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TutsPlus just published the story of my first published board game

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McTeddy
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Joined: 11/19/2012

McFunkyPants had asked me to write an article about how I went from a video game background to getting my first board game published and how others can do the same.

I've tried to cover the basic design processes I used, tips on contacting and working with a publisher, and a few mentalities that have helped me make the leap.

If anyone is interested, here is the link:

enva.to/1iaRG6a

richdurham
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Joined: 12/26/2009
Nice read

You've written this really well! And I like that you included some tips designers don't usually see, like DON'T write your rules down first.

I suggest this article for designers to see that sometimes all you need is good game at a good time in a good place (DVG, with your game, on BGDF at the time they were looking).

McTeddy
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Joined: 11/19/2012
I'm glad you liked it.

I'm glad you liked it. Writing isn't really my strong point and I stumbled through it. But, I am proud of the end result.

That rules tip actually stems from my video game background. In order to "Test" a video game you need to write down the code and build which takes alot of time for each minor change.
While making the change of format, I realized how much faster I could find tangible results. You lose this benefit if you focus too much on writing every idea down and making it look good.

It's actually amazing how many of the designers I've spoken to mentioned luck playing a large role in their success. It made me much more comfortable calling myself a designer and trusting that I can give back.

Captain Nemo
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Joined: 05/03/2014
Very Encouraging.

Wow! Thanks for writing this.

As an unpublished & aspiring game designer I found this very helpful. It was one of those days where you hit the wall with your game and can't decide if you should even keep trying.

But after reading your very unpretentious article I felt encouraged. Thank you for being open about your story and your process. I understand why we all have facades but it was very refreshing to have a published designer present things so openly.

Thanks again!

Ecarots
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Joined: 08/23/2013
Well written

Very well written and insightful. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is a should read for all developers.

devaloki
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Joined: 01/15/2014
"I posted my game on the BGG

"I posted my game on the BGG design forum and waited for some sort of feedback. I was proud of the game, and I believed some people could really enjoy it.

But as happens with all my indie games, there was zero response. Weeks passed and I shrugged it off. I was used to invisibility in the game industry by now."
Man, that part is so true, I'm starting to learn that too. I think it's because everyone's concerned about their game most of all rather than contributing to other peoples games.

McTeddy
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Joined: 11/19/2012
Yep. Early on, that was

Yep.

Early on, that was possibly the most painful part of making games. It's easy to internalize the lack of response as a problem with your game. If you do take it personally, it'll kill your motivation.

Once you realize that everyone is just fending for themselves, it's easier to realize your game isn't always at fault.

Finding playtesters is an epic quest in itself so don't lose faith in your game over it. Wait until you've had a few external playtests before applying meaning to your game.

danieledeming
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Joined: 01/21/2014
I need more YouTube in my

I need more YouTube in my diet...

Great article...definitely some good tips, especially when it comes to staying out of your own way. Thanks for sharing it!

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
" Don't write down the rules!

" Don't write down the rules! Early on, you want your rules to continually change for the better. Avoid anything that will get you attached to the unproven rules."

Maybe you can keep every detail in your head but i always write a complete rules set and reread the rules before each test so i make sure I'm playing the latest iteration properly. My rules are in constant state of flux for most of the testing process. The rules are also handy to have to take notes on.

McTeddy
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Joined: 11/19/2012
While there are different

While there are different methods of design I'll expand on why I choose to do without written rules until late into the development.

If I can't keep track of the rules in my own head.... how will my players?
I can use this as an indication of how difficult my game will be to learn. If I'm struggling to keep track I know that it either needs simplifying or improved play aids.
Referring to a rule book is a sign that my game isn't intuitive enough.

The other thing is that I firmly disagree that there is a to play your game "Properly".
If you stand by one set of rules as the "Correct" ones you are blocking out all other possibly better ideas.
In a single playtest, I'll use 10 different sets of rules. I test every whim to see how it will effect the game.
The more variations I play, the more likely I'll find the most effective solution.

I will only write down the rules when I'm ready to cement the core game play and it's ready for external play testing.
The rules still change at this point, but in much smaller moves.

- - -

I believe it was Jesse Schell wrote something along the lines of:

One of the best thing you can do for a new game idea is forget about it. Wait a week, a month or a year before writing anything down.
The things that stay with you are the ones that will stay with your players. Those are your good ideas that people will never forget.

I find that to be one of the best pieces of advice I've ever read.

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
McTeddy wrote:While there are

McTeddy wrote:
While there are different methods of design I'll expand on why I choose to do without written rules until late into the development.

If I can't keep track of the rules in my own head.... how will my players?

The players will be playing by the same rules each time instead of new rules each time they play. They also may be only focusing on one game instead of three.

Obviously you have a keen memory.

McTeddy
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Joined: 11/19/2012
Not at all. Most of my

Not at all. Most of my actually games evolve towards simplicity because I forget things.

If I play a rule wrong, it simply gives me a chance to see whether it was needed in the first place.

ckleach
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Joined: 02/26/2013
Very good article.

Very good article.

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