Turn-in for Season 5 of CUDO Plays is just around the corner! In the coming weeks, all the teams will be hammering out rules and putting the finishing touches on their components. With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons for the major game printing options.
I want to emphasize that, if you are a CUDO Plays competitor, there is absolutely no requirement that you get your cards/board etc. professionally printed. Every year we have teams turn in finished games that are largely made by hand, with their components printed from home. These teams have gone on to win awards in the competition. However, some of our awards emphasize fit and finish of all of the game components, and for these categories, professional printing could give your game a leg up.
The three main providers of game printing that CUDO Plays competitors traditionally use are Print & Play, The Game Crafter (both are online resources where you can upload your own game components for printing, buy bits and explore other users’ designs) and Dixon Graphics, the local source for all kinds of professional print jobs.
The Game Crafter
CUDO Plays veterans agree that The Game Crafter beats Print & Play in terms of quality and consistency.
Pros: High quality components that, more often than not, arrive looking as the designer intended.
Cons: Longer turn-around time than the other options. Expect to wait two weeks for your order. More if it is a high volume time of year, though you can always pay extra for expedited production.
Print & Play
If you need your game printed fast and for a reasonable price, Print & Play can’t be beat.
Pros: Very quick production and shipping times
Cons: Must use P&P’s own fiddly and occasionally confusing templates for cards, boards, and boxes. Even with using these templates, components are sometimes miscut or misaligned.
If you want to do your printing locally, Dixon is the best choice.
Pros: Friendly and knowledgeable staff that you can talk to directly to get exactly what you need.
Cons: A fair bit more expensive than the online options. Experienced printers, but they have less of a focus on board game components specifically.
Again, there are many other options out there for printing, but these are the ones that our competitors rely on the most. If you’re a Season 5 Competitor and you have more questions about these and other avenues for printing, post a question on the Season 5 Teams facebook page!