Jack
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Martin, if you read this, trust me when I tell you that this map is worth producing. It is true to the AoI game, following the main rules while adding some special wrinkles, plus it gives an excellent 2p experience when you want to play AoI, but don't have extra players. Print up Claude's map - the people demand it.
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Greg Taylor
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Age of Industry Expansion: Great Lakes & South Africa » Forums » General
Re: TREEFROG! Publish a version of this and you'll make $$$
While I agree, I'm doubtful it will happen.

The simple reason that could stop it, even if Martin likes the map, is that Treefrog has already published a Minnesota map in Age of Industry Expansion #1: Japan and Minnesota. This region overlaps with Claude's map, so it seems unlikely that Treefrog is angling for another Great-Lakes region map to print.

They may be more amenable to printing some of Claude's newer maps (USSR and South Africa), which are fresh new areas to explore. Martin also is a stickler for historical accuracy (to his credit), and keeping the maps representative of the industrial revolution time-frame of the respective region. If Claude's maps are too free with history, even if the gameplay is great, it's likely they'll continue to be only available as Print and Play.

I'm of the opinion that there's nothing at all wrong with being a print and play map. But I would like to see a proper printing done of the maps.

One option that Claude may be able to pursue is working out a license with Martin to print the map(s) independently in an unofficial, but licensed, fashion and to sell them for cost or a profit.

That might be outside the entrepreneurial spirit Claude has in him. A Kickstarter (or Indie-Gogo, etc.) campaign might get the up-front funding to make it not such a risk for Claude, presuming he had the go-ahead from Martin.

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Jack
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I understand that some of the areas may overlap, but the Great Lakes map is a true 2p map unlike the other "official" ones that can be played with 2 players, but lack the tightness to make the game fun.

I think that the Kickstarter idea would be tremendously successful and I have voiced that opinion to Claude. I think Martin should weigh in on this as I know many of us would love to hear what he thinks.
 
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Greg Taylor
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I doubt he'll just swing by. If this is something Claude wants to pursue, Martin is available via geekmail and his treefrog mail.

Maybe bundle all three together with 1 more (another fan map from another designer) and kickstart the bundle of maps as 2 double-sided boards...

[edited for addendum:]

I don't really think the thread title is so true though. I don't see a goldmine in AoI expansion maps. I expect there's a thin margin of profit there, being a rather enthusiast item with a low print run. Which is why I think Martin might allow it to be published by Claude, even for a profit. Claude is unlikely to recover profit to even cover his existing time spend developing the maps (add to that managing the print run and shipping out all the maps).

This falls into the world of the enthusiast, where people do things for the love of it and to support the community. Having more, well made maps for AoI on the market might just boost sales of the game and the Treefrog maps, so it might be worth allowing.

 
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Jack
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I can't imagine everyone that owns AoI wouldn't want to pick this up.
 
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Claude Sirois
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You two guys were having an interesting conversation while I was working this afternoon (as you can see, I haven't quit my job yet to become a full-time game designer!)

Thank you again Jack for you enthusiasm toward the map!! However, I must admit I'm with Greg regarding the money Treefrog could earn with this expansion. I don't think either that there is a goldmine behind it. Don't forget that AoI calls freak gamers like us. We're far from the "general Public". Right now, on BGG websites, 1536 BGGers say they own the game. That's not that many even though I know more people own it. If you consider that not all owners will buy an expansion, I understand this is a calculated risk Treefrog has to take to release an expansion. Moreover, we don't know if the first expansion is selling good or not. I don't know how many expansion board Martin produced, but 483 BGGers indicate they own the expansion.

Having said that, even though there's no goldmine behind an expansion, I thing it can extend a game lifespan. Today somebody told (wrote) me he was considering to buy the game based on my expansion, so that's good for me and especially good for Treefrog. Greg you were talking about the Great Lakes territory versus the Minnesota map. You're right, they are in the same area, but I think the selling point here is the 2 players playability, not the territory (IMHO).

Finally I've been thinking about the possibility to self-publish the map for a couple of weeks. Not because I intend to be paid for the time I've spent developing the game (believe me, the hourly rate would be very very low), but rather to provide the map to the AoI players (and myself) who would be interested to have a real board instead of sticked sheets of paper (and of course, I don't want to loose money!!).

