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TheGameCrafter.com publishes your games!

After a long development and testing cycle, thegamecrafter.com is officially open for business today. TGC manufactures and sells games from any game designer.

You may have never heard of The Game Crafter before today, even though we've been successfully publishing games for more than 10 years. We've created board and card games like Campaign Secrets, RPGs like deadEarth, and we were even one of the first web game producers with our title called Survival of the Fittest. Over the next few weeks we're going to bring out five new titles just in time for GenCon, but that's not the big news.

The big news today is that we've refined our production process so that we can offer you, the game designers of the world, the ability to get professional production copies of your game, one copy at a time. You design your game as normal, then upload the files on www.thegamecrafter.com. From there you can add parts such as pawns, tokens and dice to your game. You can order copies at cost for yourself, and you can also publish your game for sale in our online store.

What do you imagine all of this would cost? The answer is, not a penny. There are no contracts to sign, and no up front costs. When someone orders your game, we manufacture it and ship it directly to them at no cost to you. At the end of each month you'll get a royalty payment for each game we sell. It's that simple. And there's no catch, fine print, or stipulations.

Come see for yourself.

Comments

wow really?

I am positive i am missing something in the fine print. But on the surface this is like about the greatest freaking thing I have ever seen in my life!

I wish you great success and am envious i had not thought of this first.

Wes

Thanks

It's good to hear that we're on the right track.

Specialty Pawns

One problem I'd have in using your service is that it mostly allows only fairly generic pieces: smallish boards (no large boards, and no small tiles), mini poker chips and winks (no punch-out, printed cardboard counters), and so on. (I can certainly understand why this is so, and I'm not criticizing, just making the observation.)

But your cost estimator does have a category for "specialty pawns" which sounds encouraging. What kinds of specialty pawns are available?

Quick Question

Would you be willing to list games that have already been produced? Assembled etc. Basically full finished games that I could ship to you and you could sell to your customers at a 50% split of net?

For instance I Have a game fully produced that runs me $7.37 per unit I sell for $19.99 gross $12.62 - shipping so maybe I could drop ship everyorder pushing that cost to the consumer.
We split profit $6.31 per unit. I am taking advantage of your advertising you are taking advantage of my title?

Wes

Any chance you might do color

Any chance you might do color lables for the box art?

It's all coming.

We wanted to get the site out to people as soon as possible, so not all the functionality we plan to have is there yet. On our near term todo list are custom tiles (2"x2") and tokens (stickers to put on wood blanks). Specialty pawns are pawns shaped like various things. We already have some in our game parts listing like cars, rockets, but we have more of that on the way too. What we have available for people to add to their games depends largely on suggestions. So if you have need of a particular type of pawn (maybe you're doing a game about oil tycoons so you need pieces shaped like barrels) then we'll do our best to source that type of pawn/token for you.

As far as boards, the reason our largest board is 10"x16" is that getting bigger than that becomes a shipping headache. So if you need a board bigger than that what we recommend is to print multiple 10"x16" boards and position them side by side on the table.

Hope that answers a few of your observations.

Re: Quick Question

I'm sure we can work something out. Email me at jt at thegamecrafter dot com and we can discuss it.

RE: Any chance you might do color

At some point we probably will do color labels for the box art. Boxes are one of the areas we're still struggling with a bit. To keep costs down we really need a box that we can use both as a shipping container and as the storage box. However, as a shipping container it can't have the artwork on the outside during shipping. Therefore we include the sticker in the box for you to adhere when it arrives. Because we weren't sure how viable this was going to be, we decided to just use the label printer we have on hand to print these labels, which only prints black and white. We could use our color printer to print labels, but that's quite a bit more effort as it's not really a label printer. Sorry to not really have an answer for you at this time, just trying to explain where we're at presently. I'm sure if enough people want color labels (and they probably will), we'll figure out a better way to give it to them.

Please consider adding wooden

Please consider adding wooden components (cubes/discs/etc) to your offerings.

Cool

Very cool, I'd be interested in seeing what a finished game looks like.

I'd like to point out a small error on this page: http://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish/production

It states a nanometer is 1/10 of a millimeter; this is not correct. A micrometer is 1/1000th of a millimeter, and a nanometer is 1/1000th of a micrometer, or 1 millionth of a millimeter. Is the registration tolerance really just 9 nm, or 9/10 of a mm? I assume the latter.

Oh, one more thought. Any chance of getting cubes as game parts? I mean, c'mon, you can't make a Eurogame without cubes ;)

Re: Cool

Thank you for pointing out that error. It's fixed. Yes it was supposed to read 0.9 and 0.2 millimeters.

