I was at a game designer’s night a while back, and something struck me about how great a community this is. While other industries hide their trade secrets and everything is about competition, this doesn’t seem to exist in board game design.
There are no trade secrets.
I was speaking to another game designer and he was telling me about everything he learned from a convention he attended recently. I had also mentioned how we were having a hard time finding a company that could print prototype cards without costing an arm and a leg, and he said he knew a place. We exchanged e-mails and he sent me the info within about a day.
He, on the other hand, wasn’t sure who to work with for game manufacturing. He’d heard good and bad things about a few companies and didn’t know who to trust. I shared with him the name and contact info of the company we are currently working with, who was recommended by another designer. My friend owns a copy of his game and it looks good. Not only that, the company delivered EARLIER than promised, which seems to be rare today.
We talked about this willingness to share information and how cool that was. We determined that it all comes down to us all wanting to do the same thing – get our games out for people to enjoy – and that there is plenty of room in people’s collections for multiple games. It isn’t a competition, at least not as much as in other industries.
We are all about the social aspect. Getting together with friends and family to have a good time. While video games and apps can be fun, there is something so appealing about playing a board game with those you love to spend time with. It’s a bonding experience.