This burns...(on manufacturing)

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Yang Sei Fu
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This burns...(on manufacturing)

#1 Post by Yang Sei Fu » Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:57 am

Read this:

Thank you for your message and quote request via our web site.
We would be happy to work with you on this project. The costs involved
would be as follows:

CD Manufacturing
Includes: Setup, artwork processing, digital proof, film, screen, glass
mastering, 1 colour silk screening on custom manufactured standard sized
(650 MB) CDs.
Turnaround: 2 weeks from digital proof signoff
Quantity: 1000 units
Total Cost: $838 CDN, plus applicable taxes

The above costs are based on you supplying us with artwork
formatted to our templates and specifications, along with the master CD
for the project. You also requested that we provide you with a quote on
DVD Digipaks and DVD Cases. The costs for both are included as options
below.

DVD Cases - Single Black
Includes: Assembly without shrink wrap
Quantity: 1000 units
Total Cost: $324 CDN, plus applicable taxes

OPTION:
DVD Digipak
Includes: Setup, artwork processing, digital proof, direct to plate
costs, full process colour offset printing on 18 pt SBS and all
finishing costs to form a DVD sized digipak.
Quantity: 1000 units
Total Cost: $5053 CDN, plus applicable taxes

This is all for reference...and there is still the labelling and pamphlet that's left unanswered...

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$4
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#2 Post by mikey » Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:44 am

oooh,... errr, what exactly should we look for? Are those the estimated costs for the release of your project? 5k CDN (plus tax)... :? :? :?

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#3 Post by papillon » Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:05 pm

Well, I haven't done a lot of looking into this, but that CD manufacturing price seems pretty reasonable... IF you can be certain that you'll sell a good number of units. :)

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#4 Post by Yang Sei Fu@School » Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:01 pm

Well...the post means one thing: Obviously the DVD digipak isn't going to work. I was actually thinking of printing costs UNDER 2k (preferable under 1.5k actually)...

But really, I'm uncertain how well these games sell. This is a dilemma for all Ren'ai game makers in UNEXPLORED territory. There is no way I can be certain I'm making too little or too much.

What do you think, guys? How many to produce?

Considering the game would be sold online, and advertising would be done ALSO completely by spreading the word around online...unless situations improve in the future...


Ahh, we live in the hard road...this untravelled path...

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#5 Post by Grey » Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:09 pm

Pessimistic, but in my view realistic, I'm thinking you'd be tipping money down the drain, with only a heap of CDs you can't sell to show for it.

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#6 Post by Sai » Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:11 pm

Well who's to say you have to make hard copies and distribute on CD?
You could just set up a secure server based website and make it so that people pay to download the client through the internet.
It works for places like i-tunes or whatever =)

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#7 Post by PyTom » Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:18 pm

Although I'm just a geek and not some sort of business expert, it strikes me that the market for original, english-language, non-hentai games is probably small enough that I wouldn't go investing large amounts of money in CD print runs. (I could be wrong. I hope so.)

I'd probably consider some combination of direct digital download (probably using paypal), and/or burning CDs one at a time, printing out labels, and sticking the labels onto the CDs. I think that digital downloads are a better idea, since they lead to immediate gratification.

I'm also not sure how much you could get away with charging, especially seeing how most similar games are free.

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#8 Post by mikey » Wed Dec 01, 2004 6:25 pm

I'd be for internet sale as well. Although an internet pay system will also have its setting up and maintenance costs. :( Perhaps if you explained just why you want (I assume) SCS to be distributed/sold the old fashioned way.

As PyTom correctly said, the market is very small and an investment of over 5000 better have a backup plan. Perhaps you could combine the things - make a few demo copies by yourself and offer them for sale (or for free with only the demo) in manga shops in your area (Fata or the other one in the Chinatown centre - darn, I miss my Torontonian life) and try to sell the game online as your main source - submitting it into search engines and so on. I think papillon (hanakogames) could give you tips regarding online sale.

Concerning the issue of free games as your competition... that's a hard one, since most of the fan games are indeed free, so you would have to give people something they will not be able to criticise much, since they pay for it. I know the project was planned to be commercial from the beginning, but it's going to be a difficult task nonetheless (especially setting the price). Also, I've learned this from my previous job, you can't set the price of a product based on the time and money it took you to produce it.

My opinion in short: don't make CDs (except promo/demo ones), try to sell it online.

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#9 Post by PyTom » Wed Dec 01, 2004 6:33 pm

mikey wrote:the market is very small
I'm sorta interested as to if any of the people who have made games available for download have kept any statistics on how many times they've been downloaded. I can say with confidence that the number of downloads of Ren'Py is measured in dozens (perhaps half a score total, perhaps much less), but that's a fairly specialized download.

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#10 Post by RedSlash » Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:51 pm

I wouldn't go off manufacturing CDs unless you know your product is going to sell. I suggest releasing a demo first and then check the fan responses. Like said before, I think internet downloads would be the way to go for distributing your work unless your project is several hundreds MB large.

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#11 Post by mikey » Thu Dec 02, 2004 11:37 am

PyTom>> That's an interesting idea,... no. I don't have a counter. But normally the response is quite small (if any at all) outside the community. I had fun watching nobody reply to the Kaori thread I made in Megatokyo (then I got one response, there goes my clean sheet...), but it seems the buzz is bigger within the work-in-progress titles.

As for the Slovak and also Czech (manga.sk is cooperating with its Czech counterpart) d/loads I doubt there were many. I have not seen any response (except from one of my friends). So, I'd really say it IS limited. Very limited. It doesn't bother me though, because I like to do it, but trying to make money from it could be a very difficult task.

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#12 Post by rioka » Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:05 pm

Yang>> The prices seem reasonable but I'm surprised they don't also offer CD booklet and tray card printing. I found these places that do:
http://www.xgmedia.com/products_packaging_inserts.html
http://www.candisc.com/03price/03printcd2.html
I found them while trying to compare your price quote with some others. Yours is one of the better deals. There's some that I found that are over US$1000 for the CD manufacturing for 1000 units. <.<'

Before you set your heart on this method of distribution, I suggest you weigh your options carefully. If you sell hard-copies to your customers, you have to consider shipping costs, packaging, and fulfillment. I don't know if you've researched shipping costs yet but they can be a bit pricey when shipping internationally. Not to mention shipping prices aren't friendly to the occasional shipper. You also have to contend with lost, misdirected, damaged-in-transit goods, and any returns that may occur. You also have to keep track of your sales.

If you're able to handle those, then go for it. Just know that you'll most likely be managing the business more than you will be creating games after a certain threshold. Anyways, there's also another alternative to the CD in a jewel case method. You can opt to package your game in a plain CD envelope and in a 5x8 box that's popular with PC games these days.

Grey>> You can sell items if you work hard for it. Self-published comic book creators do it all the time. Of course, those who don't have enough motivation usually fail but there are those who do break away from the wanna-be's.

PyTom & mikey>> I agree with the online route for a starter company with a limited amount of money to work on. Instead of putting all your cash flow into inventory which initially would be hard to turn-over for a starter company - invest that money on marketing. Marketing is the key to sales. Ways of marketing: word of mouth, banners at popular places (Anipike, Megatokyo, ANN, rightstuf, anime sites, gaming sites), ads in mags (anime, games), banner exchange, go to a convention; rent a booth; pass out flyers; and maybe even test the market with questionnaires, etc.

I'm not too worried about pricing. Current prices from Muto and Hanako is about the range to go for. As for being similar with other free games and competition in general - you'll just have to set yourself higher than them from graphics, art, music, story, play-time length, omake's, etc. One of the major points when selling your product is offering something that no one else has.

As for download stats, I was looking at the Hanako game download stats and they looked pretty decent... but downloads don't necessarily translate to sales.

... O.O Whoo, long post. ^^'

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#13 Post by Yang Sei Fu » Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:18 pm

OK...to clear some things up.
When I did that query, I asked the best-possible alternative when it comes to packaging, and of course, it returned me as $5000.

I'm obviously not trying to go for that.

I mean, if you take 1,000 copies for example, DVD cases, CDs (assume 2), wrappers and labelling (sadly, no CD booklet), the total costs round up to somewhere in $1100.

Considering other costs to get it to me, I'd say that's fair if I sold each unit for around $20 or 30CDN...provided they are mostly sold.

I'd have to say that the net-purchase thing is the best choice...however the upkeep cost will be like trying to climb a rope on fire. Not a bad idea though.

It would be logical, however, to at least create a certain amount of prints, especially if plans for conventions, promotions etc. happen. Decent presentation counts.
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#14 Post by PyTom » Sat Dec 11, 2004 5:37 pm

Yang Sei Fu wrote: I'd have to say that the net-purchase thing is the best choice...however the upkeep cost will be like trying to climb a rope on fire.
I'm not sure why you say this, unless climbing a rope on fire is some sort of expression I don't understand. I've been looking into online digital delivery, and it actually seems quite reasonable. Paypal charges 30 cents + 2.9% per transaction. With a script that can take paypal IPN notifications and email the payer a customized download site, I think that this is a fairly easy way to sell this sort of thing online.

I just looked, and it's a little more when accepting international payments. (As, IIRC, a Canadian would do when people from the US buy.)

The only other cost is that of web hosting, which is probably around $10 a month, and a one-time charge for getting things set up.

Let me know if you have any questions... Like I said I've been looking into this for a friend of mine, and I think that about $150 a year above the per-transaction fee is what it would cost.

I'll leave the discussion of the proposed game price to others.

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#15 Post by RedSlash » Mon Dec 13, 2004 3:04 pm

I've paid less than $100 CDN for 80MB webspace + domain for a whole year. I'm sure you can even get better deals than that. I highly doubt upkeep cost will hurt you more than the $1000 CDs. Not to mention you'll probably need the website to sell your CDs anyways.

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