When you’ve been working on a design for a while and you’re not sure if there’s enough there to keep going with it, we have some signs that it might be time to give up on it. If you want a spoiler, the signs are:
5) No market opportunity 4) Design colleagues don’t ask about the status or encourage you to keep working on it 3) Too long to play/too long to explain the rules 2) Not fun enough (playtesters don’t ask to play again) 1) No hook or the hook is not good enough
We go over the top 5 reasons to theme your prototype and some discussion around them. If you want to have them spoiled, here are some of our notes on each one:
5) Theme makes it easier to learn your game. It drive cohesion, direction, and rules comprehension.
4) Some publishers really care about theme (like Brian) so you’ll get more opportunities if your game has one. You’ll get in the door. Theme sells better than math. Games are an experience, and theme tells your story.
3) A themed games is more interesting to players so you’ll get more playtesters. It shows your playtesters that you respect their time and level of enjoyment.
2) Save the publisher time by showing them it is complete. A game with no theme isn’t done yet and they would usually not do that work if they can avoid it. Once you’re in the door, you’re more likely to stay there.
1) Theme is part of the design. Why are we even talking about them as if they are independent parts?
Today Brian interviews Erik Dahlman of Albino Dragon about the convention services he offers where his team will demo your game at his booth at various conventions throughout the year. You can get the exposure that conventions offer without the million headaches of actually doing it. To get more information from Erik, email CONVENTIONS@ALBINODRAGON.COM.
In this podcast episode, we cover different methods for setting your Kickstarter funding goal, your stretch goals, how many updates to send during the campaign, and we talk about Richard’s holy grail Star Trek cat game.
Ed Baraf sits down with Brian Henk to discuss the history of experiments tried at Overworld Games, such as using IPs or releasing a game outside of Kickstarter — and how games have done in terms of profitability and copies sold. Going through what went well and what didn’t may give other creators some insight into what they should and should not do.
Brian had the pleasure of interviewing Vincent Salzillo, President of Double Exposure, Inc. His company organizes Gen Con events such as First Exposure Playtest Hall and the new First Encounter Designer Showcase (publisher speed dating) events. They also organize conventions such as DEXCON, DREAMATION, and METATOPIA. Plus they run the Envoy programs. It’s a lot! This is what we cover in 30 minutes:
METATOPIA – A convention for game designers.
First Exposure Playtest Hall – A Gen Con event for playtesting your game.
First Encounter Designer Showcase – A Gen Con event where you pitch your game to publishers, in a format similar to “publisher speed dating”.