Monday, September 06, 2010

Brief review: Paid to Play

Paid to Play by Keith A. Meyers. Self-published through iUniverse, Inc. 2008. 89 pages 9" by 6" (yes, a very small book). About $20 as I recall,click the article title for the link. Also, there is another book of the same name, except different subtitle, about video games. Don't get confused.

As the subtitle indicates, this book is not about how to design a game but about the process that game design is a part of what you start with ideas and end up with a published game, whether license to a publisher or self published.

The author has worked in the game industry for more than 20 years sometimes for publishers, sometimes for retailers, now for himself as a designer. I first encountered him through a newsletter he used to publish for game inventors.

That word “inventors” is important because he talks primarily about the toy and game industry (where designers are often called inventors) than about the hobby game industry. In particular the games that he talks about are very simple, and that may be why he feels he can wait until the game is essentially set before he writes the rules. My experience with hobby games is that I’m writing the rules earlier and earlier in the process as I go along.

The books I am writing are almost entirely about the process of game design itself and don’t say much about marketing, and this little book would be a good complement. Another important observation is that it’s about tabletop games and toys, not about electronic/video games and toys. There are very few books written typically about tabletop industry.

No comments: