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I already have the board game. I need help on how to publish it

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ronaldespina
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Hey guys I have a new board game named GALAXI INTELSOL. It's chess-style (not chess or a variation) and has been a private game for 34 years. Recently I got the Copyright. Now I want to show it to the world.

peterthull
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some starting points...

I am starting down the same road. Here are some websites that I am using for guidance...

http://www.jamesmathe.com/courting-a-game-publisher-dos-and-donts/

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1326643/any-publishers-accept-open-subm...

https://www.bgdf.com/node/621

Hope that helps and good luck.

peterthull
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...or not

I may have misunderstood your post. Those links I provided won't help you if you're wanting to self-publish.

ronaldespina
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You are right. I want to

You are right. I want to self-publish. Thank you though.

ElKobold
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ronaldespina wrote:You are

ronaldespina wrote:
You are right. I want to self-publish.

The first question I would ask myself before going down that road would be the following:
Do I have disposable income? Can I afford to lose money on this?

If the answer is no - don't do self-publishing.
It is impossible to run a crowdfunding campaign without considerable investment.

If the answer is yes, start by reading this blog (all of it): https://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter/full-list-chronological/

When done with Jaime's blog, go and read some more, watch podcasts, research this topic.

When you are confident about your understanding of crowdfunding - you'll know what to do next.

ronaldespina
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Thank you

Thank you my friend. My concern about Publishers is how much is the piece of cake they want.

You say also considerable investment is needed. What do you think about Kickstarter? Its not a good option?

ElKobold
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ronaldespina wrote:Thank you

ronaldespina wrote:
Thank you my friend. My concern about Publishers is how much is the piece of cake they want.

Designer's cut when working with publishers is somewhere between 2% and 8%. For a first time designer it is likely to gravitate towards the lower end.

ronaldespina wrote:

You say also considerable investment is needed. What do you think about Kickstarter? Its not a good option?

I was talking about Kickstarter.
Without disposable income - don't go there. You will have low chance of success, unless you have decent budget.

Whichever path you choose, don't expect to make a fortune. I would not bother about "publisher cuts" etc at this point.

If you want your game to be published - find a publisher and publish it. That's your best shot with the least risk. (it won't be easy though).

questccg
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I agree with Arty...

Many "first-time" designers are looking for "Global Visibility" FIRST. What this means is that IF you have a GOOD game (doesn't have to be the greatest game of all time), the idea is to get that game out to as many "gamers" as possible... Why?

Because it will reflect well on your "catalog" of games (as a Designer). Don't think because you have one (1) Abstract or one (1) Card Game that you will become a "millionaire"... It doesn't work that way.

How it DOES work is what we call "repeatable success" and if you don't believe look at what @Arty suggested: Jamey Steigmaier.

Jamey's success is NOT because he Kickstarted Viticulture... He also KS-ed a Expansion for that game, Euphoria, Between Two Cities, Scythe and more recently Charterstone.

The kind of success you are thinking about takes REPEATABILITY. So say you make $40k on your first game, maybe you'll make $80k on an expansion for it... Then you launch another new game and make $120k to $150k again on KS... You should be getting a "clearer picture" about how anyone can become successful.

Just one title will probably not be enough. Of course if the game is VERY expandable and expandability is one of the focuses of the game, well then you can release expansions every year or two and then maybe have a popular game with the crowd of gamers who support it.

But I think you should understand HOW the game market works. You need to focus on building upon success and how each game has to produce fruitfull results if you expect to be HIGHLY "successful".

If you don't believe me, that's fine. I'm not an expert, I've only been doing this for about 10 years. Even with my own games, I have had a $42.5k KS which right about now seems somewhat tight when it comes to profitability (because of all of the additional artwork we added to the game — not to mention a crazy low price of $29 USD per game). I've also Self-Published without KS using as @Arty suggests "disposable income".

