Of course, it goes without saying that doing your homework and researching the market for your game is critical. Keep in the mind that the idea for the game is just that- an idea. The next critical steps are what turn your great idea into a commercial success.
Remember the age-old “4 P’s” of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Know whom your target market for the game is, how to reach them, what they are willing to pay, and who the competition is for your customers’ attention.
Once you’ve done your homework, you’ve developed your business plan, it’s now time to figure out what the physical product should be. That’s were we can be of service to you. Our project managers can work with you to determine what components are most appropriate for your product. We can help with the packaging. We can even provide graphic design services.
Once the details of the physical product are decided upon, we can provide you with a manufacturing proposal. This proposal will identify such issues as the cost to manufacture the product, preproduction set up costs, the detailed specifications of all components, how they will be assembled, and how they will be packed for shipping purposes. We can even estimate the cost for product safety testing and overseas freight forwarding if needed. Our project managers can walk you through the whole process.
For products that are heavy on printed materials and standard game components, 2,500 units is a typical starting point. That said, some products may require a higher minimum production quantity. For example, if your product is going to be packaged in a metal tin, our supplier will typically require a minimum production quantity of 10,000 tins to be manufactured. Also, a product with custom electronics will typically require a much larger quantity of IC chips to be produced.
It all boils down to talking to one of our project managers about the components in your product- we’ll try to match the production quantity that is most economically viable for our factory with your production needs and appropriate level of investment.
It’s pretty straightforward, involving the calculations of materials costs (this explains why it’s closely tied to your detailed product specifications), estimation of machine utilization time, and manufacturing and assembly labor.
Such issues as production quantity and timeframe play a role as well. Your planned production quantity is important because up to a point as the production quantity increases, the cost per unit effectively drops as well. Numerous factors come into play here but the principal is that setup costs, machine utilization, assembly labor, etc. are all amortized across a larger production volume, thereby reducing the cost per unit of those expenses.
The easy answer is “anything and everything pertaining to your product”.
The longer answer is:
- Detailed information about all the components of your product (descriptions, dimensions, materials, colors, digital files, technical drawings, etc.)
- Your planned production volume
- The timeframe for when you require finished inventory on and at your final destination
- Details as how the products are to be packed into shipping cartons
- The countries where you plan to sell your products (this pertains to safety testing requirements and sometimes the materials to be used in production)
The GPI project manager who you are working is very detail oriented in gathering all this information throughout the process. Knowing as much as we can about your project requirements helps to ensure a smooth manufacturing process and reductions in delays.
We absolutely offer custom designs. While there are industry standard dimensions for game and playing cards that most people follow, all components that we produce are effectively custom designed for your project. We do not believe in forcing the design of your product around standardization of packaging or other components.
Basically, do your homework. Research what products are already on the market. Walk the aisles of retail stores (not just the mass market retailers, but also smaller chains and independent retailers). Use the Internet as much as possible. Comb through industry websites, blogs, etc. Attend industry tradeshows (some are open to the public), game conventions, etc. think about who the target market is for your product, and then visit the stores, websites, and/or catalogs where they’ll buy it.