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School's in Session

Your Game Designer Goes to College

As I was thinking about what I have been up to the last month, I immediately thought of this.

Now I have already gone to college and earned a few degrees in the process, but learning is one of those things I feel should always be happening. In a sense, I have re-enrolled myself in the college of all things game design. This last month I have been spending a lot of time reading about game design, listening to game design podcasts, and watching game design lectures and Kickstarter videos. If I could taste game design I would (perhaps I'm not trying hard enough). Yes I'm still doing the day to day work on Kingdoms of Immacus, but I find it helpful to obsessively consume material from the industry I want to be a apart of.

In this process I have learned that game design and everything that is involved with getting a Kickstarter off the ground is hard, but the good news is I'm a little ways away from releasing, and there are great people out there to help. So, there is plenty of time to learn about everything there is to know about this industry. When I was making the Kingdoms of Immacus board game, I wanted my blog to be a exhaustive accumulation of information about how to make a game because I found it difficult to find information about making your own board game. A bunch of years later, there is a ton of information that is far more helpful than anything I could come up with by just starting. Jamey Stegmaier really stands out as a beacon of information about bringing a game to market with his blog.

There is such a wealth of information out there on game design, that I have come to the conclusion that one of the reasons why Kickstarters fail is people just don't do their homework either by refusing to acknowledge this information is helpful or by outright thinking they are better than the people that came before them, as though shipping fees don't apply to them. Of course this doesn't apply to all Kickstarters, but I think it is fair to say that by learning from the mistakes or successes from the people that did this work before you exponentially increases your chances of doing well and having a successful Kickstarter.

Soon I will have to face these challenges head on, and maybe my tune will change *nervously laughs*. Until I get to that point, I am currently an observer, and in that role, I have watched beautiful Kickstarters fail because they cut corners last minute, or just expected people to throw money at them without putting in the hard work of showing art or game play. Nevertheless, I promise myself and my future players that Kingdoms of Immacus will not go out until it is as polished as possible and something I am proud to put my name on.


-Jonathan Flike

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