Episode #78: Reasons to Theme Your Prototype

(link for direct download of podcast episode)

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?

 

Episode #77: Getting Your Prototype Played at Smaller Conventions

(link for direct download of podcast episode)

5) Teach games and then ask if they want to try your own game afterwards. (know your audience and be respectful of time)

4) Setup in open gaming and grab drive bys and/or have good signage.

3) Setup an event with local designers there through meetup/facebook so you can all play each other games. (then anyone who is interested can go out to lunch/dinner afterwards)

2) Setup official events and offer prizes/bribes. (make sure you have a way for people to be notified when they can get it and/or get their name in the rulebook)

1) Find or create your own prototype room.

Episode #76: Going to Conventions Without Going to Conventions

(podcast direct download link)

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.

Episode #75: Your Kickstarter Funding Goal, Stretch Goals, and Updates

Listen Here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP075.mp3

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.

Episode #74: Rules for Writing Rules

Listen Here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP074.mp3

Learn all about Jeremy’s “7 Rules for Writing Rules” and what Richard and Brian think about them. We actually disagree on this on more than most episodes!

  1. Force yourself to write your rules right away and have them ready for your first playtest with real people.
  2. Start strong. Tell a story as you give the theme.
  3. Use software to maintain your rules and keep them always up-to-date.
  4. Add notes to add diagrams later.
  5. Put a component list at the end of the rules use a component diagram with labels.
  6. Use 2nd person to specify “you”.
  7. Use white space and formatted lists.

Episode #73: Designing Around Analysis Paralysis

Today we discuss how to design around analysis paralysis:

  • Is it a bad thing?
  • Limiting your decision space
  • Add more options/decisions as you go
  • Allowing players to “mess up” the next player’s carefully laid plans
  • Companion app
  • Reference cards to make decisions easier
  • Usability in graphic design or component selection
  • Simultaneous play
  • Hidden actions
  • Keep players engaged
  • Walls of text
  • Put longer decisions at the end of a players so other players can take their turns while the other player is thinking

Audio/Podcast: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP067b.m4a

 

 

 

Episode #72: Gaming with Edo on Overworld Games Experiments

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.

Audio Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/edo_interview.mp3

 

Episode #71: Saving a Failing Kickstarter Campaign

Podcast/Audio: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP071.mp3

Today we talk about how to figure out why your Kickstarter campaign is failing and how to fix it.

Brian’s magic recipe for a successful campaign:

  1. A page that converts visitors into backers
  2. Get backers to your page

Converting: The video, explaining the hook, providing the content people really want to see

Getting Visitors: Social media ads, building your crowd before launch, connecting with influencers, creating awareness during the campaign

Gen Con Designer Events and Metatopia with Double Exposure’s Vincent Salzillo

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”.

Resources

 

 

Getting More Prototype Plays

Podcast Link: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP069.mp3

Today we talk about ways to get people to play your ugly prototype! Some topics:

  • Imaginary friends
  • Design partners or other trusted designers
  • Protospiel/Unpub
  • Designer groups
  • General playtesting groups
  • Fostering an inviting community
  • Print-and-plays
  • Conventions at a free table
  • Conventions as an event
  • Other convention options
  • Digital simulations
  • Paid playtesting

Resources