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Game of the month?

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As you can see, I'm new here. Actually I've been reading posts for quite sometime and have found them interesting and very useful. Thanks to everyone for all of their input. While looking through the site, I had an idea. Everyone has a great idea for a game right? Not too many of us have the money to actually publish. Would there be a way that we could all help each other out in this regard?

I'm not sure if we would have that many people interested in this idea but I thought I'd throw it out. What if we put together a game of the month? Each of us would pay approx $20/month to help our fellow game designers actually publish a small run of their game. In return, each paying member would get a completed copy of the game.

Obviously there are some obstacles to overcome. We would have to have a lot of members for this actually work, but we have over 1,500 registered users on this site and most of us want to someday get published. This is the main obstacle. How do we get enough interested people? If 1/2 of us signed up, that would be about $15,000. That should be enough to publish a game and for each of us to get a copy. Plus the designer should have quite a few copies left. It would be fun for each of us because we would get a new game each month and we would know that we helped each other out.

What we would probably have to do is take a vote on which submitted game we want to publish. Also, the game would need to be ready for production. (ie. complete rules/playtested/etc.) Just thought this might be a way for us all to help each other out.

What do you think?

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Game of the month?

I think it's a very interesting idea... it basically amounts to buying games from people on the forum for $20.

I don't know if that's a good deal if you compare it to commercial games which are professionally made, but when you consider that it's helping to grow the community then it might not be too bad.

I think if we tried to 'publish' a game a month we'd probably run out of games way too quickly. Maybe a better idea would be to have a smaller monthly donation ($5-$10) and have that money go into a fund. Then when a game is ready the fund could cover some or all of the production costs (probably up to a certain number).

Another problem though is the fact that very few of the games that get desinged here are in any shape to produce, with the only ones that might be close being Hpox's Micropul, Zaiga's Gheos, and from what I hear maybe jwarrend's 12 Disciples. I guess I could add Scurra's All For One as well ;)

So what does that mean? What about the people that would like to publish a game that hasn't been talked about on these boards? What happens when 6 months down the road someone joins, pays 1 time, and then wants BGDF to publish their game while the rest of us have put in $60 each?

I think it's a noble effort, but I think it won't be doable without a lot of legal hassle. The only way to approximate it might be to simply start a donation based fund in the care of the BGDF, and then have BGDF award acholarship type gifts from that fund. So when Zaiga decides not to wait for Hans Im Gluck to publish Gheos he can solicit the BGDF and the community could decide weather or not to sponser him with money from the fund to self publish.

Should this or anything like it come to pass I would personally suggest that such monies be awarded to people who have developed and discussed their game here on the BGDF- in Journals, GAme Design Workshop, followup posts and playtest reports, rather than simply a member who has a game they never talk about.

Furthermore, if we were to do this, it might be a good idea (and even if we don't it might be a good idea) to Incorporate, and we could even become a non-profit organization. Perhaps that would get us better deals on prototype parts and it might be possible to find a sponser (whocould deduct any sponsorship from their taxes).

Another, entirely different way to do a Game of the Month club might be like Oprah does with her Book of the Month club. We could pick a commercial game each month, and play that game a lot. We could discuss the game, the experience, the mechanics, and what we like and don't like about it. Any comments on this implimentation?

- Seth

Zzzzz's picture
Joined: 06/20/2008
Game of the month?

To add the various ideas,

If might be a good idea that for any person selected for publishing by BGDF, they would be requried to place some type of information (logo, url, etc) to help spotlight BGDF (ie, logo in the lower right front corner). This is a two way road, BGDF community helps you, you help promote the community of BGDF. Maybe you even require that if the game "becomes successful", that the person is required to donate back the initial funding?

As for a collection of funds, I would worry about HOW the funds would be distributed. BGDF would need some form of rules or guidelines for a selection process, and how do you make those rules fair for all members? Not to mention how do you deal with the problem of person X contributing funds, but does not like(or believe) person Y's game is worth investing? (I guess this would resolve itself, person X would no longer contribute...)

I really like the idea of the BGDF Publishing Foundation. I think it would take a lot of time to organize and get it "working right". But you can count me in, I would be willing to help anyone on this site...

Joined: 06/22/2010
Game of the month?

The idea sounds nice, but despite having 1500 registered memebers, there's less than 100 with over 20 posts, so I think it's very unlikely that 750 people would chip in $20. Only 540 members have ever posted.

