Mateusz Rakowski
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Raku On The Board
www.rakuontheboard.com

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My blog about board game design, publishing and gaming with kids. The blog is subjective, and it's my opinion.

I will keep this first post updated with the list of all entries.

I hope this blog will be useful for you, and you will have a great time here!

Designer Diary:
Krill Diary #1: Introduction
Krill Diary #2: Prototypes for Playtesting

Publishing Advice:
Publishing Advice #1: Self-reflection on Publishing Board Games
Publishing Advice #2: Crowdfunding - Blog & KickStarter Lessons by Jamey
Publishing Advice #3: How to Use BoardGameGeek
Publishing Advice #4: How to Promote Your Project on BoardGameGeek
Publishing Advice #5: Exchange Rates Fluctuations
Publishing Advice #6: Regularity in Running a Blog
Publishing Advice #7: The Best Time to Publish Blog Entries
Publishing Advice #8: Challenge Yourself and Design a Better Game
Publishing Advice #9: Connect with Other Designers
Publishing Advice #10: Facing Haters
Publishing Advice #11: The Stages of Creativity in Board Game Design
Publishing Advice #12: Deceptive Funding Goal Levels in Kickstarter Campaigns
Publishing Advice #13: How to Reproduce the CE Marking
Publishing Advice #14: How to Write an Excellent Rulebook
Publishing Advice #15: Green and Red Zones
Publishing Advice #16: Reach Storytellers and World-Builders
Publishing Advice #17: Countries With a High Rate of Missing Parcels and Long Delays
Publishing Advice #18: Why Going to Bed Early Could Change Your Life
Publishing Advice #19: Game Testing in Schools
Publishing Advice #20: Deceptive Love in Game Design
Publishing Advice #21: Writing Designer Journal / Diary
Publishing Advice #22: Kickstarter Retail Pledge Levels
Publishing Advice #23: BoardGameGeek Microbadge Submission Process
Publishing Advice #24: Four Types of Playtesters
Publishing Advice #25: Playing vs Playtesting
Publishing Advice #26: Facing Haters part 2 - Open Letter to Fans
Publishing Advice #27: How to Get People to Talk About Your Game?
Publishing Advice #28: Retail Margins and Kickstarter

Gaming with Kids:
Gaming with Kids #1: Children's Misbehaviour While Playing Board Games
Gaming with Kids #2: Board Games - A Great Tool to Train Your Brain
Gaming with Kids #3: Children in Adult Gaming Groups
Gaming with Kids #4: How to Play Games Having 2-year-old Child
Gaming with Kids #5: I Don't Wanna Play with You! Really?


If you like what I'm doing and would like to be involved and supportive, you can join Raku Support Team programme. I believe that we all can learn from each other.

If this is appealing to you, read more about the programme on Raku Support Team Programme

Thanks for your time! See you soon!
Mateusz
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Mateusz Rakowski
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Hi folks

Here's my new post!
Publishing Advice #12: Deceptive Funding Goal Levels in Kickstarter Campaigns

Enjoy!
 
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This time a little bit about reproducing CE marking!

Publishing Advice #13: How to Reproduce the CE Marking

Enjoy!
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Hello
My new article.
Writing rules is very hard and boring! I hope this article will be helpful! :D

Publishing Advice #14: How to Write an Excellent Rulebook

Enjoy!
 
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Hi guys

Just published another article. It's about Green and Red Zones. I hope you will enjoy it!

Publishing Advice #15: Green and Red Zones
 
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Hi folks

Every human being has his strengths and weaknesses. There is no point of denying that truth, and we are better to find others who can fill the gap of our weaknesses. Of course, that don't mean that board game designer can't have a tremendous talent in world-building, storytelling and character making; however it happens very rarely! And sometimes you might not have enough time to do everything yourself!

Enjoy my new article!

Publishing Advice #16: Reach Storytellers and World-Builders
 
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I believe in treating all people equally. Everyone should have the same access to board games from any place in the world. However, life proves that there are a lot of things making that impossible. One is the shipping!

Enjoy my new article folks!

Publishing Advice #17: Countries With a High Rate of Missing Parcels and Long Delays
 
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Hi, friends

Why I'm writing about going to bed early on a board game design and publishing blog? Check it out, please!

