Daily Archives: February 18, 2021

CE Mark/Certificate For Board Games

Certification for board game, The CE mark is a symbol affixed to the package of product to recognize which product confirms to the standards set forth by the European Council for toy safety. The product safety directive applies to all products manufactured in Europe or imported into Europe from a third country. If you manufacture your games in Europe you should also have a CE test report. Check the EC Europa website.

The council for toy safety has detailed in its Annex that a toy for people over the age of 14 is not considered a toy and does not need a CE/ certification for board game. However, if your game will be played by kids as well, it is the utmost importance that you ensure the safety of players and get a test report for your game.

If you are an importer or a distributor of games, you have the same responsibility towards the games as the manufacturer does. Hence, you should have a test report showing that the games you are selling conform to the standards. Having a report from a manufacturer is not enough to cover in case your company and games are audited.

Though the UK is Brexiting (looks like it) from Europe, still the two governments are in transition, and many of the rules that applied in Europe still apply to the UK. As long as the UK government does not declare otherwise, the CE safety standards apply to the UK as well.

As for the USA, CE does not apply and is not a sufficient proof for safety standards. In the USA, the federal government has established the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), and they have a separate set of standards under the ASTM F963 act. For more information, check our article about getting an ASTM test report.

However, CE and the European standards are still most widely used and though countries like Australia, Canada, Japan, and Korea have their own set of standards, the CE standards will do.

Check our article about overlapping tests.

Certification for board game, Overall, toys are all under the EN-71 category, however, within this category, there are various tests.

For board games’ CE, the most common tests are as follows.

  1. Physical and Mechanical Properties – making sure that the physical property of the game do not present any risk, such as sharp edges that can cut or small pieces that can cause asphyxiation.
  2. Flammability – to make sure that the toys are not prone to burn.
  3. Chemical substances – to ensure that the chemicals used in the board game do not harm human health. This largely relates to heavy metals used in coating and color.
  4. Checking the labeling on the package to make sure it is according to standard.

Some tests such as electrical properties, radioactivity, elasticity etc. understandably do not apply to board games. There are additional tests required by the European Union namely the REACH test, but we will discuss them in a separate article.

Click here to download the proceedings from the CE Safety council.

Hero Time cooperates with world-leading testing labs and can help with the standard test. In general, there are 5 steps your game should go through to permit the affixation of the CE mark.

  1. Make 3-5 proof samples of your game.
  2. Send them to the testing lab.
  3. The testing lab will take apart your game and check for the mentioned standards.
  4. After a week, the lab will give you back the results of the test with a test report, and also a license.
  5. Once you get the test report, you can affix the CE mark to your game.

Feel free to contact us

Download the official CE mark here.

As you are looking to sell your game in Europe, you will need the following documents.

  1. The test report from the testing lab
  2. An official declaration of conformity from the manufacturer.
  3. The CE mark on your game

If you want to learn about other required labeling, simply go and download the required labels.

The price largely depends on the game that is being produced. Each component in the game should undergo the mentioned tests.

  • EN 71-1 costs 70 USD per item,
  • EN 71-2 costs 80 USD per item,
  • and EN 71-3 costs 105 USD per material and color.

an item refers to a whole set of a component. For example a set of cards is one item. The outer box is considered one item, and so are the meeples and other components.

In the Chemical test each color needs to be tested for chemical composition, and so does each material, so if you have multiple-color meeples, each color needs to be tested. If you have two meeples same color but made from different material there is also a need for two tests.

Paper or cardboard tokens need only one EN 71-3 test, as they are all printed on one sheet.

Contact us to get an exact quote for your game.

Getting a US Safety Test for Your Board Game(CPSC)

Getting a US Safety Test for Your Board Game (CPSC)

Unlike the CE which has been around since the late 1980’s , in the USA a federal standard took longer to legislate. Only in 2008 did the federal government mandated that products for Children need to conform to CPSIA standards. (The consumer product safety act), and only in 2018 did they decide to enforce this protocol on manufacturers and importers. Now at the beginning of 2021 Amazon requires every product sold to children to have a CPC (Children’s Product Certificate)

*a child is considered to be anyone under the age of 14

If you want to learn about the CE test click here.

Safety test for board game, On the whole, the CPSIA works on aligning its standards with the CE standards. but they do have some additional tests that are mandatory.

1- ASTM F963 – Physical properties of the game:

    Checking the accessibility of sharp corners, edges, and small parts

2- ASTM F963 Flammability test:

    Making sure your game is not flammable and does pose danger to kids who play it in warm areas of the house.

