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honor respect
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Joined: 08/05/2014

Just wanted to introduce myself. I am a retired civil engineer/land surveyor and as a hobby, over the past 5 years or so I have designed several educational type board games. I have looked on silently at this and other sites for some time now and it is time for me to get more involved and start seeking advice from the people who are doing it.
I am absolutely new to the profession and I don't want to start out making mistakes but with good advice. I look forward to meeting everyone and hope to develop good relationships in all aspects.
I have put together several nearly complete unique prototype board games, extensively play tested and refined many times over the years. There is truly nothing on the market similar to what I have created. One or more of these designs has the potential to be a real winners if I can only figure out how to do it with out some one taking my ideas.
My prototype designs were created in AutoCAD printed out on a wide format printer and glued to chip board. The prototype boards look nice. Game parts were hand sculpted and plastic molds made for the parts. The cards were also created in AutoCAD printed out on card stock with unique graphics then cut out as business sized cards. same thing with chips on card stock and chip holder made into plastic molds. I have complete sets of directions and nice graphics.
My designs have all the quality characteristics, fun and easy to play, combining strategy with skill, interesting, educational, fast paced, with a strong theme of honor and respect.
Now my problem is how do I go about sharing my games with the world and make a little money without just getting taken advantage of. I am going to need to find some partners that I can trust to take this adventure to the next level. I am not hard to work with. I know that no matter how complete my designs are that anything can be improved upon. I welcome the knowledge and the help and that is who I am and why I am here. I need to start somewhere.

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Welcome to the BGDF

Welcome to the BGDF.

One of the big mistakes new designers make is not testing their games thoroughly. How many play tests have your games been through and how many of these tests have been with strangers?

It’s ok to do some testing with family and friends but they often are unable to be brutally honest when needed and are also influenced by their friendship to be more accepting of a game than the general public.

honor respect
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Joined: 08/05/2014
Thanks for the reply

I have ran several play tests with strangers and only observed from the sidelines taking notes on the things that people had issues with and did use those sessions to make positive changes. Those people were only regular people and not true game designer types who may know better what does or does not make a game great.

After dozens of test plays at 1-2 hours per game unfortunately I am still probably my own worst critic. People do genuinely seem to like playing. I got to think that real game people so to speak would like playing too. With that being said however I would like to find out for sure and have my games tested out on some experienced gamers to see what they think but I am not sure how to go about it and I suppose I am still a little paranoid about just putting it out there for anybody. Kind of a catch 22, damn if you do damn if you don't thing.

I am located in a remote area of NE California and I just don't know that much about who or ware I can find a trustworthy collection of experienced game people to try my games out on. I really hope to show them to the right people and not just anybody who has the know how to take a good idea, call it there own and bring it to market before I can even figure out how to bring it to market. I just want to be smart about it. What do you suggest?

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Consider going to a game

Consider going to a game testing event like www.protospiel.com or http://unpub.net/ where your game is being tested by other game designers.

You’ll get better feedback and suggestions then you would from just game enthusiasts.

MalthusX
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Joined: 04/29/2013
Testing with a peer-group once removed

Take this with a grain of salt, as I have very little practical experience, but I wouldn't worry about people stealing your ideas. We all have our own ideas here. You definitely shouldn't let it stop you from finding testers.

Also, try thinking about peer-groups 'once removed' from your own. For example, I have friend who hangs out with a gang I have very little interaction with. I gave him a copy of my boardgame to play with that group, and they provided me with some awesome comments.

honor respect
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Joined: 08/05/2014
Thanks for the feed back

I guess it would be cool to have some experienced gamers try out my games, but it sounds expensive because I am in a pretty remote location. It may also be a little risky considering that its not just ideas that I have going but nearly completed projects. The bugs have been hammered out many times all ready the games play well, directions complete and the graphics are good. All in all I am satisfied that the games are not going to improve much by more play testing.

So I guess my real question is who do you turn to when you got a good and complete game prototyped and ready to show and you want to get it to market?

Is there a best way to go about it?

Is a guy better off trying to self publish or is there trusted sources that will give a guy with a good product a fair deal?

Are there people or situations that a guy needs to be careful of in this situation?

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