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#7 – Ryan Leininger

Patrick Rauland: Hello everyone, and welcome to the Indie Board Game Designers Podcast. Today, we’re here with Ryan Leininger, who is the designer behind Tiny Ninjas; a fast action card and dice game, where you and an opponent play as Senseis, training ninjas to battle in an epic showdown. It’s currently on Kickstarter. Ryan, welcome to the show.

Ryan Leininger: Thanks so much for having me, Patrick.

Patrick Rauland: I’m going to have to give my guest kudos here because this is the second time we’re recording this because I had internet problems, so if Ryan sounds tired, that is all on me listeners. I apologize.

Ryan Leininger: Technical issues happen. It’s happened to all of us. It’s the world we live in now.

How Did You Get Into Board Games?

Patrick Rauland: Oh my gosh. Alright, so I’ve already heard the first couple questions, but let’s try this the second time. How did you get into board games?

Ryan Leininger: Oh, yeah. So I mean, the short end of it is, all of us kind of have grown up with video games or some sort of gaming in the past, and my big thing was video games. I always wanted to create a game, but to create a video game obviously, requires a lot of technical skill sets, but with a board game, you really just need some paper and a pencil and some scissors and some cardboard, and you can really start prototyping right away. So that’s kind of how that started, and it just started exactly like that, about two years ago, which is kind of making some cards and jotting down some ideas. Fast forward two years later, and we have Tiny Ninjas.

What Inspires You?

Patrick Rauland: That’s awesome. I have a slightly different question actually than the last time, number one, what games inspire you to make new games?

Ryan Leininger: Again, it’s really just any sort of game that has a creative and a unique element. I love the design, kind of the more physical design, like really creative boxes, finding really creative ways to use dice and different components. I’m a big fan of that. So yeah, any sort of game that kind of utilizes components or creative game, like Potion Explosion sort of thing, like with the marbles and any sort of thing like that, I just I’m very drawn to the visuals of things. I know people really, really love deep, deep strategy but I like kind of the more creative kind of unique off the wall type ideas. Those are the ones that kind of draw me in.

Patrick Rauland: No, I totally agree. I really like something unique and something that looks nice, and I’d say your game has a … I mean for most of the people who probably haven’t seen it on Kickstarter, I mean the box is super cool. It has this really neat magnetic clasp and it sort of unfolds and there’s these little cardboard punch outs that you sort of put down in between the top half on the bottom half, and your role right there. It just looks really nice.

Ryan Leininger: Thanks so much. Yeah, it’s been a true labor of love, it’s been hundreds probably if not thousand hours of work on this thing just going through dozens of different designs and yeah, I know I’m very happy with how it’s turned out. I’m so excited to finally get it manufactured and then to share with people.

How Did Publishing Your Game Change Your Process?

Patrick Rauland: This is your first game, and I know you’ve started going through the manufacturing process, you’ve like reached out to manufacturers and whatnot. Let me put it this way, you’ve already funded on Kickstarter and you have a lot more days left, but you’ve already funded, so how did publishing your first game changer process. Let me ask this in a different way; when you design your next game, what will you do different?

Ryan Leininger: Well, that’s a fantastic question. So obviously everyone has a different, it’s completely acceptable because everyone is just different with the way they create things. I mean the creative process, it shouldn’t be very cookie cutter, it should be very unique to that individual. So for me, I was very persistent. I really wanted to have the artwork done early. I mean, that’s something that a lot of people were kind of surprised at me that I invested in art very early. Even when I was prototyping.

Ryan Leininger: I just felt it was very important for people to have those visuals. Even while we were play testing, I really didn’t want people to be holding just blank white cards with a bunch of text scribbled on them. I really felt it was important for people to get drawn in to the art very, very early. Moving forward, it’s probably something I would probably hold off a little more on before I started investing so heavily in art. I mean, art is, if not the most, one of the most expensive parts of designing a game. I mean, you have to have very engaging visually beautiful artwork to draw people in, and that was something that I’ve had to invest quite heavily on.