For seeing a finished game, we have photographs on the page that you pointed out. Or you can purchase one of the games in our online shop just to see what it looks like in person. We're also going to be attending a lot of trade shows, starting with GenCon Indy, so you can come see some printed games there in person if you'll be there.

To both of you who asked about cubes and other wooden parts: They are on the way. We have ordered them, they just aren't in stock yet and so haven't put them on our site yet. We have some wooden parts (like wood, iron, gold, sheep, etc wooden tokens), just not cubes yet. Of course, the cubes are quite a bit less expensive than the wooden parts we already have.

See Ya at GenCon

The Game Crafter wrote:
We're also going to be attending a lot of trade shows, starting with GenCon Indy, so you can come see some printed games there in person if you'll be there.

I’ll stop by your booth before the exhibit hall opens and check them out.

Great service! For shipping,

Great service!

For shipping, if you want to ship in the box itself, then you could use removable tape, such as drafting or painter's tape. So you could mark up the box as you wished, wrap it in drafting tape, and still ship it without a second box -- you would also protect it from scuffs along the way! Another choice is affixing removable labels on top of the box, covering the art.

A Couple of Questions

This sounds like a great service. I have a few questions related to my current project and what it might require:

  1. Can you print multi-fold boards where each panel is up to 10" by 16"? That is, each panel fits to your maximum size, but all the boards are attached in a manner that allows the whole thing to be folded. If not, you may want to consider this as an alternative for people who need boards larger than you max size. I have no problems with adding an extra fold in there to facilitate shipping as you said, but having 8 separate boards would be a bit of a pain to setup each time.
  2. Can you do custom cardboard cutouts (e.g., hexagonal tokens, or a hex cluster)?
  3. Do you have any suggestions for materials that I could use (through your service) for cards and or tokens that would allow players to write on them with a dry-erase marker? If not, then would you be able to do lamination?
  4. Might it be possible, in the future, to include dry-erase markers in the game (just small ones would do)?
  5. Could we have different colour, six-sided dice?

Thank you in advance.

Answers

1) We don't do folded boards. What we recommend is if you need a board bigger than our maximum size, you should make multiple boards, and then have the players set the boards side by side on the table as in Robo Rally or Railroad Tycoon.

2) We don't do custom cardboard cut outs, but we hope to offer stickers to place on wooden or plastic tokens in the near future.

3) We've thought about offering lamination, as we do have that capability, but we weren't sure if there would be enough demand for it to warrant the investment in building it into our software systems. So I guess for the time being, I don't have an answer for you.

4) If we start offering a lamination service, then yes we'll also offer dry erase markers like those that are included in games like Wits and Wagers.

5) We already offer 8 or 10 colors of six sided dice. What color are you looking for that we don't have?

The Game Crafter wrote:5) We

The Game Crafter wrote:
5) We already offer 8 or 10 colors of six sided dice. What color are you looking for that we don't have?

Maybe he was asking about six-sided dice with one big colored dot on each side, like these: http://www.bgamers.com/images/d6colorspots.jpg

Advertising

This service is awesome, but I have a question. How does the markating work out? If you sell the games on your site, how will people find your site and buy the games? Or, do you just list the game titles on your site along with a link so people can buy them from other places? I suppose I am missing something... please help me out.

Looks great! It will be better once you add more component types, dice sizes, and printing board sizes.

Lucas

Re: Advertising

We are marketing the site all over the web. You may have seen the articles that were posted about us on tech crunch, information week, about 1000 blogs, board game news, board game geek, this site, and there are many more to come. In addition, we're attending 10 trade shows over the next 5 months to promote TGC and the games we sell. In a couple months we'll have the ability to cross promote/sell all our games on Amazon.com. And if Board Game Geek had an API for their marketplace we'd be cross posting games there as well. We're also investigating cross posting all our games to ebay too, but that may or may not work out.

Anyway, so far our efforts are working. We've only been online for six days and over 20,000 people have taken a look at our site so far. And even though we didn't have any games published to the site until late Thursday afternoon (last week), we've already had 40 orders. That's amazing considering that a) the site just launched, b) no one knew about it before last tuesday, and c) we don't have that big of an inventory of published games yet.

I am curious

I see on your site you have play money.
Can this money be peronalized.

I need 4 different denominations with a different character on each one.

Re: I am curious

In the future we may allow for personalization of it. However, it's currently not an automated process to create it, so we create it in large batch runs (350 stacks of 25 bills at time). Until we can make it an automated process it will cost too much to print/cut a couple stacks at a time.

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