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To miniature or not to miniature...

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questccg
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That is my question ... to you fellow designers!

If you follow the Kickstarter trends, you will notice Minis games with over 70 unlocked stretch goals and a ton of figurines in the game ... seem to be well VERY POPULAR.

What's worst -- IMHO is that the PRICE of these games is PRICEY. They can range from $100 USD in the lower end to upwards of $300+ USD in the higher end.

Now while I ponder about me purchasing such a GAME... I would not. I would not spend $100+ USD on any game unless it's a game that I originally bought that might have some expansions that add on to the base game. Like say I could by Dominion and then add an expansion, to vary the game play. So paying $49 USD and then another $39 USD for an expansion is fine by me...

To me that feels natural. But out-of-the-box priced at OVER $100 USD, I'm sorry no matter how cool the minis are, I would not buy it...

Which leads me to the REASON for this topic:

If a game was FUN and EDUCATIONAL too (for kids) and the possibility of ADDING "Miniatures" would be more of a gimmick for the kids as opposed to an actual Minis game...

Would this seem like a reasonable route to follow?

See the game tiles are already color coded. So you know right away in the play area, which tiles belong to which Wizard.

But IF you had Wizard Minis and placed those at the FRONT of YOUR tiles ... it would be even MORE OBVIOUS which tiles belong to what player.

Now know that I am not a fan of "let's introduce minis because we can make more money with them"... Instead like with "Tradewars - Homeworld" the minis ADD Tactical depth to the game. So the minis would be primarily for kids to have them to say: "Hey, these tiles are mine." And the Wizard Mini would enforce that.

So what do you think?

Is it too much to add just so kids can have more fun??

Or should I forget about the minis -- because of the extra cost involved???

I'd like to hear your thoughts/comments/feedback/questions...

Cheers.

ssm
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From what I have seen,

From what I have seen, figures are mostly for adults. IDK of any 'kids' that spend hundred(s) on a board game.
Figures are 'collectible' & if they are of quality & at a price that is slightly better than a big name putting out figures, they will probably do well.
Figures also help people immerse more into the experience.
I don't see how a figure could add depth or extra strategy.

Ultimately you are talking about KS. Almost none of those titles will ever see retail release, thus making the figures actually collectible to many, since they will probably never be released again is the common thought.

questccg
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More input

Well see I am developing foldable Player boards (5" x 20") which will allow each player to keep track of progress. Aside from each board having some snazzy Wizard on the board... I figured I could have minis of each Wizard.

I've been doing more thinking and minis will just make production more costly. And for what??? So you can have 18 minis??? If the KS is AMAZING...

It's not my thing to make a design more complex just for such a component.

While adults may collect the minis, I see this as "more minis" vs a good game. You just convinced me ssm, no point in making the production more difficult.

Cheers.

FrankM
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I agree no minis

But if it's aimed at kids, you might want to consider including wizard hats of each color :-)

ElKobold
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Minis are not for kids.For

Minis are not for kids.

For kids I would go with custom-shaped meeples instead.

But most of all, I would start with a game and bother with specific components last.

krone9
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ElKobold wrote:Minis are not

ElKobold wrote:
Minis are not for kids.

For kids I would go with custom-shaped meeples instead.

But most of all, I would start with a game and bother with specific components last.

agree with this.

You could always do what we're planning to do - and have minis as stretch goals to be added if you get a lot of support (but cost up properly - sculpting, moulding etc isn't cheap at all)

questccg
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Don't think I like the requirements

krone9 wrote:
You could always do what we're planning to do - and have minis as stretch goals to be added if you get a lot of support (but cost up properly - sculpting, moulding etc isn't cheap at all)

That's also an issue. IF I don't include them, then players will focus on the game itself. Which is GOOD -- but at the same time BAD because all those mini fans won't drop a penny into the bucket.

But then there are other problems like "box size", ensuring minis don't get damaged during shipping, and others as you have mentioned already.

Meeples could be cool too... Checked Meeple Source ... they have ONE (1) Wizard for Waterdeep, but nothing else. Too bad. It's a good suggestion. I still have time working on the game... Maybe I'll see if they can help me out or not (with some CUSTOM meeples).

Good stuff. Thanks for the input... I understand why you would go with custom meeples (cutesy and less fragile and sort of whimsical)...

Cheers.

X3M
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imho

Only go miniatures when you already sold enough games? When you did sell enough games. You know the game is good. Then go for "graphics" in the form of miniatures.

questccg
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Prototyping

The problem lies with the fact that once I make a Prototype for the game, do I invest in 3D Printed miniatures -- to substitute for the real deal.

I don't really see much purpose for these minis to exist other than aesthetics. Something "nice" to make the game have a component for collectors.

But truth be told, I don't really care for minis (Aside for Tradewars). Because I'm not designing a Game "around" the minis, they would be there simply as an added component...

And I feel as if that is NOT enough justification for having them. So the game doesn't NEED minis to play -- and their introduction just adds too much cost and effort to produce. IMHO.

X3M
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Then I advice, to "don't". A

Then I advice, to "don't".

A waste of money and time. Especially for a prototype.

Unless, you want to show the game in public gatherings. Then you want to show it.

questccg
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NEED vs "Nice to have"

X3M wrote:
...Unless, you want to show the game in public gatherings. Then you want to show it.

That's kind of the point X3M: I would want to SEND the prototype to Publishers for their review. See OLG is specialized in Science Fiction games (or Space-themed if you prefer). SpellMasters is Wizards in a Fantasy Setting... It doesn't work for them.

