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Looking for feedback about newly designed Board Game Design Kit

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NANJIAN Games
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Bag
Dice
Cube
Card
Board
Disc
Gems
wooden cubes
Tiles
Sticks
Meeples
stickers

Greetings. It has been a few weeks joining the community and my first post. Glad to be "on board".

We recently developed a Board Game Design Kit, mainly providing a toolbox for game designers. It shall simplify the design process such that the designers can use the components in the box to create most of the games.

Here is the tended list of components:
• 24 Wooden Meeples
• 40 Wooden Discs
• 40 Wooden Cubes
• 40 Wooden Sticks
• 10 Wooden Pieces (Customized)
• Paper Boards
• 128 Paper Tiles
• 120 Paper Cards
• 40 Plastic Gems
• 7 Plastic Dices,
• 20 Plastic Cubes
• 1200 Stickers
• 1 Bag
• 1 Box

Looking for some feedback from first hand game designers. Is there any thing we can optimize for more convenient use?

Juzek
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You may want card sleeves.

You may want card sleeves. Most of my card prototyping uses card sleeves and printer paper with a playing card behind it for stiffness. There are plenty of times I want to tweak some numbers on the card, but don't want to re-draw everything on it.

Also the crystals may be inspirational, but I would just as much have more cubes in the box of more varied colors.

What about regular 6 sided dice? They are often a go-to due to their availability.

What are on the stickers? Different symbols?

I like the inclusion of chipboard tiles, those are harder to come by.

I wish I had a kit 5 years ago. Good idea!

X3M
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Waterproof Markers

But only in combination with surfaces on which you can easily remove the waterproof marker again.

I used that technique a lot in the past.

Example: Those plastic dice. If a designer wants to add a number on them, without the stickers. And then simply remove it again if needed. The damage should be minimal.

With the supplied stickers, I know the same can be done. But those stickers that are removed. Are they easy removable as well?
What about sticker depletion?

A waterproof marker can be purchased any where.
Those plastics, if being drawn on. Can be a great asset to the design progress.

This is only an oppinion of someone who did designing as a hobby.

Cheers, X3M

NANJIAN Games
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Hi Juzek, thanks for your

Hi Juzek, thanks for your reply. That's very helpful to have some feedback from experienced designers.

Card Sleeve is a great idea! The slot in and slot out would be much more easier. Maybe we will get some in the kit. There is a 6 sided dice in the dice set. Also D12 can serve as D6 in the same function. It should be enough for most of cases we believe. There is nothing on the stickers but color. All together 5 colors. The sticker can be combined with four-color wood and plastics. Then there will be 20 combinations. What is a clipboard tile? Do you have some examples?

NANJIAN Games
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Thanks X3M. Markers are good

Thanks X3M. Markers are good option. They can be applied to plastic surfaces, very straight forward. It might be challenging to write on wood and paper surfaces. Stickers seems a good alternative. With a marker, we can always write on the sticker.
The glue on sticker might be tricky. We do not want it to be very sticky that cannot be pealed. Too loose will result in depletion as you mentioned. Kind of dilemma.

questccg
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Maybe you could...

Make the kit with 6 colors for games that allow for more players (5+ players)?

You could use Black and White and still be colorblind safe... Designers like Jamey Stegmaier make 5+ player games... So some prominent designers make games for the extra player or two....

This might allow you to charge a little more for the kit... And it allows designers the possibility of adding extra players... Or even just consider the possibility.

Sure for 4 player games there may be some left over components... But that's how it goes with the extra player possibility.

Something to think about...

And as for markers, I would recommend Dry Erase Markers instead of waterproof... If you are going with card sleeves, the pen or marker is a valuable addition...

Cheers!

Juzek
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I think chipboard is what you

I think chipboard is what you call paper tiles. Some call it card board, or chitboard too. I am glad that you are including it.

I imagine this kit might be a good thing for students especially.
What is your target audience?

X3M
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questccg wrote: And as for

questccg wrote:

And as for markers, I would recommend Dry Erase Markers instead of waterproof... If you are going with card sleeves, the pen or marker is a valuable addition...
Cheers!

