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Brand new member, brand new board game designer!

14 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/07/2018

To the BGDF Fam!

My name is Justin Antezana and I grew up loving games, all types of course, but especially board games. I have always been enamored with the way they work, the mechanisms, and the stories they immerse the player, the thematic elements. Order and Logic are extremely interesting to me and board game design provides an avenue where the bounds are virtually endless to create and discover new ideas.

Here is my personal board game design origin story:
It was not until this summer when my girlfriend, now fiancee, asked me:
"What if you made a board game?"... and that is when everything changed.

When I got home around 2am one morning after my Security Shift, I brainstormed for a few ideas at my kitchen table that I had floating around my mind earlier that day. It was awesome: the themes, mechanisms, questions, possibilities and a whole lot of problem-solving just flowed out onto that paper. Since then, I have been brainstorming board game ideas seemingly nonstop and already have a hefty design backlog to explore.

Right now, I am working on my own first board game design that is meant to be fun, educational and for all ages. I am beyond humbled with the progress I have made with it in just less than two months so far. However, it is not done yet, but I hope to finish it this coming year. I am always excited to learn how to improve in every way and will post my questions and design ideas very soon to see what everyone thinks. Criticism is MOST welcome please!!

I wish to join up with those in BGDF to strengthen my skills, knowledge and hopefully help others do the same while learning with them as well.

Here's to creativity!

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Just remember...

You're not a "Board Game Designer" until you:

A> Self-Publish your own game.

B> Find a Publisher who will manage the production and sales of your game.

Otherwise you are generally considered a "hobbyist" only. We get a lot of new member that come to this forum with one or two ideas, stay for a while, ask questions ... and then they disappear. Never to be heard of again.

I wouldn't want to attach the "Board Game Designer" connotation or title to these individuals because they are not really a part of the Hobby or the Business. They had an idea or two... But never took it to the Final Level which means Production and Retailing.

So just call yourself a "Hobbyist" and are working towards becoming known as a "Board Game Designer". Even prototyping a game doesn't mean you're a "Board Game Designer"... If you would count every member who comes to BGDF with an idea and ... then don't "follow-through" with that idea, they're not "Board Game Designers" just Hobbyists.

And we have members on this board that consider "designing" just a HOBBY too! @X3M (Ramon) for example seems to say that his designing is more of an exploratory pleasure and that it's purely a Hobby. At the moment he is not interested in making a game for public release.

There are others that pitch-in and help people with their ideas too... But that don't generally have designs of their own.

So welcome to BGDF and hopefully this might be the start of your path towards becoming a real "Board Game Designer". Not just an enthusiast.


Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
Lol, that seemed a bit

Lol, that seemed a bit harsh!

Go design your board game :). Lotta good help here if you need advice on anything.

Joined: 04/08/2012


Haven’t we all talked about this information before and yet your still tell people they are NOTHING ( or in your words: not a game designer) unless they work for a company or self published a game.

I’m tired reading you dumping on everyone else dreams, ideas , suggestions and concepts about their game ideas and projects. Oh your teaching other people how it works alright, but your teaching it the wrong way. Stop telling people their not game designers. Published or not.

Be an administrator and teach. Be an administrator and help others learn their craft instead of bullying. We all get it. You spent $10k of your own money but yet you went with a publisher and they tell you to use your money to produce your game and go through Gamecrafter and yet you wait two weeks before your convention comes up and hopefully you can play your game during the convention to see if it works??? This was back in 2016. Remember.

Any one can be anything they want to be. I’m a game designer and I haven’t sold a game. Why, because I don’t have the finances but also I am taking my time to learn my craft as a game designer just like everyone else here at bgdf. I don’t have to rush my game designs out the world. I must admit you do your best. You complain more than anyone here on the site. But you also have your opinions and ideas and suggestions. I am not going to hide by sending you a pm.

How disgusting and rude when someone new comes here to this site being enthusiastic on creating board and card games and yet you send their dreams crashing down. That is not teaching. Oh I get it, you letting everyone before hand that making games is a waste of time, effort, money and patience, and finances and why try doing it anyways??? You have said this many of times. What gives you the right?

@To the new member of BGDF.

Do not be discouraged. Go forth and create your board and card games. Making games is bringing others to your world to share a journey, adventure, suspense, action, abstract, mystery and puzzling clues for your audience.

