we are very happy with the results : price ratio. The printing was clear and crisp, the cuts on the cards were consistent and accurate. All around results were great. Looking forward to beginning sales through their store. Haven't had any issues / problems yet so we couldn't speak to their issue resolution abilities. I think its a pretty good sign that JT monitors the BGDF though.
Levi & Sarah
www.bonsaigames.net

3ddevine
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Cool thanks for the comments

Cool thanks for the comments everyone. Im finishing up the art on my game right now and it sounds like a good place to start. If any of you have a game posted there right now post a link, i would love to see what this community has done over there.

fecundity
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Joined: 07/28/2008
"If any of you have a game

"If any of you have a game posted there right now post a link, i would love to see what this community has done over there."

A page listing all of the Decktet stuff available at TGC

edgd00
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Nightstalker Games

I've designed several games that I sell thru my own site as well as The Game Crafter. Either way, they are all printed through TGC. My name is Eddie and I'm an active member in the TGC community. You can see all my games here: www.nightstalkergames.com
All my games can be also found on The Game Crafter. Two of my games have made it to Staff Picks status. I'd love some feedback and am also willing to answer questions or provide advice.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I have checked the template

I have checked the template on the game crafters and I will not be able to publish my "fallen kingdoms" game over there for various reasons.

A- My board tiles are 8"x8" and that template does not exist. I cannot print it on a bigger board because they are tillable tiles. By the way, 8"x8" should be something very common in PnP productions since its the biggest square tile you can print on a letter page.

B- There is no tokens. In fact there are tokens labels that you apply on plastic tokens. But there are no cardboard tokens, and some part of the game requires large card board tokens which cannot be replaced by anything else.

So you need to have a game designed for game crafters in the first place. So maybe another game.

By the way, I strongly suggest that you place the dimensions of the pieces in your part catalog.

lorenoverby
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Joined: 01/05/2010
The Game Crafter

We've been using The Game Crafter at Atomic City Games almost since they began. We sell our games through the site, and we've had really good luck with them. Their quality and service has been great. I'd recommend them, even if you only use them for prototypes, and don't ever plan to sell through them. We sent a review copy recently to some troops serving in Iraq, and the process couldn't be easier. If you plan on sending your game to an established publisher, having a professional looking copy that you can just click and have shipped directly to them is great.

Loren Overby
Atomic City Games

Brykovian
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3ddevine wrote:If any of you

3ddevine wrote:
If any of you have a game posted there right now post a link, i would love to see what this community has done over there.

Here are mine so far ... will have a 4th game up there in a few weeks:
https://www.thegamecrafter.com/designers/matt-worden

-Matt

3ddevine
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Wow there are more people

Wow there are more people than I thought responding to this. These are some great looking games you guys have so far, its all very inspiring.

I have never made a game public before, and I noticed that some of you sell under a company name and others just your own name. If you have a company name (ex Nightstalker Games) do you have to register it any way or can you just go for it? Does that question make sense? I guess what I am asking is can you just sell games under a company name, or do you have to fill out a "Doing Business As" form (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doing_business_as) before you can use a company name?

Dralius
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3ddevine wrote:Wow there are

3ddevine wrote:
Wow there are more people than I thought responding to this. These are some great looking games you guys have so far, its all very inspiring.

I have never made a game public before, and I noticed that some of you sell under a company name and others just your own name. If you have a company name (ex Nightstalker Games) do you have to register it any way or can you just go for it? Does that question make sense? I guess what I am asking is can you just sell games under a company name, or do you have to fill out a "Doing Business As" form (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doing_business_as) before you can use a company name?

I'm not a lawyer but i recomend doing the DBA so you have a legal business name. For taxes banking etc.. You should be able to do it at your local courthouse and it's not expensive.

Mike Young
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Joined: 07/18/2011
My TGC Games
larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Quick note for DBA, it's not

Quick note for DBA, it's not all states that offers this option, and some countries does not have any.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
That's why I have my own company

larienna wrote:
Quick note for DBA, it's not all states that offers this option, and some countries does not have any.

This is true. But federal (or provincial) incorporation is not very expensive. If you can find an accountant to do your corporate income tax for a reasonable amount (<$1000 per year), then incorporation allows you to "do business". This includes things like being able to sell to distributors, sell to retailers, get your own barcodes, deal with other manufacturers (printes, etc).

The actual incorporation costs only $79 per year... The problem is that you need to produce certain reports for the government annually. The lowest I have seen for said reports was $900.

larienna
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You need to pay around 1000$

You need to pay around 1000$ each year? That is horrible. Are you sure it's mandatory, because I think one of my uncle had a company once and he was not making any money at all, so I doubt he would have paid 1000$ each year. I know that I could register a personal company, but I know there are many implication in tax declarations that I do not want to bother with considering I am making almost no money. This is why I would have preferred a DBA, but apparently it does not exist in Quebec. I even asked quickly a lawyer and he said he never heard of it. I asked to Quebec registry and they redirected me to personal company creation.

From a quick Google search, DBA seems to exist in Ontario and Maybe in Canada, but I did not find where for Canada. I don't think I could register in Ontario since I don't live there.

questccg
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Incorporation vs. registration

larienna wrote:
You need to pay around 1000$ each year? That is horrible.

Well it's not MANDATORY... BUT you need someone to do your corporate taxes. And to do them correctly you need to produce a set of financial statements for the company... Those financial statements is what accountants do for you. The problem is they aren't "cheap". Accountant know that you need to produce these reports because they are mandatory for the government. Like I said the cheapest I have seen for corporate accounting was $900. The reports used by companies be it SMALL or LARGE. And then you have to file your GST/PST reports quaterly...