Dry Erase Markers...
Those are the ones I meant.
Silly google translater...

NANJIAN Games
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Hi questccg~ Thanks for the

Hi questccg~ Thanks for the feedback. I see you very active in the community. A lot of your replies can be seen here and there. Appreciate your kindly involvement.

Increase to 6 colors might be challenging for us mainly due to the cost issue. Technical wise, it is rather easy. Four-color is also the motivation for us to bring a lot stickers (more than 1000 pieces, 6 colors) into the box. The sticker basically can stick to any components. By combining sticker color and component color, total 4*6=24 varieties can be created. If we are doing very well (like more than 800 copies are backed) on Kickstarter, black and white might be set as stretch goal.

If we are adding a marker pen, it shall write on laminated board surface, plastic card sleeves and plastic cube surfaces. It also shall be easily removed using tissue paper. Me and my partners are working on marker pen topic at the moment.

NANJIAN Games
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Juzek, yea, the tiles are

Juzek, yea, the tiles are like Catan, but smaller.

Our main target would be game designers. It can be a convenient tool to create new games. It also can be use to create a personal extension of other great games.

It can also be used for upgrade existing board game, or replace the missing components. Like if someone lose some pieces in their old game, they may use parts from the kit for replacement.

Indeed there are some game design courses here and there. Even in Singapore, where we are located, there are such courses in polytechnic schools. However, we haven't built a strong channel to get into it. Maybe there are such demands in US or Europe, most likely we need to build connection with local distributors to get the kit into students' hands.

Definitely a kickstarter campaign will be run. Recently creating a landing page to collect emails. Here is the KS page preview link. I would highly appreciate if you can have some feedback on the KS page as well.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nanjian/1285901301?ref=agxa8s&token...

NANJIAN Games
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Landing Page is ready

We recently built the landing page. For those who are interested in following the project, you may subscribe here.

https://nanjian.com.sg/board-game-design-kit-landing-page/

AdamRobinGames-ARG
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I agree with a lot of the suggestions

I agree with a lot of the suggestions. Sleeves are a great addition. I would also like 6 colors of the wood components (even if that means doing 8 of each rather than 10 of 4 colors). Or instead of making the 6 color kit a stretch goal, make a duplicate kit with black, white, purple and orange as the 4 colors for everything.

Another option would be to have this as two separate kits. I had the idea a while ago (though I never got very far) to create game style focused kits.

For instance a Deck Builder Game Kit would be heavy in blank cards and sleeves with various size and shape smaller punch-outs.

A Resource Management Game Kit may have a mix similar to what you show. (Though I'd ditch the gems for another wood shape or two.)

Dice Game Kit may come with a lot more blank d6s and stickers.

RPG Game Kit would come with a few sets of RPG dice and some basic instructions.

A Roll and Move Game Kit would basically come with a blank monopoly set.

But that's probably why I never got to far with it, too many ideas.

questccg
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I definitely agree... But I have another perspective

Okay... So instead of having 6 colors (or 8) as plain stretch goals, I would make Premium reward tiers. What do I mean?

So your BASE kit has 4 colors only... And is priced at $x.00.

A PREMIUM kit has 6 colors and is priced at $x.00 + $y.00. So more expensive... But it's like ADD-ON content.

An ULTRA kit has 8 colors and is priced at $x.00 + $y.00 + $z.00. Again ADD-ON content but MORE of it... For certain design that require more players.

The beauty of this is you have a BASE + extras for 6 and 8 players. Granted most will probably go for the PREMIUM kit and then the ULTRA kit and lastly your BASE kit...

How do I know this??? Because this is similar to my game TradeWorlds. Once we offered more exclusive content... Many backers chose to UP their pledges and choose more expensive rewards and took us further into more funding (say $20,000 to $50,000).

So I would think of this and do something like this:

1. Start by offering ONLY the BASE kit.

2. Have a low stretch goal which UNLOCKS the PREMIUM kit. Many backers will choose to upgrade to this reward level.

3. Later on with more funding add another stretch goal which UNLOCKS the ULTRA kit. Some backers will upgrade to this reward level too.

