It is acceptable in the manufacturing industry to have three payment installations throughout the manufacturing process.
1- Paying for a Prototype game
Before deciding to move forward and mass-produce a game, most customers prefer making a prototype game to check the quality of the material they chose and the way all game components fit together. They usually take the sample game to game events, show it to friends, and even to market influencers. After all their checks, they might decide to make adjustments to the game, the artwork, and the pieces.
Currently, the average cost for a single sample game from a factory ranges between $150 to $300 a game.
However, this cost is very high to accept for a single game, especially in the days of Kick starter, where it is wise for inventors to get at least a dozen or more copies to show influencers.
To answer this problem, HeroTime cooperates with small print factories in inland China and manufactures sample games for the low cost of between 20-50$ a game. Though the game is not made in the same factory as the mass-produced games, still the game will be 90% similar, and the inventors can afford to have as many sample copies as they want.
A single copy of a game that is identical to the final game, costs between $150-$300.
A dozen copies with some minor variants will cost 20-50$ a game.
2- Down Payment + Performa Invoice
Following the authorization of the final version of the game, HeroTime will send a Performa Invoice (PI) to the customer. In this PI, all the details of production will be agreed upon: game specification, production timeline, payment structure, and delivery status. The PI is a binding document which both parties agree upon and sign.
With the signing of the PI, the customer needs to pay a down payment to HeroTime. Most private and one-time customers transfer 50% of the order. While repeating customers and established publishers, pay a down payment of around 30%.
To ensure customer safety and satisfaction, HeroTime will continuously update the customers with the progress of their game using videos and pictures. Customers will take an active part in the production and will be able to comment on the output (this is an added value service not provided by other manufacturers).
3- Final Pay
After production has been completed and before delivery, the customer will need to pay the remaining balance of his order. After the customer has settled the balance, HeroTime will provide him/her with the final invoice and Bill of Leading, which he/she can then use for customs and shipping. HeroTime can ship the products to their destination.
Customers can have HeroTime manage their shipping. HeroTime will quote an estimated price and include it in the Performa Invoice. However, shipping prices are very volatile and at times, change between weeks. Hence, HeroTime will notify the customer in regards to any changes that occurred to the shipping prices before the final payment.
Frequently asked questions
If I pay the first deposit, do I still need to pay for the sample?
No, if you pay the deposit, the sample is free of charge.
If I got a sample once and I am not satisfied with it? Can I get a new sample?
Yes. Once you pay for a sample, you can get up to three sample runs.
is the prototype board game identical to the final game?
Samples are printed using a digital printer, while the mass-produced order is print by an offset printer. The digital print is slightly darker and starts to fade after 2 months or so. Aside from this, the sample will be the same as the final mass-produced game. (it is possible to get a offset printed version, but it will be $85 more expensive)
How can I be sure the game will come out as I want it.
HeroTime will record the production of your game, and will send you constant updates about it. Though digital content is not 100% the same as an actual game held in your hand, errors can still be spotted, and you can feel safe with your game.
If during production I found that the factory made a mistake, what then?
Though it rarely happens, if it did happen, let your correspondent in HeroTime know and they will make sure the factory re-does the job, free of charge.
If I started manufacturing and then decided to change the design, will HeroTime be able to change it?
Once the factory started printing, you will need to bear the costs of a reprint. The cost will only be for those sheets you want to change. Not the whole order.
How can I make sure the game will be produced according to the agreed timeline.
HeroTime’s representatives will be in the factory and will make sure the factories stand according to the deadlines
Will the factories ever deviate from the agreed timeline?
There are some cases where HeroTime will approve the delay. For example, if it is raining hard, it is better not to transport or cut the board games as the air is very damp and can ruin the boards. in that and other similar cases HeroTime will recommend changing the deadline.