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Quieter than I Remember It...

9 replies [Last post]
Joined: 07/29/2008

This is not a complaint. I haven't really created a board game in a while and so I haven't been on this board for a while. However, the last time that I frequented this board, it tended to be a bit more... Populated than it is now.

Has anything happened in the last few years for this board to be quieter than I remember it? I'm genuinely curious because I really don't know. Thanks.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
To address your concerns...

Well I think it's because there are less people that are Qualified Designers and more people giving Kickstarter a shot with their Graphic Art Skills or their ability to make nice art. And this is a bit of a disservice that Kickstarter has done over the last few years and that is to promote "eye candy" over games with real substance.

And so there are less people interested in Designing Games because the effort put in is not worth the return on a Game Designer's investment. I've been discussing with a Publisher and he agrees that most Publishers are fully booked for the next 2 to 3 years with their game queues.

So the market is saturated with a lot of people submitting designs to Publishers and LESS people in the business of discussing and growing through a website like

But at the same time, each Designer that comes to usually comes with a set of reasons and a purpose. You can't expect everyone to "stick around" if you don't do the same... Many of the designers come to for a REASON. Once that reason is satisfied, they regress into the shadows and ignore

For example, people looking for advice on their Rulebook, Playtesting, KS News, etc. Are all single-shot endeavors. Once the get feedback on their rulebook or find a few playtesters or submit their KS Link/URL, etc... They disappear.

The other FACTOR which is a REALITY... is this: "It is difficult to make money in the Board Game Industry." There is a LOT of NOISE, there are a lot of people giving it a shot, and generally speaking there are very limited opportunities. For most people I know... They saw this as a way to generate some EXTRA "revenue". But when projects are all in the RED and nobody is making any money... Well you start to understand why there are less people around than usually or even in the past.

I don't do any censorship ... I help out posts with aligning the images (that's the extent of my moderation these days) and generally speaking the amount of people DISCUSSING their GAMES ... Is very low. I can remember like 3-Years ago we had probably about 2 dozen regulars (around 25 members) who would actively post and share what ever it is they are working on. Now we're down to probably around six (6) or so...

But we still do get a lot of traffic and anonymous visitors who read what people are posting about. I've been away (not posting as often as usual) and that's because I'm awaiting on some matters which are time sensitive.

However I do agree... The number of contributors is rather low this last year.

Here's an idea: Become a Regular and share with us your progress!

That could be one EXTRA member... Everyone counts. But yeah ... is a bit slow and I can only see what I have come to conclude: "There is no money to be made in the TableTop Gaming Industry..." IDK... But I've also come to a similar conclusion ... Everyone is out there making "eye candy" and trying to attract the same backers over and over again!

Cheers mate.

Note #1: And some people think that the forum is ran by a "kid" (Aka Me, questccg)... But I'm probably older than most of our patrons and will be turning a 49 Years of Age at the end of this Month (October). I'm very dialed in with many people from past and try to be as helpful as possible.

Like you never mentioned you'd contact "Markus" and see what he says...

He's the perfect person for YOU to speak with: he fulfilled an ENTIRE KS campaign all geared with 3D Printers for the "Terraforming Mars" TILES. He did it for a KS ... So I'd imagine that he is quite the SEASONED PRO... When it comes to 3D Printers and 3D Printing.

Although I didn't see any type of feedback from yourself. So again ENGAGING is another issue... Posting an OP and then getting some advice and then disappearing forever EVEN if said advice HELPED you... Is not random...! If you know what I mean...

Note #2: The amount of Unique Visitors in September hit just over 15,000+ visitors. So people are still visiting and watching what is going on on Just less regulars POSTING... Like I said, I think it has to do with not being able to make any type of revenue from their "designing"!

Note #3: Also another FACTOR to contributing losses is the sheer cost of SHIPPING. It's become ridiculous to pay so much money to ship HEAVY game boxes all around the world. Jamey's distribution concept which means shipping to warehouses around the world may be a reasonable effort ... But even then the price of local shipping or VAT Taxes is getting to be a killer.

I think it's time we all decided to up-the-ante and say: "Games are now going to cost MORE money than before." The $50 USD games that were sold before and now going to be $75 USD games due to inflation and the rising costs of having to invest and make games.

So it should be $75 USD + Shipping which could be another $70 USD if being shipped down the to South America. It's unfortunate but TRUE. With everything going up... I think it's time to conclude that games are going to cost more also in the near future!

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Yes, there is less activity

Yes, there is less activity than before, but I cannot really explain why. I don't think the market changed much. In fact with kickstarter in the decor, it could encourage even more indie development. There might be multiple reasons behind this behavior.

Since the pandemic, the world changed, people might be struggling more than before to survive. So designing games might end up at the bottom of the list of priorities.

Board games could be more expansive with resources shortage, making production less accessible than it used to be in 2005 (when this forum had more activities).

I still miss the philosophical debates we used to have. I used to watch every thread carefully since I had more time on my hands.

Or maybe we feed a dream that would never actually come true. And by realising it, we left the forum.

For my part, I am busy with school and home duties. A lot of changes will occur in my like after that, like a new job, so it will require a lot of adaptation before beign able to design again.

I also have a serious lack of free time since 2015, probably because of school, but also due to other factors I cannot identify. I think I will have to re-evaluate my situation next year. Years ago I considered stopping designing games since it did not seem to lead anywhere. Now my next bet is to make video games instead.