3- ASTM F963 – Soluble Heavy Metals tests:

    Mostly in regards to heavy metals used in the process of making paint, coating, paper, cardboard, plastic, and other components.

4- CPSIA Lead in substrate and coating:

    This test also includes the specific children’s lead test of ASTM F963, and the specific CA65 lead test for California.

(When testing it is crucial to add the later ASTM lead. and CA65 lead in the test report, though it is done together with the CPSIA lead test)

5- CPSIA Phthalates 8P :

    This test includes the specific California CA65 Phthalates, and like in the lead test, it should be specified and included in the test report.

6- CPSIA specific tracking label requirements

In this regard, the CPSC is similar to the CE standards. The label should notify the users of the appropriate age of players. Because, If it has small parts clearly specify that it is not for the use of children under the age of 3. and state any hazardous warnings related to the game. Some common hazardous aspects are sharp edges and small pieces.

Download the label here

In addition, the CPSIA states that the game should have:

1- Manufacturer’s name

2- Production date

3- Batch number

4- Detailed location of production, Street, City, and Country

5- Importer / seller name

6- Importer / seller address

7- Importer/seller contact information (website is good enough)

8- It is not enough to find a factory with a previous CPC, the CPC must be specific for the game. and have the seller and manufacturer’s name on it as well.

* if you have a simple cards game with only a tuckbox you need to have one card with that information, as the CPSIA regards a tuckbox as a disposable package

Hero Time will make a few samples of your game first to send to the testing lab, and once you get the certificate. Hero Time will continue with mass production. If your game only has standard components. It is also possible to simply send games to the testing lab from the mass production.

  • The physical properties, flammability, and labeling test for the whole game cost 95USD
  • The costs for testing heavy metals, lead, and phthalates P8, is 130USD per material and per color: for example, cards, playing board, punchout sheet, wood tokens of the same color, etc.
  • For plastic and wood components, there is an additional 130USD per color, as each color uses different substrates.

Saying that, heavy board games with multi-color miniatures and wood components are better off simply stating. and they are for the ages of 14 and up.

Testing is not a matter to take lightly, That’s why in Hero Time we chose to work with one of the most known testing labs in the world Bureau Veritas

General Costs – How Much Does It Cost to Make a Board Game

Board games are a complex product due to the variety of components used in the game and their high customization level. Each game has different size tokens, playing board, cards, etc. There is no one price fits all, but rather each has its own board game manufacturing costs and quote. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any underlying guidelines for quoting.

In this article, I will try to explain as clearly as I can how games are quoted & General cost for board game. So far, board game manufacturers have kept the knowledge secret. so don’t be surprised if you end up knowing more than your current factory contact after reading this article. If, after this article, you have any inquiries, contact us

To cover all the board game pieces is a job too long for a single article, so we will first start with the price of printed components. The price for printed material is composed of

  1. Raw materials costs
  2. Board game printing costs
  3. Coating and Card Linen Finish
  4. Gluing and Cutting
  5. Assembly

1. Raw Material Costs:

Raw materials used for print are mainly papers and cardboards. Therefore, it is an important aspect in general cost for board game. Because, Papers and cardboards are sold in 1 square meter sheets, and each sheet has a different weight to it. You probably saw in your quotes the term “gsm”, well now you know it means “Gram Square Meter” – the weight of each sheet. Some cards are only 280gsm thick, and others are 350gsm or 400gsm. Some boxes are made of only 800gsm while others are 2000gsm. It all depends on the feeling you want your game to have.

A) Price of the Paper:

The price of the paper and cardboard goes by tons. Low-grade paper and cardboard will cost around 600USD per ton, and the higher grade can reach up to 1500USD or even more.

So, the first thing we do as Board Game Manufacturers is to calculate the amount of raw material needed for your game. This amount of raw material doesn’t only include the net amount of the final game sets you will receive. but it also includes waste/leftover parts of paper, and all the paper sheets. which we will need to discard due to low quality.

B) Exact specification:

Hence, it is important to know the exact specification before giving the final quote. Plus, an excellent point to remember is that the more complex the game. the more errors might occur, and more raw material will go to waste.

Raw Material Costs: 600-1500USD per ton

ASK US about the right raw material for your game

2. Board Game Printing Costs:

Many creators and people in the industry think that the price of printing is a price per sheet. As a result, creators sometimes don’t understand why there is such a big difference in price between small and large print quantities.

A) Price of  Printing:

Yet, the price difference is significant because the price of printing is actually fixed. The printing is so fast. we basically pay only to make the printing plates, calibrate the machine, and to cover the operator’s hourly cost (usually 1-2 hours). Hence, the price of printing 500 sets and 5000 sets is almost the same.

