Tuesday, August 15

The Games Factory: Day 3

Friday got off to a mixed start. I'd still not completed any copies yet and the convention started at 10am on Saturday. I was intending to go down to Dunk's house on Friday night and we were going to go over to Stoke from there, so I had to stop at a sensible time on Friday night. So my situation was: twelve hours construction available, number of completed copies: 0.

I got cracking on the set of tiles I had started the night before, and by 9am I had my first completed copy. I was really happy with the production quality, but the tiles construction was proving to be a nightmare. It took so long to stick the paper onto the board, and then as I was cutting them out I was having to fix some of the tiles as the glue hadn't taken very well all over - there were some bits that needed to be re-applied.

Anyway, like an idiot I soldiered on. By the time I'd completed my second copy I was at a crisis point. It was taking about two and a half hours to make a set of tiles, at this rate I could complete the four copies that were already spoken for, and if I was lucky a fifth to sell at the convention. Situation update: eight hours construction left, number of completed copies: 2. To make matters worse, I'd run out of the PVA glue I was using. I had two choices - I could take an hour out of the construction (further limiting my output) to nip into town and buy more PVA, or I could use the Display Mount spray glue I had bought ages ago. Dad (who's a retired art teacher and artist - so he know what he's talking about) had warned me off spray glue. He'd said that it gets everywhere - hands, furniture, where you want it, where you don't, and that it was really tacky and nasty to work with - plus it stinks and is toxic if inhaled.

However, I'm young and foolish and I don't listen so I decided to go with it anyway :-) He was right. On all counts. Fortunately, because I'd paid extra (and quite a lot extra at that) to have my print jobs laminated it didn't matter. The spray glue got on the face of the paper, but instead of damaging the paper or pulling off the ink, it just rubbed off the laminated surface once it had dried. The spray glue also made things much easier - it was very tacky, dried quickly and stayed stuck down which made the construction much easier. I start making sets of tiles in batches of three. I'd glue on three fronts, then three backs and then cut them all out. After the first batch I looked at the time. It had taken three hours to make three sets. An hour a set. Wow - that was a huge improvement. So now things were looking much better: five hours left and five completed copies. Extrapolating I could get ten copies ready - the four that were spoken for and six for sale on the day. Things were looking up.

By the end of the day I had met my target and I had ten copies ready to go. The construction had taken its toll on me though, I'd spent forty-two hours on it over the last three days. I was very tired and my arms and fingers were sore from pressing down on the knife and steel ruler while cutting out the tiles. Towards the end as I got more tired I started losing my concentration, and I ended up damaging one of the tiles (which ended up in my copy until I can replace it), and then I cut myself - D'oh. Still. Job done. I necked a Red Bull and drove down to Dunk's in preparation for the convention.


Steve said...

So was the decision to do so much of the construction yourself a good one, or did it turn out to be a false economy?

Jack said...

It takes approximately 3.5 hours to make a single copy now that I'm a bit more experienced, and I bet with more practice and slight tweaks to my method I can get that down further.

Was it false economy? I don't think so - I couldn't make so short a run fully professionally - the price per copy would have been enormous, and I have neither the cash or the confidence to make a 1000+ copy run.

I'm expecting to sell copies fairly sporadically, so I can do a little bit of construction at a time and it'll be less gruelling.

But for a real answer, ask me again in a years time :-)