I live in Charleston, SC. I've been working on developing a board game for about 3 years (off & on). In the last few months I began to refocus on the game and I'm now determined to complete this project. In a few weeks I should be completed with game-play & the instructional document.
I would like to get a dozen or so boards printed (multi-fold) and send out some sets for playtesting to get some feedback. I am very proud of the game but I just feel like there's something missing. Some element or feature could be incorporated that would keep players engaged and excited, even when they are waiting for their turn to play.
I'm considering the Chicago Game & Card Company for printing my board (& maybe all the packaging). Does anyone have experience with this company?
I would not bother having expensive mock ups made for testing. Do them yourself and only have mock ups made if you need them for such things as getting investors to back the project. If something needs to be changed all the expense of having them made will be a waste, and since the process of testing is often incremental requiring a number of changes having new sets made for you at each step is prohibitive.
Of course the company that will make them for you may tell you otherwise but then that how they make a living.
I am just up the road in Charlotte if you need a "local" playtester - good luck with your design!
Thanks for volunteering! I will definitely send you a prototype for feedback. Please send me your info (mailing address) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do my own boards/cards/tokens etc. for my prototypes, you can see some at http://mrwgames.com/2012/06/16/the-abbey-development/
I've done short-run work for folks in the past who have wanted near-final sets of games to send out to blind playtesters. I will say that you should probably only do this if you're really sure you are close to final format. My local playtesters know when they see one of my prototypes that it's a changeable as index cards and a marker-drawn posterboard, but that's after a couple of years of seeing things change from week to week and I'm still careful to explain to new players that my prototypes are as often tests of production techniques as anything else, so don't be put off by it looking near-published.
If you're interested in me doing boards or other things for you, just message me or email me (matthew [at] mrwgames [dot] com).
P.S. I'm in Augusta, so not that far from you either. Regardless of where you're at in the playtesting, I've got a group that's used to playtesting games on a regular basis and great at providing constructive criticism.
I'm sending you an email.