by Michael (Arcane Tinmen), Owner of The Spoils
These past months, I have been spending a lot of time getting Seed 3 ready. Most of the work was actually done a fair while back, so all that remained was the actual production. It would seem like a simple issue as it is only a matter of getting the graphic files to the printer and then pressing GO! But as with the rest of things in life, the manufacturing of card games apparently isn’t as easy as one would hope for.
As most of you probably know, we have had Seed 2 and 2nd Edition printed with Belgian manufacturer Cartamundi. Cartamundi is possibly the leading card manufacturer in the world, so of course we found it fitting that they should also produce “the best card game in the world.”
I have been contacted by several card manufacturers in the time we have produced The Spoils. It seems that whenever we go to a trade show new ones pop up. I always give them the same answer, saying that we produce at Cartamundi and that we are not really interested in changing this, but that they are of course welcome to send me samples and pricing information. On most occasions these “n00bs” are either too expensive or lacking in quality, so the choice was fairly simple for me. But then one particularly insisting company changed my mind. We got the usual sample package and it looked pretty good, and then they offered to do a test print of some actual Spoils cards.
I am all for giving new guys a fair chance so I agreed to this, and after some weeks I received some fairly good looking foil cards back from them. Their technique seemed to be different from Cartamundi but they still looked really good. Do not worry, though, as we are not talking Seed 1 foil quality, we will never ever go there! They had just put the card fronts on sheets they were already using for regular playing cards, which was of course just fine for the purpose we needed, and we were happy with what we saw. This means that right now I have a stack of very special Seed 2 foils sitting on my desk!
But as in any fairytale worth its salt, the good guys (that’s all of you and all of us playing and working with The Spoils of course) must first endure dangers untold and hardships unnumbered before reaching the castle beyond The Swamp of Hopelessness, and this story is no different. With the antagonists in this fairytale being quasi-intelligent email-eating pits, humorless voids of time loss, and other barriers of great distress, printing a card game is not as easy as it should be.
What this analogy means is that we have spent and wasted a lot of time trying to make things work with the new printing company with lots of delays and lost time as the only thing to show for it. We ultimately had to go back to Cartamundi to produce Seed 3, something I had hoped we wouldn’t have to do. Cartamundi may be good, but we have come to realize that they are not perfect. Add to this that they are just so much more expensive than this new company and that the new guys are doing a great job as well and it becomes clear that we would have preferred to produce Seed 3 with the newcomer.
Now this may well seem like the exact opposite of a fairytale and, in many ways, it seems more like a TCG variant of Groundhog Day, but hopefully we will reach a happy ending with it all. The new printer has now deeply, deeply apologized for all the delays and actually offered to do a small production of promos for us free of charge, which we will be using to test them for real. Should they prove themselves right, chances are good that we will be going to them for other future productions.
And just to make sure I shall put your worries to rest once more, the quality of their cards are really good, so now we only need to get the production part working. And when that happens we will be set for smooth sailing in bringing you a lot of new cards starting with the first set of the next block, “Unlikely Heroes.”
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