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Kickstarter preview...opinions wanted!

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chris_mancini
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Hey all, I'll be shooting my KS video in a few weeks, but I've been completing the rest of my campaign page, and I think it's just about done. I'd love to know what you guys think of it!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/avantigames/1196058867?token=8f406188

I haven't dropped in stretch goals, and while I've discussed some with Panda GM, I'm not 100% certain I want to include them, as I wanted to deliver the best possible quality and best version of the game up front. Anyways I appreciate all thoughts and recommendations!

Mosker
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One thought

I almost never watch videos, but I started to this time. Why? Because much of the page suggests much of the fun is that this is a physical frantic game--but I had to extract that. You don't need a bunch of goofy graphics, just something more to suggest time and motion and pace. Something to think about in your actual video.

Glass shoe games
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Overall it's got a nice feel

Overall it's got a nice feel to it.

I would expand on the rules some more. At first glance it can be confusing.
Also I don't think $10 more for a "chrome" version is really a good value.

Glass shoe games
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Also are you concerned with

Also are you concerned with the price ? $20 and $30 for a game with 11 dice seems very exspensive compared to other dice games.

chris_mancini
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Thanks GSG for the feedback!

Thanks GSG for the feedback! I'd love to price the game lower, but at the minimum quantity price from Panda and the cost of tooling, I just can't offer it for that and cover all my costs with a meager profit to help cover the next production run.

What would your ideal price be? This is something I'd love for others to comment on as well! What is the price that would get you to back the game confidently?

I also did not want to skimp anywhere on quality, thus no stretch goals (yet.) SG's are typically improvements to quality, or expanded components. The dice in Scrambo are large, 20mm compressed resin with engraved and painted icons. they are of the highest quality Panda can offer. The box is thick cardstock, gloss coating. I could "stretch" things like the instructions insert, making it waterproof material or full color, but the dice are already tip-top!

Glass shoe games
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While I understand you want

While I understand you want to do this at the highest quality it's just far to much money for me for a dice game of this size. I wouldn't pay more then $10 for the basic and maybe $14 for the chrome. Just my 2 cents.

WinsmithGames
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Games looks fun, but...

I agree the cost is too high for a game that is just 11 dice. $10-$12 is probably the best price point.

Consider what other games you can buy for a similar price, like Fuse or Herbaceous.

Panda Games does provide spectacular service and products, but they are generally more expensive. My personal feelings are they are better for games ordered in higher bulk and with established publishers that can afford the higher cost for the better service. I've gotten quotes from them and compared to many other manufacturers, and Panda was significantly more expensive. For a new or self publisher, you may want to go with a more competitive manufacturer to get your price point down.

What other manufacturers have you received quotes from?

Other than the price, I like the graphics you've included on the site. You do a fantastic job of showcasing the game and components. The game looks fun, too.

I would be a little more upfront about the rules and what the game is about. But in my opinion, the price looks to be the biggest hurdle you will have.

chris_mancini
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So I'm definitely going to

So I'm definitely going to lower the pledge amounts, mainly by taking on the cost of tooling myself rather than amortizing it into the first MP run. I also see a decent cost break between 1500 and 2000 games, which can translate into about another buck off of the price.

Aside from what I will actually be able to get it down to...what is the price you guys think would be the easiest to say yes to? Also, how valuable is it to state how much backers will save in th campaign vs. buying at retail; such as "$5 off retail price?"

Thanks to all who respond; this is a very big deal for me and my campaign MUST succeed! With the knowledgeable input of this group, I'm sure it will!

Glass shoe games
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$10-$12 is about the max

$10-$12 is about the max price for the game.

questccg
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I disagree

Glass shoe games wrote:
$10-$12 is about the max price for the game.

Use the standard FORMULA:

KS price = Cost to make x 5 - $5 USD.

And offer FREE shipping to fulfillment cities (in USA, Canada, Germany and UK). This is of course a "subsidy" and other location needs to ADD more to their pledge for the various reward levels.

So it's like RETAIL - $5.00 + Free shipping (generally speaking).

To me this sounds like a reasonable approach. You won't make 50% retail because the HIGH price of shipping and then there is the KS discount which means you are offering a lower price point to KS backers.

I would never suggest a fixed amount - since it has all to do with your COSTS in producing the game...

Cheers.

WinsmithGames
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Hey Chris, we understand how

Hey Chris, we understand how important it is. That's why we want to help.

I agree with you that sometimes taking costs on yourself is important, but only as a means to an end. The end is that you need a game with a price that is acceptable.

Is Panda the only manufacturer that you received a quote from? If so, I cannot recommend enough how important it is to get more quotes... At least two more.

