Top Picks Jul 3, 2013

Welcome to Top Picks Wednesday! Here’s the best content for the week in the world of board game design (as decided by me!):

Design / Development Articles

Here’s my top 5 picks for the week:

#5: 5 Kickstarter Mistakes We Made on Euphoria That You Can Avoid (and 1 Regret) – Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaier Games discusses what he learned from his recent (and 2nd successful) Kickstarter campaign. I can tell you this: Jamey knows Kickstarter – his site is a treasure trove of helpful information on running Kickstarter campaigns. The one issue I may disagree with him on in this article is his point #1 (make stretch goals transparent). In my opinion you can build more excitement by revealing stretch goals one (or a few) at a time as previous goals are reached. Then again – I’ve never run a Kickstarter campaign – let alone one as successful as those from Stonemaier Games – so until I do I defer to Jamey’s better judgment.

#4: How to Write an Elevator Pitch – This great article from Example of Play gives helpful advise on writing a 30-second pitch for your game design. It gives helpful advice on assembling and honing a rapid-delivery pitch that will catch a publisher’s attention.

#3: The Tempest – Grant Rodiek (Hyperbole Games) discusses creative failure – that struggle we all deal with when our design ideas hit a brick wall. It’s the game designer’s equivalent of writer’s block. Grant discusses some good strategies shaking off the funk and moving on with our designs.

#2: After the Email – The Pitch – Chevee Dodd discusses the steps in making your pitch once you’ve secured an appointment with your potential publisher. He focuses specifically on your presentation, and his humorous examples make this a fun read. This article pairs well with the Example of Play article above – it focuses on preparing your pitch – while Chevee’s article gives you great tips for delivering well.

#1: 5 Ways to Use Triangular and Square Numbers in Game Design – Daniel Solis looks at number sequences and how they can be used in design to give diminishing or exponential returns. In addition to discussing the math behind the concepts, he gives helpful graphics for visual learners and plenty of examples to show how we can apply these number sequences to create non-linear mechanics in our games.

New Design Contests

Viticulture Expansion Design Contest from Stonemaier Games. $2000 grand prize for designing an expansion for Stonemaier’s premiere game Viticulture.

JULY 2013 Game Design Showdown – “Order of Play”, the monthly “Showdown” contest on the Board Game Designer’s Forum.

24 Hour Contest, a monthly contest on the BGG forums to design an entire game in a single 24-hour period.

Game Design Classes

There are several new classes available on Skillshare related to game design and prototyping. Sign up by clicking one of the links below and instantly save $10 off tuition!

    It’s Game Time: Boardgame Prototyping and Print and Play Construction from Dominique DeMille of Blank Wall Games. $20.00 Enrollment Fee, begins July 31, 2013.

    This class will show you how to create a physical prototype of digital files for your own games from the beginning all the way to putting them in front of your friends or even pitching to a publisher.We’ll explain what resources are available to a typical consumer, from the lowest cost, to the highest quality. This class is perfect for game designers looking to test their prototypes and game enthusiasts interested in printing awesome but unpublished games.

    Pass Go: Design Your First Table Top Card Game from Grant Rodiek of Hyperbole Games. $20.00 Enrollment Fee, begins August 5, 2013. Use code HYPCLASS for an extra $10 off (limited time offer)!

    Learn how to design a game to call your own! This class will start with a discussion on brainstorming and conceptual design, then shift to creating a prototype out of your idea and ultimately testing it with friends. The goal is to open your eyes to the highly innovative realm of table-top game design.

    Game Design: Design Your Own Print-Ready Cards for Table Top Games from Daniel Solis. $25.00 Enrollment Fee, begins July 28, 2013.

    Learn how to quickly design brand new cards for your own card game or board game. This class begins with the basics of prototyping with hand-made materials, then eases you into the deeper tricks of the trade. Whether you’re just starting out in the game design hobby or you’re a professional looking for some handy tips, you’re bound to learn something new in this class.


Know of a class or contest that began this week that I missed? Think a different design article should have made my top 5? Let me know in the comments!


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