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The next step?

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spidey03
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Joined: 10/26/2010

Hi All,

Does anyone have any advice for me? I have completed my first game and I am wondering what the next step is.

My game is a Chemistry review game. My audience is teachers and students. The age range is high school to college. The game is a deck building game, very similar to Dominion. You can see the game on my website:

https://sites.google.com/site/chemgames/

I have play tested the game numerous times with my students. The last few times we played my students didn't know the game was mine. I told them I bought the game online and wanted them to try it out. Overall, the feedback was very positive. A large number of my students really loved it. I am really excited about the game, but I don't know what to do next.

The way I see it, I have two options: 1. self publish or 2. sell it to a publisher. I really want to self publish. I have number of ideas for other games and I thought this could be a great side business. Am I crazy? How over my head am I going to be if I want to self publish?

If I choose the second option, any ideas how to go about finding a publisher? Does anybody have information on educational game publishers?

I just don't know where to go with this. Thanks in advance!
Dan

dobnarr
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Joined: 07/29/2008
Some ideas

The reality is that most games (especially on specialty topics like yours) aren't going to sell that many copies; you need 2000-3000 copies to make a print run cost-viable, and that requires at least $10,000-$20,000 of capital just for printing (you haven't paid artists, marketing costs, etc.), and then selling that many games is often very hard.

The easiest way around this is to publish it yourself via a place like TheGameCrafter.com (http://thegamecrafter.com). That removes the huge initial investment you'd have to make to print it up yourself; you won't make much money or sell many copies, but you only have to invest your time, and your game ends up nicely produced and available.

An intermediate-level step would be to put together a campaign on a social funding site like http://kickstarter.com - this can work, and it lets you crowd-source the initial investment by taking pre-orders. However, the game funding market is getting more saturated over there, and you need to do some significant work making an appealing presentation and a detailed project to have a shot at success.

I've blogged some about this over at http://blogspot.planktongames.com, and I include some real printing quotes over there as examples.

Good luck!

spidey03
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Joined: 10/26/2010
Thanks

I will definitely check out the blog. I have read the blog by Michael Mindes from Tasty Minstrel games wrote.

http://playtmg.com/pages/how-to-make-board-game

It was very informative. I have done the GameCrafter thing. I am working on my second game right now. You are right, not much money to be made, but a good product that really impresses people. I really don't want to go down the Kickstarter route.

I am trying to find something in between Game Crafter and having to publish 2000-3000 units. I have tried a couple online sites but they have not replied. I have called Delano services three times and left a message. They have not returned my calls. I just feel like I am in limbo right now.

Thanks

dobnarr
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Joined: 07/29/2008
Limbo

Getting quotes can be very hard; some places will actually write back pretty quickly, but others don't prioritize it, particularly when they've got a lot of work already. I think this is because the ratio of quote requests to actual orders must be staggeringly low in this field. Sending out lots of requests will overcome this low/slow response rate.

Your cheapest option to self-publish will be your 177 cards plus rules in a tuckbox. I bet you'll be able to get that down to $2-4 per copy if you print overseas and order 3000+ copies.

SuperiorPOD can do an intermediate-size print run and was (for my stuff) a little cheaper than TheGameCrafter for the cards and packaging but also harder to set up and deal with. I haven't gotten a quote from them in a while, and not for anything with a box, but I'd guess you'll be in the $6-10 range with them with a box for a print run of the size you're indicating.

If you're self-marketing, $8 is a workable price point; if you're trying to get in teacher stores or catalogs, that could be a tough one, because your retail price needs to be about four times your printing cost to make it work after distributors and retailers take their cut, and I don't think people are going to pay $30+ for your game in that form.

melx
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Joined: 11/13/2008
The next step?

Hi,

I had also a good game prototype with a little bit educational theme:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/41890/who-eats-whom-the-cardgame

So I wrote a project and got funded by Estonian Gambling Tax Council (Ministry of Education) to publish the game and game copies for every Estonian school. I published the game with much bigger quantity so that the funded sum covered quite a big part of my budget.

I have no idea how it should work in Your country but maybe You find public institutions (school?) or companies who can support You.

regards,
Meelis

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