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Subject: odds of success rss

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Hi everyone,

I'm in the very early stages of developing a card game. I've never done anything like this before so it's both exciting and a bit overwhelming! I was just thinking about the odds of actually completing a project and bringing the game to commercialization. I see so many great new concepts on here and I wonder how many of them will we see out in the store someday? It will be difficult to justify putting many hours into devloping a working prototype and play testing only to have it fail due to publishing difficulties, etc. How accessible do you guys think the game market really is for an amateur game designer with zero experience like myself? I guess with a service like Kickstarter, it makes it a little more manageable.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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ryan214 wrote:
Hi everyone,

I'm in the very early stages of developing a card game. I've never done anything like this before so it's both exciting and a bit overwhelming! I was just thinking about the odds of actually completing a project and bringing the game to commercialization. I see so many great new concepts on here and I wonder how many of them will we see out in the store someday? It will be difficult to justify putting many hours into devloping a working prototype and play testing only to have it fail due to publishing difficulties, etc. How accessible do you guys think the game market really is for an amateur game designer with zero experience like myself? I guess with a service like Kickstarter, it makes it a little more manageable.


a lot of kickstarter projects fail or get cancelled.

but that doesn't stop the creative process.

I certainly don't make games for a living, but that doesn't stop me from inventing, refining, and helping others out here.

Fame and profit are not the only goals that people strive for (and in my opinion, they're overrated). I personally like bringing joy and laughter to the dining room table; and when my games do that, then it is all worth it.
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Paul DeStefano
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Just on BGG you can find a few thousand games mentioned in the designer forums that have never seen publication.

The chances are slim.

But kids still play little league even though there are so few players in the majors.

You do it because you enjoy it. Not because you need to make it big.
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Matt
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Just from seeing other Kickstarter projects and "I'm making a board game!" threads on BGG, I can tell it will be incredibly difficult. Taking your time, planning ahead, doing a lot of research, and even asking for help from others here (for advice, play testers, etc.) will improve your chances at creating a product you can be happy with, even if it doesn't take the game world by storm.
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Great input so far! I definitely have no intentions of making it big or anything - I think we all know that is an extremely difficult (and sometimes rare) thing to accomplish. I would be more than ecstatic just to see one of my future games available to the public in some capacity. It would be thrilling to see a finished product, no matter how many are actually produced or sold
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Matt
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Getting the word out early is a good start, even though there isn't really a game to speak of yet. What details do you have (partially) worked out so far? Name, theme, overall concept?
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Derek H
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ryan214 wrote:
It will be difficult to justify putting many hours into devloping a working prototype and play testing only to have it fail due to publishing difficulties, etc.

This. Make a game because its something you would love to play and you are passionate about. Put it out there as a print-n-play in the community; get raving reviews and other good feedback. Stand back a bit & be proud of what you have created (the "justification", if that is what you need). Then decide if you want the overhead and non-gaming activities that are associated with actually trying to publish/market/fund-raise etc etc etc.

Sidebar: if you want to make money, boardgaming is not the hobby you are looking for...
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Mads Fløe
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Don't be afraid to fail. Failing is learning how to win.
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Andrew Rowse
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ryan214 wrote:
I've never done anything like this before


Quote:
I was just thinking about the odds of actually completing a project and bringing the game to commercialization.


Quote:
How accessible do you guys think the game market really is for an amateur game designer with zero experience like myself?


In all honesty, the odds of completing your first project and making it a commercial success are pretty low. It's probably a good idea to go into this expecting that it probably won't work out. Be vigilent for signs that something about the game is fundamentally wrong, and needs to be dumped. And then on your next project (and the next, and the next), you'll almost certainly find your intuition sharpening and your designs getting stronger.

If you're completely (brutally) honest with yourself through the process, and invite other people to mercilessly savage your ideas as well, and if the core idea of the game is genuinely something special, Kickstarter success is definitely within reach!
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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KAndrw wrote:
If you're completely (brutally) honest with yourself through the process, and invite other people to mercilessly savage your ideas as well, and if the core idea of the game is genuinely something special, Kickstarter success is definitely within reach!


Well ... depends on what you mean by "Kickstarter success."

I think I've seen games that look pretty solid on game design, but fail at the fundraising campaign because they didn't do well on marketing.

And I'm certain we've seen a lot of games that do really well on marketing, but fail at the campaign when people realize the game design is bad or non-existent.

And then there's the Kickstarter campaigns that do manage to get funded, but then the publishing/manufacturing somehow gets delayed to the point of questionable completion.

Thankfully, we've seen a lot of stories where the game finally does get published ... but with all the mis-managed issues along the road, it is very doubtful that anyone would want to support that person again.

...

TLDR version: If you are going Kickstarter, be prepared for a roller coaster ride.
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Michael Kemper
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Like with all creative fields, anybody can come up with an idea for something "new", and usually everyone does. However, most people don't have the talent, skill or commitment to create something that is commercially viable. So, most of the competition out there really isn't competition at all. That is, as long as you are one of the few that has what it takes.

That said, whether or not an endeavor is worth your time is entirely based on why you are doing it. If you are designing a game for your own personal fulfillment that's great. And if you're designing a game to be a commercial success that's fine too. But in the later case you had better believe in yourself and your idea enough not to question whether the game is worthy of success. Because if you doubt it, you can be damn certain that everyone else will too.

Of course, this only gets you half way there. The rest is in the selling of the idea whether that be to a traditional publisher, or to backers on Kickstarter. Ultimately, your success or failure is dependent on the opinions of others. And if you plan on continuing to create, you can't take it personally if those "others" don't share the opinion you have of your own creation..
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