Start to Finish: Publish and Sell Your First Board Game

Making games is hard. It’s really hard. Making my first game was simultaneously the most confusing and exciting experience I’ve ever had.

I’ve made my share of silly mistakes. I’ve learned the hard way how to be a good game developer. Now I’d like to share everything I learned.

This guide is made for first-time board game developers who want to go from an idea to a finished product. Start To Finish: Publish and Sell Your First Board Game will walk you through every step of the process. It’s not just me talking, either – I’ll be bringing along a lot of talented people in the game business who are ready to share wisdom in their areas of expertise.

You’ll be making great games in no time! 😉

Start to Finish will be slowly revealed of the course of the next year. Articles are meant to be ready sequentially, although they will still be usable out of order. The order of these articles is specifically chosen to help you learn and build upon concepts in a natural, memorable way.

Start to Finish will consist of 71 articles that cover 5 sections:

  • Game Development 101
  • Designing & Developing Your Game
  • Marketing & Promoting Your Game
  • Kickstarting & Fulfilling Your Game
  • Selling Your Game


Game Development 101

  1. A Crash Course in Games
  2. A Crash Course in Game Development
  3. Five Levels of Communication through Game Development
  4. Choose Your Own Adventure: Self-Publish or Not?
  5. What to Expect When You’re Making a Board Game: Time, Money, and Effort
  6. The Art of the Play Test: Designing Tests and Keeping Records
  7. How to Master Time (So You Can Make Games)
  8. The Basics of Board Game Business
  9. Bankrolling Your Game’s Development
  10. Play These Games to be a Better Game Developer
  11. Let’s Give Your Game Idea a Voice
  12. Crash Course in Board Game Marketing & Promotion
  13. Crash Course in Kickstarter for Board Games
  14. Crash Course on Board Game Fulfillment
  15. Crash Course on Selling Board Games
  16. How to Work Alone in the Board Game Industry
  17. How to Work in a Team in the Board Game Industry
  18. Learning from Your Game Design Mistakes
  19. Staying Sane in Game Design


Designing & Developing Your Game

  1. Designing the Core Engine of Your Game
  2. Testing the Core Engine of Your Game
  3. Designing the Mechanics of Your Game
  4. Testing the Mechanics of Your Game
  5. Designing Rules for Your Game
  6. Testing Rules of Your Game
  7. Developing an Inner Narrative for Your Game
  8. Testing the Inner Narrative of Your Game
  9. Developing a Game that People Will Talk About
  10. Developing a Visually and Physically Accessible Board Game
  11. Developing a Mentally Accessible Board Game
  12. Developing an Inclusive Board Game
  13. Optimizing Your Rule Book
  14. Drafting Board Game Specs for Your Printer
  15. Drafting Functional and Technical Specs for Your Artist
  16. Finding Artists & Graphic Designers
  17. Managing Artists & Graphic Designers
  18. Finding a Board Game Printer
  19. Ordering and Testing Samples of Your Board Game


Marketing & Promoting Your Game

  1. Defining Your Marketing Strategy
  2. The Magic of Content Marketing
  3. How to Be Seen on the Internet
  4. How to Generate Traffic for Your Kickstarter or Website
  5. How to Build up a Twitter as a Board Game Dev
  6. How to Build up a Facebook Page as a Board Game Dev
  7. The Art of the Newsletter
  8. Building up an Instagram as a Board Game Dev
  9. Getting Your Game Reviewed – The Process
  10. Appealing to Reviewers
  11. How to Get Noticed on Reddit without Looking Like a Doofus
  12. The Art of the Board Game Convention
  13. The Art of the Board Game Livestream
  14. Creating a Great Board Game Press Release
  15. Be My Guest: How to Get on Podcasts and Blogs


Kickstarting & Fulfilling Your Game

  1. Spreading the Word Early
  2. The Math of Kickstarter: Realistic Time and Money Estimates
  3. Let’s Talk about Tax and Legal Issues: Kickstarter Isn’t all Fun and Games
  4. Perfecting Your Kickstarter Campaign Page
  5. Kickstarter Fulfillment: Ordering a Print Run
  6. Kickstarter Fulfillment: Sending Products to Americans if You’re an American
  7. Kickstarter Fulfillment: Sending Products to Other Countries if You’re an American
  8. Kickstarter Fulfillment: Going through a Third Party
  9. How to Have the Perfect Kickstarter Launch Day
  10. How to Keep Kickstarter Momentum through Updates and Stretch Goals
  11. How to Keep up with Your Kickstarter Timeline after the Campaign
  12. How to Take Pre-Orders when the Campaign Closes


Selling Your Game

  1. People Judge Books by Covers: Making Your Board Game Box Gorgeous so People Buy It
  2. How to Set a Price for Your Board Game
  3. How to Sell Your Game at Conventions
  4. How to Keep Momentum after Your Launch
  5. The Magic of Advertising
  6. Other Ways to Sell Your Game