If you are just starting out as a boardgame designer, one of the more frustrating things is trying to figure out how to sort through all the resources out there to get started.Today we have boardgame Uber-info- Aggregators Christopher and Suzanne Zinsli – from Cardboard Edison to help us find the best resources for our tabletop creations.
What Are The Questions?
1. Tell us who you are in the gaming space and a little bit about Carboard Edison.
- They are Gamer Designers that decided to collect all the resources they found as they began their own game designs.
- Carboard Edison now acts as a Tabletop game aggregation site- who is very active on Tumblr and Twitter.
- They personally curate the top game creation resources- ranging from 7-27 pieces of content per week- and share it with their followers. It covers design theory, working processes, pitching your game to a publisher, self publishing, etc…
- Chris works a full-time job and Susanne is a stay at home mom- but it feels like a full time job
- All of the material on the blog is only about 5% of the content they read- so there is a very high bar for content.
- The two of them are both interested in boardgame content and challenge eachother to keep the quality very high for their readers.
2. With all that information, how should people best find the type of resources they want to find?
- Currently the site is organized via tags, where you can look up the category you are most interested it.
- The site is very close to hitting their PATREON goal (see below) that will make it possible for them to create a customized website to help visitors find their resources more easily.
3. How did the act of collecting resources for your own game design process help develop your community and build connections?
- Both activities occurred at the same time. They started curating material because they shared what they personally found most useful.
- It has made it a lot easier to approach publishers (they had already interacted with him) and made it easier to get playtesting and feedback on their designs.
- There are a number of people that seek out Carboard Edison at convention to meet in person. This also helps drive the networking and build the community.
- Its also AWESOME to get recognized :)
4. You also create original content for the Tabletop Gaming community. Can you tell us a bit about that?
- Meaningful Decision– This is a series that does a deep dive with designers. It picks apart game design features to determine why specific design decisions were made. This is an excellent resource for designers to check out so they can understand the mental process around game design.
- The Publishers- This is a partner article series that explores the mind of the publisher. This forms the other side of the story so designers understand what goes on after they have “sold” their game.
- Licensing Survey Infographic- This is an AMAZING Series that shares a series of reports about license boardgame terms: Advance, royalties, rights reversals, etc… are all collected in these reports- Great Stuff! (Check the Resource Tab Below).
5. Can you share some of the resources you used to build your own game: TESSEN
- Put into the resource tab for continuity.
6. What kind of changes might a publisher make to a game once they have purchased it?
- They are likely to change the art, which will change the styling and feel of the game.
- They might add some mechanics to tighten up the game or make the gameplay more exiting- In the case of TESSEN, they added an additional warrior type. In the game it added extra flavor in the fast paced, real-time gameplay.
- They also might decide to make different offerings to take advantage of market interest. Fans were so interested in the original art the publisher decided to release an additional version of the game so satisfy that need.
- Once you “sign the paper” you do lose some control over the game. It is important to develop trust in your publisher so you you feel comfortable with the changes they might make.
7. Can you tell us about your Kickstarter Campaign, what was cool about it, and what resources you used to help make it successful.
- One of the coolest things vanrydergames did was to make some print editions of the game available to some pledge levels BEFORE The campaign was completed.
- When people back a Kickstarter Campaign, they are showing a level of trust in your product and process. This early printing of the game for current backers was a way for the publisher to show TRUST in their patrons.
- The publisher ran an early print run of the game (On Spec) before they know if the Kickstarter would be successful. These copies were then shipped to backers at a certain level. Technically it would have been possible for someone to get their copy of the game- and then cancel their pledge. This was a large demonstration of trust, and it rewarded well by backers.
- This is an awesome innovation for Kickstarter.
- Kickstarter Lessons by Jamey Stegmaier placed in Resource Tab for continuity.
Resources that helped make their game Tessen:
- Prototype Art: Library of Congress
- Prototype: THE GAME CRAFTER
- Playtesting: UNPUB
- Publisher: VANRYDER GAMES
- Funding: KICKSTARTER
Kickstarter Lessons By Jamey Stegmaier.
Top-Chris-Resource Picks (FOR NOW) for Boardgame Creation:
- Game Design Theory: Ludology Podcast
- Licensing: The Forbidden Limb
- Publishing: Meeple Mechanic , Meeple Syrup
Find out more about Cardboard Edison: