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Price point

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talmorgoth
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Joined: 02/03/2011

I'm starting to look at pricing models for my game and wanted to keep the selling price down to around 60.00 for my target market. However after pricing just the rulebooks through Gamecrafter it looks like they alone will run over 50.00 and that's before adding a deck of cards and the box. My first thought was to just print the core rules (about 9.00) and leave the two other books out of the box and make them free downloads since they are necessary for the game and mean nothing without the rules. My second thought was to make all three books a bundled digital download and only sell the optional cards and shards as a box. How have you all tackled this subject?

BENagy
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Joined: 09/25/2013
So a bit of background, just

So a bit of background, just so you know where I'm coming from, and my perspective:

I'm launching a game publishing company through a business incubator, and have quit my day job to pursue making a career out of game design. So my perspective is that (obviously), I'm very serious about this, and my primary goal is to make a living off of the games I make/sell. This does not describe most people on here (in my narrow view of this forum and most other game designers). Most want to make a game they perhaps make a few bucks on, and that lots of people enjoy playing. If your goal is to make maybe $100 a year and have people love you for your cool games, my advice may not be right for you. If you are trying to make $5000 on this game design of yours, let me provide my perspective.

The Game Crafter is NOT a viable option to publish a game. Either your game is going to be twice what you want to charge consumers, or else you will be making $1 per game or even taking a loss. The Game Crafter is for small projects and for prototyping. It has the advantage of being able to only order 1-10 copies, but the disadvantage of being very expensive. My model is heavily based on Kickstarter to get a prerequisite number of people buying the game to put together a minimum order from a manufacturer in China or Germany, where costs are going to be MUCH lower.

Now you also mentioned a digital option. Have you considered print and play for the cards and shards? If you want to make money, exclusively distributing this way will not be profitable for you. But if you just want to get your game out there, and have a few people play it, I think that would be the best option.

Another thing to consider is that if your game is mostly text, a better option than the Game Crafter for publishing would be a BOOK self-publisher, like Lulu.Com or CreateSpace.com. They'll have much better pricing for large volumes of paper. It just means getting books from one source, and cards/shards from another source.

I'd love to hear more information about your project, what you want from it (money or otherwise), and how you envision your game to work (print play ok? or requiring physical products?). With more information, I can probably give you a better recommendation, and a few better ideas for you. Good luck!

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Miscellany

I agree The Game Crafter is EXPENSIVE... Even for a prototype. Here is a glaring stat about Print-And-Play: only 6% of gamers are interested in PNP games. Personally, I think that figure should be closer to 3%...

Cards are a problem in PNP, printing them out an then having to cut them. If there are over 50 cards, forget PNP and I would explore other options. Nobody want to sit there and have to cut cards, it's annoying (even for Prototypes).

TGC is also expensive for bound booklets... My rulebook itself costs me $10.00 (30 pages)! It's ridiculous... TGC says they price things based on what is a feasible price - in my book, they are too pricey. I got a quote for the entire GAME for less than $10.00!!! That included 5 decks of 15 cards, 11 dice, 5 wooden blocks plus a box. The same item on TGC will go for about $25.00 - $30.00.

At first I was going to use TGC to send out *blind* copies of my game for playtesting. BUT at $25-$30 per BOX x 2 boxes (for 2 players), that is $50-$60! I don't want to be sending out MANY prototypes because they too are EXPENSIVE.

You could have a *small* Kickstarter for a run of 500 games (cards and shards, plus the box). Having rulebooks as digital downloads is SMART. Just make sure that the SIZE of your rulebook is standard 8.5" x 11" paper... Then all a person needs to do is print out the rules (if they want to). Quick and easy...

talmorgoth
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Joined: 02/03/2011
If you are trying to make $5000

My ultimate goal is to do exactly what you are doing but with this being my "flagship" product, and having the typical bills of a married home owner, I can't jump ship on my current job just yet. My thought for using Game Crafter was because I'm still not sure how to handle inventory. I have quotes out to a few companies to produce the game but the minimum runs are around 1500 and I can't imaging where I would put 1500 copies of my game between conventions. I have a plan for a Kickstarter opening to fund some of the printing but that will come later. I thought about Print and play for the cards but I myself never liked games where I had to print and glue things for a game so I can't imagine anyone wanting to do it. The rule books are a different story but my concern there is I don't want to pay for digital security so people aren't printing off copies for their friends on eBay. Using a book publisher never occurred to me so I may go that route

I have an entry here (http://www.bgdf.com/node/13243) that describes the game. I've been tweaking and play testing it for years and think it is ready for peer review so I will probably have a post on that some time soon. I also have two expansions for it that are in the works along with several other board and card games so I have lots of ideas to run with. I appreciate any recommendations or info I can get.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
A question

Is it a *board game* with a large board or is it a *card game* with cards and shards?

If it is a CARD GAME, the minimum should be 500 units. And as you well know, Kickstarter's average about 200-300 contributions... So that would leave you with only 200 units.

You could contact Delano... I am waiting for a price quote from them also. (http://www.delanoservice.com/)

You could design a website to both promote the game and sell copies at RETAIL prices... That's a good way to make some extra money. You could also contact a publisher such as Game Salute to help liquidate the 200 remaining games. They have a service called "Featured Fulfillment".

Or you could contact another publisher and see if they might be willing to sell copies of your game - and then eventually handle the manufacturing of the product itself...

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Talking about TGC

Although I really like TGC as a service, I think it's fantastic... The problem I have is the pricing is a little pricey. Take for example my most recent work-in-progress: Tradewars - Homeworld.

To have a game made, without a custom mat, would cost me $24.59. BUT no mat, and I need an 8" x 4" mat... The Game Crafter has no such mat. But for argument's sake, let's say I add a Large Mat (10" x 10"). The cost is then $31.08! And both prices EXCLUDE shipping...

So I am going to have my booklet printed locally, and the cost drops to $18.03 + SHIPPING. So almost $25.00, plus the cost of making a booklet... If I needed to send copies for *blind* playtesting, it would cost me $50.00 + SHIPPING each time! That's too much...

I think I will have to resort to Snail-Mail and include some cash for shipping the product back to me. I still need to see what my options are for *blind* playtesting...

Aerjen
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Joined: 08/28/2008
Alternative

Have you tried contacting Ad Magic? I find their website very unwieldy, but when communicating with them personally I got some pretty interesting quotes. They do smaller runs, but that does obviously mean higher costs.

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