Episode One Hundred

#100 – One Hundred

Today is a very special episode. Episode 100! 🎉🎉🎉

I do have two announcements at the end of the show so stick around for those.


This is episode 100.

I think it's important to celebrate milestones for everything game design & even podcasting.

We're going to make a meta-episode. We’re going to look at:

  • Who was on the podcast
  • How people’s games did – so if they were talking about a campaign they just ran or if they had a live campaign they were promoting I dug into some fun numbers about how many succeeded
  • The most common resources & the best money spent

So if you want to hear about the most recommended book on game design stay tuned

Who was on the podcast

I've had 85 guests on the show. That means the other 14 episodes were bonus episodes.

Gender breakdown

This might not be obvious to you but I try really really hard to find women game designers and other minority groups

And I think I did pretty well. 32.6% of my guests were women

I took some time off this summer and looked for women game designers and pestered them till they showed up

Many of them have really cool stories so I’m glad I could share them with you

I hope if I can find more time to work on the show I can find even more unique guests


62 guests were chatting about a campaign that just ended or were promoting an existing campaign

44 guests were publishing their own games. Many of these were small totally independent publishers like you or me.

18 guests licensed their games to publishers

So about 1/3 of my guests

Success or not

75% of my guests had their games fund on the first try

That is higher than the industry average which is about 66%

Percentage of games that fund
Percentage of projects that funded

I think part of that is that some of my guests I interview because I saw their game on Kickstarter and if you see a game on Kickstarter it’s almost always doing well

So my numbers are probably a little higher than they would otherwise be

10% of people left the project as is – they didn’t fund and they didn’t relaunch it – or if they are planning a relaunch they haven’t done it yet

10% of people relaunch and are successful

So that’s 85% of my guests gets their games funded eventually and that makes me really happy

I like the imagine I get them or or two pledges that take them just over the top


Between all my guests their projects raised: $3,390,201!

Total amount raised
Total amount raised

Game designers who licensed their games to publishers raised a combined $1,664,482. Which is $92,471 per project.

Game designers who self published their games raised a combined $1,725,719. Which is $39,220 per project.

Amount raised per project
Amount raised per project

Before I go any further part of the reason for this discrepancy is that Kingdom Rush was a HUGE success which raised over a million dollars. There’s only a few of those campaigns every year so that really helped out the publishers numbers

I wish I had time to dig deeper into the numbers to eliminate the outliers to give people an idea of the average

If you are a data nerd and you want to dig into these numbers and help me make pretty graphs please email me through the site I’d love to get some numbers.

What I find interesting about this

$39,000 is a HUGE number. There’s lots of projects that only make $10,000 like my own project but then there’s a huge number that really take off and get into the hundreds of thousands.

If you are an indie game designer you could make that kind of money – that’s hopeful

Publishers do a better job which isn’t surprising. That’s their job.

But when if you looked into these numbers and then figured out how much you’d get to keep I imagine you’d make a lot more self publishing than licensing your game to a publisher


At the end of every episode I ask guests for resources. And they usually give me 1-3 resources. I broke them into separate categories and tabulated which ones were recommended the most

Top site: Stonemaier Games Blog

Top book: A Crowdfunder's Strategy Guide

Top podcast: Ludology

Top miscellaneous: finding community – mentioned over and over again

A couple guests said you can find it online like on Twitter of Facebook

Way more said find your local community

From my own experience this is huge! You have to find your local community to motivate your self and for play testing.

Best Money Spent

There weren’t really any resources that were mentioned over and over again but there were some trends

The biggest category of recommendations was prototyping tools, things to help you make games. So many guests recommended:

  • Paper cutters
  • Laser printers
  • Corner rounders
  • Component organizer
  • Self healing cutting mat
  • A desk exclusively for game design
  • And a whole bunch more

So listen to other game designers and get good prototyping tools because they keep recommending them!

The most recommended software was graphic design software. Component Studio was mentioned a few times so check out that option.

Get a prototype. Guests recommended a bunch of prototyping services. The most popular was The Game Crafter.

Get an illustrator – they bring your game to life

Two announcements

1) I’m going to PAX Unplugged (Dec 6-8)

I'll be helping out the Gather Round Games tea. That’s Liz & Adi from episode 5.

I happened to see them at Origins months ago, said hi, and they said they could use some help selling games

They’re helping pay for me to get to PAX Unplugged and I get to help them sell games and meet other board game designers.

If you’re going to PAX Unplugged please say hi! Hit me up on Twitter ahead of time or stop by the booth

And if Fry Thief gets here on time I’ll be bringing a very small quantity with me so if you want to pick up my game you can.

2) I’ve learned a lot about what designers need to complete games

I’m putting together an idea which will likely be a Kickstarter campaign where I’m offering something to help you with your game designs and it also helps fund this podcast.

But if you want a unique resource to help you with your game designs I recommend signing up at https://indieboardgamedesigners.com/newsletter.

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