by Little Nuke Games
@Cory: Yeah, I've heard that can be a monster... hopefully it doesn't get stuck there too long.
Don't be shocked if the ship takes month and you're stuck in customs for two to four weeks (which in some cases they had to pay for storage while waiting).
@MentatYP: Yeah, I got some red flags from them. Trying to contact them is a needlessly prolonged process, and they didn't respond to any of my emails for a while (unlike all of the other fulfillment companies who immediately responded). After about a week I finally had access to their system so I could finally begin to assess whether or not I even wanted to use them (at this point I still hadn't received a quote or a price guide), but their system is the least intuitive, least user friendly thing I've ever seen. In trying to figure out how to interface with it, I started to reach out to other developers who had used them, and then began to read horror stories of how they packed stuff. For instance, instead of boxing some products (which is just the assumed default standard procedure - its something you shouldn't need to ask for) they would just put the objects loosely in a plastic bag and mail them. You can imagine how damaged those games were by the time they were delivered. Evidently, there's way to get them to work right - and there's incentive, since they're apparently the cheapest option for handling a number of countries - however, ultimately I'd rather spend a bit more and insure the integrity of the product.
Good choice going with Agility. Stonemaier Games uses them. I can't recall specifics but "Send From China" triggers an association with "train wreck" in my brain, so I'd say that's one disaster averted.
@Liam: Yeah, I eventually want to get the game into retail. Apart from going store to store, the only way to realistically do it is to go through a distributor. That said, for this first run of the game we only had enough funds to do the minimum order of the game (1500 copies). Of that, we've got a little over 500 copies that need to be fulfilled, meaning we have 1000 left over to do what we want with (a number of which will get shipped out to reviewers). At this point, we the amount of interest we had, I could go to a distributor and potentially sell them 200-600 copies (they typically buy for half of whatever they think it will retail for). If those sold well, they would come back and place further orders.
What I'm thinking about doing instead (which I think is more financially sound) is this: during the next campaign I offer the expansion, the game by itself, and the game and the expansion bundled (using my extra copies to cover any order of the base game). If the campaign goes well, and we sell enough copies, I'll then also place another order with the manufacturer - with those copies being purely for the distributors. Hopefully between 2 campaigns, there will be a enough cumulative interest for the distributor to place a decent sized initial order.
@Paul: Yes. Actually, when I originally designed the game we play tested with 10 people in mind, it was only for budgetary reasons that we had to restrict it. For my personal copy of the game, I actually have enough pieces to play with 12 factions. I use cubes from this site (since they're also 8mm):
So can the game be played with 10 players if I get additional cubes?
I like the idea of an expansion. How will it be distributed though, may I ask? Are you thinking about expanding to retail? I'm sure it will be revealed in due time, but is that decided yet? Thanks again for the frequent updates.