Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Random - Indie Board Games

A quick note before I go to bed. If I could turn everything into some sort of card-based game, I would. Fighters, RPGs, street racing, heck I almost joined Weight Watchers because of that awesome card system they had for keeping track of your points (I'm 5'8" and weigh 130, so this would probably kill me). Needless to say, few things capture my attention like shuffling and drawing. Earlier tonight, as my girlfriend and a good friend of mine were playing a three-player game of Innovation, I was reminded of my love for all games indie and how that spills over to my hobbies that don't involve electricity.

So, would you believe there's the board game equivalent of XBLIG?

That's right. Based out of Madison, WI, The Game Crafter really can be best described as you just read. It's a print-on-demand site for card and board games. Aspiring developers can design their own awesomely awesome game, upload the designs to TGC's site, and either order copies for themselves at cost or have others buy the game from TGC itself, setting the price and splitting the profit with said site. It's an amazing idea, and one I've been looking into myself, but much like XBLIG there's little to no control over what ends up available. As true as it is that you'll find some absolutely amazing card games like this one here, you'll also end up knee-deep in shameless copycats and cash-grabs. You can look at what games sell the best, and with prices between $10 and $30 that's usually a good indicator of non-suckitude. In addition to this, the site has its own forum complete with reviews and such but, as with anything on the internet, talk is cheap.

The main thing about The Game Crafter, though, is that it gives developers both a creative outlet and a way for them to see how their game does on a larger market than their friends and family. I won't say that everything in that store is gold, nor will I say that the site handles the flood of games the best. But anything that gives the indie developer a chance is a win in my book.


  1. Thanks for helping us spread the word about The Game Crafter! I am one of the partners at TGC and we really appreciate the compliments and support from the gaming community.

    One other interesting thing you may not know is that TGC has already allowed several game designers to accomplish amazing things! Jump Gate is a card game by Matt Worden Games ( and it ended up winning "The Game of the Year" in Games Magazine. It's amazing that a self-published game could beat out all of the other big name games that are already widely distributed and managed by the large publishers.

    We launched in July 2009 and were not sure what the demand would be for print-on-demand games. However, we've now processed over 3600 orders and are seeing tons of growth!

    The TGC 2.0 upgrade will be in the months ahead and it will be very exciting. Our current site was a good starting point and we've learned so much in the last 18 months. TGC 2.0 will have drastic improvements to game production, available features/options, and the online shop. (to manage that "flood of games" you are referring to)

    Thanks again for helping us spread the word about TGC and we look forward to an exciting TGC 2.0 launch ahead. :)

  2. That would be a great game. Thanks for the post. I'll be keeping an eye on that game.