Board Game Business Podcast

In this one, 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.

Direct download: BGBP075.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:24pm PDT

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!

Jeremy's 7 Rules for Writing Rules

  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.

 

Direct download: BGBP074.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36pm PDT

Today we discuss designing 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

 

Direct download: BGBP067b.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38am PDT

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.

Video Version: https://youtu.be/xMkEDTgVk5w

Direct download: edo_interview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20pm PDT

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 care about

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

Direct download: BGBP071.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:52am PDT

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.
  • First Encounter Designer Showcase - A Gen Con event where you pitch your game to publishers in a "speed dating format".

Resources

 

Direct download: BGBP070.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41am PDT

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

 

Direct download: BGBP069.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38am PDT

Today our episode is more focused on behind-the-scenes of being a Kickstarter creator. We dig into how CrowdOx works and use it as a vehicle to discuss some topics on how a pledge manager can and should be used on a campaign.

Topics:

  • Paypal processors and freezes (maybe)
  • How is CrowdOx different than competitors
  • Charging shipping through PM
  • Selling old catalog of games
  • Tip jars
  • Customer data and security breeches

Reference:

  • crowdox.com - Learn more about CrowdOx.
Direct download: BGBP068.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:37am PDT

Today we talk about how randomness affects our enjoyment of games. It's slanted towards game design, but also has some publisher/indie creator perspectives as well.

  • Low-randomness games
  • High-randomness games
  • Is randomness in games good or bad?
  • How does it affect your target audience?
  • Harnessing the power of randomness

 

Direct download: BGBP065.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:29pm PDT

This is the Golden Age of Tabletop Gaming Panel from Wondercon 2018 organized by High Voltage. It covers industry trends, game design basics, and how to find events and gamers in your area. The panelists are:

Will Pasquin (Gaming Guru, High Voltage)
Becca Scott (Host, Geek & Sundry‚Äôs Game The Game)
Ross Thompson (Games Marketing & Events Manager, IDW Games)
John D Clair (Game Designer, Mystic Vale, Edge of Darkness)
Brian Henk (President, Overworld Games)
Peter Vaughan (Director of Development at Breaking Games)
 
 

 

Direct download: golden_age_2018.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:25pm PDT

If you'd rather not listen to the questions and you just want to ask yourself some thought-provoking questions about your game, here is the list!

  1. Which feeling(s) am I trying to deliver?
  2. Why would someone play or buy this game instead of others? What's the hook?
  3. Which core element will keep people engaged in my game?
  4. Which decisions am I giving players that will keep people playing?
  5. Which types of players am I targeting for my game? And what is the weight and play time will it have?
  6. How many high-level strategies can you win with?
  7. What is the single core mechanic in my game? (everything else you can cut, if needed)
  8. How much downtime do players have?
  9. How do players interact with one another and does it fit with the theme?
  10. What is confusing players when they play?
  11. What player counts can this support? Can you expand that count?
  12. What will the MSRP be?
  13. Do players feel like they are in the universe/theme?
  14. Where will people be playing this game?
  15. What is my exit strategy for this game? Kickstarter? The Game Crafter? Selling direct? Pitch to a publisher?
  16. Can I make changes to the game to tailor it to the publisher I think would want to publish it?
  17. Is this game too similar to an existing game?

 

Direct download: BGBP066.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:48am PDT

Richard interviews Juliana Patel and Ariel Rubin who created the extremely successful Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment that is now being published by Mattel. He learns all their secrets about in their 2,000+ backer debut campaign! Some specific topics:

  • Partnering with Mattel
  • Escape room game opportunities
  • Replaying escape room games
  • Playtesting an escape room game
  • Creating the puzzles
  • Lessons learned from the Kickstarter campaign
  • Finding your audience

References:
Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment Kickstarter Campaign - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/361817408/escape-room-in-a-box-the-werewolf-experiment

 

Direct download: BGBP064.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:14am PDT

1