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Subject: Small Card Game Packaging Thoughts rss

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Scott Gold
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Been lurking a while without registering, first time poster.

Did some searching, found some great info, but not exactly what I'm curious about.

When you have a small card game, maybe 50-100 cards, publishing that in a simple card box (maybe with a flap for the rules) sounds nice and inexpensive.

BUT there would seem to be some merit to publishing in a formal 2-piece box to give it a little more heft / merit / whatever...

A think a great example might be Sushi-GO. Its just two decks of cards, but comes in a metal tin with a plastic insert. That must escalate the manufacturing costs, and thus why the game runs $15 retail. But sometimes it makes the manufacturer in me hard to buy a $15 games that's just 100 cards on the inside.

Just curious what some thoughts are on this.

--Scott
 
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Dave VanderArk
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I recently picked up a card game that came without rules. It included an additional card with a scannable code. Scan that card with your phone and the rules open up on the phone.

Sure, this saves money for the manufacturer, but it only works for people who have a smart phone. I think that's an example of trying to cut costs at the expense of your potential customers.
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will regan
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My personal opinion is that your box size is going to reflect your price immensely. Your Sushi-Go argument doesn't hold water, because it has a piece other than cards that acts as a guide for the game.

If you just have cards in your game, then you need a card game box. That will send the right signal to your customer. They'll pick it up, see that it is what they expected, and make a purchase.

With your idea of a bigger box, you'll lose two customers. One - you'll lose the customer actually looking for a small deck game. Two, you'll lose the customer looking for a big game, then finding your game, with a box that feels light, and doesn't have the kind of content list they are expecting.

Me and my fiance shop exclusively in the $30 bracket, because that's what our size and budget permits.

Good luck!
 
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Tim Davidson
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I see a tuck-box as $3 deck of cards. For a real card game I'd much prefer a small top+bottom box, about 5.5 x 3.5 x 1 inch (what TheGameCrafter calls "small pro box"). Then it's a real (if small) game.


If the game components are just a deck of cards then add some tokens or gems or cubes to keep score. Any card game could use something like that. Then you've got a rational to fit the box.

Basically, the perceived value of the more substantial small game exceeds the cost of the box upgrade and a few gems. This reasoning seems to be pretty standard in boardgame publishing.
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Charles Boyung
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sg000 wrote:
Been lurking a while without registering, first time poster.

Did some searching, found some great info, but not exactly what I'm curious about.

When you have a small card game, maybe 50-100 cards, publishing that in a simple card box (maybe with a flap for the rules) sounds nice and inexpensive.

BUT there would seem to be some merit to publishing in a formal 2-piece box to give it a little more heft / merit / whatever...

A think a great example might be Sushi-GO. Its just two decks of cards, but comes in a metal tin with a plastic insert. That must escalate the manufacturing costs, and thus why the game runs $15 retail. But sometimes it makes the manufacturer in me hard to buy a $15 games that's just 100 cards on the inside.

Just curious what some thoughts are on this.

--Scott


2-piece box always - doesn't matter the size of the game. Tuckboxes are crap. They are inexpensive, yes, but they are also so easily destroyed that many will actively NOT buy a game because of the crappy box. You can have card games with 2-piece boxes that are still small box games - look at Valley of the Kings.
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Derry Salewski
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Also, if your game is any good, I'll want to play it a lot. And that means sleeving it. Which means a tuckbox probably stops working and I'll think twice about the game.
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David Thomas
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The quality of the packaging has an impact on the first impressions for a potential buyer. The art is very important of course, but even if the art is amazing, if the packaging is cheap I'm going to be worried about the quality of the game inside the box. You need both style and substance, and that box is the first thing to project that sense of substance to the player.

Price gets tricky as well. Look at a game like Exploding Kittens, only 56 cards in the box, yet it retails for $20. The box it comes in is thick cardstock, very sturdy and has a really good heft to it that helps make it feel more like its worth that price even though there is so little actually in that packaged.

Granted not all customers are going to take that into account when looking at price. But box art and the quality of the packaging can be the thing that helps swing someone's decision on making that purchase.

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Charles Ward
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Look into Button Shy games, they release stuff in a small plastic wallet. Not for me, but for 18 cards its ok.
 
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Christian Beck
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I have been trying to figure out the answer to this exact question for one of my games late in development.

To research it I went to my LGS and looked around for games in tuck boxes. I found only 3 types of games: children's' games / reskinned poker deck (old maid, go fish, matching games); expansions (mostly munchkin); and two games by White Wizard games (Epic Card Game and Star Realms).

What does this tell me? The children's' games are in those boxes because the parents already know the box is going to get wrecked or the kids are going to get bored of it. The expansions don't need their own box because you can just put them in the original game's box.

As for the games from White Wizard, they had to make the decision you and I have to and just decided to print them like that. And if you ask me, it worked. I bought both of those games a while ago because they were cheap and small enough to fit in my coat pocket so I could pull them out at a moment's notice between classes or at work. A lot of the reviews bring up the box, sometimes as a positive and sometimes a negative, so look at reactions there would and see what they think.
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David Thomas
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White Wizard's stuff is an interesting point. Their packaging is in many ways a marketing method to help appeal to a specific target audience.

They are in many ways go after the Magic audience, though without the blind pack system. Starter decks in tuck boxes, expansions in foil packs, with prices low enough to qualify the game for impulse purchases for a lot of people. But I really think is works for them because they went all the way with it and did both the tuck boxes and foil packs. And their tuck boxes are decently high quality for what they are.
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Scott Gold
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MrShinyObject wrote:
two games by White Wizard games (Epic Card Game and Star Realms).

Just a quick comment. Epic Card and Star Realms would _to me_ be in the collecting arena, where you'll eventually need your own box depending on the amount of cards you have. So they are out of my category in regards to packaging, imoho.
 
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Scott Gold
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Some great thoughts, everyone, really appreciate it.

The game is a self-contained game, with a rules pamphlet probably. Some small expansions, and I could see sleeving the cards, so I could see having a box that allows for a some more room in it, I hadn't put full thought into that just yet.

--Scott
 
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Scott Gold
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Will5to9 wrote:
My personal opinion is that your box size is going to reflect your price immensely. Your Sushi-Go argument doesn't hold water, because it has a piece other than cards that acts as a guide for the game.

I respectfully disagree. I don't think the guide drives the size or even the style of the sushi-go box. Either way, i'm definitely leaning towards a slightly larger package, away from a simple tuck box for many of the reasons mentioned.
 
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Corry Damey
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I agree with using a two part box like you mention moving toward. I think another thing to note on the positive side of doing this is that I've seen designers/publishers merited with being "more concerned about your game shelf space at home" in the way they packaged their game. Shut Up & Sit Down praises Blueprints in this video for that very thing. https://youtu.be/U2NnPFJVepo?t=1m25s
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