Dale Morgan
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As a new user and amateur game designer, I would go as far to say that the game design section should be printed off, framed and hung on the wall of any designer as a "golden rules" type thing.

It's that good.
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Russ Spears
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darkmorgado wrote:
As a new user and amateur game designer, I would go as far to say that the game design section should be printed off, framed and hung on the wall of any designer as a "golden rules" type thing.

It's that good.
I end up pointing people to this thread at least once a month - the info Brent shares has so much depth for people curious about the process, whether or not anyone actually follows through with publishing their own game.

I wish Brent could expand even more, ala John Lusk's "Mousedriver Chronicles" book. So if he ever wants to switch from game design/publishing to author, I'm a customer!
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rasslor wrote:
darkmorgado wrote:
As a new user and amateur game designer, I would go as far to say that the game design section should be printed off, framed and hung on the wall of any designer as a "golden rules" type thing.

It's that good.
I end up pointing people to this thread at least once a month

I've already bookmarked the front page of the thread. There is so much there, including loads that Isn't relevant to me atm (but might be in the future) that it's a go-to reference. It's the best sticky thread I've read so far on here.
 
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Daniel Hadlock
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Excellent read, thank you for sharing your experience with the rest of us.
 
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Incredibly thorough and useful. Thank you very much and congrats for your game!
 
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John A. White
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Brent,

here is some math based on the documentation.

1 in 25 is a loss.
2000 divided by 25 = 80
80 x $4 = less then $400?

So with the totals I would add $400 to it to compare math (for losses)
Might be $1600-$2k less then Panda's near perfect guarantee
Based on your info Senfutong with the poor cuts, but quality card stock. Sound pretty good.

If I am re-checking for QA don't I lose my shrink wrap?

Do you think they "Could" execute the box/rules print quality right the next time?

Also if I asked them to re-use your specs do you think the plastic tray/box info is still there? I could maybe save there?

Also based on your input how do I find a new customs solution?




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Justin Blaske
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Excellent post Brent!

Makes me very happy that I've decided to go with Panda. Quells some of my fears anyway.
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Brent Povis
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aVoidGames wrote:
Brent,

here is some math based on the documentation.

1 in 25 is a loss.
2000 divided by 25 = 80
80 x $4 = less then $400?

So with the totals I would add $400 to it to compare math (for losses)
Might be $1600-$2k less then Panda's near perfect guarantee
Based on your info Senfutong with the poor cuts, but quality card stock. Sound pretty good.

Do you think they "Could" execute the box/rules print quality right the next time?

Also if I asked them to re-use your specs do you think the plastic tray/box info is still there? I could maybe save there?

Also based on your input how do I find a new customs solution?


After selling through the Senfutong printing of Morels, I would seriously caution against going with them (or with WinGo, for that matter). I never would have sold one of their games without cutting it open, inspecting every component, swapping out anything that was off, and then re-shrinkwrapping. What a quagmire (and not the funny one on Family Guy). I did a second printing of cards with them as quick fix to running short (due to my not using the WinGo cards) and it turned out the second printing was worse than the first. Clarity and color were good, but centering was a big issue in about 1 in 5 decks. On top of opening and inspecting each game, I now had to open and inspect each deck! The investment of time and money to do all of this, even not considering the second card printing, was enormous. I paid $500 in shrinkwrapping supplies over the run($100 for the sealer and $400 worth of bags), lost many games and components to QC, spent at least 300 hours+ on this piece of the puzzle, and endured the health/environmental cost of a lot of melting plastic. Not cool and in the end an abyssmal hourly rate for my work (based on your calculations above, right around $3 per hour after accounting for the second card printing as well versus the more expensive Panda product).

As for the tray, a word of caution (and I think I'll write this up as a separate post): ask if the manufacturer is using a copper mold for their tray. If so, bubbling of the plastic will be an issue in many games. Were I to do it again, I would have paid more for an aluminum mold to create an insert of more consistent quality. Many of the "ding and dent" games that I sold at the end of the run failed QC due to an unsightly tray. Black plastic tray: still the bane!

Regarding the rules, I wouldn't trust to hope on that one. Even though the print job was fine, they were poorly folded in about 1 in 10 games and WinGo was worse. Yet another component to inspect and refold if possible or swap as needed while I was doing the others.

Luckily with Panda I don't need to find a new customs solution, so I can't help you there. Panda has uses their own shipping contacts to take care of both ends, so the cost quoted me is to the doorstep of my choice without the hassle.

