We have had a very busy but rather boring fortnight, chez Drayer. Lots of investigating financial stuff, business planning, checking and rechecking files for a prototype order of The Valley, and just basically ADMIN. So I thought I would cheer myself up a bit and write about a cool thing that happened the other day!
Now look, some of this is really quite hush-hush, so I can only tell you a bit – the rest will have to wait for the big reveal. Suffice it to say that we are helping do some software testing, and as a result, we were lucky enough to get on the mailing list for the VIP preview box for a very fancy and exciting new service! We’re not getting paid at all, these are our very real opinions.
If you have visited our YouTube channel, you will know that we usually use The Game Crafter for our board game prototypes, and in fact, that’s exactly what we were doing when we were checking our files.
The Game Crafter is an excellent service for what it is – and it doesn’t claim to be the equivalent of high-end mass-production, it’s a service to allow small, indie companies to produce short runs of their designs and get their games out there. The quality is certainly excellent, especially for a print-on-demand option.
With all the shipping restrictions and rising costs associated with the pandemic, people who aren’t in the USA no longer have many of the same options to order prototypes.
We still can’t post from the USA to New Zealand or Australia, for example, without paying exorbitant courier fees. For many creators worldwide, that rules out US-based companies.
Game designers are accustomed to sourcing our materials and getting our games printed all over the world, but when it comes to prototypes, we either have to pay through the nose for a local printer, make them ourselves, or find another alternative. Enter Launch Tabletop.
Launch Tabletop is on a mission to help board game creators break through barriers and launch exciting new projects. We believe in nurturing the potential of the creators who work with us. With our industry-leading production solutions and revolutionary technical innovations, we’ve got the tools and technology to support your big ideas.https://www.launchtabletop.com/about
One of my friends works for Launch Tabletop, and she has seen me posting about my game designs, and the struggles I had while I was still in New Zealand, trying to get a prototype printed for Wellycon 2020. While I no longer have that issue, I still can’t send copies of my games from the USA to my friends and family back home. Which is yet another reason why Launch Tabletop’s Launch Lab is such a great option!
We ship where others don’t. Wherever you are in the world, Launch will make sure your game reaches you.https://www.launchtabletop.com/launch-lab
While I can’t say much more about what I am doing personally yet, I can tell you about the amazing VIP kit that I was sent – and while the amazing standard of printing isn’t something I can expect for my prototype, this is the level that Launch Tabletop plan to offer when they are ready to start mass-producing, so it’s pretty thrilling to see.
The game components like the wooden printed meeples are already available, so that was really fun to see – they look really quite incredible.
I filled out a form with a couple of details and expected to be sent a little sample pack – I had no idea how incredible it would turn out to be. What a fantastic surprise to find waiting on the porch!
Another service that I didn’t realise was on offer until we received a sample was Stellar, which looks like it’s going to be an exciting high-end version of the print-on-demand model. We got a gorgeous sample printed just for us, and I am absolutely frothing to get a chance to print some of my own artwork on these things.
Check out our unboxing video here: