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Self-Publishing and Manufacturing Costs

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Leeton
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Joined: 04/28/2013

Howdy all,

The progress of my card game is making rapid improvements and I'm in the process of securing a very talented artist for it. However, as I'm looking at the overall picture, I'm hitting a few snags. I should just point out first that I live in Ireland and as a result, KickStarter isn't an option to me. I intend to raise funds for the project through an Irish site that is similar to KickStarter, but lacks the great traffic of KickStarter.

Firstly, I'm trying to figure out the logistics of paying my artist. I am a college student and in the dauntingly terrible economy over here, I've no luck landing a job that is flexible around my classes. So my funds are virtually non-existent as they go straight on living expenses. We're still trying to settle on how much he'll do and what the cost will be (he's a college student, too), as there are a lot of variables and they often come back to the money element. Ideally, he'll be doing the images for 80 cards, which my graphic designer will then work into the overall card design.

Secondly, and more frustratingly, I have no idea how much the rest of the manufacturing will cost. I'm currently looking at Panda Game Manufacturing but in order to get an estimation, my game has to be ready. It needs to be fully designed and sorted. So without an estimation, I have no idea how much I need to raise.

Without knowing the manufacturing cost I cannot raise funds. And without raising funds I cannot pay my artist. The only solution I've come up with is to raise funds for the art first, and then do another campaign for the manufacturing. However, the likelihood of this working is slim, as I can't see people parting with money for a project that - in theory - might not reach the manufacturing stage. (It will, but they've no guarantee other than my word.)

So I'm in a bit of a rut! And I'd rather not wait far longer for the art because I can't even pay the artist peanuts, with the risk of him getting sidetracked or even taken off to another project.

Anyone got any ideas that might help the situation? I'm struggling to see a way around this.

WCanepa
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Joined: 01/31/2014
Have you considered using

Have you considered using free art first to create mock-ups to get a game quote? Or finding an artist or artists you like and asking them for a rough quote on number and types of images?

Leeton
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Joined: 04/28/2013
Sort Of

I really like the artist I'm working with and he's a long time friend, so I'm quite comfortable with him. There's a chance he'll settle on a cost over the next week or two after he's done up a few images.

I haven't thought of using free art for mock-ups, actually... The only thing is if I were to do that, I'd get my quote and then it would be months before I'm ready. The actual art would take a good while, longer if I can't guarantee funding (which I can't really without the overall picture), and then there's the actual funding campaign which is another 1-2 months. I doubt Panda would be sitting on an open quote for 6 months.

Shoe
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Joined: 12/21/2012
Artist

If the artist is a good friend and trusts you, why not just cut him in on the profits of the campaign. Give him some ownership in the game and its profits. That way he can make it big when the game does well, and not screw you out of hard earned cash if the game flops.

I'm very grateful to have an artist who stepped up and offered to split profits with me for the game I'm working on and he and I were strangers before the project. It's not impossible to find a way to fund the project after the fact.

On maufacturing costs. You really do need to know how much of each component will be in the game and the sizes of each component. If you have that much info Panda should quote you. They were able to quote my game with 0% of the art and graphic design done. All i had to give them was how much and of what ttype of components. THe quote for my game containing around $150 cards, 10 custom dice, and around 100 chipboard tokens was around 11,000 bucks for 1000 copies (the minimum number of copies). Maybe that will help you as a frame of reference.

-Shoe

Leeton
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Joined: 04/28/2013
Brilliant!

Thanks Shoe, that was a very thorough and uplifting response!

I might try Panda again in the near future once I've definitely narrowed down the components, as right now one or two cards may change. I'm nearly definite on the component numbers, though.

That sort of ballpark figure is exactly what I need to get my thoughts flowing. And to be honest, as my game as less components than yours, it is quite a nice figure to see. :)

I may have been a bit quick to mention the artist element of my problem, as we're actually negotiating pay as it stands. Well, he's saying he'll see how a few images go and then we can figure it out. I told him I could pay him before launch fully, partly pre-launch and partly with profits, or just pure profits. So I'm quite open to how it goes. I think most of all I'm just a bit all over the place trying to organise the logistics of everything, as I've never gotten a game to this stage (let alone been this driven in trying to get it published!). Thank you for your great reply, it's lifted some of my worries. :)

Shoe
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Joined: 12/21/2012
Just to play devil's

Just to play devil's advocate, there is a podcast called "Funding the dream on kickstarter" by Richard Bliss that talks about board games and crowdfunding. There is one major quote from his show that has me rattled in my kickstarter campaign prep.

If your crowdfunding campaign is unsuccessful, "You don't have a funding problem, you have a crowd problem"

the most successful crowdfunding campaigns are done by people who already have a huge supportive audience. Companies that already make games, people with webcomics, podcasts and blogs...etc.

the most difficult/important part of producing any product is just getting the word out there to potential backers/buyers

danieledeming
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Joined: 01/21/2014
Production Costs

Shoe, that's some really great information and I appreciate you putting it out there. Did that $11k include shipping as well or was that just for the product? That seems to be a huge variable I'm finding.

Shoe
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Joined: 12/21/2012
I believe that was just

I believe that was just product

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