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Quotes, Components and Companies

By a huge distance the most important thing to get right when looking to become an independent games designer and publisher or self-publisher is the quote for printing. Many first-time publishers will look to PoD services which offer 500 or less as a print run or will even offer a print run of exactly the size you’re looking for. While this can allow a project that just wants to exist in the world to happen, it will never be a viable option for an ongoing or profit-making project. Even if it isn’t necessarily your intention to make money or launch a company off your project I would still seriously suggest getting a quote for your game from a company that offers a minimum print run of around 1000 games. I know it can be daunting and the companies that will print exactly as many as you want can be very tempting, but the price break will be needed to make your game a realistic market option. However, I know that doing this can be a battle in itself, so here’s a little advice about how to go about it.

Ducks in a Line

First things first, figure out what you want in the game. For an initial quote this doesn’t need to be 100% perfectly accurate down to the number of cards, your main purpose is to get a solid idea of your options and to compare across companies, but there are a few things you should try to cover with some accuracy:

· Right range of components – There won’t be a massive difference between having 50 poker sized cards and 60, but there might be a big difference between having 50 poker sized cards and 1 meeple. Make sure that you have the right range of components, particularly if its something other than box, board, rulebook, cards and meeples as your manufacturer might have to go outside of their factory to get those. Before you send the quote off, get your prototype, empty the box, check you’ve listed the box, then only put bits back into it if you’ve got them on the quote. You’ll see if you forgot the rulebook or not pretty soon.

· Try to get the box right – The box will almost certainly be one of the most, if not the most, expensive element in your game. The difference between a simple telescopic box (more on that later) and a magnet catch can be eye watering across 1000 units, but a few millimeters here and there can still make a difference. Particularly if you want hard board dividers as opposed to cardboard inlays, make this clear as soon as possible. Consider your posting options also as soon as