Ryan Leininger: It’s really, I guess, just maybe holding off a little bit more on that, and yeah, maybe just pumping the brakes a bit on the art budget before things are totally finalized.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah, you just shared a mistake that I’ve made. I finished the art for a game, for a Game Crafter contest. Those are such short turnarounds. I think the entire thing has to be done in like three months, from like, when the contest is announced. So I made the game, I play tested a little bit, but I still have so much more like tweaking and refinement to do and now like, every time I change the card, I have to like, reach out a friend of mine who’s a graphic designer, but I have to reach out to him and be like, “Hey, can you, you know, on this art file, can you change this and this and this?” It is a big pain and I definitely recommend holding off on that until you’re very much at the final polishing stages.

Ryan Leininger: Exactly as you said it too; the graphic design. It’s something, it’s been a learning process for me like, I’ve kind of picked up Photoshop and I’ve tried to do the graphic design myself to save on costs, and exactly as you said it. I mean you’ve designed these cards and you want to kind of restrict iconography and different texts that you want to put on the cards but, “Should I lay it out on the top, you know, should I laid on the bottom? Oh, I like how it looks in the bottom.” So you roll with that for a bit, and then you make the art based on that. Then all of a sudden, you decide that it’s actually going to be better on the top. So now you have to kind of realign the artwork and redo it, and the graphic design, even with just the different iconography, it’s incredible how much time …

Ryan Leininger: I don’t like to say time that you waste because you do learn a lot. In my mind, if you’re learning, nothing is wasted. I mean, obviously finances could be wasted, but as long as you’re learning something, I feel that’s a positive, but most definitely, it’s something that you should really be focusing on hammering out the exact specifics of the game before you invest too heavily in graphic design and artwork.

What One Resource Do You Recommend?

Patrick Rauland: Love it. Okay so you’ve been through this process or at least most of the way through, what one resource would you recommend to an aspiring game designer?

Ryan Leininger: Absolutely the blogs online, so the James Mathe and the Jamey Stegmaier blogs, I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with those two people, incredible resources to the board game community and they have websites that are just absolutely overflowing with information. Do your due diligence, read through all of that. It’s immensely helpful, as well as there’s tons of resources and Facebook groups online, where people are willing to help out and share if you have questions, but yeah, it’s really just taking the time to research the landscape.

Ryan Leininger: I mean, Kickstarter is a constantly evolving landscape and I mean it’s got credibly difficult to really compete in that space. I mean, like even me, when I first launched, and to have 30 other games launched the same day, it’s incredible the amount of competition that’s coming out, so you have to be really prepared if you want to do this seriously. The best way to be prepared is to just take the time to research and read and do as much of that as you can.

Why Relaunch Your Kickstarter?

Patrick Rauland: I’d love to dig into that because … so I actually backed your game the first time it came out because it’s totally … This is totally my style of game, like a two player light head to head game. I love those, so I backed it right away; I think on like day one, and I think on day three or four, you relaunched. Could you tell us why you decided to do that?

Ryan Leininger: Yeah, like I kind of briefly mentioned there, so I launched it on a Tuesday. Tuesday is kind of like the big Kickstarter day. It’s like tons of people launch their campaigns on that day, a huge influx of traffic goes to Kickstarter, so my original thought process was, “You know what? I’m going to jump on board this train, this hype train; you know, I want to get my project up nice and early, so that way every time a game launches, you’ll be up there and hopefully that will draw more attention,” but unfortunately, what ended up happening was, 30 other games … just people top campaigns launched after mine.

Ryan Leininger: So in a matter of hours my campaign was completely buried off of the newly launched page. Again, with Kickstarter, a such a huge thing with that is you need to start with a really solid momentum. So if you start kind of a little dwindled, it’s going to be really hard to build it, but if you start with a really strong momentum, you’ll have a better chance to try and sustain that, than you will to try and recover it from nothing. So I started with very, very little momentum. I mean, I was very, very grateful to everyone that backed, until those that did come back in the second launch, but it needed to be a little bit more for me to kind of sustain it and to kind of have a successful 30 day campaign, and I felt it wasn’t there.

Ryan Leininger: I felt I needed to work on some of the pricing. It became very clear to me, after a very short time that it needed work, just the current landscape and people’s expectations, as well as just some of the graphics. I just didn’t have enough time; I’m pretty much a one man team. I do everything myself pretty much, so it just gave me a little bit more time. So all those factors kind of combined. It just seemed like the right thing to do to relaunch. I launched originally on May 15th, I canceled after about three days, but then I did launch the following week on May 23rd, and I funded in 10 hours, so it just goes to show that their timing is a big part of it but also just to really have your ducks in a row and pricing and everything. There’s so many little nuances and so many little details that just cannot go forgotten about when you’re running a campaign.

