Podcast: Overboard Games on Making Digital Versions of Board Games

 
 
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Imagine that you’re creating a board game right now. Unfortunately, you can’t gather a crowd of people at your house to test it out, and all the conventions are cancelled. But there is still one way you can play with your friends: Tabletop Simulator.

Kenny owns and runs Overboard Games. He is now running a successful business that revolves around creating digital versions of games for board game publishers.

We had to know more, so we reached out to Kenny and asked about how his business works. Tune into this podcast to learn how he got into the industry, how find clients, and how he explains his unusual niche to non-believers!


Brandon: Hey, everybody. This is the Marketing is the Product podcast. I’m Brandon Rollins.

Pierson: I’m Pierson Hibbs.

Brandon: And today we have a special guest here.

Kenny: Hey, how you doing? I’m Kenny from Overboard Games.

Brandon: Well, thank you very much for coming on the show today. We really appreciate you taking this time to speak with us about your business.

Kenny: Yeah, it’s all good. So happy to be here. This is my first podcast, so hopefully I don’t riff this off.

Brandon: Wait, no kidding. First podcast?

Kenny: First podcast I’ve ever done. We had a podcast potentially going on, but we didn’t have enough experience to do it properly. So yes, my first podcast.

Brandon: Well, you’ve made grave error in judgment by coming on with us.

Kenny: I agree with that, yes. But I’m here because you’re paying me, there’s money, right? Right? Right? [chuckle] I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I’m here because I’m a good friend of yours to be fair on. I think we’ve known each other for a good amount of time. It’s been at least two years, isn’t it?

Brandon: Yeah, yeah, it has. It’s been at least a couple of years. And to give people who are listening some background, we know each other through Pangea Games. If anybody has listened to the podcast with Sean Fallon, we met basically through the same community. And you have been handling Pangea Games’ social media on my behalf for a while now, I think over a year at this point.

Kenny: Yeah, definitely been about over a year. It’s been a very fun time, so if anyone’s liked those questions and the memes, and various things like that, that is all, all me! So you know, shower the applause, shower the applause, please.

Brandon: If you ever seen my face on Facebook and it’s followed by a question like, “if your board game collection were a type of cheese,” that’s actually Kenny go strike for me. I’m not joking, that is actually what’s happening.

Kenny: Yeah. As I… If you have to murder someone with one board game, which do you choose? That’s like… That one was great.

Brandon: No joke, though. You get a ton of engagement on those questions.

Kenny: Yeah, the wit and wacky ones tend to. It’s like, I’ve got one coming up, which is a little sneak peak, it’s, “Is Twister an area control game?”

Brandon: I’m looking forward to seeing what people have to say in response to that.

Kenny: Yeah.

Brandon: ‘Cause I actually just cued that up right before this podcast, and I just… I am excited to see what people have to say. Yeah, so actually, as I understand it, you started doing social media for Pangea Games as like kind of a side hustle, right? It was like a little extra money.

Kenny: Yeah, that’s correct, yeah.

Brandon: And you were actually growing Overboard Games during this time, right?

Kenny: Yeah, over a Tabletop Simulator and some physical, but not much.

Brandon: Okay, and when we had first started doing social media around a year ago, did you have any client [0:02:44] ____ set or were you just getting started?

Kenny: I think I was like in my middle ground, like I was gaining traction, getting a few commissions here and there, but… Yeah, yeah, around about middle ground, I’d say.

Brandon: Yeah, very sporadic work. That’s actually roughly where we were about 18 months ago as well. And Pierson, that actually predates you just a little bit. Yeah, let’s see. And over the last 18 months… I’m gonna do my best to explain your business model to a general audience and then we’ll go into deeper questions. So Overboard Games makes Tabletop Simulator demos of board games. That is to say, physical board games are turned into video games via a popular app on Steam. A year and a half ago, this was… It had been catching on for a long time. People had been using Tabletop Simulator for a while, and it was… It was gaining steam. But then, of course, we all know what happened about six months ago, as of the time that you’re hearing this show, the world completely lost its mind. We have all been locked in our houses, and Tabletop Simulator has just absolutely gone through the roof in popularity. And suddenly, these virtual demos really, really took off.

Kenny: Yeah, it really did.

Brandon: You were right there, ready to help publishers adapt.

Kenny: Yeah, I was there, I was there indeed, on the forefront. Yeah.

