The last couple of blog posts have been re-posts of blog entries I previously posted to the blog when it was living at gamesbyray.com. This final post was originally post on March 16, 2016 and goes over finding the right manufacturer for printing your game project.
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, expense you will come across when making your game is getting the game manufactured. Finding the right manufacturer is not a simple process, requiring a balancing act between cost and quality. Here are some resources to help you select your manufacturer.
Finding a manufacturer
James Mathe, owner of Minion Games, as a fairly complete list of current manufacturers that can be found here. This is a good place to start your search. You can also check out Tasty Minstrel Games’ Board Game Geek blog post, or look through the posts in the Tabletop Publishers Guild on Facebook.
Understanding what a RFQ (request for quote) is and how to fill one out
The next step will be to submit a RFQ to the handful of manufacturers you selected in the first step. For some guidance on what all those terms mean, check out John Wrot’s, from Gate Keeper Games, posts on Demystifying Game Components (Printed Components) and Demystifying Game Components (Sourced Components). Also Eric Hanuise, from Flatlined Games, has a great article on creating the request itself.
Selecting the manufacturer you are going to work with
Once you have received all of the quotes from the manufacturers, you now need to select which one you are going to work with. While it might be tempting to simply decide based on price, that isn’t the smart thing to do. It is also important to consider things like how well they speak English, timeliness of their responses, and the quality of their products. Billy, from Liminal Games, recently did a guest post on Jamey Stegmaier’s blog about the Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Manufacturing in China that is well worth a read.
Another thing you can do is reach out to other publishers that have used the manufacturers you are considering and get feedback from them about their first hand experience. Most manufacturer’s websites will have a list of all of the publishers they have worked with, so it shouldn’t be hard to find this information. The Tabletop Publishers Guild on Facebook is another great source for getting opinions on the quality of a manufacturers work.
Choosing the right manufacturer can mean the difference between a successful project and a nightmare. If you take your time and ask others for help, you’ll be just fine.
What steps do you take when finding a manufacturer? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Join in the conversation by leaving a comment below or sharing on social media
The sources I mentioned in the original post have some additional posts that could be a further help. For example, John Wrot added some additional posts about Art Vs Graphic Design and the Pre=press process as well as Eric Hanuise’s had some additional chapter on the production process and all of the costs involved in developing a board game in his book that would be well worth a read.
That is everything for this post. Until next time, happy designing.