From my experience, I would rather have channeled my time, money, and effort to more productive enterprises than QC, which is why I went higher end but still reasonable for the 2nd printing of the game. There may be some manufacturers out there that are better than Senfutong at the same price, but it's a big gamble and I wouldn't have been able to do it had Morels not been my full time job (double full-time job really) from May up through the holidays. It was extremely exciting and full of joy on every front except for the customs and re-assembly messes, so I fugure might as well avoid those headaches if you can. Doing so will yield more time, more fun, almost the same pocketbook, and perhaps most importantly, more game playing and game designing!

Hope this helps, Brent
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Katy Lee
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Hi Brent,

Nice to meet you there . Hope everything goes well at your side!

I am Katy Lee , the Sales Supervisor for Shenzhen SenFuTong Paper Company. I got to knew it from one of our customer . I just study some of your questions . As you mention that you are so worry about to work with us cause something wrong happen during we cooperation. Could you please tell
me more about this game . Which game you produce from us ?? Who service your case ?? What kinds of cutting cards you are worried ?? ect... We looking forward hear from you soon. Cause We ShenZhen SenFuTong Paper Company always try our best to offer the best service with the good quality to our clients. We will always try our best to improve us and hope you all game business man can give us this chance. Also we hope we can have more and more business with you in near future . Please feel free contact with me : katy.lee@senfutong.com MSN:katychina01@hotmail.com Skype:katychina01 Tel: 86-13724371021 86-755-29457482
Good day to you . Thanks. Katy Lee

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Katy Lee
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Hi Justin,

Nice to meet you .

I am Katy Lee and from Shenzhen SenFuTong Paper Company. Here we would like to make it clearly about your worry about to work with SenFuTong. Maybe Brent post brings some influence to you . But here would like to let you know more about us . We have more than 17 years working experience on the board game , card , puzzle , gift box ...ect . And we are always try our best to do self-improvement. I think knew the story about "Little Horse Crossing the River". Give us and chance for we both and you will know more about us . please feel free contact with us free at katy.lee@senfutong.com MSN: katychina01@hotmail.com Skype:katychina01 Tel: 86-755-29457482 86-13724371021
Thanks for giving an chance for we both.
We looking forward to hear from you soon.

Best Regards, Katy.Lee
 
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aVoidGames wrote:
Brent,

here is some math based on the documentation.

1 in 25 is a loss.
2000 divided by 25 = 80
80 x $4 = less then $400?

So with the totals I would add $400 to it to compare math (for losses)
Might be $1600-$2k less then Panda's near perfect guarantee
Based on your info Senfutong with the poor cuts, but quality card stock. Sound pretty good.

If I am re-checking for QA don't I lose my shrink wrap?

Do you think they "Could" execute the box/rules print quality right the next time?

Also if I asked them to re-use your specs do you think the plastic tray/box info is still there? I could maybe save there?

Also based on your input how do I find a new customs solution?





Hi John,

I am Katy.Lee , the sales supervisor for ShenZhen SenFuTong Papepr Company. Please feel free contact with us katy.lee@senfutong.com . So that we can check if we have the mold for you . In this way , you can save the mold costs . Thanks, Katy



 
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bpovis wrote:
One additional note…the depth of the wells for your cards should allow several mm tolerance for the “fluffing” of the card decks after they’ve been opened, shuffled, and played with. This one almost bit me. I did account for the “fluff” and my wells are deep enough, but just barely. Any shallower and there would be a danger of cards washing over the top of the wells.
Old thread but still a useful reference for designers.

I'm glad you point out some of the specific pitfalls you encountered when designing your game box insert. However, I would like to point out that a well designed game insert for games which include cards should be designed for cards that are sleeved.

I've seen so many good inserts fail this basic design consideration and end up being discarded. What value does this deliver to the customer when it becomes waste because of a few mm differences in the molding layout.

I encourage others card sleevers to weigh in on this renewed discussion.
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Robert Hahn
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Hello Brent,

Not sure if you are still following this thread but if so I have a quick question. With your overseas shipping did you insure the parcel and if so who did you use and could you give an estimate of the cost.

Thanks for a wonderful and informative article. Appreciate your taking the time to write it all down so the rest of us don't have to go into this quite so blind.

Thanks!
 
