5 Manufacturing Budgeting Tips
When it comes to game manufacturing, there are many factors to consider, especially for those who are new to the process. As someone who is currently navigating this space, I wanted to share a few of the things I've learned so far. While some of these insights may seem obvious to those with experience in the field, I hope they can be helpful to those who are just starting out.
1. Economies of scale do really work. The number of units in a print run significantly influences the cost of game production. This means that the more units you produce, the lower the cost per unit will be. For example, in my latest manufacturing quotation for Mayab, the unit cost for 500 units was twice(!) as high as for 2000 units. It's important to remember this when budgeting for your project, as producing a larger print run can save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.
2. The box is the single most expensive component. One thing that surprised me when I first started looking into game manufacturing was the cost of producing the game box. In fact, the game box production cost is typically going to be at least 10% of the total production price, and for card-based games, it can be as high as 50%. This means that if you're looking to reduce costs, you may want to consider simplifying your game box design or exploring alternative packaging options.
3. Number of poker-sized cards should be a multiple of 56 (or 54).This is because you're paying for a single standard-sized card printing sheet, which can fit a fixed number of cards. Any empty space on the sheet will be a waste, so it's important to plan your card count accordingly. While this may seem like a minor detail, it can have a big impact on your production costs.
4. Ideally, each dice face should use a single color. If your game involves engraved dice, it's important to keep in mind that using multiple colors on the same face of the dice may require multiple interactions of painting, which can significantly raise costs. Instead, it's recommended to use a single color for each face of the dice to avoid unnecessary expenses. Unless, of course, your game really requires multicolor dice faces.
5. Multiple punchboards should have the same layout. Punchboards are made by die-cutting the board using custom-made knives, each costing anywhere from $500 to $1000. This means that having multiple punchboards with the same layout can help to avoid unnecessary spending on fixed costs.