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Subject: Board Game Box Size? rss

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Louis Perrochon
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Do people have opinions on the size of the box for a board game?

Do retailers prefer all games to be kind of standard size? What are those standard sizes?

Do consumer prefer bigger boxes? Would you pay $60 for a small box, even if it's the same weight as the bigger box? Do you want big nice art on top? Personally I appreciate nice, square, standard boxes as they pile up nicely... A smaller box ends up on the top, even if it doesn't belong there based on how often I play the game.

Is it worth going to smaller boxes to save shipping? It seems a bigger part of the cost of a game goes into shipping and storage compared to the actual pieces, so smaller boxes would lower the price.

Thoughts?
 
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perrochon wrote:
Do retailers prefer all games to be kind of standard size?

Online/Mail Order retailers do

perrochon wrote:

What are those standard sizes?
A sample of our standard packaging sizes (in millimeters):
400 x 325 x 95 (Eagle Games)
300 x 300 x 80 (Fantasy Flight/Days of Wonder)
320 x 240 x 85 (Settlers and many Euros)
380 x 280 x 60 (Power Grid & other 2F games)
280 x 195 x 70 (Carcassonne & others)
245 x 165 x 55 (Munchkin and other card games)
There is some rounding up here, so check the actual box sizes
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Kevin B. Smith
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I for one would love to see more smaller-box games. Not only might it save $5 when the game is initially shipped, but another $5 if I sell or trade it later. Plus I can fit more games in a limited space, and it's easier to carry the game on a trip or to game nights.

Smaller boxes are awesome.
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Louis Perrochon
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If I look at mine, I have a lot of 300x300x70 e.g.

Tsuro (Kosmos)
Seeland (Ravensburger)
The Name of the Rose (Ravensburger)

Marrakesh (Gigamic) is 280x280x60
Risk GodStorm is 270x270x90

Also, my Settlers of Catan (Mayfair) is 300x240x50

For my game, 240x240 would be enough for the board and the pieces to fit in.

In the US, the USPS has a "Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box (FRB2)" which is 13-5/8" x 11-7/8" x 3-3/8" (350 x 300 x 85) so a 300mm square game would fit. If one side is longer then 350, you need a bigger box. But USPS rates are so complex, there might be cheaper options based on weight (3lbs for most games?)
 
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Cory Williamson
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After designing games and boxes to fit them, I have found the paper size greatly influences the box size. Picking a box size first wreaks havoc on board possibilities.

Basically the paper will determine the maximum size of the board, then if it requires folds, the box will be a half, third, quarter in both length and width plus a little tolerance of that.

Personally, odd shaped boxes suck. Thin ones are a close second. The coffin sized boxes totally blow. Le Havre/Agricola boxes are very nice. They fit on the shelf well, stay closed, look good and usually have room for expansions. The 12 x 12 of DoW are ok. They allow for big maps and stay closed but don't fit in bags/totes very well.

Smaller boxes can be nice, but usually they end up being thin and as a consequence of that, they don't stay closed. (Alea small box) The first gen Innovation is a thick small box and stays closed, but it ends up being an odd brick because nothing else is similar in shape. The small sized craft box of the first gen Oltre Mare sucks because it's way too fragile. Same with the jewel case version of "Glory to Rome". The clear poly cases are a nice compromise but usually can't be found big enough for games that require boards.

Cheers,

 
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Smaller size is better. Smaller standard size is even better.
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Kevin B. Smith
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perrochon wrote:
In the US, the USPS has a "Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box (FRB2)" which is 13-5/8" x 11-7/8" x 3-3/8" (350 x 300 x 85) so a 300mm square game would fit. If one side is longer then 350, you need a bigger box. But USPS rates are so complex, there might be cheaper options based on weight (3lbs for most games?)
They also have a small priority flat-rate box, which is $5.20 for 8-5/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8"

For First Class (regular) mail, it seems like the dimensions are irrelevant, as long as no side is over 12". Up to that point, the (physical) weight of the game would be important, and if you could hold it under a pound, it can ship across the country for under $5. By the time it gets to 1 lb 2 oz (Caylus Magna Carta), it's already up to $8. Games like Bombay (2.6 pounds), and Saint Petersburg (a surprising 2.85). are a bit higher than that.

