Project image
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$32,474
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
717
backers
18days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, March 8 2019 4:00 AM UTC +00:00.

Zoom Out MediaBy Zoom Out Media
First created
Zoom Out MediaBy Zoom Out Media
First created
$32,474
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
717
backers
18days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, March 8 2019 4:00 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Board games are exploding in popularity.  With scores of players, huge conventions, countless media outlets, and thousands of games coming out each year, the board game industry is truly a global phenomenon.  But who makes all of the games that fuel this industry?  And how are all of these games designed, developed, and eventually released to the public?  The answer is found in The Game Designers!

Kelly North Adams (Veggie Garden) works on her latest prototype.
Kelly North Adams (Veggie Garden) works on her latest prototype.

The Game Designers features the many different talented individuals out there who dream up and create the many games that are published each year.  These are the individuals that labor tirelessly, for countless hours, night and day to painstakingly develop the games that will (hopefully) become the next big hits of the new season.  These games don't come from nowhere and it takes a lot of time, hard work, dedication, and perseverance to create the products that the gaming public wants to play.

This film highlights the work and stories of five board game designers.  Industry luminaries Matt Leacock and Antoine Bauza share their origin stories and also give a look into their latest projects; up-and-coming designers Kelly North Adams and Chris Faulkenberry work on publishing and Kickstarting their sophomore efforts; and first-time designer Doug Schepers tries his hand at developing his first title.

Antoine Bauza (7 Wonders, Hanabi, Takenoko) chats with a fan at Cannes Game Festival.
Antoine Bauza (7 Wonders, Hanabi, Takenoko) chats with a fan at Cannes Game Festival.

The collection of designers in this project provide a great and compelling story as they strive to bring their creations to life.  Watch the designers face circumstances that challenge them every step of the way.  Whether they are just starting out or have years of experience behind them, making their games always brings excitement--and uncertainty!

The Game Designers is dedicated to the thousands of game designers out there who have made so many great games over the years which have provided endless hours of enjoyable and meaningful entertainment for so many people.  This film illustrates what it takes to make these great games and also provides an exciting ride along the way.  So we hope that you'll join us on this journey as we follow The Game Designers and watch their stories come to life.

This project started a little over three years ago when I decided that I wanted to tell the story of board game designers. I had been inspired to tell this story due to my own challenges in designing my first board game and I felt that it would be a worthy endeavor to “bring to light” just how complicated it can be to create these games.

Matt Leacock (Pandemic, Forbidden Sky) signs a game board for a fan at Lucca Comics & Games in Italy.
Matt Leacock (Pandemic, Forbidden Sky) signs a game board for a fan at Lucca Comics & Games in Italy.

After filming with my local design group for several months, I traveled to many different conventions and events around the world and met a great number of the industry’s most well-known designers and publishers. I went to Origins, Gen Con, SPIEL (Essen Game Fair), Cannes Game Festival, Lucca Comics & Games, CMON Expo, and Unpub (visiting some of them multiple times). I learned a great deal going to these conventions and also got some great footage and interviews with many talented people.

Along the way I had the good fortune of meeting Scott Alden, the founder of BoardGameGeek (the world’s leading board game website and database). Scott and I agreed to work together to create this film and make it as good as it could possibly be.

Doug Schepers (left) playtests his new game and Chris Faulkenberry (right) takes his game to Gen Con to promote.
Doug Schepers (left) playtests his new game and Chris Faulkenberry (right) takes his game to Gen Con to promote.

Now three years after I started this project and just months from being completed, we are seeking the help and support of the community to bring this film across the finish line. The film is entirely shot and a rough cut is nearly done—which in its current state already tells a compelling story.  With your support, we can complete the film by purchasing music rights, adding high-end color grading, sound mixing, graphic design, and animation.  Closed captioning will also be provided in English.

Please help us bring The Game Designers to life so that the story of all of the great designers out there can be told!

-Eric Rayl, Director of The Game Designers

Artwork by Lloyd Hoshide.  The is a sample wallpaper as noted in the reward tiers.
Artwork by Lloyd Hoshide. The is a sample wallpaper as noted in the reward tiers.

When I saw Eric Rayl filming at Origins Game Fair in 2016, I asked him what he was working on.  He said that he had been shooting a documentary about board game designers and was interested in interviewing us at BoardGameGeek.  After the interview, I became even more interested in his project to see if I could help.  Eric gave me a brief rundown of what he was planning, and I started getting excited.  I jumped at the chance to become the Executive Producer for the movie and to lend my assistance in any way I could.

A shot of Gen Con showing one of its busy halls.
A shot of Gen Con showing one of its busy halls.

In the following years, I saw Eric at just about every major game convention in the US and at SPIEL in Essen, Germany.  Eric even attended several other international gaming events to show how the love of games has spread across the world.  We have partnered on this project over this period of time and have worked together to tell this story to its fullest.

I’m very proud to be a part of this documentary that covers so many different designer’s stories, and I hope that you share the same passion as I do about understanding how games get made.  Thank you for your interest and I hope that we can count on your support to make this project a reality!

