Looking in the rear view mirror
Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. I’ve been writing my weekly email and blog for one year now.
While I was writing from time to time before this, I made a concerted effort last September to write a blog about board game design to help other designers every single week.
So, I thought it would be fitting to put together a quick year in review. I’ll go into what I’ve learned in the last year, some accomplishments, and what’s ahead.
What I’ve learned in the last year
1. The importance of consistency
No longer am I just writing when I feel like it.
Writing and posting my blog and sending out an email every week has set me up with great habits. I write nearly every morning and it becomes easier and more natural all the time.
I feel that the quality of my writing and content has also improved since I made this a regular exercise and that I will continue to improve over time.
I hope you feel that these emails/blogs are helpful and motivational as well!
2. The joy of helping others
At the risk of sounding corny here, it really does feel good help others.
If I can save another person a lot of time or money by sharing with them the mistakes I’ve made or help them move their game forward, then I know I’ve accomplished something I am proud of.
A side benefit of this is that I’ve been able to build a loyal following that started with just a handful of people one year ago to over 1,100 game designers.
I want to take this moment to thank you for signing up to receive these emails and staying along for the ride. 😊
Get knocked down seven times, stand up eight times.
It doesn’t matter if something doesn’t work the first time. Or even the first 20 times.
What matters is that you keep on trying. Failures are temporary. This is not a defeat. You’re only defeated if you give up.
No matter if it’s a playtest that’s gone bad, a game idea that’s just not working, or a negative comment on social media, you just need to keep moving forward.
Make mistakes. Learn from those mistakes. Keep improving all the time.
Teaching and helping others
I was very fortunate to land a position teaching game design and development at Wilfrid Laurier University.
I learned a lot during that term and feel that I was able to help a lot of future game designers through teaching this important foundation course.
I later launched my own online course, The Board Game Design Course, in which I was able to help some new designers to create their own game. What I loved about this was there was no geographic boundary. Anyone could join from anywhere in the world!
I hosted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on board game design in both Reddit and on Facebook, and was able to answer many questions and help a number of aspiring game designers.
The Board Game Design Lab featured many of my game design blogs over the past year. It was so amazing to see my blog mentioned in Gabe Barrett’s weekly list of top articles and resources.
I was also asked to join a mentorship program, in which I mentored and worked closely with three new game designers, answering their questions and helping them move their games forward.
Let the games begin!
In the past year, I signed my first two games with publishers (more on this below), and I’m currently finalizing details on the third game.
I’ve also got a number of games currently being reviewed by publishers that I’m hopeful will also be signed and released to retail in the near future.
What I’m working on now and in the year ahead
My first game is now on Kickstarter
King of Indecision is now available on Kickstarter through my publisher, Analog Game Studios.
King of Indecision is full of strategy, timing, and suspense. You have to jockey for position by collecting and offering more goods than other players before the King changes his mind.
It’s been very well received, with an incredible 9.1 out of 10 rating on Board Game Geek from playtesters who enjoyed the game.
The Board Game Design Course
Some of you have asked me when the Board Game Design Course will be available again.
While I don’t have an exact date yet, I’ve been working on this quietly behind the scenes, and I’m aiming to open enrollment up again this fall. The exact date will be known soon. The next version will be even more tailored to what stage you’re at with your game so that you can see it come to life even faster.
I’ll let you know as soon as enrollment for the Board Game Design Course opens.
Since I’m a game designer, of course there will be more games! I’m finalizing some details, so I can’t share everything with you yet, but I can let you know that I may have another game coming out later this year or early next year.
I also have a co-designed word game that’s scheduled to be released next fall.
Aside from that, I’m continuing to work on and/or pitch about a dozen other games I have in various stages of progress.
Aside from the course, I’m going to try to be more involved in the board game design communities on Facebook.
While I do frequent the groups and try to help new game designers who have questions, I know there’s a lot more that I can do to assist them.
I’m also looking into ways to share more helpful resources and information more easily with designers on my website and elsewhere.
What have you learned in the last year related to board game design? What are the goals you most want to accomplish next?