Publishing Advice #18: Why Going to Bed Early Could Change Your Life
 
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Hi, friends

Building a blog awareness is a very tough task. I found it extremely hard and I think I'm not the best in it! Anyway, I'm not giving up!

So I thought I should try something simple that will help me with that hard task and at the same time will be fun for me and others! So I had an idea to launch a simple Giveaway. I'm very curious how everything is gonna work! It will be a great lesson for me, and I hope great pleasure for my readers!

Why Giveaway Prize Draw?
 
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Hi folks

It's obvious that game testing is an essential stage in the board game development. I don't need to convince anyone to agree with this statement. Great feedback from different groups of people is crucial and will help us to ensure that our game is best possible! For family and children games one of the most relevant group is children!

Enjoy my new article!

Publishing Advice #19: Game Testing in Schools
 
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Hi friends!

Board game groups give an excellent opportunity to play new games, meet amazing people and have lovely relaxing evenings! You can play there all sort of games! From quite light and easy to more challenging brainers.

A while ago I started running a Board Game Group in Thornbury, England. It's definitely a group for adults, and most of the games we play are not suitable for children. Anyway, I started thinking about my kids! Is there a place for them in the adult tabletop gaming group and how they can benefit from it? And on the other hand how not to upset other people and make sure they can fully enjoy their time? I'm aware that children's level is lower than adults and playing with them can be annoying. How to balance that?

Please, enjoy my new article!

Gaming with Kids #3: Children in Adult Gaming Groups
 
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I guess you had many exciting games with your family and friends. In the peaceful environment, you had a great time. That's such a simple life! But did you ever have a child coming around in the middle of play to start messing up? Did you have to deal with a little board game destroyer?

Enjoy my new article!

Gaming with Kids #4: How to Play Games Having 2-year-old Child

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It's natural that mother loves her baby. And it's quite common that creator loves his creation! While loving a child will be fruitful and will bring a lot of joy, loving our inventions will give us nothing, or even worse - can be harmful! I'm not saying to hate our designs! I'm not stating that liking what we are doing or what we created is bad! I'm writing about a kind of love which stops us from making better games.

Enjoy my new article!

Publishing Advice #20: Deceptive Love in Game Design

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People were writing diaries and journals from hundreds of years. It was an excellent way to record their efforts, feelings, events; to tell a story of their lives and to help themselves to remember important things!

From time to time people are publishing designer journals to tell stories of their creations! So creator journal is not only a personal thing but a mixture of designer's efforts, progresses, struggles, issues, lessons learned, successes, thoughts and emotions but focused around his idea or project. Often designer journals are for the public to help and teach others and to promote the game, and on this kind of form of creator's journaling, I'll focus now!

Enjoy my new article!

Publishing Advice #21: Writing Designer Journal / Diary

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Attracting potential backers and convincing them to pledge a game is a tough task. There are many different factors which we have to consider when preparing a marketing strategy so our game can be funded - in the best scenario in first 24 hours. Retailers can significantly help us to achieve that goal. It's important to remember about them when creating our pledge levels and overall strategy!

James Hudson from Druid City Games asked Dave Salisbury (owner of Fan Boy Three store) what he wanted to see in a Kickstarter Retail Pledge Level. Here is his response.

Publishing Advice #22: Kickstarter Retail Pledge Levels

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My children have so many cool things to do. Drawing, playing on tablets or consoles, watching movies, and they got a big room filled up with toys. Sometimes board games are not their number one choice, and I respect that. Often when I offer them a lovely board game evening, they will just say "NO". Especially Key Stage 2 children. And that's OK. But does it really mean they don't want to play?

Do you have the same problem with your children? First, and most critical step is to answer the question why your kids don't want to play board games with you at the moment? I made a little self-check list to help you in that task!

Gaming with Kids #5: I Don't Wanna Play with You! Really?

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BGG Microbadges are one of those little geeky things. They won't sell your game or promote it. To be honest, I can't see them making much difference in how are you going to do with your game. However, they are meaningful to active BGG users. Even only for this reason, it's worthy to submit a microbadge of your game or company so your fans can display it under their avatar.

Probably most of you know quite a lot about BGG; however, not everyone submitted a BGG microbadge before. If you never did it before, you could find this article useful. Why not submit your microbadge straight away instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you?

Publishing Advice #23: BoardGameGeek Microbadge Submission Process

Have a nice day folks!
 
