A couple months into the design I reached the point where I had to decide if I was going to go all in and make the financial commitment. At a minimum I need to make myself a nice play test set. So what does that cost. Let’s see…
Map $18 (2 20×30 posters from Costco)
Blocks $14 – $28 (10 to 20 cents each depending on size and where I can find them)
Rules, player mats, block labels, control markers, air and artillery chits: $??? (cost of ink and labor). Lets add $5 just to be safe.
Initial estimate $37 – $51 per game. Yikes.
I knew going all in would mean even more if the design survived my initial play testing. Let’s say all goes well and I think I have a gem on my hands. Then the need for multiple sets arises. So (hypothetical in November of 2011), I was planning for 4-5 play test copies to be sent to play test groups and another 2-3 to be sent to game companies likely to make such a game.
8 sets would run $296 – $408. Those numbers do not account for errors, changes and re-prints along the way.
I pushed my chips in as it were and decided to go for it.