Given the choice of how I would approach my NEXT "game", I would go with "The Game Crafter" (TGC: http://www.thegamecrafter.com) and make something relatively small but again "expandable" to give a future to the brand I am developing.

But again mileage varies and your results may be very different from my own. I'm just telling you, I know a little about "the business" and how other people have proven to be successful.

Cheers!

Note: From a publisher you should expect 3-5% of MSRP. Forget about all other possibilities. You could get 5-8% of WHOLESALE, but then what matters is how your publisher "prices" the game. With MSRP again the publisher will decided the MSRP (and tell you).

Smaller publishers might go into a partnership (which could be up to 25% in the sharing of profit). But you need to have real confidence that your publisher will deal with you "honestly". They could incur expenses that will reduce your share such as additional artwork, more development of the game (including more blind playtesting), etc.

Note #2: Also Jamey does game design "Full-time". Most of us cannot do this and need to work normal 9 to 5 jobs. The result is that we design "less" content in the same relative period. What do I mean? Well Jamey does one (1) game a Year... A part-time, hobby designer may take 2-3 years to accomplish the same thing.

Most people don't have the luxury of working Full-time on their game ideas...

pelle
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If you are American you got

If you are American you got that copyright on March 1 1989 (when your country got into the Berne Convention thing). Copyrights (registered or not) do not do much for games really, but I guess they also do not hurt (not going to prevent anyone from making a very similar game inspired by your game, if you are worried about that). On the other hand nothing else really can protect you either.

34 years sounds like a good amount of time for play testing. Too many think they have a game ready to be published after more like 34 days... But you should consider that board gamers can be very sensitive to trends. One major thing that has changed since 34 years ago is that the time people accept to allocate to a single game has decreased drastically. Now almost everyone expect to sit down and be introduced to the rules, then having played the game at least once in the first 1-2 hours. The games that are easy to sell now are more like what would have been considered very light filler-games 34 years ago. Even if that fits your game, you might find it difficult to check off the list of latest buzz-words needed to win the kickstarter lottery. And I do not remember last time anything vaguely "chess-like" was very popular?

You should also really not be doing this thinking about money. Competition for gamer money is silly at the moment. Everyone is self-publishing or/and trying to sell something on kickstarter. Usually more in the 34-days than 34-years range of play testing, so you definitely have something more credible than the average in that way, but it is still very difficult to break through all that noise.

questccg
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So it's taken 34 year because...?

Are you saying you were "afraid" to share your game with people ... because of legal reasons?! And that you waited until you got a "copyright" to be able to discuss it?... Sounds ridiculous to me.

Like I said in my previous post... One-hit-wonder will at BEST give you some Global credibility. What I mean people will say: "You remember that game 'X'... That was designed by this 'dude'." And that's if your game reaches enough people.

Like @pelle said, don't do it because you think of the financial ramifications, do it because you want to "share" your game with the Global Community of gamers. If gamers like what they see, they may back whatever your game is. But, like I said in my earlier reply, don't expect to become "The Greatest Game Ever Designed"... Highly unlikely.

Tim Edwards
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I found your Kickstarter

I found your Kickstarter video.

It looks like a well-made and attractive game. However, I really think your video should spend some time explaining why I would want to play this game rather than chess. This might catch the attention more than just a run-through of the rules.

I would reconsider saying everything about it is "very unique" too. Apart from the fact that I am pedantic and the use of 'very' with an extreme adjective (very pregnant) makes me growl, the board is more 'classic/ traditional with a little twist' than unique. :)

Anyway, it does have an intruiging appearance. At first glance it looks steam-punky. Not much steam-punk 35 years ago, but that might be something to think about?

questccg
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Thanks Tim Edwards...

You should have linked your KS campaign URL:

Galaxi Intelsol Kickstarter

The game is very interesting. Yes it has a "chess-feel" to it because of a similar board (not identical) and piece-wise completely different. Well I can say that from a first look ... it has something to offer...