I think I could probably handle a limited print of 100 or 200 boards and send them myself, but I can't print 1000 or 2000 boards, that would be expensive and the risk would be too high for me (also, I don't have a distributor behind me to send the board around the world in game stores). I don't know what would be the cost to produce the board in this small quantity (it should be double-sided with 2 maps) taking into account the cost of production, customs (I would likely have to outsource the production of the board), shipping to Canada and the license fee + the shipping to the customer. Martin allowed me to have a game page for my expansion (and I thank him for that), but I haven't talked to him about the possibility to get a license to publish a limited print of the expansion. I have no idea how much could represent a license fee.

Treefrog sells the expansion #1 20$ + shipping and it is even less expensive in some online stores. Frankly, with a limited print, it is probably very difficult to sell at this price.

However I don't reject that option. We'll see.

Thanks

Claude
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Greg Taylor
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Klode wrote:
You two guys were having an interesting conversation while I was working this afternoon (as you can see, I haven't quit my job yet to become a full-time game designer!)


I was home sick from work. soblue

And there's very few people who can make a living designing boardgames. Excepting Monopoly, it's a small industry.

I recall reading somewhere that Martin Wallace only recently (in the last few years?) went full-time as a designer.

Klode wrote:
Today somebody told (wrote) me he was considering to buy the game based on my expansion, so that's good for me and especially good for Treefrog.


To add another data-point. I would not have bought Age of Industry without the Great Lakes map being available. I needed a two-player game, and the Great Lakes map looked to be a high quality, well-tested map to bring a good 2-player experience to Age of Industry. So you can be sure your map has made some sales for the game (at least 1, maybe 2).

Klode wrote:
Greg you were talking about the Great Lakes territory versus the Minnesota map. You're right, they are in the same area, but I think the selling point here is the 2 players playability, not the territory (IMHO).


Well, you know that, and I know that, but it would be hard to pitch that to the less-informed gamers. Now, if the Minnesota map had Great Lakes on the reverse side, that would have been a really solid thematic package -- a two-player and a 3-5 player map in the same region (something like Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 1 – Team Asia & Legendary Asia). But having recently published a map in that region, having the next map pack recall that region again... It seems like it could very well be interpreted by the customers as focusing too much on a single area. I would expect your far-flung Africa and USSR maps have a lot sexier shelf-appeal. Train gamers love their exotic locales, and variety!

It's not impossible, true, to envision it being marketable on its own merits. But it has a handicap out of the gate, at least coming from Treefrog, since they have already covered that region in their one (1) map pack released to date.

Sorry to be doom and gloom, but I'm just looking at this from a practical point of view and giving some suppositions as to why Treefrog might not be interested in printing the map (even if Martin likes it).

That said, I still would love it in cardboard...

Klode wrote:
I don't know what would be the cost to produce the board in this small quantity (it should be double-sided with 2 maps) taking into account the cost of production, customs (I would likely have to outsource the production of the board), shipping to Canada and the license fee + the shipping to the customer. Martin allowed me to have a game page for my expansion (and I thank him for that), but I haven't talked to him about the possibility to get a license to publish a limited print of the expansion. I have no idea how much could represent a license fee.


There's a lot of print and play resources on the BGG Game Design forums. Game prototypers are often seeking advice on where to print quality prototype boards, and how much small print runs would cost. I don't have the links off-hand, but they can be found. I believe that Print and Play Productions lurks around most of those threads, and they do short print runs. It might be worth pinging them for a quote.

I think though, that you're looking at a much higher sticker price than any official expansion would be able to reach. That's the nature of small print runs. I would expect it to be > $30 for a double-sided board, shipping extra, if you handled all of the orders yourself. Not cheap, and it would only really be for the fans who wanted a nice quality board to play on, not anything the masses would see.

And when I refer to license, not all licenses require money. But Treefrog does need to manage their brand. A small project like this would not make much (if any) profit, so they would have to see it as either a marketing opportunity or community support. Any large licensing fee would kill the project outright. A royalty on sales is one thing they might require. But I expect they'd primarily be concerned with brand management and making sure that their brand is not damaged by sloppy work.

I recall that some of the Age of Steam maps were published by a third-party. I wonder what Martin's experience was with that. He might be soured to the whole idea if that went poorly. But if not, it might be worth getting in touch with the company that printed the maps, perhaps they might be able to print an AoI one as well.