B) Variants of Machines:

However, there are some variants in prices between machines, so if your game’s cards and tokens fit within the size of 48*33cm (12*18”). we can use a smaller and cheaper machine for print, which is under 600USD. whereas if your components fit into a 90*58 (35*22”) plate, the cost can be double.

Printing Costs: 300-1200USD per printing side

Show Us your art so we can asses which machine suits your needs best.

3. Coating & Card Linen Finish:

The cost for the coating is priced differently and goes per sheet of paper. Each sheet of paper will cost around 0.25 for lamination or oil Varnish.

Adding texture on the card (aka Linen finish) is both a fixed cost for installing the stamping plates and a fixed price of 0.06 per sheet.

Finish Costs: 0.1-0.35USD per sheet

Check all the different finishes we have

4. Gluing & Cutting:

Gluing is charged per sheet of paper anywhere between 0.1-0.3USD.

Cutting is divided into two: cutting cards and cutting cardboard pieces. Cards are cut by a machine and are +-0.15USD per deck. On the other hand, cutting cardboard pieces have (1)- a fixed cost for making the cutting die, and (2) a price per sheet for cutting.

A) Cutting Methodology:

It’s important to note that the die-cut molds cut best when they are smaller than 30*30cm (12*12”) so if the cut is very customized and with a lot of little details, we will need to make multiple cutting dies, preferably under 30*30cm. In this regard, I must add that some factories don’t consider this, and only during production, they realize the error, which can potentially lead to defects in the final product.

Gluing and Cutting Costs: 0.15-0.7USD per sheet

5. Assembly & Packaging:

Collating all the pieces, shrink wrapping them, and then putting them in a box and sealing them is mostly manual labor. Unlike the other steps that are done by a machine, this part is done by people and can come out quite expensive—it rangers between 0.25-0.55 per game.

A) Shipping Cartons:

This step also includes putting the games into the shipping cartons. Shipping cartons should be at least five layers thick so they will protect the merchandise. This is not something to save money on, as the shipping can damage many games, and the shipping insurance will only cover damages if the cartons are high grade.

Printing Costs

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Printing Costs - How Much Does it Cost to Make a Board Game

1. Cost Effective Art Work:

As we covered in our previous article, the costs for printing board game components comprise raw material costs (paper and cardboard) and the cost for making the printing plates and calibrating the printing machines.

 

This article will provide you in detail the available off-the-shelf paper sizes and their corresponding printing plates so you can design your game most cost-effectively. It will also help you figure out how much does it cost to make a board game.

 

2. Multiple Paper Sizes:

Printing cost for board game, As there are numerous combinations of paper sizes and printing plates, we cannot cover all of them in detail. Hence, I chose to share here the most cost-effective and most relevant dimensions for board game creators. If you have a question, please comment at the bottom of this article, or contact us.

 

A disclosure: this article is designated mostly for Small and Medium Publishers. Large publishers that exceed 10 tons of a single raw material can customize the size of paper to the game’s needs.

3. Size Categories:

There are two elements to consider regarding the size:

 A)Size of the printing plate 
 B)The size of the paper used.
 
In this article, we will divide the sizes into four categories:
1. Extra Small (XS), 
2. Small (S),
3. Medium (M), 
4. Large (L). 

 

This will help us match the sizes of the printing plate with the sizes of paper.

4.Plates for Offset Printing Size:

 

In our location, we use four different types of printing machines:

  1. XS: Heidelberg Speed Master SM52 with a printing plate size of 52*36cm (20*14inch)
  2. S: The LITHRONE G26 with a 48*66cm printing plate. (18*25inch)
  3. M: The LITHRONE G29 with a 53*75cm printing plate. (20*29inch)
  4. L: The LITHRONE G37 with a 64*94cm printing plate. (25*37inch)

 

There are other types of printing machines, so if you are already using a printer, ask him for their sizes

 

While large publishers can customize their art and paper to fit the printing plate’s size, Small and Medium Publishers are constrained to the paper size. The goal should be to waste as little paper as possible. It will be a shame to pay for a paper that isn’t used in your game.

 

So here are available off-the-shelf papers:

5.Offset Printing Paper Size:

 

A) XS Size Papers:

  1. 29.4*29.5cm (total print area 26*26) – (10*10inch)
  2. 29.4*39.4cm (Total Print area 26*36.cm) – (10*14inch)
  3. 39.4*44cm (Total Print area 36*41) – (14*16inch)

 

B) Matching Printing Machine: 

These three sizes all fit into the smaller Speed Master SM52 printing machine.

