Board Games Publishing and Marketing
I am in the process of writing a book covering the business and technical aspects of Board games publishing.
There are plenty of books that cover game design, development and the
creative process but not so much about the business aspects of board
This book is being published as it is written, in an online version meant to collect feedback and comments from
interested parties in order to improve it before
publication. Your comments and feedback will effectively make it a
living book, much better and accurate than I could ever make it alone.
New chapters will be posted as they are written, so keep coming back!
For immediate release
Twin Tin Bots by Philippe Keyaerts get a re-boot on Kickstarter!
Flatlined Games is proud to announce it re-launches the crowdfunding campaign to publish Twin Tin Bots, a game by Philippe Keyaerts (Author of Small World, Olympos, Evo and Vinci).
The campaign is on Kickstarter.com for the english version of the game. European publishers do not have access to Kickstarter yet, so our US distribution partner Game Salute, will be running the campaign for us through their Springboard program.
Springboard is a label that ensures supporters that a Kickstarter project is professionally produced, and has received the level of playtesting, development, and graphical design that you expect from a published game. They also will help us promote the game to the American audience.
A french language satellite campaign will also be run on french crowdfunding platform ulule.com for the french version of the game. Both campaigns are linked : money raised from both campaigns will be used to determine stretch goals releases, and the satellite french version will automatically gain any stretch goals reached on the main english campaign.
The english language Kickstarter campaign can be found here :
Kickstarter and crowdfunding are a disrupive force in the board games industry. Retailers and Distributors voice some concerns about this new model, and we have listened. We are starting something new with this kickstarter campaign : a special retailer program that allows retailers to participte without tiying up the cash for a long period of time. We at Flatlined games are convinced it is possible to find a model that works for the whole chain, and that crowdfunding does not require publishers to leave distributors and retailers out of the loop.
About the Game
Twin Tin Bots is a robot programming game, by Philippe Keyaerts.
Each player programs two robots to harvest crystals. The available orders are simple (forward, turn, harvest, unload, ...) but there are two robots to control with three program slots each, and only one order can be changed each turn! Furthermore, the other player's robots are after the same crystals, and will push your robots, or might even rob crystals from them.
Twin Tin Bots contains 36 plastic miniatures, is very easy to grasp but hard to master and plays in under 60 minutes, even with 6 players.
The player turn sequence is very simple so game rounds are short and there is no downtime.
There is very little randomness in Twin Tin Bots. You always have all orders available, so there is no waiting for a 'forward' tile. When it's your turn, you know what other player's robots programs are, and have a good view of their future actions. And you execute your actions on your turn, so they do not depend on unknown factors.
More information, components pictures and gameplay videos are available on the project page.
You can also follow the campaign evolution on kicktraq :
About the Author
Twin Tin Bots is the latest game from Belgian designer Philippe Keyaerts.
Philippe Keyaerts is well known amongst gamers for his previous successes : Vinci, Evo, Olympos, and of course the SmallWorld series.
When not creating games, he teaches remedial courses, putting his background in social studies and his master in mathematics to good use.
About Flatlined Games
Flatlined Games is a publisher of quality board games based in Brussels, Belgium.
We target niche markets in the boardgames market, and address these niches globally with multilingual editions.
We also market games targeted at a much broader public, which will be available trough the regular distribution market.
Flatlined Games is a one-man business, run on the evenings and weekends alongside a 'real' job by Eric Hanuise, owner of Flatlined Games. With Frederic Moyersoen he is co-designer of Batt'l Kha'os, published in 2009 by Z-Man Games.
About Game Salute
Game Salute provides top-shelf support for independent game developers and publishers. Founded by industry veterans, Game Salute is dedicated to providing innovative and reliable tools and services to make the tabletop games industry better. Game Salute is headquartered in Londonderry, NH and has ofﬁces through the US as well as in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.GameSalute.com or call 1-800-459-5516
Contact info Flatlined Games :
eric.hanuise at flatlinedgames dot com
39 rue gheude
Ludofact has received the replacement tokens for Rumble in the Dungeon and will ship them to all customers that filled the online form on the next few days.
They will also send a small supply of tokens to our distributors, so if you missed the request form you can ask your retailer to get replacement counters in exchange for your RITD tokens from his distributor, free of charge.
Here is a variant by Cedric Lapouge, allowing team play in Rumble in the House and Rumble in the Dungeon.
By combining 2- and 3- players teams, all configurations from 4 to 12 players are supported.
Teams of 2 : Players of the same team sit in front of each other. Once each player of the team has looked at his two secret character tokens, he gives one to his team mate.
Teams of 3 : Players of the same team sit at equal distance of each other. Once each player of the team has looked at his two secret character tokens, he gives one to his left team mate.
In team play you only play one adventure. The team scores for the team's 3 best characters. The team with the highest score is awarded the hero's guild title.
To celebrate Halloween here is a small Halloween special for Dragon Rage.
Defend Esirien and Nurkott from the Evil Pumpkins and the Giant Gingerbread Men!
Update : the replacement campaign is now closed.
