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A compilation of essays by women in the tabletop games industry about past and current struggles and secrets & tips for new designers. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on September 26.

A compilation of essays by women in the tabletop games industry about past and current struggles and secrets & tips for new designers.

About this project

What is this book about?

Girls on Games is a new book written by a compilation of female game industry professionals, with the aim to engage, entertain, and educate both seasoned gamers and game-makers as well as novice game inventors and those seeking positions within this amazing industry of ours!

When Elisa Teague first entered the tabletop game industry 15 years ago, the climate for women was very different than it is now.  Even with great strides being made in the name of gender equality and numbers of women in the industry increasing, female game makers are still in a great minority and face amazing challenges in our otherwise inclusive field.

After compiling stories and advice for years, Elisa decided to write a book on the matter, and there is no better way to discuss such important topics than to include many voices with important viewpoints on the subject.  So, we've gathered together some amazing contributors to each add a chapter on various game topics for a book that has never been see before!

Our chapter topics include:

  • Anecdotes or stories about being a woman in the game industry
  • Advice for women on overcoming challenges women face in this field
  • Advice for men on how to make inclusion a reality in our great industry
  • Glass ceilings, male co-worker dealings, and general inequality of women in the field
  • Creating balanced game design for both men and women
  • Why games are important for girls
  • Dealing with "fake geek" or "real gamer" comments when playing games (or just existing) in mixed company
  • Two words: Booth Babes.
  • Female representation in games
  • Being taken seriously as a professional in a male-dominated category
  • Tips on getting your foot in the door at a game company
  • The pros and cons of Games "for girls" 
  • and so much more!

Who is this book for?

Girls on Games is for everyone.  Seriously.  While our writers are female and our main target audience is female, all of the advice and tips for breaking into the industry, as well as the funny (and serious) stories are for everyone - not just women. 

Who is Elisa Teague, and who are the other contributors?

Elisa is a game designer who made her start in the game industry as a graphic and packaging designer transitioning from the fashion industry. An avid gamer since childhood, Elisa loves tabletop gaming and has studied game mechanics and theory, causing her career to accelerate into nearly every avenue of game production, from design to rule-writing to sourcing to production and more.  In 2000, Elisa joined the Playroom Entertainment team and worked there for nearly 11 years, leaving the her role as the company's Sr. Director of Production and Design to work on her own projects and consult for various top game companies in the marketplace.  In her time at Playroom Entertainment, Elisa had a direct hand in the design, development and production of over 100 SKUs and oversaw many steps in the production process, from game submission intakes to mechanics development to art direction and print layout for production.

Now, as a consultant in the industry for both game companies and game designers looking for publishers, Elisa is hands-on in all areas of the field.  In 2013 and 2014, she has found great success with two games she co-designed: Geek Out! and Geek Out! Pop Culture Party and has worked on some amazing projects like Cupcake Quarterly Magazine and The Maze of Games by Lone Shark Games, both with successful Kickstarters.

Our first 10 authors have been announced, as follows:
Jessica Blair 

Jessica Blair is a 14+ year veteran in the Tabletop Games Industry, with sales and marketing experience ranging from the largest game companies to start-ups. Jessica is the President of Roll To Market LLC, a Sales & Marketing consulting company specializing in helping small game publishers get their games published, creating strategic sales and marketing plans, sales key account management services, and convention representation. See RollToMarket.com for a detailed list of services offered. Jessica is also a columnist and Family Games reviewer for the Greater Games Industry reference.

Peggy Brown

Peggy Brown has created hundreds of products that have been mass-produced and marketed all over the world, written a couple of books, taught a few classes, and instigated countless people to chuck their inhibitions and unleash their creative spirits in a great variety of situations.

Backed by a Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design and an impressive resume, Peggy has worked for many of the world’s biggest toy companies in a number of capacities: as an inventor, a designer, writer, creative director, consultant, or executive.

Toni Darling

Toni Darling is a gamer, artist, musician, model, and cosplayer. She does guest appearances at conventions, where she meets with fans and holds panels on topics such as cosplay, fitness for geeks, body image in cosplay, and crafting with thermoplastics. Toni has done comic book reviews for Bleeding Cool on their webseries last year, "The Weekly Bleed," and convention reviews with Geekssociated Press.  She has promoted numerous companies in the board game industry including Japanime Games, Calliope Games, Arcane Wonders, Queen Games and was one of Paolo Parente's official Dust Tactics models for Fantasy Flight. 

