This episode provides some guidelines for the situation where multiple publishers want to sign your game and how you handle it, both from the designer and publisher perspective. Specifically, we cover:
- submitting your game to multiple publishers at the same time
- handshake deals
- bringing copies to a convention
- bigger publishers vs. smaller publishers
- asking for exclusivity
- doing your publisher homework
- changes to contracts
- should I have a lawyer look over my contract?
We talk generally about publishing licensed games and specifically about the unsuccessful Total Recall Kickstarter campaign.
- Why didn’t it fund?
- What did you do differently?
- Likeness rights 101
- Timing releases in a line of games
- Hidden costs of doing a licensed game
- Liability insurance
- The costs of agreeing to release dates
- Should you create a licensed game?
- Publishing outside of Kickstarter
Podcast Audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP062.mp3
Total Recall Kickstarter Campaign – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/overworldgames/total-recall-the-official-tabletop-game
We have another mailbag episode! These topics were suggested by listeners:
- Are environmental concerns a factor for publishers, manufacturers, and designers?
- How can I make my game more accessible and inclusive?
- What kind of support should publishers donate to charity?
The Overworld Games policy on charities.
If you’re listening to this podcast, there’s a good chance you know someone personally who has launched a Kickstarter campaign. Did you feel obligated to back it? We try to break down this social etiquette around the subject in this episode.
Audio Link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP060.mp3
Today we talk about social media and how we should use this in the board game industry. Specifically, here are some of the questions and topics:
- How should a game designer use social media?
- Which social media platforms should a game designer be using?
- How should a game publisher use social media?
- Which platforms should they use?
- Using social media as a phone book or for ease of contacting.
- What’s the wrong way to use social media?
- Are there other less traditional social media platforms we should be using?
- Are there any tools that help you more easily manage your social media accounts?
Today we attempt to define what a reference card is, which isn’t as easy as you may think, and then we pull them apart and figure out which games need them and how to design them clearly. Then we end with a Top 5 list of tips to make your reference card better. Here are some questions and topics we discuss:
- Which games do we wish had them that do not?
- Which games have them but don’t need them?
- Do we need one for each player?
- The psychological effect of having a reference card.
- Can a game be too simple to have a reference card?
- The cost of a reference card.
Top 5 Tips for Designing a Reference Card:
#5) No Walls of Text
#4) Use 1 Double-Sided Reference Card
#3) White Space is Your Friend
#2) Make Them Visually Distinct
#1) Use Symbols
Podcast/Audio Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP057.mp3
Today we talk about designing and publishing games for a particular market. Here are some of the topics/questions we cover:
- What’s a target market?
- Which markets are commonly considered in the board game industry?
- Identifying the market that’s right for your game.
- Should I use elements to my game to fit a particular group of consumers?
- Do publishers have a specific market in mind when they are scouting games?
- How do things like ease of play and length of play factor into a market segment?
- Should I design a game for a specific market?
- Should designers put their target market on their sell sheet?
- Are there specific conventions where you’ll find publishers for specific markets?
Here are our top 7 ways to improve your playtest feedback quality. If you want a spoiler, here’s the list!
- Ask negative leading questions. Trash/talk down your own game.
- Stay focused and interested in every word play testers say. Don’t defend anything. Don’t break their flow.
- Focus on problems and steer away from solutions.
- Ask about feelings.
- Explain what type of feedback you’re looking to get.
- Record audio.
- Get anonymous feedback at least once and late in the process.
Audio/Podcast Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP055.mp3
How-to-play videos are used more and more for designers to show potential publishers or playtesters their game and publishers after a game has been released to teach customers how to play them. This satirical episode gives tips on how NOT to make a how-to-play video. Here’s the gist of the tips we cover:
- Prepare so you can keep it concise.
- Keep it short. You don’t need to say every corner case, but make sure to cover any confusing ones.
- Use consistent terminology.
- Use at least two camera angles so it’s not just a talking head.
- Layer in photos to help make your point and show examples.
- Lighting is important! Light up your face with multiple lights at different angles so there are no shadows. (3-point lighting)
- Light up your components to show them too, but with not glare. Don’t use sleeves if they add glare.
- Use a microphone close to you for clear and consistent audio. Clean the audio afterwards.
- Make it easy to find the video online.
Audio Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP054.mp3
Today we go through a quick overview of each iteration of our design process from a tool perspective. We discuss which of these tools work well and which ones we’ve used in the past. We also cover some of the software we use to stay connected to our designer partners. See the list below of everything we mention!