I don't think a "wood-look" suits the game. You need it to be more space-like in my view. Here's a sample of what I mean: Purple vs. Red

Of course this is just a "sample"... Now it's 9x9... Still just to show you how to make the game MORE "thematic"...

But I think your game is worthwhile to sell and play. It is "very unique" in my book...

Cheers!

polyobsessive
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Not chess

I've just taken a look at the Kickstarter page (thanks for the link, Kristopher)...

It looks nicely made, and it may well be really good to play, but a game like this always has a really tough hurdle to get over if you want to sell it to people other than friends and family. If a game looks like chess, or is a chess variant, most people who aren't chess fans will avoid it because it looks like chess. Conversely, fans of chess will avoid it because they want to play chess. When you market your game you need to find a way to overcome this.

I get that this game has had many years of play in your family, but how much play has it had with strangers? Especially when you are not there to help them with the rules. It is very easy to create a game that one particular group of players love and will play repeatedly, but nobody else "gets", so testing with a wide community is essential.

Tim Edwards
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I really like the wood,

I really like the wood, especially in combination with the sun, which looks like brass. It puts me in mind of those ancient solar system models.

https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orrery

You could push that flavour if you wanted by adding some more metallic effects like old copper, lead, silver

Since it's an abstract game it probably doesn't matter... antique/ futuristic/ anything that will catch the eye and get people to discover the game play?

As polyobsessive just said (as I was writing this post in fact!) getting people to actually play it will be the difficult part.

You might need to seduce them with superficial beauty at first! :)

questccg
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One thing I would ADD

I think it's cool that you have a prototype that is made in FULL Wood. But I believe that it is a "critical" error to ONLY sell a wooden board.

As Rob and Tim have said, finding an audience for the game may be a little bit difficult. But when dealing with SALES, your price point makes a very big difference in how "Backers" will consider purchasing your game.

What I am trying to say, is like a "Sci-Fi" board as I've shown you can be make out of chipboard using an 18" x 18" board (like on The Game Crafter) would be a LESS expensive offer and probably be more "futuristic" looking too.

So having a less expensive board does two things:

1. It increases the incentive to buy the game at a lower price point.

2. It means that you may well get even more backers because of the lower price point.

I would therefore consider designing and selling a chipboard game board.

Also plastic pieces would probably be less expensive once the molds are done (first batch of games). It's about $600 USD per mold (not thousands) and you need the 3D files to send to a manufacturer to get an accurate quote.

But from what I see, maybe $0.25 USD per piece. That's what I would think.

So now you have some options to think about... And explore (such as the chipboard game board... I personally would buy a copy - because it's a very unique type of game ... and I generally like games like Othello or Chess, even if I'm not a pro at either... I can picture taking this game out a Christmas and play a family member, etc.

I think it's cool!

ElKobold
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Ok, so an abstract that looks

Ok, so an abstract that looks like chess.

I'm 98% confident this will not fly on Kickstarter.

The only way to make it fly is to have striking or unusual visual design and make sure you appear as much "not chess" as possible.

Good examples of how to approach an abstract on Kickstarter:
1) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/roxley/santorini-learn-it-in-30-sec...
2) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1732812836/tank-chess

In any case it will be extremely hard and, as I've mentioned above, will cost you substantial prior investment to have a chance to fund.

polyobsessive
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Craft

questccg wrote:
I think it's cool that you have a prototype that is made in FULL Wood. But I believe that it is a "critical" error to ONLY sell a wooden board.

I'm not entirely sure about that. If you are wanting to make serious money out of a game then you are absolutely right. But then, if you are wanting to make serious money out of a boardgame then you need to prepare yourself for serious disappointment.

I think that potentially, making abstract games as beautiful, carved wooden objects could be the way forward. You'd be selling them as craft items rather than to the hobby (or mainstream) games audience, but it has potential that way.

This probably wouldn't fly on Kickstarter though.

questccg
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Hmm... Not sure about that

polyobsessive wrote:
...This probably wouldn't fly on Kickstarter though.

