Less is More: Re-boxing Augustus
Of all the games on our game shelf the one that ships with the most air inside its box is Augustus. Its box is the industry-standard full-sized box, which is about 12" x 12" x 3" in dimension. This makes it the same size as Ticket to Ride, Cinque Terre and many other games.
Unlike those games, however, Augustus doesn't use a board for its gameplay. The publisher could have reduced the size of the box greatly, but decided not to, probably so that it could use standard manufacturing for the game's cardboard components, so that the game's beautiful instructions could be printed as a three-fold sheet instead of being bound as a less reader-friendly booklet, and so that the game would claim equivalent retail shelf space as its competitors.
Forgive the tangent, but I think publishers fear that consumers are reluctant to pay full price for games with fewer components. This is understandable, and I've heard some high profile game reviewers make this very complaint. But I, for one, reject this logic. I'm happy to pay full price for a well designed game regardless of its component count.
I understand that I'm not simply paying for the manufacturing cost of the game, I'm also paying for its development cost. The creative labour involved in game design is huge: ask any designer trying to integrate and balance game mechanics. Likewise, the polishing phase of game design: responsible publishers pay for many hours of playtesting and often take their games through several iterations before releasing them.
On another tangent, for me the value proposition for games is so good (click "affordable" to cut to the chase) that I try to remember not to sweat the cost of games at all.
Augustus is a very polished game. It got good reviews, I sought it out and was happy to pay full price for it. I was not happy, however, that it came in such an over-sized box.
Our house is small. This reduces heating costs and vacuuming times, but it also limits storage space. (Hear this game publishers, the more compact you make your games, the more of them I'll be able to buy!) Strangely, our game collection just keeps growing. It had come to this...
Augustus had to be re-boxed.
I decided upon the dimensions of 7.5" x 7.5" x 1.5" for the new box, a wee bit smaller than the boxes of Akrotiri and Patchwork. This is just big enough to fit the Augustus score pad and plenty big enough for all its other pieces. It also allowed the art for the box top to fit on an 11" x 17" page.
Here is the new box in action!
Sadly, the game's player aid does not fit this tiny container, so, BONUS! I made a tiny version of that too. Print it double-sided on letter-sized stock.
Project complete. Now I can buy another full-sized game!