Welcome to the first entry in our Prototyping series, where we will discuss prototyping techniques and tips. Today we will be focusing on print on demand manufacturers that will print single quantities for high-quality prototyping.
Print On Demand Manufacturers
The Game Crafter may be the most well known “prototyper” in the board game industry. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, they offer a wide range of printed (boxes, boards, cards, etc) and standard (pawns, chips, cubes, etc) components. The Game Crafter has a good online interface that allows you to easily customize printed parts. Due to their popularity, they can sometimes have long printing queues which may affect your wait time.
Print & Play is an Admagic company that focuses on board game prototypes and small print runs. Their claim to fame is a 48 hour guaranteed turnaround – Print & Play will print and ship your order within 48 hours! They have a $12 minimum order, but with prototypes, it’s not difficult to spend that on a few items.
Board Games Maker is another “prototyper” / small run printer that offers custom printed (boxes, boards, cards, etc) and standard (pawns, cubes, dice, etc) components. They have been in the board games printing industry for over 35 years (as part of the international QP Group) and do not have any minimum order restrictions.
Superior Print On Demand has a basic selection of printed (boxes, boards, cards, etc) and standard (dice, pawns, timers, etc) components with very competitive pricing. Located in Vestal, New York, they also print other products – like photos, books, and apparel.
We hope you enjoyed this overview of print on demand prototypers. Feel free to comment on what you did and didn’t like. Suggestions on what you would like to see in this series are also welcome! Next up, we will discuss prototyping game boards.