Physical Copies of Your Games?

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
Message
Author
User avatar
FriendlySenpai
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:50 pm
Projects: Daddy Lies, Novus Inceptum
Location: Georgia, USA
Contact:

Physical Copies of Your Games?

#1 Post by FriendlySenpai » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:37 am

There are a lot of us here who have already published games so, given that it feels commonplace to offer a physical copy of your game to certain backers, I was wondering if anyone actually had more to say on the process. T-shirts, posters, and the like are pretty easy to figure out since there are a zillion sites to pick from and they all have pretty simple instructions, so right now we're just going to focus specifically on creating a hard copy of a VN.

I know there's a convenient resource thread that links you to a handful of companies that can make a physical copy/special edition of your game, but... Random links with no further information isn't the most helpful when you're just window shopping. College enrollment advisors that have been hounding me for 4 years about attending their college have made me apprehensive to just rapid-fire emails to a bunch of different companies asking for more info.

And a couple of quick searches with various keyword combinations pulled up too many pages of irrelevant results so, if this has already been asked (relatively recently, as things can change) and answered, I apologize for being a lazy pos.

Anyways, I'll drop a few questions before heading to bed:

-What company would you recommend, and why?
-Did you produce just a physical copy of your game, or was there an OST/artbook/other fancy shit included?
-What kind of costs were you looking at?
-About how long did it take for it to be made?
-What was the process like?
-Do you have any advice for someone who would want to make a physical/special edition of their VN?
-If you went through a publisher, did they assist you at all?

More questions may be added to this later. It's 4:30 AM. Too sleepy.

User avatar
ISAWHIM
Veteran
Posts: 280
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:34 pm
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#2 Post by ISAWHIM » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:12 am

I would like to say that for the past 10 years, few computers are actually made with a CD-player of any kind. The majority of devices being laptops, web-books and tablets.

For physical devices, I would think about USB-flash distributions. Almost every device has a USB port of some kind. (Almost... Some have only Micro-SD, or none at all. Totally web-dependent or wifi/bluetooth dependent.)

CD's, with jewel-cases and some kind of "box/sleeve" and/or "shrink-wrap protection", will run around $8.00 for most low-volume distributions. (Under 100,000 copies, with an up-front payment of 100,000 copies as a minimum.)

Cheapest production you can get is a clear-fold sleeve and a printed disk-face. (Totally an "image killer", looks bootleg, even when it isn't.)

USB-flash, with a printed cover... 2GB sticks... About $1.50 each, with printed logos. (However, you have to program them yourself. They will not attempt to keep updated files maintained across versions. Nor will they risk "quality checks" for something they can't actually test.) The cheapest ones are the ones that look like half-sized credit-cards, or micro-SD looking USB inserts. (They are about twice as long as a micro-SD card. Hard to read printed info on there.)

USB can also be write-disabled, and have protected storage, and dongle-like IDs for activation. (If any of that matters.)

User avatar
FriendlySenpai
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:50 pm
Projects: Daddy Lies, Novus Inceptum
Location: Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#3 Post by FriendlySenpai » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:22 pm

I would like to say that for the past 10 years, few computers are actually made with a CD-player of any kind. The majority of devices being laptops, web-books and tablets.

For physical devices, I would think about USB-flash distributions. Almost every device has a USB port of some kind. (Almost... Some have only Micro-SD, or none at all. Totally web-dependent or wifi/bluetooth dependent.)
Wait, seriously? PCs are being built without USB ports?
Goddamn. How do they use, like... Anything?
Every third-party hardware I own requires a USB port of some type.

User avatar
Imperf3kt
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 2769
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:05 am
Location: Your monitor
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#4 Post by Imperf3kt » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:29 pm

They expect you to buy an OTG cable
Warning: May contain trace amounts of gratuitous plot.
pro·gram·mer (noun) An organism capable of converting caffeine into code.

Twitter

User avatar
Tyrantauranox
Regular
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:31 am
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#5 Post by Tyrantauranox » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:57 pm

FriendlySenpai wrote:
I would like to say that for the past 10 years, few computers are actually made with a CD-player of any kind. The majority of devices being laptops, web-books and tablets.

For physical devices, I would think about USB-flash distributions. Almost every device has a USB port of some kind. (Almost... Some have only Micro-SD, or none at all. Totally web-dependent or wifi/bluetooth dependent.)
Wait, seriously? PCs are being built without USB ports?
Goddamn. How do they use, like... Anything?
Every third-party hardware I own requires a USB port of some type.
I think the USB-less devices are just tablets and phones :)

User avatar
ISAWHIM
Veteran
Posts: 280
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:34 pm
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#6 Post by ISAWHIM » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:01 am

"Devices", not computers. :P

Though, I have seen a few computers without USB too... (Server workstations. Where they don't want employees infecting mainframes or stealing data. As if they don't have HD phone-cams to do that.) However, I don't think those will be customers of yours.

They expect special cables/adapters, depend on bluetooth, or depend on wifi/net features.

I still say the USB-memory is the best "new-age" option. The credit-card or key-chain ones. Make it an option, then you can ignore the volume pricing. On ebay, you can get bulk memory real cheap. (Just keep in mind, that it may not be the fastest 3.0 speed, and failure-rates may be unpredictable. They don't use "quality of service" checks for those back-door bulk selling... or you are most-likely buying ones that failed bulk-testing, and being sold by dumpster-divers.)

User avatar
indoneko
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 528
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:00 am
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#7 Post by indoneko » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:45 am

Distributing on CD/DVD is not economically feasible in low volumes. The cost of the master plate will be distributed over the CD/DVD stamped with it. Small volume = high cost per CD/DVD.
But if you really have to do it, you could also buy a DVD writer and burn your own CD/DVD, and then use a CD printer to draw nice pic on it (or you could also use CD sticker).
ISAWHIM wrote:... and dongle-like IDs for activation...
Interesting.
The players can copy the game to multiple computers (i.e the home PC and the office PC), but they can only play them game as long as the stick (the original stick, not a cloned one) is plugged in. I wonder how to code this stuff to renpy games....
My avatar is courtesy of Mellanthe

User avatar
ISAWHIM
Veteran
Posts: 280
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:34 pm
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#8 Post by ISAWHIM » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:55 am

indoneko wrote:
ISAWHIM wrote:... and dongle-like IDs for activation...
Interesting.
The players can copy the game to multiple computers (i.e the home PC and the office PC), but they can only play them game as long as the stick (the original stick, not a cloned one) is plugged in. I wonder how to code this stuff to renpy games....
That would have to be a python thing, or the use of an external protection software. Not all USB sticks have a true "uneditable", unique ID. Some use software generated ID's which just makes them unique, randomly, once they are plugged-in to any powered device. (Thus, only an emulator of a serial-number. Those can be altered.)

This is one of the dongle-services we have had to deal with in the past.
http://www.dongleservice.com/

Honestly, that is a little overkill. :P (For a visual-novel.)

Dongles are easy to defeat. At the end of the day, if it goes into memory, and can be used, it can be captured in a usable state and recreated to be usable in any unencrypted state.

User avatar
FriendlySenpai
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:50 pm
Projects: Daddy Lies, Novus Inceptum
Location: Georgia, USA
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#9 Post by FriendlySenpai » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:51 pm

ISAWHIM wrote:I still say the USB-memory is the best "new-age" option. The credit-card or key-chain ones. Make it an option, then you can ignore the volume pricing.
Oh, we were already looking at using USBs as an option for the physical version of the game :)

User avatar
Aviala
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 528
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:40 am
Completed: Your Royal Gayness, Our War Everlasting, Love Bug
Organization: Lizard Hazard Games
Tumblr: lizardhazardgames
itch: aviala
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#10 Post by Aviala » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:39 am

This is probably a little different than what you're interested in doing, but we're offering physical copies of Your Royal Gayness as a part of our Kickstarter campaign. It wouldn't have been feasible for such a small campaign otherwise, but we decided to DIY the physical copies, and limit them to 30. I'm going to buy some DVD cases with transparent plastic covers so we can slide our own artwork in the sleeve and we'll also burn the games on DVD's ourselves. It's by far the cheapest option for us since the quantity will be so low.

I've looked into manufacturing too, but unless you're looking to sell a lot of games, the costs are too high.

User avatar
KittyWills
Regular
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:02 pm
Projects: e·phem·er·al, Aeronaut
Organization: KKBGames
Skype: thedeerlord09
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#11 Post by KittyWills » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:11 am

We are going the DVD route as well when we hit cons. Just planning to burn our own copies and add some art to the cases. I looked into USB devices but I dunno, USBs just seem kinda shoddy and unprofessional to me. I guess I'll try to get some feedback from people about it now. =/

User avatar
Sleepy
Regular
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:12 pm
Projects: Camera Anima
Organization: EXP-resso Mutt
Tumblr: sleepy-does-games.tumblr.com
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#12 Post by Sleepy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:20 am

USBs can look nice if designed right but they seems to take more effort than it's worth compared to burning your own CDs. However, with more computers (Apple being one glaring case) going the no disk drive route, I don't think it hurts to think of alternative.

