Here at Game Salute, we’re always looking for the best way to help keep you up to date on the progress of each title working its way from a concept to a fully designed, developed, and published game. This page will provide you with a general overview of each major segment of progress during this journey through The Life and Times of a Board Game™
The sections below are not meant to be comprehensive, but a general overview. If there is enough interest in this project, we can expand into the nooks and crannies of each stage and all the steps within that stage (there are far more than meets the eye).
Stage 1: Concept (1d20 Minutes)
Every game begins with a concept. “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had a game like _____?” This is the easiest part and it happens all the time, around kitchen tables, at diners at 1 AM, at conventions, while playing other games, while watching movies, while reading books, while dreaming, and at all times in between.
Stage 2: Design and Development (1d4 Years)
During this stage, the game designer(s) design the game rules, create prototypes, playtest, critique, playtest, revise, playtest, redesign, playtest, tinker, redesign, tweak and modify prototypse, playtest, and finally arrive at a complete, fully developed and locked set of mechanics and rules. This can take an indeterminate amount of time.
Stage 3: Creation (1d12 Months)
During this stage, the game publisher coordinates with artists for illustrations, coordinates with graphic designers for layout, icons, sculpts and designs for any custom pieces, generates a library of assets, and upgrades prototypes and marketing materials for presentation to the public. This stage also includes rules editing, continued playtesting, revisions of any modular content such as expansions and scenarios, and creation and revision of all the assets for each of those elements. This section can vary broadly depending on how many art assets are needed and the schedules of those creating the assets.
Stage 4: Production (3d6 Months)
During this stage, the game publisher finalizes quotes from the factory, coordinates to format and hand off pre-press files. The printer reviews the files and responds to the publisher with required revisions or issues that impact production. Then production proceeds to advance press stage where the printer creates proofs (digital proofs followed by material proofs) and those are reviewed. Revisions ensue and modifications to the files to ensure the highest level of quality and a minimum of mistakes in the production process. Actual manufacturing includes molding and producing custom bits (if any are included, this will add 1d6 months to the process), creation of the forms for printed components, followed by the printing of paper components including cards, boards, punchboard. This is followed by drying and treatment of the printed components (to avoid warping). Then there’s sorting and assembly of the individual games and finally the games are packed up into cartons and onto pallets or into a truck or shipping container to leave the factory.
Stage 5: Transit from Factory (1d10 Weeks)
This stage includes coordinating pickup with the inland freight company, customs clearance from the country of origin, ocean or air transit time, customs clearance at the destination country, and inland freight. Delays here are caused by awaiting openings in shipping lane capacity, weather, equipment issues, and pirates.
Stage 6: Fulfillment and Outgoing Shipping (4d8 Days)
During this stage, once the games have arrived at the local warehouse of the publisher, the publisher collates and organizes, updates and confirms all shipping information provided by customers beginning with preorders. They load that information into their shipping system and create pick lists. Then we have another period of sorting and assembly – putting together boxes and the contents of each individual package. This step is followed by labeling and coordination for pickup, followed by transit time from the warehouse to each individual around the world. The time variation in this stage includes the complexity of the individual packages to be processed and the number of unique shipments. Add 1d8 days for dealing with customs paperwork for international shipments. The simpler, the faster, and the fewer errors.
Stage 7: Worldwide Release
This is when the game is fully completed and releases to stores and individuals all around the world! Smiles all around