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Hi folks

I'm very keen to share with my readers all things I learned. And here you are - this is the first article from my Designer Diary series - Krill Diary #1. I will share with you all, everything I went through regarding design, preparation for Kickstarter campaign and publishing Krill and why the game looks like it looks! I hope you will find my articles interesting and useful!

Krill Diary #1: Introduction

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Hi folks,

If you like what I'm doing and would like to be involved and supportive, you can join Raku Support Team programme. I believe that we all can learn from each other.

What RST (Raku Support Team) members can do:
Playtest: RST members interested in blind playtesting our games will have access to P&P prototype. In a closed group, we will discuss different aspects of the game. If you are from Bristol, you can take part in playtesting early prototypes.

Proofread: proofread rulebooks and descriptions of our games.

Translate: translate our games.

Moderate forums: look after Facebook groups, Kickstarter comments, BoardGameGeek and other forums to help people connect to our games.

Visit conventions: If you are attending board game, fantasy or comic conventions and events you can be part of our team in various ways. You can lead contests, tournaments or stay at our stand, or you can just wear RST t-shirt and hang around to help other people to know our games, answer questions and make them feel welcomed. If you see someone playing our games, you can wish them a good play and ask if they need any help with the game.

If this is appealing to you, read more about the programme on Raku On The Board website.

Raku Support Team Programme

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Hello

It's obvious that proper prototypes are crucial in game playtesting. The same game can provide players different experiences depending on how the prototype is made. That's why I'm always trying to make the best prototypes from the very beginning.

Today I'll write about Krill prototypes which I made for playtesting and blind playtesting, and below you can find a short tutorial how to create a prototype like mine. I know that every designer has their own favourite method of making prototypes for their games that suit their needs; however, I'm sure that you'll find this article useful.

Krill Diary #2: Prototypes for Playtesting

Have a good read!
 
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About two weeks ago I had a privilege of taking part in Ignacy Trzewiczek's conference about board game design. Having a chance to listen to one of the most experienced and respectful board game designers is the best way to learn new things and avoid mistakes! A significant part of the speech was dedicated to playtesting prototypes. And a big part of it about categorising playtesters. I never thought that different types of playtesters are helpful in various stages of the game development. And sometimes certain kinds of playtesters can be even harmful. Here's what I learned:

Publishing Advice #24: Four Types of Playtesters

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As you probably noticed, quite often I'm writing about being efficient and productive. As a father of six plus one on the way with a "normal" job, my time resources are very limited. All that forced me to think more about time management!

And as you probably already know (especially if you are reading my blog), playtesting is one of the aspects where you can waste a lot of time.

And I'm often seeing that some designers and publishers are advertising their games as playtested 100 times or even 1000 times. But that can be quite misleading as not everyone understands what playtesting means.

Did you ever think that playing a prototype doesn't mean playtesting it? Are you really playtesting your prototype? Actually, it's critical to distinguish these two things. Let's then have a better look on this!

Publishing Advice #25: Playing vs Playtesting
 
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Constructive criticism, again, is a very helpful and healthy thing. All professionals always appreciate honest opinions as they're extremely useful. But now and again we have "privilege" to hear rude opinions regarding our games without any reason or explanation. Or experience cruel behaviours towards our personas.

A while ago I wrote about facing trolls and dealing with hate as a designer. And the best thing you can do is to ignore them and give your time to your fans - people who deserve it!

But now I will talk how fans can help us: designers and publishers in facing haters.

Publishing Advice #26: Facing Haters part 2 - Open Letter to Fans
 
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How can you stand out with your "best game" in the world when there are more than 1000 new games published every year? Competition is horrendous. There are loads of incredibly good games out there. Everyone knows that to succeed as a publisher, you need an outstanding game, not just very good but outstanding. But can this guaranty your success? Not really - there is much more in it! You need to do your homework, but now I'll write about something different! About something which will help you to stand out!

Publishing Advice #27: How to Get People to Talk About Your Game?
 
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Kickstarter is the beginning of the sales chain. After your campaign finishes, you got traditional distribution. A healthy relationship with distributors and retailers is crucial. If you do not look after the post-Kickstarter tail, your product most likely will die, and you will lose a great opportunity to expand.

So why the post-KS tail is more important than Kickstarter campaign itself? Simply because KS is just a small part of your market. The biggest market is waiting for you!

Publishing Advice #28: Retail Margins and Kickstarter
 
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