One of the nicest designs for physical copies I saw at a con once were micro USB cards that slotted into a plastic card with a design printed on it. It was sold for about 10-15 bucks and included things like a manual and a soundtrack.
W.I.P.

Image

Complete

Image Image

User avatar
KittyWills
Regular
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:02 pm
Projects: e·phem·er·al, Aeronaut
Organization: KKBGames
Skype: thedeerlord09
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#13 Post by KittyWills » Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:48 pm

So this was really bugging me so I went on an extensive research and feedback gathering mission. USB are absolutely the way to go. Everyone I talked to under the age of 45 would take a USB over CDs every time.

New plan for our con is to get printed USBs with the logo of the game on it. As well as the game we plan to add the soundtrack and artbook onto the USB as well. Since digital downloading is the future we want to make the physical copy special. I already have a lot of phone/charm lanyards from my art merch I'll add the the USB for easy carrying. I also have found USB plastic sleeves that we'll use as a case with some art on it. Bit of work. But anyone who knows me on here knows I'm obsessed with quality products.

I'll let you guys know how we sell. It's going to be an interesting experiment...

User avatar
Kokoro Hane
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:51 pm
Completed: 30 Kilowatt Hours Left, The Only One Girl { First Quarter }, Crystal Captor: Memory Chronicle Finale, Journey of The Scroll, An Encounter ~In The Rain~, A Piece of Sweetness
Projects: Gakusei, Final Pirate Haven: Rebellion of Gilfer's Bay, False Hope, Final Chance
Organization: Tofu Sheets Visual
Deviantart: kokoro-hane
itch: tofu-sheets-visual
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#14 Post by Kokoro Hane » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:22 pm

For me, I just make physical copies myself, and would just release the templates for people to print themselves for personal backup. I PERSONALLY always love DVD packaging, I love having manuels and a disc and cover art with a synopsis etc. I don't really find the appeal to a USB drive, honestly. But anyway, I wouldn't go for making physical copies unless you are sure those wanting to purchase your game would really want it. It's a nice reward tier, I personally think, but I would recommend along with a DVD packaging with custom disc art and insert, to also include other bonus stuff. An artbook is always a great inclusion! And perhaps you could autograph it somewhere, like the manuel to make the physical copy more enticing~ Or take a que from K-Pop that make their physical CD copies enticing and include random art prints or something.

However, the most inexpensive way to go is to perhaps provide a printable DVD cover insert and disc art template for those willing to go the extra mile in printing it up themselves and they can burn their copy to disc. I'm actually doing this even with my free games, that way people can display it with their game collection if they so desire--it's a nice option to have, I say. Just having a physical copy feels more real. My 2 cents~
PROJECTS:
Journey of The Scroll[COMPLETE][RPG][v.2]
An Encounter ~In The Rain~ [COMPLETE][IntRenAiMo'19]
Crystal Captor: Memory Chronicle Finale [COMPLETE][RPG][#1 in So Bad It's Good jam '17]
The Only One Girl [WiP][Up.5/20/2017][1stQ ver. released]
30 Kilowatt Hours Left [COMPLETE][GameJolt GDC Jam2016]

But dear God, You're the only North Star I would follow this far
Owl City "Galaxies"

User avatar
KittyWills
Regular
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:02 pm
Projects: e·phem·er·al, Aeronaut
Organization: KKBGames
Skype: thedeerlord09
Contact:

Re: Physical Copies of Your Games?

#15 Post by KittyWills » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:04 pm

Kokoro Hane wrote:I PERSONALLY always love DVD packaging, I love having manuals and a disc and cover art with a synopsis etc.
https://www.amazon.com/100PCS-SWIVEL-SQ ... 3fac9524ce

Boom~ Same thing for but USBs. Can toss art, manual, whole nine-yards. =D That was my biggest issue as well. Having a loose USB looks shoddy. I know some other game devs who had them just scattered around on there table and just no.

I have a much larger presence RL than online. I hit a couple cons a year and go to tech and computer rallies quite a bit. Physical products are a necessity for me. But unless you are really active in hitting these sort of scenes, physical copies should be a low priority for most. They are expensive to make.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users