Trin Garritano

Trin Garritano is the events manager of Cards Against Humanity. She's also a producer of the second season of Tabletop Deathmatch, and produces and co-stars in the web series Jenn and Trin in the Morning. She has just enough cats.

Kristin Looney

Kristin Looney is co-founder/CEO of Looney Labs and the driving force behind the company. Prior to launching the company in 1999, she spent 13 years working in the aerospace industry, first as an electronics engineer at NASA and later as an IT manager for TSI-TelSys. She attended college first in her home state of Illinois, later graduating from the University of Maryland with a BS in Computer Science in 1987. Kristin's earliest "claim to fame" came at age 16 when she solved a Rubik's Cube in 35.50 seconds on the ABC TV show That's Incredible, and her enthusiasm for puzzles and games is still going strong.

Tanis O'Connor 

Tanis O'Connor is a game designer, developer, editor, and general problem solver. She currently works as a designer and organized play coordinator for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game at Paizo Publishing, and comes to that work through a stint in rules editing on D&D at Wizards of the Coast and puzzle and game development and editing at Lone Shark Games. When she's not working, she's working (heh) towards a nursing degree, solving puzzles at the MIT Mystery Hunt, or playing more games.

Satine Phoenix 

Satine Phoenix is an illustrator and entertainer with a huge love of Dungeons & Dragons. Satine appears on Escapist Web Series "I Hit it With My Axe," and Youtube's "Monster Maidens" (speed drawing of female versions of Monsters from the D&D Monsters manual) and is the creator of "Celebrity Charity Dungeons & Dragons" (where celebrities and their fans raise money for Reach Out and Read rorlosangeles.org over the period of a one day game created by Keith Baker). She is currently the co-creator and artist of the "New Praetorians" Graphic Novel (a female lead SciFi story to hit the shelves in Spring 2015). 

Gaby Weidling 

Gaby Weidling is a puzzle and game developer at Lone Shark Games. Her work includes puzzles and trivia for Microsoft, Wired, the Seattle Symphony, as well as events at various conventions like PAX and Gen Con. She is also a game developer on the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

Teeuwynn Woodruff

Teeuwynn has created games, puzzles, events, and written fiction for companies including Wizards of the Coast, Lucas Arts, Microsoft, Walt Disney World, White Wolf, TSR, and SONY Digital. She has worked on or created dozens of games of all kinds including trading card games, board games, roleplaying games, and online games. Some of the games Teeuwynn has worked on include Magic: the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Pokemon, White Wolf's World of Darkness, and Netrunner.

Rebekah Zetty

A life-long board game fan, Rebekah Zetty now deals with everything from factory relations to product development and sales, as the Director of Operations at Playroom Entertainment.  When not at the office, she can also be seen around Los Angeles, performing as an actress and stand up comic.

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Our other contributors will be "unlocked" at various levels of the Kickstarter funding.  We hope to unlock each and every talented member on our list for our ultimate dream book, and with your help, we can make that happen! Make sure to check the bottom of this page for ADD-ON information!

Backer Rewards

Our backer rewards are pretty simple.  We have early-bird copies of the books available, which will be signed by Elisa Teague.  Since our contributors live all over the country, getting everybody to sign will be too tricky to fulfill, but it is certainly a fun challenge to take on at your favorite game conventions!  

We also have regular copies of the books and PDFs available for those of you who wish to read it on your favorite device on-the-go. 

A few special rewards include a "Consultation over Coffee" Q&A advice session with Elisa to review your game design and help with your presentation and submission to game companies, a full playtest session with design notes from industry professionals, and a few surprises that will open up as stretch goals!

Stretch Goals

UNLOCKED!!!!

Once we reach $3000, we will have the amazing opportunity to have game designer and puzzle shark extraordinaire Mike Selinker write the foreword to Girls on Games!  

We already know what you're thinking:  Mike is not a female game industry professional.  We are quite aware that Mike is not a woman, but we also can guarantee that what he has to say is crucial to this project. 

UNLOCKED!!!!

Once we reach $3500, our talented contributor Satine Phoenix will be adding new CUSTOM ARTWORK to the book!  When this unlocks, a new backer reward level will be added that will contain a signed limited edition artwork print of one of her pieces created exclusively for this book! Fans of Satine's gaming art know that this is a real treat, and we can't wait to announce that this goal is unlocked!

UNLOCKED!!!!

