How to Build a Game #41 Research the Games Industry

When we started designing games, we knew nothing about the games industry. We didn’t know about conventions, the people, board game geek….we couldn’t even name more than five designers games.

What is nice about this industry is that there are lot of people who are willing to share what they know about the industry and there are several ways to consume this information. Blogs, Vlogs and Pods are all readily available.When we started, we started with YouTube and we watched a ton of reviews. I don’t remember the first review we watched but I know it was Tom Vasel. From there we learned about the reviewers of the industry and we made the YouTube rounds with various reviewers;getting to know who they were and getting to know what kinds of games there were in the world of games. Coincidentally,  when we started doing this kind of research, Gencon 2013 had just ended and there were all kinds of recap videos to be watched. We learned about the different kinds of companies there were and started to learn the names of different designers and the kinds of games they designed. Next was a jump into the design blog world and designer websites. From this we learned where the local conventions were and when they were happening.

That was a quick overview of how we went about researching the industry. We did not have any agenda idea of what we were doing, we were just doing it. Getting ourselves immersed into the culture and the flow of information that is this industry. It is really easy to do this part of the research because it is fun and while you are researching one thing about the industry, you will learn something else at the same time.

Where the heavy lifting comes in is when you start looking at the logistics of how to get a game made if you are going the self publishing route. Since that is what we are in the middle of right now, I don’t feel like I can tell you with confidence how to go about doing this correctly……if there is a correctly? What I can tell you is that we are starting off by listening to some specific podcasts and we are talking to fellow designers that are working on the self publishing route and we are receiving tons of information about the nuts and bolts of the behind the scenes.

Regardless of how easy of difficult the specific subject within the industry you are researching, just taking the time to get yourself familiar with the basics is an important step to accomplishing your goals, whether they are to self publish, sign your game with a publisher, find other gamers to game with or find other designers to share ideas with.

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If you have any comments or questions, leave a comment here or email Chris at

If you have made it this far, would you like to go a little farther? We are thinking about starting a regular Google hangout with other designers. We can try to design a game together, we can talk about designers we are working on, you can ask us questions. We can make it whatever we want. What we really want to do is get to know the people that are willing to read all the way to the bottom of our posts. Please contact Chris on Twitter or send him an email and if we are able to get a minimal amount of interest, we can work on putting something together.

2 thoughts on “How to Build a Game #41 Research the Games Industry

    • Agreed, if you are willing to take the time to participate in the little conversations over time, they will add up. And since making games takes such a long time, there is plenty of opportunity to have those little chats that form connections and could open future doors.

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