Last week I received a quote for It's Alive! It was a little high, but manageable. I asked my contact at the manufacturer what we could change to make it cheaper and he suggested a few things. We could move some things onto a sheet with others, make several components from the same material. It would reduce the amount of wastage and the number of printing plates required.
Three days later I got the modified quote - 2 pence per game cheaper! If it's that little difference then I'll go with the original idea. I have had another idea though, it might save manufacturing costs, might not though, we'll have to see. I guess it'll be Monday before I see this third quote, and I should have everything finished by then so I can just make a decision and go for it.
The new idea is to make all the components except the shields out of thick board: the slabs, players guides, coins and also the cards which will become tiles - like in Carcassonne. Apparently making the cards is very expensive because they are a non-standard size which requires re-calibrating all the machinery. Making them as tiles might be cheaper, or not significantly more expensive. What do you think? Would thicker components be better, or thin card ones like in the Limited Edition?