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Printing playing cards -where?

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Ewain
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Joined: 05/21/2010

I have a card game that is finally pleasing my playtesters all round, and it's getting time to figure out how to sell it.

The swedish game companies have been considered and rejected, I'm aiming for a slightly different market (can't say any more than that at this point in time...)
Now, finicky as I am, I want to be able to present as complete a package as possible when I approach my intended market -All costs, including printing and packaging.

Since this is my first marketable product, my financial goal is set at a zero result -this is the game I'll be able to present as an actual selling product when I approach a game company with other games.
Still, cost is an issue.

Do any of you have experience with printing companies in either Poland or Estonia (our local 'low cost alternatives') and can recommend or warn me off some?

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
If your goal is to impress

If your goal is to impress them or make they feel safer about accepting your product don’t bother.

Publishers will be able to price production more efficiently than you. They will know where the components can be made. Who does type x better and cheaper and who does Y. Whether jobs should be split or if it should all be handled by one shop. Plus they may already have relationships with printers & artists where they get discounts..

Even if you do a good job they will still redo it to see if it can be better. It is likely they would only see your production estimates as a ballpark figure.

Ewain
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Joined: 05/21/2010
Goals

You're probably right.

Anyone in the business is very likely to make a better product than I; cheaper, more polished, whatever. That's their job.
Like most people here (I guess), producing an inviting prototype and giving a solid demonstration is no problem for me, but to me that is no enough.

I need/want to know 'the industry' a lot better than I do today, if only to have a clue about what we are discussing once a deal is about to happen.
Initial talks with a possible publisher have showed me that while the ability to create a functional game from inspired scribblings on the nearest piece of paper (and a lot of wrong turns) is not as common as one might think, that is a Very small part of the entire process of getting a finished product into the hands of a customer.

So in the end, even a ballpark figure will serve a dual purpose:
-I have a better understanding of what it takes to go from idea to production, and
-The publisher know I've done my homework and didn't just come off the street expecting to stand at the end of the rainbow collecting my due.

calaverax
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Joined: 05/30/2010
you could try

you could try http://www.thegamecrafter.com I heard that the printed cards are in good quality, you can upload your game there, buy copies for you at cost and publish and sell trought that website :)

Cheers!

P/S: if you use this site, tell us how is the busines going :)

Mondainai
Mondainai's picture
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Hi!

I'm reasonably happy with this company: http://www.guildofblades.com/podcards-pricing.php

They sometimes save a tiny bit on toner, so you sometimes get cards of a different shade than the rest, which theoretically could ruin a game, if a crucial card gets identifiable for everyone. I haven't seen such a case (this variation in shades have been negligible and/or the affected cards have been of a most generic kind), but there is a small risk. It also happened to me once that they sent to the wrong address, costing me some time, pain and a game convention in Shanghai.

But with all that said, I still use them. The cards are as great as one can hope for with small volumes, they are cheap for small print runs, they're nice and they have quite a fast turnover time.

My friend is happy with: http://www.superiorpod.com/ They require you to use some certain expensive software to export files to them, so I haven't tried myself.

Kuznia Gier, the Polish publisher, also prints components for others. They were quite keen on getting me interested in their stuff (which looks great), but they never got around to actually give me a quote ...

I just heard that while Offason are ridiculously expensive on small print runs, they are quite flexible if you e-mail them and say you're fine with the shittiest quality they can make ... which shouldn't be too bad, but perhaps problems with shuffling and with transparency. If that's ok, then you could also try radim[på]atolproduction.cz I have used them quite a lot and they're very cheap and terribly nice, but they're so unreliable when it comes to deliveries and poor on communication, so I don't dare to use them when I have a tight deadline.

Try Svenska exportrådet in the various East European countries. They are there to help you exactly with these kinds of things. Same goes for the various countries' trade offices in Stockholm. Use a trash e-mail address, as they sometimes put your request on public noticeboards for suppliers, and you might end up getting more offers than just playing cards.

Let me know if you find something!

If you print a pilot edition, you're welcome to put it on my table in Essen. And if you're in Stockholm, find me on BGG to hook up for some game testing :)

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