If bgdf members pay the entire cost of a production run, it does create legal issues too. Does the designer get the extra copies or maybe just a handful of copies and we try to sell the rest to build up a fund to develop future boardgames? Who takes care of getting the game made? Do we give a huge pile of cash to the designer who has no idea how to go about self-publishing a game or do we have the already over-worked site admins do it?

I've brought up this idea before in context of a game developed as a collaborative effort by members of the forum, so I do like the idea if it can be made to work.

Game of the month?

I'm glad that there are other members who are interested in this idea. It would obviously take a lot of work to get this done. It is fortunate however that we have many people who are users of this site with various degrees of experience related to all aspects of game design/production. If we tap into this experience, it could be done.

I think that it would be a good idea to Incorporate if we decide to do this. It is a good idea to have a scholarship type fund, but then again we are leaving it up to the designer to sink or swim.

What about forming a publishing company that is owned by the members of BGDF? We could actually sell shares in order to raise funds for the company. The game designer from BGDF would submit their game just like they would to a normal publisher. The "owners/shareholders" would vote on which game design to publish. The designer would receive royalites for the games that get published. It would be handy if we had a lawyer who could help in answering whether or not this is feasible.

Joined: 10/24/2008
Game of the month?

One solution might be a "100" club like some game companies out there.
The way I see it working is, as the designer I would figure out how much it would cost to produce the product. I would then figure out how much to charge per game (if I sold a certain number) to break even or close to it.

I would post on the "100" club part of this site (there isn't one yet): the rules, components (graphics), price, and number of copies needed to go to press. The members of the site would then check out the offerings, and sign up to buy the games they would like. If the "would be buyer" total reaches your
target then off to press you go.

Once the games come in, the members who signed up pay (hopefully) for their game.

One thing to add is that I think there should be a time limit on sign up obligation. for example, If someone signs up to buy a game and it's not produced for 3 years. Maybe a 6 month window would be fair.

Johan's picture
Joined: 10/05/2008
Game of the month?


I do not think that a global game company or a fond is the solution.

If you want this to work it should be a network. All members have there own company (or do it as a private person).
The rules for the network are simple: If I sell you games, you sell mine.
I know that with no problem I could sell around 10 copies of each game (if I got no more then one set of 10 games each month). My friends that I play with have no problem buying interesting "odd" games. I could probably sell more games, but…

The games will be sold, and I get a small profit when I sell it.

The "Network" is then a private group where each member can display there ready games (they has to have a own private forum). Rules and contracts between the members have to be created and there are a lot of issues that has to be solved.

If I know that I know that around 100-200 units of one of my games could be sold without any problem, I would take the risk to put in the money for the printing.

… and I have 2 games that are ready for printing (they has to be translated to another language then Swedish), around 5 games that are in a mode that the graphics has to be solved, 8 that we play-tested right now and another 15-20 in different status of design. I am very interested in a networking group. (I will never be interested in a global company or a fond).

// Johan

Joined: 08/03/2008
Game of the month?

This is a cute idea, and I hate to be a naysayer, initially described, this just isn't going to happen. There's just no way you're going to get 700 members from the site to participate in a monthly program like this. I think the realistic number of people you could get interested would probably more like 10, and I'd be impressed if you could get 20. Unfortunately, this would crank up the per person cost so much that some of those interested 20 would probably drop out as well.

I might propose a somewhat different model of implementing this. I don't think it would work, either, because the implementation will be very difficult, but as an idea, it's how I think something like this would have to work. The idea would be to set up a not-for-profit that gave you a grant to publish your game. The deal on your end would be that a huge percentage of the profits from your game would go back into the foundation. (Maybe you'd keep 5%, like a standard licensing agreement).

This arrangement, then, would be for people who just want to see their game get published, and not so much for people who want to make money. Of course, it would have its own problems; how much effort would you really expend to sell a game in which you had relatively little financial stake? etc, etc. Still, I think that something like this, where you kick a majority of your profits back into the foundation, would be the only way to give the idea legs to go past the first game or two. Unfortunately, it doesn't say how those first couple of games will be paid for, and I'm not sure the answer to that.

It's a noble idea, but I think even setting aside the logistical challenges (of which there will be many, perhaps insurmountably many), a better model of generating the capital is needed. My idea above might be one way to do that.

Good luck,


Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
Game of the month?