 

C) Cost Range:

The printing cost is anywhere between 0.3-0.98USD, depending on the quantity and paper size. The difference in costs between the papers is 0.03-0.05 per paper.

Board game Production Cost for XS components

*not including cutting and finish).

 

D) Common Uses:

These small sizes are best used for tokens, small card game boxes, paper sheets, and rulebooks.

 

1. (Small) Size Paper:

 
  • 44*59cm paper (Total print area 41*56) – (16*22inch)

 

A) Matching Printing Machine:

For this size paper, we use the LITHORNE G26.

 

B) Cost Range: 

The cost of printing with this machine and paper costs between 0.5-1.1USD per sheet

Board Game Production Costs Small-Size components

(*not including cutting and finish).

 
C) Common Uses: 

This size paper is mostly used for Small-medium boxes, a small deck of cards, small hexagon pieces, small playing boards, etc. For example, this size sheet can fit 32 poker size cards in it.

 

2. (Medium) Size Paper:


  • 54*78cm (Total print area 51*75cm) – (20*29inch).

 

A) Matching Printing Machine:

For this size paper, we use the LITHORNE G29.

 

B) Cost Range: 

The printing cost on this sheet is between 0.65-1.5USD depending on quantity and not including cutting and finish.

*not including cutting and finish).

 
C) Common Uses:

this is the classic size paper used by most manufactures fitting the traditional 54 poker playing card sheet.

 

D) Recent Development: 

Recently, there have been developments in card cutting and collating technologies, and with careful printing, we can actually fit 64 cards poker size cards in one sheet. If you have a game in the process, feel free to contact us about it.

 

3. (Large) Size Paper:

 
  • The large size paper is 59*88.2cm (Total print area 56*85cm) – (22*33inch)

 

A) Matching Printing Machine:

For this paper, we will use the LITHRONE G37.

 

B) Cost Range: 

The cost for printing on this paper and with this machine is between 0.75-1.6USD.

(*not including cutting and finish).

C) Common Uses:

This size paper and printing plate are used for large game boards with a six or quad-fold. It is also used for some extra-large board game boxes from 40*32*7cm upwards.

This size sheet can also be used for a deck of 78 poker size cards.

 

Important Notes:

 There are a few other things to take into account. 
  1. Don’t forget to add a bleed to your art. Bleed should be 3mm on each side and should be considered when choosing the right paper size.

  2. Bleed for playing boards and boxes should have an extra 15mm on each side. Don’t forget to add it to the calculations.

  3. We added some sizes in Inches for reference, but it is best to use CM.

  4. Sometimes it is best not to add too many printing components if the art is color-rich, as the colors might not turn out sharp. For heavy board games, it is best to first consult with the machine operator.

  5. There should not be more than 84 cards in one sheet. It will harm the cards in the cutting process. Sometimes for small cards, we will only use the medium size paper sheet.

  6. We did not include cutting and finish prices in this article. Like mentioned previously, cutting depends on your components, and finish adds anywhere from 0.15-0.3USD per sheet.

  7. For an order of 3000+ sets, it is best to look at the complete art and evaluate a price accordingly.

  8. Large publishers who want to become more cost-effective should control the supply chain all the way from the paper mill to assembly. The printing factory does not necessarily know the ins and outs of paper sizes. Contact Us.

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Cardboard Costs

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Cardboard Costs – How much does it cost to make a board game.

Cardboard is vital for board games; it is used in components such as the board game box, playing board, score trackers, tokens, characters, and many others.

 

However, most creators don’t really understand the additional costs these cardboard components add to their game. Even more so, they don’t really understand why the cardboard prices vary so much between factories.

 

1. Card Board Costs for Board Game Details:

In this article, I will try to set the record straight and clearly explain the price of cardboard with their different quality, thickness, and size.

 

*This article is a continuation of the previous two articles: Printing Cost, and Overall Cost Structure. And although I add a short recap, I strongly recommend rereading the previous two articles if you find this article overwhelming. You can learn more about Hero Time Board game manufacturer here.

2. The Different Grades of Card Board:

If you are making a box, a player board, or tokens, in addition to the printing costs in the previous article, there are also the pieces’ cardboard costs. Generally, 

 
There are three levels of cardboard that can be used for a board game:
 
1. Standard (B) quality.
2. (A) quality dense/high dense.
3. (Double-A) Extra high density.
 
(as far as I know, only Hero Time uses extra high density).

