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Subject: New Game Marketing - Help rss

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Katy Elizabeth
United States
Nevada
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Hello All! I am new to this forum, so, HI there.

I am a first time game designer and am wondering how to go about marketing a game that doesnt' yet exist in finished form.

I am working on a game that my family has used in tutoring math for the better part of 13 years. The kids and parents love playing it, as do I (mid 20 something now). It's a simple card based game.

In any case, I am a industrial and graphic designer by trade, so I have the packaging and design thing handled, and have been searching for manufacturers via recommendations and such i've found around the internet and am getting quotes.

However - to fund this game I don't really have 5k+ just sitting around for the first run, so I figured I'd do presales, spread the word, and then kickstart or something along those lines.

I was wondering if anyone here has suggestions on how to get presales when you don't have a full game set to sell. I've heard that a video using a prototype, and perhaps getting some prototypes made to send to reviewers etc, and try to start up buzz that way.

Any other suggestions would be welcome!
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John "Omega" Williams
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Kentwood
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First off, going self published is allways going to cost you a fair amount to print off anything but the most basic of games.

If it is a pure card game then there are two options. One is Artscow, which I am told can print off batches of cards fairly cheap.

The other is The Game Crafter. This is a print-on-Demand type assembly and can handle cards, box, rules etc.
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Katy Elizabeth
United States
Nevada
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Yeah, my game is really pricey on game crafter etc (number of cards), but i figured i'd try them or arts cow for a few prototypes.

I know to get a full run i'll go the presale of sorts route, but wondering how to market and avenues to take to get the presales off the ground, or even a kickstarter off the ground. Suggestions welcome
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Andy

California
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PopmilkDesign wrote:
Hello All! I am new to this forum, so, HI there.

I am a first time game designer and am wondering how to go about marketing a game that doesnt' yet exist in finished form.

I am working on a game that my family has used in tutoring math for the better part of 13 years. The kids and parents love playing it, as do I (mid 20 something now). It's a simple card based game.

In any case, I am a industrial and graphic designer by trade, so I have the packaging and design thing handled, and have been searching for manufacturers via recommendations and such i've found around the internet and am getting quotes.

However - to fund this game I don't really have 5k+ just sitting around for the first run, so I figured I'd do presales, spread the word, and then kickstart or something along those lines.

I was wondering if anyone here has suggestions on how to get presales when you don't have a full game set to sell. I've heard that a video using a prototype, and perhaps getting some prototypes made to send to reviewers etc, and try to start up buzz that way.

Any other suggestions would be welcome!

Hi Katy,
can you tell me the quantity that you want to produce,If i standing in your point of view,i would complete the game prototype by searching a manufacturer.You can first produce a little product for sell.
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Andrew Rowse
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Omega2064 wrote:
First off, going self published is allways going to cost you a fair amount to print off anything but the most basic of games.

If it is a pure card game then there are two options. One is Artscow, which I am told can print off batches of cards fairly cheap.

The other is The Game Crafter. This is a print-on-Demand type assembly and can handle cards, box, rules etc.


Printerstudio is better quality than Artscow, and at higher volumes it almost always works out cheaper. Artscow ships decks in a generic cardboard box, and Printerstudio ships in clear plastic trays - with a bit of cleverness, you can make sure that the first and last cards in the deck work together as branded packaging.

I've not tried Game Crafter myself, but I've heard almost exclusively good things about it, and it's probably the best bet for a small print run of anything more than a 54 card deck.
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Curt Carpenter
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Kirkland
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PopmilkDesign wrote:
I know to get a full run i'll go the presale of sorts route, but wondering how to market and avenues to take to get the presales off the ground, or even a kickstarter off the ground. Suggestions welcome

I'll start with the obvious question: is your game any good? How do you know? How many of the top 500 ranked games on BGG have you played? Same question for the playtesters of your game. Which of those does your game favorably compare with?

It's a common scenario that someone shows up with a newuser badge, asking how to sell their game. But more often than not, the game design is nowhere near the quality of games already available. So what's the point?

I don't mean to sound harsh, but the main problem you need to solve is to figure out how to convince gamers to buy your game instead of the thousands of other games competing for their gaming dollars and time.

FWIW, there are few, if any, successful games (at least sold to gamers as games) where the point is to teach math. Certainly many games have a math element, but if your game is really more of an educational tool than a real game, then I suggest you look into sales/marketing of educational materials.
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James Hutchings
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I'd look at sites for parents who home-school, more than sites for card or board game enthusiasts.
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Levi Mote
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Vancouver
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The Game Crafter is my POD (Print On Demand) choice because they not only have a simple interface for producing your game, they will sell it on their store for you as well.
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Katy Elizabeth
United States
Nevada
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I figured I should start with games sites since they would have specific information on manufacturing/producing of games.... educational and homeschool sites a lot less, since they just USE the products, they dont' think about the creation and design behind them....

I think the game, being used for 15 years successfully with parents and students a like and being fun with simple play and the math element, is good, just because I'm a new member to this board, I'm not sure that should automatically mean I don't have the ability to create something like this.

I play plenty of games, and will look into that list you mentioned on here, I just never had any need to join a board to talk about games I play, or look into game forums, before looking into the creation and marketing of games, so I figured this would be a good place to start, as I'm sure many people must have been in this situation before.

I am not thinking it's going to be a HUGE hit or make lots of money or anything, but it's a solid idea, with what's turning out to be some solid professional design based on my background,and probably worth pursuing.

I am really looking for advice on marketing a presale sort of situation where you don't have more than a few prototypes to work with (aka I can't afford a run up front at the quantities required of smaller places). As I'm sure many people here have had the issue with. Because it's a 240 card game, it's hard to get more than a few prototypes to start out with (24 dollars a piece on game crafter for instance)

Thanks for the info about the other on demand places. - say I get a few prototypes worked up, would people recommend sending some to be tested or find some gaming and education groups out there to play test a few? and perhaps try to build things from there?

Has anyone here used kickstarter with success for getting some start up funds for a presale type of thing?

Thanks to everyone with suggestions so far, anything else, especially from someone who may have done this, are welcome.
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mike
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columbus
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Katy,

Are you on linkedin? There are a number of toy and educational related groups on there. It might be a good idea to check them out and one thing to consider would be pitching your idea to one of the educational toy companies rather than the traditional game companies.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will have informational on educational toys, and I believe they have a section at the annual toy fairs. There are several. CHITAG is Chicago is coming up this fall. www.toyassociation.org and www.chitag.com

If the focus of the game is on education then do you see this being sold at teachers/education stores like Lakeshore Learning? And in the national book store chains that selling flash cards, workbooks, activity games etc?

Also you may want to get in touch with Kim Vandenbroucke and Brainy Chick, Inc.www.kimvandenbroucke.com/.
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Katy Elizabeth
United States
Nevada
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Thanks 80sgamer!

I could see this being sold, yes, at similar learning and teachers stores as well as your basic online venues.

I will definitely look into all those avenues. I appreciate the suggestions.
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