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Subject: The Importance Of the Box rss

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Tim Penrose
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I am wondering if I could ask for a bit more help please?

Having got all the components of the board game sorted, print runs organised and priced, I am now looking to price and order the boxes.

Telescopic Boxes, which I understand are the best and most professional type are coming out at around £1.30 for 500 fully colour printed for the first 500 and then £1 after that. In the scheme of things, it sounds like a good price for after all what is a crucial part of the game and the marketing.

A couple of questions then.

1. Is it THAT important if I am only attempting to sell locally and small numbers at present?

2. Will that well produced box allow me to get up to a retail price of £15 comfortably if we take it that the game is a good one to play?

I really want the box shape to be in the shape of a coffin, so that will cost a bit more. How important (third question) is it to actually have the game in a standard size box for retail shelves, perhaps this doesn't matter so much when attempting to sell small numbers and only locally.

One of the outlets will be speaking engagements when I speak to flower clubs through the year and always mention my first career of funeral directing, therefore I expect to get through 15 speaking engagements this year and sell 10 at each and the rest locally and through an e bay site.

I would be very grateful for lots of opinions please!

Thanks

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Lang Bedang
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Very subjective questions. I'm not a design expert, but as a collector and someone who regularly buys games, here are my thoughts:

A quality box might give the impression of worth. A crappy box will make me think very hard about parting with my money.

I prefer standard boxes. Makes storage much easier. Different shape boxes and tins are gimmicks to me.

Good luck!
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Patiently waiting for the zombie apocalypse...
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I believe the box is important. A few thoughts...

GMT game boxes.... Enough said, they probably could withstand a direct hit from a artillery shell and be fine.

I feel a standard size for gamers that have many games is a plus; It looks good on the shelf.

However... When I get a game with components that fill only about a 1/4 of the box I always think.. "What?" Am I missing pieces...?" This is a crappy box design.

Unique box designs like Eaten by Zombies! I think goes a long ways for people.

The old saying of "Don't judge a book by its cover applies here" but People want quality when they spend their money, even if the game is a light game. The box does say something...
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Matt Riddle
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Quote:
"Don't judge a book by its cover applies here"
it should, but I know I look at a box. Its quality reflects whats inside. Can a great box contain a crappy game? ofcourse. But if I am impulse buying off a shelf at a FLGS then I am skipping right over the crappy boxed games. now, if a game has been out a bit and I hear things that make we want it then I will buy a game regardless
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Andy Van Zandt
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I would say that especially because it sounds like you're not marketing to the standard boardgame crowd, a quality box is important.

A custom box shape is generally fine (and sometimes beneficial) for retailers and consumers, as long as it can stand up without tipping over, without the lid coming off, and without the contents getting jumbled up inside the box.
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Tim Buckley
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I'm going to have to agree with what most everyone else said...
1) the box art (and quality of the box itself) is very important to first impressions, and first impressions are the most important to make;
2) a normally sized and shaped game box is going to please more people, especially serious gamers and collectors because odd-shaped boxes are often gimmicky or otherwise frowned upon due to storage issues;
3) you might be able to get away with a coffin-shaped box if it's a small local print-run in order to catch a person's eye, but it's my opinion that your target audience would appreciate a normal box;
4) don't underestimate the art design and direction of the box...I had never used or visited Kickstarter until a couple weeks ago when the box art for EXILE SUN appeared on BGG. Within hours, I had not only backed Exile Sun on the Kickstarter site, but 4 other projects as well. All because of (initially at least) the cover art for the game.

Hope this helps and GOOD LUCK!
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Andy Van Zandt
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Tavin425 wrote:

2) a normally sized and shaped game box is going to please more people, especially serious gamers and collectors because odd-shaped boxes are often gimmicky or otherwise frowned upon due to storage issues;
3) you might be able to get away with a coffin-shaped box if it's a small local print-run in order to catch a person's eye, but it's my opinion that your target audience would appreciate a normal box;


I disagree with this, but agree with the rest of what you said. I think you're underestimating how much a non-standard box draws attention, and how few, few people have any real problems with a non-standard box, as long as it can stand on end to fit on the shelf.

and since his target audience isn't serious gamers or collectors, this counts double, as the preference for standard sizes is almost purely a hobbyist thing, and only a sub-section of hobbyists at that.
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Rod Waibel
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When I was first starting out and talking to FLGS owners about what they preferred, they all suggested a good box. The #1 reason was for shelf presence. A good box with a good shelf presence has a very real impact on how well they can sell the product, otherwise it may get lost on the shelf.
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Sam Mercer
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Tim,

First of all: I have never seen you post in any forrums on BGG and I am a big fan of sheer unfair jingoism so it's always good to see Brits on here doing their game design thing

Ok ok so first of all, what is your game about? Is it a standard boardgame kind of deal or is it a family game, or a teaching game or some such? Link up some info man!