At $4000, we will unlock the incredible Nicole Lindroos of Green Ronin Publishing to our growing list of female game industry professional authors!  Previously the Chairman of the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design and a continued Gen Con Industry Insider Guest of Honor, Nicole has worked for many years in the game industry and certainly has a unique perspective on women in gaming!

UNLOCKED!!!!

At $4500, all Backers will get access to Elisa's Game Design Sell-Sheet Download in PDF form.  This template is the perfect guideline for every game designer to use when pitching their game to a game publisher. 

Previously only available through a private consultation with Elisa, this download is priceless in getting your game pitch remembered by publishers!  

UNLOCKED!!!!

At $5,000, we unlock Jennifer Brozek, a winner of the Australian Shadows Award for best edited publication.  Jennifer has edited fifteen anthologies with more on the way. Author of In a Gilded Light, The Lady of Seeking in the City of Waiting, Industry Talk, and the Karen Wilson Chronicles, she has more than sixty published short stories, and is the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions. 

 Jennifer also is a freelance author for numerous RPG companies. Winner of both the Origins and the ENnie awards, her contributions to RPG sourcebooks include Dragonlance, Colonial Gothic, Shadowrun, Serenity, Savage Worlds, and White Wolf SAS. Jennifer is also the author of the YA Battletech novel, The Nellus Academy Incident.

UNLOCKED!!!!

At $6,000, we will unlock the awesome Jessica Price at Paizo Publishing!  With experience in the game industry at a few different companies and now working at a leading RPG company with a female CEO, we know that Jessica has fabulous insight on the changing climate of inclusion in the tabletop industry!

UNLOCKED!!!!

At $6,500, we will unlock Carol Monahan, who was once the Director of Sales & Logistics at Wizards of the Coast during the early days of Magic: The Gathering, is the current Vice President of Cheapass Games, and is a business manager at Studio Foglio!

UNLOCKED!!!!

At $8,000, we will have the ability to add a digital backing level in EPUB format! A highly requested option, we have listened to our Backers' wishes and want to give you all what you want!

UNLOCKED!!!!

At $10,500, we will unlock Tifa Robles as a new author! Tifa is the founder of the Lady Planeswalkers Society (LPS), a former game retail employee that moved on to work at Wizards of the Coast, a feminist and an avid board gamer. She now works for Xbox and is a Magic: The Gathering tournament competitor. Seeing the tabletop industry from various points of view in the industry, we know her voice will add a unique perspective to Girls on Games!

UNLOCKED!!!!

At $12,000, we will have a budget to do a six episode podcast, complete with all new discussions and advice with some of our contributors from the book and special guest speakers!

UNLOCKED!!!

At $13,000, we will unlock another new author, Julie Haehn! Julie's background of more than 10 years of working in the gaming industry has provided fodder for many amusing stories to share. To understand her better you should understand that at a young age, while watching Star Trek: The Next Generation she mistakenly thought that the actors were experts in the things they were portraying. This caused her to devote her life to learn as much as she possibly could about everything! Thus, her game industry experience covers sales, marketing, playtest coordinator, producer, production manager, and game designer!

UNLOCKED!!!

At $14,000, we will unlock another brilliant author for the book, Crystal Fraiser! Crystal began dabbling in the tabletop games as a pimple-faced seventeen-year-old nerdlet. In the years since, she worked as an artist, author, and graphic designer—both independently and for large publishers—seeing the industry from a variety of angles. As a queer woman, Crystal’s focuses on making welcoming and empowering for the entire gaming community, making sure everyone knows that they can be heroes. When not writing, illustration, or mapping for games, she spends her time reading comics, writing on pop culture issues, and playing too much Civilization.

UNLOCKED!!!

At $15,000, we will get a real treat!  John Kovalic will be unlocked to give the book comic strips featuring Dork Tower's Gilly, the misunderstood gothy geek.  John is known for this hilarious comic strip, being the illustrator for over 40 games, including Munchkin, Chez Geek, Apples to Apples, and the new version Cash N' Guns, as well as being the game designer for a few as well, such as Whad'Ya Know? and ROFL!

UNLOCKED!!!

At $18,000, we will unlock new author, Carmen DeMint!  Carmen is the founder and CEO of Round Table Media, the driving force behind Ladies Of the Round Table. Bringing her expertise from her years of wearing many hats from a chef, nurse, and corporate marketing maven to the gaming industry, she is the founder of the LORT STEM Education Scholarship Foundation for girls. Carmen understands but does not accept the ongoing female stereotypes in gaming, and is willing to stand up and speak out on controversial subjects such as the lack of diversity, female power in game culture. With 33 years of experience in all things related to video games and technology, Carmen has proven that LORTNation is a safe place for women in the industry to cultivate women being active in technology and inspire female entrepreneurs all while changing the landscape of our gaming community.