But if you have a company and it is making money, a $1000 is not really much money (in truth). Paying people's salaries is a MUCH larger cost... So I think it is all relative.

truekid games
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Joined: 10/29/2008
the DBA just lets you sign

the DBA just lets you sign checks and present yourself "as" whatever name you choose for your business. it doesn't really have a lot of functionality besides the business name being the thing that'll be in the papers for anything extremely good or bad you do with the business, rather than your own name. more a reputation/branding tool. You can have a brand name for what you produce (a "company name") without a DBA as long as you don't try and present yourself as that company on legal documents.

if you incorporate, yeah, that's cheap, aside from paying someone to do your corporate taxes/filing. you can also (in the U.S.) operate as a sole proprietorship, which is cheap both to start and to get the tax stuff done for, generally speaking... though it comes with more liability if you get sued.

you don't need any of that to do business with people though. generally speaking, to sell/buy you're -supposed- to have a sales tax id. if you are a sole proprietor, i believe you can use your social security # instead.

So basically, you can get it all done very cheaply, you can even do your own taxes and whatnot, it really just depends on (1): what your goals are, (2): how much you're worried about being sued, and (3): how much effort you want to spend on doing your own bookkeeping.

3ddevine
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So for something like The

So for something like The Game Crafter I should be fine if I used my "3ddevine" branding that I have made for myself without it being an issue or needing a DBA?
But If I wanted to actually go around trying to sell copies of my game at conventions and hobby stores it would be wise to actually file as "3ddevine" and not just my name.
I realize noone here is a lawyer Im just curios as to what others have done.

The Game Crafter
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A little advice..

I've formed or help form 12 companies over the years. While I'm not a lawyer, I can give you a small amount of advice based upon experience.

Unless you've already made or are pretty sure you are going to make over $500 from your business in the first year, I wouldn't even bother filing for a business. Unless your game is a hit, or you sell more than just one game, your first year you likely won't make $500. The reality is that the game market is very tough, and there are probably less than 6 people in the world that make their primary income from game design. That shouldn't discourage you from trying, because you might just have the next blockbuster on your hands. Just make sure to keep your business brain grounded in reality while your game designer brain is firmly planted in the clouds.

The primary reasons to create a business entity are as follows:

- As a business you only pay taxes on your profits, not all your income.
- As a business you can separate your company's liabilities from your personal liabilities, so that if your company is ever sued for something, the person suing will have a much harder time coming after you personally.

The primary reason to run your business as yourself are:

- You can file your business taxes using your own social security number, rather than a federal corporate tax id number, so you only have to file once, and save yourself a little money.

Either way you still will likely have to get a retailers license / permit under your local or state government if you want to be legal.

fecundity
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Regarding business names:

Regarding business names: Some jurisdictions call it a "fictitious business name" rather than a "DBA", but it's basically the same. It lets you use that name for business, including cashing checks made out to the business.

The Game Crafter wrote:
As a business you only pay taxes on your profits, not all your income.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. This is true even if you are just yourself. Expenses in the course of generating the income are tax deductible.

kopetkai
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Joined: 08/24/2011
I would definitely create a

I would definitely create a business name. Even if your first game isn't a huge hit, you are still building up your company brand. Over the years eventually more and more people will have heard of you.

3ddevine
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Thats what i was thinking,

Thats what i was thinking, and why I asked. I have been working on my personal branding across multiple platforms and would love to keep it going with my games as well.

Jason William
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Joined: 09/02/2009
Game Crafter

I have enjoyed using the Game Crafter. All work that I have had done has surpassed my expectations.

I have a few games over there. One of which is an educational game I use in my math classes. It's great for teachers who want to create their own games for classroom use.

My games:

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/make-an-offer

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/object-action-creature

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/solve-and-settle (This one is the one created for my classroom).

MOON-E
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Joined: 08/29/2011
"Big" Game

I have a question for those of you who sell your games through the game crafter.

Most of the popular games I see on the gamecrafter are "small" games. They don't have very many components or are entirely card based, which means their prices are generally under 20 dollars or so. On the other hand, some of my games are very big as they require multiple decks or tokens. For example, one of my projects already costs ~40 dollars, which seems like a lot for an online distribution.

Has anybody had success selling games through TGC that include a lot of pieces and come with a bigger price tag?

Mike Young
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Joined: 07/18/2011
The problem with "big" games

The problem with "big" games is that there is usually a pretty high shipping cost for the game at TGC. Also, people are less likely to take a chance on a $40 game than a $20 game.

mindspike
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Joined: 09/06/2011
Seems like a good idea to me.

I'm prepping a game for release through The Game Crafter, and it occurred to me that it is going to serve just as well as a promotional for my other products. Specifically, I'm beginning promotion for Atomic Earth 2.0, which will have a Kickstarter project among other things. As part of promoting that game (which I hope to raise enough money to get into distribution through Alliance/Diamond), I'm also releasing a minigame on Game Crafter: Atomic Earth: S.E.N.T.R.I. Alert! This is going up soon, and will be a cornerstone of my marketing program. Without a site like the Game Crafter, I would be stuck producing my product myself, and I don't think it would be quite as high a quality.

pooryorickgames
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I use the Game Crafter

I am currently selling my game, Villains!, through The Game Crafter. The link is here: https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/villains

I have enjoyed my experience through The Game Crafter. Not only is the card quality high, but the ease of use of their website and supportive game design community really helped me out when I was just getting started designing the game.

I would also posit that the use of the website can aid the game designer in organizing one's thoughts when creating your game. I urge you to give them a try.

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