I was joined by Chris Amburn of New Experience Workshop Games today as we discussed the manufacturing (mass printing) and distribution (shipping) process for indie board game makers like ourselves.
Manufacturing Topics I Discussed with Chris Amburn in this Online Chat
We had some great discussion including:
- The minimum print order of a board game (as low as 500 but sometimes up to 1500 for more popular companies)
- How much it cost to print 500-1000 of his card game, Shootout.
- When Chris started to reach out to manufacturers for his first game (and who he reached out to).
- Copyrighting your board game for manufacturing (we are not lawyers but the overall consensus is you don’t need to pay for this because your game is technically copyrighted when you publish the game or even when you post pictures of your prototype.)
- Is it financially possible to print your game in the U.S. and come out ahead? In general it is not but it might be worthwhile for small print runs (50-100 games for example) just to test the waters
- Then we finished off by discussing how Chris has tried to get existing publishers to look at his designs.
We also talked a bit more in depth about Chris’ experience and he gave some insightful numbers. Like how he has a quote for one of his card games (cards and a tuck box only) that was estimated a little over $2000 for 500 games. But for 1000 games (500 additional games) it was only just above $2300 dollars. So for $300 plus shipping more he could buy 500 more games. He is debating how many he can feasibly sell and how much storage/shipping will cost as he contemplates 1000 more copies of his game vs. 500.
Links We Brought Up in Our Chat about Manufacturing a Board Game
Also, here are some links to some of the posts we mentioned in our talk:
- James Mathe’s list of board game manufacturers to reach out to for quotes
- Here is Jame’s post about board game distributors
- And at the bottom of this post you can find the publishers that may be looking for game submissions like yours
- The Daniel Zayas Company Facebook page has some of Daniel’s “Top 10 Kickstarter of the week” posts that we mentioned.
- Jamey Stegmaier’s blog on the Stonemaier Games website
A lot of the links above are very popular in the game design and self publishing world. I hope you find some of them useful as well.
Places to Follow Chris Amburn Along His Game Design and Publishing Journey
Here are Chris’ links if you want to keep up with him as well:
Thanks to Justin, Trevor, Zachary and Barnaby for the questions. It was nice getting to hear what you wanted answered as well.
If you have any more questions about manufacturing and distributing your board game, please ask so I can help find you an answer 🙂
(Want to learn more about making and selling a board game? Get the answers to many questions new board game designers have here.and thanks for reading!)