Design Assistance in 2018
Something I used to do a lot more of, probably because I was more outspoken about doing it, is helping other designers. It's something I'd like to do again in 2018, so hopefully you can share this, or tell someone you know, if you think I can help them.
What do I mean? Well, often times in design I find that I just need someone to pitch to. I often take a notebook sketch over to my friend Antonio's desk. I pitch him on the idea, the mechanisms, I watch his facial reaction, I see what questions he answers. I do the same with Josh via Google Hangout. It's useful, it's fun, and it is a very early, very tiny piece of feedback that gets me to the next stage.
But, beyond this, the board game space can be complicated. At this point I've been around a while, i've watched trends, I've printed games domestically and overseas, I've pitched successfully and unsuccessfully, I've been screwed over and rewarded. I'm happy to share my experiences and answer questions.
Let's get specific. What does this mean exactly? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Twitter at @HyperboleGrant. I'm happy to:
- Hear your pitch.
- Vet ideas.
- Look at your card content.
- Read and provide feedback on rules.
- Discuss publishing opportunities (as in, ones I think you should pursue, I'm not a publisher).
- Discuss the market space.
- Make graphic design suggestions.
- Work with you on layout mocks.
- Help you with basic design practices, like setting up spreadsheets, tools to use.
- Recommend artists.
- Just chat about design.
- Provide Kickstarter advice. Just because I don't have a six-figure game doesn't mean I can't provide insights!
- Answer random questions.
- Probably other things.
Below is what I won't do. I feel like a jerk writing these, but when I do get approached, it's often for these things, so I want to be specific here.
- Test your game. I'd like to, honestly, but I just don't have time. Even if you mail me a game, I get a few precious tests per week for my own games. I'm not willing to sacrifice those to play your game. Sorry. Come see me at Protospiel in March/April! I'll play then.
- Be your rules editor. There's a difference between giving it a read and making suggestions and being the guy who makes it print ready. I'm not the latter. That is a job, which requires pay, and I'm not interested in doing that job.
- Be a co-designer. Co-designing games requires a relationship. Relationships are hard, special, and often I find need to emerge organically. It is surprising how often people come to me with "I have an idea and I need help making it," which is code for "I need you to do the work." And, dear god, no. I have enough ideas! I'm not lacking those. If you're not willing to do the work you aren't a designer.
Is any of this useful to you? Someone you know? I hope so, because I sincerely want to help. Please reach out to me via Twitter or email and let's chat. Years ago I often wished I knew to whom I could send a question. I'm hoping in some ways I can be that person for you.