Best 10 Suggestions for Activity Designers

Tom Vasel, Zee Garcia, and Sam Healey give guidance to aspiring boardgame designers

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20 thoughts on “Best 10 Suggestions for Activity Designers

  1. I'm in the midst of designing my first game, this was a very helpful list and I intend to do everything on it, I'm just finding it hard to gather the information needed to succeed such as developer contacts and producer contacts. any idea what the best approach would be? the game is still very much in developmental stages but having this info would be a huge benefit

  2. Hi Tom,
    so taccording to your example: if 2000 copies of my game is sold, and I get USD 2.5 / game, it means a total income of USD 5K. So if I have a co-designer and 1-2 graphic designers, etc. then I earn USD 1K-2K in the end. Is it correct? I understand that I should not design games for the money, but taking the 100+ (or even 1000+ …) work hours into consideration it sounds a little bit disheartening…

  3. Good video. Just one correction: You cannot "steal" ideas. Copying isn't stealing, guys. There is a huge difference.

  4. Story Time: I am moronic enough. I am that guy who didn't playtest his game.

    One day I stumbled across a great little self-pub site called The Game Crafter, which held game design contests. The current contest ended in less than a month, but I decided to enter it anyways, because I am speedy at graphic design, and because I am an idiot. I knew as little as anyone could know about game design. I hadn't watched a single podcast, and didn't play games much myself. I'd never seen a prototype game, nor had I heard of any of the standard game mechanics.

    Not to be stopped by little things like everything, I put together this great little sailing and trading sim game that actually won an award for best artwork- but sank like a rock when it came to gameplay scores. Perplexed, I bought myself a copy and played it with a friend. It was the worst thing I had ever played. "How could I have known this?" I asked myself, lamenting my inability to calculate whether a game would be fun or not. I am filled with shame when I consider just how long it took for me to realize that successful game designers don't have a magic power of entertainment foresight- They just play the game before they try to publish it.

  5. About the copyright "issue":

    I completely agree that it's a waste of time to file for a copyright. If it's such a great game and the IP becomes big enough for that to be a problem, then it's something the publisher will handle.

    Also, there's nothing magic about a copyright. Everything you come up with is already your IP, so the idea that you need a copyright to "protect" your IP is simply wrong. A copyright just shifts the onus onto the "infringer" instead of the "owner". If you have any substantial amount of proof that you were working on it earlier (which, assuming you were discussing with others, you would easily have), then you aren't at risk of having your idea stolen.

    Finally, for those paranoid people, I'll include a tip from the music industry: Once you've written the rules, or anything else you think you need to "protect", just print them out, and mail them to yourself. When the letter arrives, never open it. That way, if there is ever contention about whether it's your idea, you have a sealed, dated copy of your idea that proves when you were working on it.

  6. thanks very much about the game designing. i'm creating a narrative based tabletop rpg named "runes of the biogenesis", high fantasy to teach people about curing people of toxins :). reply to me back if i am missing a few things to develop the rpg.

  7. Thanks guys. I am trying to make a 3D Simulation game to help teach First Aid. Do you have any good hints and tips I should use for the learning process or any resources I can look at. I am developing it using Unity which I have never used before so it will be a nice challenge for me.

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