So you will go from reaching your GOAL to getting more monies from the PREMIUM kits and then you'll land up with BONUS monies when you offer that ULTRA kit.

THE KEY IS: start with ONLY the BASE kit. UNLOCK the PREMIUM and ULTRA as you reach stretch goals... So you will ADD NEW reward levels as your KS progresses.

Again these are just ideas. Feel free to ignore if you are not interested in them.

Cheers!

NANJIAN Games
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It could be another color set to unlock

AdamRobinGames-ARG and questccg, the colors has been discussed among us within the team for many rounds. Due to the budget reason, it has been limited to 4 colors. The scale of manufacturing would affect the cost by large, which could result in 4 or 5 times difference. The main issue for us is the unknown sales. There is another option: create an identical set with another four colors (white/black/orange/purple), and set the 2 copies combo as a reward level. According to current calculation, 1200 copies shall break even for unlocking this (there are another 5 unlocks before that). By adding another color system, it really become much more challenging, in term of manufacturing, publicity, resource managing, logistic and so on. The benefit would giving game designers more flexibility during the design process. We definitely want to give more values to the backers. Let's see how the campaign goes.

You may subscribe here: https://nanjian.com.sg/board-game-design-kit-landing-page/

X3M
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2x4

Is a smarter idea imho.

Have you thought about adding a little "nano" cloth. For removing the penmarker inkt?

NANJIAN Games
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with an eraser

If a marker pen is added, the one with eraser will it be.

If interested, may subscribe to our project from the following link.

https://nanjian.com.sg/board-game-design-kit-landing-page/

Jay103
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Another possibility would be

Another possibility would be a modular kit. Each module could be a little bigger or more robust, but would be optional.

So the whole dry-erase thing could be its own module, maybe "wooden stuff" another, cards another.

Then I'm not thinking to myself, well, I don't need the wood stuff or the gems, so I'm not really saving much money, and now I'll be stuck with a bunch of wood pieces I'm not gonna use.

Because if my game doesn't need wooden discs, cubes, sticks, or other pieces, this probably isn't the toolbox for me. I can just print onto paper and cut (and sleeve) my own cards, use the dice sets I already own, etc.

questccg
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Print-On-Demand(?)

My only concern is how attractive a "Design Kit" is in 2020. If it's NOT well priced and has "MORE" than a designer needs... Well then I would say that most designers would probably choose a POD printer (Print-On-Demand).

These are services like Print Ninja, Superior POD, Print And Play and The Game Crafter ... To name a few.

I don't think you need to divide it into "modules" because it is HARD to have a Kickstarter, let alone need to "personalize" each kit. I already explained that adding more pieces for 6 or 8 players could be a play on Stretch Goals "featuring" additional Reward Tiers (levels).

Also... TO SAVE ON MONEY (and make the kit MORE attractive), I would simply VARNISH (or UV Coat) the blank cards. This way a designer can just write directly on the "Paper-coated" cards with Dry-Erase Marker or Pen. This would be MUCH more useful.

It will also NOT require "Plastic Sleeves". VARNISH (or UV Coat) can be used on ALL the various Paper components of the kit.

Just some additional thoughts to help you guys out! Cheers.

NANJIAN Games
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hmm... Modulation...

Actually if we can reach 3000 copies, modulation design might also be a good choice, in term of cost saving and logistic. Let's see how far it can go.

NANJIAN Games
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"how attractive" is our

"how attractive" is our concerns as well. The price will be less than $30 USD excluding shipping. Now we are not really familiar how to approach targeted audiences. We will run fb ads, and currently contacting jellop. Not really sure if there is anything else that may help...

questccg
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Are "multiple" games possible?

Can the kit be used to make MORE than a single game? I think if there is a sufficient amount of content that will allow multiple games to be designed then by all means you have an "attractive" product. POD games can be very inexpensive at the prototype level (under $30 too). But not too much TBH. A POD game is probably around $25 to $30 USD too.

That's why I am suggesting that you can make multiple games... If so this is a very affordable and reasonably easy product to prototype with.

