Indie Game Contest at Ottawa Indie Game Convention

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The Game Crafter is sponsoring an Indie Game Contest at the 2015 Ottawa Indie Game Convention. We know this is event is still pretty far off, but the deadline for rule set submission is November 1st and it will be here before you know it! Start working on those game designs. :)

The Game Crafter will also be running a Designer’s Table at the convention. If you are a designer and plan on attending then there may be an opportunity for you to be at the booth to showcase your games, run demos, etc.. Contact us if you’re interested.

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               Click here to see all of the rules for the Indie Game Contest

Bounty! A game of treasure on the high seas - 2 weeks left!

Bounty! is a quick to learn, easy to play card game for 3 or 4 players whose goal is to collect the most gold and prevent their opponents from doing the same. The game design is modeled on the Age of Sail, and players are admirals of different seafaring nations each commanding a small fleet of ships exploring the ocean, and competing over trade routes with the far east.

This is designer Josh Perry’s first foray into the game design world, and he is looking to produce a minimal game with as little overhead as possible in order to provide a cheap game. The indiegogo campaign is designed to raise funds to pay for some simple art, as well as purchase copies of the game for all backers. For Bounty! success is measured by getting the game into the world, not by how much profit it can make. This fact, as well as the design choices make it easy to provide the game at a low cost. The entire game can be purchased through Indiegogo (shipping and all) for just $15, cheaper than most games on the market.

If you really want to leave your mark on the project though: a host of $50 perks let you get your name (or a name you come up with) onto a ship card in the deck (take a look at the sketch below for an idea of the ship cards).

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Your support means more games produced with even better quality art down the line! Help make a dream come to life, today! http://igg.me/at/Bountycardgame

We encourage all our designers to find a Protospiel event near them and get their game tested by other designers. And if you do, you can earn this new accolade.

We encourage all our designers to find a Protospiel event near them and get their game tested by other designers. And if you do, you can earn this new accolade.

Kickstarter Game Reviews at The Gamers’ Table!

Looking for a high quality, professional video to promote your Kickstarter board game project? Let the guys at The Gamers’ Table create one for you! They’ll review your game, following the same rigorous method they use to review published games. They tell it like it is, giving a fair and reasoned overview of your game, from components to rules.

Levels

You can choose from three levels of service: Basic, Expedited and Rush. Each level provides the same high quality, professional video review of your game. The difference is in the speed. Basic service provides you with a finished video three weeks after they receive your game. Expedited service drops the deadline to two weeks and Rush drops it further to one week after the game is received.

Pricing

SALE! Right now, you can get your Kickstarter video for half price by going to their crowd funding campaign and pledging. This is a limited time offer. Basic is $30, Expedited is $60 and Rush is $90. You must select the perk on the campaign page to get this discount.

The Gamers’ Table will send you a notification when they receive your game. From that point, the video will be completed within the allotted time for your service level. You’ll be notified of the completion and sent a link to download the file.

Click here to get your video review from The Gamers’ Table

Great interview with Jason Glover by the Inquisitive Meeple.

Interview with Kynan Hale: Bulk Order Fulfillment

Kynan Hale successfully funded Choose Your Crew: Pirates game on Kickstarter in June. He used The Game Crafter’s Bulk Order Fulfillment (BOF) service and you can read about his experience in the interview below.

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1. Why did you decide to use The Game Crafter’s Bulk Order Fulfillment (BOF) service for your Kickstarter project?

Before launching Choose Your Crew: Pirates on Kickstarter I did a lot of research on the best and cheapest way to ship my products to my backers. Postage can have a big influence on a potential customer so I really wanted to keep those fees as low as possible. Most manufacturers will only ship out a bulk order to a single address for distribution. Calculating the cost of shipping first to Australia, then back out to international orders would have made the entire project unfeasible. So I found a couple of manufacturers that were prepared to ship directly to each individual customer. One of those was The Game Crafter. Since I had already used The Game Crafter to print up a couple of playtest decks of my game (and I was happy with the quality) I decided to use their BOF service for my Kickstarter campaign.

2. What was the biggest benefit of using BOF at The Game Crafter?

The biggest benefit of The Game Crafter’s BOF for my Kickstarter campaign was saving cost on shipping individual orders, but there were other great features to the service that helped to make a ‘break even’ project turn into a profitable one. Putting through a bulk order gave me a wholesale discount that made a huge difference. I was now looking at turning a profit on a project that I had simply calculated to break even.


3. How have your customers responded in terms of product quality, customer service, and shipping times?


I first started getting feedback from my European backers:

“I was very surprised about your fast delivery, compared to other projects!”

“I have received my set of CYC and found all the artwork fun. Definitely going to have a game over the weekend.”

There was a lot of positive feedback about how fast my backers were getting their games. I had estimated a March delivery for a 30 day campaign that I launched on Kickstarter in January. This gave me most of February to finish up backer rewards such as the 4 likenesses I drew of customers to appear in the game and to create and playtest the 8 card booster pack that I had included as a buyer incentive midway through the campaign. I put through the BOF on February 20th and my customers began receiving their games within 2 weeks. Considering how busy The Game Crafter was at the time with 2 extremely successful games from other Kickstarter campaigns, I was very happy with how fast the orders were processed and dispatched.

4. Did The Game Crafter BOF service and the community have a positive impact on your campaign?


A great service to use along with Bulk Order Fulfillment is signing up for The Game Crafter’s Crowd Funding Promotion. The agreement states that you’ll have all the orders from a particular crowd funding campaign exclusively manufactured by The Game Crafter. As an incentive they will list your game on their News page (
news.thegamecrafter.com) which appears on their site and various other social networks. This definitely generated interest and sales for my game and not just hits on my Kickstarter page. Which was great, but I believe if I had been better prepared with a better game play video and a game review on my Kickstarter page, The Game Crafter’s News listing would have generated a lot more sales for me. Being my first game I rushed it a little.. a lot actually.. and would have benefited from becoming more involved with the amazing group of helpful and supportive people in The Game Crafter community. However, I still ran a successful campaign and I learned a lot about crowd funding and making games that people will buy.

5. Do you have any advice for other game designers who are considering running a Kickstarter to fund their game?

I’ve learned so much after my first kickstarter campaign and there’s a lot more to learn. I certainly don’t feel qualified to give advice, but I can detail what I will be doing for my next campaign. Before launching my next crowd funding campaign I will be getting professional reviews of my game. I will be using The Game Crafter’s Sanity Test on my game as I believe it gives you more honest feedback than any friend or family member would ever dare! I will create a comprehensive and appealing game play video. I will be attempting to become more involved in the gaming community to spread the word about my game and to see what other people out there are up to. I will be following other crowd funding trends to see what works, what doesn’t, and what other developers are offering in terms of rewards and buyer incentives. I will be offering customers on my database from my first game a special early bird reward. I will be studying what I did right with my first campaign and capitalize on it for my next campaign. Hopefully, if I do all these things I will have a great result, but most importantly I need to create a great game. That takes time. I won’t be rushing into the crowd funding campaign until its ready.

6. Are there any changes or improvements you’d like to see in the Bulk Order Fulfillment service?

Using The Game Crafter’s BOF was really easy. In fact, it was much easier than it looked from the descriptions on the site. Coupled with the backer report spreadsheet that Kickstarter generates at the end of the campaign the BOF was basically a quick copy/paste of some info and I was done. I only had two minor issues with the BOF, the first was that some of my European customers had unusual accents on the characters in their address lines. They appeared correctly on the spreadsheet but turned to gibberish on the BOF. This is probably more of an issue with my understanding of spreadsheets than a fault of the BOF but if there was some info available on the site it would make life easier. The second concern I had with the BOF was not knowing which postage option the BOF would use because you can’t manually select it. Turns out it uses the cheapest option – which was a huge relief, but again I think that information should have been on the initial page of The Game Crafter site that explains the BOF. Overall my experience with The Game Crafter’s BOF was fantastic and the only improvements needed would be covered by slightly more info or a FAQs page on the site.

7. Being from Australia did you face any challenges using The Game Crafter as your chosen manufacturer?


When launching my Kickstarter campaign I was concerned about postage in my home country. Kickstarter expects you to factor in the cost of postage for your own country, but having my games manufactured in USA the postage alone would make the games ridiculously expensive. I contemplated getting the games made by Australian or Chinese manufacturers, but they have a large minimum order that I wasn’t comfortable with for my first game. They also don’t have a community of gamers offering feedback and advice like The Game Crafter has. So, I discussed this with The Game Crafter and learned that I could have all my Australian orders sent to me in bulk so that I could send them on from here. The cost to factor into the price went from over $18 each game down to about $3 per game. So even though my profit margin would suffer slightly for my Australian orders it was a great solution to get the campaign running.

8. Would you recommend The Game Crafter’s BOF service to other game designers?

Shipping the games to customers directly from the manufacturer saved postage costs, it gave me a bulk order discount and it saved a lot of time. It’s a great service to help keep costs down for crowd funding campaigns. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about using crowd funding for their game.