I still want to design strategy game, but probably digitally to be able to make automated playtesting and do statistical annalysis. I would like to make strategy video game development more accessible to everybody so that all of you could all start working on your projets with my tools. But I doubt it would be hard to achieve without programming unless I come up with a tool similar to what I discovered lately called "Bitsy" which creates simple story based video games.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Life Changes

Personally speaking (and this is really all I can contribute due to being out of the industry loop), I miss posting here and contributing. I moved to a close-to-off-grid eco-institute in early 2022, and now I'm doing homesteading tasks (like, literally chopping down trees, gardening, and digging holes and stuff) close to six days a week. That leaves me little time to spend on a rather challenging and time-consuming hobby. A lack of nearby fellow tabletop gamers is a significant factor as well.

I'm still chipping away at game designs and fabricating prototypes whenever I have spare time. As it happens, that's not much. But many, many hours are spent mulling over game ideas in my head, while I'm out there in the garden or at the wheel of the tractor or something.

I still have pipe dreams of releasing my own game designs as print-and-play projects on Kickstarter and whatnot, as this is the scale I can manage. And based on the comments about publishers' back-logs and shipping costs shooting through the roof, I wonder if more folks feel the same way, regardless of their living and financial situation: trying to have games professionally published right now is a tougher racket than ever before.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
All (good) things come to an end

Life changes.

There are so many things that are replacing a board game at this time in my life. And tbh, thankfully it does.


questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Life changes but...

I won't stop DESIGNING even if it is more a "Hobby" than a "Profession". Now what makes the distinction? Time. If I end up having LESS Time, let's say that I've got a job that requires 40 Hours of my life to pay the bills, puts food on my table and so forth, I will need to put that as a priority.

This doesn't mean that I will not be like "@let-off studios" and probably THINK a ton about the things I am working on OUTSIDE of normal business hours.

But it basically means that I will have evenings (a couple hours each night if I don't watch television or YouTube videos mostly like Fox News TBH) and that will allow me to continue hosting That's sort of the plan.

I have one weekend day which is for Laundry, Vacuuming, Dusting, Cleaning and probably also to go SHOPPING too. That leaves me Sunday. That could be a day of relaxation and probably a good day to (maybe) work on my designs and get them moving forwards.

The plain simple reality is with something that takes up MOST of your week with work (and it's been 5-Years since I have NOT worked for "somebody" other than myself). And I've been designing for like 12+ Years.

I'm gearing up for a NEW KS in 2024. And I'm also planning to launch a website and a webstore for that KS too... I've got lots to do (for sure).

So even if my "Life changes" ... I'll still be involved with the "Hobby" in one shape or form. This forum, designing games has given me a purpose and a person without a purpose is a "lost soul". I don't want to give up something that I enjoy working on and is positive and creative at the same time.

I'll always be around as long as I make time (and set time aside) to work on my projects. In September, I took a Logistics class. And the reality was that it took up a lot of time during the WEEK of training. That's all I did for like 7 days (because it was possible that access may get cut off...)

So things may change a little... But I'm not giving up on designing games, simply because it brings me so much "happiness"... And that can be HARD to find in other activities...

Cheers all!

lewpuls's picture
Joined: 04/04/2009
A potential problem with all

A potential problem with all online discussion groups is that, like BGG's they become "all about me" more than they are discussions. BGDF has avoided much of that.

I was never a prolific poster here, I tend to devote my efforts to my YouTube Channel "Game Design" and to my "Worlds of Design" RPG column on

Also, I've found that the pandemic more or less killed my design efforts, when combined with a publisher who owes me five figures of dollars and shows no signs of paying despite promises.

It is certainly noticeable that there is less posting, a lot less, than in the past. Which causes me to come by even less often.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I did not know you had a you

I did not know you had a you tube channel. Might need to check it outeventually.

I never though publishers could be not paying their royalties considering the royalty margin is pretty thin already.

I guess there is not a single reason that explains this phenomenon. With the current economic and political situation occuring world wide, I guess less people are even thinking about buying or playing board games.

This fact made me realized that people might be willing to spend a few dollars on entertainment. But they will be priorising food over an 100$ game.

In board games, it's complicated to sell a game under 5$, in video game is much more achievable. One way to make board game cheaper is either to use microgames (ex: microcosm), or have a kind of piece pack system, where multiple games are included in the same box, reusing the same components. There might be other ways to reuse components to reduce cost.

Might be doable with a system like game crafters by trying to match games that share the same components. Maybe having a double sided board with a different game on each side. Maybe designers should team up to each design a game of their own but sharing the same components in order to reduce space and cost.

Else, I guess digital is the way to go.

lewpuls's picture
Joined: 04/04/2009
Not the first time I haven't

Not the first time I haven't been paid, but that time (1982 version of Dragon Rage) the company died for reasons not involved with the board games (it was mainly a minis company, and the owner pissed off his banker who called in his loan - so I was told).

Odd that the focus on looks has driven board game prices up to the point that many cannot afford them. But you'd have a hard time selling a game without fancy looks. That's humans for you.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
You think that what is

You think that what is driving the price of board games up is the amount of personnel required to produce a game?

I thought is was the increasing price of the card board and plastic due to resource shortage and all the indirect related cost. (For example, increased fuel price would impact the production and distribution of games)

I was this to happen eventually. It was one of the reasons I wanted to go digital, no physical production and distribution as an obstacle.

Personally, I prefer having a solid game than a beautiful game. Games that are said to be dripping in theme does not have a better design.

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