Publishing lessons

Board games & crowdfunding

2 simple tips for saving money

18th August 2022 2

I have recently been going through the quoting process for a new game and a couple of things came up that have the potential to save me a lot of money.

Combining components

Throughout the games design and playtesting period there have been 2 sets of cards:

  • 125 large cards
  • 24 small cards

The larger cards are a specific size due to their function in the game, but the small cards were made smaller because they didn’t have too much content.

After getting my initial quote, I asked for a second quote to see what the price difference would be if I increased the size of the smaller cards.

Making all the cards the same size ended up being $0.41 cheaper.

We could avoid an entire extra sorting and packing step, we needed one less machine, and removed the need for ordering an extra set of materials. For 10,000 games this would be a saving of over $4,000.

From a gameplay perspective enlarging those cards means we can increase the text size and make them friendlier for players, which is a bonus.

If you have similar components at a different size, it’s worth checking the price difference for making them the same.

Reducing the number of boxes

When it comes to crowdfunding, it isn’t unusual to have multiple boxes on offer. For myself, this typically takes the form of the game and a Kickstarter pack.

With my latest campaigns I have started shipping the contents of the Kickstarter Pack inside the base game box, as it offers a considerable saving.

  • There is one less packing step.
  • There is one less box to manufacture.
  • There is considerably less volume to ship from the factory to fulfilment centres.
  • There are less boxes for the fulfilment centre to pack.

My approach is to place a small sticker with a unique barcode on the shrink-wrap of the game box, identifying it as a combined version. The sticker itself has a small extra cost but is far less than the cost of everything else.

Shipping 10,000 copies of game with the Kickstarter Pack packed inside the box (rather than having 2 boxes), would save approximately $26,000 with all factors considered.

It is also much better from an environmental perspective due to the savings in both waste and shipping.

If you are running a crowdfunding campaign, I recommend combining as many boxes of stuff into the game box as possible. The individual boxes are only needed for additional stock that you plan to sell later on.

Frank West

Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!


  • Bret Bernhoft

    19th August 2022 at 11:04 pm

    It is amazing to me how expensive shipping has become on on Kickstarter related projects. I was just having a conversation with an individual who is working releasing a Kickstarter campaign soon, and the largest cost they have is shipping the media to supporters.


    • Frank West

      20th August 2022 at 1:39 pm

      It has certainly jumped up considerably in recent years and I highly recommend people looking to use smaller boxes, and consolidating as many things into one box as possible. Without doing so, you can simply be throwing away a small fortune with current costs.


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