I like Johan’s idea in general, a coalition of independent game designer/producers helping each other out. I would be glad to give a cut to anyone who sells my games for me. That is how it works when you sell to a retail business they get a %40 or more break in price., so you only get your fullest profit when you are selling them yourself which is not easy. We would need a way to track referrals so that you would get paid. The % or flat rate would have to be agreed on ahead of time.

Oracle’s would be the place to get it going if he would be willing to work with a group of us on getting the referral tracking and payment set up. We could list ourselves as members of the indieboardgames association or whatever (need a cool logo) and link to the site. When a game is sold if we could track who’s site they linked in from they could get a cut and a little for Oracle to cover expenses. I think this is actually possible; my site’s hit meter service does similar tracking so I know where my hits are coming from.

Is anyone else in on this? I guess it hinges on weather Oracle is in on this.

Game of the month?

I would love to see the BGDF actually publish games for its members (or make a publishing route available for any game designer)! Imagine the exposure of having the BGDF logo on every game box...especially if one or more games receive any degree of popularity. It would certainly drive up visibility for this site.

Unfortunately, I also do not see this happening. To publish games, the BGDF would actually have to establish and oversee all aspects of a publication company. That company would ahve to hire screeners and reviewers to look over prospective games and decide what to publish and how.

Of course, there are already on this site plenty of people with enough talent to do every aspect of game publication. The real problem would be in trying to assemble them in some sort of ad hoc group. The organization would need to come from a strong centralized core that would grow outward from a single consistent business model. Once a core was established with sufficient talent and vision, then shares could be sold to raise money for salaries and other expenses.

Then, the core leaders could contract members of the BGDF to do work for the games chosen for publication. There are more than enough designers, artists and writes to handle every aspect needed. I for one would be glad to make my services as a writer and designer available.

Of course, to do this would take much more than members chipping in to buy shares of a fledgling company. The core leaders would have to be knowledgable business leaders with a good understanding of the gaming world. They would have to provide a vision and a clear idea of the company standards. Then I would be glad to chip in to buy shares.

That's the way I can see it working out in the long run. Yes, we could probably get enough money together to publish and release a game or two, but which games? Who chooses? Who will handle the design and publication details? Who will handle the distribution and marketing? Who will attend the conventions and push the product? These are all important aspects that need to be planned and executed.

I will say that I like the idea of a fund for aspiring gamers, but, again, who decides who will get this fund? What are the criteria?

My main concern is that it will take funds away from the BGDF site.

On the other hand... I really like the idea of a game-of-the-month club where a game is chosen every month (or two months), BGDF users ge the game (if they don't have it already) and a discussion takes place over the course of the month whereby members review/analyse and otherwise dissect the game.

Joined: 04/23/2013
I agree

With the naysayers pretty much on this one. We've discussed this idea before in regards to publishing the collaborative game design project. It's just not practical. First off there is the issue of speed. It just takes too long to get things done electronically. Then there's accountability. Like it or not, people are less likely to take an 'internet project' seriously. It would be necessary to move such a project from the realm of internet only to phone calls and actual physical meetings, something that is difficult considering the geographical variety of our members.

Probably the easiest way to implement such a business model would be for one person (or a small group of people) to handle everything. Democracy and Business don't mix. Sure these folks could delegate tasks to site members, but ultimately everything (including finances) should go through them. Basically they would start their own publishing company and then publish game designs from designers from here (and most likely other sources also, let's be realistic). If I had the money, I would jump on such a venture almost immediately because there are so many great game designs from folks here; it's a shame that the public doesn't get a chance to sample them like we do.


Joined: 06/22/2010
Game of the month?

Dralius wrote:
Oracle’s would be the place to get it going if he would be willing to work with a group of us on getting the referral tracking and payment set up. We could list ourselves as members of the indieboardgames association or whatever (need a cool logo) and link to the site. When a game is sold if we could track who’s site they linked in from they could get a cut and a little for Oracle to cover expenses. I think this is actually possible; my site’s hit meter service does similar tracking so I know where my hits are coming from.

Is anyone else in on this? I guess it hinges on weather Oracle is in on this.

I'm would be quite happy to help set up something like that. Except for the referral plan, it sounds quite similar to the original gamestore idea. Coincidently, I just (a week ago) wrote a fairly basic referral system for a contest I'm having on my profquotes site, so I have a good idea how to set this up. In the past, there's been a lot of apathy about the idea, so it will be interesting to see how much response there is now.


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