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Thoughts on the board game niche?

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DonR

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Feb 5, 2021
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Hello Guys,

I am new here! I hope you could help me!

I am wondering or board game is the fast lane? :) I create board games because I like them but it's only homemade for me and my friends... Like - it's not solving any problem, just good for entertainment.
Should I focus here or do I need to think about something else? Any ideas??

Thanks a lot!
 

Dirtymaco

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Hello Guys,

I am new here! I hope you could help me!

I am wondering or board game is the fast lane? :) I create board games because I like them but it's only homemade for me and my friends... Like - it's not solving any problem, just good for entertainment.
Should I focus here or do I need to think about something else? Any ideas??

Thanks a lot!
If it make CENTS it makes sense...

Board games:

Control - yes
Entry - yes, at least to be any good
Need - there is no DIRECT need for board games, but there is a need for company, social networking etc.
Time - can it make money while ur asleep? yes
Scale - just ask the guy who sold 40 million copies of Settlers of Catan...

like it has been said many times... almost every idea CAN be made fastlane with proper execution...
 

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I started a puzzle business, which is a quite a bit different from board games, but I am a board game nut and considered starting my own board games before.

The biggest issue right now it seems is that shipping costs are getting absurd and the general attitude from developers in the market is frustration. They are being quoted one price at the onset, then receiving double that price by the time it's done. Will people pay $120 for a game that looks like it should be playing in the $60 price range? That's the concern.

If you're interested in reading about Stonemaier's story (Scythe, Wingspan, Viticulture, etc) and kickstarter approach, there's an EXCELLENT resource at their site, here:


There's a popular Chinese manufacturer (started by Americans, I think?) that you can also look into, that many board game makers like using, here:


Personally it's not something I'd get into, even if I had a killer idea. It's just a brutal industry to compete in and unless you really, really knock it out of the park, you're likely in for a lifestyle business where you do it for the love, not for the success.

Cards Against Humanity is probably the most successful "board game" (card game) I can think of where an indie company struct just absolute gold. I have to imagine those founders are sitting on a huge pile of gold right now with everything they've done since initial release. Everyone copied them to absolute death and they basically popularized the entire genre of "adult / shock" gaming but I'm really hard pressed to think of how someone could replicate this kind of success without looking like another knock-off.

A game that's getting a lot of interest, and I think is worth exploring as a genre more, is "The Crew". It's essentially a trick taking game like you've played a million times before, but with a story and challenges thrown in. It's ultra addictive, easy to get to the table, challenging, and is hitting a lot of "best of 2020/2021" lists despite literally being the card game "Oh Hell" with extra steps. I think any smart money right now would look at timeless classics and facelift them into more of a "board game" experience like The Crew did.

Hope these thoughts help :)
 

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I love the space as more and more people realize that their smartphone is ruining their social life.
 

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I love the space as more and more people realize that their smartphone is ruining their social life.

Also more and more people realize that their social life sucks and they won't find anyone wanting to play with them anyway... Or maybe that's only me lol.

I like board games but it's usually too much of a headache to schedule them with people working 9 to 5, let alone people with children.
 

DonR

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Feb 5, 2021
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Also more and more people realize that their social life sucks and they won't find anyone wanting to play with them anyway... Or maybe that's only me lol.

I like board games but it's usually too much of a headache to schedule them with people working 9 to 5, let alone people with children.
Maybe, in this case, we need more board games where you can play alone? :)
 

DonR

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Feb 5, 2021
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If it make CENTS it makes sense...

Board games:

Control - yes
Entry - yes, at least to be any good
Need - there is no DIRECT need for board games, but there is a need for company, social networking etc.
Time - can it make money while ur asleep? yes
Scale - just ask the guy who sold 40 million copies of Settlers of Catan...

like it has been said many times... almost every idea CAN be made fastlane with proper execution...
I totally agree. Except for Need, of course, we need board games, but do I solve any problem? Why I am better than others? I do have great ideas, I made some nice games to play, but there are thousands of nice games out there in the world too. But I am a gamer, I understand the niche quite alright, and probably here it's the way to start making passive income.

Thanks for the answer! I appreciate.
 

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Maybe, in this case, we need more board games where you can play alone? :)

Lol that is so sad.

Board games only work with other people and only if you have cool friends who have time and care enough about your friendship to actually meet instead of messaging you on social media.

But I'm derailing the thread. Just need to remember that this niche only works if you emphasize the social aspect and/or competing.
 

