How to finalize and submit files to your manufacturer
In our last article, we discussed how to choose a pledge manager and set this up. In this article, we’re going to take you one more step towards getting your game manufactured, as we dive into finalizing your art and design, then submitting all your files to your manufacturer.
It can actually take a lot longer than you may think to finalize all of your artwork and the graphic layout of your cards, boards, and other components. You may have even added more to your game based on backer suggestions during your campaign. So, there may still be some work needed before you can submit everything to your manufacturer.
Finalizing your art and design
Unless you had every single piece of art designed and everything laid out and print-ready before your campaign started and made no changes during your campaign (highly unlikely), you will still have some aspects left to finalize before you can submit everything to your manufacturer.
Even with the best of intentions and master planning, there will almost always be something you hadn’t considered or some minor adjustments needed. It could be something as small as box labelling requirements or the wording in your rulebook.
Whatever is needed, you will need to work with your graphic designer and/or artist and/or rulebook designer to get everything finalized. That means you are working on their schedule. They’ve mostly wrapped up your project and are undoubtedly working on others, but will likely expect some minor adjustments and updated requirements. You’ll just have to be patient as they try to squeeze in your last-minute changes.
What you think might take a couple of days might stretch into weeks or longer, depending on how much back-and-forth is needed with your team and your manufacturer.
Make sure to connect with your manufacturer in advance to determine whether any specific templates must be used by your team to ensure spacing and bleed lines are taken into account.
You’ll need to have all your individual cards (both front and back) in high-quality PNG or JPG files, your rulebook in PDF format, and your board and other components formatted to specifications.
Again, working with your manufacturer is key. Ask them how they would like everything formatted and what file types are acceptable. This will save you and your team a lot of time and re-work.
Also, make sure to explain clearly how everything is to be packaged and laid out. Indicate which cards belong to which decks and which fronts go with which backs. Providing a list in Excel or Google Sheets will clear up a lot of questions. Sometimes recording a quick video to show what your prototype looks like can be very helpful. The more detail you can provide, the better.
Submit files to your manufacturer
Once you’ve got all your files finalized, it’s time to submit these files to your manufacturer. Now, depending on where your manufacturer is located (most likely in China), they may have some limitations with how they can access your files.
In most cases, you won’t be able to simply email all your files. There will often be a lot of them and they will be too large. So, you have to provide them in another format.
If you use a service like Dropbox or Google Drive, you can just share access to the specific folder with your manufacturer. However, sometimes they can have difficulty accessing files in this manner.
Another option is to use a file transfer service like WeTransfer. This website lets you send a huge amount of data absolutely free.
Once your manufacturer has received all of your files, their team will review everything and let you know if there are any issues.
Next week we’ll go further into the digital and physical proofing process.
Wrapping it up
It’s a good idea to leave ample time in your production schedule to finalize all your assets and go through the submission process with your manufacturer. It could take much longer than you expect, so depending on how much more work is needed after your campaign, you will want to set aside a month or more to finalize everything.
This could actually take even longer if you still have a lot of art and design to finish up, so make sure to check with others you’re working with to understand their timelines and schedules.
You could end up doing a lot of back-and-forth with your manufacturer, so set yourself up for success by asking for templates and requirements in advance, and keeping on top of everything throughout the process. Adding in extra time in your schedule for buffer room is never a bad idea.
Do you have any questions about the process of submitting your files to a manufacturer?
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