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Printers for production

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adversitygames
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Hi all

I'm looking into printers for my game Nightlancer and I'm currently considering three possibilities: Whatz games, Ningbo Lijia and CPC (customized playing cards). I'm awaiting a quote from Panda but that wont happen until after gencon.

Has anyone worked with any of them before? Are there any particular problems I should look out for?

I've heard that working with chinese companies may introduce communication/language problems, but tbh my experience has been good so far. They seem thorough in checking that they understand correctly (and I check too) and don't seem to be a problem so far. Is there something I should look out for in the long run?

questccg
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Personally

The only issue I have with DIRECT dealing with Chinese Factories is that they can "cut" down on quality to try to save money. So you really need to know "your stuff" in every aspect of the printing. From double gummed paper to cardstock quality (Blue core, Black core, etc.) to chipboard sizes for tokens, game mats and boxes, etc. And even things like varnishing (do you want your box to be shiny or matte)?!?! What about your rulebook, what kind of paper thickness (in gsm), is it glossy, semi-glossy or matte?! Are the cover pages thicker than the rest (and therefore another quality of paper)?

The second issue I have is handling all the SHIPPING issues. Getting freight forwarders to deliver the palette from the dock to your home - is well something questionable. As I don't have experience in this, I have no idea about the COST of such an operation. I also don't know how to handle FOB transactions...

Why I would deal with CPC or AdMagic, would be simply because they will give me a FULL QUOTE, including the shipping to my doorstep (or fulfillment warehouse).

Those are my concerns when having to deal with DIRECT Chinese relations.

Update: I too have gotten some quotes from Chinese Manufacturers. And let me tell you, the break down ALL the components and charge for each one. And sometimes they play tricks like 4/0 for cards and quote that price... Of course if you want 4/4 the prices will be more expensive...

Things like that. Those kind of deals of breaking everything down makes for a more costly product. I even think DIRECT Chinese quotes were MORE expensive than CPC or AdMagic.

Also CPC allows you to order 500 units. That too is something to consider. The Chinese factories want 1,000 to 1,500 units (depending). One quote I got was for 2,500 units FOB. What does that mean? Less is probably MORE EXPENSIVE. And I asked for a quote of 1,000 units, they sent one for 2,500 units... Things like that.

Update #2: I have read that DIRECT Chinese products are sometimes of lesser quality than those made through a broker. Some Chinese factories have been known for producing lesser quality end-products. So buyer BE-WARE. Check out James Mathe website at:

http://www.jamesmathe.com/hitchhikers-guide-to-game-manufacturers/

Notice Wingo: "Card quality isn't great." and "Makes a decent product when you're very specific." Like I said you really need to KNOW your stuff.

Update #3: If you "haggle" with them... Then my concern would be they might "cut" some aspect of your product. Like my 4/0 example. If I would say I want 4/4 for the same price - IDK they may make a cheaper game box to balance out the deal... Believe me there are a LOT of details that you can just skip over. An example was "varnishing" the box cover? And what about the box bottom, do you also want it "varnished"???

Update #4: I got a quote from Ningbo Lijia. Here you can DOWNLOAD it and take a look at what I mean.

http://www.questccg.com/shared_info/Quotation_NingboLijia.xlsx

Update #5: Doing my own research, I should be able to get the game made for $4.00 USD. Now if I compute this spreadsheet to $9.26 USD... More than DOUBLE the amount AND that with the errors 4/0, need to be corrected. Also note that this is for 2,500 Game Sets!!! See what I mean?

I Will Never Gr...
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iamseph wrote:Hi all I'm

iamseph wrote:
Hi all

I'm looking into printers for my game Nightlancer and I'm currently considering three possibilities: Whatz games, Ningbo Lijia and CPC (customized playing cards). I'm awaiting a quote from Panda but that wont happen until after gencon.

Has anyone worked with any of them before? Are there any particular problems I should look out for?

I've heard that working with chinese companies may introduce communication/language problems, but tbh my experience has been good so far. They seem thorough in checking that they understand correctly (and I check too) and don't seem to be a problem so far. Is there something I should look out for in the long run?

Of those 3 I have only dealt with Whatz, though I have not had them manufacture anything to date.

Be very specific with what you want (if you need help, by all means ask us for help!) and make sure you send exactly the same information to all potential manufacturers.

Get a quote from a dozen manufacturers. Better to have too many than too few.

As for language barriers, I have yet to have any with the factories I've dealt with. Sure, sometimes you can tell their English is weaker than others, but in general it's not an issue when you're dealing with technical specifications.

Ask what their MOQ is (Minimum Order Quantity). If it's higher than you like, pass on that factory. Many have moved to a 500 MOQ from what used to be a 1000-2500 MOQ.

Ask if their quote includes a shipping estimate (shipping can't be accurately quoted until manufacturing is near completion, but they can give you a rough guess or a range) and if it's FOB (their location) or FOB (your location); usually it will be FOB their location (meaning once it leaves the factory it's all your responsibility, including if anything goes wrong in transit).

Have them break the quote down into component costs. This does not increase the cost of your product, but it will let you know where you could potentially cut costs if needed. Not all will do this, but most will.

Ask if their quote includes an Overs charge. This can be as much as 10% (basically they make more than requested and you get charged for it. This covers damages and errors)

That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

I Will Never Gr...
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A quick list of manufacturers

A quick list of manufacturers I have been in contact with for reference;

AdMagic (expensive, US company)
Panda (slow because they're so busy, high quality, high price, high MOQ)
QPC Games (fast communication, high priced)
Whatz Games (Fast communication, decent price)
WinGo (decent communication, decent price)
Kammings Trade Co
Longpack
MPC (somewhat high priced, don't have the range of products I needed but may for your project).

I've also been in contact with the manufacturer that Mayday Games, AEG, Cryptozoic and GameWright use but I don't have an actual manufacturer name though, just the person who does the quotes for me (their prices are decent though).

Wendyzhu
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Joined: 12/21/2012
Ningbo Lijia and Lijia Game

Ningbo Lijia is the holding company of Lijia Game Production. They are the partner for Hasbro, Gamewright, AEG, Manticgames, etc.
There are a video showing their procedure of game manufacturing for some top branded games:
http://www.lijiagames.com/our_team

Glass shoe games
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I would check out print

I would check out print Ninja. They gave me really good quotes. Also they will send you demo copies of games they have done before.

Paul Ott
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Joined: 01/22/2018
Necro

I'm bringing this topic back up to see if there is any addition thoughts on manufacturers. I'm looking at a fall Kickstarter for my board game, so starting to scratch the surface of manufacturing/publishing.

I saw elsewhere on the forums the recommendation for aiming for $12k-$18k for your first board game Kickstarter. I think this is good advice, and I plan to bring my own as close to that as I can. Unfortunately, that range is not enough for Panda, who required 1500 unit run and the Kickstarter wouldn't raise near enough. So I'm looking for other reputable manufacturers.

I see up above the short list:

Quote:
AdMagic (expensive, US company)
Panda (slow because they're so busy, high quality, high price, high MOQ)
QPC Games (fast communication, high priced)
Whatz Games (Fast communication, decent price)
WinGo (decent communication, decent price)
Kammings Trade Co
Longpack
MPC (somewhat high priced, don't have the range of products I needed but may for your project).

and

Quote:
I would check out print Ninja. They gave me really good quotes. Also they will send you demo copies of games they have done before.

I'm looking for feedback from others as to who they have worked with and had a good experience, and could also do a 500 unit run of a board game.

Any thoughts on these companies or others that haven't been mentioned?

questccg
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Bangwee Games

They do 500 unit print runs. Andrew Harmon is working with them for his "Historical" Events game. You can PM him, his username is "harmon89". To find a User, use the Search input box and type what you are looking for (Ex: harmon) and then click on the "Users" from the result list.

Best of luck(?!) with your game...

jonathanflike
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Joined: 03/09/2016
I've contacted this one

Glass shoe games wrote:
I would check out print Ninja. They gave me really good quotes. Also they will send you demo copies of games they have done before.

I did contact Print Ninja about my game and they were pretty responsive. For simpler games they have instant quotes, which is nice, but let us know what you find out, I still need to find one to go with.