At $20,000, we will celebrate with a book release party and open signing at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas in March!  The GAMA Trade Show is the Game Manufacturer Association conference and trade show that takes place in Las Vegas each year.  We will have many of our contributing authors there, and it is the perfect place to launch Girls on Games!

New authors and other cool upgrades will be announced as each stretch goal is unlocked! Please back Girls on Games today to get even more amazing content by female industry leaders!

Add-ons!

By request, we have the following add-ons available:

Extra PDF or ePub Books: Just add $10 to your pledge at any level $10 or above! When you receive your survey after the Kickstarter has ended, you will be able to let us know what your extra pledge funds are for!

Extra Soft-cover Books: Just add $20 to your pledge at any level (even the digital levels)! When you receive your survey after the Kickstarter has ended, you will be able to let us know what your extra pledge funds are for!

Extra Hard-cover Books: Just add $60 to your pledge at any level (even the digital levels)! When you receive your survey after the Kickstarter has ended, you will be able to let us know what your extra pledge funds are for!

For International Backers outside the U.S., please add $5 extra shipping for each to cover the extra weight of each book.  Digital copies need no shipping fees, of course!

What now?

Well, we need your help and continued support to print this amazing book.  Elisa's part has been in the making for almost 15 years, and her main book chapters are in the first round of editing.  Given the chance, we would like to add as many contributors as possible, each with her own chapter to discuss something close to her heart.

We want to thank you all in advance for any support you can give, even if it is just re-sharing this Kickstarter campaign to your friends and give a special thanks to all of the artists and contributors who are going to make this project so incredible! 

Risks and challenges

Girls on Games is actually a pretty straight-forward project, but it has the potential to grow very large, with possibility of many chapters being added to the book. As a project like this grows, there is the increasing possibility that the editing of each chapter or adding artwork will take longer than expected.

We have a set game-plan, however, with strict deadlines for contributors, and we have plenty of book design and printing experience behind us. Elisa recently did the graphic design on the extremely successful Maze of Games puzzle book), and laying everything out for print is much like an extremely huge instruction book (not that we'd ever recommend such a thing) or Role Playing Book. Plus, Elisa runs a magazine (Cupcake Quarterly) on the side, and the layout process is nearly identical.

We lack most of the risks associated with the types of Kickstarters we are used to (ahem, full games) because we have no components to source or a ton of artwork to produce, so our risk level is very low.

We currently have 3 options for printers/fulfillment all lined up and ready to go, and we will choose the one that makes most sense when we see how large the Kickstarter gets - which is all up to you!

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    KICKSTARTER ONLY HARD COVER EDITION:
    Backers at this level will receive a physical hard cover copy of the book, signed by Elisa Teague (and as many other contributing authors as possible)! This edition will ONLY be available via this Kickstarter campaign!

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    ART LOVER: Backers at this level will receive a signed, limited edition artwork print by Satine Phoenix, exclusively created for this project PLUS a copy of the book!

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    SHARE MY STORY: Backers at this level will receive a unique opportunity to share their own experience in a 1-2 page spread in the book, either as a female professional in the game industry, gamer at the table, or as someone who has a great story to tell about women's issues in this field. This level is not limited to women only - we want to hear everyone's stories!

    Please note that to be included, we will need your story submitted for editing by November 15, 2014. Backers at this level will also receive a copy of the book!

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    CONSULTATION OVER COFFEE WITH ELISA: Backers at this level will receive a physical signed copy of the book and a scheduled meeting over coffee in Los Angeles, during New York Toy Fair, at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, or at Gen Con Indianapolis any time in 2015 to discuss game design and submission techniques and advice, as well as a review of any game designs you may have at the time.

    * Any travel necessary is to be covered by the Backer.

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    PACKAGING CONSULTATION WITH JESSICA BLAIR, PRESIDENT OF ROLL TO MARKET, LLC: Backers at this level will receive a copy of the book and a scheduled meeting available by appointment in the Seattle area, during New York Toy Fair, at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, Emerald City Comic Con, Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio, or PAX Prime any time in 2015 to discuss packaging design and requirements.
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Funding period

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