Summoner’s Grimoire is now on Kickstarter!

Summoner’s Grimoire is the best kept secret of the occult world. It was mentioned in the Necronomicon, the Book of Enoch, and the Dead Sea Scrolls (all of whom gave it five stars). HP Lovecraft allegedly played Summoner’s Grimoire with his 2-6 closest tentac-err… friends.

Summoner’s Grimoire has two modes: fast, tactical, and entertaining Basic Mode, & strategic, detailed, and cunning Advanced Mode. Both are packed with tactical action and tough choices. Summoner’s Grimoire uses few rules to create complex and meaningful tactical choices. You can learn how to play in just a few minutes by watching our video!

Visit the Summoner’s Grimoire Kickstarter to back your chosen Patron today!

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.

Featured Article: The Final 10% Takes 90% of Your Time

By Michael A. Hawker

I’ve used The Game Crafter to prototype a number of games over the years. I really enjoy designing games, and I have a lot of fun in the process. It’s my hobby though, so investing time is always a precious resource. It takes a lot of effort to really add that last bit of polish on a game especially between editing, testing, balancing, and making sure everything still works. When it does work though, it’s a big sigh of relief and a huge accomplishment.

Originally, I started this particular project for the Mystery Challenge; I set out to think about the idea of the classic game of Memory/Concentration. Memory hasn’t changed much over the years, but I thought there must be a way to make it a bit more strategic (over just having a good memory). That led me down an interesting path, but without much glue holding it together. As I thought more about the Mystery theme of the challenge, Afoot was born!


Afoot is a two to four player mystery memory game that can be played in 20-30 minutes. In addition, it adds strategic components to the traditional game of Memory as well as the deductive reasoning and logic of solving a murder mystery from Clue (without having to run around a mansion). The pace of play is quick and keeps everyone engaged as paying attention at all times is important while you try to solve the mystery and earn points.


The main twist from a traditional game of Memory is that players interact with the board and can swap clues from the board (image above) with ones kept hidden in their hand (image below). Every match they make will give them a few points and an additional benefit. And by tracking what information they’ve been seeing – they can deduce the mystery at the end of the game for extra points.


I’m currently working on a deluxe edition of Afoot as well with its own custom screens and support for at least another player. I hope to have it with me at PAX Dev and Prime this year, so if you want to try it out just track me down or check twitter: @MikewareXGR. And if you’ll be at PAX Dev, be sure to check out my talk on video game use in education: You Have Died of Dysentery: Games in Education Are Still Alive.

Nightlight - A Cooperative Card Game Now on Kickstarter!

Join the fight against the Nightmare! Defend the Nightlight as a stuffed animal hero!

Nightlight, a unique card game featuring stuffed animal heroes facing down childhood nightmares, has just launched a campaign on Kickstarter with outstanding response.

As a stuffed animal in a child’s collection of toys, you and up to three friends must defend the nightlight from terrible creatures that are trying to snuff it out. Arm yourself with your unique deck of skill cards and the weapons you salvage from the toy chest to fight back the creepy-crawlies and unknown shapes threatening the dream that gave you strength. Survive three rounds, and you win! 

Nightlight is the first project of BNKB Games. Raising over 40% of their funding goal within the first 24 hours of launch, BNKB Games is excited to continue the campaign and defend the nightlight with further pledges and Stretch Goals! We need your help to defeat the Nightmare.

Defend the Nightlight Today on Kickstarter!

Nightlight has a variety of pledges ranging from $5 to $250 and more. The $100 Pledge Level allows players to create an expansion with their own childhood stuffed animal incorporated into the game. After completion of the campaign, backers simply send BNKB Games a photo of their favorite childhood stuffed animal or toy and our artist and design team will create a unique character card based on your childhood friend! 

For example, a rough sketch of a possible new addition to the Nightlight heroes’ team!

For more info or to join the Nightlight Campaign, check out the Kickstarter. Spread the word, and like on Facebook, follow on Tumblr, and see the page on BoardGameGeek. Keep the Nightlight burning!

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.

TGC community member, Gareth Graham, has created an excellent tutorial video for getting started with The Game Crafter’s print on demand service. It teaches viewers how to download templates, navigate the site, and make a basic game. Thanks Gareth! If you like the video, be sure to let him know!

Pledge Levels

Figuring out what your pledge levels might be can be really daunting. But make no mistake, they should be based upon math.

Make Profit

At bare minimum, any pledge levels you post need to include all your costs (production, shipping, stretch goals, taxes, kickstarter, credit cards, royalties) plus some profit for yourself. Even if you don’t care if you make any money on the campaign, you should include some profit so that you have a buffer against unforeseen expenses. 

Make sure your pledge levels have the shipping costs to your country of choice (probably the United State) built-in to the amount. People like “free” shipping, even though it’s not actually free.

Early Bird

We don’t believe early-bird levels are worth the expense. However, there are some very big advocates of them such as Jamey Stegmaier ( In our estimation, early bird rewards will cause you more grief because backers who don’t get in on early-bird feel slighted, and often the way people price early-birds means they take a loss or at least make no profit on those rewards. If you do decide to have early-bird pledge levels then price your game accordingly to ensure you make profit even on those pledge levels.

Premium Rewards

We are huge advocates of premium level rewards. This is to say, creating some sort of a bundle that makes you more profit while also offering more value to the customer. This can come in the form of bundling two games together, although that can be a tough sell. More often it comes by creating pledge levels with extras such as a roll-up game mat, a special set of tokens, faster shipping (these rewards ship first), auto-graphed copies, etc. Keep in mind though that these are meant to be premium rewards. Therefore, you should be making more profit per copy on these rewards as well. 


