Adventures in Puzzle and Game Design. Part 2

Last week, after months of keeping it top secret I was FINALLY able publicly announce my big exciting news! Did you miss that email? Then STOP READING and go find it here so you can catch up on the adventure!

What are we working on now? 

Right now, most international buyers for stores are waiting to see the final design for the packaging before they’ll decide to buy. The package, just like the cover of a book, is SO important! Just because a store buys your products doesn’t mean their customers will, especially without you there to tell them about it.

Packaging must be strong and able to sell your product.

This has been a very interesting learning curve for me! The more unique or different a product is, the more of a risk a store takes when they put in on their shelf. They want every inch of display space to be filled with items they feel confident will sell. If they are not sure, they are less likely to take the risk with your product.

What does that mean for us?

The game manufacturer I’m working with has presented our puzzles and card sets to buyers from store all over the world. Most are comfortable with the idea of our puzzles so far. After all, people know and understand puzzles – they’re easy to sell! Plus, did you know COVID lockdowns have made puzzle sales skyrocket?! They’re a pretty safe investment. I have no idea how many are seriously considering buying ours, but we should know soon. 

But… what about our giant mindfulness card sets?
Not. So. Easy.

Challenge #1: Educating the Customer

Our activity card sets are a pretty new concept. The concept of “mindfulness” is still unfamiliar to most shoppers and cultures, too. How can we overcome that? By making the packaging educational. It needs to grab attention, then explain very clearly (and quickly):

  • who is the set for?
  • what is the benefit of using it?
  • how is it used?
  • what IS mindfulness?

…all without being cluttered. Easy peasy? Uh, no. 

Challenge #2: Language and Slang, eh?

Our games are being presented to stores in other countries with other languages. We need to be careful with the wording to ensure it will translate well into other languages.

Even ENGLISH is a problem!

That’s right! If we are not careful, even other English-speaking countries may misunderstand us! For example, we wanted to use the word “buddy”. Well, people in other countries might not even know what that means! In the UK and Australia they’d likely prefer “mate”. Well… mate means something different in North America! So… we settled on “friends”. Not quite as fun but it leaves no room for confusion. 
Another issue was the phrase: “draw a card”. In another language it might translate to a word meaning to actually draw. Like… with a pencil. So, we changed it to “select a card”. 

So much to think about!

What’s next?

The designs need to be finalized and sent to the manufacturer by the end of March. Then they’ll make some samples, which will then be tested in a lab to ensure they’re completely safe. Our sample puzzles and card sets will then go to the buyers. Once they can see our products in the flesh (in the “pulp”?)… they’ll make their final decision!

What will happen?

Will any stores even buy them? Will people buy them from the stores?

I’m scared stiff and wildly excited for the possibilities all at the same time! 

I truly appreciate your support as these products come to life. I’ll keep you posted on the progress so you can join me on this adventure, too!  

I'd love to hear from you!