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Subject: I need less air! rss

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Wim van Gruisen
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Less air in my game boxes, that is. My game shelves are overflowing and adding a new game to it is an insanely difficult Tetris-like puzzle. The main cause of that (next to my spending habits and hoarding instinct) is the fact that game boxes are so much larger than they need to be. There's too much air in them, and not enough content. But I've decided to fight back. See the first results:

Case 1: Dominion


My stack of Dominion games and expansions. Each box contains a bit of cardboard, a bit of plastic to hold that cardboard, and lots of air.

Getting the air out, and even more cardboard in (index cards for each card, and dividers to separate rows of cards) meant that all my cards can be held in just this:



One Kallax/Expedit cube of space created!
Here's a picture of the cards in the new box:


Case 2: Mysterium (Tajemnicze Domostwo)
The big mystery to me is why this excellent game needs such a large box. It's filled 2ith 20 percent cardboard and 80 percent ghost, I guess.

I excorcised the ghost, found a smaller box and made my own cover:



Above is the official box, below is mine.

There is still enough room for the cards of the expansion to be.
And the new ghost screen? I'm not convinced yet that I need it. I played French Mysterium, and the ghost screen there could not hold all the cards. And that is the first thing that such a screen should do, in my opinion.
Rulebook is downloaded to my iPad, and not needed in the box. All the more because the rulebook that came with the box was in Polish, and all I know in that language is how to order beer and how to tell someone to take a hike.


Case 3: Among Nobles
Another good game which is too big for its size. The game box is the size of that of Race for the Galaxy, but the contents fit into those half-size boxes of the RftG expansions, and then still have room to spare. And unlike RftG, no expansions are expected for Among Nobles. I still had an empty RftG expansion box lying around.

Among Meeples, the publisher of the game, was friendly enough to make the cover illustration for their game available for download here. A bit of Photoshopping and Blue Peter-like stuff later I had my own Among Nobles mini-box:



I'll let you find out for yourself which is the official box and which box is mine.
Largest problem was the box-sized rulebook, but I found out that it didn't mind being folded in half to fit in the new box.


My next project will be Arkham Horror. The game has spread its tentacles over five big expansion boxes and four smaller ones, but should be able to survive in a much smaller environment - think of it as non-Euclidian space.
Getting it all in fewer boxes is not too difficult, but I'm thinking of ways to storing it in such a way that I can get it out of the box and on the table, saving set-up time.
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Darth Heisenberg
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I hear you.

Selling air is a big problem, maybe someday (never) they'll get it. Both gamers & shops will save valuable space.

Worst thing is they sell these boxes full of air, yet 99% of them don't even have a useful insert.
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Steven Durst
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There is some marketing to this however. When people see a small box on the shelf, they are more likely to sniff at a $50-60 price tag than a larger box.
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Wim van Gruisen
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Wario83 wrote:
There is some marketing to this however. When people see a small box on the shelf, they are more likely to sniff at a $50-60 price tag than a larger box.

Wouldn't it be great if, when you open a big box you just bought at the store, you find a smaller box inside that's just large enough to hold your items, and fits snugly on your shelf? Then you can throw the big box away, or hand it in at your FLGS, who can then send it back to the publisher to be reused
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Marina SC
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My collection is relatively small so box size isn't so much of an issue; what annoys me are irregularly shaped boxes, especially boxes that are flat and long. Where am I going to store you, Tikal?
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Cool User
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Where do you store all the boxes you are no longer using? Since you described yourself as a hoarder, I just *know* you didn't throw them away!
 
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Wim van Gruisen
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cool username wrote:
Where do you store all the boxes you are no longer using? Since you described yourself as a hoarder, I just *know* you didn't throw them away!

Well, actually, I did, with a few of them. And I've come to regret it in one case. Race for the Galaxy also contained more air than needed. So I stored the whole contents, apart for the sheets with symbols, in the first expansion box. And added the second expansion, and the third there as well. That left more than enough room for the contents of the fourth expansion, the first one in the second story arc. Only with the fifth one, recently, the box became too small - but now I don't have the original box anymore.

I'm looking for a spare copy. Until that time I have repurposed the 'Roll for the Galaxy - Ambition' box to hole my Race stuff. It works well, but the cards are getting a bit schizophrenic now.

I've donated the big Dominion boxes to my six year old daughter, who now uses them for her stuff (Dominion: Adventures is her favourite box, since it has a knight). She also has the Ginkopolis expansion box, in which she keeps her Barbie doll, with dresses and stuff.

The big Roborally box has just enough rooms for the boards of all the expansions. So I keep the cards, chits, miniatures and all that in a box of a Carcassonne expansion. The main Among Nobles box now holds lots of cables for camera's, mobile phones, etc. And so on, and so on.

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Steph Pearce
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Your opening paragraph sounded like a commercial for BITBOX:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/game-ovations/bitbox-sp...



 
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ackmondual
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Whymme wrote:

I couldn't help but to laugh when I saw someone at a convention juggling 6 boxes of Dominion like you have in this photo. laugh

But yeah, something's gotta give...
--consolidate
--only carry these boxes and no other games really
--host at your place so you don't have to worry about carry solutions (although I acknowledge that in your case, you consolidated to reclaim shelf space anyways)
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Alex Norris
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Amerigo - the best example of a huge and unnecessary box. It truly is massive. I thought people on bgg were being extreme before I owned it. They weren't... Smhshake
 
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Henrik Johansson
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When I bought Dominion: Intrigue I stuffed the Dominion into it, and threw away the left-over box. But sadly, within a few days, I managed to damage the remaining box, making a large unrecoverable indention into it! Looking for the garbage one in the bin, but it was long gone!
 
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Wim van Gruisen
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sthrjo wrote:
When I bought Dominion: Intrigue I stuffed the Dominion into it, and threw away the left-over box. But sadly, within a few days, I managed to damage the remaining box, making a large unrecoverable indention into it! Looking for the garbage one in the bin, but it was long gone!

Shall I talk to my daughter about it? Perhaps you can have one of her Dominion boxes
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Cameron Harris
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Broken Token has saved the day for me for a number of games with multiple expansions...
Before:


(not pictured: 6 mini expansions whose boxes are long gone...)

After:



Similarly, Dominion + 6 expansions down to 2 boxes
No organizer but all of the Dixit expansions together in the dixit box
HUGE space savers
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I usually just sell off my games - a very painful process

But yeah, this is a big issue! Though it is nice when you get an expansion that fits in the box - however, in that case they should just make the expansion box that oversized air-filled monster
 
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James Arias
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Besides the marketing reason for big boxes o' air (and in this vein funny that a video game in a small box can cost more), I've always wondered if durability during shipping is another reason? Putting aside ding & dent, lots of the games I've bought seemed to have the insert and bits packaging set up to make the box resilient to drops/crushing, but then after you unpack everything the insert isn't optimal and if not lots of empty space, can't get everything to easily fit back in the box!
 
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Wim van Gruisen
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goldspire wrote:
Broken Token has saved the day for me for a number of games with multiple expansions...
Before:


(not pictured: 6 mini expansions whose boxes are long gone...)

After:



Similarly, Dominion + 6 expansions down to 2 boxes
No organizer but all of the Dixit expansions together in the dixit box
HUGE space savers

I can put expansions in the main box without BT organisers. My point wasabout games where the boxes are larger than the game - even with expansions - needs. Even Broken Token organisers don't reduce the size of, say, the Among Nobles box.
 
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G.Daddy.Slim
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While being able to hold more is better, I think the "relative" standardization in box sizes does help keep things look more organized on the shelves. If every box was custom fit or custom sized to fit each game, you literally could have 100's (or 1000's) of different box sizes on your shelf. That would make it hard to sort, stack and or organize your shelf..