Some people will want to get your updates, but have not decided to back your campaign yet. For them, create a $1 pledge level. Not $5, or $2 or $10. Just $1. You need not offer anything but your thanks with this level. However, a nice touch is some desktop wallpaper with art from your game.

Crazy Rewards

You’ll see some crazy $1000+ reward levels on some projects. Unless you can offer dinner with an A-list celebrity, do not offer these crazy reward levels. They just make you look like you have lost touch with reality.

Stay tuned for more great articles on how to run a Kickstarter. Next time we’ll be talking about building your Kickstarter page. 

The Game Crafter Community Social @ Gen Con 2014 is TONIGHT at 7pm!


We will be hosting the TGC Community Social at O’Reilly’s Irish Bar and Restaurant at 7pm. The restaurant is about 3 blocks from the convention center and the address is:

36 S Pennsylvania St
Indianapolis, IN 46204


They have plenty of food/drink options and we can hang out as a group at our reserved tables. Right now we are planning on roughly 30 people.


Across the street is Scotty’s Brewhouse and they have the awesome outdoor patio we’ve enjoyed the last 2 years. We’ll probably roll over there after awhile and enjoy some fresh air on the patio. (if the weather cooperates)


O’Reilly’s Irish Bar is roughly 3-4 blocks from the convention center.


No Gen Con Tickets Required.


See you tonight!

Gamer’s Remorse reviews Zombie House. This game can be purchased in The Game Crafter’s online shop.

Reviewer Quote: "there’s absolutely thrill and I love that part of the game. You feel like someone is chasing you and you’ve got to get out of there!"

Gen Con 2014 has begun! Stop by The Game Crafter’s booth (#1645) to see all of our custom printable components and game pieces! We also have custom badge ribbons that we are handing out to TGC community members!

Watch the video above to see a sample of what’s at our booth! See you soon!

The booth is ready to go!

The booth is ready to go!

On The Road To Gen Con

We’re driving to Indianapolis today to get set up for GenCon 2014. Hopefully you’re coming to GenCon as well. If you are, please stop by our booth. We’re also running a TGC game night and a community social night. Hope to see you there!

Set A Funding Goal

Setting a funding goal is a huge piece of strategy for your campaign. Set it too high and you’ll have little hope of funding. Set it too low and you may not cover your costs. 

As a general rule of thumb, your first campaign should have a funding goal of less than $5,000. There are three main reasons for this. Getting a win is more important than getting huge funding, as it allows you to build up your network so that your next campaign can be more successful. Second, when you’re just getting started you likely won’t have a huge social network of people to spread the word for you. If you’ve done the pre-promotion work we recommend you should be able to get enough of the word out to get a few thousand dollars worth of backers. Third, if you’re successful and you make an error, $5,000 is less likely to bankrupt you than a $100,000 campaign. 

This is where using The Game Crafter as your manufacturer can really save your bacon. If you use The Game Crafter’s bulk pricing and bulk order fulfillment you can set a ridiculously low funding goal. For most games you can set a funding goal less than $5,000 easily, and potentially even less than $1000 as was done with Krash Karts. 

Getting The Win Early

As stated before getting the win is far more important than getting huge funding. Being able to show success will encourage more people to back you the next time, plus you’ll have a list of backers who like you and want to back your next game.

What’s even better than getting a win? The answer is getting the win early in the campaign. If you can achieve your funding goal in the first half of your campaign, or better yet—in the first few days, then you’ll have the rest of the campaign to roll out your stretch goals. 

Campaign Duration

Just as setting a low funding goal is important, so is setting a reasonable campaign duration. If you can’t reach your goal in 30 days, you’re not much more likely to reach it in 45 days. Moreover, setting a shorter duration provides more of a call to action to backers that they should back you early. To that end, some people like Dustin Oakley have even done 15 day campaigns for his follow up to Zoodlums.

Stay tuned for more great articles on how to run a Kickstarter. Next time we’ll talk about pre-promotion of your campaign.

The Game Crafter will be at Gen Con 2014

The Game Crafter will be exhibiting at Gen Con 2014. Our booth number is 1645 and you can see our booth location circled in the photo below. Be sure to stop by the booth to talk to our team (Tavis, JT, Jamie, Heather) and get a photo with Cog, our 8ft tall robot community mascot!


Featured Designers

Each day at Gen Con we’ll have featured game designers from the community at our booth. Stop by and meet them and enjoy a demo of their games!

Thursday 10am-2pm:   Pete Pappavesello
Thursday 2pm-6pm:     Robert Huss
Friday 10am-2pm:        Jeston Furqueron
Friday 2pm-6pm:          Andrew Federspiel
Saturday 10am-2pm:    Mark Major (“Shmitz”)
Saturday 2pm-6pm:      Aaron Gresham (“Tomrel”)
Sunday 10am-4pm:      Mark Kakareka

We’re also continuing the tradition and hosting 2 different community events during Gen Con.

Community Game Night  (Friday Aug 15th @ 8pm-midnight)
This is a chance to get together with other game designers from The Game Crafter community. Bring your games and play them with some super cool folks!! (Gen Con Ticket Required! - Click on the link to purchase one.) Only 11 tickets left!

Community Social  (Saturday, Aug 16 @ 7pm)
A chance for you to meet up with community members and enjoy some food and drink. This year we’re hosting the event at O’Reilly’s Irish Bar and Restaurant. We’ll likely move over to Scotty’s Brewhouse after an hour or two and enjoy the fresh air on the patio. (No tickets required, but please RSVP on our Facebook or Google+ event pages)

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone this year! We are expecting Gen Con 2014 to have the largest showing of TGC community members ever! Stop by our booth (#1645) and pick up a custom TGC Ribbon for your badge and show your support!

See you at Gen Con!