I guess I really want lighter games, even more than smaller boxes (unless they can fit into that small Priority box). I wonder why the USPS penalizes small weight differences so heavily. Probably "because they can". I wonder if there are any weight-saving component choices that would make sense.
 
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I would pay $60 for a good game, especially if it were in a small box (i.e. not a lot of empty space/insert).

I prefer small boxes, for all of the reasons stated above. But, most important to me is shelf space, as well as the fact that I can carry more games with me when going to gaming sessions.

However, I also agree that the box should be made to fit the game, not the game made to fit the box.
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Louis Perrochon
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Koryo wrote:

After designing games and boxes to fit them, I have found the paper size greatly influences the box size. Picking a box size first wreaks havoc on board possibilities.
Agreed. My board is about 450mm square. I can't really go much smaller. I could go different shape, but square is nice. So the plan is to do a quad fold, which takes it down to 225x225. So it could fit into a box of about 235x235. Cory, would you call that an "odd brick"?

I found one game that is 250x250: Castella, by HaPe http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/21096/castella

Castella is a nice small box, but in a store, it will get lost among all the 300mmx300m boxes. I also only found my copy in a second pass, it fell down behind the big boxes.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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peakhope wrote:
I for one would love to see more smaller-box games. Not only might it save $5 when the game is initially shipped, but another $5 if I sell or trade it later. Plus I can fit more games in a limited space, and it's easier to carry the game on a trip or to game nights.

Smaller boxes are awesome.
Would the "little box" in the upcoming design contest fit your criteria well?

Little Box Contest - Closed
Quote:
...
Properly folded, a box becomes 7,5cm wide, 10,5cm long and 3,5cm high.
For the Inch crowd: That's ~3'' wide, ~4'' long and ~1,5'' high.
...
(that's using A4 size paper; slightly different when you use Letter-size paper)
 
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We, Living Worlds Games, decided to go with a standard box with the exterior dimensions of 200mm x 200mm x 50mm which is basically a taller Kosmos 2 player box. This will be the standard box we'll use since it is small, you can fit a lot in it and it'll sit next to Kosmos boxes just fine.

The balance between size and shelf presence, cost and capacity is a very difficult one.
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perrochon wrote:
Also, my Settlers of Catan (Mayfair) is 300x240x50
You're quite right, the 320 x 240 x 70 I quoted is a common size for Rio Grande, Ystari and others. 4th edtn. Settlers just happens to fit in it.

perrochon wrote:
For my game, 240x240 would be enough for the board and the pieces to fit in.
The 'square' game boxes actually have the most variety. We've seen games with sides of 200, 210, 220, 240, 250 260, 270 and 280.
 
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perrochon wrote:
Do people have opinions on the size of the box for a board game?
I don't care what size or shape the box is. Just make it quality, sturdy, and able to withstand years of handling.

Konig
 
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GSReis wrote:
Smaller size is better. Smaller standard size is even better.
Unfortunately, the general public still subconsciously equates "bigger" with better or more value, so it's a bit of an uphill battle there. If I'm sitting on a game shelf next to something like Defenders of the Realm, it's:

a) much harder to attract attention and

b) more difficult to overcome the assumption that since I have a smaller box, I have less content or value.

It's a task to overcome social and evolutionary programming. Unless a buyer is explicitly looking to avoid taking up storage space or is review/experience driven, all othe rthings equal, the bigger box often wins out.
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Kevin B. Smith
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MOTHDevil wrote:
Unfortunately, the general public still subconsciously equates "bigger" with better or more value, so it's a bit of an uphill battle there.
Too true. Unfortunately, it's probably not practical to offer "retail" versions with big boxes, and "practical" versions with smaller boxes.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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MOTHDevil wrote:
Unfortunately, the general public still subconsciously equates "bigger" with better or more value, so it's a bit of an uphill battle there.
Well, I wouldn't say "general public" either. I think it's more of a misconception being made by the retailer ... or maybe even of the publisher.

