Today we spoke with Darrell the designer behind All Hallows Eve.
“I am not anti- Kickstarter by any stretch of the imagination, but it is not the one and only answer to selling games.”
and it is available now by contacting him directly. Darrell brings an interesting perspective and a wealth of personal experience choosing non-traditional routes to bring his game to market. Without further ado let’s hear it in his own words.
How and why did your game design journey begin?
I have loved making games since I was young but it wasn't until I played Zombies!!! by Twilight Creation that I was hooked. I loved making new cards, settings or scenarios for me and my friends was deeply satisfying. From there it was only natural to try and tell my own stories through games.
What are you working on right now?
Expansions for All Hallow's Eve and expanding that world.
If you could go back. What is one piece of advice you would give to yourself?
Keep a junk drawer of all your failures; if something doesn't work for one game, that doesn't mean it won't work for another.
How do you prefer to play-test, what platforms do you use?
I start with close and honest friends who will find flaws and cheap, easily replaceable components. Things will change. Once we polish things off enough I do open house play tests with people who don't owe me anything and will give honest feedback about what works and doesn't work. Near the end I also was able to do some play tests in local game stores and malls.
What are your future design goals?
I would like to continue to expand the World of All Hallows' Eve and work on a few of the other games that I have on the back burner to expand my market. I have a few more family friendly games that I think will be less mental investment to get on the table and hit a wider audience.
What would you say to someone who is considering running their own Kickstarter for the first time.
Don't feel pressured that you have to. At this point I don't feel the need to run a Kickstarter and I have been selling fine. Mind you, I am ok with selling fewer units and being more one on one with my customers at this point. If and when I do decide to Kickstart this or one of my other games I want to make sure it is ready to go and I am ready to handle high volumes; ordering a game then having to wait a year or more to get it just isn't ok in my books. It is an over saturated market where even good games struggle to stand out so marketing is hyper crucial. I am not anti- Kickstarter by any stretch of the imagination, but it is not the one and only answer to selling games.
What has been the most difficult part of game design so far?
Time and money. I have been working on and off on All Hallows' Eve for roughly four years and I still think there are improvements to be made. With a family and a job working around that can be difficult. I have had to save and sell a lot to fund this. I am not part of a company or design group, and even doing things as cheaply as possible ends up costing quite a bit over time. That said, never let anyone tell you that you can't make a game if you don't have thousands of dollars to throw at it; you just may need to adjust your expectations on how your game will look or how you will sell it. An expensive game does not equal a good game.
Have you ever collaborated with another designer and if so can you comment on that experience?
I have worked with someone to design some of the more difficult 3D models for printing and another to touch up my game tiles. I went in making sure they were compensated for their work and respected their time. Things went wonderfully. Treat people like people and you will get a long way and don't be afraid to tap into your local community or friends who are willing to share their talents.
What area of design do you think you don't spend enough time doing and why?
Box design and inserts, but I am currently working with someone to improve this.
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