Designer Resources

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0-art

Board Game Geek Forum  This is a great place to find artists experienced in working with board game designers.

Concept Art Artists looking for work listed in the forums.

Deviant Art A good place to look for an artist. A great range of styles and experience.

Elance Not just artists, but all sorts of crafty people can be found here.

Elfwood A huge database of artists that do all sorts of different styles, but everything is either fantasy  or sci-fi. There are also a lot of amateur artists as well as highly-skilled ones.

Facebook Art & Graphic Design for Tabletop Games Group Over 5000 members and a lot of ways to make connections with artists. Also a good place to to get feedback on your ideas and concepts.

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Board Game Designers Forum This is a site that has forums and posts that focus entirely on board game design. It is certainly worth joining.

Card & Board Game Designers Guild This is a Facebook Group that is used to discuss and get feedback on design questions. It has over 6000 members and is very useful.

Game Design Graphically  This site covers a lot of topics including interviews and looks at the concepts and ideas behind board game design.

James Mathe’s Blog Very insightful blog with a strong focus on Kickstarter and running a good campaign. Also has some solid lists of resources as well.

KS Best Practices and Lessons Learned This is a great Facebook Group with over 6000 members and growing. A great place to learn and get feedback.

Stonemaier Games – Funding the Dream Very detailed and important information that all KS creators should read before hitting the launch button. Jamie is often considered the most successful Kickstarter creator there is and his ideas and thoughts are without equal.

Tabletop Game Design – Reddit This is another good resource for gaining advise from other designers if you are a user of Reddit. I am not a big Reddit fan, but many seem to like it.

0-boxes

Brimar Packaging Setup boxes 250 min. order (U.S.) This is the cheapest place that I have found that makes standard rigid setup boxes and they are even in the U.S. Their prices really start to shine when you order 500+ units.

My Box Printer Any size order. They do all sorts of boxes from small tuck boxes to two piece telescoping boxes. They email you a template based on your dimensions and their prices are great.

Nations Photo Lab NPL can create image boxes which are essentially book-style boxes that lock with a magnet. They are NOT cheap, but the quality is great and you can make only 1 if you want. They also have other interesting items like metal prints.

Print My Box Any size order. These guys are very similar to myboxprinter. I almost used them for Plague.

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B-Token This place makes custom imprinted plastic tokens. They also make plastic hex tokens as well.

Chessex Dice Bulk dice and custom dice. You can order one dice or 5000! They do custom-faced dice at a decent price. Most importantly, their dice are top shelf in quality.

Crystal Castle Bulk dice and custom dice.

Custom Mouse Pads These guys will make large custom printed roll-up mats. I have used them numerous times and they rock!

Game Crafter Any size orders. Huge selection of game pieces (over 1000 types). They are also U.S. based so shipping is cheap. They also make tiles, cards, boards, and everything else you can think of. They are a Print on Demand service and a one stop shop for creating your game.

Game Parts.net Bulk Wholesale dice, pawns, and other game parts. This is for very large orders, but the unit prices are amazing.

Litko Litko makes all sorts of game pieces out of acrylic. From score markers to 2D minis, they make it all.

Lyris Laser Studio This place makes all sorts of stuff out of wood using a laser. This includes wooden cards, tiles, and boards. I used them for deluxe wooden box for Trainmaker and the really cool wooden dice trays.

Rolco They stock all sorts of basic game pieces and are worth looking into. Nice selection of card stands.

Shapeways This place can take your 3D renderings and bring them to life. They also sell some really unique game pieces. Expensive, but a good choice for prototypes.

Spiel Materiel This place is overseas but they offer a bunch of oddball game parts and custom wooden components. They also have game boards and some box options as well. Worth a visit.

Token Direct They produce custom metal coins in all sorts of sizes and using a few different materials. Take note of their stock art. You may be able to find something that will work for your game without have a die charge.

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DeLano Service 500 min. order for cards/1000 min. order for board games (U.S.) Delano Service makes a complete game, but their pricing is on the high side based on quotes I have received from them.

DriveThruCards These folks have good pricing for small runs or if you need a prototype. They focus mainly on just cards and tuckboxes. They also have an online store where you can sell your finished product.

Game Crafter The Game Crafter functions as more then just POD service these days. They offer a bulk fulfillment service where they will manufacture and ship all your games to your backers if you are running a Kickstarter. They offer bulk discounts and will work with you if you want to add outsourced parts to a KS game.

Lightning Press These guys print all sorts of books of every kind. They are an option if you want to upgrade a manual or if you want to write a novel to go along with your game.

Lulu The one stop shop for book making. From small booklets to full-size full-color hardcover books. This is a Print on Demand service so you can order one copy at a time.

