Boxes are too damn expensive.

I’ve been researching the costs for packaging for upcoming games. The games are made using small 2″ X 2″cardstock tiles, with some extra components (dice, chips, etc). For some reason, I thought there should be a larger base tile for each game. These are either 2″ x 8″, or 4″ x 4″. With the larger tiles and components, I thought I would need a box. I also think a full color box would be a huge step in the direction I’d like to go with these. A box makes all of the difference in presentation. And unfortunately, I’ve learned that they also make all of the difference in cost.

Who knew that 500 4″ x 8″ full color boxes would cost almost $2000.00? I don’t even need 500, but that’s the minimum. Everywhere.

So I started to look at other options and it’s all just very discouraging. I could get some stock shipping boxes and print stickers, but I’d wind up spending quite a bit for all 6 sides of the boxes. And I would have to put all of the stickers on, which would be a major disaster. I could do the same shipping boxes and screenprint them, but it’s also pretty costly and lacks fine detail. I could assume that nobody cares about the box and just put 1 sticker on the top and save a lot of money. I can’t think of any other packaging options, especially non-conventional ones… so if anyone has ideas, please send them over.

All of this brainstorming leads me to think about my goals with these games. I know I want to make a bunch. I would love for other people to play them. I just always go for the DIY method and I think it holds me back a ton. The only people who know about the games I’ve worked on are my friends. I really need to get out there, but I’m so not the pushy businessperson-type. I wouldn’t know where to start, but I know that I do need to start.

On to the games…. I’m working hard with George (ideas) and John (artwork) on Lines of Fire. It’s looking really cool. Also working on a handful of other ideas that have been floating around for a while. And finally, I just got in my sample tiles for Cafe Catastrophe. They turned out perfect. I’ll slowly order more and eventually have all of the parts without spending too much money at one time. Now I just need a damn box!

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6 Comments on “Boxes are too damn expensive.”

  1. chancemuse says:

    Wow, that is steep, you need an agent or something.

  2. mrtaylor2112 says:

    I don’t really have anything to offer in regards to boxes and such, but regarding promoting and getting the word out, you have the internet at your disposal. use facebook to promote it via fan pages or something similar. also, there are tons of gaming podcasts out there, if you were to get them to play and review your game it’ll introduce it to a new audience and get the dice rolling. do you remember gavin from the CMX boards? he’s friends with Ken and his company robot martini makes/sells games, perhaps he can assist with selling or advice

  3. jtagmire says:

    Good ideas. Definitely need more of an internet presence. And I do remember Gavin. I have a copy of Get Bit, and thought about bringing it to our game days. I’ll get in tough with him.

  4. Taylor says:

    Jetsetters is a fun game too if you have not played it

  5. Bill says:

    Boxes are expensive!!!!!! I usually just search the Web till I find the best deal!

  6. Cybergecko says:

    Don’t be discouraged! DIY is basically the way to go. It’s not as bad as you think. Sure, real printed boxes are expensive, but you can work your way up to that when print runs get into the thousands. To start, Boxes with stickers work fine…just a lot of elbow grease.
    The truth is….even the snottiest retailers will carry a game like that IF its a game in demand. And people will buy a game packaged like that
    if its artfulyl done.
    SO…you gotta make it ‘in demand’….
    and as I always say…that means hitting the convention circuit and running nonstop demos. That’s where it really begins. Very grass-roots. Forget about agents. Facebook etc are great add-ons but only for a product people are already looking for. So line up a new convention every month or so and put your money there. It’s totally worth it.


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