Over the years I have consumed thousands of hours of videos focussed on board games. Many of these videos are reviews, how to plays, previews, and other similar content focussed on whether you should buy a game and helping you play it.
These videos are great for gamers, but today I want to share with you a several videos that I believe are great for publishers. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part these videos are still designed for gamers, but as a publisher I’ve learned a great deal from them.
Tom’s Boring Unboxing Video series
Tom Vasel from The Dice Tower is one of the biggest reviewers in board gaming and every week he releases a video of him opening the parcels he receives. At first this may sound dull but overtime you’ll start to pick up a lot of useful information.
- What makes a cover stand out?
- What information is good or bad on the back of a box?
- Does your game description let someone know what the game is?
- Is the packing you’ve used any good?
- Was there a clever marketing promotion involved?
With most games being discussed for only 1 or 2 minutes it gives you a great rapid-fire insight to the first impressions of games and has helped me improve my boxes a lot over the years.
Every week Bower’s Game Corner does a deep dive into an active Kickstarter Project reviewing the page and the creator. These videos aren’t about if the game is good or not, but rather is the page good, does it present the right information, and does the creator come across as someone you would like to back.
If you’re planning to run a crowdfunding campaign, then I highly recommend you watch at least some of these videos and use them to make lists of things you need to do.
Throughout this article I will be recommending specific video series to follow, but when it comes to Shelf Stories, I want to refer to the channel as a whole.
Jason releases a number of different videos each month and while some aren’t so useful for publishers, a lot of them are a must watch.
These videos focus on one of the most important parts of our industry, how to make accessible, inclusive, welcoming games. They teach you how to be understanding of other peoples views, to see where something that might be considered fine and normal by your community, could be offensive and harmful to another.
These videos aren’t about blaming, they aren’t about shaming, they are about education and informing. They’ll help you produce games with a global audience in mind and I couldn’t recommend them more.
Rahdo Rounds Up
Rahdo runs one of the largest board game channels on YouTube. He has spent a large portion of his life as a very successful video game designer and another large portion as a reviewer, his understanding of mechanisms and design decisions is second to none.
While most videos on Rahdo’s channel focus on playthroughs and sharing thoughts on individual games, each month he releases the Rahdo Round Up.
I believe this monthly video is one of the most important videos you can watch as both a publisher and a designer and here’s why.
In any given month Rahdo and his contributors will play 20 – 30 new games and in this video they share their thoughts on all of them. With only 2-3 minutes spent on each game you get bombarded with stand out mechanisms, unique concepts, crazy components, amazing themes, and the highlight of each game.
By the end of the video your head will be buzzing with inspiration, you’ll link things from different games and come up with new ideas. You’ll discover all sorts of cool stuff that may help you progress a design or come up with a crazy new theme.
I can’t begin to tell you how many ideas I’ve had as a result of these videos over the years.
The Kickstarter critique series from Bower’s Game Corner is great for deep diving into a project, but Crowdsurfing fulfils a different role.
This series typically features 3 people (Tom, Zee, and Mike from Dice Tower) who review 15 – 20 projects in under an hour.
It’s a fantastic way to see how people first react to a crowdfunding page, to understand what they focus on, what stands out to them. It helps you identify things that are missed, overdone, or lack excitement, and helps you work towards standing out from everyone else.
I hope you find these videos useful and I would love to know if there are any videos that you draw inspiration from as a publisher?