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One of the most daunting facts of starting a game company is knowing you’ll have questions and fearing there will be few folks to turn to for help in answering those questions.

So, because we’ve realized that the community of Independent Game Community was such a huge help to Co11 Games getting YAKS going and because we believe there’s enough room for everyone we’ve decided to share some of the places we found answers, inspiration, and encouragement as we set out to enter this nutty world of game making.

FACEBOOK! Without the hundreds of Groups on Facebook (really, the 10 or so that we relied on) I can promise you Co11 Games would still be spinning its wheel trying to figure out how to proceed on an idea. Below are so amazing groups with amazing people happy to help, critique, or just chat about the industry. These folks are/ were immensely helpful!

  1. Board Game Spotlight is a group that is run by James Hudson and Derek Funkhouser – to say that they are informed and passionate about the hobby and industry would be severely understating how informed, educated, and caring they are. James seems to have moved to greener pastures but Derek is still manning the ship and cultivating the near 13 thousand members. Here is a place to ask questions, receive host and insightful critique, and a place to be constantly inspired. Board Game Spotlight is an inclusive space – you can literally dive in as a new designer or fan and find brothers and sisters ready to talk shop.
  2. Board Game Revolution can be a bit daunting at first. The group is huge at almost 23 thousand members and most, it seems, are experts. That said the leader of the community, Thomas Covert, and his countless moderators are always present and always driving discussion back to home. This group is a wealth of knowledge, a crystal ball for trends and interests, and has amazing giveaways.
  3. Tantrum House is really just the nicest group of reviewers and experts one could hope to encounter. Based in South Carolina this collective provides media exposure for fledgling game makers with southern charm, kindness, and sincerity. They know what sells, they know what will sell next year – this is my choice for the group with their finger on the pulse of this business/ hobby.
  4. Tabletop Game Kickstarters Advice is a group lorded over by James Mathe a 30-year veteran of the industry/ hobby. The group is an amazing sounding board for all gaming ideas and concepts and really can help anyone hyper focus their plans regarding a Kickstarter launch. Even if you plan on going straight to retail there’s value in this group with direct access to hundreds of others that have come before you. Word of advice: scroll through a lot of conversations before asking questions – the answers are all literally already there.
  5. The Boardgame Group is huge with over 35 thousand members and, again, a wealth of knowledge for all things board and tabletop games. We found great success in asking probing questions about detail stuff in this group. Most queries would find hundreds of replies in a matter of hours creating a sort of test market response. While I couldn’t tell you who the admin in here is I will say that it’s all business; kind and considerate deabates and discussion rule the day.
  6. The Indie Game Alliance is awesome! This group, led by Matt Holden, is basically a club for small game publishers and designers. His collective brings hundreds of play-testers and designers to the table. Matt’s knowledge and outreach are the keys to the groups value but my imagination sees the group growing into a much larger and more influential monstrosity in the coming years. https://www.indiegamealliance.com/

 

Some other groups that are wonderful and supportive are:

Table Top Publisher’s Guild

BoardGameGeek Crowfunding Group

Board Game Reviewers & Media

The Unfiltered Gamer Board Game Group

 

The world of independent anything is fearsome but with social media you can connect with thousands that have gone before you and we’re happy to report that most are awesome and kind. Go – Make games! The world needs more fun!

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