You Design. We Make!
There are plenty of designers out there with a great game. But what next? Developing your idea into a finished product can be a daunting task, but Hersch from Hero Time has some possible solutions from initial art design, IP protection to final manufacturing for you!
Hi Hersch, thanks for talking with us. So, what first got you into Board Games?
We are five brothers in my family, and we grew up in a small little town of about 100 families. My parents did not believe in TV’s or computer’s, so we had to find a way to entertain ourselves. There weren’t too many board games in our area, but we had a collection of some classics Stratego, Risk, Scotland Yard, Cluedo, etc. Every weekend after we finished all our school work, we used to sit together and play some of these games.
Awesome! Sounds idyllic! How did you go from that to the business you have now where you help people publish games safely and affordably?
One summer vacation, it was so hot we couldn’t leave the house during the day, and my older brother, Barry, took out his suitcase of Lego pieces and started building all these robots and characters. That was the beginning of his game, “Zaberias.” We used the Lego pieces as units and the tiles on the floor as grids. Seventeen years later, in 2016, after we grew up, Barry was ready to publish his complete game, and I was already living in China.
Once Barry was ready, he asked me to help him manufacture his game, and so my journey began. I started going all over China looking for the best factories to cooperate with, I attended and oversaw production and so forth. There was a lot to learn and many challenges to overcome, but slowly I got a grip on the matter, until 2019 where I felt confident enough to help other board game creators make excellent games.
Brilliant, so talk about some of the games you have helped manufacture.
Well, first, there are the games my brother has been making at E-mobility NOW, games like Zaberias, Blasting Boxes, Random Dungeons, and others. Then, I have worked closely with the largest publisher in Israel, YisraToys, who make numerous puzzles and other games.
Recently, as I came across a few Kickstarter publishers that were struggling to find a reliable manufacturer with feasible prices and quality assurance, I decided to help K.S. board game creators as well, some examples are Tri To Win and Blockers.
What game would you have most loved to have made?
It’s a tough question! Personally, I like to play lighter family-oriented games, so from all the large publishers out there I would say my top one is TMG Tasty Minstrel Games and from their games, I would have loved to manufacture Gold West or Amun Ra, but they did a fantastic job with their current supply chain and each of their games is produced in the highest standards.
Aside from big publishers, I would love to participate in some indie games of small first-second time publishers. Such as the Pyramid of Khufu, T.A.C.O and even more massive games such as Pax Vikings by ION/Sierra Madre games.
What does the future of the company hold?
Well, I see HeroTime more as an ecosystem for board game creators of all sizes, not only a manufacturer. Currently, we are already offering assistance with marketing, I.P. protection, fulfilment, finding reviewers, artists, and more, but for the long-term vision, I wish to turn games into mainstream entertainment and increase sales and revenue for creators.
Currently, an indie board game creator launches a successful K.S., and his game stays at that. He/she printed 1000-2000 games, and they call it a day. However, there is a lot of Intellectual property (I.P.), development, time, and effort that was put into the game, and it deserves better.
My future goal is to build a network of publishers and retailers, large and small, across the world and notify them whenever a new game was manufactured. This way, rather than printing only 1000 copy a creator will end up printing 20k or more copies over the long run. No one can expect a small creator to generate the leads and credibility required, but when an established and reputable company offers it, other retailers and publishers might listen.
To get to that point though, HeroTime needs more games in its basket, and to grow its network.
What designer would you most like to welcome round for games night at your home?
Haha, it’s a tricky question. I can’t say I have a favourite; I play what there is and what the people in the group want. However, it is crucial for me that the designer will be cool and flexible, that he will agree to bend the rules a little when needed.
I guess I am like a kid when I play board games, I like to give in, give a second chance, and I prefer having fun rather than sticking to a specific mechanism or a rule.