I have a confession to make. Before I designed Fantastic Factories, I had never played a single hobby board game solo. So I hesitate a bit to write about this topic because I’m far from an expert or even experienced in playing solo games — much less designing them!

However, I have noticed with the ongoing pandemic and from posts on BoardGameGeek that the solo mode of Fantastic Factories is quite popular and well regarded. …

You’ve finished designing your tabletop game. You’ve acquired art assets, hired a graphic designer, and you’re now ready to take your game to Kickstarter! One of the most important questions you need to answer is how much should you charge for each pledge? With the assumption that you want to see your game in retail at some point, that answer largely depends on what you want to set your MSRP to.

Let me preface this post with the caveat that every project is different. Every creator is different — everyone has different goals and motivations on why they want to…

Just a quick post! The Kickstarter campaign for TWO Fantastic Factories Expansions (Manufactions and Subterfuge) is now LIVE. Here’s a little bit of information on each expansion.


With the ever-growing manufacturing industry comes the consolidation of power and expertise in the form of corporate factions! Each faction brings a unique competitive advantage that completely shifts the way business is done. Which faction will you align with in order to establish market dominance?

Manufactions features tons of new blueprints and contractors as well as corporate factions which grant asymmetric player powers.


The stakes are high and tensions are running hot! Do…

Launching your crowdfunding campaign is a big deal. It’s often a culmination of years of hard work, and in spite of all that hard work Kickstarter can be a fickle beast. It’s important that your launch day goes as smoothly as possible and reaches your audience and hopefully beyond.

To that end, I highly recommend you build a checklist of things you need to do the moments after you hit launch on your campaign. This list is by no means anything groundbreaking or clever, but on day one it’ll be a flurry of excitement and chaos, and the last thing…

First ever playtest of what would eventually become Fantastic Factories

Fantastic Factories has been fulfilled to backers, and players around the world have been enjoying it! We are celebrating our 4th year anniversary of when Fantastic Factories was first conceived back in November 18th, 2015, and I thought it might be of interest to people to write about how Fantastic Factories got its start and the various design challenges that we faced in a series of blog posts. For this post, we rewind the clock back to the very beginning and share how this scrappy group of friends got together with an idea for a board game.

November 18th, 2015

As anyone in…

Detailed analysis of converting a mailing list into Kickstarter backers for a tabletop game

A year ago I did a breakdown of my mailing list of roughly 1,000 emails I collected of people interested in my board game, Fantastic Factories. If you’re interested in how I got those emails, feel free to check out my article about building an audience. Towards the end of my breakdown I asked the question.

How much is an email worth?

Let’s find out!

Not all emails are created equal

Below is a chart of how well the emails I collected converted into Kickstarter backers. …

I often hear people ask what is the best way to build an audience for your board game Kickstarter. I’ve detailed my methods in this earlier post. In this post I’ll be diving into the actual details and numbers behind the email mailing list for Fantastic Factories, which is a tabletop game launching on Kickstarter on May 29th 2018.

Overview of Sources

Far and away the largest source of emails has been demoing at large conventions, specifically PAX South 2017 (Indie Showcase) and PAX West 2017, (IndieMEGABOOTH). At both shows I had a table in a very high traffic area. …

May you always roll sixes… or should you? In many board games, the higher you roll, the better the result. I wanted to challenge that assumption. People love rolling dice but hate the results. In Fantastic Factories, it’s less about what you roll and more about how you utilize the outcome of that roll. To reference Gil Hova, it’s all about input randomness instead of output randomness.

Equal Opportunity

During the design process, one of my guiding principals for Fantastic Factories was to make sure no one particular value of dice was better than another. That philosophy courses throughout the entire game…

In a board game, is it worse to have a card that is perceived as overpowered but actually isn’t or to have a card that looks balanced but is in actuality too strong? Most people will place more importance on reality over perception but as you can guess from the topic of this post, it’s not exactly that straight forward.

Why Perception Matters

Board games are inherently an experience based activity. …

In my blog posts, I like to tackle the topics and questions that come up time and time again. I often see first time Kickstarter creators asking questions about art — who to hire, where to find artists, and how much to pay them. I am fortunate to not have to worry about these things because I do my own art, so I invited Aislyn Hall to talk about her impressive experience and journey in creating Ivion.

Aislyn and her game, Ivion.

Tell us about yourself, your team, and the game you successfully funded on Kickstarter.

Hi! My name is Aislyn Hall, and I’m the…

Joseph Z Chen

Designer and artist for Fantastic Factories, a dice placement, engine building tabletop game. Preorder now: http://www.fantasticfactories.com

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