Wingo Games does 1000 minimum orders and has an excellent track record. I would recommend them.

$10-$12 is an appropriate price for a game with just a handful of Dice. Try and get the manufacturing (and shipping) price as low as you can, and then see how far you are off the mark. Maybe you can make up the rest with personal funds. If not, get it as low as you can. (A $16 game will do a lot better than a $20 game.)

Keep us in the loop!

chris_mancini
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Running the numbers

Your guys' help is very much appreciated!

I'd chosen Panda as they're second-to-none for quality; however if I can shave a significant amount off of my cost, I should at least consider it.

For transparency, and for the potential benefit of others moving to production of their game, the Panda quote shakes out to this:

1500 MOQ - $4.27 per game.
2000 MOQ - $3.83 per game.
Dice tooling - $4400.00; if amortized across the MOQ, this increases COG to $7.20 for 1500 and $6.03 for 2000.

By Kris's formula of COG x 5 - $5, I land at $16.35, not including tooling.
If I pay for shipping within this, that's another $7 domestic (which is pretty low; USPS one-rate is $5.95 and doesn't include the company and customer services which Ship Naked offers).

If I deduct the $7.00 for shipping from the $16.35, I reach $9.35; subtract the COG, DDP shipping to the warehouse, fulfillment and Kickstarter fees, that's knocked down to about $1.96, which would be my profit per game.

As the company I work for has a minimum net sales margin of 30%, I'm not even in the ballpark...and I haven't even paid for tooling yet.

So my answer is to not pay for shipping; it's the only way I can price the game reasonably and come out with enough profit to continue to manufacture and market the game. I started a thread previously about free shipping and if it adds a significant benefit, and while free is always good, the overall answers were that it's not a deciding factor. People expect to pay for shipping, so most consider the cost of the game itself as the most important number.

After all that; here's what it seems I can do, notwithstanding a change of factory:

1500 MOQ, total COG $9.50 per game with amortized tooling. That includes all fees for KS, fulfillment, delivery to warehouse, etc.

at 30% profit, I could sell the game for $12.35; if I round down to $12, that lands me at a profit of about 26.5%. If I round up to $15, which is $5 lower than current and I think still a good value, I'm at a much healthier "keystone" margin of above 50%.

Let's say I sell all 1500 games, I would land a profit of $8,250. This is not quite enough to cover another order of 1500 games and get them to the warehouse, but it's close enough to make it work.

WinsmithGames
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You obviously have an idea of

You obviously have an idea of the costs of manufacturing, shipping, Kickstarter fees, etc. That level of financial planning will help you tremendously.

But again, I can't stress enough getting additional quotes. I will generally agree that money aside, Panda will give you the best overall service and product.

However, other manufacturers will also give you excellent quality service and products. It's not like Panda is an A+ and the next best manufacturer is a B-. Many other manufacturers have been rated excellent on their service and/or product quality.

My hunch is that you have just stuck with Panda because:
1. They have been constantly praised for consistently exceptional service and products.
2. You want to provide excellent service and products to your backers.

Panda isn't the only one to do that.

To illustrate how other manufacturers can lower your cost, I got quotes from five manufacturers on a game I've been developing. Panda came in almost $12, plus tooling. Other manufacturers came in between $6 and $10, plus tooling. (Most in the $7-8 range.)

I'm not trying to bash Panda either. I've met and talked with multiple representatives at conventions. They are fantastic people and I believe all the hype about them. However I think certain scenarios merit certain manufacturers. For a new self publisher, they just happen to be on the expensive end.

Again, I applaud the level of detail you are putting into your financial planning. But you are missing one critical element to it... Shopping around for quotes. Don't just buy into the first manufacturer (or best) you see. Do your due diligence. It may help you drop a few bucks off your cost, and price.

questccg
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Too high!

For MOQ of 1,500 units, $4.27 is too high. Firstly you should have a quote for 1,000 units... Any manufacturer who doesn't quote for 1,000 units is one that smaller, self-published designers should avoid. I get that Panda "exudes" quality - but we all know that it comes at a price. Everyone knows that Panda is more expensive. At least that's what I have heard and with no 1,000 MOQ ... it's even higher.

The problem I see is that you have no "negotiating" power. Some manufacturers will allow a MOQ of 500 units given that you have done business with them before. Since you have no credibility because you are trying to do a 1st time self-publishing campaign... Well the manufacturers don't owe you anything.

Secondly don't dream about 1,500 games sold. From what I have gathered from Kickstarter is that if your game doesn't have miniatures - it ain't going to do that well.

Honestly our own campaign is pulling just over 500 backers (and that's from a pool of over 1,500 backers). I've seen some self-published, first time creators and the numbers aren't good: 125 to 250 backers. That's the numbers I have seen.

I don't know HOW to advise you, except to say be conservative.

Try to be a miser and pinch every penny you can so that you spend the least amount of money as possible. And that means finding a publisher that will do 500 units. Who does 500 units? Ad Magic and QPC. Both will quote you for that MOQ. They are brokers dealing with China. They may even have their own factories in China - not sure.

But I would go with them ... and get other quotes. You're definitely not in the market for 1,500 units. 500 at the most and if you get lucky maybe 1,000. It's a big figure (1,000) but entirely possible.

Get other quotes. That's my opinion. Cheers.

P.S.: QPC = sales@customizedplayingcards.com (or visit www.customizedplayingcards.com)

AdMagic = shari@admagic.com (or visit www.admagic.com)

Remember both will do 500 units. The price will be higher (obviously).

Update: I forgot your game doesn't have any cards. In that case I would forget QPC and deal with Ad Magic. I don't think QPC will do a "dice" game... but you can try... (doubt in my mind!)

questccg
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Other advice

Maybe consider making the game a "The Game Crafter" game and do a joint KS with TGC. That is also possible.

Look I'll be as honest as possible: do you want your game "out-there" in gamers hands? If so, choose the route with the less amount of risk.

Creating a TGC product and KS-ing it with them can make your goal like $2,000 USD and like 100 backers. And still the game will be made, people will be playing it, etc.

There are other avenues (not many) - but TGC + KS is one possibility. Of course your dice will need to be stickers - but that's compromise.

If we could all be as fortunate as Jamey Stegmaeir and make over $1M in sales on KS - that would be fantastic. But that's not the reality. So I say do whatever makes the most "financial" sense with the making of your game...

Cheers and best of luck with Scrambo.

questccg
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As for experience...

I've personally invested about $10k in "Tradewars - Homeworld". The campaign is nearing $26k... Perhaps this is one of the last investments in game design I can do.

The good news: over 500 people will get to play the game.

The bad news: as it stands, I don't see earning back the money I have invested.

Had I not invested, there would have been nothing to KS... So I took a chance. But at least people will get the opportunity to play the game and share it with their friends!

Note: My game started as a TGC game. I crowdfunded it with about $1,000 in sales (like 35 copies sold)... But I also had the opportunity to KS with TGC - but I decided against this, because I felt that I didn't have the ability to make the KS "viable".

Personally I would recommended KS-ing with TGC. This way they produce the exact quantity and you pay nothing (but the exact amount for production). And you can benefit from 100+ unit discount too (if you get that many backers).

chris_mancini
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I've contacted WinGo and sent

I've contacted WinGo and sent them my specs...here's hoping they can offer a better price, or at least a lower MOQ than Panda's 1500.

I've also reached out to Shari at AdMagic...thanks very much for that recommendation, Kris!

True I'd stuck with Panda due to their quality and service, but if the game doesn't sell for being too much $$$...I'm done before I even start. My gut and market research told me the game should ideally be $9.99 (best price)-$14.99(highest price), so let's see how I can hit that knowing what the other fixed costs will likely be. I'm confident I can get it down to $15 at least without putting myself in a bad spot...excluding shipping, of course. If I can get it down to $20 with shipping to US (not including it, but having the math work for the potential backer), I think that will be a good place. >$20, delivered.

Once the video is shot, I plan on editing a short 15 second teaser to use for marketing. As this is purposefully a "mass market" game, I'll be asking my toy industry contacts to help spread the word through their social and industry news channels, in addition to taking some other online routes. I'm hoping that those efforts will get me to the MOQ order.

questccg
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As a follow-up

Ad Magic has in the past made quotes for MOQ of 500 units. That should be something you can work with.

But remember "The Game Crafter" can have a joint KS for a goal of $2,000 (for 100 backers) - your $20.00 per game (if you can get the price down to that amount on TGC).

It's another avenue ... And one that involves the least amount of risk and investment. Don't discount it, just because you can't get engraved custom dice. I know stickers aren't that nice - but hey, if it's the first game you want to get "out there"... well the compromise may be worth it.

Just try to keep the MOQ to 500 and get a quote for 1,000 units. Then you'll at least be better prepared for what to expect. And consider talking with JT or Tavis at TGC about a joint KS. Worthwhile to explore all options.

Cheers.

chris_mancini
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WinGo response

I wanted to let those interested know of my experience with WinGo Games in regards to my small dice game, SCRAMBO.

