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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Designer Intro/Kickstarter thoughts rss

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William Burke
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Hello My name is William Burke I am a new board game designer/artist. I recently made my first game Petting Zoo. I hope to make more games in the future. I want to make a number of games and I want to make them quickly. My first game took about 8 months to go from nothing to available. I hope to be even faster in the future.

Perhaps I am wrong but I feel the current model for independent game designers is tough. Many kickstaters get funded and have interest but by the time the game arrives the interest has faded and it seems hard to recreate the buzz. It seems like people have to start all over again to sell through more normal and consistent channels. I think kickstarter could be used well for long term success but I am just not quite sure how. I hope to become a successful independent board game designer who has his products for sale quickly on amazon. For now I think my art is pretty good but I think I have the skill to do better with more time. I still have a full time job so time is an issue. Below is some of my art.













 
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Dimitri Sirenko
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Petting Zoo wrote:
Hello My name is William Burke I am a new board game designer/artist. I recently made my first game Petting Zoo. I hope to make more games in the future. I want to make a number of games and I want to make them quickly. My first game took about 8 months to go from nothing to available. I hope to be even faster in the future.

Perhaps I am wrong but I feel the current model for independent game designers is tough. Many kickstaters get funded and have interest but by the time the game arrives the interest has faded and it seems hard to recreate the buzz. It seems like people have to start all over again to sell through more normal and consistent channels. I think kickstarter could be used well for long term success but I am just not quite sure how. I hope to become a successful independent board game designer who has his products for sale quickly on amazon. For now I think my art is pretty good but I think I have the skill to do better with more time. I still have a full time job so time is an issue. Below is some of my art.















yeah i agree. I am in a similar kind of boat. Also an artist and designer getting through art production for my card game at this point and the whole idea of kickstarter is quite intimidating. But more so the idea of what to do after kickstarter is even more humbling. Sorry i can't advice anything to you but i do want to join you in asking for some insight about those few issues.
 
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Matt Lee
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East Meadow
New York
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Question: Have you read through Jamey Segmaier's or James Mathe's Kickstarter blogs?

I ask because both have gotten their games into regular retail channels as well as with successful KS campaigns, so there is a wealth of info if people know about them.

In particular, I suspect part of the problem is that KS is a closed community, and despite how many people feel, the advertising of a game on KS should not be the be all and end all of the work to advertise and promote a game, and for a company, should not be the only way to promote the brand.

Look at Cool Mini or Not, arguably the biggest beneficiary of KS for their brand and products. They do have mega successful KS campaigns, but it's also built up from their fan base from past campaigns (with obviously happy customers), advertising and promoting their games on their website and going to conventions to show off to people not previously aware of their games.

It's an ongoing project, and easy to forget that it's essentially another full time job to promote and advertise your brand and the products you make. If you aren't still promoting a game after the KS is over until it's released to the general public for sale, then you obviously won't get the continued buzz afterwards. Many stores are also wary of any product that was sold through KS for sales due to the impression from many of the previously successful campaigns that the market demand was saturated from the KS sales alone and there isn't enough demand for them to stock the game for their own sales. If you can show them that there is still demand for the retail release, you may be able to get sales that way and hopefully continued sales beyond that. A KS campaign that sold 300 total copies likely won't be much of a candidate for this, for example.

You mentioned trying to go faster than 8 months for a finished product. IS that including all of the playtesting and blind playtesting? (Depending upon the target audience, of course). Simple game may be able to get away with such a short time schedule, but anything semi-complex should get at least a year or year and a half of testing and tweaking.

Hopefully, some of these will help.
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William Burke
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Thanks, I will look into that blog. Yeah the eight months includes everything, all play testing. Although I didn't even have my game blind play tested. I believe good games can be made very fast. I also think the person who learns how to do it fast will be very successful. Don't get me wrong my rules went through a lot of work but they seemed to work since my first reviewer said [I guess he was my first blind play tester???].

"Petting Zoo is an interesting design with a neat movement mechanic, fun gameplay and it’s quick. And it’s very easy to learn and teach." everythingboardgames

The reviewer was somewhat critical on my games similarity to Machi Koro but he seemed to like it.

I think for someone like me to do what I want from a sales perspective I am going to have to learn to be both fast and good. If I can't do both I don't think I can be successful. Currently I am just trying to get some roots in the industry. I am going to give my review of some games on my youtube channel etc. But I am also thinking about how to turn a KS into a long term success.
 
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Josh
Canada
Cambridge
Ontario
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“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” -Bukowski
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“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
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Petting Zoo wrote:
Although I didn't even have my game blind play tested. I believe good games can be made very fast.


Well I won't be the one to burst your bubble, then. whistle




All the best with your creative endeavours!
 
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