How to Make Your First Board Game: From Ideation to Production

At PAX East this year, I was lucky enough to give a panel talk about “How to Make Your First Board Game: From Ideation to Production.” 

As PAX East was the first gaming convention I’d ever attended back in 2020, to me it had always had a special place in my heart, even though it’s primarily a video game convention, and not a board game one. 

After getting into the GAMA Horizons Fellowship this year, I got to work with a great mentor who taught me so much about the industry. I unwittingly entered the industry back in spring 2021, at the height of the pandemic, being stuck at home with nothing to do – I decided to design a board game. That became Cake Auf

I couldn’t get to where I am today without the many people who have helped me along the way. That’s why I wanted to give back to the industry and present a panel talk that would have helped me back in 2021. 

I’ve provided both a YouTube video presentation of the panel, as well as a downloadable PDF.

The panel is broken down into the following categories:

  1. Intro to Game Design:
    • Getting ideas
    • Making your first prototype
    • Playtesting
    • Making a presentable prototype
    • Self publish or Pitch to publisher?
  2. Intro to Game Manufacturing
    • Mass manufacturing or Print-on-demand?
    • Tips for things to watch out for when working with manufacturer 
    • Product design tips
    • Keep it simple for your first game
  3. Intro to Game Logistics
    • Board Game Logistics: getting the games from the factory to your end user
    • Work with freight forwarder/fulfillment company or self-fulfill?
    • Work with distribution to sell games to retail?
  4. Intro to Game Marketing
    • Introduces different types of marketing strategies
    • Kickstarter: what you need to do before you launch
    • 1-year game plan to prepare to launch on Kickstarter

If there are other questions you have regarding designing and producing games, please feel free to email me at I get a lot of spam on the comment section, so I’ve closed the comments to registered users. 

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