We get it (the bgdf members) about the risks and challenges of creating and then selling our babies (game projects) to the outside world. It’s scary, but it shouldn’t be.

Apparently Chris and the rest of the so called real game published designers are aloud to say their fill but when it comes to the new beginners or hobbyist as Chris likes to call it, we can’t mention anything unless we published something? Other than asking questions?

By the way? Is it just Questccg the only admin on bgdf? Because it looks like the “other admins” never chime in on any post? I must be wrong here?

Bah, besides the point.

Welcome to the group. There are plenty of great people to talk to. Talk to who ever. I’m just a concerned non game designer as Chris likes to put it but yet I have designed 30 games but not published.

Oh and by the way to the new member of the group. Don’t forget to add your rules to your game some where in your post in the correct forum.

Bows respectively

P.S. Feel free to block my Dymino Monsters post Chris, I’m only observing from what I read and teach and you have done this once before when I posted about my opinions.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Perspective that's what I meant

Jay103 wrote:
Lol, that seemed a bit harsh!

I'm not being harsh, I'm being REALISTIC. Some people are complete DREAMERS. They come here without any real hopes of making their game into a product. The title and credibility go hand & hand. I'm just saying that if you want to make a serious product, you need to be serious about it.

Stormy is just throwing me under the bus... As expected. Because he's a sentimentalist.

I'm way more realistic in what I think is the reality of this Hobby. I've got 2 published games ... And I still consider myself a Hobbyist. If I were a professional, I'd probably be A> Working for a Publisher and getting a 9 to 5 job as a hired Game Designer B> Be a very prolific Game Designer who is independently wealthy and capable to live off of the ideas that I spark to life.

Again I was not being HARSH. Some of you may react that way. I was been quite frankly honest.

Jay103 wrote:
Go design your board game :). Lotta good help here if you need advice on anything.

I'll be the first one to help him out with new ideas and directions for his games...!

I'm not squashing anyone's dreams either. In fact I encourage them to continue their progress towards become better at their craft.

And Stormy... If Donald X. Vaccarino can PUBLICLY STATE: "He is STILL learning HOW to become a GOOD Game Designer" ... Well we should ALL BE HUMBLED.

You mistake AGGRESSION with REALISM. I'm on these boards for over 7 years... I've seen a lot of people come and go. I'm just trying to give some sense of "perspective". That's all...

Don't take everything so PERSONALLY. And in the future PM me when you feel like I'm being too "HARSH". I'm sure that will happen every few months or so... Go figure!

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Oh and for those who don't read the "Welcome" thread...

You're now a BGDF designer. What does that mean? It's up to you to decide.

As the other administrator have said, the types of posts are usually in some specific categories:

1. I need Help ... because of a mechanic, theme idea, aspect of a design, game names, game review, etc.

2. Here is my latest game I've designed. Mostly Kickstarter announcements to help encourage people to get involved.

3. I need playtesting and/or proof-reading. Sometime the members ignore these threads. They're are popular as PNP's are to our community.

And that's fine... I think BGDF does a good job of helping designers with their ideas and games. We hope newcomers will become a part of the culture and hopefully design something cool!

So feel free to get involved with the other designers and/or start your own topic about what you would like to see be discussed!


X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Criticism is sometimes harsh but needed

Oceans4Ransom wrote:
Criticism is MOST welcome please!!

Here's to creativity!

After reading all of those posts after yours. (And I laughed a little)

I welcome you to the forums!! :D

That was a good introduction. And I saw keywords that gave me the impression that you really want to try.


Just take everything with a grain of salt. Words can be read negative while being positive or the other way around. Mostly they aren't meant that bad, but are of consideration.

I understand that you want to design a board game. But warnings are needed. It is those warnings that chases away new designers. See it as the first step being the hardest. Getting the warnings and learn from them first.

Chris knows what he is talking about.
He did the deed. He walked the path.
And this path is harsh for beginners.
But that is also this line of work.
He simply doesn't want you to suffer.

There are plenty of people like Chris on these forums.
We even got a professor somewhere lurking around.
He will say hello at some point.


IMHO this topic should not be hijacked with that age old discussion about how to welcoming new people.

So, how about you JDA.
Throw in some of your idea's that you wish to work on?
How far did you get?
What have you tried but failed?
Is there anything you need to know?

Share your knowledge and receive knowledge.
That is how things work on these forums.

Cheers, X3M (aka Ramon; the hobbyist)

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
You're a game designer if you

You're a game designer if you design a game. It's pretty simple.

You're a game developer if you make a game. Do you need to make 1000 copies and sell them? Shrug.

If you use QuestCCG's metric, then this "Board Game Designers Forum" consists of like a half-dozen active "designers". Dunno what the rest of you folks are doing here :)

Joined: 12/22/2015
writer vs author

An author is published (but vanity presses count and so do blogs lately) while a writer is someone who writes.

My old 1978 game was privately published in 1978 (but the production guy ripped off the money guy and instead of a final version used my prototype placeholder stuff and it got worse from there - overall the money guy lost 5000 in 1978 dollars) so I suppose it counts. Even sold a few copies of the messed up version (people who had playtested bought some copies at cost).

Designing games makes you a game designer. Actual playable games with rules and everything needed to be a copy (physical prototype or digital simulation of a physical copy) or to make your own copy (print&play and game rules using standard components).

When you have something that can be played and people enjoy playing it and the rules explain themselves you are an actual game designer.

If it can be produced to sell at a price people will pay for it you might become a successful game designer.

Still working on getting a game to this stage can be difficult for others to distinguish from a casual passing interest until a track record is established showing continued effort/dedication/progress (not everyone who takes a creative writing class is going to try to become a writer beyond a few classroom efforts).

But saying the act of publishing makes you a designer is like saying getting hired makes you a programmer or selling your art makes you an artist.

Super-Tooned's picture
Joined: 07/10/2017

It seems a lot of people disagree with Kristopher. Hm..Weird. Maybe take the hint.

Anyways, welcome to BGDF! You will see a lot of arguing here, but we’re mostly friendly. Good luck to you and your games. I hope you make it big one day.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Welcome to BGDF

...Here's to creativity, indeed! Hello JDA, and welcome to BGDF. :)

I remember being bitten by the game design bug, and I haven't been able to shake it, either. Your enthusiasm is contagious...! I'm an aspiring game designer myself, and hope to eventually see one of my designs published. It's normal - and expected - to have a design backlog on hand before you know it.

Be sure to share your progress with us and chip in on other discussions as you have the time. Personally, I'm happy to see new members.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
I thought a Developer is ...

The guy who takes a game and has it Blindly Playtested??? And usually he is either a Freelancer or employed by a Publisher. He also can be working with a Publisher too...

If he is a Freelancer, it's usually because he has a network of groups that he can call upon to do the said "Blind Playtesting".

But again I could be wrong... This is what I was told.

The Publisher is the one who flips the bill... Or the other route is Self-Publishing... But that's only for the experts. Wish I had known about KS when I started designing my first game. Would have know if the game would ba a success or a failure without investing money...

Oh well you live and learn!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Haere mai and welcome, Justin (Oceans4Ransom)

I'd say a painter paints, a writer writes, a designer designs. Simple as that - the rest are variations on how you view success at the art.

Glad you're here - one of the longest-running online communities for board game designers. I wish you success, and hope you find engaging conversation threads and contributions to make!

For your own games, you might find posting on BGDF a good way to hold yourself accountable for your projects and get things done.

Here's to creativity!

polyobsessive's picture
Joined: 12/11/2015
Welcome to a game designer!

Welcome, JDA, and good luck with your game (and any that come after it)!

I'm of the opinion that if you design a game and people play it, you're a game designer, regardless of whether the players comprise you and your best friend, or the entire population of Germany. In fact, if you are in the process of designing a game then you are a game designer too! It's all about the process rather than commercial success (which, I imagine, would be nice!).

There are a lot of very good and experienced game designers out there who don't publish their games in any traditional sense, and don't really want to.

Enjoy the journey of working on your game. It can be hard work and sometimes discouraging, but it can be really rewarding too, whether you get a publishing deal or not.

Go for it!

Joined: 06/09/2017
welcome to bgdf, an almost

welcome to bgdf, an almost bottomless pit of knowledge (and opinions).

i say you are a designer, just not a published or professional one. like a writer can be an published and/or professional. i play the penny whistle, never recorded anything or been paid but i still claim to be a musician.

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