If you (being Claude) printed it yourself, I would not recommend doing it without a Kickstarter (or similar) prefunding. This would help prevent you from losing your pants on the project by ordering too many maps you couldn't later sell. This way, the initial printing could be done without any losses. If you include a profit margin above costs in the pricing structure, the kickstarter campaign could also provide funding for a larger print-run than the initial orders without losses. Which would give you a stock on hand for late-comers who miss the campaign but later want to buy the map. (only in selling those copies would you then see any real 'profit', but like you said, this isn't about making money, more about getting the quality printing out in a way that doesn't lose you money).

Anyway, a fun idea to bounce around. I'd like to see the other maps you're working on done before really embarking on a printing effort. I'd like to get all of the maps in a nice bundle in one go. thumbsup

[Edit: added Print and Play Productions' link]
 
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Ingo Griebsch
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Klode wrote:

I think I could probably handle a limited print of 100 or 200 boards and send them myself...


Count me in if you do such a thing...
 
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Nicol Stéphane
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You may kickstart this project.
 
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Nelson Stanley
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Even though I'm getting ready to have Office Depot do this map up for me, I would gladly pay more than $20 for a mounted board!


This is great stuff.

 
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Jack
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Fugitive Guy wrote:

Even though I'm getting ready to have Office Depot do this map up for me, I would gladly pay more than $20 for a mounted board!


This is great stuff.



Nelson, what is Office Depot printing the map on?
 
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Nelson Stanley
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HP Photo paper - $3
 
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Jack
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Are they printing it in one sheet?
 
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Andy Andersen
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I printed it off and mounted it on foam board.
 
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Jack
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Yup, that's what I did. I'm still going to hold out hope that Treefrog will make my wishes come true and produce this map.
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Nelson Stanley
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1 sheet, not mounted.
 
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Thomas Büttner
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I just ordered a copy of this map from www.posterxxl.de (in Germany).
The price is ok: About 15€ for a poster with tarnished finished. They had (almost) the right size: 60cm x 50cm -> 23.6" x 19.7"

The resolution of the uploaded picture here at BGG is too low, so I converted the PDF to JPG with a resolution of 300 DPI, which looked much better.

Now I'm waiting for the map to arrive...
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Ingo Griebsch
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Almecho wrote:
I just ordered a copy of this map from www.posterxxl.de (in Germany).
The price is ok: About 15€ for a poster with tarnished finished. They had (almost) the right size: 60cm x 50cm -> 23.6" x 19.7"

The resolution of the uploaded picture here at BGG is too low, so I converted the PDF to JPG with a resolution of 300 DPI, which looked much better.

Now I'm waiting for the map to arrive...


Would be really nice if you let us know how the result is...
 
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Jack
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Here in the USA, I believe Staples can print a poster-size map for $20-30.
 
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Thomas Büttner
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d0gb0t wrote:
Almecho wrote:
I just ordered a copy of this map from www.posterxxl.de
...


Would be really nice if you let us know how the result is...

The result is... FANTASTIC!

The map just arrived, and the quality is very good - sturdy paper/cardboard, a tarnished finish, wich is really good looking, and the colors are perfect. The graphics are very sharp and clear.

For 15 Euro I have gotten a really fine map of this expansion, and I'm looking forward to play this!

I plan to upload some pictures later this weekend - if I should forget, please kick me...
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Jack
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Almecho wrote:
I plan to upload some pictures later this weekend - if I should forget, please kick me...


Cocks foot. devil
 
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Thomas Büttner
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So, and here are the pictures:

The map is on very sturdy paper, as I already said. After unrolling, it lied almost entirely flat:


The finish is, as I said, matt. You can see the difference a bit with the counters:


The graphics and especially the fonts are very sharp and clear:



Note that I didn't use the jpg provided here at BGG, but took the PDF and used an online PDF->JPG converter, which let me convert it at 300 DPI. This way the resolution was much higher, and that was especially good for the fonts, since they are now very fine detailed looking.

Also note, that I didn't cut the borders: The JPG I uploaded to PosterXXL had a small black border, and they exactly printed it with this border - perfect!

The finish looks very good, and almost like plastic and very stain resistant - but I didn't tested this, of course...

And all that for 15 Euro...
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