-Scott Alden, Executive Producer of The Game Designers

We have conducted many interviews for this film, with the first five people depicted below being the principal individuals featured.  This list contains both designers and other industry luminaries.

We have also interviewed...

  •  Uwe Rosenberg - A Feast for Odin, Caverna, Agricola, Fields of Arle, Patchwork
  •  Vlaada Chvatil - Through the Ages, Mage Knight, Codenames, Galaxy Trucker
  •  Bruno Cathala - 7 Wonders Duel, Five Tribes, Kingdomino, Cyclades
  •  Elisa Teague - Apocrypha, Geek Out!, Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow's Walk
  •  Ryan Laukat - Near and Far, Above and Below, Eight-Minute Empire, Islebound
  •  Maureen Hiron - Continuo, Cosmic Cows, Qwitch, 7 Ate 9
  •  Mac Gerdts - Concordia, Navegador, Imperial, Antike
  •  Dominique Metzler - SPIEL (Essen Game Fair)
  •  Friedemann Friese - Power Grid, Friday, Fabled Fruit, Fearsome Floors
  •  Brittanie Boe - Be Bold Games
  •  Isaac Childres - Gloomhaven, Forge War, Founders of Gloomhaven
  • ... plus many more!

Free domestic shipping within the United States is included for every pledge that is $40 USD and higher. International shipping is an additional $10 USD (except for Canada which is only $7 USD).  All shipping to US, EU, Canada, and Australia is customs and duty free!  This means that there are no surprise shipping costs for backers outside the U.S. (and within one of these territories).

Eric Rayl is the Director of The Game Designers.  He has been playing hobby board games for a number of years and his favorite game is Agricola by Uwe Rosenberg.  Eric has several years of experience in creating documentary short films and other behind-the-scenes content for different channels.  He lives in Atlanta.

Eric on location in Italy (left) and Scott at a convention (right)
Eric on location in Italy (left) and Scott at a convention (right)

Scott Alden is the Executive Producer of The Game Designers.  He is the founder of BoardGameGeek and runs the day-to-day operations of the website.  He also runs two annual game conventions and a cruise for board game geeks.  Scott started out working in the telecom industry, moved to the video game world, and found his true calling in board games.  His favorite game is Tigris & Euphrates, designed by Reiner Knizia.  Scott lives in Dallas with his wife Michelle.

We would truly appreciate you helping us get the word out! Sharing this Kickstarter on social media will let your friends know about this project and help increase pledges to reach our funding goal and unlock additional stretch goals!

Risks and challenges

The risks for this project are relatively low. The film is completely shot and a rough cut is almost done. After the Kickstarter, the biggest challenge will be to complete the film in its entirety and to make sure that it is the most compelling, engaging, and fun film that it can possibly be.

The other big challenge will be to get the additional content done in a timely manner--while still maintaining the highest level of quality possible. We want to get the film to you as soon as we can, but it may, however, take the entire time allotted in each reward tier to do so. Nevertheless, I believe that the risks for this project are low.

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    Collector's Edition - Digital Version

    This is the digital version of the Collector's Edition of The Game Designers. This digital download collection includes hours of extended interviews featuring the industry's most prominent game designers. It also includes several deleted scenes, funny outtakes, and compelling extras. Upon reaching each stretch goal, each featurette will be added to this collection as well. Again, this is the digital download version of the Collector's Edition. For the physical version of the Collector's Edition, see the $70 reward tiers below.

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    Enjoy the complete collection of The Game Designers. This multi-disc box set is loaded with hours of extended interviews featuring the industry's most prominent game designers. It also includes several deleted scenes, funny outtakes, and compelling extras. Upon reaching each stretch goal, each featurette will be added to this collection as well. All discs fit neatly into one sharp box set featuring the artwork by Lloyd Hoshide.

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    Associate Producer

    For your generous contribution, you will be recognized as an Associate Producer and your name will appear in the opening sequence (along with only the Director’s name and the Executive Producer’s name). In addition to the full Collector’s Edition, you will receive a framed DVD with a custom engraved plaque commemorating your contribution and role as an Associate Producer--a classy memento for your game room or office wall. You will also receive a pair of tickets to BoardGameGeek Con Fall 2019 where you can see the film played to a live audience (travel not included). You will also receive an additional DVD or Blu-Ray that you can give to a friend or family member as a special gift.

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    • Pair of Tickets to BGG Con Fall 2019
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    Collector's Edition - Digital Version

    This is the digital version of the Collector's Edition of The Game Designers. This digital download collection includes hours of extended interviews featuring the industry's most prominent game designers. It also includes several deleted scenes, funny outtakes, and compelling extras. Upon reaching each stretch goal, each featurette will be added to this collection as well. Again, this is the digital download version of the Collector's Edition. For the physical version of the Collector's Edition, see the $70 reward tiers below.

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    • Digital Download
    • Hours of Extended Interviews
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