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Slightly absurd business ideas!

Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm currently looking for work, mostly to do with editing/writing/communications, as well as teaching and tutoring stuff. But one of my wonderfully nerdy hobbies is designing and making board games, and I am curious about the potential for monetization therein.

How does one go about selling a board game idea to an existing company? How plausible is it to start one's own small business creating and selling games (probably online, since local markets for this kind of thing are fairly minimal, presumably)? Is it a good idea to approach local game store owners with prototype copies and try to get them to sell your games?

Evil Multifarious on
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Posts

  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Existing companies are generally not interested in outsiders showing up and saying "I've got a good idea, would you buy this?" without having some actual proof of marketability, no matter the industry. Neither is "I'll just start a business!" a good plan fiscally unless you have a lot of capital to back up the venture.

    If game writing is what you love and you're in a position where you need rent money, investigating positions available within existing companies is a much sounder strategy.

  • CrystalMethodistCrystalMethodist Registered User
    edited March 2010
    Can you self-publish? Spec out what it would cost to print and make and at what volumes, then go talk to a games store near you and see if you can get someone to stock your game. Make a reasonable estimate for how many units you'll sell, try to promote yourself through local stores/meetups/etc. and see if you can turn a profit. Start really small initially, you're just feeling out the process and you don't want to blow a lot of money on what is basically an educational opportunity.

  • ObsidianiObsidiani __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    If game writing is what you love and you're in a position where you need rent money, investigating positions available within existing companies is a much sounder strategy.

    That's pretty defeatist.

    Not every business idea has to succeed for you to learn something from it, in fact you learn more from trying things and failing.

    If he does not need to pay bills and can convince people to give him money it would be a worthwhile venture.

    EliteLamer wrote: »
    The only con that seems to concern me is the blacks but how bad could it be?
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Can you self-publish? Spec out what it would cost to print and make and at what volumes, then go talk to a games store near you and see if you can get someone to stock your game. Make a reasonable estimate for how many units you'll sell, try to promote yourself through local stores/meetups/etc. and see if you can turn a profit. Start really small initially, you're just feeling out the process and you don't want to blow a lot of money on what is basically an educational opportunity.

    On top of this, have you made any board games before? Have you gotten feedback on them?
    Absolutely design a pitch to give store owners.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • TechnicalityTechnicality Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    You might want to look at the destination ... games for a recent example of how it can be done. It doesn't look easy but it is possible.

    handt.jpg tor.jpg

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    There is also Cheap Ass Board Games. Their overhead can't be that high.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Shoe-EaterShoe-Eater Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    You should check out the Board Game Designers Forum, there are plenty of articles and stories about people who've attempted to start their own business as well as links and recommendations for companies that will create prototypes for you(for a fee of course).

    http://www.bgdf.com/

    There is lots of great info there, but you're gonna have to search and dig for it.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah there's a couple designer forums and you'll probably have to attend a conference to get anywhere, because you'll have to attract attention as a "dude with an idea" and not "competing indie game maker."

    One thing I've seen is that people starting out tend to make mock-ups out of paper and odds & ends (say, stuff pilfered from other games) so they don't have to spend money creating parts. Then they playtest, both by themselves and with friends. You want to have a game idea that's pretty much 'set' by the time you're actually looking to have it sold, because as said above a company isn't interested in funding you -- they're interested in selling games.

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