Board Game Business Podcast

This episode, we ground everyone with a discussion of reasons why you might not want to enter the board game industry.

  • You will lose money.
  • You will lose time, effort, and opportunities.
  • Other people will be critical of your work, not publish, or not buy it.
  • The work is not all fun.
  • Your game is not special.
  • Kickstarter campaigns and fulfillment are stressful.
  • You’ll be away from home and have to spend money on travel.

Video Version:

Direct download: BGBP048.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33am PDT

Today we discuss how to reach your core audience at a convention. We specifically hit on these points:

  • Luring on the First Day
    • Promo Packs/Where to Sell Them
    • Coupon Books
  • To Do Lists
  • Banners/Advertisements
  • Other Ideas
  • Email Lists
  • Playtesting Upcoming Kickstarter Games
  • When to Send Con Updates
  • Kickstarter Campaigns during Cons

Video Version:

Direct download: BGBP047.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:50am PDT

This is the first episode we did after Brian moved to the Los Angeles area. We talk about tips for exhibiting at a major con. Here are some topics:

- When to pull the trigger?
   o Playtest Hall
   o Volunteer at another Booth
- Booth shape and layout
- Selling at a Con without a Booth
- Copies Sold
- Number of Volunteers Required
- Banners and Signage
- Gen Con Pickup

Direct download: BGBP046.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:02am PDT

Tips for running your Kickstarter campaign in this condensed version of a Gen Con 2016 panel!

Panelists: JT Smith, Zachary Strebeck, Jeremy Commandeur, and Brian Henk

We discuss:

- #1 Mistakes
- Kickstarter as a Business
- Stretch Goals
- Crowd Building
- Page Layout
- Reward Levels
- Naming Something vs. Image in Game
- Rules on Page
- Setting Goals





Direct download: BGBP045.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:19am PDT

At Gen Con 2016, we were on a panel to talk about lots of publishing topics. These were the folks on the panel:

  • JT Smith of The Game Crafter
  • Zachary Strebeck, the Game Lawyer
  • Jeremy Commandeur, Game Designer
  • Brian Henk of Overworld Games
  • things like:


Here are some topics we discussed:

  • Forming your business
  • Game manufacturing options (US, Europe, China, etc.)
  • Different ways to sell your game
  • Traditional and alternative distribution models
  • Game awards and contests
  • What should you do yourself? What should you pay others to do?
  • Game publishing contract royalties




Direct download: BGBP044.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20am PDT

This is our first mailbag episode where we dig into these questions:
- When do you give up on a game?
- How do you recover from mistakes and setbacks?
- How do you distinguish yourself from other games?

Video Version:

Direct download: BGBP043.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:52am PDT

How should you use print-and-plays as a designer, publisher, or indie creator? We discuss some options!

- Advantages

- Early Feedback

- Kickstarter

- 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.

- Translations

- Other components

- P&Ps at Cons

Video Version:

Direct download: BGBP042.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:18pm PDT

Join us for a discussion on the tools you need to host your own game design convention, such as:

- Start small

   o Monthly meet-ups

   o Prototype night

- Location

   o Mom & Pop Restaurant

   o Game Store

- Getting Published Designers

- Travel and Experience

- Supporting and Nurturing Designers

- Getting Playtesters

- Publishers at Conventions

- First-time Designers at Conventions

- Untested Games at Conventions


Video Version:


Direct download: BGBP041.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17pm PDT

Video Version:

- Make sure design is finished

- The major steps include:

    o Art

    o Manufacturing and Proofing

    o Kickstarter Prep

    o Review Copies

    o Informing Retailers

    o Shipping and Fulfillment

- Art takes longer than expected

- Break down EVERY task and element

- The order of the tasks matters

- Run aspects by outside eyes

- Where can we find an in-depth description of the process?

- What task management tools are available?

- What is the overall timeline?


Direct download: BGBP040.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:24am PDT

We sprinkle in these game balancing topics, among others, into our discussion:

  • Easy to Balance Games
  • Hard to Balance Games
  • How many playtests?
  • How to Make Adjustments
  • Cutting to Balance
  • Balancing and Adding
  • Types of Players
  • Length of Game
  • Keeping Scores Close

Video Version:

Direct download: BGBP039.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:16pm PDT

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

Video Version:

Direct download: BGBP038.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:01pm PDT

Grant Rodiek from Hyperbole Games hosts a panel at Protospiel San Jose on board game design, development, and publishing. The panel members are:

  • Jeremy Commandeur - Designer, Organizer of Protospiel San Jose
  • Brian Henk - Designer, Publisher at Overworld Games
  • Teale Fristoe - Designer, Publisher at Nothing Sacred Games
  • Peter Vaughan - Designer, Publisher, and Development Director for Breaking Games
  • Aldo Ghiozzi - Game Consolidator with Impressions
  • Grant Rodiek - Designer, Publisher with Hyperbole Games

Thanks to Jordan Nichols from Your Game Night ( for recording the audio!



Direct download: first.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38pm PDT

We continue with our top 10 mistakes new designers make with a list from the designer perspective, led by Jeremy Commandeur.


Direct download: BGBP037.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44am PDT

Brian makes a list of the top 10 mistakes new designers make from the perspective of a publisher and we all debate about it. This covers things like the design decisions that will make a game harder to sell. Jeremy will share his list from a designer perspective in the next episode!

Direct download: BGBP036.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20am PDT

We discuss these chipboard-related topics:

- Why use chipboard?

o Feel

o Durability

- Why wouldn’t you want to?

o Cost

o Wear

o Weight

- 3D chipboard constructions

- Cost analysis

- Sizes and custom shapes

- Standard sheets/thickness/layers

- Finishes and coating

- Unpub/Protospiel San Jose


Video Version:

Direct download: BGBP035.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:23pm PDT

Inside the Box

In this episode, we talk about these box insert topics:

- Cardboard Inserts

- Size of Box

- Number of Wells

- Gametrayz and Other Plastic Inserts

- Broken Token Wood Inserts and Boxes

- Cost Analysis of Manufacturing vs. After-Market

- Bags of Bags

- Game Storage Recommendations in Rules?

- 13 oz. Golden Rule


Video version:


Direct download: BGBP034.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:05pm PDT

We talk about designing the back of the box. This includes:

- Legal Requirements

     - Age Limitations

     - European CE Mark

     - Country & Address

- Barcodes

- Playtime & Number of Players (Learn Time?)

- Restock Code

- Components

- Game or Scenario Description

- Simplified How to Play


- QR Codes

     - Other Games

     - Learn to Play

- Names

     - Designer

     - Artist

     - Manufacturer

- Sides of Box


Direct download: BGBP033.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:25pm PDT

We talk about naming your game and other more general branding questions, such as:
- Why we changed our podcast name
- What makes a good title for a game?
- Is a unique name important?
- Should the name work in other countries?
- Matching video game names
- Branding your game for your market
- Name that will appeal to retailers


Direct download: BGBP032.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:45pm PDT