DonR

New Contributor
Feb 5, 2021
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1
I started a puzzle business, which is a quite a bit different from board games, but I am a board game nut and considered starting my own board games before.

The biggest issue right now it seems is that shipping costs are getting absurd and the general attitude from developers in the market is frustration. They are being quoted one price at the onset, then receiving double that price by the time it's done. Will people pay $120 for a game that looks like it should be playing in the $60 price range? That's the concern.

If you're interested in reading about Stonemaier's story (Scythe, Wingspan, Viticulture, etc) and kickstarter approach, there's an EXCELLENT resource at their site, here:


There's a popular Chinese manufacturer (started by Americans, I think?) that you can also look into, that many board game makers like using, here:


Personally it's not something I'd get into, even if I had a killer idea. It's just a brutal industry to compete in and unless you really, really knock it out of the park, you're likely in for a lifestyle business where you do it for the love, not for the success.

Cards Against Humanity is probably the most successful "board game" (card game) I can think of where an indie company struct just absolute gold. I have to imagine those founders are sitting on a huge pile of gold right now with everything they've done since initial release. Everyone copied them to absolute death and they basically popularized the entire genre of "adult / shock" gaming but I'm really hard pressed to think of how someone could replicate this kind of success without looking like another knock-off.

A game that's getting a lot of interest, and I think is worth exploring as a genre more, is "The Crew". It's essentially a trick taking game like you've played a million times before, but with a story and challenges thrown in. It's ultra addictive, easy to get to the table, challenging, and is hitting a lot of "best of 2020/2021" lists despite literally being the card game "Oh Hell" with extra steps. I think any smart money right now would look at timeless classics and facelift them into more of a "board game" experience like The Crew did.

Hope these thoughts help :)
It is a lot of information you gave me! Which I see it's very useful! I am going to read it and well I believe I have nothing to lose if I give a shot for 5-7 years of this business. HAHA :) I appreciate your time and effort to help me!
 

DonR

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Feb 5, 2021
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Lol that is so sad.

Board games only work with other people and only if you have cool friends who have time and care enough about your friendship to actually meet instead of messaging you on social media.

But I'm derailing the thread. Just need to remember that this niche only works if you emphasize the social aspect and/or competing.
Maybe you are right. But I know a lot of lonely people or how corona shows us how sometimes we can be left alone and a board game could help sometimes, instead of watching tv or playing mobile games you can play, it's same with puzzle. It's not the same as playing with friends but.. :) For example in Norway 1/3 of people lives alone. :eek: It's big numbers! Any thoughts it's good and helps me to think deeper! :)
 

MJ DeMarco

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but do I solve any problem?

Yes, boredom, the need for social interaction, fun, laughter, and more.

"Need" doesn't need to be so pragmatic.
 

loop101

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Hello Guys,

I am new here! I hope you could help me!

I am wondering or board game is the fast lane? :) I create board games because I like them but it's only homemade for me and my friends... Like - it's not solving any problem, just good for entertainment.
Should I focus here or do I need to think about something else? Any ideas??

Thanks a lot!

You can also embed useful information in to a game. For example, when I was young, I played a "Mad Max" type game where you had to travel around the cities of the USA and build an army of apocalypse survivors. I learned all the major highways and capitols of each state by playing that game. Some fiction writers will embed a new skill in their books so that the reader learns something while being entertained. For example, Bill Myers "Mango Bob" books include a lot of information about living in an RV. It helps if the information is not forced on the player, but just a part of the game, "Want to go North, take I-95".
 

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Lol that is so sad.

If you look at Reddit's /r/boardgames section, you'll find there's a HUGE demand for single player board games.

Personally, I don't get it. At all.

That's a lot of time and effort to set up a game only to go through the motions against a rule book for an hour or so by yourself. Still, some board games do kind of lend themselves to this mechanic (Gloomhaven, I'm looking at you) and I suppose it scratches a specific solitaire itch for some.

Personally board games have been my social circle's point of focus for over 10 years now. It's just a damn good way to spend a few hours at the end of a long week with your friends. It's social, it's challenging, it gives you something to gather around, it's competitive - it's just good fun.
 

wade1mil

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Thanks @Raoul Duke

There seem to be three ways to make a lot of money with board games:
  1. Create an amazing game with high replayability. Go to trade shows for months or years until you have so many people talking about your game that it starts to sell itself. This is what Cards Against Humanity did.
  2. Create a good or better game and partner with an influencer whose talents contribute to the final product. For example, an artist with 500k followers who illustrates all the artwork for the game. This is what Exploding Kittens did with The Oatmeal.
  3. Be Hasbro.
I could probably write down 20 pages of advice, but if I were to create another board game, here are some things I'd keep in mind.

