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.
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 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
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!
Today we discuss licensed games and the specific challenges associated with making a game from them. If you are granted the rights to make a card game based in the Star Wars universe, how do you make a game around it? Or should you make the game first and try to acquire the license later? Here are some questions we answer:
- Should I design a game for a license?
- How much does it cost to get an intellectual property?
- Do you pay up-front or are there royalties or both?
- What does the schedule/deadlines look like?
- What impact does this have on your cash flow?
- How do you learn enough about the chosen universe?
- What kind of help can you expect from the licensor?
- Can you add to the universe?
- Are there any conventions that you should go to related to licensing?
Audio Podcast: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP052.mp3
We take a stab at predicting how the industry will change in 2017.
- Legacy Games
- Quality Kickstarter Exodus
- Otherwise, Kickstarter Growth Continues
- Will Quality Go Up or Down?
- Company Mergers
- Component Diversification
- “Meeples with a Twist”
- Chipboard Constructs
- Display Games
- Unexpected Components
- Storytelling Games
- Deluxe Editions
- Game Exchange System
- Local Game Stores Evolve
- Increase in Import Games
How should you use print-and-plays as a designer, publisher, or indie creator? We discuss some options!
- Early Feedback
- Limited or Full Version?
- What do players use them for?
- Shopping Ahead
- Evaluating Gameplay
- Evaluating Art
- Why a P&P isn’t giving the game away.
- Other components
- PnPs at Cons
Audio/Podcast Version: http://traffic.libsyn.com/theforbiddenlimb/BGBP042.mp3
Do you have a game that you want to get into the magical land of “distribution”? We talk about how to make that happen! Some topics we discuss are:
- What is distribution?
- What is the structure of the market?
- Why go through distribution?
- What profits can one expect?
- Why do retailers like distribution?
- How does one get picked up by a distributor?
- Big consolidators and distributors
- Minimum print sizes
The San Jose Protospiel had over 75 designers and 450 players in its second year, making it the largest protospiel to date. Grant Rodiek from Hyperbole Games hosted a panel there on board game design, development, and publishing. The panel members are:
- Jeremy Commandeur – Designer, Organizer of Protospiel San Jose
- Teale Fristoe – Designer, Publisher at Nothing Sacred Games
- Peter Vaughan – Designer, Publisher, and Development Director for Breaking Games
- Aldo Ghiozzi – Game Consolidator with Impressions
- Brian Henk – Designer, Publisher at Overworld Games
- Grant Rodiek – Designer, Publisher with Hyperbole Games
Thanks to Jordan Nichols from Your Game Night (http://www.yourgamenight.com/) for recording the audio in the very loud convention hall.