I don't have any actual numbers (and perhaps someone working in the retail market can find it) ... but it seems to me that the same exact super-big boxes of StarCraft: The Board Game have been sitting on the shelf for years now. Meanwhile, the boxes of Forbidden Island and Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game seem to be revolving.
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I would prefer boxes be somewhere in this range:

320 x 240 x 85 (Settlers and many Euros)
280 x 195 x 70 (Carcassonne & others)
245 x 165 x 55 (Munchkin and other card games)


This is purely to make storage easier.
 
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MOTHDevil wrote:

Unfortunately, the general public still subconsciously equates "bigger" with better or more value, so it's a bit of an uphill battle there.
Unfortunatly I have to agree as well with this, most of the time a game box is like 30 ~ 50 % wasted space, but people like big boxes cos it looks impressive.

the only time the box should be bigger is to fit expansions. i have most of the carcossone expansions and they all fit in the original box (which wasn't very big to begin with).

I do wonder though if its possible to have a smaller box inside the big flashy box, so the outside can be thrown away and so save shelf space over all. are boxes expensive?

Also about the 'general public' comment, how many of the worst offending games are actually picked up by the general public or by people who consider themselves gamers and know the con.
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Dragon Hide wrote:
I do wonder though if its possible to have a smaller box inside the big flashy box, so the outside can be thrown away and so save shelf space over all. are boxes expensive?

Also about the 'general public' comment, how many of the worst offending games are actually picked up by the general public or by people who consider themselves gamers and know the con.
The box actually acounts for about about 8-10% of my COG, and to be honest I consider it "packaging" only - my assumption is gamers will rebox to something smaller or more in line with their own card-storage methodologies. If the box was bigger, tougher, more similar to a FFG BOARDgame boardgame (woot), I suspect that percentage would be 12-15% of my COG. That's not somehting I was willing to pass along to the consumer, so I personally opted to scale back. That may hurt my sales when the game hits retail shelves... I don't know.

Obviously, other guys have different quantities and materials involved, so their box COGs may be lower (or higher), but in the end that damn box is what people are often judging you by, so I gotta think any publisher worth their salt is spending a LOT of time making that box as perfect as it can be on their budget.

Adding ANOTHER smaller satellite box to the package would not only add to the COG further, but IMO be irresponsible to the environment and gamer who's stuck ultimately paying for that extra box.

(not to say I haven't thought about it.... )

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Louis Perrochon
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Hmm, maybe if one writes

"Compact Box - to make it easier for you to store and carry along"

on all four sides of the box, one can point out to the prospective buyer that buying that big box right next to it is wasting a lot of space'
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perrochon wrote:
Hmm, maybe if one writes

"Compact Box - to make it easier for you to store and carry along"

on all four sides of the box, one can point out to the prospective buyer that buying that big box right next to it is wasting a lot of space'
Actually, you probably can't because there isn't any spare space on the small box.
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For small games it should be possible to create a box which can be shipped and delivered through the mailbox? The maximum height (for letters) in The Netherlands is 3,5 cm. A pack of normal playing cards is a lot smaller so it should be possible? The delivery costs are much lower if you can ship it as a letter instead of a package, the difference can be € 8,- (!) to America from Europe (the weight will decrease this number a bit tho)

Anyone know producers with these kind of boxes? Or where they have the possibility to create a customized box?
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Following the lines of everyone here: I prefer owning a small box (easier to store and carry), but I definitely prefer buying a large one.

As for standard vs non-standard, given the recent fuss over Castle Dice's box size (which, to be fair, was hell), I think you should stick to what gamers know: we're apparently very set in our ways (notice use of "we").
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Box size usually doesn't enter the equation when I buy a game, unless the box size leads to extremely high prices (in which case lower priced items might win it. The content and the experience are more important than the outer box...

Generally speaking, though, I prefer smaller boxes because of storage and travel convenience.
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I've only really read 2 negative comments on box size.

1: This game is too big and takes up too much space (especially the coffin boxes).
2: This game doesn't fit into the box once people sleeve their cards.

I've never read anybody kvetching that the box was properly sized and too small. People will say something about the value if you're charging $60 for a paper map and a deck of cards, but that's about the contents, not really the box size. There's no reason not to make it as small and efficient as possible.
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