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Game Crafter - Publishing your own Board and Card Games

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Game Crafter - Publishing your own Board and Card Games

Billiam Babble
This post was updated on .
Okay, this is one of those sites that when you discover it you want to keep it it secret, in case someone uses telepathy on you, steals your idea and publishes it first.

Quite a few of us here have been dabbling in PDFs and selling "virtual" products.  Some folk release rule books through Print on Demand sites like Lulu.com and Lightning Source.  Whether or not this makes financial sense is sometimes negated by the pleasure or seeing your product in print and knowing that multiple copies can be ordered after a few clicks of a mouse.

Nothing quite prepared me for this all-in-one game-making site.



https://www.thegamecrafter.com/

Before I let  my dream-designs go to my head (not to mention half a dozen back-burner ideas of Mortis's - and all of those customised games), I had a look at the shop - and yup, there's quite a few dungeon crawler games (but not all that inspiring).  I'll be frank, I found it a bit depressing.  Lots of creative people already out there, and probably not that many buyers.

After browsing about, one thing this site does well is bundle all the different bits together.  There's card stands which would be particularly useful in a game with stand-up card figures, but some of the counters are just too generic for scenario based sci-fi and fantasy gaming (imagine "ludo" pieces representing orcs, however, there's some pirates figures in there ...)

Making a pack of cards with a customised box looks rewarding.

Really big ideas aside (think: the ultimate Talisman/WHQ/HQ/SH crawler hybrid ...), I was thinking about designing a really simple fantasy board game (I mean really snakes-and-ladders simple, just a board, pieces and dice) - something I can try out on people at work.  It would be interesting just to look at the quality of the boards.

I'm assuming that just because the online templates don't quite fit the ideas you may have, that you can still instruct the player to cut up and assemble counters from a printed sheet of card, like we used to in the "good old days".

The "mats" look very suitable for character / tracking sheets - or perhaps they can be expanded parts of the board.

Like I said, the problem with this site is that it makes you want to run before you can walk (and frankly I need to keep the day job atm), whether anyone sells games through the shop, is another matter entirely.  But it's definitely worth looking at it for prototyping, especially cool for conventions.

Of course, if someone could combine this sort of a resource with a cheap source of fantasy figures, then you might be on to some serious games manufacture.

https://www.thegamecrafter.com/

Check it out!
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Re: Game Crafter - Publishing your own Board and Card Games

MortiS-the-Lost
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This post was updated on .
Hmm this does look like a very useful tool …

Billiam Babble wrote
Okay, this is one of those sites that when you discover it you want to keep it it secret, in case someone uses telepathy on you, steals your idea and publishes it first.
Hehe. I know exactly how you feel

Right, before I get into this post I feel I must make the following statement for my long time readers, followers and/or members of my gaming group: this site will not allow me to publish MortiS Quest   - not in it's entirety - I could however use it to publish the Treasure Decks and Room Counters – possibly the rulebooks too (when they are finished) – this would be a long time in the future however as the current decks and counters 'borrow' all their art work from other sources and I'd need to come up with my own. Also there is the problem that the core rules of the combat system are based on HeroQuest which could cause copyright problems. Not to mention the main difficulty of publishing Quest which is the very expensive to produce Combat Dice.

Ok now that's out of the way …

     
I can see this site being very useful, it looks pretty strait forward to use and includes helpful (if slightly patronizing) videos which explain about how to avoid your designs going off the edge of cards and other such problems inherent in commercial printing processes. Like my good friend Mr Babble pointed out, it all being given to you like this will make people want to 'skip ahead' with the design process and get right onto manufacturing – this maybe why most of the games I've seen on the site are a little lack-luster. I think another factor is probably range of components, which while customisable lack the ability for you to invent entirely new components. If you will; think back to the most innovative games you've played and you'll find they for the most part will have some entirely unique components (for their time – other games since will have certainly copied them)

Billiam Babble wrote
Before I let  my dream-designs go to my head (not to mention half a dozen back-burner ideas of Mortis's - and all of those customised games), I had a look at the shop - and yup, there's quite a few dungeon crawler games (but not all that inspiring).  I'll be frank, I found it a bit depressing.  Lots of creative people already out there, and probably not that many buyers.
As alluded to in the text above I think TGC is deceptively less useful than it would first appear, it doesn’t quite have all the resources to make the kind of games we always talk about making – but that's not to say it doesn’t have potential to do at least some of the stuff we need.
I think a lot of the games I've seen are on there limited by their own components as much as a lack of imagination  


^ Epic Adventure Dungeon Crawl boast tiles hand drawn (apparently) by Gary Chalk, but all in all it's just a rather uninspiring Dungeon Quest clone  


 ^ Dunjonworx another Dungeon Quest clone with a poorly spelt name (Coz baad Spelin' is teh kewlz)

It's shame but most of the games I've seen on the site are to be honest rather generic and unlikely to catch anyone’s attention. There are only so many variants you can do on your basic Card or Dice and board game with the components given

Billiam Babble wrote
Of course, if someone could combine this sort of a resource with a cheap source of fantasy figures, then you might be on to some serious games manufacture.
Now there's an idea, I suppose we could produce a game prototype with everything apart from the miniatures and then look into getting the miniatures from elsewhere and should we end up with a big seller re-package it together ourselves

PS Any one else noticed that some of the Space Ship pieces appear to be Thunderbirds vehicles …

-----------------------------------
~The ravings of a single mad Goblin is bad enough, but such a power-hungry, malice-filled creature as Mortis can never hope to be understood~
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Re: Game Crafter - Publishing your own Board and Card Games

Billiam Babble
I have the PDF of Dungeoncrawl - I bought one and was gifted one - the authors (I think I'm friends with one) are big users of stock art bought and sold on the OneBookshelf sites, I think they're pretty careful when it comes to stealing stuff (like art), although they are certainly not afraid of recycling ideas.  It's fairly comprehensive, but doesn't have that square by square gritty feel you get with figures-in-dungeon play.  You also need a pretty big tabletop just to play the solo game.  It looks like it has almost everything you'd want from a card based crawler, but it definitely feels like it's missing something ...

What amazes me is that when tiles are reduced to playing card size, that you might as well be playing "Pipes".
There has to be another way!

Yes, yes, some of those pieces definitely have a design  history.   The wooden men are identical to the pieces in Carcassonne.

Another interesting thing about this site is that it's development comes out of one man's desire to make his own games and found that he needed to get different parts made in different places - so he decided to share/profit from the knowledge - but that's why it all feels a bit "hub" like.
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Re: Game Crafter - Publishing your own Board and Card Games

Billiam Babble
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The Game Crafter interview at GenCon Indy 2012

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