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Would you buy a game in a plastic box?

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EdWedig
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Hey everyone,

So, in small/mid quantities, game boxes are expensive to have produced. On the Game Crafter's site, the large box is $10+ each, plus the top and bottom wrap. Admittedly, the price goes down when you order enough copies, but that's still pretty expensive.

So, my friends and I were tossing around some alternative ideas, and we came up on plastic storage boxes. The Sterilite 1402 (in the attached photo) is just the right size for our game. Plus, it includes a couple of trays that could be used to keep components separate. And, we can get them for about $4 each.

So, my question: would you buy a game in a plastic storage box? We are thinking that a label could be attached to the front and back, and possibly to the sides.

questccg
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Personally...

I think you are putting the "Horse BEFORE the Cart"! First of all, you need a good game to put into the box. The box is the last of concerns because you can have a Custom box made by any manufacturer and add to this a Custom Vac Tray also... To hold whatever components you desire.

The question is: "Do you have a game worthy of publication?"

Even if you are "Self-Publishing" and wanting to go the KS route, you should be aware that a $4 USD box is rather expensive for Chinese standards. You should be able to get a Box + Vac Tray with an order of 1,000 units for about $1 USD per game sold. And sometime even less expensive than that!

So what's the difference?

The difference is BIG! First of all you are saving $3 USD. But in terms of pricing you are SHAVING $15 off the MSRP. Still think $3 USD is nothing??? Remember your standard multiplier is (manufacturing price x 5)... So effectively your $3 USD is a serious amount of money you are ONLY wasting on the Box...

Remember if it cost you $10 USD to MAKE the game, it's MSRP = $50 USD. And you need to have a solid game if you want to sell at that price point.

Just giving you another "way to look at things"... One you probably had not considered in the least.

Cheers.

Soulfinger
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I would. There were a few

I would. There were a few games released back in the day in plastic VHS cases without the spindle and such. They still make them even. Main things to keep in mind with plastic boxes are shipping weight and durability. Sterlite brand storage containers chip, crack, and shatter, and the odds of this increase dramatically over time as the plastic degrades with exposure to sunlight. Customers are used to dinged boxes, not so much cracked ones with sharp edges that pose a liability risk for retailers. You'd need really sharp graphic design on the labels to offset what people expect from game packaging, and those labels will add to your costs.

Evil ColSanders
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I think Stewie fully

I think Stewie fully encapsulates what I think:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHpdgHTINik

EdWedig
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questccg wrote:Just giving

questccg wrote:
Just giving you another "way to look at things"... One you probably had not considered in the least.

Cheers.

Trust me, we have been considering it. But, you missed my point. I'm not talking about manufacturing in China. I asking about if you would buy a game in a plastic box?

We have a good game, Twenty Yard Shamble, that is family friendly and fun to play. People really seem to enjoy it. But, we were not able to crowdfund production of the game in larger quantities, and so we have been printing copies through the Game Crafter. The biggest issue now is that it's expensive, and so we are looking at ways of cutting our costs without affecting the game play. And one of the things we have looked at is putting the game in a cheaper box.

larienna
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That is awesome, how come I

That is awesome, how come I could not think of that before. From my point of view, as long as the box is solid enought to be stacked, not problem. I am currently storing loose components in a box I got at the dollar store. So yes, they are cheaper than cardboard boxes. They also do not wear with time.

You could put labels on the box or put a panel inside the box. Also most of those box already have separations preventing the need of additional inserts.

I am currently designing games for small boxes, because they takes a lot of space, and I was looking at game crafter's boxes in my design, but those boxes are even better.

Now, how to you intend to print on game crafters if they do not support those boxes? Are you going to get everything shipped home and then assemble it yourself?

Seriously, I think game crafters should offer those kind of boxes. We should ask them.

The only issue I have with those boxes is that the separations are made with the height of the box, and some separations cannot be removed. So if you want to have a sheet or board that makes the whole size of the box, it will not fit in.

So if they add some of those boxes, they should make it possible to remove all inserts, or specify the maximum size of a board that could fit in.

Maybe boxes could be design specifically for board games. 2 or 3 reusable models could be designed for this purpose. That would be awesome and way better than VHS box.

let-off studios
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Plastic Box = Yes

I would have no problem buying a game that came in a plastic box.

I personally tend to remove games from boxes and put them in bags or other custom containers anyway, so it would blend right in with my other games.

Packaging is typically not a factor for me when purchasing games, but for many people it is, and this is a good question.

I Will Never Gr...
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Sure..

I wouldn't have a problem with a plastic box like that myself.

You could also look into how Victory Point Games does their boxes. They have a series of standard (to them) size boxes that are just red (with their logo in white) clamshell style mailer boxes that they put the games in, then they put a cardstock sleeve with the actual game artwork on it.

