Monday, January 19

Self-Published Run: Specification

It's been a great week on the blog here, thanks largely to W. Eric Martin of BoardGameGeek covering last week's blog post - thanks Eric!

I've not yet decided whether it'll be Zombology or Dragon Dance that I try to self publish this year (currently leaning towards Zombology) but either way there a bunch of things that are the same for both.


I'll get all the artwork printed professionally (but digitally, not litho - for a small print run the litho set up costs are prohibitive). The box and cards will also be laminated, which makes them more durable and the print more hard-wearing. Professional laminating is nothing like the lamination pouches that you can get done in most offices, it's almost unnoticeable. The cards and box for Border Reivers were both laminated in this way and I was very happy with the results. For Border Reivers and the first edition of It's Alive!, I used a digital print company who have since changed their name to StressFreePrint. They'll be my first port of call as I was very happy with their service and products in the past.


I'm going to hand-make tray and lid boxes and then wrap them in printed labels. The boxes will be 123 x 95 x 20mm, the same as most two deck card games (think 6 Nimmt! or No Thanks!). This means they will be small and pretty cheap to post.


The cards will be laminated as described above and have their corners rounded, very similarly to Border Reivers.

Other Bits

Zombology is 108 cards and a rule book. Dragon Dance has some other components: eight dice and a number of wooden bits. The wooden bits would be published game quality (I'd get them from again) but generic, I'm thinking yellow wooden discs for the dragon's life tokens and red wooden hearts for the knight's. I've got my eye on some nice Chessex dice, but I'm not sure my budget would stretch to it.

Price Point

I'm aiming for £10 per copy as the retail price for both games which is about what you'd pay in a store (not online) for that sort of game in the UK. That's $15 or 13€, both of which are a bit expensive for what it is, but I'm expected most of my orders to come from the UK (friends and family will probably feature heavily!). Seeing as it's a very short run I'm not looking to get it into shops or distributors, so all of that (minus PayPal fees for online sales) will be going to me. I want to charge twice what it costs for the components so I've some money left over for website, playtest materials and potentially I'll can make a profit toward making a bigger game next year if it goes well. So my budget is £5 per copy for the materials and the printing. I've no idea yet whether this is feasible, but that's my goal at this point. So that's £250 for 50 copies or £500 for 100 copies.

In other news, I've not much to report this week. The Daughter's been sleeping badly again, so early nights all round and The Father-in-Law made an impromptu visit on his way back from Scotland for the last half of the week. Next week I'm away for a couple of nights for work, so I'm hoping to start making some progress on finishing of the NaGa DeMon winners' copies of Dragon Dance. And, despite the fact that I've not settled on a choice of game, I've already got 4 pre-orders!

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