Plans for Selling the Utara Dice Game


Each unit would have about 20 dice. From talking to players at Dreamation and checking out the price point for Steve Jackson Games' Zombie Dice, I sense $10-$15 is the sweet spot for unit pricing. That means each die must cost me less than 50¢. A more reasonable cost would be something like 10¢, to create margin for the costs of packaging, storing and shipping.

Plan A: Print a single prototype with the ultimate goal of licensing the rights to a larger producer. Higher cost per die, but lower total cost. Use the prototype to run demos and make promotional videos.

Plan B: Produce a short run for direct sales to consumers. Hope to break even within a year, either by selling out of the product or licensing the rights to a larger producer. Lower cost per die, but higher total cost, plus work of marketing and fulfillment.

I sent out a request for estimate with the following specs:

16mm six-sided dice
Opaque Blue or White
Unique design on each face
Quantity: 20, 500, 1000

Vendor 1:
10-25 dice @ $6.00 per
26-99 dice @ $4.50 per
100-199 dice @ $3.60 per
200+ dice @ $3.00 per

Vendor 2:
20 dice @ $5 per
500 dice @ $2.75 per
1000 dice @ $2.50 per
Vendor 2 also has a lower end option: White print on blue for half-price.

So, my decision is to go with Plan A. In a worst case scenario, I'm out a hundred bucks. Really, that's a marketing expense. With this prototype, I can run convention demos, make videos, and give a better example of the product vision.

Note: There is another option for a solo operation like mine. I can get 1000 blank dice for about $70, print sheets of stickers for around $20-$30, then put in the time to adhere the stickers to the dice by hand. I'd sell through Etsy, in the hopes that the handmade aesthetic wouldn't look so out of place there. I'll keep this in my back pocket if a publisher doesn't come through in a year.

Next steps:
» Buy a domain. utara.com is taken. utaradice.com? utaragame.com?
» Formal prototype for the packaging and rules sheet.
» Make demo video using footage from Dreamation.
» Send links to video (along with formal proposals) to potential publishers.
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.