 

* Unless you manufacture at Panda Games or Print Ninja, don’t take for granted the grade factories tell you as many factories and their salespeople can’t really tell the difference themselves; they buy off the shelf whatever wholesalers give them.

 

To learn more about the capabilities of these different grade cardboards, you can view the following two videos

https://youtu.be/uqZdqbMkdYUhttps://youtu.be/P4HUmWyQaTw

3. Cost for Different Grades of Card Board:

 

  1. Standard B Quality = 700USD per ton
  2. A quality Dense/High Dense = 1070USD per ton
  3. Hero Time’s Extra Dense cardboard = 1230USD per ton.

 

These costs however are not static and they change every quarter. It follows the Producer Price Index of Wood Pulp.

 

To assess what these costs mean for your games in specific, we first need to decide the thickness of the cardboard you want to use and the sheet’s size suitable for your game.

4. The Sheet Size Suitable for your Components:

 

In the last article, we covered the price of printing on different sheets of paper and showed the standard paper sizes used in your game. To review, we buy from the paper mill a standard size sheet of 88.2*118.2cm.

we have six ways of cutting it most cost-effectively:

 

  1. 29.4*29.5cm (total print area 26*26) – (10*10inch)
  2. 29.4*39.4cm (Total Print area 26*36.cm) – (10*14inch)
  3. 39.4*44cm (Total Print area 36*41) – (14*16inch)
  4. 44*59cm paper (Total print area 41*56) – (16*22inch)
  5. 54*78cm (Total print area 51*75cm) – (20*29inch).
  6. The large size paper is 59*88.2cm (Total print area 56*85cm) – (22*33inch)

The thickness of the cardboard

5. The Thickness of the Card Board:

 

Overall, there are three thicknesses that board game creators like to use for their game:

  1. 700-1000gsm (1.25-1.5mm thick),
  2. 1200gsm (2mm thick),
  3. 2000gsm (3mm thick).

 

As mentioned in our first article, cardboards are priced per ton, and we calculate each sheet’s weight by gsm (Gram Square Meter). Each master sheet size 88.2*118.2 is a square meter, and one ton equals 1,000,000 grams. So:

 

  1. If you choose the thin 1.25-1.5mm(700-1000gsm), we can fit around 1000 master sheets in one ton.
  2. 2mm thick (1200gsm) means we can fit about 800 master sheets in one ton.
  3. 3mm thick cardboard (2000gsm) we can fit 500 sheets in one ton.
 

See what thickness of cardboard you need for your game in the following video:

https://youtu.be/QtDPIvBWGTU

The size and cost of the sheets used in your game

6. The Size & Cost of Sheets used in your Game:

 

Card board costs for board game also consider the thickness of card board. After deciding the thickness of your cardboard, the quality grade, and the sheet size needed for your game, you can calculate how many master sheets fit into one ton and check how many smaller cardboard pieces you can make out of those sheets.

 

A) Standard Chart Sheet:

To make it easier for you, I have compiled everything into on price table for reference. In this table, you can see the cost per piece according to its quality and GSM. You should add this cost to the printing cost mentioned in “How Much Does it Cost to Make a Board Game – Printing Costs”

*as mentioned in our first How much does it cost to make a board gamearticle, you should also consider the waste and defect product, which vary between 10 and 20% depending on your pieces’ complexity. If you want the 2mm cardboard and cut it into six pieces, the price per ton should be calculated for 4000 pieces instead of 4800. We have already included it in the table.

 

*You probably came across the newest Blue Core cardboard in our videos; this is the latest cardboard type on the market and is perfect for tokens and player boards. The blue core cardboard is a thin cardboard 1.5mm (1000gsm), but it has a 2000gsm A quality cardboard durability. Its price is 1400USD per ton, but it is only relevant for large orders of 10 tons and up.

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Cardboard is vital for board games; it is used in components such as the board game box, playing board, score trackers, tokens, characters, and many others.

However, most creators don’t really understand the additional costs these cardboard components add to their game. Even more so, they don’t really understand why the cardboard prices vary so much between factories.

In this article, I will try to set the record straight and clearly explain the price of cardboard with their different quality, thickness, and size.

*This article is a continuation of the previous two articles: Printing Cost, and Overall Cost Structure. And although I add a short recap, I strongly recommend rereading the previous two articles if you find this article overwhelming. You can learn more about Hero Time Board game manufacturer here.

If you are making a box, a player board, or tokens, in addition to the printing costs in the previous article, there are also the pieces’ cardboard costs. Generally, 

 
There are three levels of cardboard that can be used for a board game:
 
1. Standard (B) quality.
2. (A) quality dense/high dense.
3. (Double-A) Extra high density.
 
(as far as I know, only Hero Time uses extra high density).