Click here to learn more about Bulk Order Fulfillment at The Game Crafter

We’d like to thank Kynan for taking the time to participate in this interview. Congrats on funding your very first game!

Sanity Test accolades now indicate how high of a score your game earned right on the icon. This is yet another way to stand out from the crowd. 

Note: These icons were drawn and contributed by David Sheppard. He’s a super talented guy with lots of great games. You should check them out.

War Elephant Racing is now available on Indiegogo

"More fun than a sack of nuts!"

War Elephant Racing (W.E.R.) is a fast paced game of chance and skill. War elephants will be bumping and crashing into each other on a tight course sending the others into a spin that will cost them crucial game points. Players must carefully balance a number of objectives, be quick with reactions, and recognize all of the scoring combinations to be able to beat their opponent. It is a game where experience counts for a great deal although a little bit of luck always helps. New and young players will be able to jump in fairly quickly and give the vets a run for their money.”

Support War Elephant Racing on Indiegogo Today!

Only 24 Hours Left to Support Monsters & Knights on Kickstarter!

Monsters & Knights is a tabletop card game for 2-6 players. Players compete to slay the most monsters or eat the most knights. Monsters & Knights is a fantasy themed hand management & trick taking game similar to classic card games like pitch or spades.

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Monsters & Knights can be played in a casual mode or advanced mode. 

In casual mode, players will play all the cards in their hand each round using monsters/knights to eat/slay other monsters and knights already in play. At the end of the round they will add up the points for their slayed monsters, or eaten knights and continue to play rounds until one player or team reaches a set number of points.

The advanced mode adds additional game play mechanics enhancing the level of strategy for players looking for a more complex game.

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Rules are available to download on the Kickstarter page or at www.crazyjoesgames.com

With your help, we can reach our stretch goals and release new cards for the game! Please let your friends, family, and gaming groups know about Monsters & Knights! Thank you for supporting indie board game designers!

Click here to support Monsters & Knights on Kickstarter!

Note: This article is being promoted on TGC News because the designer is participating in The Game Crafter’s Crowd Funding Promotion. If you would like to be promoted by The Game Crafter then read the details here.

Unpub and Protospiel come to the west coast!

San Jose, CA will be hosting the first ever joint Unpub and Protospiel event May 9th-11th.  It has been several years since a Protospiel was held on the west coast. Designers are encouraged to bring prototype board games to be play tested.  Get feedback from other designers and a wide variety of gamers. Learn from industry experts. Network and discover resources.

Industry guests include Ted Alspach (Bezier Games, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Ultimate Werewolf, Suburbia), Matt Leacock (Pandemic, Forbidden Dessert, Forbidden Island, Roll Through the Ages), Aldo Ghiozzi (Impressions Game Distribution), Richard Bliss (Host of Funding the Dream podcast for Kickstarters), Grant Rodiek (Farmagheddon, Hyperbole game design blog), Rob Daviau (Betrayal at House on the Hill, Risk Legacy, Risk 2210 A.D.) and others.

$40 for designers, free for players. 

Details and registration at: www.boardgamebuilders.com

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We expect a lot of designers from the TGC community to attend. Post a comment here and let everyone know if you’re going to be there! :)

All hail the Large Circle Chit! At long last you can have your own custom circular punch outs in your game. They are full-bleed, and double-sided, and measure 1.25 inches wide by 0.07 inches thick (about 2mm).  They’re awesome for custom currency and counters of any kind in a game. You’ll get 77 in a sheet for $9.49, which comes out to about 12 cents per chit. Enjoy!

All hail the Large Circle Chit! At long last you can have your own custom circular punch outs in your game. They are full-bleed, and double-sided, and measure 1.25 inches wide by 0.07 inches thick (about 2mm).  They’re awesome for custom currency and counters of any kind in a game. You’ll get 77 in a sheet for $9.49, which comes out to about 12 cents per chit. Enjoy!

Gamer’s Remorse reviews Turbulence by Andrew Enslow.

Bulk Pricing Changes

Many of our costs have increased lately, and this has led us to make some hard decisions. As a result we’re having to reduce the discounts we offer on bulk pricing. This primarily is due to three factors.

  1. Paper prices have increased. The company that manufactures 90% of our paper has informed us of a large rate hike in the cost of our paper.
  2. Equipment costs have increased. The price of parts for the machines we use to print and cut our products have increased dramatically over the past 18 months. 
  3. Employee wage increases. As our crafters gain more experience we pay them more. This means you get higher quality games, and they get a better quality of life. 

We’re able to absorb these costs in our regular pricing. However, there is very little margin on our bulk pricing, so we are not able to absorb those cost increases there. Thank you for your understanding.