Why creating industry focused board/card games gives you advantages

Successfully self-publishing your own card/board game is hard. The game design part may be fun, but selling your idea to the world (to get some funding) can be tricky. When you pick the theme right (focus it on an industry), it gets a lot easier. I learned this lesson while publishing my card game IT Startup 2018 in Poland. Focusing the game around the IT/programming industry gave me some advantages.

It’s easier to get visibility – for example in the industry’s Facebook Groups or “Reddit like” sites

We all want more visibility for our games. Creating an industry focused game can give you that (if you are smart about it of course). One of the the first things I did after creating the initial game prototype, was presenting some of the cards on the industry’s Facebook groups. Posts like: “hey fellow software developers – what do you think about this cards from my IT/Programming themed card game? Do you like the inside jokes? Do you think the game mechanic is immersing etc.?” Posts like that with a link to a print and play version were posted over a period of 7 months before the games crowdfunding campaign (with some updates on the game etc.). In the end it led to over 3000 people on the games e-mail list.

Here is a screenshot of some reactions to a post like that. The reactions are in Polish and you can’t probably understand them, but hopefully you can grasp that the feedback was enthusiastic:

A post like that on a “generic board game group” can also work to some extent, but tackling specific groups with the perfect target for the game (in my case: programmers / QA / DevOps etc.) tended to work better in my case.

It’s easier to get founding – patron spots on a box sell better in industry focused games

Companies in any industry need to advertise – why not on a fun game? Creating an industry focused game offering higher tier “project patron” spots on the game box can give you some extra founding.

On my crowdfunding campaign page I offered 3 patron spots on the box for 2000 zł (around 500 euro) each. All 3 were sold out on the first day. The price was obviously too low. When creating the games first expansion I doubled the price of the patron spots on the box. All 3 spots sold again.

For a big game publisher it may not sound that much, but for a small indie project this extra budget helped a lot.

It’s easier to get budget for game tournaments

The same can be applied when asking companies to sponsor some nice prize on your games tournament. I had no problem getting a Raspberry Pi and some gift cards. I literally only asked 2 companies and got exactly 2 tournament prizes for my games local tournament. So there is definitely a lot of potential. I doubt that it would be that easy for a game that was not focused on an industry.

A short vlog from the game’s first tournament (there were 2 so far):

Do your want to give our games a try and stay updated?

If you liked the advice from this post, and want to follow the publishing process of the English version of my game (and another industry focused game from my friend Konrad), then check out this post about our games or download the print & play prototypes from the form bellow. We plan to publish our IT/Programming focused games worldwide on Kickstarter in Q1 2020

Have fun,

Matt

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Card games for Software Developers – our Print & Play prototypes

So me and my friend Konrad want to publish our IT themed card games. We are 2 developers from Poland. Each of us already has a published book and now we want to share some knowledge with card games!

The idea is simple: remember all the original 151 Pokemon names? How about playing a game that lets you remember something useful: like what technologies are beneficial to learn to be a better Developer! One of the games is already published in Poland and sold over 3k copies (so we have already some publishing know how). Now we want to start a company together and publish 2 of our IT related card games worldwide in english.

You can help us by testing our Print & Play prototypes. They can be downloaded at the bottom of this post.

We plan to publish the games as one company on Kicktarter in Q1 2020.

IT Startup by Mateusz Kupilas

The card game for DEVs, HR and IT enthusiasts. 💾 After selling over 3000 copies in Poland IT Startup launches worldwide in 2020!

  • Play Developers to finish your project.
  • Raise your DEV’s efficiency with Knowledge Cards and watch out for burnout!
  • Sabotage your opponents with Action Cards and steal their developers with HR!

An example of cards from the prototype are presented below:

The IT Startup quickstart instruction video:

OutOfMemory! by Konrad Kokosa

In OutOfMemory! game your goal is to build an application from features, represented (mostly) by Feature cards. Each Feature card adds Feature points. The first player who collects 10 Feature points, wins. Feature cards have costs. So, for example, many cards allocate Memory at the end of each turn. If you hit the specified memory limit, you experience an OutOfMemory exception resulting in unpleasant consequences – you loose one Feature! Actions and features are limited by the number of CPU Ticks available (so not always every action or feature is possible). You track available Memory and Ticks using the Benchmark sheet. To reclaim some memory, you can play Garbage Collection cards (like Gen 0 GC card).

You can disrupt opponents by playing Bug or Issues cards against them. You can help yourself by playing Fix cards. Additionally, there are Action cards with special consequences and you can host a single Hero card with unique and special abilities!

An example of two prototype sheets is presented below:

The OutOfMemory! quickstart instruction video:

Download the prototypes and get notified:

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Testing blog installation

Just testing if everything works.

For more information check out WTF is this all about?

Image test:

YT Video test:

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