The problem that board games solves is boredom. There are millions of ways to solve boredom, and you're competing against all of them: other board games, video games, alcohol, social media, television, porn, etc. Your game needs to have a higher perceived value than most other options.

Theme the game around a subject with a passionate market: dogs, cats, entrepreneurs, music, etc. Market, partner, and reach out to influencers with followers passionate about the theme.

Ensure the shipping weight of the game is less than a pound (or 2 pounds) to avoid paying extra shipping costs. For example, if the shipping weight of your game is 2.03 pounds, you're going to pay $5 more to ship it than if you had left out a single piece that dropped the weight to 1.97 pounds.

Play test the game with different groups and test all ideas no matter how weird they seem. Many weird ideas lead to some great ideas that become a large part of the finished product. Also play test the game without explaining the rules to see if the group can figure out how to play without you.

I could go on for hours. Of course, you could also just hire me as a consultant for a small percentage of your company. Good luck!
 

Saad Khan

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Hello Guys,

I am new here! I hope you could help me!

I am wondering or board game is the fast lane? :) I create board games because I like them but it's only homemade for me and my friends... Like - it's not solving any problem, just good for entertainment.
Should I focus here or do I need to think about something else? Any ideas??

Thanks a lot!
Take a look at Robert Kiyosaki's CASHFLOW game, think your board game can be played online? If so, I think you just have to market it. Sure, board games are fun, I still remember playing carom board and ludo with my family but people nowadays prefer playing online ludo. I suggest you make a physical board game as well as one on a website or an app.
 

Tilos

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I think it's all about approach. Like @MJ DeMarco stated earlier, people want to have fun and laugh. Board games can be challenging, yet if there's an objective to learn and win -- even better.

I've played Cashflow game (online), and it was pretty cool. I learned a lot and it wasn't buggy.
 

Maxxx17

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Jul 20, 2021
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Do what you like. Any idea can be turned into a business. The main thing is to find the right approach to it all. Don't give up on the idea. You're doing great! I love board games too.
 

DonR

New Contributor
Feb 5, 2021
8
1
1
If you look at Reddit's /r/boardgames section, you'll find there's a HUGE demand for single player board games.

Personally, I don't get it. At all.

That's a lot of time and effort to set up a game only to go through the motions against a rule book for an hour or so by yourself. Still, some board games do kind of lend themselves to this mechanic (Gloomhaven, I'm looking at you) and I suppose it scratches a specific solitaire itch for some.

Personally board games have been my social circle's point of focus for over 10 years now. It's just a damn good way to spend a few hours at the end of a long week with your friends. It's social, it's challenging, it gives you something to gather around, it's competitive - it's just good fu
Thanks @Raoul Duke

There seem to be three ways to make a lot of money with board games:
  1. Create an amazing game with high replayability. Go to trade shows for months or years until you have so many people talking about your game that it starts to sell itself. This is what Cards Against Humanity did.
  2. Create a good or better game and partner with an influencer whose talents contribute to the final product. For example, an artist with 500k followers who illustrates all the artwork for the game. This is what Exploding Kittens did with The Oatmeal.
  3. Be Hasbro.
I could probably write down 20 pages of advice, but if I were to create another board game, here are some things I'd keep in mind.

The problem that board games solves is boredom. There are millions of ways to solve boredom, and you're competing against all of them: other board games, video games, alcohol, social media, television, porn, etc. Your game needs to have a higher perceived value than most other options.

Theme the game around a subject with a passionate market: dogs, cats, entrepreneurs, music, etc. Market, partner, and reach out to influencers with followers passionate about the theme.

Ensure the shipping weight of the game is less than a pound (or 2 pounds) to avoid paying extra shipping costs. For example, if the shipping weight of your game is 2.03 pounds, you're going to pay $5 more to ship it than if you had left out a single piece that dropped the weight to 1.97 pounds.

Play test the game with different groups and test all ideas no matter how weird they seem. Many weird ideas lead to some great ideas that become a large part of the finished product. Also play test the game without explaining the rules to see if the group can figure out how to play without you.

I could go on for hours. Of course, you could also just hire me as a consultant for a small percentage of your company. Good luck!
Awesome tips, I will come back with my own experience after I will publish the game.
 

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