Publishing lessons

Board games & crowdfunding

Joyful moments

21st March 2023 2

Running a business can be challenging. Some days you may wake up to a problem you have no experience in solving, and other days you may receive an email from a frustrated person who is letting you know exactly how they feel.

Part of being a business owner is learning to deal with these challenges, surrounding yourself with incredible people, and learning how to respond to problems.

On the other hand, running a business can also be a very joyful experience and over the years The City of Games has created some of the happiest moments of my life.

1. I remember the first review I watched of The City of Kings like it was yesterday. Sara and I were sitting on the sofa with the video playing on our TV, we sat in silence for the entire duration until the end came along and we both looked at each other with smiles on our faces.

2. When The City of Kings hit its funding goal on Kickstarter I couldn’t have been happier. Years of my life went into preparing for that moment and I finally felt like everything was becoming real.

3. For nearly 20 years I worked in the digital world making software and web applications. I always enjoyed my work but I remember when the first production sample of The City of Kings turned up and how amazing it was to hold in my hands. I expect I’ll keep that copy of the game for the rest of my life and I always enjoying seeing it on my shelf.

4. After my first Kickstarter had funded I exhibited at the UK Games Expo, one of the largest board game conventions in the world. While I wont name specific people, I remember listening to several people who came to my booth and expressed how excited they were about The City of Kings. To see the joy on their faces and to have the opportunity to show the game to them in person was amazing. While this list features some of my most joyful moments, bringing joy to other people continues to be why I make games for a living.

5. In 2019 I met with the owner of Lucky Duck Games and began the process of translating my first game into another language. Since then I’ve translated games into many languages but I’ll always remember the first time I saw The Isle of Cats box cover in a different language. I have a shelf in my home office with each translation of my games and knowing my games have travelled all around the world is an incredible thought.

There have been many other amazing moments over the years and I may share more of them over the years, but today I just wanted to focus on sharing some joyful moments.

I’d also like to acknowledge how grateful I am for the friends I’ve made in this hobby over the years, from the gamers to the business owners, thank you all for bringing joy into my life.

Are there any joyful moments in your journey that put a smile on your face whenever you think about them?

Frank West

Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!


  • Sam Francis

    21st March 2023 at 4:15 pm

    For me, the first time I ran a public playtest, and some average punters (i.e. not designers) played my game and I stood back and watched them laughing and enjoying themselves. Then they asked to play again!


    • Frank West

      21st March 2023 at 5:03 pm

      It’s always wonderful when people ask to play again after a playtest, I’m very glad to hear you first one went so well!


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