As mentioned previously in the thread, I'd been working with Panda in the interest of sparing nothing when it comes to quality and service. This comes at a premium price, however...to the tune of $4.27 per game, excluding shipping, customs and any other costs of getting the game to the US and to the distribution warehouse.

For the past 2 weeks, I've been talking with WinGo, which I have to admit is more familiar for me as I communicate directly with the factory in China. That immediately removes a layer of "service" which ends up being paid in every game printed.

For the same quantity, 1500 games, WinGo's quote is $3.20; over $1.00 less than Panda GM! The materials are the same; 157gsm grey board for the box; 20mm resin dice with engraved and painted icons. They've even included a ziploc bag for the dice to keep them from rattling around in the box until it reaches the buyer.

Even at their lowest MOQ of 500 games, which now allows me to lower my funding goal should I decide to, is $4.93. Higher than Panda, but 1/3 the minimum quantity.

Lastly I should also mention that their tooling quote was less than 10% of Panda's; Panda quotes $4,400 for the tooling of the 11 dice; WinGo quote is just $350! I have to admit I need to look into this further, as $350 seems very low; I'd expect a reasonable tooling cost, one which includes the purchase of the tools and gives me sole ownership and control of those tools, to be between $1,200-$2,000. I'll follow up here with whatever info I get from WinGo on their tooling practices...

The bottom line is, the game will be less expensive for backers!

questccg
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First time designer...

As you may have seen "Tradewars - Homeworld" got about 1,000 backers from a pool of about 1,500... For a first time designer -- this is pretty good. But you need a manufacturer that will allow you to make 500 MOQ. Why?

Well you should price in the COST for making 500 games EVEN if you only get 250 backers. What you do with overstock is your business. But the Funding Goal should take care of up to 500 backers.

This means you could sell some via Amazon or with larger online game retailers which have an online presence for board/card/dice games. Maybe even direct store wholesaling... at 50%. During our KS campaign we got several direct stores who purchased twelve (12) copies of the game.

So you do have some options even if you have some stock left over.

Passing on the savings to backers is a good idea too...! But everyone has to realize that if you don't make any profit, you can't continue to produce more entertaining games -- if there is no return. I don't know how much you have invested personally, but from my experience I know there are costs associated with being a "Game Designer".

Wishing you all the best (in success)!

Cheers.

chris_mancini
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Would you recommend offering

Would you recommend offering a retailer-only pledge level at wholesale price, determined by a minimum quantity (6-10 games)?

I plan on offering the game for $12, 3-pack for $30, possibly KS exclusive for $15 if WinGo will work with me on a limited run of 100-250.

MSRP will be $14.99, so backers get 20% off.

As far as my investment in Scrambo, it's mostly been my own time. I did the game and box graphics myself, so the only out-of-pocket costs were things like the prototype materials, GS1 barcodes, paid reviews, and the monthly fee for the avantigames.com website. All in all, it comes to about $600.

As Scrambo is designed to be so accessible and inexpensive, I'm hoping for it to be a foundation on which more games can be introduced.

questccg
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For our campaign

We asked retailers to choose the $1.00 pledge and request ordering information. Basically the deal was something like 12 copies of the game for $30+ each (60% retailer discount)...

This is a way to get around that 10x copy maximum. Make the deal with them outside of the KS platform.

But considering your game is not as large, six (6) copies may sound like a good amount... The idea is to sell enough for people to buy and RE-ORDER. So it depends on the game quite a bit. But I think six (6) is reasonable.

We also had different tiers people could buy (stores).

As for the $600 investment, that's like pennies. I've invested around $10k for Tradewars - Homeworld (TWHW), with all the artwork and OLG is investing more because they wanted to add-on an expansion and offer the 2nd expansion as part of Stretch Goals. So yeah my guess is that we're probably at around $20k in total investment.

But TWHW is very Graphic/Art intensive ... and there are a LOT of cards. Plus we've included real cool Game Mats (4 per box) and better quality cards (linen, better cardstock, etc.)

Everything being RELATIVE - I hope my next game costs less to make! (Hoping)!!!

Cheers.

Note: As the Vanguard version has both Expansions, a co-op scenario and an AI Deck... We are well over the 500 card count of Dominion. I think we've surpassed the "core" game with something like about +20 extra cards more.

As far as replayability is concerned -- deep value on both the Tactician and Vanguard pledge levels. You're really getting a FREE expansion + a lower price for the Planetary Expansion + custom dice, etc. So you can mix and match how you want to play the game.

Glass shoe games
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I'm glad your taking a more

I'm glad your taking a more sensible road and getting the price lowered. You'll have a better chance of success that way. It should lower your shipping cost also.

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