Patrick Rauland: I’m just getting into like Facebook groups and other resources for board games designers, especially on Facebook. I like blogs but especially on Facebook, I’m just getting started; one of the ones I came across was like a Kickstarter Planning Facebook group. Did you happen to stumble on that one?

Ryan Leininger: There is a Tabletop Kickstarter Advice … I can’t remember exactly what it’s called. I think it’s called Tabletop Games Kickstarter Advice, so it’s specific for Kickstarter board games. There’s also Kickstarter groups that are for Kickstarter advice. I mean there’s tons of different products on Kickstarter; technology, people even kickstart their own music videos and stuff like that, so there’s groups specific just to Kickstarter and then there’s some that are even more specific just to board game Kickstarter and that’s probably the one you’re talking about and yeah, it’s an incredible resource.

Ryan Leininger: I mean people have a lot of issues with the back end of Kickstarter, which I’m kind of experiencing myself, just with the editors and just with the different analytics and stuff like that, so it’s an amazing resource and incredible community. Everyone’s so helpful and it’s just amazing to see everyone really just wants each other to succeed. I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of malicious activity by any means. People have a question, people are usually very accommodating and willing to help.

Patrick Rauland: One of the ones I came across is Kickstarter Tabletop Launch Calendar, and you basically create an event, like events in the future for your Kickstarter launch and then and so it’ll hopefully prevent 30 games from launching on a day, but obviously, most people don’t know about this group. So it’s only going to list a couple of things at any one time.

Ryan Leininger: Yeah. So that that’s one group. There’s also actually an Excel Spreadsheet that’s publicly available online that offers something similar to that. I’ve noticed it used to get used very heavily, but I find that it’s not used as commonly anymore. I don’t know if that’s the case of people just either not knowing about it or maybe there’s some strategy in there where people don’t really necessarily want to reveal that. There is a lot of strategy to launching campaigns too, and people are incredibly crafty, incredibly savvy from a business sense and what they’re doing. Like they know what they’re doing, these more experienced creators know exactly what they’re doing; and that group you referenced, yeah, that’s another resource as well, but again, I don’t think there’s a ton of abuse with it.

Ryan Leininger: It is nice to kind of share that and to … even if you get one or two extra sets of eyes that become aware of a game that is helpful, but as far as utilizing it to try and avoid launching some the same day someone else, I mean, mine, there was no one else listed up for my original launch, and same thing with the Excel Spreadsheet. I think one other game and then boom, 30 other ones launch. So you kind of have to just, yeah expecting … plan for the worst but hope for the best, kind of thing.

Patrick Rauland: Got it. That’s great advice. Okay. The second time you funded in 10 hours; the first time you definitely funded it in like … even with 30 other games launching, didn’t you fund in like a day or two?

Ryan Leininger: So that one, it didn’t actually fund so, my goal was set for $11,000, and I reached about just over $6,000, and it was under three days. There was maybe two and a half days or so and, like I said, if I would have left that out for the duration of the campaign, I’m sure it would have funded, but it’s one of those things where you … and I mean you could ask a lot of other creators this too, is you have to kind of set your goal below most likely what you actually need to fund. I mean, a lot of us have money set aside if we need to kind of boost this campaign and make it happen, but you really want to start with that.

Ryan Leininger: You want it to be funded within that first 24-48 hours. It has that presence, it has that excitement behind it, and if you’re not able to do that, I mean I’m not saying that if you don’t fund in the first 48 hours that your campaign’s not going to succeed because a lot of people do. It’s just from all of the research that I’ve done, and from all the people that I’ve talked to, it’s those first 48 hours are so immensely important, and if you can come out the gates with a big burst of momentum and fund quickly, it’ll be a lot easier to kind of sustain that energy, than it would be to try and build it from a much lower stage.

How Do You Market Your Game?

Patrick Rauland: Got it. I think my next question is … I think what I was going to, and I think I lost myself and I think I lost you because I lost myself is … I mean so you did well both times, even with 30 other games launching, you were about to fund or you did fund in 10 hours. What is the best way to market your game? How did you get that? How did you do that well?