* Unless you manufacture at Panda Games or Print Ninja, don’t take for granted the grade factories tell you as many factories and their salespeople can’t really tell the difference themselves; they buy off the shelf whatever wholesalers give them.

To learn more about the capabilities of these different grade cardboards, you can view the following two videos

  1. Standard B Quality = 700USD per ton
  2. A quality Dense/High Dense = 1070USD per ton
  3. Hero Time’s Extra Dense cardboard = 1230USD per ton.

These costs however are not static and they change every quarter. It follows the Producer Price Index of Wood Pulp.

To assess what these costs mean for your games in specific, we first need to decide the thickness of the cardboard you want to use and the sheet’s size suitable for your game.

In the last article, we covered the price of printing on different sheets of paper and showed the standard paper sizes used in your game. To review, we buy from the paper mill a standard size sheet of 88.2*118.2cm.

we have six ways of cutting it most cost-effectively:
  1. 29.4*29.5cm (total print area 26*26) – (10*10inch)
  2. 29.4*39.4cm (Total Print area 26*36.cm) – (10*14inch)
  3. 39.4*44cm (Total Print area 36*41) – (14*16inch)
  4. 44*59cm paper (Total print area 41*56) – (16*22inch)
  5. 54*78cm (Total print area 51*75cm) – (20*29inch).
  6. The large size paper is 59*88.2cm (Total print area 56*85cm) – (22*33inch)

The thickness of the cardboard

Overall, there are three thicknesses that board game creators like to use for their game:

  1. 700-1000gsm (1.25-1.5mm thick),
  2. 1200gsm (2mm thick),
  3. 2000gsm (3mm thick).

As mentioned in our first article, cardboards are priced per ton, and we calculate each sheet’s weight by gsm (Gram Square Meter). Each master sheet size 88.2*118.2 is a square meter, and one ton equals 1,000,000 grams. So:

  1. If you choose the thin 1.25-1.5mm(700-1000gsm), we can fit around 1000 master sheets in one ton.
  2. 2mm thick (1200gsm) means we can fit about 800 master sheets in one ton.
  3. 3mm thick cardboard (2000gsm) we can fit 500 sheets in one ton.
 

See what thickness of cardboard you need for your game in the following video:

The size and cost of the sheets used in your game

Card board costs for board game also consider the thickness of card board. After deciding the thickness of your cardboard, the quality grade, and the sheet size needed for your game, you can calculate how many master sheets fit into one ton and check how many smaller cardboard pieces you can make out of those sheets.

 

A) Standard Chart Sheet:

To make it easier for you, I have compiled everything into on price table for reference. In this table, you can see the cost per piece according to its quality and GSM. You should add this cost to the printing cost mentioned in “How Much Does it Cost to Make a Board Game – Printing Costs”

*as mentioned in our first How much does it cost to make a board game” article, you should also consider the waste and defect product, which vary between 10 and 20% depending on your pieces’ complexity. If you want the 2mm cardboard and cut it into six pieces, the price per ton should be calculated for 4000 pieces instead of 4800. We have already included it in the table.

*You probably came across the newest Blue Core cardboard in our videos; this is the latest cardboard type on the market and is perfect for tokens and player boards. The blue core cardboard is a thin cardboard 1.5mm (1000gsm), but it has a 2000gsm A quality cardboard durability. Its price is 1400USD per ton, but it is only relevant for large orders of 10 tons and up.

Gluing and Cutting Costs

Gluing and Cutting Costs – How Much Does it Cost to Make a Board Game

So far, we have covered the cost of printing and cardboard costs. To finalize your printed components’ price, we next need to determine the gluing and cutting costs.

In this article, we will go by the manufacturing process and cover first gluing and then cutting

There are three ways to glue printed papers and cardboards.

1. By hand
2. Semi-Automated
3. Fully automated. 

 

When making your game, we need to decide which gluing machine to use. They all have their advantages, disadvantages, and set up / operational costs.

 

There are two things to consider when choosing the best machine for the game’s needs: 

1. Size and shape of the component.
2. Quantity.
  1. The fully automated machine can run up to 7-10 pieces a minute and has a 95% accuracy rate.
  2. It can glue playing boards with wrap around the edges and even make boxes up to 25*25*7cm in size. 
  3. However, it has a high setup fee of around 300USD, and hence it is only reasonable to use it for orders larger than 1500/2000 sets and up (which will take a couple of hours and not get done in an hour or so). (operated by 1-2 people).   

