Scalawag! – A fast paced social card game, not sure about the gameplay, but the art looks nice.
Archive for May, 2013
Designing for fun suggests that you’ll have at least some audience for your game, but how do you know you’ll have enough?
In the past you’d take a rough guess, based on what you’ve done before, what you’ve seen others doing, the phase of the moon and so on.
You might guess right, and produce enough copies of your game to satisfy demand. You might guess short, and run out of stock. Usually you’d guess over, and end up with piles and piles of games you couldn’t shift.
I believe that this is the key benefit to Crowdfunding. You get direct and instant feedback on how popular your game will be. You can print enough copies to satisfy the initial demand, and gauge whether you’ve got a real hit on your hands.
Crowdfunding a game will take away the initial financial risks and costs involved in creating a physical product, and this is a great thing for independent game designers.
As this method becomes ever more popular, you need to stand out from the crowd. Gimmicks and showy presentation is all well and good, but I’d advise creating a tight set of rules, a professional prototype and building a community before you attempt to fund.
Under promise and over deliver. Don’t set unrealistic goals. Go to funding once you know your costs and timescales, then beat them when you ship. Do this and you’ll be set-up for your next project.
Remember that you get more than one chance, so if you don’t fund fear not. Learn from your mistakes, and improve the next attempt. Don’t take money if you don’t meet your goals. Be graceful should you fail, you will earn invaluable trust and respect.
For anyone that’s following along at home, I’m calling out interesting looking Kickstarter projects. I’m not suggesting you rush out and back everything I list, it’s more for projects that I want to make sure you don’t miss. You need to do your own research and decide if you like the look of the project.
Two quick picks here:
All Quiet on the Martian Front – 15mm WW1 era tanks verus Martian tripods. Rules written by some well known Games Workshop names. Already well funded, with a few weeks to go.
Amerigo – Interesting ‘dice tower’ with random board setup. I’m not sure how well the dice tower mechanic will play out. It seems like it might lead to turns being difficult to plan. It’s by a well known name, Stefan Feld, and from Queen Games, a pretty large publisher. It’s well funded and more than three weeks left. I’d probably wait for this one to see how it plays, but if it grabs you, go for it to get it early.
When I design a game, the first thing I consider is if I will enjoy playing it.
A lot of work will go into a game before it’s ready for the world, and you are unlikely to craft something significant if you don’t care deeply about it.
Building a game that you want to play is going to give an immediate avenue into caring. If you want to play it, you’ll want it to be good.
It also gives you confirmation that there must be some market, and that this market will enjoy the game. You cannot be sure of the size of this market, as it’s defined as people who are like you, but it’s sure to be more than one.
You are unlikely to get rich creating boardgames. Make something you love and will have fun with, and you know you’ve spent your time well.