Ryan Leininger: That’s another incredibly time consuming process, and again, as one person, and I’m not a huge social media person to begin with. I like to kind of stay off that. It kind of consumes you, it’s a time hog, but I mean, it is a necessary evil in today’s age, just to kind of keep people engaged and to get your product out there. You start very early on, you have to make sure that you have pages, social pages created on all platforms. So you know, very early on, I created one on Facebook, on Instagram and on Twitter. As soon as you have some, rendered artwork for your game box, some more specifics, hammered down for a game, get on board game geek, do a submission for your game, because that process does take some time.

Ryan Leininger: From what I’ve heard, it seems to be taking longer as time progresses here. So always get on that stuff super early. Twitter’s good, you just have to stay engage, interact with people. Twitter is great because you can use hashtags and you can use handles to kind of get your stuff noticed, and a lot of people are willing to follow you back. So building an audience and building some engagement on Twitter doesn’t require the hop kind of a financial investment.

Ryan Leininger: Same thing with Instagram. It’s a very visual platform. Instagram is hugely popular. If you’ve got some great artwork to share with people and you find the right hash tag it with, a lot of people will be able to find it and will be able to see it and those that like it, will start following you. Facebook is a lot trickier though. Facebook is a lot harder to kind of cut through the clutter and to get your voice heard. So usually you do have to pump a bunch of money into Facebook to kind of get your stuff seen with ads, but I wouldn’t really probably recommend doing that until you really have something concretely built and you have a bit of a game plan, because the advertising does add up very quickly. Even if it’s $10 here, $20 there, just do a little boosted post.

Ryan Leininger: I mean, over the course of a few months, you could end up you know, investing a few hundred dollars, which in the grand scheme of things might not be a lot but if you’re not really seeing a return on that, it does really add up quickly.

Patrick Rauland: Definitely. I guess my question is like so you build up an audience on Twitter and let’s say Instagram, and maybe a little bit of Facebook, do you like … when you launched the Kickstarter, did you just say, “Hey, it’s live,” and then hopefully people see it, or?

Ryan Leininger: Like I said, social is very much necessary, but one of the most important things actually that I neglected to mention here is just you need to get out there. You need to get out and show this game to people, and you need to start collecting emails, like that is far like, the most important thing, is to collect an email list, because those are people that you’ve actually interacted with in person, or that have engaged with you through an ad or something that are actually showing specific interest in your game. Those are going to be the people that are most likely to actually convert and back your project.

Ryan Leininger: So it’s going to gain conventions, prototype conventions, whether Gen Con / Origins; if you’re able to go to those and network, those are some of the best places to meet with people to show them your game. So yeah, that big and you can build a following, but you cannot rely on it because you might have people saying, “Oh, your game looks awesome, and oh for sure.” Then come launch day, you click that launch button and no one’s backing you. You really have to make sure you’re getting out. You’re showing the game to as many people as possible; play testing it as much as possible. That’s so critically important.

Patrick Rauland: One of the things that I think I struggle with is like, I do share some, like, when I do like, a little bit of artwork, I love sharing on Twitter. I do get, like, a lot of feedback there, and I love that. I guess, like, especially in person, how do I like … like, if I’m going to Protospiel, can I just be like, “Hey, thanks for play testing. If you want to …” like do I just like, get their email address and have them write it down on a piece of paper? Or what? How do you do that?

Ryan Leininger: Oh, exactly, yeah. I just do up a little email list where it has their name and their email. I first started I was asking for a phone number and stuff too. I realized within two or three people, that was ridiculous and no one wants to give you … and I don’t even know why I was collecting it to be honest. I just like, “Oh, why not? I’m just going to throw that on there,” but no. All you really need is their name and their email address. So you just make a little spreadsheet with two columns and a whole bunch of rows and just engage with people. Show them the game and if they seem interested, or even if they don’t seem interested, or maybe there’s not a huge interest there, but they may be just, you had a good conversation with them, it’s, you know, “Can I grab your email?”

Ryan Leininger: It’s just building that list any way that you can, building it up as much as you can, but yeah, another thing that you’ll learn very quickly too with going to these different events, conventions and showing your game to people is, you have to develop a thick skin and you have to be able to take criticism because I mean, Tiny Ninjas in its early stages. I mean, it’s been torn apart by people many times and ripped apart and I’ve had lots of people telling me that it wasn’t going to be successful and that it didn’t work and there was a lot of issues with it.

