About the Blog
Welcome to Board Game Business! Jeremy Commandeur and Brian Henk discuss the business side of the tabletop game industry in this bi-weekly podcast. Our older episodes and videos also feature the amazing Richard New.
Check out our episode 0 for an introduction to the podcast, our YouTube intro to learn more about the video portion, reach out on any of these social media platforms below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact one of us individually.
Brian, a Los Angeles resident, is the co-founder of PULL THE PIN GAMES, a tabletop game publishing company. Brian has over 10 successful Kickstarter campaigns under his belt and has co-designed many games, such as Good Cop Bad Cop, Leaders of Euphoria, and New Salem. He primarily designs and publishes very social games that create memorable experiences from very few rules.
Since 1998 I’ve worked professionally on various card and board games. Now I design board games as a hobby. I also organize a monthly prototype night, weekly game night and annual Unpub Protospiel event. You may have bumped into me at Protospiel Houston, Protospiel Austin, Protospiel Michigan, Protospiel San Jose or in the prototype zone at Gen Con or BGG. I’m a dedicated student of the board game industry from the designer’s perspective will share all that I have learned with you here on the Forbidden Limb podcast.
I’m a nerd, plain and simple. I take my interests to the extreme. I still build LEGOs like I did as a kid. I’ve seen thousands of movies and every episode of over a hundred TV shows. I write my own screenplays and am going to make a living at it. I love puzzles (crossword, Ken Ken, Rubik’s, etc.) and any game where I can test my ability to think strategically. Apart from that, I was a math and science teacher for six years, I’ve been married to my beautiful pathologist wife, Ryanne, since 2012, and our first son will be born in February 2015.
5 thoughts on “About”
Could you do an analysis of Meteor?
Hi! I’ve never heard of it, but I’ll keep an eye out for it. Is it this one? https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/166109/meteor
Thanks for this amazing podcast and the recent Protospiel! Would you be interested in doing an episode about protecting your game? patents, Copyright, trademarks: is it worth the effort? At what stage would it be appropriate? I’m an aspiring designer considering play testing my game with strangers. I also have a full-time job not designing games. It could take me 3 to 5 years to get this game on the market. Should I be concerned about others enjoying my ideas or maneuvers so much that they use them in their own design before I get published?
Hey Robert! It’s much more valuable to get feedback and exposure for your game than worrying about someone stealing your idea. Ideas are easy. Implementing them is what’s hard.
I can’t recommend patents or trademarks in the game design phase because they aren’t worth the money. Maybe once you have a hit, you could consider a trademark for protecting a brand for your company or game.
My best advice for you is to not become too attached to any given design because otherwise you might not realize it’s not worth pursuing. I recommend having multiple designs going at once, even given your time constraints. Oh and make sure you find a game design partner to keep you on track and help with the workload.
Thanks for asking! We have covered this one on quite a few episodes. Any of them in the “Legal Issues” category goes over it because it’s a common question: https://boardgame.business/category/business-content/legal-issues/
But the summary is that any legal protection you would pay for would not be worth the money until you have a game that is successful enough to be worth protecting. You’ll know when that happens but it’s not anywhere near the design phase. If you start selling tens of thousands of copies, then you can start considering it.
Don’t worry about anyone stealing your ideas because every game that exists is based on mechanics from other games. Ideas are easy. They aren’t worth anything. It’s the implementation of the idea that’s the hard part.