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Sustainable gaming

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mwhelehan
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Joined: 02/25/2010

This post is more about production than publication, but I thought this would be the best place to put it.

As I'm coming up with different game ideas and the such my thoughts turn to production. The socially conscious guy that I am I am contemplating a game made up of primarily or all sustainable components. Bamboo pawns, recycled paper, etc. I am even interested in looking at that infinitely recyclable plastic "paper" that the movie "Inconvenient Truth" is boxed in, it would make for good playing cards.

I believe it is completely feasible, but my questions are:

1.) Has this been done by anyone?

2.) Would it be prohibitively expensive?

3.) Is there a market for it? In other words, I believe it would be more expensive to produce, but are people willing to pay more for such a game. If so, how much?

Pastor_Mora
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Joined: 01/05/2010
Target

If your game revolves around an Eco theme, well, an Eco-target audience may be willing to spend an extra $ for green components. Moreover, they could be expecting that kind of components in your game, so you may not have a choice. On the other hand, if you just want to "look" green, maybe there is no big $ difference. I remember gamecrafter has some policy on it, maybe you could check there. I don't think their games are meant to be hi-profile so perhaps they have found a way around it. Finally, you could seriously reduce game components, skipping (regular) dice and printing the rules in the back of the box. Let us know how it turns out for you.

Keep thinking!

mwhelehan
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Joined: 02/25/2010
is it easy being green?

P_M,
The games I have in mind do not have an eco-friendly theme, but I understand what you mean. I'm wondering if it is a reasonable business model should I ever decide to self-publish/incoprorate, etc.

That being said, I wouldn't want to be "green" only in appearance. I'd like to promote an eco-sustainable business model in the gaming industry.

A bare-bones model could work AND be more inexpensive... but I'm wondering if a game uses wooden components, would it be a similar price point for bamboo pawns. If it uses chip board, are recycled materials cheaper/more expensive? Are there organic/sustainable paints and inks available, etc.

CloudBuster
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Joined: 04/14/2009
The other day, I noticed that

The other day, I noticed that my local game shop has decks of cards from Bicycle that are all made from recycled content. I'm afraid I don't remember if they're more expensive than their "normal" counterparts, but it was interesting to note they're making an effort in this regard. Here's a link if you're interested: http://www.bicyclecards.com/products/bicycle-eco-edition/6.php?page_id=30

I'm afraid I don't know much about entire games being produced with sustainable components, but it's a cool idea. I'm not convinced that being eco-friendly will (in and of itself) get people to buy the game, though. I like PM's idea of an eco-friendly game made of eco-friendly components. (see below) The game will still need to have that magic formula of good balance, fun gameplay, good mechanics, etc. etc. etc. to sell, but I'm sure it doesn't HAVE to have an eco-friendly theme.

I did a quick Google search for "eco friendly board games" and found this interesting tidbit: http://pressreleases.kcstar.com/?q=node/4350 I think it answers some of your questions.

Here's another game from a different company. The board and all components are Earth friendly and the game itself has an eco-minded theme:
http://www.sustainableisgood.com/products/2008/06/earthopoly.html

-CB-

mwhelehan
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Joined: 02/25/2010
CB, The Bicycle cards look

CB,
The Bicycle cards look pretty cool. They have an antiqued look that I like.

The other products you pointed me to are exactly what I'm looking for. While the games I have in mind are NOT eco-themed I was curious to see if an eco-friendly production was feasable.

Thanks!

CloudBuster
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Joined: 04/14/2009
My pleasure!

Hey!

I'm glad I was able to help! Armed with this knowledge, what do you plan to do next?

-CB-

mwhelehan
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Joined: 02/25/2010
waiting until summer...

As a teacher I won't be able to put things into motion until this summer. But I was planning ahead should I be looking to produce/publish my game ideas.

Honestly, I haven't even put some of these into prototype format, but wanted to see what was out there.

But I'm going to contact these publishes/producers and see which sources they use. Perhaps I could offer my games and see if they would be willing to publish them. The catch is, they're not necessarily eco-themed. Hopefully this wouldn't be a problem for them, but I at least have a few companies I could contact.

CloudBuster
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Joined: 04/14/2009
Ah! Yeah, that's a good idea.

Ah!

Yeah, that's a good idea. The first company I mentioned is simply using eco-friendly manufacturing techniques. The game they produced doesn't have an eco-friendly theme. The second company has an eco-themed game AND is using the eco manufacturing process. I think it's a great idea to contact these guys. You'll at least get some good contacts and who knows? Maybe they'll produce your game(s)!

Good luck!

-CB-

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Well eventually end-up with

Well eventually end-up with eco-friendly or Bio board games :)

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