 

  1. The semi-automated machine is perfect for small two side token sheets and pages up to 44*59cm. 
  2. It is cheap to set up, only around 50USD, and it has relatively good accuracy (+-85%).
  3. Also, it has a high output of up to 10-12 sheets per minute. 
  4. However, it is limited in its option and will not be suitable for playing boards, boxes, and boards with wrap around the edges. (operated by 2 people) 

 

  1. The third gluing option is by hand. There is no setup fee, the output is about four pieces a minute, and it is incredibly versatile. 
  2. You can make with it any size box, any size playing board, and anything else you would like. 
  3. The only downside is the high hourly labor cost for the machine and the relatively low accuracy of around 70-80%, leading to additional hours and waste. (Operated by at least 4 people).
  4. So for quantities of less than 1500 or for large/complex components, it is best to glue by hand.

Cost of  Gluing By Hand:

  1. As gluing is a simple process, the price of labor for it in China is about 4USD an hour for good in-house staff. 
  2. To check the cost of gluing for your game, you can calculate 4 pieces per minute * 60 minutes to see how long it will take to make your component, 
  3. Then multiply the number of hours by the number of people required for the job—gluing by hand costs around 0.1USD per side.

1. Cutting is a more complicated process and requires a machine operator that understands the cutting mold’s capabilities; it cannot be done just by anyone. 

2. Hence, the hourly rate for such a person is between the 9-10USD an hour.

3. The cutting machine’s output is 4-5 sheets per minute as it requires constant checking of the mold and the cut, so it comes out around 4 cents.

 

  1. Besides the labor costs, there is the cost of making the cutting mold, which can be between 30-100USD. 
  2. For simple straight lines, it will be 30USD, while for a token sheet with up to 30 pieces, it can be $60, and for larger sheets (for playing boards) or sheets with over 30 cut-out pieces, it can reach even up to 100USD.
  3. Therefore, for a standard board game the mold cost, will be between 0.015 for 3000 sets and 0.13 for 500 sets.

 

Gluing and cutting costs, Some creators ask if we can keep molds and reuse them, thus saving the mold’s cost. However, it is not possible as the knives are made of metal which rusts after 3-5 months, and has to be changed.

The final cost you get from Hero Time is the component’s cost, including all the mold gluing and finish costs.

Stages of Board Game Design Process

1. Whether you’re Eric Lang or Rob Daviau, one thing is sure – Making a board game is a process in which you edit and alter your prototype, intending to refine it. This refinement process is called game development.

2. It includes everything from base mechanics to artwork, rules, and even down to the optimal components to be used in manufacturing. 

3. Here you’ll find some tips and resources, which will help you along the journey of developing your game.

When it comes to game design, there are two approaches, which are referred to as – “Top-down” and “Bottom-up.”

1. Top-Down Methodology, means that you start with a very broad idea of the game- all of the mechanics you want the game to have, the theme, etc. 

 

2. Then you work your way into the details from there. R. Eric Reuss (Designer of Spirit Island) uses a similar approach and refers to it as “pruning”, 

 

3. As it is similar to pruning a tree – you get all of your ideas out and cut the ones which don’t work during testing while keeping the good ones.

1. It can be seen as the opposite of top-down because you start with a simple mechanic and expand when you find that it works well. This process can be seen as “growing” your game.

2. A great example of a designer who uses this technique is Bruno Cathala (designer of over 50 games, many of which on the. On many occasions, he has said that he starts out with a “sparkling idea”, which he then grows into something bigger.

3. Both of these approaches are valid and have led to great games being produced. It is essential to know which method you need to use in your own game.

A) Ask Yourself ?

Steps for making a board game, Ask yourself this question – Does my game tend to overwhelm or underwhelm? Do I need to simplify and cut, or does the game need something added to spice it up? Asking these simple questions can give your game direction and will undoubtedly speed up your development process.

Check out these articles to learn more about the approach when it comes to game development:

Killing your Darlings 

  1. This article focuses on cutting and how a good designer should become alright with cutting elements of the game when it will ultimately help the game.

2. Different Approaches to Game Design – 

     Here are four simple ways to start working on your game. This can be a good start for the “bottom-up” approach.

While yes, game designers generally wear many hats, it is an integral part of the process to find help where you need it and learn what you can and can’t handle. 

 

A) Main Kickstarters Vs. Small Publisher:

 

The main reason why companies like Kollosal GamesAwaken Realms, and CMON can produce huge Kickstarters, again and again, is because they have the funds to split up their workload. There are multiple steps for making a board game. Of course, as an independent designer or small publisher, this is not always an option, but finding allies which you can work with will almost certainly help you make better games.