We have noticed an error from our manufacturer on 'Rumble in the Dungeon'. Even though this is a minor problem, we are very careful about our product quality and have therefore decided to communicate about this problem and to set up a correction program.
Problem description :
In our game 'Rumble in the House', there are six pairs of plastic tokens used to track player scores : one is kept in front of the player to remind him of his color, and the other is placed on the score track.
In 'Rumble in the Dungeon', we wanted to allow you to use of the game in combination with 'Rumble in the House'. Plastic tokens exists in 10 colors so we specified to the manufacturer that he should use 4 new colors (red, blue, green and black) and 2 colors already present in 'Rumble in the House' (Yellow and Pink) in order to allow up to 10 players around the table when combining both games.
That specification was not respected, and the 'Rumble in the Dungeon' boxes were delivered with the same color tokens as in 'Rumble in the House'.
The effective impact is minimal : It only affects players combining 'Rumble in the House' and 'Rumble in the Dungeon' to play with more than 6 players. Furthermore, there is a score track in each game, it is already possible to use both score tracks to differentiate players using the same token color. This is however not as practical and elegant as using a single score track.
No matter how minimal the impact, this is a production error that we want to set right. Our manufacturer, Ludofact Germany, was informed of the error. Ludofact also cares very much for the quality of their products and immediately replied that they will correct the error at their own cost.
We have set up a web form at this address :
We ask all customers who bought Rumble in the Dungeon to fill in the form, which will stay online until JANUARY 30, 2013.
At this date we'll close the form and transfer all addresses to Ludofact. They will then mail each customer a set of plastic tokens of the right color during February.
We are of course very sorry for this error. And so is our manufacturer, Ludofact, whose product quality is renowned and usually excellent.
We hope you will be satisfied by the resolution we offer for this problem.
Flatlined Games is pleased to announce our third game : Rumble in the Dungeon, by Olivier Saffre.
Rumble in the Dungeon will be released in October, during the Essen Spiel'12 Game Fair.
Flatlined games will be present at Essen Spiel'12, in booth 4-216.
About the Game
The dead king's tomb is said to be filled with riches and treasures. This draws numerous adventurers and monsters to the tomb. Only one will come out alive, maybe carrying the dead king's treasure!
Rumble in the Dungeon is a very simple game of bluffing and guessing.
Characters are placed in the Dungeon during setup. Each player gets two secret character tokens. Players may in turn move or eliminate one of the characters in the Dungeon. The player that kept one of his secret characters in play for the longest time shall win the round. During the game, other player's actions provide clues about their identity, or intended false leads. Each player tries to guess which are the other player's characters in order to eliminate them, while keeping their own safe.
Also, a character that manages to carry the treasure chest out of the Dungeon will win the round!
The simple mechanics and short play time make Rumble in the Dungeon a family game for 3 to 6 players aged 8 years and older.
The game is a stand alone expansion to Rumble in the House. Both games can be combined for playing with up to 10 people!
The humoristic art from Kwanchai Moriya perfectly suits this minimalistic party-game.
Rumble in the Dungeon is a small format box (13x13x5Cm) and will be available in a multilingual edition including rules in English, Spanish, and german and in a Multilingual French and Dutch version. MSRP is 16€.
You can download the rules from our website:
Here is also a backstory eBooklet with all characters from Rumble in the House and Rumble in the Dungeon
Hi everybody, here are some news from Flatlined Games HQ :
Company Status :
- Flatlined Games is alive and well. I run Flatlined Games during the evenings and weekends, along with my 'real' job that pays the bills. I am usually reactive on the various boardgames forums, but 'formal' communication on our website is a bit slower.
All money gained from sold games currently goes back into reprinting sold games and developing new games, as well of some money from my 'real' job to speed things up a little. This is a slow build-up process but it is safe and should guarantee that Flatlined Games will continue to operate for a very long time. The luxurious italian car will have to wait, I'm afraid. Ramen we can afford.
- Dragon Rage is selling better than expected, with two thirds of the print run gone already. Our target was to sell the 1500 copies in 5 years, as this is a very niche game. We're doing better than expected with that title so far, and our recent US distribution deal should help us sell out faster than expected. Dragon rage is a niche product and a slow seller compared to most current releases, but it is unique and niche enough that we know it will have a very long shelf life (Heck, it's already 30 years old if you think about it!).
- Rumble in the House is also performing quite well. The initial print run of 3000 multilingual copies was sold out in three months and justified a second print run of 5000 copies.
- We have set up deals with distributors for Belgium, France, the Netherlands, UK, and recently Canada and U.S.A.
Current projects :
- Rumble in the House reprint. With the strong sales we are reprinting new copies of Rumble in the House to keep our distributors supplied during the holiday season.Third printing... Who would have known ?
- Rumble in the Dungeon. This is a stand-alone game that can be combined with Rumble in the House. It will be printed along with the Rumble in the House reprint, and should be available in October. Rumble in the Dungeon takes Rumble in the House to a dungeon setting with a new twist : a treasure chest hidden in the depths of the dungeon, filled with riches and glory! A separate announcement will follow with more details.
