Okay, Game Designers and Kickstarter-ers. For a while now I've been trying to think of a good way to present the glut of information that is available on the interwebs regarding how to design a successful game, how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign, and how to run a successful board game company.
The irony is that we at Broomstick Monkey Games are still learning how to do these things for ourselves. I feel strongly that we are good game designers (I wouldn't have started a board game company if that weren't true), but testing games on a hundred blind-playtesters is very different from releasing your game into the wild and seeing the results of several thousand people playing your design. I likewise believe that my partners and I have done sufficient research that we can run a successful Kickstarter campaign and build a successful board game company, but that belief won't bear fruit for a few more months and few more years (respectively).
So how do we get better? How can we avoid others' mistakes and duplicate others' successes?
We research. We study. We ask questions. We take notes. We playtest and do test-runs.
All well and good, you say, but where I can I do my research? To whom do I pose my questions? The short answer is: EVERYWHERE.
There are some wonderful Facebook groups that have continual dialogs about game design (Card & Board Game Designers Guild), game publishing (Tabletop Game Publisher's Guild, and STARTUP Board & Card Game Designers), and the science of running a successful Kickstarter (Kickstarter Best Practices and Lessons Learned). There is also Jamey Stegmeier's excellent blog about how he runs his game company and how he has built a successful business from his last three Kickstarter campaigns. There are the game design forums on Boardgamegeek and the eponymous Board Game Designers Forum, you can get other groups (local or long-distance) to playtest/critique your games (e.g., BOGADAP, GMG), and you can advertise your upcoming (or current) Kickstarter campaigns on Prefundia and similar Kickstarter groups on Facebook.
I'll still haven't mentioned the myriad blogs (like this one) that feature content from other game designers and publishers (yes, I mentioned Jamey Stegmeier's blog, but I didn't tell you about the League of Game Makers or BoardGameBen's Blog or the other places that are easy to find with just a quick google search). As you can see, there is a LOT of stuff.
But it's hard to sort through. It's hard to organize. It's hard to keep track of all the conversations and stay on top of things. As I've struggled to do this myself, I've thought how lovely it would be if someone would just post summaries of conversations on the web along with any other delicious news or tidbits that might have escaped my eye. Something like "Saved you a Click."
Well, unfortunately, there is nothing like what I described above, but Broomstick Monkey Games is going to attempt to provide that service to the public from now on. After all, we're having to read everyone's comments in those forums (and are often publishing our responses to those comments), so why not post all the salient information here and save everybody the headache of having to take notes? Even better, I've been keeping similar notes for the last two years, so I've got a ton of content to share with folks (and sharing it will, hopefully, help me organize it into something that's more useful for myself and others).
To that end (and after that absurdly long introduction) I would like to introduce you to BMG's Sometime-Daily Semi-Weekly Round-up. I'll think up a catchier name later (hey, it's still better than "Saved you from having to read 30 Facebook posts and 10 Blogs"). For now, though, keep an eye out for our sometimes-daily semi-weekly blog blasts (hey, that's a little bit better, right?).
Hopefully it will save you some clicks (and some headaches).