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Subject: Board game cost rss

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Sam Froehlke
United States
South Dakota
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Yes, this is the same game, I did get it down to 2 feet on one side. The problem with the price is that I just can't afford to make quantity runs. If I was going to make a scale investment, I would need to be sure that the game plays well, and I'm still working that out and making changes.

As to using thegamecrafter, I couldn't find that they had a board large enough, bulk cardboard tokens, or wooden blocks.

I'll probably try using cardboard tokens for the resources, I'm still changing some things around and trying to streamline it.
 
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Ryan Keane
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Then don’t worry now. You’re still in the design/playtesting phase. Make a cheap prototype for you and your friends with whatever you can scrounge around. If and when the game is near-finished and amazing and ready for blind playtesting (and maybe pitching to prospective publishers), then and only then consider whether you want to invest in getting some nicer prototypes manufactured.

As far as publishing the final game, you’ll need to do a reasonably big print run. Either the publisher pays for it or you crowd-source the money. There is no point for you or customers to pay the exorbitant cost for small print runs.
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G G
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Sodaker wrote:
Yes, this is the same game, I did get it down to 2 feet on one side. The problem with the price is that I just can't afford to make quantity runs.

Until your game is "final", there is no point in looking at "professional" production.

You should be gluing printed paper maps to an old Monopoly board, using penny craft beads and DIY cardboard; NOT a $60+ printed board, $100+ worth of wooden blocks and so on.

When you get the game to pre-production state, you should be looking to produce 100s of copies at a maximum $100 MSRP (maximum $40 cost) + $25 Shipping & Handling. More realistically, you should get your bulk price down to $50 or less, because that's the typical price for a non-miniatures boardgame. You also need to be looking at a game that fits *entirely* within a USPS Large Flat Rate box (maximum 12" x 12" x 5"). Assuming that you have "good" production values, this is basically the most that anyone will spend on a new game from a new designer.

If you cannot get to that price point, then you need to keep streamlining and tightening the design until manufacture, production and shipping becomes feasible. Alternately, you need to raise production values so high that people will spend $200+ or whatever it is, but even then, you need to get your production cost down so you don't lose money.

To cross-check me, go to Kickstarter and review ALL of the "First Created" boardgames over the past year. Which ones funded, and which ones didn't? That's your competition, so how do you compare?
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James Campbell
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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Ryan Keane wrote:
Then don’t worry now. You’re still in the design/playtesting phase. Make a cheap prototype for you and your friends with whatever you can scrounge around. If and when the game is near-finished and amazing and ready for blind playtesting (and maybe pitching to prospective publishers), then and only then consider whether you want to invest in getting some nicer prototypes manufactured.

As far as publishing the final game, you’ll need to do a reasonably big print run. Either the publisher pays for it or you crowd-source the money. There is no point for you or customers to pay the exorbitant cost for small print runs.

Second this .. All of it.

Don't even consider print on demand services until you've done your homemade prototypes and playtested them to heck and back, refined the game and are 95% positive that what's left is what is actually going to be included in the game.

Once you've done that .. streamline it a little more. Then figure out exactly what you need the components to be and consider a professional PoD prototype.

Then take that to conventions, game stores, game nights, etc to test it even more.

Then .. assuming you're doing it yourself and not pitching to a publisher (actually, we're assuming this before you even consider a PoD copy), figure out the components, create a request for quote (RFQ), send it to manufacturers and wait for them to tell you how much it will cost per unit and what their minimums are.

If it's reasonable, well tested, well marketed and you can get enough people to know and be excited for it then you go to Kickstarter to get all the money you need for your print run + KS fees + freight/taxes/duties/shipping and a little extra for margin of error.

There's no way your components should be $200+ and absolutely no way a single board is over $60 (for comparison, I just got a quote for a new game with a board that is approximately 18 inches x 12 inches .. and the board itself is only $0.84 at a minimum run of 500)... except that you're looking at expensive print on demand (usually not feasable for retail. forget about price .. quality is also typically an issue).