Ryan Leininger: At the time, it hurt a lot, but it really did help me to develop the game and to really polish out some of the kinks. So it is very necessary to hear that stuff and you really have to tell yourself and you have to learn that it is impossible to create a game that everybody is going to like. So if you’re trying to create a game that you want everybody to like, I just have to stop you right there and tell you that it’s impossible. You have to just learn that different people like different games and that’s just kind of the reality and that it makes perfect sense. Not everyone loves to eat burgers, not everyone loves pizza or Hawaiian pizza. There’s everyone [inaudible 00:19:22]. I know, right? Surprising, but everyone has different tastes and different styles.

Ryan Leininger: I think you just kind of need to be true to yourself and kind of ask yourself, “What kind of game do I want to make?” and show it to people and if you have some people that are really into it, and then other people that aren’t into it at all, you kind of just need to be able to kind of weed through that and kind of pick apart the criticism that you find is constructive, and then there’s some people that just might outright not like the game, and might just be nasty towards you so it’s all part of the learning process for sure.

Patrick Rauland: I do remember at my one of my first Protospiel, I played these guys like two hour long … it was really cool, but it’s like a two hour long very detailed like spy game. You just like figure out what they’re doing. It’s all hidden information and then I asked him to play my like 10 minute micro game, and while I got good feedback from him, I realized he probably is just not the audience for my game, and any feedback I get from him needs to be like put through that lens of like this is a very heavy gamer, and not my target market, so it’s … yeah, I think you have to be really aware that your game is not for everyone.

Ryan Leininger: Oh absolutely. I mean mine specifically, like mine’s a much lighter game. I don’t like to take things too seriously like with … have a bit of strategy in there but I mean there’s dice involved, and any game that utilizes dice, there’s going to be the way that dice operate. I mean a lot of people that are into very deep strategy, that like those really heavy euro games, a lot of them might not be interested in mine. You know, the battling kind of game is you know people find very cliche and that’s totally fine, and people might not like it and again, that’s totally great and it makes perfect sense. You can’t hit everyone but those that do like it, you’ll find out very quickly that those are the people that you want to be interacting with. Those are the people that you want to be kind of hone into and really getting behind your game.

Does Game Design Energize You?

Patrick Rauland: We’ve talked a lot about Kickstarter and marketing, I’d love to know a little bit more about like your process and how you make games. I’d love to know, like when you are designing a game, does it energize you or does it exhaust you?

Ryan Leininger: A little bit of both actually. I mean when I first started off, it was this exciting new hobby of mine. I always have projects on the go. I’m always in front of my computer so I’m an audio editor by trade. I was a radio producer for many years so I’m very heavily involved in audio production and now I’m very involved in video production and I do graphic design and stuff on the side as well, so I love just creating and for me, just starting with something. Honestly, I get some of the best thinking done when I’m in the car too, so I’ll be driving.

Ryan Leininger: I’ll actually have to pull over and bust my phone out and write down notes and then keep driving. My process is maybe a little bit more unorthodox side, I guess. I don’t really sit down with a pad and paper under a lamp and, ham wrote a game. It’s very broken up into stages, being kind of in that creative process, I get pulled in a million different directions. I might be working on a music project for half an hour, and then boom, I’ll have an idea, and I’m working on something else. So I’m kind of all over the place, but yeah, it’s been a long time coming. It’s gone through many different stages, but I feel like that’s kind of how any sort of project needs to go. It shouldn’t be a quick process if you want to do something quick.

Patrick Rauland: Yeah, it’s interesting. I’ve talked to a few people and it seems like, I think for a lot of people, they get the core of it, like they find the core in a month or in one to three months, like the core of the game, they discover it, and then there’s like, lots of refinements, but it does seem like a lot of people sort of find that core, or they work on a game forever, for like six months and they’re like, “Yup it wasn’t there.”

Ryan Leininger: Oh absolutely. Oh and that makes perfect sense. I mean, you need to have a bit of a goal with the game in mind and then you can kind of build around that for sure. No, that’s that’s 100%.

Patrick Rauland: Okay, so this one, you’re probably fulfilling the game for the next, I don’t know, six to nine months or something like that, probably?

