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self publishing my game

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Anonymous

I have designed a game. It has been playtested for two years or so. The response from companies has been, at best, minimal. I have decided to self publish.
My questions are about the mechanics of this process.
1) What company do I use to manufacture the game?
2) What will the costs of this be?
3) How long is the production process?
Please feel free to address any questions I should have asked, but did not.
zack

Emphyrio
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Joined: 02/10/2010
self publishing my game

1) Look in the "Professional Services" category under "Web Resources" for some manufacturers. Discover Games also has a list of manufacturers.

2) The costs will vary widely depending on the quantity and quality of components your game has and how many units you decide to print. Delano gives sample quotes for a Monopoly-type game (not including the pewter pieces) ranging from about $15 for 1000 units to under $7 for 7500 units, plus about $2700 in setup costs. You will also need to add fixed costs for artwork/design, unless you can do that yourself.

You should take a little time and check out the other posts in this section -- you'll learn a lot (I did).

Kackie
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Joined: 12/31/1969
China Manufacturing

We are a U.S. based company with over 20 years toy and game industry experience (design, production, licensing and sales) with a passion for our industry. We love assisting inventors and entrepreneurs to help them grow and be successful! That's why we provide a turn-key solution from graphics and packaging to sculpting, tooling, prototyping, production, shipping and even sales representation (direct to key buyers) assistance to our clients. Our work and materials are only high end, but you'll find our prices to be a fraction of those anywhere else. I hope you'll check us out: www.toysngames.com

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
Re: China Manufacturing

Kackie wrote:
We are a U.S. based company with over 20 years toy and game industry experience (design, production, licensing and sales) with a passion for our industry. We love assisting inventors and entrepreneurs to help them grow and be successful! That's why we provide a turn-key solution from graphics and packaging to sculpting, tooling, prototyping, production, shipping and even sales representation (direct to key buyers) assistance to our clients. Our work and materials are only high end, but you'll find our prices to be a fraction of those anywhere else. I hope you'll check us out: www.toysngames.com

Buyer beware! Folks, I don't want to delete this post because it is relevant. But I have to warn any prospective users of this service. As far as I can tell, this company has a good reputation on the internet, but I'm always leary of companies willing to do the entire process of game production for you. It seems to me like they would be willing to produce a game that might not necessarily sell, just to make a sale. If I'm wrong, I invite Kackie to please tell us otherwise, if they even bother to return to check the post.

-Darke

OrlandoPat
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Joined: 10/16/2008
You've got a long road ahead of you...

Zack, you've got a long road ahead of you...but a pleasant one.

If you're going to self-publish, you're going to need to deal with four different things:
1) Manufacturing. Call some manufacturers - Delano, Printing Productions, Sierra Packaging, etc.
2) Artwork: Check with some illustrators. My favorite is David Hile.
3) Marketing: You're going to have to market both to retailers and to customers, so get ready. You're going to be doing a lot of legwork for this one. DiscoverGames can help a lot with getting you some presence at trade shows.
4) Distribution: You have some decisions to make. Do you want to sell to customers or retailers? Do you want to get into distribution? Who are your customers and how can you reach them?

Best of luck, and if you have any specific questions, please don't be shy about PM'ing or e-mailing me!

- Patrick Matthews
Live Oak Games
www.liveoakgames.com

OrlandoPat
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Vouching for Carol

Whoops... I also meant to address Darke's concern. I don't have any personal experience with toysngames, but I do know Carol Rehtmeyer. She's also the person behind the TGIF convention.

She used to focus on licensing games to larger companies. It looks like she's branched out to also doing production.

I went to TGIF once (years ago), and ended up having a very pleasant lunch with her. I've also run into her at various tradeshows.

I feel pretty confident in saying that she's not looking to steal any games or game designs.

- Pat Matthews
Live Oak Games
www.liveoakgames.com

Anonymous
self publishing my game

Buyer beware of www.toysngames.com is right! Out of several different companies that I obtained design quotes from in the past several months, theres were over 11 times higher!

I'm not saying anything against their services because I have not used them. They may be excellent. But to be 11 times more expensive compared to some of your competitors is a bit much.

phpbbadmin
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Re: Vouching for Carol

OrlandoPat wrote:
.

I feel pretty confident in saying that she's not looking to steal any games or game designs.

- Pat Matthews
Live Oak Games
www.liveoakgames.com

I wasn't infering that toys n games was going to steal your ideas, but rather that they would produce any game, whether it was marketable/profitable or not. I suppose that's what they're supposed to do, but I think it might be misleading to some unsuspecting 'designers', I.E. people with a 'great idea'!

For example, if I came to them with an idea for a game about knitting, would they go ahead and produce it (thereby taking my money), knowing full well that it probably wouldn't sell? I guess that's why I'm leary of 'turnkey' solutions. Sometimes turnkey is not always the best solution if the person is naive about the possibility of their game.

Just my two pence.
-Darke

Emphyrio
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self publishing my game

BTW, Rehtmeyer has a minimum print run of 5000 copies. From what I've heard, unless you have a largely untapped niche market, a well-known license, or good contacts with mass retailers, a boardgame from a new company will be lucky to sell 2000 copies. Of course, there are always exceptions.

Kackie
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Joined: 12/31/1969
self publishing my game

Thank you all for your feedback. You are all correct on many things. While there are no gaurantees in toy or game manufacturing, you can increase the odds in many ways. We do offer a product review where you can meet face to face, just mail in your product, or submit it online. From the products we review, only about 10 percent are ones we encourage further. Where both the inventor and the manufacturer (not to mention the retailers) make money are on repeat orders. The first ones are rarely profitable. With that in mind, we are careful about products we produce and are very selective regarding products we might consider for license. We have a more turn-key solution to help with sell-through because we know how tough it is to get into retail accounts and how difficult it can be to attract key reps. So, I hired a seasoned industry professional sales representative just to help our clients.

I am also a strong advocate of self producers "doing their math". Too often I hear about someone who only wants to produce 2000 or fewer units to find out that there is no way for them to be profitable at that quantity. Typically, a run of 5000 is the minimum for profitability. Also, please keep in mind that as most of our production is in China, a run of 5000 will likely cost you the same or less than a US run of only 2000. So, either way, please do the math. All the major game success stories come from inventors turned entrepreneur. You are the future of the game industry. So, don't jump to conclusions,-- ask questions, see for your self, come to the Toy & Game Inventor's Forum (the who's who of the industry are there to answer your questions and help you) and hopefully, allow me the opportunity to be of assistance to you one day.

YojimboUK
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Joined: 12/31/1969
self publishing my game

One other thing: if you think your market is (say) 4000 copies but you can't get the cost-per-copy down to an acceptable point unless you print (say) 6000... go back to the drawing-board and work out either how to get the production cost down or how to sell more copies.

I realise this sounds like common sense, but you'd be stunned by the number of fledgling companies that can't work out why they still have 2000 copies of their game in their garage and can't pay the printer yet.

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