2018 was a very different year for me.
After leaving my career where I had been for over 17 years, I embarked on a brand new journey. I’m now following my dream and designing board games full-time.
I had an amazing opportunity to teach game design and development at Wilfrid Laurier University.
I had my first two games signed with publishers.
When I look back, I recognize that 2018 was a year of opportunities.
Had I not left my day job, I never would’ve been able to teach game design at a University level.
Had I not started attending more board game conventions, game design events, and other functions, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet so many fantastic people and build such strong relationships. All the chance meetings I had led to both of my games getting signed. Not only that, I made an amazing friend and co-designer who I love to work with and I have now collaborated on with four games, all of which are showing a lot of promise (including one of the signed games).
I also reached out to schools to see if they had any interest in promoting classroom games. This give me the opportunity to meet with teachers, playtest classroom games with students, and continue to build many more great relationships.
Some other opportunities looked good at first but didn’t pan out. And that’s totally fine. This allowed me to focus on more promising projects.
But I also had to say no to some opportunities. I didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to and also be able to do them all well. Sometimes it just wasn’t the right fit.
Recognizing and jumping on the great opportunities, while saying no to others, is one of the best things you can do as a game designer or in any other creative outlet.
Look for those opportunities. Seize them when they show up on your doorstep. Sometimes you won’t recognize the opportunity right away, but maybe an action you take now will lead you to that later opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Talk to others. Be social. Be helpful.
Sometimes just by lending a hand, without any expectations in return, will lead you to an amazing opportunity down the road.
What new opportunities set you up for success this year? What opportunities did you choose to turn down?
I hope that 2019 brings you lots more gaming and success with your own game designs.