Ryan Leininger: Yeah, so, well, no, not six to nine. I’ve got the art files approved already with my manufacturer, been working with them, so I do still want to do some tweaks prior to pulling the trigger on manufacturing, but I mean, shortly after the campaign, I’ll be able to start manufacturing and I’m also going to be doing roll about fulfillment directly from China. So that’s the benefit to having a smaller game, a lighter game, and it does have a smaller declaration of value too, so I don’t have to worry about customs in fact, with one or two copies, it’s again, these are all perks to producing a smaller game.

Ryan Leininger: The downside to a smaller game is my margins are quite small, just like the size of my game, but no because I’m producing, going to manufacturing shortly after the campaign, and actually fulfilling the campaign from China itself. It should be done by … I’m projecting by November and hopefully even sooner than that.

What Are Some Themes or Mechanisms You’re Looking Into?

Patrick Rauland: Great. Well, so I was going to ask, you know, when you move on to game number two or game number 100, whatever you’re on, like what are some fun things that you’re looking into? What are some mechanisms? What are some themes? What is … what is something you’re excited about?

Ryan Leininger: So the company I started is called 2niverse Games, and my wife and I traveled a lot for work. So we are on the road a lot, we stay in a lot of hotel rooms. My big thing is, I wanted to design a game for us to be able to play kind of wherever we were, and even on a plane, when we’re taking trips or on a train and stuff like that. So I think moving forward, that’s really going to be my focus is … I’d like that to kind of be my thing is, I’m the guy who designs the games that play inside of the box and all of the boxes really giving you this, well, kind of have the same sort of style where it opens up and you’re going to have these punch board pieces that will do different things.

Ryan Leininger: The game that I’m going to be working on after this is going to be again, it’s going to be two players. Ideally, I’d like them all to be two players, maybe with a solo variant to unlock. But yeah, so it’s going to be two players, and I want to do co-op this time. So this, Tiny Ninjas right now, is one vs one. So the next game will be a co-op game, and you’re actually going to be … ideally it’s going to be the solo and the archer. You get to pick one of those characters and you’re going to be kind of advancing through this landscape, kind of like a dungeon del, but it won’t be in a dungeon, it’ll be outside.

Ryan Leininger: You’ll be starting in a forest and then you’ll advance up a mountain, you’ll get into this lair in the mountain where you’re going to do this huge end boss battle basically. It’s all going to be played within the box. It’s doing something co-op, and as far as mechanisms or something, some mechanics, I want to do something where you actually can do combo is so character has their own set of abilities, but they can actually be used together in certain ways, depending on the situation that you’re in.

Ryan Leininger: I haven’t quite ironed out how I want to do that but I have a lot of ideas of unique ways that I want to kind of pull that off so …

Patrick Rauland: I think that’s awesome. When you said you want to focus on the cool boxes, the boxes that basically fold out and that is the game board. I think it’s brilliant. One of things I want to give you kudos for is like on your Kickstarter page, you show … if I remember, hopefully, I’m remembering this correctly, but like I saw pictures of people playing it on like an airplane, like that’s so cool. They can fold out and it fits on an airplane tray.

Ryan Leininger: Oh yeah, that was one of the big goals is that it could be played on a plane, for sure.

Patrick Rauland: I think it’s just smart because like there’s so many board game companies, so many games coming out that if you have like a thing that’s yours, then sort of it … like it’s nice to have a brand that stands for something, like two player games that can fit on an airplane tray and fold out into the box or into the playing area. That is a super … I think it’s a great little niche. I wish I thought of that.

Ryan Leininger: That’s exactly it, and I mean like the way that I found two is with games that scale. A lot of games usually are two to four, two to six, or two to eight or whatever, but a lot of those games I find when you just play them with just two players, is they’re not as enjoyable as when you play them with a larger group and I wanted to really focus on creating a game that was played perfectly with just two players. Like it was specific to two players and I want to be that guy where people are asking, “Oh what’s a good two player game?” I want 2niverse Games to be that company name that comes up and the Tiny Ninjas brand.

Ryan Leininger: I want to kind of keep using these characters and developing this universe. I have so many different other ninja characters that I want to introduce into this universe, and then utilizing that box and finding new creative ways to use punch board and to use dice and to use various components within that box to really make an exciting experience.

What Does Success Look Like?

Patrick Rauland: I like. All right, so last two questions. What does success look like to you in the board game world?