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Warren Loewen
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HI, Brent. I have read your posts and I appreciate the research and input you have provided about the manufacturers. Very informative and educational.
I have been designing and playtesting my own game since January 2014 and am hoping to kickstart it in March 2015.
In the last week, I have sent quotes for my game to three companies: Panda Game Manufacturing, WinGo, and Board Game Design Maufacturers. My favourite choice is Panda right now unless I can find something that will provide me a better product for cheaper cost.
I am also self-publishing my game and have spent about $4000 so far in game design and art, and expect I will be spending another $2000-3000 before I get to Kickstarter. I may be missing something here, but I am wondering about the cost of getting samples of your product sent to you. I expect that there is some fee you have to pay for getting your game samples sent to you for checking. I do not expect the manufacturer to pay for shipping the sample product to you all the time.
Maybe others reading this post may also have an answer to that. I am trying to figure this out so I am not totally surprised that I have to keep paying extra fees for shipping and handling of my game samples.
 
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Keng Leong Yeo
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LordVankar wrote:
HI, Brent. I have read your posts and I appreciate the research and input you have provided about the manufacturers. Very informative and educational.
I have been designing and playtesting my own game since January 2014 and am hoping to kickstart it in March 2015.
In the last week, I have sent quotes for my game to three companies: Panda Game Manufacturing, WinGo, and Board Game Design Maufacturers. My favourite choice is Panda right now unless I can find something that will provide me a better product for cheaper cost.
I am also self-publishing my game and have spent about $4000 so far in game design and art, and expect I will be spending another $2000-3000 before I get to Kickstarter. I may be missing something here, but I am wondering about the cost of getting samples of your product sent to you. I expect that there is some fee you have to pay for getting your game samples sent to you for checking. I do not expect the manufacturer to pay for shipping the sample product to you all the time.
Maybe others reading this post may also have an answer to that. I am trying to figure this out so I am not totally surprised that I have to keep paying extra fees for shipping and handling of my game samples.
Warren, we just manufactured our game with Panda Game Manufacturing.

The process is as such:

i) They put our files through a digital proof first.

ii) Once the digital proof is done, they sent us pre-production copies for checking. You can see pictures of our game's pre-production copy via this link. The cost of sending us the pre-production copy is part of the manufacturing package, i.e. it is included in what they quoted us.

iii) After manufacturing gets underway, they sent us an advance copy. It is for us to carry out a final check. You can see pictures of our game's advance copy via this link. As before, the cost of sending us the advance copy is part of the entire package. If you want more than one advance copy, you will have to pay for the extra shipping.

Hope the above helps.
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Joseph Propati
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Subscribed!
Thanks for the info!!
 
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drfinn wrote:
I'll add my own experience with both a manufacturer and a freight forwarder, when I just recently publishedScripts and Scribes: The Dice Game.

I chose to manufacture the game with Whatz Games in part because Iello used them to manufacture Biblios. I wondered whether I should do so, since Biblios cards had a tremendously bad odor and were very stiff. However, Aaron at Whatz Games ensured me the second run of Biblios would be better, which it was. Also, by ordering with them, I could have Biblios and my dice game shipped to me at the same time (I distribute Biblios in the US).

Overall, I am pleased with the quality and service of Whatz Games, though I was not pleased with the matte finish of the board (it seemed a little too whitewashed, though it is not bad). Also, the cards are a little flimsy in my dice game, but again, not bad. The price was better than others and the minimum order was 1000 units. The only outstanding problem is that I have not received the replacement parts for the games (which I was told I would receive). Although I have said many negative things here, Aaron was good to work with and Whatz Games was fine.

My freight forwarder, ClearFreight, was very good and I highly recommend their services. However, since it is a large company, I guess I can only recommend the NY offices.

Super old thread, but one of the only ones I could find connecting Whatz Games to the horrible smell of their cards. I have at least three games that were manufactured by Whatz Games. All three have the exact same smell. As someone interested in publishing, there is no way I'm going to use Whatz Games to manufacturer any games as I don't want to inadvertently poison anyone. I take off-gassing seriously; usually a foul smell equates to toxic fumes.

As a gamer, if I want to play those games, there really isn't a way around it. And leaving the opened games in my garage for a week (or more) hasn't really help.

Today, I opened up Valeria Card Kingdoms and couldn't help notice that familiar stench that I now associate with Whatz Games. I was willing to bet money that Valeria was manufactured by Whatz Games and a simple internet search proved me right.

Is there anyone else that notices how awful cards manufactured by Whatz Games smell? Can someone chime in on their process and the chemicals that are used? What exactly am I breathing in and how harmful is it?

Thanks.
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