matt brand
Switzerland
flag msg tools
Hi I'm new here. I joined hoping I could get advice.


I'm designing a bit of a novel board game for kids. I have the basic concept down and even have a homemade prototype I'm using now. My question is where would be the best place to print my game? The catch is that my game is wall mounted with magnetic spaces. I would prefer pod. Are there any sites that could accommodate my design? Price isn't too much of a concern right now because I hope to scale it eventually to be more affordable and just want 15~ well designed units for the testing stage.

Am I perhaps going about this wrong? Should I maybe go straight to large manufacturer instead?

Any insight would be valuable.

Thanks in advance,

Matt
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Boyd
United States
Evansville
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, I've had good experience for prototypes through printplaygames.com.

If you're just testing, though, I would continue to work with homemade prototypes. The only time I might consider more "professional" prototypes is if I were meeting with publishers. Even then, often a homemade prototype will do fine.

From my own experience, having spent way too much on really nice prototypes that end up being changed or shelved, I would wait until you've playtested the hell out of it and you're ready to shop it to publishers before I spent a bundle on really nice prototypes.

The designer's job is to come up with a fun game. That does't require illustration or great components; it requires you to work hard on making the game as fun as it can be.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew H
United States
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not exactly sure of your needs, but you can upload pictures to some sites like shutterfly, and they will print them on flat magnets. I've seen people print their children's faces on these magnets to do "chore charts" on their refrigerators. However, I think the background chart is just a plain sheet of paper.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Michael Thomas
United States
Running Springs
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
You can find more info than you probably wanted to know here:
http://www.jamesmathe.com/hitchhikers-guide-to-game-manufact...

Scroll down to the section labeled "Print on Demand Printers" and there's a list of plenty of shops that can do full prototypes for you.

But I second @debiant that you should be careful about spending too much on prototypes until you're sure you're far enough along. If you're planning to court a publisher for the game, a home made prototype is probably fine and you may not need any POD prototypes. If you're planning to self-publish you should probably do more testing before you spend alot on a bunch of prototypes.

If you want some prototypes to do more testing and don't want the work of creating more hand-made prototypes, you might want to print 1-3 with one of the POD shops so you can get the game in front of more people, and then use the feedback from that to improve the game before you spring for more prototypes. But expect that the game will change as you get it in front of more people, so don't invest too much in prototypes that will probably end up becoming obsolete fairly quickly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
matt brand
Switzerland
flag msg tools
skyhighsmile wrote:


But I second @debiant that you should be careful about spending too much on prototypes until you're sure you're far enough along. If you're planning
If you want some prototypes to do more testing and don't want the work of creating more hand-made prototypes, you might want to print 1-3 with one of the POD shops so you can get the game in front of more people, and then use the feedback from that to improve the game before you spring for more prototypes. But expect that the game will change as you get it in front of more people, so don't invest too much in prototypes that will probably end up becoming obsolete fairly quickly.


Yes, this. I want to distribute approx 10 pcs specifically for testing. I don't really want to distribute an unpolished looking game to my testers. I mean I will do that if I have no other choice but I actually thought pod would make a good choice allowing me to set up the basic design before going full scale.
I appreciate the feedback though. This is my first time making a game and I would like to cover all bases. I am not worried about online distribution because this game is designed for a small niche crowd who probably aren't frequenting board game sites. I have other plans for local distribution and promotion. The pod sites were specifically for the testing stage and not for exposure.
Alternatively if I were to choose a Chinese manufacturer would they allow me a test number of 10 while I iron out the glitches?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Boyd
United States
Evansville
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
iceteapop wrote:
skyhighsmile wrote:


But I second @debiant that you should be careful about spending too much on prototypes until you're sure you're far enough along. If you're planning
If you want some prototypes to do more testing and don't want the work of creating more hand-made prototypes, you might want to print 1-3 with one of the POD shops so you can get the game in front of more people, and then use the feedback from that to improve the game before you spring for more prototypes. But expect that the game will change as you get it in front of more people, so don't invest too much in prototypes that will probably end up becoming obsolete fairly quickly.


Yes, this. I want to distribute approx 10 pcs specifically for testing. I don't really want to distribute an unpolished looking game to my testers. I mean I will do that if I have no other choice but I actually thought pod would make a good choice allowing me to set up the basic design before going full scale.
I appreciate the feedback though. This is my first time making a game and I would like to cover all bases. I am not worried about online distribution because this game is designed for a small niche crowd who probably aren't frequenting board game sites. I have other plans for local distribution and promotion. The pod sites were specifically for the testing stage and not for exposure.
Alternatively if I were to choose a Chinese manufacturer would they allow me a test number of 10 while I iron out the glitches?


The Chinese manufacture is only when you have your game finished and you want to order at least 500 copies of your game. They may be able to send some advance copies but those aren't for testing they are for review and promotion and they will cost you more.

One major problem with polished prototypes is that people are less likely to point out any glaring concerns with how the game plays. If this is the first time that you are playtesting outside of your own circle of friends/family then it's much better to save the money and use homemade prototypes.

The reason is that playtesters may think that the game is too far along to make any big changes. They will point out graphic design issues and issues in the rules document or how something looks when what you really need is honest feedback on how the game plays.

Designing games is fun and exciting and you want your game to look great too. I understand that completely and have spent a lot more money than I'd care to admit in public on prototypes. I'd like to help someone else save a bunch of money if at all possible.

If the game is fun people will enjoy it regardless of how homemade it looks. If it's not fun, then why waste your money making it look great.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many of us here at BGG are not just designers/gamers but have families and look for games to play with our children. Why not post your rules document for people to look at here before you go too far. There are many experienced designers here that might be able to point out problems with game play.

Check out the Seeking Playtesters forum as well. I love some HABA games and those are definitely designed for kids.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tony Go
United States
New York
NY
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
If you're having hull problems I feel bad for you son, I've got 99 problems but a breach ain't one.
badge
TauLeaderGames.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
boardgamesmaker.com and a little DIY
1 
 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.