QTYONE is a term I use to describe the ability to create one item and deliver it to a customer. This has a whole bunch of business advantages including the ability to service any order (no matter how small) and removing the need to keep inventory of finished product on hand.
As printing technology has improved, it has become more and more cost-effective to print a single item as a finished product. This is referred to as Print-on-Demand (POD) printing.
I first saw this in publishing books – where I first saw the ability to print just 1,000 books at a time, then 100 books, and now amazon.com offers cost-effective single book printing through CreateSpace. With CreateSpace, writers can upload their books and get paid directly for each book that is sold, without needing to finance the cost of printing a large number of books, storing those books, and then taking orders and fulfilling order for those books. Instead, CreateSpace handles that entire process, allowing writers to focus on writing.
QTYONE for Card Game Publishers
When I first started exploring card game production, I came across MakePlayingCards and their ability to print a single deck of cards that had all of the quality expected from a traditionally printed deck of cards. This was the printed I used for my first playtesting copies of Dysfunctional Families. Their printing quality for a single deck of cards was excellent, however, the cost for a single deck of cards in a tuck box was too high for me to be able to work with that low a quantity. At printing 100 decks at a time, their price got low enough that I could work with it. This is what formed the basis for my minimum funding goal for my first attempt at Kickstarting Dysfunctional Families. This was a significantly lower funding goal than would be required if I had to reach a 500 or 1,000 deck printing minimum.
QTYONE for Game Publishers via The Game Crafter
On September 9, 2016 I received my first printed samples of a Dysfunctional Families from The Game Crafter (video below). The pricing from The Game Crafter is just within the realm of QTYONE and they offer discounts for bulk purchases made at the same time.
The quality from The Game Crafter is pretty high, their website is easy to work with to create things, and the potential with them is huge since they can do a LOT more than just printing cards. They can do full board games and have a stockpile of pre-made components that can be used as well as the ability to do all kinds of printed components (way more than I currently need since I’m doing a simple card game as my first project). They also will function as a turnkey storefront for everything they print — thus they could be used as a completely hands-off business solution.
While I don’t feel The Game Crafter has the card quality for printing decks of playing cards that will be constantly shuffled and dealt etc. yet* (to me the “feel” of a deck of playing cards just isn’t quite there), for a game that just uses cards their quality is good. The deck in the video below was printed with their UV coating, but not with their linen finish (which may make the feel better).
*yet — The Game Crafter seems to always be in the process of improving their service and printing quality, so this issue may change in the future.
There is a lot to explore with The Game Crafter so I am sure I will be writing more about them in the future. Their ability to print an entire board game in a box at a Quantity of One is too powerful to ignore. On top of this is their ability to function as a store front for the games they print, thus allowing game designer/publishers to focus exclusively on design and marketing.
This kind of service is a game-changer for both prototyping and production of card and board games.
And for Kickstarter, they allow a publisher to having minimum funding goals way lower than traditional printing services — and with proper structuring of game value to printing cost, even getting down to QTYONE.
Game designers love the service because they can purchase a single copy of their game, or as many as they need. There is no risk involved to the designer, and they can start making a profit on the first sale!
For more thoughts about QTYONE in general, please see my site QTYONE.com.