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Recent screencasts (mid-June 17

I rarely get around to posting individual links to my "Game Design" YouTube channel here, so I decided to list the most recent screencasts instead.

Departing from the standard (card game) sequence of play 6/8/2017
The standard sequence of play makes a specialty card game easier to learn. But don't "settle" for it, your game may be better with something else.

Nuts & Bolts: How to get an improvisers's game from a planner's game 6/1/2017
I describe how I changed Britannia, an historical Planner's game par excellence, into an Improviser's space wargame, with just a few changes. Very different experience, essentially same underlying mechanics.

Ranking Sources of Information About Game Design Two parts 4/20/2017
The best way to learn is to make games. The second best way is to talk with (and listen to) other game designers, whether informally or in a class. After that there are many sources of learning, and I've ranked those in a two-part screencast.

Eight awful truths about game marketing
I ran across "10 Awful Truths about Book Marketing" online, and seeing the parallels with games, I'm discussing those Truths (including the two that don't apply). Another time I'll discuss some strategies you can follow to do your best in this environment.

There's no "Secret Knowledge" or "secret Sauce" (nor conspiracies) in Game Design
Aspiring designers sometimes believe that there's a secret formula to game design, and all they have to do is follow it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The delusion seems to be common in society these days, that there's a secret knowledge to any discipline. It's the kind of thing that helps fuel conspiracy theories.


"Secret Sauce" is real...

Well one thing is certain, and I have learnt this through experience: Kickstarter and more generally crowdfunding has a "Secret Sauce" if you want to be successful. And when I say successful it's very RELATIVE -- but never the less TRUE.

Okay we LEARN what you need to do to even ATTEMPT to understand what is involved with a crowdfunding campaign and books written by Jamey Stegmaeir are good sources to point you in the right direction.

And we've seen it from ONE (1) designer to another, start small -- but hopeful and continue designing more interesting games... It's a bit a question of LONGEVITY.

BUT (and my point) you need to UNDERSTAND what you need to do to be SUCCESSFUL. That's the "Secret Sauce" when it comes to being successful in the business of "Game Design". I understand it very well -- but in my own boat, I would not be able to handle ALL aspects of crowdfunding such that I can pull off my own highly successful campaign. I resorted to partnering with a Publisher and THEY knew more about the "Secret Sauce" than I did... And they've been transparent, showing me more on the inner workings about what is required to be successful.

They have IT. And IT is a bunch of skills and know-how that you need IF you want to be a successful Publisher.

However most "Game Designers" want to focus on GAME DESIGN. Not everything surrounding the process of crowdfunding... or distribution and even retail sales. We believe that people nurturing relationships with such individuals are in the "know" and understand what they need to do to spread the word about a game.

Of the "Secret Sauce" the most key component is PRODUCT AWARENESS. People need to KNOW your product EXISTS and WHERE they can get it. The better the people you deal with manage this, the more likely your game will be more widely accepted.

Yet the truth remains, there is a "formula" for how to do business. Knowing what to expect and not "react" but being ahead and proper planning can make wonders for a BRAND... So some people may disagree that there IS a "Secret Sauce" in one part of Publishing/Crowdfunding.

What do you think Dr. Lew???

Thanks for posting this LP.

Thanks for posting this LP. When I looked I found the video about CCG/LCG and it smacked me in the head in a good way.

There's no secret to KS

There's no secret to KS success, but neither can you learn it in a short time. There's so much to read from Mathe, Steg., and many others. Unfortunately many people try to do a KS without doing the work to learn all the ins and outs.

It's not as simple as a formula. And it's not secret. People who believe in secret sauce think it's somehow secret, and very simple (as in rote learning, like learning how to disassemble a weapon).

Also I'd say that even those who have studied KS often fail. It's not cut-and-dried.

I don't do KS because I want to design, not be a businessman.

ssm wrote:Thanks for posting

ssm wrote:
Thanks for posting this LP. When I looked I found the video about CCG/LCG and it smacked me in the head in a good way.

I suppose smacking in a good way is what a teacher tries to do.

The business of KS...

lewpuls wrote:
...I don't do KS because I want to design, not be a businessman.

Yeah that's the truth: you need to fully understand all the components you are producing for your game and then you need to haggle to get the "best" price and ensure that the quality remains more or less the same.

Then you need a following: be it Facebook, Twitter, BGG, e-mails, etc. Going with no backers is going to result in hardly any backers too. Maybe 1% or 100-250 backer for first time designers.

Also you need a great graphic designer to make the KS page look professional and attract people to the page. That graphic designer also has to follow the campaign and make necessary changes along the way to keep everyone updated. It's quite the challenging task to stay on-top of things.

I can't say it's "Secret Sauce"... but you really have to know and understand what you need to be more successful than not. The above elements are critical and in most cases, first time designers don't have all the information required to run their own KS campaign.

Even with the experience I have gotten, I still don't think I would KS my own game... To many unknowns - IMHO. So I guess it's not "Secret Sauce" but instead learning from experience (and that means reading about KS from James Mathe, Jamey Stegmaeir, etc.) There is definitely a formula to follow -- it's just not so much a "secret" as it is knowledge you need to understand before trying to attempt a proper KS campaign...


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