Designer Diary: The Game Makers Guild

20140923-205851.jpgAs of this week, I will have been living in Boston for three years. My wife and I graduated college in 2011, got married, ran across Europe for 30 days, then flew straight into Boston to apartment hunt (without a hotel reservation or even a cell phone).

It was an crazy time, but we decided on Boston for a great many reasons, and have come to love Boston for a great many more.

Little did I know at the time, but Boston is one of the most up and coming cities for Board Games in the nation, and certainly the board game capital of New England.

One of the coolest things in Boston was a little group called the Game Makers Guild ( actually, at the time they started out as the Cambridge Board Game Prototype Circle). This group has the express purpose of getting designers together to playtest each other’s games.

It was here that I sheepishly brought my cardboard boxes of hand cut components made with hopes and dreams and had them crushed and rebuilt into playable games and things of beauty.

The most important part of the game design process is having people telling you all of the games flaws. It’s a painful process at times, but absolutely critical.

The Guild has since ballooned into a large organization, meeting twice a month, and a membership of approaching 500 members. We have fantastic designers who lend excellent insight, and enough play testers that for the last several meetups we have played every single game that someone brought.

They’re a very cool, very passionate group of people growing this organization to reach out to Indie Designers and make sure their game gets the testing it needs.

It was here that Killer Croquet was put through the fires and streamlined to the state it’s in today. Some of the early playtests, the other designers so enjoyed the game they really suggested putting it to Kickstarter and move forward with game in particular. They’re an incredible resource, and when Killer Croquet does go into production, I’ll be glad to know that they’ve got my back with all the resources, advice, and connections I’ll need.

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