David Schuth
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm trying to increase the geekfactor here on the BGG.

I am interested in visiting businesses/factories that manufacture boardgames to see how they are made and put together. I am willing to travel long distances and to other countries to see this vision.

Is anyone aware of any? Where are they? Do you happen to know which games they make? Do they give tours?

This is a great one for any publishers (self or otherwise), artists, designers, etc. on the BGG.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Insurance issues would prevent non-employees from visiting any major factory floor, no matter what the industry.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Schuth
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Boardgame Manufacturing Factories - How are Boardgames m
Yeah, yeah. But some of them have those walkways above the floor, like Ben & Jerry's and Wall Street. Some of them are in countries where silly things like insurance make no matter.

I take it you don't know any?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Not that allow tours. Most companies don't do their manufacturing at their headquarters. They send stuff out to printers and manufacturers who do more than just their product.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Rauscher
New Zealand
Mount Victoria
Wellington
flag msg tools
I'm at work so cannot look through my boxes now, but step one is to find out who makes the games you like. That information may or may not be printed in the manual.

If not printed, go to your favorite game company's web site and nose around. See if you can find an e-mail that's not to a sales person, but someone in management, and send them a very frank, open, honest e-mail about your desire. You'd be surprised how positively they may respond.

(No disrespect to anyone in sales - they're great in a pinch with customer service - it's just that they often don't have the information, access, or authority to help you with this kind of request.)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Holzman
United States
Seffner
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Boardgame Manufacturing Factories - How are Boardgames m
Geosphere wrote:
Insurance issues would prevent non-employees from visiting any major factory floor, no matter what the industry.

Actually, this is not true (despite the litigious nature of folks in modern times). Over the past 19 years, I have seen numerous non-employees visiting automated factory floors in several industries. Even today, the Tropicana plant in Bradenton, FL (for example) offers plant tours to the public.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Bearcat89 wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
Insurance issues would prevent non-employees from visiting any major factory floor, no matter what the industry.

Actually, this is not true (despite the litigious nature of folks in modern times). Over the past 19 years, I have seen numerous non-employees visiting automated factory floors in several industries. Even today, the Tropicana plant in Bradenton, FL (for example) offers plant tours to the public.


They have insurance that allows it. I've been in several plants on the floor where they are specifically prohibited. It depends on the place and what kind of PR they want.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Lawson
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
How are boardgames made?

Well... You see, a mommy and daddy boardgame have to love each other very much.....

Seriously, the major operations are probably printed in China or Malaysia. If you want to see a small operation, you might want to contact the guy who did Viktory II, since he self published. In the old days, you could have visited Monarch Avalon's printing facility (AH's parent), but that is no longer an option.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kyle S
United States
Vermont
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Boardgame Manufacturing Factories - How are Boardgames m
Geosphere wrote:
It depends on the place and what kind of PR they want.

A) Why didn't you say that originally?
B) Other countries are much less litigious than the United States.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gone Fishing
United States
Unspecified
flag msg tools
Re: Boardgame Manufacturing Factories - How are Boardgames m
I would suggest you ask the Valley Games guys. When everyone was questioning whether or not they were going to publish die macher, they put on their website a video of the game actually going through the presses.

Now, they might have an interest in keeping that information to themselves, and they might be busy with millions of other things, but they were at least able to give people that glimpse, so they might be open to offering more information.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Boos
United States
Falls Church
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been on numerous factory floors taht are quite dangerous (like pastics manufacturers) where the public wasn't allowed. This was sometimes on contract (but my contract had nothing to do with the floor - i was working with a portal company doing an implemetation) and I don't know how many tours I have seen at NAVAIR Depots (working on aircraft).

I dunno, seems like you might have to sign a waiver in case you fell into the paper cutting machine, but t could be done.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sarcophilus Harrisii

Unspecified
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Liability is mainly an excuse to keep anyone with out a good reason off the floor of a manufacturing facility. If you can convince them you have a good reason, they will happily give you a tour. But coming up wih a good reason will be tricky. I would try an education or jouralism angle. Expect the tour on a slow day rather than deadline chaos so you won't be in the way. When I was in school I toured a few medium sized printing facilities. Afterward during a few years in clean-room manufacturing I've seen tours given to non-employees. Which is saying something as it takes time and explanation to get some one suited up and in without causing a contamination problem. There were all kinds of dangers there with large machines and production robots but you would have to intentionally try to hurt yourself with all the safety precautions and fail safes. If they are running under OSHA guidelines it should be safe enough.

As others have said most of the manufacturing is outsourced or off site. In this case you would want to tour a plant dedicated to a specific process and bypass the game company all together. Chances are they would not be working on a game when you toured though.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Kruijt
Netherlands
Eindhoven
NBr
flag msg tools
This overtext intentionally left blank.
badge
.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Boardgame Manufacturing Factories - How are Boardgames m
What I suspect is that there is not one single factory that makes a boardgame. It's all subcontracted accordig to specialism. Cards are printed at e.g. carta mundi. Boards are printed at a printer that can print on thin paper and can mount that on cardboard. He may also make the box. Yet another manufacturer may produce the plastic figures and/or the tray. A 'regular' printer may print the rules booklet. Dice come from another factory, and also for wooden bits there are specialised factories. Finally everything gets shipped to one location, where the game is 'assembled', shrink wrapped and put in cartons ready to get shipped to retailers (or first to the publishers warehouse). So I figure you would need to visit a lot of different places to see how a single game is produced, but don't let that stop you. Good luck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
eric hanuise
Belgium
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Boardgame Manufacturing Factories - How are Boardgames m
In the event you get allowed to visit all the places that make the parts of a game, from the designer's offices to various local and foreign parts factories to final assembly and shipping, please by all means make sure you use the opportunity to make an article out of it. Take pictures (or get a professional photographer to accompany you), and of course secure all the required authorisations for publication.
This kind of material should easily sell to specialized publications, or maybe some websites, and would provide you with the pretext you need to back up your requests to the games makers.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's some threads with pics of the workings inside Adiken, when my son was allowed to help make miniatures and stuff:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/67442

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/77593
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Schuth
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Boardgame Manufacturing Factories - How are Boardgames m
Hey thanks guys! These are some great thoughts so far!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Bowling
United States
Unspecified
Texas
flag msg tools
Re: Boardgame Manufacturing Factories - How are Boardgames m
mtlawson wrote:
How are boardgames made?

Well... You see, a mommy and daddy boardgame have to love each other very much.....

Seriously, the major operations are probably printed in China or Malaysia. If you want to see a small operation, you might want to contact the guy who did Viktory II, since he self published. In the old days, you could have visited Monarch Avalon's printing facility (AH's parent), but that is no longer an option.


The publisher of Viktory II has a website documenting the history of the game, from the way the rules evolved to trial and error in manufacturing. It is a thorough and interesting look at the process.

Here is the link: http://www.viktorygame.com/viktoryiihistory/
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.