B) Game Testing & Reviews:

1. Find the things you are good at, be it balancing game mechanics or a good eye for graphic design. One way of doing that is by asking playtesters or other designers in online forums.

 

2. (The Board Game Design Lab Facebook Community is a great place for that) what the weak points of the game are? If you keep getting an answer like “The rules are not easy to understand” or “The turns aren’t as satisfying as I’d like”, think about ways you can get help.

 

C) Game Expert Opinions:

 

1. Steps for Making a board game should consider for smooth working process. Two heads are better than one is more often than not correct when you find the right people. There are plenty of other game designers who can help you out with mechanics, rulebook editors for rules, graphic designers for graphic design, and specialists in almost any game-related area you can think of! 

2. Find those people and ask them to help out (of course, find a way to return the favor, whether monetarily or by other means); you’ll find that the right person can help make your vision a reality!

 

D) Finding Allies:

 

1. More Facebook Groups: I recommend you join all of these groups; these are the places where you’ll most easily find whatever you need. There are groups for reviewers, artists, marketers, and all potential allies you may need on your journey.

 

2. Tips for Working with a Codesigner: This post by Carla Kopp has more information about what to expect when working with other people.

1. Growing attached to your ideas is natural, but it can lead to many plateaus when it comes to development. If you’re developing your own game, this can be especially challenging, but it’s necessary to master the craft of developing games.

 

2. Nothing is Written in Stone is precisely what it sounds like; you must be alright with moving things around and trying out different approaches to the way your game works.

 

3. You must see the state your game is in now as temporary, even if you’ve grown attached to it. You can always go back to the game the way it is now, so it’s better to have more options to choose from.

A) Make a Good Rule of  Thumb:

 

1. Once you’re ready to make changes, make them. A good rule of thumb is- “if you’re unsure if something should stay, cut it. If you don’t miss it, don’t bring it back” This part of the process can be some of the most fun… if you can see it that way. 

 

2. You’ll find that your game is capable of much more than you thought before looking at it with the developer’s eyes. It’s usually during this process when you’ll find what the key “fun factor” of your game is (sometimes referred to as the games’” core” or “core fantasy”); once you know that, things become a lot easier.

 

3. Of course, you will have to be careful not to stay too long in this part of the process. Your main objective should be to get your game out into the world in the best state possible. 

 

4. Once you have a good core, it will be easy to expand on it by returning to this part of the process and making slight additions and changes to the game’s mechanics. 

 

5. I’ve talked to dozens of designers, and I’ve never heard any of them having trouble with expansions if their game had a strong core.

 

More:

 

1. Working with a Developer – This article goes in-depth on the job of a developer’s job when you’ve signed your game with a publisher. This will help you see your own game with “developer’s eyes.”

 

2. Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics – This concept is fascinating, as it delivers a fresh look at games in general. The video is based on this research paper, and I love the way Eduardo Baraf breaks it down

1. Steps for making a board game also consider the playtesters & editors. All good writers have editors who help them refine their work. We have something even more remarkable… Playtesters! Make it a habit to ask your playtesters for objective opinions after playtests. 

 

2. Ask your playtesters these two questions every time you test the game – “If you have to cut 10% of the game, what would you cut?”. Then, ask them the opposite “If there is one thing that must stay in the printed version of the game, what would it be?”

 

3. Under no circumstances should you underestimate your playtesters because games are a collaborative process, whether you like it or not. If you watch your playtesters carefully and grow accustomed to really listening, your game will be better for it.

4. Knowing which criticism to take when you should watch the game, and watch your players are skills you will have to develop by seeing your game played by diverse groups and having both blind tests and tests in which you (the designer) participate.

 

More:

 

1. The Designer Effect – This article goes into things that may come up in playtests when the designer is present.

2. Leading a Playtest – Tips on how to conduct playtests

1. Steps for making a board game also include your board game optimization. Like anything, there are ways to optimize your development process. Things like keeping a record of the changes which have been made to the game and reports from play sessions can really help you optimize the process.

 

2. I would say that the best way to perfect your craft other than practicing it, is watching how others practice it. So, make time for playing games, reading design diaries, watching videos, listening to podcasts and seeing what decisions other designers and developers have made.

 

3. A wonderful place for more articles to check out about everything game design is Board Game Design Lab’s Designer ResourcesMaking a board game creating a board game developing a board game how to make a board game

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Board Game Creators are the pillars of the board game industry. As a board game manufacturer, it is our duty to make sure you have everything you need throughout your journey.

 

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