Ningbo Lijia Industry Co., Ltd. These are one of the largest, if not the largest, Chinese Manufacturers that I know of. They have high minimum requirements, but they can make anything.

Panda GM 1500 min. order (china). These guys can do everything from custom boxes, boards, pieces, tokens, warehousing, and distribution. They headquartered in the U.S. so there is no language barrier. They are known for their high quality. Their priced tend to be on the higher side.

Print Ninja These guys offer a wide range of products from card and board games to books and comics. Their pricing is good and they have low minimum runs. Certainly a good in between place for shorter to medium sized runs.

Print & Play Productions  This place offers print on demand services and it appears they will do custom work. They also stock a bunch of blanks and some game parts.

Senfutong 1500 min. order (china). These guys can do everything from custom boxes, boards, pieces, tokens, warehousing, and distribution. Have not used these guys.

Wingo Industry 1000 min. order (china). These guys can do everything from custom boxes, boards, pieces, tokens, warehousing, and distribution. Above-average quality and responsive customer service. My personal choice at the moment for larger runs.

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Identity Links Put your logo on just about anything with this place. HUGE selection of items to personalize. Minimum orders are required.

U.S. Box Large selection of items to personalize. A lot like Identity Links, but they both offer some different items, so both are worth listing. Minimum orders are required.

Vista Print This is a POD service for a bunch of promotional items like T-shirts, signs, posters, and magnets. Their prices are higher because you only have to buy one item in most cases.

review

A Pawn’s Perspective This is a site that does written reviews, and a lot of them. They do a lot of indie game reviews which is awesome!

Board Game Quest This is another game review site that looks like it does a lot of mainstream reviews, but also caters to the Kickstarter scene.

Board to Death This is a great review channel that reviews and previews all sort of games from a verity of publishers.

Bower’s Game Corner In these reviews Forrest Bower reviews all sort of games and is open to reviewing indie games as well as doing Kickstarter preview videos.

Cardboard Republic They do a podcast and written reviews. They are open to indie games being submitted.

Dad’s Gaming Addiction This reviewer likes all sort of games and writes a lot of reviews. A good place for an indie designer/publisher to submit.

Dice Tower Review The Dice Tower is the premium site for video reviews. They will not review prototypes or unpublished works. The Dice Tower has over 180k subscribers making them the top dog in board game reviews.

Drive Thru Reviews Joel Eddy hosts this popular review show where he looks at mostly mainstream board games, but does delve into small publisher games as well. Has nearly 25k subscribers.

Father Geek Cyrus (aka Father Geek) does a fantastic job with his detailed written reviews. He playtests your game with a few different groups. These include Child Geeks, Parent Geeks, and Gamer Geeks. If your game is liked by all three groups you get the Father Geek Approved Seal!

Gray Board Gamer This guy does a lot of video ranging from playthroughs to unboxing videos.

Grey Elephant Gaming Tim Norris, and sometimes his wife, do a lot of playthrough videos and reviews as well as post about board conventions. Worth checking out!

Rahdo Runs Through This is a show hosted by Richard Ham (Rahdo) where he does a quick walk through of a few rounds of the game and then gives his final thoughts. I find it very personal and he has a lot of energy. He also has over 70k subscribers on Youtube putting him near the top.

Table For Two Show This is a video review team of Husband and Wife, and they review games from a two-player point of view. Fun to watch with a quickly growing audience.

The Board Game Vault This is a review site known for their quick two minute reviews. Based on some of the games they have reviewed, I assume they are open to indie publishers.

The Game Boy Geek These are high energy videos that do a great job of giving an overview of gameplay as well as thoughtful insights.

To The Table Dave does video reviews and caters to a lot of indie and unpublished games. He reviews from the family perspective and does a good job describing gameplay.

Undead Viking These reviewers are done by Lance Myxter and consist of an intro, an overview of play, and his final thoughts. Worth checking out! With nearly 15k subscribers Lance is certainly liked.

Watch It Played This is a great show hosted by Rodney, and he does perhaps the best walk-through videos out there. He is well spoken and very professional. They also have a large following. Not sure how open they are to indie games, but I have seen a few. Rodney has over 115k Subscribers.

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Durapak Shrink Wrap products. Great pricing on shrink equipment and the wrap itself.

Uline This really is your one stop shop for all things shipping. They also stock drawstring bags. There simple plain mailers and kraft boxes are great for shipping and or storing parts or for housing a game itself on the cheap. You buy bulk from here so you can cut shipping costs by almost 30% by simply buying your own boxes.

If you know a site that should be added to this list, please leave a comment below with a link and I will investigate it. Thanks!

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One thought on “Designer Resources

  1. Pingback: KSC#3: Starting Small: Thinking About Your 1st Kickstarter | Indie Conquest

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