That's why I think a chipboard game board with some fancy stellar space would make a "good deal" on KS with a price tag that is HALF the price he planned to sell his "wooden version".

And 18" x 18" quad-fold board could be real compact in size too. Add to this custom mini-molds for the pieces and you "could" have something of value to sell on Kickstarter.

Not because I'm against wood... I'm just saying that nowadays people (think gamers) are more choosy with their KS purchases. You need to offer a good deal in terms of value. Maybe offer a chipboard version for half the price and ADD a "premium" version made of wood. This gives flexibility and choice, to demonstrate that a "less expensive" option exists. From what I have seen over 75% of backers will choose the more expensive reward (so in this case the wooden board and pieces). Which is probably good for the KS and everyone is happy too!

So it's a way to offer more options with a more honest approach: here's what we have at a lower price point (which is very flashy) and if you are really interested, there is a premium version (which is made of wood).

Cheers!

Jay103
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I can give more

I can give more Kickstarter-specific advice if desired (but I'm not sure the OP is still reading this thread).

My first thoughts there are:

$840 goal? Sounds like you don't really need funding at all, so why KS?

A five-person early bird is a terrible idea. I came over to Jamie's way of thinking and went with no early bird for mine. Basically you're just taunting everyone other than the first 5 that they have to pay extra.

The wood set is lovely, and would make a great Premium Reward. You need a much cheaper regular reward. High-quality traditional board (bifold, like most chess boards, or trifold since you're 9x9), and nice plastic/molded pieces.. Get that price point to $39 or less. $29 would be better.

Is this even profitable at $88 per wooden set? Your "risks and challenges" section makes me think you haven't worked that out, which would keep me away from purchasing this.. I'd worry that you figure out you're losing money and just default on the whole thing.

Also, you can copyright a rule book, or, if you have deep pockets, the "look and feel" of the pieces, but I don't see any other aspect of this game that's copyrightable.

ronaldespina
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Thank you

Thank you for all your knowledge. What if I am in a different situation? I mean, My cousin (the designer) and I are not the kind of guys that are gonna design a bunch of games or make expansions to it. We think we have a great game, a great alternative to chess but Galaxi will be more entertaining for many different types of people -for the "thinkers" and for the ones that just wanna have fun- So I should not plan for the next game because we just wanna focus on this one. What if this is a great game that can win awards and can stay in time? What do you think should be my best path to go through?

ronaldespina
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Thank you

Thank you very much for your help my friend.

ronaldespina
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Thank you

Thank you for your help and you time. As you saw on KS I suck at publishing the Idea. Thats why Im looking for help. To make my campaign better.

ronaldespina
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Thank you

Again my friend Thank you.

ronaldespina
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Thank you

You nailed it! I've been looking for chess players to try it and they just dont want to play it or even to hear about.

Tim Edwards
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ronaldespina wrote:Thank you

ronaldespina wrote:
Thank you for all your knowledge. What if I am in a different situation? I mean, My cousin (the designer) and I are not the kind of guys that are gonna design a bunch of games or make expansions to it. We think we have a great game, a great alternative to chess but Galaxi will be more entertaining for many different types of people -for the "thinkers" and for the ones that just wanna have fun- So I should not plan for the next game because we just wanna focus on this one. What if this is a great game that can win awards and can stay in time? What do you think should be my best path to go through?

I think the consensus is that if you want lots of people to play it, create a cheaper version.

Your wooden set is gorgeous but I would probably only spend that kind of money on a game that I know and like (such as chess.) In fact, only last week I bought a deluxe wooden Chinese checkers set. But I bought it because I was nostalgic for a cardboard and plastic set I got for Christmas when I was 8 or 9.:)

questccg
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IMHO

ronaldespina wrote:
Thank you for all your knowledge. What if I am in a different situation? I mean, My cousin (the designer) and I are not the kind of guys that are gonna design a bunch of games or make expansions to it. We think we have a great game, a great alternative to chess but Galaxi will be more entertaining for many different types of people -for the "thinkers" and for the ones that just wanna have fun- So I should not plan for the next game because we just wanna focus on this one. What if this is a great game that can win awards and can stay in time? What do you think should be my best path to go through?

