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After nearly 5 years of half hearted work, it is complete ... sort of

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Kyle Forrest
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Joined: 05/17/2019

I have been working on and off on my boardgame for near on 5 years now. It has gone through untold changes and does not even come close to resembling the game it started out as. My working title for it is Gods of the Wasteland, and it is 4x post nuclear, PvP, multi-unit, resource managementish game.

The question is ... Now what? How do i go about properly playtesting it? If its any good, do i look for a game publisher, or should i look for another designer to help me launch it? it currently uses nothing but free internet clip art ... when should i talk to an artist?

I'll be honest, i am worn out, and i worry that i am probably only at the very start of a very long journey.

Jay103
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If you've been changing it

If you've been changing it for 5 years, surely you've done some play-testing already. What sorts?

Do you have the ability to make several physical copies, either with TGC or by hand? I did my protos all by hand, which takes a while, but I didn't realize then that I could do a lot of the components in TGC for less effort...

Depending on what's already happened, find some independent groups that might be interested in playing. Maybe this has to wait until post-pandemic if you're somewhere without game stores open, but the kind of board game store that has tables for people to play it may be able to find you a small group to play while you watch (silently!). But then you can expand to maybe a pro tester group for a couple of hundred dollars, or just ask around and find more people who would be willing to try it.

If it's not play-tested heavily yet, you'll be making more changes, so it's probably too early to find a publisher. Others here are more experienced at that. I'd keep the PD internet art and let the publisher (if any) figure out what they want.

If you want to launch yourself, I can provide some guidance both in selling and in manufacturing, but you'll need to pay your own artist. Maybe that can be partially done with Kickstarter funds, but you'll need some starter art to have a good Kickstarter in the first place.

Fhizban
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Wait with art and publishing,

Wait with art and publishing, thats what i would recommend. This should always come last.

Of course you should do playtesting first, maybe with your wife or a good friend. After that, get another person to try the game without who does not know the rules yet.

After two different persons tested the game with you, you will already have a good amount of feedback and more changes to your game.

Then you can try to test the game with more people, which is not so easy atm due to the pandemic as Jay103 pointed out as well.

Kyle Forrest
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Joined: 05/17/2019
In response

One would think in 5 years i have done some playtesting... and i have, but the game has changed so much since then, it is effectively not even the same game anymore. All the playtesting i've done now is in my head, and on paper at my desk.

My proto was made mostly using MS Publisher and similar programs (along with lots and lots of hours with glue stick and scissors). I have no idea what TGC is ... but if it will save me time and effort, i would love to learn.

I will absolutely take your advice and hold on until more playtesting has been done. Thanks

Jay103
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The Game Crafter. Takes a

The Game Crafter.

Takes a little effort to get things set up, but once you have it, it's not hard to make changes, and the formatting you need to print with them will serve you well with publishers.

Like, if you have cards, you want the digital files to be 300dpi with 3mm (37 pixels) of bleed on each side, a similar quiet zone, etc. A manufacturer will need the same thing that TGC needs.

You can also add to your proto game all the pieces and whatnot that you need, rather than stealing them from other games :)

questccg
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TGC = The Game Crafter!

Kyle Forrest wrote:
My proto was made mostly using MS Publisher and similar programs (along with lots and lots of hours with glue stick and scissors). I have no idea what TGC is ... but if it will save me time and effort, i would love to learn.

Check out "The Game Crafter" (https://www.thegamecrafter.com)

They are good for handling many components found in most prototypes. As far as marketing and selling a GAME via their platform, that can be a bit harder unless you are willing to "change" aspects to fit the TGC mold. What I mean is your player mats may be of a different size or you rulebook may not be in the same format expected by TGC (Bleeded JPGs at 72 DPI), etc.

But for getting components done to suit a prototype... They are sheer gold. You should visit the site and see what can be handled by TGC.