There's NO box. But there is a BAG. One Material Bag. This suggests you keep everything together in the Bag once you open the kit. NOT very attractive if you ask me. Maybe 2 Bags, 1 Black and 1 Gray...?! Why? So you can store your "game/prototype" in ONE and the remainder of components in the second Bag... IDK I'm just thinking: "One bag doesn't seem like it is enough...!"

I see an issue with the "storage" of your prototype vs. the remaining content of the Design Kit (whatever is unused). Maybe the prototype game Bag could be SMALLER (not as large), IDK ... just thinking...

Note #1: Some MORE ideas. MAKE the MASTER Pouch for all the Design Kit's Content to be a LARGE "Black" Bag. Secondly my suggestion is that you ADD/Include 4 colors of "medium-sized" Bags such that it could be 4 prototypes or 1 bag per player-type of configuration.

I think this would GREATLY Enhance the kit's worth and value. It makes sense to be able to have A> Multiple Products or B> Single Product, Multiple Gamers.

Those are the TWO (2) possible combination I would strive to work for.

Note #2: So I reviewed the amount of BLANK cards. And... 120 cards with UV Varnish (or coating) is good enough for 2 games. A deck of standard cards is usually 52 + 2 Jokers so 54 cards. 60 cards divided by 15 gives 4 suits or 4 players...

The only part that the Kit is a bit weak on is the extra Material Bags. If you could ADD FOUR (4): Red, Green, Blue and Ocher ... That would make the game designers design more "modular" and either have ONE (1) colored Pouch for one of those games or use all four Pouches for multiple player counts.

NANJIAN Games
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there is a box ...

Hi Questccg,

Thanks a lot for your detailed reply. Sorry for the confusion. Actually there is a big box. I just think it is part of packaging, so not listed here. Although it does have some practical functions. You can see the details here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nanjian/board-game-design-kit?ref=a...

The box contribute 25% of overall manufacturing cost. So it is a very solid and heavy and robust box. We designed the box such that designer can write name of the game and designer's name on the main surface. The box is the same size as Azul. When holding everything inside, there are still some spaces for designer to put their own stuff.

In term of amount of components, we think it is enough for a mid-heavy euro game, or two causal games. To be honest, it might not be enough for two heavy games. The 120 cards are divided into two sizes: poker size and mini euro size. So each size got 60 cards. I think the main limitation is board. There are only 4 large boards, so should be enough for one heavy games. There is only one dice set as well. It really depends on the game designed.

The current bag is only 15 mm * 20 mm, a little larger than an iphone. So it is mainly for collecting tiles and dices. You may perform blind drawing using the bag.

questccg
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Another idea for you... (concerning dice)

Throw in 2 Standard Black (white pips) dice to the Kit (2d6s). This could add more flexibility when designing with dice: it can be polyhedral OR standard d6s... That opens up the design quite a bit. In many of my designs I have TRIED to use "Polyhedral" dice ... but it never works out. Either standard d6s or custom ones.

And then ADD 2 blank (no faces) dice to the Kit (2d6s custom). And allow the sticker to be stuck to the faces to make custom d6s.

That second set of dice would be REALLY cool and could ADD "deep" value to the Kit.

Again just some thoughts for you to consider. I'm just pointing out ways to improve the overall offer for the Kit.

Cheers!

questccg
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Something to consider

NANJIAN Games wrote:
The box contribute 25% of overall manufacturing cost. So it is a very solid and heavy and robust box. We designed the box such that designer can write name of the game and designer's name on the main surface. The box is the same size as Azul. When holding everything inside, there are still some spaces for designer to put their own stuff.

I understand, but you have no place to STORE the remaining components and the content of your design... Like I said, having multiple designs in one box is a fairly important feature... Let me continue to explain.

NANJIAN Games wrote:
The 120 cards are divided into two sizes: poker size and mini euro size. So each size got 60 cards.

I think this is not a good idea. 120 Poker cards, that would be BETTER. Like I said 60 x 2 = 120, the capability to have multiple designs is important IMHO.