In the case of Dominion (and other games with planned expansions), I think the intent was to allow more room in the boxes for expansions.. What would be cool, is if the base game came in a full or oversized box with whitespace on the side, and each expansion came in smaller packaging with stickers/labels that could be placed in the whitespace of the original box. That way you could still see which expansions you had when the game is displayed on your shelf.. If they wanted, the publisher could sell 2 versions of the expansion, one with stickers, the other with a full size box. This might be cost prohibitive, as it would require 2 packaging production lines.
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Dave K
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I agree that this is a problem, and I try to consolidate when I can. (I toss almost all expansion boxes and just store them in the original, for example.)
 
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Michael Coniff
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Whymme wrote:

..The big mystery to me is why this excellent game needs such a large box. It's filled 2ith 20 percent cardboard and 80 percent ghost, I guess.

I excorcised the ghost, found a smaller box and made my own cover:




Haha I laughed at this. Excellent work! I'm all about this deck consolidation and may have to do that with the Munchkin sets I have and also see about shrinking down, Castles of Mad King Ludwig. As it is one of the worst offenders of hoarding air (or ghosts).
 
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Gut Shot Games
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I was working in the video game industry when an influential retailer dictated that they would no longer carry over-sized PC Game boxes. They made the case that reducing the size of the box would save on shipping and increase productivity per square foot.

Almost all publishers were very reluctant and pushed back but eventually agreed (with The Sims being the last & only exception for ~6 months). You know what, they were right. Shipping costs declined almost 15% and while sales of individual titles saw little impact, the category productivity increased.

Im not so sure if productivity per square feet will improve but publishers would save on shipping costs if more air was removed.

That said, I would love to see a publisher go a different way with expansions... Instead of selling an over-sized core box. Make it as small as possible. When you launch an expansion, make the box big enough to add the core components. This will give consumers a fresh new box whose artwork reflects the correct version of the game they have.
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gutshotgames wrote:
I was working in the video game industry when an influential retailer dictated that they would no longer carry over-sized PC Game boxes. They made the case that reducing the size of the box would save on shipping and increase productivity per square foot.

Almost all publishers were very reluctant and pushed back but eventually agreed (with The Sims being the last & only exception for ~6 months). You know what, they were right. Shipping costs declined almost 15% and while sales of individual titles saw little impact, the category productivity increased.

Im not so sure if productivity per square feet will improve but publishers would save on shipping costs if more air was removed.

That said, I would love to see a publisher go a different way with expansions... Instead of selling an over-sized core box. Make it as small as possible. When you launch an expansion, make the box big enough to add the core components. This will give consumers a fresh new box whose artwork reflects the correct version of the game they have.
I don't have any figures nor industry knowledge to back this up, but I suspected that vg consumers were never swayed (at least positively) by bigger boxes. Unless there were large reference sheets, you could always just throw away the box, and just store the jewel case. Bg-ers don't have that option, and when they do need that option, they'll consolidate games into fewer boxes, or find smaller boxes.

I'm wondering if publishers would REALLY appreciate this too. I know more than one bg designer has said the size of the box is something they take into consideration since shaving a bit of volume off their boxes can mean they can fix 'x' more boxes per pallet, which is savings for them. The new editions of games like High Society and Modern Art: The Card Game sold here on the BGG Store are excellent examples where cutting the box size down by at least one half has done wonders
 
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Matt Brown
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Alextnorris wrote:
Amerigo - the best example of a huge and unnecessary box. It truly is massive. I thought people on bgg were being extreme before I owned it. They weren't... Smhshake


I believe Splendor would like a word with you.
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Whymme wrote:
Wario83 wrote:
There is some marketing to this however. When people see a small box on the shelf, they are more likely to sniff at a $50-60 price tag than a larger box.

Wouldn't it be great if, when you open a big box you just bought at the store, you find a smaller box inside that's just large enough to hold your items, and fits snugly on your shelf? Then you can throw the big box away, or hand it in at your FLGS, who can then send it back to the publisher to be reused


Castellan from SJG does this.
 
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Gianluca Casu
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Do not get me started on Core Worlds lads...angry
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matthean wrote:
Alextnorris wrote:
Amerigo - the best example of a huge and unnecessary box. It truly is massive. I thought people on bgg were being extreme before I owned it. They weren't... Smhshake


I believe Splendor would like a word with you.

Plus a show and tell! wow
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