As far a "Next Steps"... I would recommend:

1. Find a Game Developer who will blind playtest the game with his own game groups.

2. Have the Game Developer review you rulebook. Address any of their concerns.

3. Decide if you want to Kickstart or find a Publisher (or Both sometimes).

4. If you are planning to Kickstart, look for an artist to make some art, like the box, some cards, the board, etc. Limit the initial investment until you are 100% successful with your KS.

5. Again if you are planning to KS, make copies of your game and send them to reviewers who can "preview" your game and critique it a little. Just to give your Backers a sense of what the game is about and how people react to it.

6. If you are planning to find a Publisher, make a Sell Sheet and mail a bunch of publisher with a quick intro and the Sell Sheet for their review.

7. Looking for a Publisher, after a couple weeks re-engage them with a follow-up e-mail asking if they had a chance to do a preliminary review of your Sell Sheet and ask if there is any interest or questions they may have...

So that's my advice and next steps you should be looking at. It's not too difficult when you know what to expect. This should give you some guidelines about what to do. Cheers!

Kyle Forrest
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Joined: 05/17/2019
Thanks

This is amazing input, thank you so much. I am currently looking at a list of game publishers just to see which publishers would match with a game like mine. I dont really want to spam every publisher i find .. a publisher that only does kids games, or family games is not going to match my style of game.

I would post some pictures, but alas ... i am unsure how to do that

let-off studios
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Real-World Playtesting Cannot be Skipped

Kyle Forrest wrote:
One would think in 5 years i have done some playtesting... and i have, but the game has changed so much since then, it is effectively not even the same game anymore. All the playtesting i've done now is in my head, and on paper at my desk.
If you haven't any game designs published yet, please log more real-world playtesting with your current prototype before you even consider contacting a publisher. Friends and family are fine to start with, but I strongly suggest you will need more feedback, particularly from people you don't know personally.

And yeah, that may mean creating an online version of your game through Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia, or some other online game service.

I hate to be the one to poop in your punchbowl. However, talking about sell sheets and reaching out to publishers right now is likely not going to serve you as well as lots of playtesting.

questccg
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Actually it's really up to the Publisher!

Not because you're one of our most credible members (@let-off studios) ... But in truth ... If he gets himself a Developer with which can "blind playtest" his design with a couple groups and have the Developer review his rulebook... That's really all he needs to do before contacting a Publisher (and to create the Sell Sheet obviously).

This is EXACTLY why I am glad we have the "Ad Program". We will be having another long-standing member who will be purchase Ad space for HIS services. And it turns out they are in "Development". I'll wait until his website is completed and up-and-running... But at the end of the month, we should be showcasing his experience and "expertise" in Development.

If, "@Kyle Forrest", you can wait a couple of weeks. You'll find exactly the right person for the job (because he will be marketing his services on BGDF.com)

So, this may be providential a bit... You'll know of one such resource that can help you ... Very soon.

Kyle Forrest
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Joined: 05/17/2019
Picture Uploaded

I managed to add a picture to the prototype section. I'm afraid i dont know how to attach it to my post.


Choose Markdown in the "Input Format" and then use HTML:

< img src="path to my files on the Internet" width="400px"> < /img >

You can "QUOTE" this image if you want to see the exact syntax...

Jay103
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I think there's a thing where

I think there's a thing where you can only post pictures in the top post, not in replies.

btw, read all the warnings here about doing Kickstarters before you do a Kickstarter (and read everything Jamey Stegmaier wrote as well). My most succinct advice is probably, "Don't do a Kickstarter without a plan to reach 1000 interested people within the first hour."

Fhizban
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Very true. IMHO the secret

Very true.

IMHO the secret for a successful kickstarter is to run such a campaign after you built your community, not trying to build a community through kickstarter.

but, one can use a KS to "showcase" a project to a audience. Thats still a nice thing if youre not relying on immediate KS success.

Kyle Forrest
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Joined: 05/17/2019
1ST Playtest

I brought my game over to our regular group last night... and it was a hit. The gang helped me iron out a few bugs and missing bits, but overall it was a successful trial run.

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