Pete Belli
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"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
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Several recent BGG articles have discussed the possibility of making money as a board game designer. The phrase "a triumph of hope over experience" seems to apply here, but I would never tell an enthusiastic game design hobbyist to give up on his or her dream. The money usually doesn't appear but there are other rewards.



The board game industry is like the California Gold Rush... without the gold. We have all heard stories of the intrepid fortune seekers who crossed the Great Plains in covered wagons, sailed to the disease factory that was Panama to get to the Pacific coast and catch a ship for San Francisco, or endured the long voyage around South America. They got to California and struck it rich, right?

Not really.

A few of the 49ers had success working their individual claims but the majority barely earned a living by panning for scattered flakes of gold. So, who made money during the California Gold Rush? In many cases only the people providing goods and services to the miners really cashed in.

 


The manufacturer of prospecting equipment made money. The owner of the general store made money. The saloon keeper made money. The shipping company made money. The ladies providing horizontal refreshment probably made money.

Finding a crowd of dreamers and then offering to sell them the stuff that could make their dreams come true can be one of the pathways to business success.

Think about the game design hobby. An enchanted designer might buy special components, purchase art supplies, pay good money for printing, order game design books, have things shipped all over the place, and possibly offer financial support to a wonderful board game website.

Personally, this doesn’t bother me anymore. I can do the math.

I’m obsessed with board games. Who can put a price tag on an obsession? Besides, it keeps me out of the saloons.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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What about the ladies and their horizontal refreshments? You left that part out...devil
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Sithrak - The god who hates you unconditionally
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Deathstroke wrote:
What about the ladies and their horizontal refreshments? You left that part out...devil


If a board game addiction doesn't keep you out of ladies, nothing can...
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jonathan schleyer
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That's an interesting observation. When I saw the title of your post I expected it to go in a different direction. Something like, a board game mechanic strikes gold and a whole bunch of games are created that share similar mechanics, lacking innovation.
 
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Steven Metzger
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Harlots dig boardgame designers.
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What preview button?
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pete belli wrote:
A few of the 49ers had success working their individual claims but the majority barely earned a living by panning for scattered flakes of gold. So, who made money during the California Gold Rush? In many cases only the people providing goods and services to the miners really cashed in.


To a certain extent, I presume that game designers can't really make good money designing games.

To a certain extent, I presume that game publishers can really make good money publishing games.

Truth? I dunno.

Who do you think made more money off of Agricola? Uwe Rosenberg or Hanno Girke or Zev Schlasinger?

(Note: I don't begrudge any one of those gentleman any single cent they've earned from Agricola. This is just an example. Zev got some of my dollars and Hanno definitely got some of my Euros. I assume they had agreements with Uwe, so he got some of my money too. And I was glad to do it.)

Edit: What preview button?
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Steve McIlhatton
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Ok, so you're telling me I can make a fortune by setting up a saloon and/or brothel for budding boardgame designers... hmm.. tempting...
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Davido
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Q: How do you make a small fortune in boardgames?

A:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
start with a large fortune
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