Paul Ott
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Joined: 01/22/2018
questccg wrote:They do 500

questccg wrote:
They do 500 unit print runs. Andrew Harmon is working with them for his "Historical" Events game. You can PM him, his username is "harmon89". To find a User, use the Search input box and type what you are looking for (Ex: harmon) and then click on the "Users" from the result list.

Best of luck(?!) with your game...

Ok, thanks. I'll do that. Their website says 1500 so I didn't press them on it.

Paul Ott
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Joined: 01/22/2018
harmon89 says Panda was the

harmon89 says Panda was the same for him too, although Long Pack and Bang Wee both had 500 MOQ options for him.

He also said economically it makes a lot more sense to do 1000 copies. For 500 copies you ended up paying so much more per unit.

Updating the list:

  • AdMagic (expensive, US company)
  • Bang Wee (low MOQ)
  • Panda (slow because they're so busy, high quality, high price, high MOQ)
  • QPC Games (fast communication, high priced)
  • Whatz Games (Fast communication, decent price)
  • WinGo (decent communication, decent price)
  • Kammings Trade Co
  • Longpack (low MOQ)
  • Print Ninja (fast communication)
  • Lijia Game Production
  • MPC (somewhat high priced, don't have the range of products I needed but may for your project).
Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Looking back in the thread,

Looking back in the thread, that Lijia quote is odd. The card price is much too high. Wondering if you’re paying for a full sheet for each tiny deck. I have a recent quote from them for 20 tarot cards for $0.46 per set @1000 units, 4/0.

Paul Ott
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Joined: 01/22/2018
Found this amazing list of 52

Found this amazing list of 52 manufacturers over at James Mathe's site:

http://www.jamesmathe.com/hitchhikers-guide-to-game-manufacturers/

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
questccg wrote:The only issue

questccg wrote:
The only issue I have with DIRECT dealing with Chinese Factories is that they can "cut" down on quality to try to save money. So you really need to know "your stuff" in every aspect of the printing.

Just to continue the thread necro'ing..

I found a QA firm that goes to the factory and does a general inspection of the facility if you want, and then when the game is done, does a random inspection some of the final product to confirm quality.

My feeling is that the mere knowledge that a QA firm is involved will keep down the corner-cutting a lot.

Dravvin
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Joined: 03/29/2016
I recently contacted the

I recently contacted the following:

Ivory Graphics - UK (can't do large quantities (i.e. 500+) and declined to quote - recommended Cartamundi)
Cartamundi - EU (UK/Belgium/Ireland/Poland/Germany) - great cos you can ring them. OK responsiveness. Expensive
LudoPact - Germany (great comms but slow on a formal quote - I have email based quotes - super helpful, price seems comparable to Panda but with a lower MOQ)
NSF - Netherlands (good response, decent price but quoted lowest quality - i.e. no core to cards)
DeLano - USA (good response, but expensive and quoted lowest quality - i.e. no core to cards)
Panda - China (fast response but high MOQ)
Whatz - China (never responded)
LongPak - China (responded but still no quote 2 months later)
Granna - Poland (never responded)
Ningo - China (fast response but lots of extra costs which bring the unit price up)

I contacted several others who also haven't responded (yet?) - I'll update if they ever do!

For freight forwarding - OTX have been fantastic with comms and generally being helpful.

evansmind244
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Board game design and manufacturing

I've been working with Mike over at Board Game Design and Manufacturing. He's doing the Graphic Design for Holiday Fever right now. I've received quotes from him for 500, 1000, and 2000 units for my game. He beat out Panda by about 3k. If you are interested PM me and I'll send you both quotes.
They manufacture in China but take all the risk in getting it to where ever you want it in the USA. He also does fulfillment for around 3 dollars a game....not firm on that yet. He's been doing this since the 80's apparently and I have had no problems with him so far. I have often wondered why more people don't talk about him here?????? I've yet to manufacture my game, but I plan to use Him when that time comes. If anyone else has any knowledge about Mike please let me know. If not I suggest you get a quote from him.

http://boardgamedesign.com/

Evan

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