By Naylor Games
It's hosted by me - James - and each episode I'll be talking to someone about their particular place in tabletop game industry. I’ll be asking them your questions, learning more about who they are and their unique perspective on what makes games great: Not only as clever designs but as thoughtfully crafted products and, even, works of art.
Producing FunSep 22, 2022
Dan Thurot - Game Critic
Dan Thurot, writer of Space-Biff!, is one of my favourite reviewers and may be the most respected critic in games. In this episode, we dive into the economic function of the game reviewer, the nature of game criticism vs review and Dan’s unique historical perspective on games.
- Space-Biff!: https://spacebiff.com/
- The Space-Biff! Space-Cast!: https://open.spotify.com/show/4MKGea62ikdZn7JWOwR52J?si=ccbe4fd2e749
Chris Kingsnorth - Developer & Convention Organiser
Until recently Chris was a pediatric doctor - now he’s a full time game developer and - indeed - our very first on the show. In this episode we talk about what game developers do, working with famous game designers and organizing the UK’s first protospiel.
- Protospiel Nottingham on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProtospielNotts
- Protospiel Nottingham website (and tickets): https://protospielnottingham.co.uk/
- 10 Minute Design Chat Podcast: https://tenminutedesignchat.podbean.com/
- Paper Fort Games: https://linktr.ee/PaperFortGames
- Cosmoctopus Kickstarter Page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paperfortgames/cosmoctopus-the-board-game
Personal Tabletop IG Acount: https://www.instagram.com/tabletopapprentice/
Gabe Barrett - Podcaster & Publisher
As well as running what may be the most successful podcast about game design ever - the Boardgame Design Lab - Gabe Barrett has run 10 successful board game-related Kickstarter projects: including a solo-only game that raised more than $65,000. In this episode, we talk about why he started the show, why he stopped, the power of building community, and useful advice for budding creators.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BGDLCommunity
“Robomon” - new game launch: https://gamefound.com/projects/gabe-barrett/robomon
Nick Bentley - Designer & Marketer
Nick Bentley has been working in the industry for years. But recently, he took up a new role with Underdog Games: a game publisher smashing up conventional wisdom and selling 100,000s games in the process. This week we have the deepest conversation I’ve had before or heard before about *why* people buy one game rather than another. This is an absolute must-listen for aspiring game creators.
Underdog Games: https://www.underdoggames.com/
Nick’s website: https://www.nickbentley.games/
Nick’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/nick__bentley
Mike Bonet - Podcaster
Mike Bonet has been podcasting about games for 14 years. 300 episodes in, he’s a seasoned interviewer who knows how to get the best out of his various game designer guests. This week we talk about all things game podcasting: how to listen effectively, how to get interviewed by a podcast and how he inspired me to pick up the microphone.
James Faulkner and Paul Allen - Publisher/Designers
Stonesword Games’ latest title - the feudal Japan themed Senjutsu - hit Kickstarter with a bang last year, raising around almost a million pounds in the process. In this episode, I talk to the company’s two founders - James Faulkner and Paul Allen - and discuss the multiple strategies they used to drive this success, including: diligent historical research, endless testing and focusing on the power of good advertising over the world of BGG and content creators.
Jay Cormier - Publisher & Designer
Jay Cormier was already a successful designer, having multiple BGG top 1000 games to his name across a very wide variety of genres. 4 years ago he got into game publishing, launching Off the Page Games, a company producing games based on indie comic books. His first title - Mind MGMT - is already a smash hit. In this episode, we get into how to run a profitable Kickstarter, make clever manufacturing decisions, and the power of branding.
Jackson Pope and Paul Willcox - Publisher Manufacturers
Together Jack and Paul are Eurydice Games: A UK game publishing company that - most unusually - actually manufactures all their own games. In this episode, we talk about the financial risks of large print runs, how their in-house manufacturing allows them to do things that would be impossible without very large investments, and their top tips for anyone who’d like to physically make their own games.
Forthcoming Gamefound for FlickFleet: Xeno Wars: https://gamefound.com/projects/draft/am1zfbwx1bn89fhfxbrko1jlscx
Ulrich Blennemann - Game Publisher
Uli is a publisher from Germany and the proprietor of indie label: Spielworxx. Specializing in challenging boutique games and German language versions of bigger commercial hits, Spielworxx has been delighting gamers since 2010. With almost 30 years of experience in the industry, Uli is an expert in running indie publishing businesses.
In this episode, we talk about how he selects games for localization, how his business model works, and more.
Uli’s website: https://www.spielworxx.de/
Dina Ramse - Game Marketer
Dina Ramse is a game Marketer from Finland. Dina helps small publishers get their games known and funded, having supported more than 40 launches on Kickstarter. In this episode, we cover the finer points of social media algorithms, how to use different platforms to maximum effect, and choosing the right creators to partner with, among many other topics.
Matthew Dunstan - Game Designer
Matthew Dunstan is a Prague-based game designer with more than 30 published titles to his name, including Elysium, Monumental, and the Adventure Games series from Kosmos. In this episode, we talk about how Matthew uses product thinking to make better games, the power of long-term collaborations, and the rise of “detailed familiar” themes.