NANJAN Games wrote:
I think the main limitation is board. There are only 4 large boards, so should be enough for one heavy games. There is only one dice set as well. It really depends on the game designed.

The board may be enough for one design ... But not all games require a board. Perhaps add into the game some "game mats" too. Like 8" x 5" paperstock... That too could be of value (how many??? Maybe like 8 mats).

The dice, I already explained having ONLY polyhedral is a mistake. Having some standard Black 2d6s and blank Black 2d6s ... would go a long way in improving what can be made with the design.

NANJIAN Games wrote:
The current bag is only 15 mm * 20 mm, a little larger than an iphone. So it is mainly for collecting tiles and dices. You may perform blind drawing using the bag.

Ahh I see. The bag looks BIGGER in the picture. It's a bit misleading. I thought the BAG was for housing the Game Prototype (not pieces). But since you have a BOX... That's not a very big concern.

Note #1: Just as a quick remark... I've never designed a game with different sized cards. I know there are some games that do this... But I believe that MOST use Poker-sized cards. I don't see the rationale in having two (2) sizes. But having more than enough for MULTIPLE games ... Now that I can understand. 60 cards is sufficient of a DECK for one (1) design... Having 120 cards (all the same size) might encourage multiple designs too.

Again maybe other designers would disagree. I personally feel like more of ONE size is better.

Also the Kit itself ... As to how you've been explaining it... It feels like you are trying to validate it's content, makes me think that the Kit is ONLY meant to serve ONE design. I mean there is 1 Box, 1 Bag, 60 Poker cards... To me this is all sounding very narrow in terms of design. TO ME, it sounds like a Kit you would have to design ONE game.

As such I feel it is not very "versatile". I'm not telling you guys how to package your "Design Kit" ... But IMHO I feel like it is too focused on ONE design only.

If it had a bunch of stuff that I needed for several Game Designs ... To me, again, that would breed more VALUE than having a Kit to design ONE (1) Game.

This is just my opinion and what I feel based on my own designing and how I perceive the Kit "as-it-is".

Note #2: "As-is" ... this would NOT be a Kit that would interest me. Especially not for designing. Like why so many STICKERS? And what the heck do I use them for?? Or one Bag ... When I need four or more players. Why can't each player have a colored Bag??? One set of POLYHEDRAL dice ... is too limited. Most of the time I use CUSTOM d6s. Having BLANK dice with stickers that could be applied... Now that could interest me, because it's LESS expensive to BUY them with a KIT... And use them for multiple games.

Note #3: What I feel would be a GOOD Design Kit ... Is much different than your "one-design-in-a-box" offering. I'm not trying to be "critical"... I'm just saying your "KIT" doesn't work for me.

But I'm not a jerk trying to bash your concept... I'm trying to shed some light to HELP "find an audience" for your product... You've been saying that your not sure as to the "marketability" of this Kit.

Offering PARTS is good. But instead of 4 COLORS, do 8. Encourages designers to go BEYOND the 4 Players, into 5 or 6 ... And even consider more. So Wooden Cubes, Wooden Sticks, Wooden Disks, Wooden Meeples, ALL GREAT! Acrylics too, Gems and Cubes ... Also very GOOD.

Where the offer is WEAK is on DICE. POLYHEDRAL only is not enough. You need to improve this aspect (IMHO). This is purely my opinion... You don't have to agree.

Stickers ... Hmm. I would offer Rounded Squares instead. Something that could be applied to a BLANK DICE FACE. Do you need a LOT? Eight (8) colors and 1 pages each would suffice. 1,200 Round stickers??? For WHAT exactly?

I think MARKETING more as a Designers "Tool-belt": you know a bunch of parts (as you already have), blank dice, blank cards, SOME stickers (not a ton) compatible with the dice, some tokens...

And BTW anything you WRITE ON (or want to ALLOW to write on) should be PASTEL in color. Otherwise DARK-ON-DARK will be "hard to see".

Again "not poo-poo-ing" the idea. I think there would be ways to make the offer more interesting (IMHO)... There is some MERIT to the concept. But so far what I see would not entice me to buy.

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