This way they buy cheap boxes in bulk (you wouldn't even have to go the custom red + logo .. just a standard mailer box like from ULine for example (https://www.uline.ca/BL_1402/Literature-Mailers-Kraft) with a sleeve or stick on label.

It does work for small publishing if done well and you aren't doing the traditional manufacturing. Of course it wouldn't fly for a big publisher but that's not the case here (although, VPG is bigger than they look but that's their style and image and people buy into it .. "saving you money" on packaging).

larienna
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Depending on the plastic box,

Depending on the plastic box, it could be possible to put a card board sleeve around the plastic box.

radioactivemouse
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Plastic box...

If you're going to do a plastic box, make it part of the theme. Don't just put your components in a plastic box because it's there. Give a reason to the consumer why the plastic box is needed...like it's some alien container or quarantine box.Kinda like what Quarriors did in their first original box...a cube-shaped tin that looks like a big die.

questccg
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Shipping is going to ruin it

EdWedig wrote:
...We have a good game, Twenty Yard Shamble, that is family friendly and fun to play. People really seem to enjoy it. But, we were not able to crowdfund production of the game in larger quantities, and so we have been printing copies through the Game Crafter.

Well even if some people enjoy it... It would seem that the larger market has decided that it's not a game they want to purchase. Eg. The market is telling you something.

EdWedig wrote:
The biggest issue now is that it's expensive, and so we are looking at ways of cutting our costs without affecting the game play. And one of the things we have looked at is putting the game in a cheaper box.

The Game Crafter (TGC) IS EXPENSIVE. Why do you think I'm going in the OPPOSITE direction (TGC -> now to China). So instead of paying $10 - $12 a box, you want to use a "plastic box" sold at $4, right?

The problem is this: DIRECT shipping on TGC makes it that it costs you $0 shipping dollars. Now you are going to have to SHIP to your warehouse (or home) and then assemble the game and the SHIP AGAIN to your customer.

I'd PRICE the cost of SHIPPING because from my experience it is NOT LESS than $5. So $4 + $5 = $9... And to be real honest I think the price is OVER $5... So if it's $6... You're BACK at $10 right where you started from.

Plus there is your time to assemble and the availability of space to warehouse... All things to consider.

Have you TRIED TGC "Crowd Sale"??? Or have you tried a JOINT KS with TGC as the manufacturer??? Two viable options where you can set the amount of backers to LOW... Like 100 backers only. If you game is good - one of these options should prove to be viable (in selling at least a nominal amount of game boxes).

Note: I checked on your KS for the game, $40,000 really?! with a joint TGC KS campaign you can probably set a GOAL of $4,000! That's 10x LESS than your previous attempt which is insanely impossible.

Please look into TGC joint KS campaign - speak to Tavis by PM "The Game Crafter" and ask him if it would be possible to KS with TGC as the manufacturer. I believe you need to sign a contract - to confirm that TGC will manufacture the game (with obviously a volume discount)...

larienna
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I asked on BGG and people

I asked on BGG and people does not seem enthusiast about it.

It could be interesting, if they are really less expensive, that TGC makes shipping boxes like Victory point games. I really like the idea and the box does not open by itself.

If it could save on the cost by using a single piece, I would even suggest having a 1 piece box that opens like a pizza box with a card board wrapping.

As for the plastic box, if you can have additional justification for it, then it would be better. For example, in the picture above, there seems to be loose container inside the box. If those containers are actually used during the game, that would justify the box even more

pelle
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Games sold in ziploc bags

Games sold in ziploc bags have been common for small publishers since at least the 1970's. I buy them. My game published by Victory Point Games is sold like that. The expansion comes in a paper envelope instead. Nothing unusual to me. But I think the potential audience is much smaller than for a game in a big printed box, or even a plain box+sleeve.

radioactivemouse
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ziploc bags...

pelle wrote:
Games sold in ziploc bags have been common for small publishers since at least the 1970's. I buy them. My game published by Victory Point Games is sold like that. The expansion comes in a paper envelope instead. Nothing unusual to me. But I think the potential audience is much smaller than for a game in a big printed box, or even a plain box+sleeve.

Even VPG moved up to a standard box format. It was really niche-y like over 10 years ago when companies like Cheapass Games did that (they purposely didn't include many components), but since we've been in a veritable renaissance of board games, the demand for quality components can make or break a game.

But Pelle is right, your potential audience can change drastically depending on how you present your game.

lewpuls
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Yes

I'd prefer a plastic box, if the game fit properly. I used Sterilite style boxes for prototypes when there are many pieces.

But I'm not a representative game purchaser. Nor are the other people who use this site. A poll on BGG is likely to be more informative.

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