When you say "sell locally" do you mean sell locally to the local shops, more over, the local friendly boardgame shop (lfgs) that is near you? Or standard shops? A lot of retail strategy is totally geared towards your audience and that would need to be established first and foremost.

Without knowing all the things I need to know: you will (hopefully) be selling your game to people that are going to hear you speak at flower clubs - this is Flower arranging clubs I assume? Well you need to think what those chaps and chappettes will like to see.

Speaking as a boardgame geek and with the knowledge that I have had to accrue in regards to making my upcoming co-op wasteland game AtomPunk:

1. Your box is vitally important. I buy your game on the trust I have in the salesman (ebay, bgg reccomended, amazon discount, face to face salesman) and then I buy it on what I see wen I hold the un-opened game in my hands. The box, and the images on the front and back cover. Especially as I (assumingly) am from the flower club and I don't know much about boardgames other than monopoly and what you tell me about them.

2. Do the box as a square. Just do it that way. It's SO much easier. My irl job is a marketing coordinator and website designer and I can tell you now that the impact your coffin box will have will be outweighed by the cost. Your coffin style box (cool idea btw) will be stupendously expensive. You would need a shit-hot die made, you would need to get a graphic designer in to design the thing and it will take a lot of excess paper and require a load of extra work in the creation. ESPECIALLY as you are doing it in low scales, it would be a much more straightforward ioption for you to make this thing as simple as you can. Packing and getting a carton sorted (for stacking up boxes) will be a bastard with any non-standard box size. Even "eaten by zombies" that our friend says, is a non-standard box but it is still very able to stack up into a pretty solid carton (a space filling solid). Just general good advice to practice.

3. If you are doing your box as a standardisesd (square) size (which I would reccomend, see above) then you could do some REALLY fancy things with the box art. You could do some clever 2d shadow work on it to make it look as if it is a coffin or perhaps have a very nifty half-box coffin design while making up the rest of the box as earth or some open real-estate space for some nice impact tag lines or some rules explanation.

4. Too long didnt read... Do your box like this:


p.s. tried to keep it "in good taste" as a undertaker opposed to swarming with half dead zombies leaking brain juice: not sure as to how your game is playing out yet
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Levi Mote
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lajaro wrote:
Different shape boxes and tins are gimmicks to me.


Just to clarify, does this apply to square shaped tins?

I ask specifically because we're looking at packaging a card game in a tin like this.

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Lang Bedang
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levimote wrote:
lajaro wrote:
Different shape boxes and tins are gimmicks to me.


Just to clarify, does this apply to square shaped tins?

I ask specifically because we're looking at packing a card game in a tin like this.



Personally, I'm not a big fan of tins for games that take up real estate on a shelf (i.e. like Perudo or Forbidden Island). But for smaller things like the card game idea you're presenting it would work rather well. All just my opinion again, of course.
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Tim Penrose
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Sam, thanks loads. What an inspiration and some great common sense as well.

I have put a long thread on the game on another section of the forum, but it is called Hearses In A Hurry and it is all about funeral directing. I was a funeral director for 8 years you see when I was 17-25, very much formative years of your life I feel!

Your box suggestion really flies and is so helpful.

A million thanks

Tim
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Sam Mercer
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No problem Tim mate, when you're next around in Southampton you can buy me a pint and remember me when you are a bigshot gamedesigner ^^

Have you got a link to the game discussion/rules thread? That you said? I coulnd't find it anywhere easily.

s

Tim0031 wrote:
Sam, thanks loads. What an inspiration and some great common sense as well.

I have put a long thread on the game on another section of the forum, but it is called Hearses In A Hurry and it is all about funeral directing. I was a funeral director for 8 years you see when I was 17-25, very much formative years of your life I feel!

Your box suggestion really flies and is so helpful.

A million thanks

Tim
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Dex Quest
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If your game's amazing it'll sell in a tatty, empty VCR case - see Biblios. If your game's even better, it'll sell in a Chinese takeaway carton - see Glory to Rome. If your game's anything less than average it won't sell in the best box known to man.

Get 5 pristine prototypes made and have them reviewed. When you get another 200 orders, THEN make the boxes.
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Tim Penrose
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Hi Sam,

I'll see you in Southampton some time then!

The initial query is in

Board Game Design

On page 3 at present

Under the title Retail Cost.

Thanks again.

Tim
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Filip W.
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If you're looking to sell to people interested in flowers you should take a look at what sells with that crowd, not with board game players. It might be that they'll want a nice looking coffin with loads of flowers on top and all stamped out of plastic or metal. Or cellophane.

But I agree that the box makes the game, at least until the rumors and reviews make the game sell itself.
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J C Lawrence
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The sole purpose of a game box, after acting as a container for the bits, is to assist retail sales. That's it and that's all a box really does: it helps retail sales. To that end I recommend working with retailers on what they need and want in order to maximise their revenues, and then doing that.
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