Ryan Leininger: Honestly, success is if I can fund and not lose money on this. Everyone wants to obviously make a profit, but, just the notion of being able to have my game being played all over the world. Like I’ve got backers from Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Switzerland, Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, like it’s so cool to see how many people have seen this campaign and that are interested and actually want to play it. To me, that is such an incredible feeling. It’s a worldwide feeling. You’re not just doing something locally or even nationally. You’re doing something globally, and to have that sort of impact is a really special feeling.

Ryan Leininger: So to fund this campaign successfully, and to have this game really distributed around the world and have people playing it and enjoying it, to me, that is immense success.

Patrick Rauland: Love it. I love that answer. It’s funny, because I think I’ve heard stuff like that before, where it’s like, “I don’t want to lose money,” is success. I love it.

Ryan Leininger: Yeah, it really is a labor of love for sure.

Overrated vs. Underrated

Patrick Rauland: All right, so I got a last little thing. It’s a little bit of a game. Have you ever heard of overrated, underrated?

Ryan Leininger: Ah. I have. Yeah.

Patrick Rauland: Oh, great. All right, so we’re going to play the overrated or underrated game, and basically, I’m going to force you to take a position. So I got four things for you. All right, custom dice; are they overrated or underrated?

Ryan Leininger: See, I love dice though, and I know a lot of people don’t like dice. So I’ll say underrated. I just absolutely love custom dice. I love the [inaudible 00:29:19] game, but I have dice that actually can be rolled in two different ways based on color and based on icon. So coming up with creative ways to use custom dice, oh, yeah. All the way.

Patrick Rauland: I love it. Love it. All right. What about … so I didn’t want to give you a too easy of a softball. So I came up with this one. How about just robots? Overrated or underrated?

Ryan Leininger: I’ll go with underrated for robots too. I don’t see a ton of stuff on robots, and you know I’m a big tech geek as well, and I love kind of just seeing the way you know technology is moving and stuff, so uh, yeah. I’ll go underrated on robots too.

Patrick Rauland: All right, so this one, I just changed it over the last second. 18XX Games.

Ryan Leininger: This is probably going to sound kind of bad, but I’m not too sure what that is.

Patrick Rauland: I know about them because I listen to a million podcasts, but I’ve never actually played one because that’s not my type of game, but basically, it’s like railroads and stocks, and you’re like, building out your tracks, but people can like, buy your company and you can buy … it sounds incredibly complicated to me.

Ryan Leininger: Yeah. Well, and this is tricky too I mean, underrated, overrated. I mean, it’s something that I definitely probably wouldn’t be very interested in. So I would probably say overrated from my own perspective, but again, back to just games in general. I mean, everyone has their own own opinions, but yeah, just you explaining that to me, sounds like something I would not be interested in.

Patrick Rauland: All right, so this one’s, I’m changing a little bit. So is Canada because you’re from Canada, overrated or underrated, but I’m getting a caveat, here as perceived by Americans, not Canadians.

Ryan Leininger: Probably overrated. I mean Canada, I think we’re probably a little boring in your guys’ eyes but it’s a friendly country but no, I mean America is kind of where a lot of the excitement and action is in the world landscape, so yeah. I have to go overrated.

Patrick Rauland: Well, well done putting on like someone else’s perspective. I don’t know if that’s true but that was awesome. So Ryan, thank you for being on the show a second time or at least the first successful time, now that I figured out this thing called recording. Where can people find you online?

Ryan Leininger: People can find me; we have a website tinyninjas.ca. Everything is linked through there. Our Kickstarter is live right now, they can find it at tinyurl.com/tngame. Just a quick link that will bring you right to the campaign page, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, if you just search for @tinyninjasgame, that tag, that handle will show up on all three of those platforms, and then on Board Game Geek, you just look for Tiny Ninjas, and we show up there as well.

Patrick Rauland: Awesome. Well thank you very much again, by the way, for you listeners, if you want to leave a review for the podcast, Ryan said he would stand outside your house and protect you with a Katana, fighting off intruders, or at least that’s what I’ve heard. So if you want to leave a review-

Ryan Leininger: All day-

Patrick Rauland: All day?

Ryan Leininger: And night.

Patrick Rauland: Awesome. Well thank you very much. I will go ahead and sign us out. If you want to follow me, I’m @BFTrick on Twitter, or indieboardgamedesigners.com. Thank you so much. Have a good day.

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