Getting a Game Made Professionally
Jackson Pope
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
86 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
As many of you know I've been making games by hand for the last couple of years in my spare time. It was going well, Border Reivers sold out of its 100 copy run in less than a year, and then the second game I published, It's Alive! by Yehuda Berlinger of http://jergames.blogspot.com sold out of its 300 copy run in less than a year and earnt Yehuda a nomination for Best New Designer in the Dice Tower Awards.

I decided to make the jump and become a full-time publisher, investing some of my savings into trying to move from spare-time, made by hand, hobby publisher to full-time, professionally manufactured publisher.

As you'd expect things have not gone completely smoothly, but it's been an interesting ride...
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: Game_design [+] game_publishing [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Carpe Astra [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:5061]
Jackson Pope
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I announced the release of my third game, Carpe Astra - Seize the Stars by Ted Cheatham (of Silk Road fame) and yours truly. It's a game of politics in space, you're trying to place your agents in six powerful guilds to curry favour with the those guilds. The person with the most support from the guilds will be chosen as Emperor at the end of the game. Before then you have to take advantage of current events, bribe your opponents' agents and slander your opponents to ensure you've the most support. It was due for a July/August release.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Stock Block [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Jackson Pope
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Then I sold my last copy of the Limited Edition of It's Alive! In May. It was good. In one sense. But now I had nothing to sell and it was going to take my German manufacturer 10-12 weeks to manufacture Carpe Astra, once I had all the artwork done. Which I didn't.

PANIC! Making your living selling games is not so good when you've no games to sell.

Time for a strategic re-think...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: It's Alive! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2610]
Jackson Pope
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hmmm. A UK manufacturer reckons they can re-print It's Alive! in 3-4 weeks. That would be a much better (i.e. shorter) period of time with no income. As a result, I decide to re-jig my schedule. I'll put out a re-print of It's Alive! first, followed by a slightly delayed Carpe Astra.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Don't Quote Me [Average Rating:5.56 Unranked]
Jackson Pope
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
First of all I have to get a quote from the manufacturer for It's Alive! that takes a few weeks as we back and forth trying to get a reasonable price. There's a few things you can do that make a difference to the price but no discernable difference to the quality. I've no experience of this though, so it takes me a while to find out what those are. Chalk up three weeks. The quotes take some time to get as the Sales Manager has to first plan out the components to find out how they fit on the print sheets and then send them off to the finance guys to put a figure on it. It seems frustratingly slow, but there's nothing I can do - it just takes time. Still, it's time I can use to make some changes to the artwork.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Colour Shift [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Jackson Pope
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I send the artwork to the printers and await the return of the proofs. The proofs are just sheets of paper with the artwork on (nothing cut out, folded, etc.) mainly for me to check the colour balance. They're printed on a printer that is calibrated to their presses, so the colours should be exactly how they appear on the final copies. How the colours appear on my (uncalibrated) screen and printer have no bearing to how they will appear on their presses. If I need to change anything it'll cost me 25GBP per sheet. It doesn't sound like that much, but it's 1p per sheet per game, which will squeeze my (already tight) margins. Fortunately it's all okay except for the box, and they'll do that for free as they've made a mistake on the rules. Time to get the proofs, correct them, sign them off and return them: two weeks.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: J.U.M.P. Into the Unknown [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:13881]
Jackson Pope
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It turns out that re-printing It's Alive! is not such a bad choice after all. The Limited Edition is out, people have rated and reviewed it, and there are people who want it. As a result it's a bit easier to sell to shops and distributors than an unknown game from an unknown publisher. Distributors in the UK and New Zealand pick it up, and a German distributor looks interested too. The American distributors want to see a finished product first... But Boards and Bits pick it up for pre-order in the US, so it's not all bad.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: It's Alive! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2610]
Jackson Pope
United Kingdom
Newcastle upon Tyne
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's Alive! finally gets signed off, it'll be ready in the second week of August hopefully. It's taken nine weeks to do what I thought would be a five week job. Needless to say Carpe Astra has slipped as a result. It's now looking like October/November. Hopefully in time for Essen, maybe not. I'm still taking pre-orders for It's Alive! (10.50GBP + shipping) for another couple of weeks, after that you'll have to get it from your FLGS/FOGS. American customers are best off pre-ordering from Boards and Bits as it will be cheaper - I'll let the Americans who've pre-ordered from me directly known via email.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.