Revelations from Running a Kickstarter Campaign

A large part of why we ran our Village in a Box Kickstarter was to learn what our designers go through when they run a Kickstarter. I have to say, we’ve learned a ton. With that in mind we’re going to do a series of blog posts on all the things we learned along the way, in an effort to help you be more effective.

Let’s start with the first tip. You should be listening to The Game of Crowd Funding by All Us Geeks. As we were getting started, Jeff (one of the hosts), kept telling us “you would have known that if you listened”.  He’s so right. We’ve been retroactively listening to the podcast, and it’s just chocked full of great insights. Be sure to subscribe today.

SaltCON and the Ion Award Competition

Being a game designer can be tough at times, especially when you are trying to promote your game or make connections with people in the industry. One important tool you can use to help you break down some of those barriers is a game design competition. 

SaltCON is an annual board gaming convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, where you can enter a game design competition specifically for unpublished games, the Ion Award competition. They also have a great game library, volunteers who teach games and various other gaming events to help attendees have fun and meet new people. 

This year SaltCON is being held on March 28-30th, 2014. You can attend the convention and check out the Ion Award competition and then submit your game for the 2015 competition. The Ion Award finalists are invited to come and present their game in person to the judges, who then spend time playing the game with the designer. The judges are publishers in the board game industry. They fill out feedback forms for the finalists and the finalists get to talk to them in person. Multiple Ion Award winners have been published.

One of the other events that will also be taking place is a Game Jam Prototyping event sponsored by The Game Crafter. On the first day of the convention teams of contestants will be given the parameters, a theme, maybe a game mechanic, materials (some of which are prototyping materials supplied by The Game Crafter) and a goal. These teams will create a prototype and then present this to the judges on the final day of the convention. The guest judges will be publishers and other experts in the board game industry. There will be a prize sponsored by The Game Crafter, but the real prize will be the experience, the feedback from judges and other teams, and the ongoing discussion with other creative peers at the event. 

If you are looking for some inspiration, come check out the Ion Award, the Game Jam Prototyping event, The Game Crafter components, and possibly play the prototypes of the Ion Award finalists at Salt Con 2014!

The Game Crafter is also sponsoring a Designer’s Table at SaltCON for Derrick Duncan from Ye Olde Games. If you are planning to attend, be sure to stop by the vendor tables and meet a fellow game designer from the TGC community!

Find out more at:  

Our New Idea Box

Since the dawn of TGC we have had an ideas forum where you could tell us what you thought was missing from the site. We often rifle through it and pick the ideas we like from it and implement them. This has happened hundreds of times over the years. However, there’s a few big problems with this process, most importantly, we don’t know which ideas are most important to you. For that reason, we’ve launched our new ideas system:


Here you can quickly vote on all the ideas that have been submitted. If you don’t care about an idea you can “skip” it. If you like an idea you can say “yes” to it. And if you really like an idea you can contribute a small amount of crafter points to it to bump further up the list. the list. 


You can of course submit your own ideas to the list as well. 


And you can sort and search the list of ideas in a variety of ways.


You can also view the details of the idea, and there you can comment on the idea. 

This will make submitting and tracking ideas a much simpler process. And now you can vote on those ideas too which makes the whole process kinda fun. But more importantly, we at The Game Crafter can much more easily see what ideas are really important to our community at large. And you as a community can put your social media contacts to work to actually get your ideas to the top of our todo list.

That brings us to the final point. This ideas system isn’t just a way to store ideas that fall on deaf ears. This is your way to influence the direction TGC takes. Every Wednesday we will comment on the feasibility of the ideas in the top 10 list. And if the idea is possible, we’ll do our very best to accommodate those ideas. 

So what are you waiting for? Go try out the new ideas system now!


These are your semi-finalists for the Mystery Challenge

The votes are in and we are pleased to officially announce the list of semi-finalists for the Mystery Challenge.

We’re really excited to see these board game bars and cafes opening up. We definitely think the trend is going to continue and we certainly think board games are on the rise! :)

Here’s a pairing you probably haven’t thought of: Rockets and Rings.

Here’s a pairing you probably haven’t thought of: Rockets and Rings.

A quick look at the new double-sided tiles.

We’ve recently added accolades for reviews from Gamer’s Remorse and To The Table reviews. Enjoy!

This is a look at the new double-sided small square tile.

New Chat System

We’re trying out a new chat system. Our existing chat system was having some trouble this past week, so we started investigating a new chat system. 

There are lots of new features available with this chat, so we hope you like it. Here are some of the highlights:

  • It is mobile friendly, with a new native mobile app coming soon.
  • Emoticons.
  • Persistent private user chats.
  • Messages post faster.
  • Dedicated full screen chat room.
  • Avatars displayed next to what you type.
  • Usernames link directly to your TGC profile page.
  • Better moderator features.


H4Ck3Rs_ is now on Kickstarter!

You probably haven’t heard of Legend Zero, but they’ve been planning for this moment for a long time. Legend Zero has been working on this game for nearly four years, and finally the H4Ck3Rs_ Trading Card Game comes to kickstarter!

H4Ck3Rs_ is a unique game that twists what we know and love about TCGs and layers it into a brand new experience that will be playable both online, through a virtual client LZ is developing, and sitting down at the table using the printed version. Gameplay is fast paced but more strategic than current TCG’s due to the game’s unique play field that is split unit two distinct ‘worlds’. Will you engage in an all-out-assault on a single field of battle, or outwit your opponent to conquer both the Natural and Digital Worlds? The choice is yours in H4Ck3Rs_!

Check out their website for more information and to see behind the scenes videos, updates, and tips from the creators of the game. Legend Zero won’t be able to make this a reality unless they meet their goal and are able to give H4Ck3Rs_ the launch it deserves! 

This is LZ’s first attempt with The Game Crafter to make their game a reality. With 34 days to make it and a $10,000 goal, we hope that LZ will be able to claim success come March.

Support H4Ck3Rs_ on Kickstarter 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.

62 Entries in the Mystery Challenge!

The submission period for the Mystery Challenge has ended and we’re pleased to reveal 62 entries! It is now up to our community to vote on the entries to narrow the field from 62 down to just 20 semi-finalists. 

Windfall is now available on Kickstarter!

Windfall is a game that pits Guardians (players) against one another in an epic game of survival. The players become a Guardian of their choice, and they must do whatever it takes in order to outlast their opponent. To break down the game, in its simplest form: Defeat all Guardians on the opposing side of the field.

The initial release of Windfall will consist of four starter decks each representing a different kind of playing type. That goes for whether the players like combos or if they are an avid summon caster. Each deck consists of 40 cards including two Guardians. Each starter deck has different Guardians who work together to bring out the most of the deck. Cards can be mixed and matched to create personalized playing decks as well.

STEELE Games launched this fundraiser with the intention of making Windfall available for sale online. With almost a month still remaining in the funding duration, they have already achieved the finding goal of $1,800

Click here to support Windfall 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.