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Subject: Manufacture cost: Dice vs Card Deck? rss

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Skyler Simmons
New Zealand
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Hello all,

First thread post on the BGG, but been a long-time fan and visitor. Getting to the point:

I'm designing a game, and I've come to the point where I'm considering manufacturing costs in respect to not only presenting to Publishers (my first option) and, if all Publishers refuse my game, potentially Self-Publishing down the road (my obvious second option).

I've done what research I can, but am still generally fuzzy on a particular issue. The basic question is "What costs more? Dice or Cards?", but I know that the details matter, so here they are:

What would cost more in manufacturing costs: a set of 3 6-sided dice with 3 different symbols, each of their own color (1 symbol on one side, 2 on 2 sides, and 3 on 3 sides), or a deck of roughly 60 cards with full-color custom art on both sides?

I know that printing quality matters, but let's say we're simply leaving it up to the publisher in this case, while retaining full-color printing for either the dice or cards.

Also, in case it matters, the use or dice or cards in the game itself IS ultimately for the same mechanic/end result: I'm simply trying to figure out which is cheaper to improve my chances with publishers, or reduce costs if it comes to self-publishing...

Any questions or answers, or even discussion, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance guys,

Skyler
 
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Ben Stanley
United States
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I'm going to venture a guess (but it really depends on the number you order, the quality, and the deal you can get (these kinds of things aren't set in stone or uniform, after all)).

I suspect that if the dice are unengraved (stickers or painted), you can get them for less than your custom art deck of different sided full color cards, but if the dice are engraved, they are going to cost more.

I generally go for nicer components even if they do cost more, but I recognize that isn't always the best approach and certainly not the top priority for most publishers.
 
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Skyler Simmons
New Zealand
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Thanks for you reply so far, Ben!

Like said above, it's ultimately up to the publisher whether to simply paint the die or engrave them, but if you needed more details on our hypothetical print run, I'd say painted dice (going for low cost). 3 of them, to be precise. Also, it's again up to the publisher on the # of copies printed, but if it came to a self-print it would be 500 at this point (1500 dice, yikes!).

I'm generally getting the feeling that if it's going to be the same end result in the game, the difference in cost doesn't really matter that much, as long as the game is fun. Or... does it?

Also, yes I'm a first-time designer, if that adds anything to discussion.

Skyler
 
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Sean Shaw
United States
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Skyler Simmons wrote:
Hello all,

First thread post on the BGG, but been a long-time fan and visitor. Getting to the point:

I'm designing a game, and I've come to the point where I'm considering manufacturing costs in respect to not only presenting to Publishers (my first option) and, if all Publishers refuse my game, potentially Self-Publishing down the road (my obvious second option).

I've done what research I can, but am still generally fuzzy on a particular issue. The basic question is "What costs more? Dice or Cards?", but I know that the details matter, so here they are:

What would cost more in manufacturing costs: a set of 3 6-sided dice with 3 different symbols, each of their own color (1 symbol on one side, 2 on 2 sides, and 3 on 3 sides), or a deck of roughly 60 cards with full-color custom art on both sides?

I know that printing quality matters, but let's say we're simply leaving it up to the publisher in this case, while retaining full-color printing for either the dice or cards.

Also, in case it matters, the use or dice or cards in the game itself IS ultimately for the same mechanic/end result: I'm simply trying to figure out which is cheaper to improve my chances with publishers, or reduce costs if it comes to self-publishing...

Any questions or answers, or even discussion, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance guys,

Skyler


Just from my experience of doing PnP games...

It depends. Who is doing the card artwork. IF it is simple artwork or you do it yourself, the cards will cost approximately...50 cents for the actual publishing, and then depends on what type of finish you want.

Dice with the special symbols, just because they will be unique will cost you a bit more than that, and could be tougher to make and get.

NOW, if you want unique artwork for every card, and are paying an artist to do the artwork, it will probably cost a significant amount MORE than the dice. Let's say $100 per picture at a lowball cost, unless you have a hired artist directly already, you could be talking several thousand dollars for the artwork.

The cards themselves aren't that expensive, you could probably get the entire deck of high quality cards for under $5, but when you include exclusive artwork that you are paying someone else for, the costs shoot up tremendously.

Dice on the other hand, depending on what unique symbology you are going for could cost you anywhere from $2 for a simple fix such as doing the work yourself with a drill and blank dice...to a LOT more due to unique modelling of the dice, the contracts, and the rising price of plastic...in which case you could get upwards to $20 or more for a nice bunch of dice depending on HOW MANY you get made (made in bulk is good)

It also depends on where you are at, what you are doing.

Self publishing, if you design the cards yourself, cards will probably be easier and cheaper then dice by a far shot. I can make cards very easily, but dice are a tad harder, especially if they are unique on the sides. Molds can be made easily enough, but are time consuming and if the artwork for the pips is too unique, can actually be a tad more time consuming than I want.
 
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Skyler Simmons
New Zealand
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Again, thanks for the reply. I'll try to give some details. Here we go:

I'd rather it get accepted by a Publisher than Self-Publish. Self Publishing sounds like a world or hurt, pain, frustration, agony, doubt, and fear.

The cards I have in mind have 1 piece of art for the back, and 1 piece of background art for the front with several stats floating around, i.e. colors and numbers in certain places (which is less artwork than it is simple graphic design - things even I could do). So for the cards alone, that's 2 pieces of art - or even 1 if the background on the front is simply a faded version of the back of the card. As said, around 60 cards is target, give or take 3-6.

The die would have no pips, and instead be flat on the sides (faces) with 3 different colored symbols: 1 symbol on 1 side, 2 on 2, 3 on 3, as said above.

I'm based in New Zealand. I'm just about ready to enter playtesting.

Again, what I'm hearing at this point in design is "Just go with what makes the game feel better, be more fun, make more sense", then present to publishers, possibly mentioning that an alternative mechanic is available.

Still looking forward to more replies, thanks again!
 
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Emil Rudvi
Sweden
Ronneby
Blekinge
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I got a little contact with a company in England thats making plastic figures and dices, if you mail me i will send you a list and the mail adresses got them on my emil@proximacentauri.se mail. About the cards im looking for a place to print my self, and for a publisher aswell.

Goodluck =)
 
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