Monday, April 29, 2019

Excessive game box size

I've been really enjoying Splendor, which I was given for Christmas. I've played a couple times in the past week after playing it for the first time a few years back.

I've been thinking about box size. I've commissioned some cool art for my card game Horde, and I'd like to get that printed up for distribution. It uses cards plus some scoring tokens, so I need a box big enough for about 90 cards plus 11 tokens and a set of rules. I've been using TheGameCrafter's token chips, which are a satisfying size and weight. All of that could probably fit handily in a small box.
Interestingly enough, that's also about the same component set as Splendor, although it has more like 40 chips instead of 11. Still, it shouldn't need a big box. But they gave it one! Here is a comparative look at the game:

The top picture shows how it's packaged. It looks nice. Below that is the space all the components actually take up.

Clearly, it doesn't need this big a box. It's bad for the environment and bad for storage. It's 80% empty space, and it needs a huge blow-mold plastic frame to hold it all. I wonder, though, if people are willing to pay more for it (and think more of it) if it looks like a bigger game than it is. At $25 retail, or $40 MSRP, I bet a big chunk of that price is actually the empty space in the box. I wonder if I can pitch a smaller box for Horde and convince people that it's as much of a value small as it would be with wasteful packaging. Sometimes when we shop we're just dumb sacks of meat, and I think this might be one of those times.

Friday, April 12, 2019

A business milestone - $2K

This past week I crossed $2,000 in revenue for Dr. Esker's Notebook. The last bit of that came from a distribution deal in Canada with a game store, who bought forty copies at a steep discount and arranged for a U.S. cargo forwarder who I could send the games to, which saved a lot on shipping and complexity for me. I am very grateful for that.

I haven't tried to get into game stores directly other than this effort, and I think that might be a cool avenue to pursue, particularly if I do another print run. Here is the updated revenue and expense chart and net revenue track. I've had pretty healthy sales on Amazon for the past week (around 2-5 per day), so that's helped too.  I've gone from being $3500 in the hole after printing to $1650 in the hole now, about two months later, so that's good progress.