Production Diary #1: Hogs Of War (+ Tips!)
As the West quickly shuts down to flatten the curve of Coronavirus cases, China are shrugging off the quarantine procedures and returning to work. We've had a huge growth of correspondence from Eva, our fantastic rep, as she continues to work through the production of Hogs Of War.
All the hard work is paying off! We have received a beautiful picture of the game box, missing its foil text. The card plates are all being cut and measured alongside the punch-board and quite quickly we are seeing our "baby" come to life!
Paul and I have already learnt a lot about the intricacies of production. We both guessed that the language barrier could be an issue- as even small grammatical nuances in English can lead to a big change in the meaning of a sentence. Exchanges between ourselves and the factory are often made point by point, clarified and then clarified again for good measure.
If you are an aspiring game designer, I have two tips that I absolutely believe are things not always covered by design meets...
First, design your game to it's barest bones and then get a dozen production quotes from different manufacturers, to find out what components are more standardised than others. Build the game from the factory feedback on the best sizes, there will be a large set of options to choose from all with their own cost intricacies and savings!
One example we found was setting the dimensions of the Hogs box. Paul and I had games in our own collections that we felt were the right size to store the Hogs Prototype. When it came to quote for this "ideal" dimension of box we were told that a bigger game box would actually cost less as it was easier to manufacture. Consequently Paul and I realised with the new box size and a saving, Hogs could afford to be more expansive than initially expected.
My second tip is to push the factory for templates before spending hours on the component designs. Every factory producing board-games should have templates from previous projects that will provide bleed, cutting tolerances and more. Working with these templates from the early days of prototyping will save you hours of graphic artistry 'jigging about'! Obviously if you are paying your graphic artist, this fiddly but time consuming end-stage could turn a profit making project into a big loss! Don't be afraid to ask for templates!
I hope this is all useful and I wish you all the best in these strange times!