** Edit - regarding the production cost vs retail pricing .. to not lose money you need to sell at a MINIMUM of 5x landed cost (manufacturing + freight + import duty/taxes/fees) if you want any chance of ever doing a second printing or getting into retail. 5 to 7 times landed cost is the norm. Anything less and you'll end up in financial trouble.
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maf man
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endeavor
Wisconsin
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so it sounds like your board is massive and thus expensive?
Old war games got around this cost by having their board cut into sections so it would combine four much cheaper board.
 
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Ryan Keane
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mafman6 wrote:
so it sounds like your board is massive and thus expensive?
Old war games got around this cost by having their board cut into sections so it would combine four much cheaper board.

Or paper maps, which many current wargames still use. But I think the Op got the board down to reasonable size of around 2’x3’.
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Derek H
South Africa
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klbush wrote:
Sodaker wrote:
I got the cost from boardgamesmaker.com (China), at qty. of 1.

Unfortunately, I don't have much capital to finance runs, so I have to use Print-on-Demand, which I know is a lot higher.

The price mainly comes from the wooden blocks for use as resources, since that's most of the focus of the game, mining and farming resources and moving them to the needed areas.

Board - $68.14
Rulebook - $6.00
Cards - $10.00
Army Pawns - $16.80
Cardboard Tiles - $12.00

Wooden Blocks:
Roads - $10.80
Railroads - $4.50
Cities - $18.90
Grain - $19.50
Lumber $10.50
Finished Goods - $6.70
Coal - $10.40
Iron - $10.40

Comes to ~$208
Use small cardboard chits like war games use for resources in your first few games. You can get 150 chits or more in a single sheet.
Also ... about $70 for the rule book?! Perhaps someone else from the publishing industry can comment if this item (nearly a third of your cost) could be reduced in some way?
 
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Tom S
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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You haven't filled out your location in profile so I'm not sure if this $200 is USD, CAD or AUD.

Let me share my experiences so far....I'm still in the stage of fixing fatal flaws by family and friends playtesting but I feel like it's still important to know what my costs ahead are. So I've been shopping around for what it will cost for my sample prototype. I live in Canada, fwiw it's a lot harder to get components on a small scale here. I'm basically spending $200 or close to on my sample. $100 for cubes, $60 for decks and $40 for an oversized board. That's all my game has- cards cubes and a board. But it has a BIG board and LOTS of cubes and cards. I prefer to work piecemeal so my Sample costs are nowhere near the same as working with a factory and then getting a sample of their work.

IMHO the $200 is fair if you live in Canada & are buying DiY parts at different stages of production of your project. Based on the scope of your project. FWIW it's nowhere near that cost if I'm doing a print run of 500-1000 titles made overseas. Obviously there is more cost with storage and distribution (fulfillment centre is needed in my case). An important question to ask yourself is does it look/feel & play like a game in the price range you will need to sell it? More importantly...do strangers think so?

From my initial mass production queries I have a feeling I'm looking at $84.99CAD as retail for my game (approx $65USD). But it is a 3-4 player card drafting/area control game with an election theme- none of those have been cheap to buy at retail...ever. Tammany Hall wasn't cheap and that's probably the closest in terms of parts, scope and cost to my title. Yet every copy in each print run has sold out. Crowdfunding is going to be an essential part of my project but frankly my game is nowhere near ready to double down and create a professional prototype.

This might sound silly but are you finished playtesting? Or do you feel like you'd need the full components to entice strangers to playtest your title? I've spent a grand total of $50CAD (though I am about to order $100 worth of cubes next week) on my project so far. Everything I thought I needed turned out to have a way less expensive option for testing purposes. The testing phase is partly how I determine if there's a market. You can always ask some questions relating to cost on your forms.

I know there are plenty (i.e. at least 1000) of Canadians who spend $80-$100 on a GMT style title, so I believe I'll be fine so long as my game is balanced & dynamic enough to make strangers want to play again. For me, how excited the rando playtesters are getting is a solid indicator if anyone would spend $100.

EDIT- Plug for the Boardgamegeek store! Looking there for components has literally cut my sample costs in half.
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