Modern technological advances have made it easier than ever to share not just our thoughts but our creative works. Even just a few decades ago, it was a real challenge to get a book published for mass consumption. A writer needed to submit their work to major publishers, wait to have that work reviewed, and likely have it rejected. Even if we ignore digital publishing entirely, print-on-demand services allow people to print copies of their books at a reasonable cost. Beyond that, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo give authors a means to produce an entire print run of a book if they can establish an audience for their work.
The same principles easily translate to card games and role-playing games and can even apply to big box board games (though at higher print-on-demand costs than purely print media products). In order to crowdfund a new card game or board game, a crowdfunding user need only generate an idea, develop that idea, test it, write and edit the rulebook, commission all required art, perform all required graphic design for the game’s components, create a compelling campaign video, and get the game produced, packed, and shipped.
Yes, that’s a whole lot of work, but it’s doable. It’s a far cry from doing most of those steps anyway, then submitting it to one of a tiny handful of game manufacturers, and then hoping for the best. The ease of creating games in the modern age has allowed the number of game manufacturers to explode over the past 50 years.
Even consumer goods products are quickly heading toward an anyone-can-do-it state. 3d printing, which is becoming more and more accessible, is a great way to prototype a product idea to gauge interest. Once the idea is proven, it can be crowdfunded just like a book or game. An idea that would have required a six-figure investment years ago can now be brought to customers for a much lower initial investment (or at least one that’s spread out across far more people).
At this point, I’ll resist the growing urge to launch into a First Church of the Transistor sermon and wrap up the article. What do you think? Are there ideas you wish someone would create in this age of creative freedom? Are there things you would like to create?
Tune into the upcoming episode of Your Turn Next! (Episode 001) to hear Reese, Tony, and I discuss this article as well as a variety of gaming topics.