Friday, March 23, 2012

Some recent developments

This is the deal: I'm trying to design a game, produce the components, print hundreds of copies, sell them locally, and distribute them nationally, all while creating a company to run these operations. The whole thing is wonderful and challenging and I'm glad I'm doing it, yet at the same time it can make me quite anxious. There is a lot of risk involved, of course, but I'm learning what that risk means and what I'm putting on the line. I'm learning about how to identify the sources of pressure and to determine what I can address and what I must abide.

So some interesting things have been happening. I've changed the name of the company from Organic Games to Grow Giant Games. Organic Games comes with a lot of potentially negative connotations, and moreover it represents the state of mind and philosophy I had several years ago. Grow Giant Games sounds better, is sexier, has good words, and is a complete improvement.

Furthermore, I am 95% sure I'm going to change the name of the game from Thief to something else, potentially "King of Thieves". Thief is a fine name and many people have said that it is a powerful word and is effective as the name of a card game. It has many different connotations and conjures up many images. However, there is a video game with the same name: Thief, the Dark Project, and I'm concerned that should my game prove successful, sometime down the road I'll receive a letter from them asking me to please kindly change the name. I don't want to limit myself, to stay under the radar, right off the bat.

What do you think of the name "King of Thieves"?

The upshot of this is that the game is going through something of a rebirth: a new website:, new artwork that I will show off soon, and a new logo that is forthcoming. The cards themselves are being reworked to present a more consistent theme, a Victorian steam-punk theme, full of poisons and pistons and clockwork and cobblestones. The imagery and text are becoming more consistent, and thus better. This is good!

One source of anxiety is, of course, funding. After working on the business plan and cash flow projections, it looks like a good course of action is to apply for $15,000 in loans. However, it is unlikely I'll be approved for such a loan without first approaching the market and seeing how well the game will sell in reality. To do this, I'll need to produce 100 or so units and try to sell them. Where am I going to get the funds to make 100 units? I'll find it somewhere.

Producing 100 units and trying to sell them in the market will be extremely beneficial to me. I currently have a big question mark hanging over my head - I can't be certain that the game will sell once it gets into stores. Seeing how those first 100 do will give me the confidence I need to take the risk and get a big loan to make a larger print run. I think it's a better approach, and it allows me to see a clearer path into the future, which is the most important thing.

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