Hollandazed: Thoughts, Ideas, and Miscellany — game publishing

PLAYER COUNTS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game design, game publishing

PLAYER COUNTS (by Tom Russell)

Late last year we released my weird train game The Soo Line. There are lots of things that are weird about it, but one of the weirdest and most notable is that the game only has three railroads for players to buy shares in. Only the majority shareholder makes decisions for each railroad, which means that when playing with four or five players, some players are playing what is purely an investment game. This is weird and this is counterintuitive and goes against what is probably sound and settled game design law, but one of the joys of course of...


INACCESSIBLY ACCESSIBLE (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 1 Tags ergonomics, game publishing, grumpy old Tom

INACCESSIBLY ACCESSIBLE (by Tom Russell)

There's an old chestnut that once you start making games yourself, you don't really have time to play anything but your own, and for me, that's more-or-less true. Every once in a while I manage to pull it off though, and I usually learn something from the experience. I actually got another publisher's game on the table recently, and I feel like the game was really let down by that publisher.  Now, it'd be pretty crummy for me to get on my little soap box and tear down another publisher, and being that we're some weird fringe thing that exists...


Owning It (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 5 Tags game publishing

Owning It (by Tom Russell)

Before there was a Hollandspiele, there was a "Hollandspiele", the vague idea that Mary and I wanted to publish board games. We talked about it periodically for several years before we took the plunge, and there were a number of reasons for the delay. We needed some practical experience. I needed to learn my craft as a designer, and I wanted to develop some kind of reputation that could jump-start the proceedings. And then, of course, there was the fact that we didn't have any money. For years we existed perpetually on the brink of financial collapse and disaster. Being...


HANDSHAKES (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Comments 8 Tags game publishing

HANDSHAKES (by Tom Russell)

We deal with a handful of manufacturers - one for cards, one for wood bits, Blue Panther for everything else - and as you might expect, these manufacturers send us bills. We pay them promptly and in full, just as we pride ourselves on paying our artists and our designer royalties promptly and in full. Before we do though, we check over the bills to make sure everything is as it should be, because even with excel formulas doing the heavy-lifting, we're all still human beings and we sometimes make mistakes. Sometimes the manufacturer over-charges us, and when we bring...


FLOPS (by Tom Russell)

Mary Russell

Tags game publishing

FLOPS (by Tom Russell)

In the days before Hollandspiele, I pitched a lot of publishers on a lot of games, and got a lot of rejections. I didn't really take any single one of them personally, though cumulatively, taken together, it did start to grind me down a little. The rejections that irked me the most were the ones that took the form of, "This is great, I had a lot of fun, but there's no way I could ever sell enough of these to justify printing it. If you ever get it published, I'll buy a copy, but if I publish it I'm...