If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from reading posts and comments about board gaming AND from actually collecting board games myself is that there’s more to a game than the game alone. Of course I mentioned this is my last article, 5 things I’ve learned while designing Honey Bomb but there was one thing that I missed. Part of collecting games is the collection itself! The prestige of having an entire set of Eldritch Horror games and expansions; the novelty of pushing past your self imposed limit of 200 games and purchasing the 201st; the glory of displaying a cascading array of colourful, unending, entertaining cardboard! But wait… (record scratch!)
“A dented box with a torn corner!? For shame!” (lose two shelfie power tokens)
And there you have it. What an unfortunate problem to have in your display, tatty, unkempt boxes that seem to show little concern for the value of your collection. Tsk, tsk. What a pity. But wait. Was that scratch and dent box really your fault?
I found these pictures in a post on Facebook the other day from a purchaser of a board game that had been shipped from an online retailer. Yep. You’re looking at that and grasping the situation completely correctly. They slapped a shipping label on the outside wrapping of the box and sent it on its way. Utter insanity! What. A. Disaster. And it arrived with predictable damage. It wasn’t that these folks did a piss poor job or wrapping the game so much as they didn’t bother to wrap it at all. Of course, after spotting this image and chatting with said purchaser, I told her to return it for a full refund. I sure wouldn’t accept that and neither should you.
Unfortunately, we’ve had some problems with board games in transit as well. Our copy of The Dark Crystal Board Game came with a crumpled and split corner and it was packaged up fairly well. We know it came from a ways away (the U.K.) but ultimately, someone had to be a right brutal bastard with our package to cause the damage that our game sustained. Fortunately it wasn’t an expensive purchase so we weren’t too miffed. Unfortunately it came all the way from the U.K. so it would have been cost prohibitive to send it back for another copy even if we’d wanted to. C’est la vie.
“I don’t like this.”
Now that we’re developing our own game we’ve been thinking very critically about how we’ll be packaging up Honey Bomb and delivering it to our clients without the game getting injured along the way. Honey Bomb is a tile game which means it’ll come with punch cards and require a medium sized box, maybe 10″ x 10″ x 3″ ? This has led to a bunch of research into much less entertaining cardboard (the corrugated kind), bubble wrap and which supplier has the number of units we’ll need when we go to ship out our little bundles of joy.
Uline to the rescue! (for all you Ontario developers, that’s a live link. Go check ’em out. They might be right for you!) They’re a great supplier of shipping materials for just about anything you can think of, they give bulk discounts AND they’re just up the road from us in Mississauga, about 40 minutes from Cambridge. Bonus! They’ll be seeing quite a bit of us once we successfully kickstart.
So, in summary, not only is coming up with an entertaining, attractive and display worthy package a necessary step in completing a game before you bring it to market but ensuring that that beautiful package arrives at its destination not looking like a smashed bag of glass is also an important part of the process. Customer service is important. Not delivering garbage through the mail is important.
Personally, I want every copy of Honey Bomb to arrive on their prospective worldwide door steps unscathed and unscarred by the ravages of the global shipping trade. Now, I know that not every one will make it in pristine condition (force majeure and all that) and that thinking every one will is wishful thinking, but we’re going to do our best to give every Honey Bomb game the fighting chance that it deserves to reach your hands and hearts in perfect condition! After all, every game has its photo day and its gotta look good. I’m ready for my close up Mr. DeMille!
For now, that is all.