Colonial Twilight – made the cut!

As of today, there are 500 pre-orders for Colonial Twilight.


Took 43 days, not bad at all.

A Distant Plain took about 98 days! (and preorders for the reprint of that game are now sitting at 496!)

Now, what does this mean? Gene B., will you fill us in please? (from the GMT website)

Because of the terrific support you guys have given us in continuing to buy and play our games, we have significantly increased the size of our print runs recently (it was that, or be out of stock on 2/3 of our game line- ouch!). This is very good for the long term, because our cost per game goes down with larger print runs and we have a larger percentage of in-stock games (in stock for a longer period of time) to appeal to the pretty large number of new customers that have been finding us lately. But the impact on short term cash flow has been pretty harsh, because with the higher print runs, 500 orders (the benchmark at which we originally printed a P500 game) no longer covers the basic printing costs for a game. It took us a while to home in on a good approach to facing this challenge but this is what we’ve come up with and, it seems to be working pretty well.
500 orders is still the level at which a game “makes the P500 cut.” Now, however, we don’t automatically and immediately send such a game to the printer. Instead, we look at how quickly its numbers are rising as well as how well the final development is progressing, and and slot the fastest-rising and most-ready “over 500 games” as they near the 700 order mark (because 700-750 orders is about what it takes now to pay for the printing).
The important thing for us in making these modifications to how we work with P500 is to keep production flowing smoothly. As you can see from what P500 has done for our production ability over the past few years, the system is doing what we all hoped and intended for it to do. Now, we look forward to bringing you many, many more “cool games” on a schedule of production that is determined in no small part by our community of gamers.
There has been a question about “how many” orders does it take to get a game into production once it has made the cut and gone above 500. There is not a formula that can be applied across the board. A good rule of thumb is somewhere between 700 and 750.  Also, if a game is not ready to enter production because final testing is ongoing or the developer tells us it is not quite ready or the art for components has not been created, etc, the game will not be charged even if it has crossed this rule of thumb threshhold.
So anyway, it will be a while yet before the game is in anyone’s sweaty hands… I am guessing a year, perhaps.
Thank you everyone for your support!
Now There’s a Funny Thing…
Someone on has already rated the game 8.00!
As far as I know he is not connected with any of the game’s playtesting or development.
I just scratch my head at this practice, these guys get surly when I ask them why or how they rate games they could never have seen or handled so I mostly don’t bother anymore.
Though he says he has pre-ordered it, so perhaps that makes it worth 8.00 already in his mind.

About brtrain
This blog is mostly devoted to posts, work and resources on "serious" conflict simulation games.

4 Responses to Colonial Twilight – made the cut!

  1. alsandor says:

    What GMT should be looking at is buying a print shop that is closing down and set up a reverse Monarch/Avalon Hill relationship.

    • brtrain says:

      I guess it’s still economic for them to have everything produced in China, but that may change in future years. Meanwhile, this leaves them open to things like the dockers’ strike earlier this year, which has tied things up for their distribution a bit.

      • alsandor says:

        I’m looking more to the advantages of printing on demand to avoid storing large amounts of printed material. When I worked at the House of Commons, we went through that exercise with the Hansard. Traditionally we were obliged to print 10000 copies because it was cheaper than printing 500, we were told. But it turns out that isn’t true.

      • brtrain says:

        Print on demand will save small-scale wargaming, it was something we applied from the beginning in the Microgame Co-op days. Though in the end there may be just one copy of a wargame, in the form of a VASSAL module that sits on a server and which is corrected or updated whenever the designer wants to. Or a PDF, if you can’t wrench yourself away from ink and cardboard… which reminds me, there are a few alterations I want to make to Ukrainian Crisis.

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