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Author Topic: Producing game cards  (Read 1176 times)
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« on: May 12, 2008, 03:38:24 PM »

Continuing with my zombie game production theme of tonight: I'm quite sure that at least two separate parties have been writing here about their new card manufacturing methods. One is GoB and I remember discussing the matter in PM with the other guy as well at some point, but can't remember what the status of his project is like at this point... anyway, I was thinking that maybe we could see if our needs and capabilities match.

My game needs a character generation method, which has lots of leeway in practice on what it actually is. The Finnish version used stamped ice-cream sticks, for example. Luckily, I have a relatively plentiful budget for this as well, it seems, after all the more important components have been taken care of. At this point I'm seriously looking at 30 x 1000 calling card -type cards at around 900 dollars - that's acceptable, but the quality is what it is and I'm interested in the alternatives. One alternative I'm comparing is a small 4-color leaflet, which'd be just 150 dollars or so for 1000 copies - lots of range in what I can use and get by with in this particular detail.

So, making around 30 or so different gamer-type cards, thousand copies - how much would that cost? What would compiling them into packs cost? The latter is especially interesting, as I kinda doubt that I'm going to get a calling card printer to sort the cards for me. I have something of a deadline for compiling the actual game from the disparate materials a couple of days before Gencon, so I'd rather pay a little to get somebody to do as much of that for me as possible.

If anybody has pertinent links or such for folks outside the Forge who do this kind of thing, feel free to give me a clue. I don't really expect there to be many options for short-run card printing, though.
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Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
guildofblades
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2008, 07:06:25 PM »

Gamer-type cards?

If POD Playing Cards like we've been producing for other folks, our highest "volume" discount runs card pricing down to $.06 per 4/4 card. We print in groups of 18 and card sort and charge by set of 9. So if "around 30" could be 27 card sets, that could work for you. So a set of 27 cards would run $1.62. A thousand sets $1,620. Though we're presently investigating a new method for doing the die cutting, that if it worked out, would save a bit on the labor and we might be able to toss in one additional volume discount. Of course, B&W printing can run a bit cheaper. Business cards could be substantially cheaper.

What kind of packaging are you looking for? Consumer packaging, or simply something to keep the cards all packed together so they can be packaged into a bigger box? All cards we do, by default come poly bagged by the set as part of the base pricing. Actual boxes and such for final consumer packaging costs extra though.

How time sensitive are we talking about? And of your thousand units, what is the minimum quantity you need by what date? As time ramps up towards the big cons, its a good idea to run longer lead times on getting your printing done.

General info on our POD Card pricing and layout specs can be found at:
http://www.guildofblades.com/pod.php

Do you have Skype or Yahoo? I am "guildofblades" on both if you want to discuss more of the details. Or you can always give us a shout on our office #.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.guildofblades.com/retailgroup.php
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com
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Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
http://www.guildofblades.com
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2775


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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 04:28:34 AM »

Ah, thanks, Ryan. This was what I needed to know, and your system seems pretty good for what I have in mind. Especially the default sorting and bagging sounds most excellent for this - it's certainly a quality issue that cards get packed somehow instead of just floating around in a box. Personally I find the saved 10 man-hours in collation and not having to worry about the cards getting damaged without bagging to be easily worth the slight added expense compared to getting just the cards.

I'm interested in the production times as well - I guess we could get the material into printable shape for the beginning of June if we absolutely had to, but we don't actually need the cards before August. How long would you say that producing this kind of run would take, roughly?

I'll confer on this with my associates, and if nothing smarter comes up, I'll be contacting you by email or chat at some point. Mainly we'll have to make some decisions about the overall usefulness of the cards vs. just some leaflet - the toy quality of an oracle-like character generation method has been well-received by the Finnish audience and it makes the game easier to demonstrate and start up quickly, but I admit that it's by no means central to the concept.
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Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
guildofblades
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 05:25:08 AM »

For a run of that size, I would allow for two weeks, plus a bit extra if there are other orders in the pike ahead of it. Plus shipping time. Though if the new die cutter we are looking at works out, it could cut that production time in half or better. But we still have to go see a sample of the new die cutter first, then if it looks like it will work, order a cutter die for it. So its going to be a month or so before I will know for sure what kind of time savings (and thus cost savings) it will bring to the operation.

As for the actual usefulness of card, I think its hard to say. The Euro style board games and games in general over there across the pond I think value them more than other game types here do, so I guess is hard for us to say from over here. Different perspective.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.guildofblades.com/retailgroup.php
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com
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Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Publishing Group
http://www.guildofblades.com
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