So I will most likely shop around the design to a few companies ... and SEND them my MASTER Prototype.

Now that's the thing: do I invest in creating 3D Printer copies for the Prototype (I agree it's more money) ... But do you think this would add a more Tactile element to the game??? Would a Publisher want to make minis or not?? Just thinking about production costs and "necessity" versus "nice to have" ...

I think for a Prototype I will NOT produce 3D Printer minis. I'll just tell the Publisher -- "Hey BTW if you like the design, maybe you could ADD minis to the game to give it a more tactile feel..." Something along those lines and leave it at that.

I don't NEED the minis -- it would be just for people who like them.

JohnBrieger
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Prototyping minis games

I'm working on a minis game that's nearing its final stages, and my design partner and I are using nice standees to represent the miniatures. It's not worth the cost to produce prototype minis, but standees can still sell the theme and be more identifiable than generic wooden components. I can make these at home on my color printer. Then, if a publisher picks the game up, they'll do the minis.

It's a good halfway point thats still strongly thematic and usable for playtesting, and publishers can evaluate the game with standees and understand how it might play with minis.

Pic of standees prototype

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ssm
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custom meeples

As far as custom meeples go, it is just wood. One thing you could try is find out what wood is the most common for meeples, create a handful of shapes that you want, then find a woodworking/carvers group or a school with a wood shop, and talk to people about getting x amount made. They will cost more most likely, but they are yours and if you decide to go with it they can be the base to take to a larger shop for manufacture.
Having figures 3D printed will probably run a little more than the overall cost for injection molding. You can get the price down if you know someone in that field that can run the figures in the blank spaces during another job (I used to do this when I was in rapid prototyping).
If you are artistic or know someone that is, you could sculpt some, and then do some home casting for a limited run, and that material will usually have a cure time of several minutes making a run pretty easy to do in a short time. Removing excess can be as easy as scraping or putting some light weight grit in a jar with some figures and shaking it.

X3M
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Tin molding meeples

If 2d isn't your thing. And 3d is a bit far of. Try something in between?

Tin molding meeples is a way.

I had a time where I printed the pictures of my units. Then these pieces of paper where cut out into the shape that I needed.
Since shaping the wood is time consuming (and I am a lazy bum), I did this only once.
I used the shaped wood to press in hard clay. 2 long shaped blocks against each other. Leaving out the foot, you can get multiple meeple moulds with the same wooden block. The mould is used for molten tin to take shape.
After cooling, remove the rough edges.

3 mm thick meeples. Some proper glue. And the prints together. Gives you heavy colourful meeples. That keep standing properly.

Cheap, but requires you to get some different materials. It also helps to be NOT clumsy like me. I burned my hand by accident. Make sure the 2 clay blocks are locked together. Or else an accidental push might make a big mess.
Also ehm, give it time to cool off. Don't put them in the freezer either. Give it a day, inside the clay.

Did I miss anything?

FrankM
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Important lessons there

X3M wrote:
If 2d isn't your thing. And 3d is a bit far of. Try something in between?

Tin molding meeples is a way.

I had a time where I printed the pictures of my units. Then these pieces of paper where cut out into the shape that I needed.
Since shaping the wood is time consuming (and I am a lazy bum), I did this only once.
I used the shaped wood to press in hard clay. 2 long shaped blocks against each other. Leaving out the foot, you can get multiple meeple moulds with the same wooden block. The mould is used for molten tin to take shape.
After cooling, remove the rough edges.

3 mm thick meeples. Some proper glue. And the prints together. Gives you heavy colourful meeples. That keep standing properly.

Cheap, but requires you to get some different materials. It also helps to be NOT clumsy like me. I burned my hand by accident. Make sure the 2 clay blocks are locked together. Or else an accidental push might make a big mess.
Also ehm, give it time to cool off. Don't put them in the freezer either. Give it a day, inside the clay.

Did I miss anything?

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

questccg
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The Game Crafter (TGC)

ssm wrote:
As far as custom meeples go, it is just wood. One thing you could try is find out what wood is the most common for meeples...

Well "The Game Crafter" (TGC) allows you to create STICKERS that can be stuck onto different colored STANDARD meeples.

The idea is that FIRST the less expensive option is wood with stickers and then when the game goes to production, make it paint on the wood instead...

And the idea is to use the design from the sticker on the wood (painted).

Basically I need SIX (6) unique looking "Wizards": Red, Green, Blue, Purple, Black and White.

But even meeples are NOT necessary. The tiles correspond to the right Wizard... so in the play area - you know what belongs to which play. And since it's a co-opetive game... Everyone is talking with each other trying to make the best play for themselves and all the other players.

ssm
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Shapes

You could use shapes too. If you do an image search for wizards, you will probably find that the same shapes are used over & over on robes, hats, etc.
Without trying to sound like a commercial- red star, green moon, etc.

FrankM
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As mentioned, minis aren't really the right fit here

Assuming the players are supposed to pick random tiles at some point, I still think that wizard hats are a better physical component. With the pointy end down, sew in two overlapping flaps about half-way between the brim and the point. All of the tiles can be put in there to use the hat as a tile bag, but it can also be worn on the head when its not your turn. When it is your turn, take off the hat, reach in, and "presto" out comes your next tile.

I know that pulling-something-out-of-a-hat is more of a stage magician trope than a wizard trope, but there are enough examples of wizards pulling things out of hats to make it seem natural.

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