... and viability study.
And I would very much appreciate any and all feedback.
Here's the deal -- in a brainstorming session trying to figure out how to generate some supplemental income, I thought that perhaps there might be a market for custom gaming tables (albeit a small one). As I see it, we have basically 3 options for game tables:
1) dropping a grid mat on an existing table
2) the Sultan
3) try to make your own (with infinitely-varying degrees of success/failure).
Surely, there needs to be something for the group that wants a solid, dedicated gaming table, but doesn't want to shell-out $10k.
So, I've got a "prototype", so to speak (read: my untrained attempt at building my own table 3 years ago). I really learned a lot in that process; and have made a few notes over the last 3 years on what I'd do differently. (and the fact that I've since gotten some advice from an actual carpenter couldn't hurt my future endeavors).
For reference, you can see a few pics here
, and here
My basic concept, originally, was basically 3 features:
1) sliding drawers
2) full gridded top with wet/dry erase
profile, to accommodate adequate leg clearance without having the top set too high
Some basic no/low cost modifications that would need to be made would include:
- deeper drawers (there's barely an inch clearance on the 4 side drawers -- would want to increase that to 2 inches)
- better legs/leg design (it's plenty
sturdy enough ... the changes would be for aesthetics)
- wet/dry erase surface covering all the drawers (as-is, it's just the wood)
- dampening the play surface and drawer surfaces (just the wood is pretty loud and has lots of rebound) .... simply placing a piece of fabric between the wood and the mat does wonders.
- aesthetic improvements all around (as-is, since I was making this for just myself, I cared only
for functionality -- prettying it up should be fairly simple).
- include a push-pull stick (kinda like what's used at craps tables)
- various battlemat options; e.g., smaller/larger grid, hexes, reversible, etc.
I would be offering several models (most of the variation would be in the size). Sizes would included: 4x4 ; 4x6 (standard model, pictured) ; 4x8 ; 3x5 (for smaller rooms). Varying heights would also be available.
So, what I'm looking for is this:
- general thoughts on design
- other improvements and/or added features (keep in mind, I'm not trying to compete with the Sultan -- I'm aiming for a price point of around $700-$800 for the standard table)
- specific aesthetic improvements
- foreseeable viability at suggested price point.
- possible supplemental products that I could make myself (I've already thought about dice bags; but I'm kinda stuck after that)
I don't expect to be able to quit my job with this (though that would be nice); but if I could average 15-20 orders/year
I've also considered also having just the professional-grade blueprints available (for a price), for the DIY types who just can't be bothered with actually designing such a table, but still want the cost savings of the DIY.
The table would ship fully assembled, except for the legs, which can be easily screwed on in a matter of 2 minutes or less (leg removal would be just as easy, allowing greater flexibility in storage/transport).
If I determine that this is indeed viable, then I'll be making 2-3 more in the near future (perhaps around the first of the year) -- this would serve a couple of purposes: 1) practice refinement, 2) display/promo models. I foresee having the website up and running by March, ready to take orders.
I very much look forward to hearing your thoughts.
This is very much a serious and genuine business venture proposal, so pulling your punches is strictly forbidden.