From what I see... You need to enter it in an "Abstract Games" competition. And hopefully the game wins 1st Prize (for the various categories). That is one approach... That's not a path too many people will follow, 1> Their games are not abstracts; 2> Abstract Games are significantly harder to design, especially good ones.

If you are just planning to design ONE (1) Game... Then forget Kickstarter (KS). You'll never make a sufficiently large "first-time" Kickstarter. Simply because KS is all about small step growth. Even Jamey Stegmaier didn't earn $1M on his first game (He actually made $65k about just under 1,000 backers). Then he produced his Tuscany Expansion for Viticulture (And made over $400k with just above 4,000 backers).

Bottom line, forget KS... You're a first time designer and there is no chance that you earn significant backing other than maybe producing under 500 copies of the game.

You can look for a Publisher. Maybe a publisher can fully market the game as a "Chess-Alternative" with unique strategy and game play. But realize that you'll get less in terms of a return (financially). But the game will be "out-there" and the publisher will push for more sales and know where to "enter" the game in contests (like an Abstract ones, etc.)

I get what you are saying: your game is "timeless". Well YOU and your family may feel that way. But the gaming community may NOT. You like the game, and maybe gamers will not. See what I mean???

In my book, I would submit the design to Publishers and see who can market the game best. From there you should expect a percentage ("%") something like 3-5% of MSRP which in my book would be something like $39 USD for a less expensive option (chipboard and plastic pieces) which is $1.50 USD per copy. Let's say they sell 1,000 copies, that's about $1,500 USD.

Small but at least your game is "out-there" and people will get to play it.

You've got to realize that MOST "first-time designers" are purely looking for VISIBILITY in the Global International Community. And then they hope to GROW from the point of the release of their first game/title. If you only have ONE (1) game, your best bet is to try to find a publisher who will MARKET the game: show it off at Cons around the USA, sells with channel partners to Europe, etc.

Jay103
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Yeah, I just don't see how

Yeah, I just don't see how kickstarter makes any sense for you. KS is for people who need money/preorders to produce a number of units. You can do this one at a time, since they're handmade. In fact, if you were very successful on kickstarter, you could be in big trouble.. I'd be surprised if you could fulfill 500 units in a timely manner.

Gotta make a few and show them off, as questccg said. Maybe enter a competition or something.

If you're looking at the BUSINESS of hand-making wooden game boards, well, I'd start with chess :)

questccg
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Another alternative

Jay103 wrote:
...If you're looking at the BUSINESS of hand-making wooden game boards, well, I'd start with chess :)

@Jason brings a valid point. And it makes me think about another "alternative". Unfortunately IF your game was "designed" to WORK with a Chess board (standard 8 x 8 squares)... That would probably be EVEN BETTER.

Because all you would need to do is manufacturer soft/flexible game pieces out of a certain plastic. And then all you would need to do is SELL your rulebook and game pieces (and use a standard chess board).

That's another option. But it means that your game would need to be changed that it doesn't require a 9 x 9 board.

See what is "unique" about your game (the board) is an "expense" and the major cost factor in your production. The other option was "chipboard" as I've already mentioned. But if you could use a "standard" chess board, then that would lower the barrier to entry cost to play YOUR game.

Of course maybe your game doesn't work on a 8 x 8 board. I'm just thinking about how to reduce the COST and make the game more successful. So the idea is "Play Chess OR Player Galaxi", get it???

ronaldespina
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I've been looking for molding

I've been looking for molding and it's really expensive. Where do you think I could find it at 600$ per mold?

ronaldespina
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I will really appreciate if

I will really appreciate if you help me on my KS campaign.

ronaldespina
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Good point.

Good point.

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