I wanted to share some experiences I've had with board game production. I've been working on my own board game "Burning Suns" for almost a year now, and I thought it would be foolish not to share the knowledge I've gained over the many months.
My team and I are working alongside each other on both prototype and final components, and we're all working very coherently and close together in order to make sure things stay within the project scope and our goals are the same.
I'll try to go through some of the different digital production elements here. Enjoy :)
(I'm assuming that you're already well on the way with the ideas, blossoming in both text documents and drawings ;-)
Your first step is to create the "box" in which all things will be stored and sorted.
You'll want to be very systematic in order to make sure everything is just as you want them to be.
- Create the folders sorting every element in the game by its function (expected).
- Create a spreadsheet where every game piece is divided into production method, including sizes, punch board number, reference files, print type/color etc. (estimated).
- Create a spreadsheet with every piece of game data (not production data)
- From now on - every file you create will have a logical name and a version number attached to it.
(e.g. in folder "1 - Rules") Early prototype rules ver2.
(e.g. in folder "6 - Player tokens") Elves - Leader token ver3.
Download the following spreadsheets to view some examples.
Your next task is to create a project website for your board game. This will be the reference point for everyone involved in the production (no need to say, that this needs to be password protected ;)
You'll find a web solution like Weebly (that I'm using myself) to be very handy. A lot of "drag and drop" equals no trouble focusing on other things.
On this website you'll include subjects like
- Introduction - for when you add new people to the project (I'll talk about freelancers some other time).
- Status on the project itself (without status, where are we?).
- The board game's selling points / short rundown of the game.
- Project scope (what is in the game, what are you expecting to end up with?)
- Inspiration (a LOT of inspiration) and divide into other board games, graphical work, movies, computer games - everything useful for other people to grasp the feel and function of your game.
- Specific design choices / restrictions that you want fulfilled.
- Work specifications (process and so on), do you want a certain process to take place?
- Work - Upload the done material for the team to see.
- Team list / Team talk - Some place where everyone involved is listed, and maybe where people can send each other messages.
Make sure that it's regularly updated - and that you give your team everything they need in order to complete their tasks.
When you start to include people in the production process, make sure that you guys have a sharing method that works.
I like to use "SugarSync", so that we're all working on the same files - and that I don't get into any problems with different versions etc.
Without a syncing tool - you'll find yourself doing too much upload / download / back / forth with your email box.
Let your email box handle the communication with your team - not the file transfers.
Get an early economical perspective
When you settle on some of your production choices, it is time for you to look into the economy side of your board game project.
In other words... you should get an early quote on your production breakdown, and run through your financial possibilities - in the end - if your project doesn't become sustainable, you won't be able to do this as often as you would like to ;)
I hope this will put you off to a good start on your own board game production.
Happy gaming and holidays out there! :)