- Twin tin Bots. This diceless robot-programming game by acclaimed Belgian designer Philippe Keyaerts will be pushed back to early 2013. Development on the game is mostly finished (Jim Dunnigan, spi founder and Avalon Hill director said 'games are never finished, they just happen to be published at some point of their life.'), but we need to gather extra funds to make it happen in a timely fashion (see below).
- Crowdfunding campaign. We will soon launch a crowdfunding campaign to fund the printing of Twin Tin Bots. We decided against letting our other games go out of stock in order to print Twin tin Bots, and rather make a call to our fan base to fund the initial printing.
This is a common problem for small publishers : once the initial investment for a game has been made, you can use the money from games sold to either reprint the game as stocks diminishes, or to print new games and let the older release go out of print. It is exceptional that sales of a game bring in enough money to both reprint it and release new titles. We believe games should stay in print as long as there is interest for them, but this means each new release will take longer to be funded. Crowdfunding is a way to accelerate that funding (publishing the game Q1 2013 instead of Q4 2013 with money from sales and some personal money to speed things up). It also has the added benefit of allowing us to gauge demand for a game and rightsize the print run accordingly.
Essen Spiel'12 :
- Flatlined Games will be present at Essen Spiel '12, on booth 4-216 (same as last year).
- We should have Rumble in the Dungeon available at the fair (If the german printing gnomes can finish it in time)
- You will be able to play Twin Tin Bots during the fair, on preproduction copies (That is, a fancy way to say 'home-made'. They have cool 3-D playing pieces, however.)
The crystal ball :
- Dragon Rage expansion! The designer is working on an expansion. This will take a long time. Very long. Later than next year. It should take the form of a stand-alone game that can be mixed and matched with Dragon Rage. There might be elves involved. These are patient creatures, elves. They understand the meaning of 'it will take a long time.'
The current U.S. distribution model is quite complex, and different from what we know in Europe. Finding a partner that understands our needs and offers suitable solutions has been a long quest but Game Salute offers a comprehensive set of services that addresses all our needs.
Most European distributors only work with exclusive deals, as the German market has taught them a price war on board games does not benefit anyone in the long run : retailers are affected by the prices set by hard discounters, distributors drive publisher prices down, and publishers struggle to put new releases on the market.
Game Salute advocates a sane and responsible distribution system that is retailer and publisher-friendly, and most importantly sustainable in the long term. They also offer innovative solutions such as the Springboard program for crowdfunding projects and their studio support services. It is therefore no surprise that so many other publishers have joined them recently, a trend we expect to see growing in the coming year.
Flatlined games is proud to announce we signed an exclusive distribution deal with Game Salute for the USA. Starting right after gencon 2012, all US retailers will be able to get all games published by Flatlined Games from Game Salute. They will also be available from the Game Salute online shop for all US-based customers.
About Flatlined Games
Flatlined Games is a young boardgames publisher, based in Brussels, Belgium.
Founded in 2009, Flatlined Games targets niches in the boardgames market, and address these globally with multilingual editions.
Eric Hanuise is the owner of Flatlined Games. WithFrederic Moyersoen he is co-designer of Batt'l Kha'os, published in 2009 by Z-Man Games. He currently runs Flatlined Games on the evenings and weekends along his ‘real’ day job as a freelance business analyst, project manager and consultant.
Current products are Dragon Rage, a reprint of the 1982 classic fantasy wargame by Lewis Pulsipher, and Rumble in the House, a fast paced game of bluff and double-guessing by first time published author Olivier Saffre.
Upcoming products include Rumble in the Dungeon, a standalone sequel (Q4 2012); and Twin Tin Bots by acclaimed Belgian designer Philippe Keyaerts (Vinci, Evo, Olypos, SmallWorld) (Q1 2013).
About Game Salute
‘Game Salute provides tools and services to make the industry better.’
We work with publishing studios, stores, member of the gaming media, non-profit organizations, and individual
Our team is located all over the world, mostly in the US. We have team members in Seattle, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Miami, and Australia.
Game Salute began a few years ago as an idea of Dan Yarrington, inspired by the many awesome people he works with in the games industry each day, especially his wife Sara. In April 2011, Mike and Russ officially formed Game Salute, LLC and began working full-time to support, publish, and promote great games. In November 2011, Cody Jones joined as a Graphic Designer. In March 2012, James Takenaka joined us as our Chief Sales Officer along with David MacKenzie as our Chief Springboard Officer. In April 2012, Chris Kirkman and Cherilyn Lee Kirkman joined us along with Dann May, our Art Director.
Flatlined games :
39 rue gheude, 1070 Anderlecht, Belgium
Game Salute LLC:
10 Tinker Ave., Londonderry, NH 03053
We received about a thousand suggestions for naming the robot game!
We selected the suggestion from Rodolphe Perrien to name the game :
Twin Tin Bots
Thanks to all and especially to Rodolphe, who will soon receive a small surprise by mail :)