Publishing lessons

Board games & crowdfunding

What happens if I die?

28th March 2023 2

Please note, this lesson will be touching on the subject of death.

It was 2 am and I suddenly wake up from my sleep, my chest is tight and I’m struggling to breathe. I fall to my hands and knees and grab my phone to wake Sara via ringtone as I’m unable to speak, she drives me to the hospital. 12 hours of scans, tests, and panic later, everything comes back OK and I head home to get some sleep.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a rough weekend but luckily there were no serious health issues and I look forward to living a long healthy life.

With that said, things could have been different and while none of us like to think about dying, as a business owner you should have a plan in place. For me that plan needs to cover 2 key things:

Firstly, I would not want my family put in a position where they are suddenly charged with running a complex business without any knowledge or help.

Secondly, I would not want my customers to be left with unfulfilled orders, or for my games to suddenly cease to exist.

In the case of The City of Games there are 2 people who are written into my plans. One family member would immediately get access to all my accounts, files, and emails, with the knowledge of which projects are in which state and who to contact in order to continue things. The other is an experienced member of the industry who is well placed in knowing how to move things forward, and I trust explicitly with my games.

Over the years I have found appropriate times to speak with both of these people and ask them whether they are happy to be placed in this position, to make sure nothing is dropped on them by surprise.

While I don’t expect anything to happen to me, it reassures me to know that in case of an incident, The City of Games, my community, and the games I have designed will be well taken care of, and that my family won’t be unexpectedly placed in a challenging situation.

If you’ve never given this topic thought before then I recommend you speak with a legal advisor and understand what happens in your country should you pass, as each country has their own ways of dealing with it. Consider what the best plan for your business is, the people who you think are best placed to complete that plan, and speak with them. Keeping in mind this may be a difficult topic for them as well and you should approach it carefully while applying no pressure.

I do want to re-state that I am perfectly fine and healthy and that I’m writing this article today purely because I was reminded of the importance of this topic and wanted to advise others to make sure they have a plan in place.

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!


  • Wonmin

    29th March 2023 at 5:00 pm

    Frank, your health is number one! Glad to hear everything’s alright with you. Haha, the newsletter email subject was quite shocking—”What happens if I die?”


    • Frank West

      29th March 2023 at 5:14 pm

      I hadn’t considered the subject line of the email notifications, hopefully it didn’t shock too many people!

      Thank you Wonmin, I’m certainly glad everything turned out OK in the end and that I got this chance to remind other people on their own journeys that this is something they should consider and plan for.


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