How to Publish a Board Game

Over the years we ‘ve had hundreds of aspiring display panel plot designers ask us about the process of publishing a circuit board game. We ’ ve created this handy fiddling lead to help you on your means !

1. Come up with an initial idea for a game

This can be based around a plot mechanic that you like from another game, a combination of multiple mechanics, a specific theme, a general idea, or anything from life ( any person, topographic point, or thing ). Take that idea and build something from it ! We find our inspiration from traveling, reading books, watching movies, playing other games, and remember of interesting concepts from economics.

2. Make a prototype

This can and should be atrocious. The despicable it is, the more people will be able to focus on the effect rules and concepts of the game. It can be printed out cardstock and coins. ampere long as it is running for testing, then it will work ! We use google Docs to write our rules, and Google Slides to make our cards. Each clock time we make a raw interpretation we duplicate those docs, change the version number on top, and archive the now outdated adaptation. This lets us keep a criminal record of past versions, in shell we want to revert back to something that was working well. In Google slides we created a big postpone sol that each section is a big as a card, and then write inside each section what text and image we want on the batting order. Each slide contains 12 cards .

3. Test, test, test!

Get a weekly group together, or go to a game convention. Hold a game night or go to local or university board game club. Each time you test, notice what works and what doesn ’ thyroxine. Subtract the bad, add some new. Strip the game down to its core and make it american samoa simple as possible while keeping the intrigue high. Your final game will look nothing like your initial idea, and that ’ s ok. Our games are literally tested hundreds of times and go through approximately a hundred unlike versions. The final crippled is frequently wholly different from where we started .
Always remember that your baby is despicable ! Of course you are going to love your game, and of course your close friends and family are going to love your game ( at least that ’ s what they ’ ll tell you ). thus be sure to realize that your game international relations and security network ’ t equally fun as you think it is. Test it with strangers, or test with a group adequate then that they ’ ll be honest about what international relations and security network ’ thyroxine working. We hold a weekly crippled night at our family. This forces us to make adept changes each workweek, and gives us a group of people who get to be contribution of the advanced serve and help us find the flaws quickly .

4. Give your game a theme

This can happen aboard steps 1-3 and can sometimes even be the initial trip for step 1. Find a composition that matches the plot play and makes sense. For our games, we chose witches, pirates, and cowboys ! Whatever your theme, make certain that your rules, components, and mechanics all people into the world of the theme. Make your game an immersive know .

5. Decide if you want to publish your game, or license it to another company

At this point you can reach out to established game companies and see if they are taking game submissions. If yes, then you can send them your rules and they ’ ll decide if they ’ d like to publish it. If they do, then they ’ ll take it from here ! You will alone get about 3-5 % royalties, which doesn ’ thymine amount to a bunch, but it besides means that your crippled will be in good hands and will more probably see the light of day and become a reality. But keep in mind that it is hard for games to get picked up since companies get lots of submissions. So self-publishing may be the way to go. You can see our Submissions page about our company ‘s specific guidelines .

6. Find an illustrator

If you have decided to self-publish, now is the fourth dimension to find an artist ! We found our incredible artist, Sarah Keele, on a university job board. There are besides places online like and where you can look. You can besides precisely keep your eyes open. Any painting you see or poster or ad or cards in your favorite dining table game were designed by person ! And frequently you can find the artist ’ second name. Google them, contact them, and see if they ’ d like to be a contribution of your project. Often you will get what you pay for. The more know artists are going to charge more. That ’ mho life ! Some publishers will offer their artist a percentage of whatever they make on Kickstarter. So you could see if they are matter to in something like that. You besides don ’ t need to pay for every calling card to be designed properly away. But you need enough designed thus that your game looks dispatch and ready when you show it to people when you are trying to get fund for the game .

7. Find a graphic designer

sometimes step 6 and step 7 can be the same person. In our case, we have taken the eat up illustrations from our artist and then my wife Holly has put them onto cards and the boards, etc. She adds borders and fonts and brings the wholly search together. This is a boastful step so don ’ t ignore it. Holly is a semi-professional interior designer, sol normally it ’ s not ampere childlike as good doing it yourself. We use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for our graphic design shape.

8. Make a pretty prototype

Create your finished game ! You can pull together each piece using places like ( cards ), 3dhubs ( 3D printed pieces ), ink bet on ( play mats ), game craftsman ( diverse crippled pieces ), etc. You want your game to look precisely like it will when it is manufactured. This is important for people so that they can see your unharmed sight .

9. Contact a factory

Reach out to a factory and tell them what pieces your game needs to have. They will then get you a quote for how much each component will cost. They ’ ll besides tell you how many you have to order for them to produce it ( normally around 1,000 units ). sometimes they will besides create a fully sample of the game for you ( normally around $ 200 ) thus that you don ’ t have to worry a much about dance step # 8. Some easy factories to work with for raw designers are Panda Games ( ), Longpack, Gameland, Whatz Games, etc. Panda Games has a great quote builder on their web site that you can use to better understand what types of materials you want to use in your game. here ’ s a great list of manufacturers .

10. Build a Kickstarter page and launch!

We have written a whole article about Kickstarter, and we encourage you to read it ! If you have adequate money on handwriting to cover the minimal quantity indicated by your factory, then you can besides just decamp Kickstarter and make your game right away. But Kickstarter is great because it gets people excited about your intersection and lets you know if you ’ ll need to make more than the minimum quantity .

11. Manufacture your game

now that you have the funds, it ’ mho time to make your game ! hopefully by this prison term you ’ ll already have sent designs to your factory and they ’ ll be ready to start production. Make certain you communicate a LOT with your factory to make indisputable everything is how you envision for your game. Ask them to send you digital and physical samples arsenic much as possible so that you can make sure everything is being made correctly .

12. Send the games from your factory to your fulfillment center

frequently your fulfillment center ( see step 13 ) or the factory can help arrange freighting your games across the ocean from your factory to the fulfillment center. It takes about 6-8 weeks for this work. Be certain to factor in the cost of freight when you ’ ra funding the game in step 10 .

13. Fulfillment

now that the games are at your fulfillment center, send them to your backers ! Some good companies to reach out to for board games are Funagain, Quartermaster, Easyship, Spiral Galaxy ( EU/UK ) and Floship ( International ). There are besides many local anesthetic “ 3PL ” companies that can help you out. If you haven ’ t made a lot of games, or you don ’ t have many backers, you can besides handle shipping yourself if you ’ re up for the influence ! But oftentimes a fulfillment center can get better postage prices anyways, so it makes sense to use them .

14. Ongoing sales

now you sell your game ! You can sell it through a web site like ours, list your game on Amazon, or reach out to local anesthetic game stores and see if they would sell your merchandise. You can besides reach out to distributors and see if they ’ ll carry your bet on and sell it to stores for you. We work with a consolidator called PSI who sells our crippled to distributors who then sell them to retailers. A good consolidator for beginners is Hitpoint Sales .

That ’ s it ! You ’ ra now a game publisher ! It ‘s a distribute of work, but it ‘s besides a set of fun .
Another big resource is this guy .
We besides received thousands of questions during two “ Ask Me Anythings ” on Reddit. You can see those hera and here .
We besides recently gave a TEDx talk about our march.

Best of fortune !

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Category : Tutorial

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