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Which manufacturer?

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Evil ColSanders
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Have you had a game manufactured? By whom? Have you decided on one? Have you heard "good things" about a particular manufacturer? Are there some to avoid? I'd like to know and I'm sure others would too.

I've been told to stay away from Panda because they don't make everything in-house, but rather, outsource everything and put it together in their shop.

let-off studios
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Objective Observation

I know a handful of people who have self-published and/or who run small-scale publishing businesses themselves. They have their own priorities and interests so while we are all based in the same geographic area (mid-Atlantic coast, USA), they've gone with different manufacturers.

I don't want these questions to sound like I'm being defensive, and/or I'm endorsing Panda. That's not my intention behind asking. Rather, I'm trying to figure out your priorities.

1. What is it you hope to avoid by selecting a manufacturer that does not "outsource everything and put it together in their shop"?

2. Is the above your only priority when it comes to manufacture, or do you have other concerns/interests?

3. In your opinion, what would be an ideal manufacturing partner?

Jay103
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Here's what I did

I went on Alibaba and searched for the components I needed. In this case, the most "difficult" components were punchout token sheets and custom dice.

So I found several companies selling custom dice (and punchout sheets). I clicked through to the company pages to see what else they made and what they did. I found a few that mentioned most of what I needed. I then googled them to see if other games had used them before.

Then I contacted them. One or two did not get back to me. The ones that did I either sent a detailed email or filled out a quote spreadsheet for them, and I got quotes. Costs you nothing but your time to get quotes, and you also get a good sense of their helpfulness and responsiveness and communication skills.

One question to ask yourself is whether you want to go direct to the factory in China (cheaper, more difficult), or deal with someone in the US (slightly more expensive, or noticeably more expensive, but easier). Examples of the latter are PrintNinja and Shuffled Ink.

I'd strongly suggest reading everything on the PrintNinja site. My part-ordering vocabulary improved immensely from digesting that stuff.

Evil ColSanders
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1. If everything is made

1. If everything is made in-house, if there is a problem with a component, they can fix it. If it's not in-house, you have to wait for them to contact the company which they get the component from, ship it to them, then add it to the box or send it to me if I need replacements for backers. PLUS getting quotes from them takes a month or longer because THEY have to get a quote from their sources in order to get a quote for me. It saves me a lot of precious time if everything is in house AND saves me a lot of money because they are a middleman, a broker, and must upcharge me because they don't make all the components and must pay other company to manufacturer them and pass the cost onto me.

2. My main concern is quality of components. Next is past projects: What games have they manufactured in the past? Have I heard of these games?

3. Ideal partner is a company who responds within 36 hours, has quality components which I can touch/see and/or a game I can buy and check out component quality.

Jay103
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What to avoid

You have already avoided it, but in 11 more months it'll be an issue again...

Around Chinese New Year, EVERYTHING shuts down. You won't get emails back, you won't get manufacturing done, you won't get anything.

Just a warning. Don't plan to make anything between.. I think like January and April, really.

I Will Never Gr...
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Jay103 wrote:You have already

Jay103 wrote:
You have already avoided it, but in 11 more months it'll be an issue again...

Around Chinese New Year, EVERYTHING shuts down. You won't get emails back, you won't get manufacturing done, you won't get anything.

Just a warning. Don't plan to make anything between.. I think like January and April, really.

A bit of a broad timeline. CNY is typically the first 2 weeks of February. I have personally had our manufacturer getting our stuff shipped out right up to the day before. As long as what you need is made and shipped OUT of China by CNY, you're good.

As for good manufacturers, I typically quote with;

Longpack
Whatz
Wingo
Bangwee
&
HCH Gameland (<- will be making my current game and has done a lot of accessories for me over the past several years)

I Will Never Gr...
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The big problem with PandaGM

The big problem with PandaGM is that they are so incredibly busy that communication takes a LONG time and their quotes are rather on the high end.

Otherwise, they do great work.

Jay103
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Hch gameland makes board

Hch gameland makes board games?

I Will Never Gr...
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Jay103 wrote:Hch gameland

Jay103 wrote:
Hch gameland makes board games?

Yup, they sent me a bunch of samples last summer as well. Good quality on what they sent me.

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