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A K Vikhagen
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Do they have machines that paint the minis, or are we talking human labor?

I am worried somebody is working with unfair pay to make this add up. I suppose this could be a problem even for higher priced board games, but this is the first thing that comes to mind, unless they are prize-dumping.
 
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Baker Odom
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tilde72 wrote:
Do they have machines that paint the minis, or are we talking human labor?

I am worried somebody is working with unfair pay to make this add up. I suppose this could be a problem even for higher priced board games, but this is the first thing that comes to mind, unless they are prize-dumping.


The game is put together in China so that right there is fairly cheap labor. However, MOST board games these days are put together in China. The real savings (from what's being reported) come from them eliminating the middle man in terms of distribution. Since RIOT is distributing it themselves solely from their website that apparently is a huge savings.
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Kristo Vaher
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tilde72 wrote:
Do they have machines that paint the minis, or are we talking human labor?

I am worried somebody is working with unfair pay to make this add up. I suppose this could be a problem even for higher priced board games, but this is the first thing that comes to mind, unless they are prize-dumping.


Here's some hard truth for you:

Most human resources that create board games for you are cheap, underpaid labor. From designers, majority of whom do it as a free time gig, to artists who get barely paid minimal wage in a highly contested field to assemblers and manufacturers who work extra time.

The only ones who are getting a good cut from all this are the publishers who control the prices. Asmodee price increases will not increase wages of any of those people involved, it only increases their own margins. And this is because the work of all of those other people are dependent on the game actually getting published and distributed.

So, if you want to throw a fit because this seems to be produced by cheap labor, then throw a fit against most board games out there

We're in an industry of labor of love when it comes to creators.

Riot is getting prices low because they are distributing it themselves and likely are not getting any profit from the project, just breaking even being my best guess. And why? Because of market attention it gets. Their profits from digital gaming are far above and beyond anything a game like this could get on physical form today.
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Troy Creamer
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The last poster made a great point about eliminating the middle man. I think that is most of it right there. Also the volume they are doing and reputation and resources probably gets them better deals than a smaller company ordering 5,000 copies at best. They might also be making not a lot per unit on this but this might be a test to see if there is demand for this in their community. I wouldn't be surprised if we see another game from them and they become a new player in the table top world gradually. Well see
 
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Nathanael Robinson
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To be precise, only five pieces are painted.
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A K Vikhagen
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Slashdoctor wrote:
So, if you want to throw a fit because this seems to be produced by cheap labor, then throw a fit against most board games out there


I wouldn't say I'm throwing a fit and I know these problems pertain to the production of many other board games, but this one is an example where it doesn't add up for me as an end-consumer.

If you have articles and other facts around the unjust production of board games in general, I would love to read them!

Also: are these minis hand-painted or du they have robots to do this nowadays?
 
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Baker Odom
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Bad Thoughts wrote:
To be precise, only five pieces are painted.


Well 5 are fully painted and 100 are washed.
 
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I legally own hundreds of polyhedral assault dice!
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This conversation reminds of a science-fiction novel I read by Greg Costikyan called First Contract. I encourage folks to check it out.
 
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Dean Love
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gecko1919 wrote:
The last poster made a great point about eliminating the middle man. I think that is most of it right there.


Yeah I posted this in another thread, but I think a lot of people just don't know the maths of it, or the level of distributor discount.

The standard distributor discount on RRP is 60-70%

So when FFG make a $100 game, they're seeing $30-40 per copy. The rest is profit for the distributor and profit for the retail store.

Whereas when they sell this direct for $75, they're seeing probably $70 of that. As much as FFG make on two copies of Imperial Assault.

I would imagine the figures are painted the same place most pre-painted minis are done. It's not a huge industry, I can't imagine they started up some new sweat-shop just to do these ultra-cheap. I'd put money on your FFG and Wizkids pre-paints coming from the same place.

That's not to say that place doesn't exploit workers. Just it's going to be no worse than on any other board game.
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You mean everyone isn't going to look at their pre-painted mini, say "who gives a shit?", and then repaint it themselves?
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Deano2099 wrote:

I would imagine the figures are painted the same place most pre-painted minis are done. It's not a huge industry, I can't imagine they started up some new sweat-shop just to do these ultra-cheap. I'd put money on your FFG and Wizkids pre-paints coming from the same place.

The game is made at Panda, so as you say, one of the many. Interestingly, Riot Games are themselves owned by Chinese company Tencent.
 
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Nathanael Robinson
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thebaker1983 wrote:
Bad Thoughts wrote:
To be precise, only five pieces are painted.


Well 5 are fully painted and 100 are washed.

Washing is not as intensive, and probably can be done by machine.
 
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Baker Odom
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Bad Thoughts wrote:
thebaker1983 wrote:
Bad Thoughts wrote:
To be precise, only five pieces are painted.


Well 5 are fully painted and 100 are washed.

Washing is not as intensive, and probably can be done by machine.


Exactly.
 
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Riley Doyle
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Bad Thoughts wrote:
thebaker1983 wrote:
Bad Thoughts wrote:
To be precise, only five pieces are painted.


Well 5 are fully painted and 100 are washed.

Washing is not as intensive, and probably can be done by machine.


They have a washing machine? Amazing
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Baker Odom
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RileyD wrote:
Bad Thoughts wrote:
thebaker1983 wrote:
Bad Thoughts wrote:
To be precise, only five pieces are painted.


Well 5 are fully painted and 100 are washed.

Washing is not as intensive, and probably can be done by machine.


They have a washing machine? Amazing


You'd think if they paid to put the minions in a washing machine the least they could do is also spring for the follow up dryer brush. whistle
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Donny Behne
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My guess is this comes from the same place as Krosmaster Arena minis. They're prepainted as well. I feel questions like this are really weird, like people don't realize that the action figures kids play with are painted by machine, not by hand. You realize that these "minis" are being made just like a pre-painted toy would be made, right? This isn't thousands of adolescent children painting minis 18 hours a day...
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A K Vikhagen
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kelann08 wrote:
I feel questions like this are really weird, like people don't realize that the action figures kids play with are painted by machine, not by hand. You realize that these "minis" are being made just like a pre-painted toy would be made, right? This isn't thousands of adolescent children painting minis 18 hours a day...


Sorry if you feel that the question is weird - but I am really interested in knowing if unfair pay and exploitation in general is an issue with everything I buy. This game is only special because the price point is so low, and that is why I posted it here.

You seem to be convinced that the minis are painted by a machine, which if true is great news. However: are you stating a fact or an opinion?
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Nathanael Robinson
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tilde72 wrote:
kelann08 wrote:
I feel questions like this are really weird, like people don't realize that the action figures kids play with are painted by machine, not by hand. You realize that these "minis" are being made just like a pre-painted toy would be made, right? This isn't thousands of adolescent children painting minis 18 hours a day...


Sorry if you feel that the question is weird - but I am really interested in knowing if unfair pay and exploitation in general is an issue with everything I buy. This game is only special because the price point is so low, and that is why I posted it here.

You seem to be convinced that the minis are painted by a machine, which if true is great news. However: are you stating a fact or an opinion?


Riot Games claims to have worked with Panda, who have printed more than a few games that you currently own. You should have the same level of comfort with this game as the others.
 
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A K Vikhagen
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Bad Thoughts wrote:
You should have the same level of comfort with this game as the others.


Again: my level of comfort is connected to whether machines paint the minis or not - well do they?
 
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Dean Love
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tilde72 wrote:

Sorry if you feel that the question is weird - but I am really interested in knowing if unfair pay and exploitation in general is an issue with everything I buy.


It probably is. iphones are massively expensive but Apple still manage to exploit the factory workers. It's really, really hard to live and avoid any exploitation. Food, pharmaceuticals, clothes, power... all have big issues.

The standard of life that even the poorest of us have become accustomed to in the Western world is predicated on people elsewhere having shit lives. If you properly dig in to it it's scary how ingrained into everything it all is. The only way we raise the living standards of others is by massively lowering our own.

And err, well as such I personally don't see the point of paying particular attention to a particular luxury good.
 
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A K Vikhagen
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Deano2099 wrote:
tilde72 wrote:

Sorry if you feel that the question is weird - but I am really interested in knowing if unfair pay and exploitation in general is an issue with everything I buy.


It probably is. iphones are massively expensive but Apple still manage to exploit the factory workers. It's really, really hard to live and avoid any exploitation. Food, pharmaceuticals, clothes, power... all have big issues.

The standard of life that even the poorest of us have become accustomed to in the Western world is predicated on people elsewhere having shit lives. If you properly dig in to it it's scary how ingrained into everything it all is. The only way we raise the living standards of others is by massively lowering our own.

And err, well as such I personally don't see the point of paying particular attention to a particular luxury good.


I see your point, and I'm not trying to be the good guy in all of this, I'm not so naïve I don't understand how mass production works. But when I saw the minis in the Dice Tower video they looked really nice and I started thinking, that's all. I heard 15000 copies is made in the first print, and times five that is 75k minis that needs to be painted. If these are all done by hand and with poor pay, then it triggers my conscience, I must say.
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Chris Cantrell
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We partnered with Panda to manufacture MvM. They've been a phenomenal partner and really helped us navigate this new landscape.

All of the components (including painted miniatures) were done by them at factories over in China. I, personally, travelled out to China this summer and toured their (beautiful) facilities. Not because I think some guy at Riot telling you 'Don't worry' would really do much to alleviate your concerns - there's an obvious conflict of interest if I'm your source - but I frankly just shared your fears. I think it's healthy to worry about who is making your goods - not just your board games - and understanding the nature of that labour can help make it so that you aren't accidentally complicit in something nefarious out of ignorance.

I was really pleased and think the guys over at Panda run a really solid operation - and would encourage anyone who's wanting to kickstart an idea they've been chewing on to at least look closely at how Panda could help make that happen. My concerns, personally, were alleviated during that trip (I also fell in love with the culture), but I don't know how I'd be able to explain that in a way that'd make you trust me or my assessment. I guess if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't.

But yeah, the minis were painted with a mixture of machine and hand painting. It's kind of surreal to watch the hand painting happen, they have a bunch of people sitting in a row. They break down the components and paint as much as they can by machine, and then with all of the components broken apart, they just paint one thing - like a highlight in Zigg's goggles or something - then the next guy in the line will take that piece and do some weathering dry brush, then the next guy does something else. It was a pretty surreal moment to see all of these components being crafted right in front of me after using random prototype pieces for so long.

The costs weren't cut by going with a shady partner. Panda has a very solid track record from where I'm sitting. The costs were cut by delivering directly to players - though there are other problems that came with that decision (like logistics, POS, shipping, etc) it ultimately allowed us to provide the game at a very reduced cost based on how the board game market traditionally operates.
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A K Vikhagen
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Thanks for taking the time to write this reply, I appreciate it. Other posters have pointed out that the direct delivery probably was the thing that made the low price point possible, and you confirm that. Also, it's really nice to know that as a producer you are involved in this question and do what you can to do good. Good luck with your game!
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Scott Everts
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Panda ia a standup company. We did our last game with Panda and they did a wonderful job.

Looking forward to seeing the game!
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