Monday, November 27

NaGa DeMon 2017: Part 8: Production Considerations

It's far too early to be thinking about production for FlickFleet, so I've spent a good chunk of this week thinking about production considerations for FlickFleet *shakes head*.

I'd like the game to retail (i.e. the price on my website) to be about £30 ideally. My first quote for the laser cutting was going to be £60 per game (regardless of print run size), then there would be the box, rules, ship cards and wooden pieces on top of that. I'd end up losing a ton of money unless I priced it around £100! Which is clearly a crazy price.

Since then I've been looking around for other options, and I found another company that would do it for £20 (so probably £40-£50 retail once the other stuff is included) and then last week I bumped into the MakerSpace people who reckoned (wild guess at this point) about £3 per game plus £10 per month, so assuming 16 games a month around £3.50 a game. That price doesn't include perspex (which is about £7.50), so the two of them are about £11. Then there's the box card and labels, rulebook, ship cards and wooden bits. My guess is it'll end up being in the £30-£40 range with this option.
FlickFleet ships arrayed
FlickFleet ships
Obviously I need to price up the boxes, rulebooks, ship cards and wooden bits at volume. I also need to check the pricing on the laser cutting at MakerSpace, but it's not looking obscenely expensive like it was to begin with. It turns out the perspex is the really expensive part, so I've laid out 4 games worth of perspex pieces on a bigger piece of perspex and done it more efficiently - I've got from 500x400mm down to 470x395mm (which over a lot of games actually saves quite a lot!). I had to lose a destroyer from each player's allotment, but 3 destroyers, 2 carriers and a dreadnought (plus all their fighters and bombers) is plenty for a decent sized game and several different scenarios.

Before I can think seriously about production I need to do a bunch of things: playtest the crap out of it (in progress, I'm hoping to playtest it with Belgians this week during my trip to Brussels!), confirm ship points values, come up with some scenarios, write up the rules properly in InDesign with examples, images, etc. and design a box.

I've got some time in my evenings during my trip to Brussels (I arrived about 8pm last night, I should be back around 7pm tonight, Tuesday I'm at Outpost for demoing Zombology and playtesting FlickFleet, Wednesday I should be back by 6pm), so I can start work on some of those. Probably the things I'll focus on are the box design and the rulebook, keep your eyes peeled for another blog post on Wednesday evening letting you know how I've got on...

Finally, here's an update on the PIP situation, no movement again this week, the competition for the free, unique early prototype closes on Thursday, so if you'd like to get your hands on the free prototype time is running out!

PIPsRankName
10Officer CadetNot A Cyborg Zircher
6Very Petty OfficerGames Book
4Ensign (Expendable) 3rd ClassChris Preston
3Ensign (Expendable) 3rd ClassMike Jones
2Ensign (Expendable) 3rd Class7isprime
1Red ShirtEric Francis

4 comments:

Steven Davis said...

Jackson -

I know you are not into the physical production thing, but do consider looking at a scroll saw (used ones are really, really cheap) and hand cutting them (actually stack cutting them so you can make a bunch at a time).

This cuts your production costs down, gives you that real "hand crafted" thing and allows you to go buy a piece of hardboard, MDF, or plywood when you need one to make more games.

This is not rocket science and your production costs plummet once you learn how to cut.

Get fancy with stickers or a stencils! I'm looking at linocut printing to start.

(also ties into your advisor's comment on artisanal games).

I'm trying to gear up to learn how to and fabricate games this next year... "join the challenge" :)

I also think you should use gamecrafter (AND other similar services) to provide a print-on-demand option for all your games... maybe even a pure paid-print-and-play.

Give people as many ways to pay for and play your games as you can at different price points.

(Life has been a bit of an adventure this past year for me... not the same as you, but similar - https://autismnutsandbolts.wordpress.com/)

Steve
steve@gamesbyhand.com

Email me as I'm not likely to see your follow up online.

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Steve,

Thanks very much for your advice and feedback (I'm responding here but will email as well).

I'd not considered a scroll saw pretty much entirely due to two things: the interlocking pieces and having to paint them myself (assuming I'd be scroll sawing wood).

However, as you say it does very much fit with my ethos so it's definitely something I should investigate to see if I can work around those issues and come up with a solution using a scroll saw - it would probably reduce costs versus the perspex, I'd be able to do it at home (as opposed to the MakerSpace) and it's properly hand-made.

I've tried using Drive Thru Cards (it was a lot of extra effort to re-layout everything for a slightly different card size and I sold a grand total of three copies!), but paid print and play is something I'm considering, which also ties in with encouraging hand-crafting in others (see #CraftWednesday on twitter).

Thanks again for the ideas!

Cheers,

Jack

zircher said...

Oh, I forgot to post a follow up to the Flick Fleets thing in Table Top Simulator. While I did get the models and collision masks (models with no convex parts) to load in TTS, the physics engine let me down. When you flick a model, it applies the force to the center of mass. This means that a model will only rotate on impact. You can't do an off center flick to turn a ship around. You could still probably play something with it, but the feel is off. In game physics terms, it is applying a force to the whole model and not and specific impulse to the part of the model that you actually clicked on.

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Todd,

THanks very much for trying - much appreciated! You'll soon* be able to experiment with the real thing :-)

Cheers,

Jack

* Should be ready in January.