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Hiring a publisher!

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larienna
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I was wondering if I could try to produce a low quantity of physical copies of my game at a reasonable price and try to sell them. The problem is that I need to shop for manufacturers and establish links with retailers which is very time consuming.

There is a board game publisher in the province I am living in that has published many board games. But it does not a accept submission from the exterior, it only publish it's own games. I agree with their decision, considering that it can be a risky business. But on the other hand, they already found manufacturers and they already have a retailer network established.

So I was wondering if I could pay the publisher to manufacture and distribute my game for me. Considering that my game is currently PnP, all the print out are done, I'll only need to re-layout them for the manufacturing, so in theory, the publishers does not have to produce anything. The idea would be that I pay the production cost or any other initial investment, and we both share a part of the profit.

Do you think that it's something that could be done?

I was thinking of having a small production run at first. I am not sure how much a copy of a game could cost and what is the minimum copies that must be produced. If I could just manufacture 100-200 copies, it would be OK. I would be willing to pay between 1000$ and 3000$ to publish a game physically. My goal is not to make profit, but rather avoid any losses. If I do make profit on the first print run, and if the demand seems high, I might reinvest in a 2nd small print run.

What do you think?

questccg
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Something to think about

Another thing you MAY want to consider is the COST of manufacturing a game.

Take Quest AC, if I would print and sell the complete set (in one box), the retail price point needs to be $45 or higher for me to make anything.

Now because I am selling in boosters, the manufacturing allows me to make about $0.25 per package (peanuts). But my game can sell at a reasonable price point $5 (or $15 for 3 packs - to play). And I can make a little bit of money (not a fortune or millions - just an amount to say that I made a little money - less than having a job for example).

Compare this with CHINA and now I understand why so many things are manufacturer in China...

You need to determine the labour costs for manufacturing AND packaging your product. The packaging part is usually where there is more physical manipulation (like sorting cards, shrink wrapping them, etc.) Placing the correct amount of tokens and of the right color, etc.

So I would try to determine how much it will cost to make your game and then see if from a retail price perspective you can sell it. Remember what BGDF has taught me: 47-50% retail markup, 10% distribution and then factor in the cost of manufacturing to determine if you are making any money or not...

Best!

Dralius
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Most publishers don’t produce

Most publishers don’t produce anything themselves. There are specialty printers for that. What you could do if you can afford it is print the game yourself and work out a distribution deal with them which would take advantage of their already developed system.

100 to 200 games is a bit small for most companies to bother with and printers usually have a minimum of 1000 pieces. Evan at that it makes the cost per copy quite high. You start getting the price breaks at 2,3,5K.

What is going to cost will depend entirely on what is in the game. You said it is PnP now. Is it online somewhere I could look at it?

larienna
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Here is a picture for 4

Here is a picture for 4 players, it can go up to 6

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/uploads/fallen_kingdoms/Main/Pictures/Pic...

this is a page where I posted many pictures

http://bgd.lariennalibrary.com/games/fallen_kingdoms/index.php?n=Main.Pi...

This is a review with pictures taken by somebody else than me

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/626742/by-thor-by-odin-for-valhall-v...

As you can see, since it is PnP, I tried to keep components quantity not too high. This is why, I think the game could be manufacturable at a reasonable cost.

If I manufacture it myself, I need to shop manufacturers, which is not necessarily easy to do in Montreal. So this is why I thought it would be better to use the publisher's contacts to manufacture the game.

Quote:
printers usually have a minimum of 1000 pieces

This is one thing I wanted to know. If a game cost 10$ to manufacture, I need to pay 10000$ and that is just too much. The other thing is that selling 1000 games is much harder than selling 100. So the probability to reach break even would be lower.

This is why I thought I could using the experience of a publisher to make the game would make my life easier since they already used to produce, store and distribute games.

Does people think it is still a good idea to make a call?

Else, the other solution would be to make a very small print run. Like let say less than 100 copies and store them in my apartment or my parent's house and distribute them locally and maybe some copies online. This could only be possible if the production run is very low. I would even not be bothered of packaging the components of the game my self. That is something I would gladly do if I have less than 100 or 50 copies. The only thing I might not be able to do is the shrink.

Another solution could be "the game crafters" like discussed in another thread. I am not sure if many sales are done with this system.

dobnarr
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Printing

If you don't have $10,000 to $20,000 to put into a print run, you're not likely to get a printer or manufacturer to make games for you. Minimums are more like 2000 units for most printers, and the price breaks aren't good even at that level.

I did an analysis of this last year for a game I'm considering publishing myself. Here are some posts I did on the subject, with some actual manufacturing quotes included:

http://planktongames.blogspot.com/2010/03/indie-game-publishing-costs-or...

http://planktongames.blogspot.com/2010/05/game-printing-costs.html

http://planktongames.blogspot.com/2010/06/game-production-costs-summary....

I hope it's useful.

TheGameCrafter.com produces very nice components with no initial investment other than your time. I'd say there's nearly no cost to starting with them. My sales haven't been great (~10 copies for Diggity, 0 for Cult), and the profit margins are small, but at least you get to have a presence out there.

The only drawback would be if you're trying to interest a publisher (which is a hard road to go down) or planning on entering your game in a contest, having it "published" through GameCrafter might give a publisher cause not to consider your game. It definitely got me kicked out of one contest.

larienna
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Thanks for the pricing and

Thanks for the pricing and graphics. It seems that there is no interest in manufacturing less than 5000 games.

I might give it a try to the game crafters. It's just that I need to re-layout everything and it will demand some additional work

larienna
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I remember having a chat with

I remember having a chat with the designer of "Victory ][". If I remember correctly, he spent almost 10000$ to get the required equipment to manufacture the game himself. This game is pretty neat, it's made of hex tiles and plastic miniatures.

I am not sure how many copies he sold or if he made the break even, but it seemed less expensive than producing a game in 5000 or 10000 copies. You also don't need to store them, you produce them as they are requested.

Dralius
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Cost

I don't know what the end production cost was for victory but using the traditional American marketing model you need to have a markup of 5 to 6 times what the cost of production is to make a profit.

You can get games produced in runs as low as 1,000 pieces. Before you plan on buying $10,000 of expensive equipment that you’ll have to learn how to operate, your time is worth money you know, I suggest you get a quote from several printers. I would ask for a quote at 1000, 3,000, and 5,000 peices so you can see the difference in price per unit.

Here are two that I believe to be good.

http://www.delanoservice.com/ I know of a self publisher that used them and he was happy.

http://www.ludofact.de Just printed my game Nitro Dice as well as all the new games from Minion games and they look great.

There are plenty of others including those in Asia. Just be sure to only use those that are recommended by someone you trust.

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