Gaetan Beaujannot - Game Agent
Producing Fun returns with Gaëtan Beaujannot, CEO of ForgeNext: a game agency where he and his team act as a literary agent for board games and their designers. It's a nearly unique business that draws heavily on Gaetan’s extensive experience as a true game industry veteran,: with experience as a game designer, publisher and even creator of the first digital tabletop game platform: Vassal. In this episode we talk about how the modern game market came to be, how publishers can select the right games to publish and the man he believes is the Steve Jobs of Boardgames.
Andrew Navaro - Creative Director
Andrew Navaro is the former Head of Studio for Fantasy Flight Games where he was responsible for leading the aesthetic execution (illustration, graphic design, even story) of their famously gorgeous looking titles. Now he runs Earthborne Games, a new studio setting out to Kickstart Earthborne Rangers: a sci-fi, environmentally themed card game in the mould of Arkham Horror that embodies its sustainable values in its physical production and manufacturing. In this episode we talk art direction, licensed artwork, building story rich card games and the business challenges of creating environmentally sustainable products.
David Digby - Solo Mode Developer
David Digby is a game designer and developer based in the UK. As a developer, he specialises in developing solo modes for existing game designs. Within only a few years he's established a very strong reputation for his work, collaborating with a string of famous names (including Martin Wallace and Reiner Knizia) to create 1 player versions of their games. In this conversation we do our best to cover all the critical elements of creating a compelling solo game product.
Sophie Williams & James Hewitt - Game Studio
Sophie and James run Needy Cat Games - a tabletop game studio based in Nottingham, UK. As a studio they have a nearly unique model - designing games on demand for clients with IPs, miniatures and other assets rather than pitching their work to publishers. In this conversation we talk about how the studio model works, the so-called Kickstarter treadmill, how creativity arises from well constructed project briefs and the future of the game market.
Needy Cat Games website: http://www.needycatgames.com
Indian-made games YouTube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZ53LAVUXT-lFeQWSGJYKea8ZOwAzKXBX
Duncan Cowan - Convention Director
Duncan Cowan is a convention director of Tabletop Scotland - a mid-size UK tabletop game convention that launched to a hugely successful debut in 2018, garnering more than 1000 unique attendees. In this episode we talk about creating a convention designed to reach out to new audiences, how to best use space to craft the ultimate convention experience, the impacts of Brexit and Covid and what practical things the game community can do to support conventions in a difficult time.
David Weiss - Boardgame Website Editor & Podcaster
David Weiss is the managing editor of Canadian boardgame review site the Daily Worker Placement as well as the creator of scripted tabletop game podcast the Game Changers; a 26 part history of tabletop games. In this episode we get under the skin of key issues in games and how they're marketed: the evolution of game genres, why people use certain language to describe games, the emergence of "AAA" boardgame titles and tips for getting media coverage for your game.
The Daily Worker Placement: www.dailyworkerplacement.com
The Game Changers: https://dwp.buzzsprout.com
Nick Smith - Boardgame Cafe Co-owner
Nick Smith and his wife Carrie are the co-owners of the Ludoquist boardgame cafe in Croydon, London: a hugely successful venue which won the global award for best retail store at GAMA in 2020 and has been featured multiple times on UK television. In this episode we get stuck into the economics of game cafes, his ambitious and inclusive vision for a café where everyone is a gamer and managing a hospitality business in the age of Covid.
Ludoquist's website: https://www.theludoquist.com/
Annie Norman - Miniatures Producer
Annie Norman is the founder and owner of Badsquiddo Games - a company specialising in making believable female miniatures. In this episode we discuss how she built the business from absolutely nothing, bringing women in history to life, key practical questions about pricing, product quality, when and when not to outsource and how selfies play a surprisingly critical role in the miniature design process.
Annie's link tree: https://linktr.ee/badsquiddogames
Paul Grogan - Rulebook Editor & Content Creator
Paul Grogan runs "Gaming Rules!", a rulebook editing business and YouTube channel focused on videos that teach people how to play games. As one of the industry's top editors, Paul has worked on around 100 different rulebooks; closely collaborating with several of world's most famous game designers in the process: including Vlaada Chvatil (Codenames, Mage Knight) and Vital Lacerda (Lisboa, On Mars).
In this this episode we discuss the biggest mistakes to avoid when writing a rulebook, the future of in-game tutorials and the role of a rulebook in a game's commercial success.
Paul's YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/gamingrulesvideos
Paul Brook & Liam Kirkman - Startup Publishers
Paul and Liam run East Street Games - A UK tabletop game publishing startup. In this episode we discuss the financial costs of game complexity, the personal costs of game development, developing and marketing games under pandemic restrictions and accidentally offending eurogamers. Lastly, they reveal their three most important pieces of advice for anyone looking to publish games.
Chris Eggett - Magazine Editor
Chris is the editor of Tabletop Gaming Magazine, the UK’s largest board game, RPG and miniatures game magazine. In this episode we discuss what good tabletop game writing looks like, the ethics and effectiveness of Kickstarter previews and what 'product' really means.
Tabletop Gaming Magazine:
Chris' personal Twitter account: https://twitter.com/CjEggett
Louis Downs - Manufacturer
Louis is the Managing Director of CMA Creative Solutions Ltd - a UK manufacturer of resin and metal miniatures. He talks to James about the surprising reliance modern manufacturing still has on skilled manual work, what publishers should do to source good quality components at an affordable price and how Games Workshop created an entire market.
CMA's Website: http://www.cmacsl.co.uk/
Trailer - Producing Fun
Producing Fun is a new podcast about what it takes to get a game published: and the many different people involved in its journey from mind to table.