Brandon: Yeah. So one thing I wanna start with is, beyond just a really simple explanation, which I had just given, to a general audience, how would you describe Tabletop Simulator in the way that it’s used?

Kenny: Sure. So Tabletop Simulator is a physics engine. At the end of the day, it’s a sandbox where you can pretty much do anything you want to do with board gaming. And what was your second question?

Brandon: Second question is, how do people use that ability?

Kenny: So they use it in various different ways. So you can do what I’m doing, making, designing games from the ground up, in TTS ’cause it’s only $20. I think it is. And all the things you wanna import are completely free from that point on, so there’s no cost in prototyping. You have kickstarter marketing, where if you wanna get people off the fence and into playing your game straight away, it’s both a… That’s where you can use it for, get the game on there, get that traction going. And free, you can just have loads of friends who are all over the world just playing games with each other, and have nothing to do with marketing kickstarters or building games, just a way to say, “Hey, we’re stuck in quarantine right now or lockdown, I would normally meet you up every Saturday to play the games, but hey, we’ve gotta go use Tabletop Simulator now.”

Brandon: So in that sense, it’s a very versatile tool.

Kenny: Oh, incredibly so.

Brandon: Yeah, so it’s interesting that you say a prototyping tool, ’cause a lot of people I think don’t actually think of it that way. Why would a board game developer choose a prototype in Tabletop Sim as opposed to just doing it the old fashioned way, yeah, with physical components?

Kenny: Okay. So I’ve been trying to normalize Tabletop Simulator for about three years now for the various things I mentioned previously. And with the prototyping, it’s as simple as this: “Hey, I know we have to meet up every week, right? On Saturday, okay? So we have one time a week which we meet up physically to play this game. However, if we have time at home, we don’t have to travel, we don’t have to get on cars, trains, buses. We don’t have to look… Four prototypes, ’cause I’ve got four versions on. We can just load it up in one program. We have one computer each and we play it, and then we can make iterations on lightning speed, in comparison to that once a week meetup, which we may do. And that once a week meetup is gonna be great ’cause physical board games are… Sorry, board games are physical. So you need physical prototyping in one form in your prototyping stage, but Tabletop Simulator gives you so much speed and efficiency with its quick iterations.

Brandon: I can also imagine that it saves you a ton of money, too. Those prototyping materials are expensive.

Kenny: Yes. Yeah, it is… If for $20, I think it’s only $20… And if you get it on sale, it’s even cheaper, you can pump out so many prototypes, so many game designs without even having to write… Without any physical iterations. That’s such a unique tool. And I think it surprised me a lot that I’ve not seen such an adaptation from big publishers towards the platform, and I obviously have seen it now, because of COVID. But beforehand, it wasn’t very normal.

Brandon: What do you think made people hesitate?

Kenny: I think it’s an old world view of looking at a digital platform against a physical platform, ’cause it’s like, for example, if you start playing golf and you’ve been playing golf for years and years and years, and then COVID comes along and you’re told you can’t play golf anymore, probably the worst sport to choose, because that’s probably the most social distancing sport in the world. But still, you’re gonna get into a virtual golf and it’s not gonna feel the same. You’re not gonna have the wind on your face, not gonna feel the weight of the club. There’s so many things that are missing from your experience that I feel that physical board gamers and designers and publishers didn’t feel there is a reason to use it because it loses so many aspects of physical board gaming.

Brandon: Yeah. And this is something I’ve experienced as well, ’cause Pierson, you and I both, we were experimenting with a prototype for a board game client, and it’s tough to use the tools sometimes. We wouldn’t have otherwise been able to play it at all or been able to know anything about this client’s game. But when we were using Tabletop Sim, what was an hour and a half game, we managed to get through just like one round and maybe like a fifth of the game in an hour’s time, because of it’s… The UI.

Kenny: Absolutely. That is one thing which I think is why we are what you could call a specialist in this industry, is so that we’ve done our tutorials now, we’ve shown people how to make games on TTS and we do it ourselves for them. And I think knowing these tools of how to use the platform, how to play the game, use the UI, all the controls like that in an efficient manner, yes, the games will take longer, but at least, you will all be at a better stage than just wandering in. Because it doesn’t hold your hand, the platform. It really is simply, you drop into a box and there you go, have fun.

Pierson: That really is what it’s like. I had never used a Tabletop Sim before yesterday when we tried that game, Brandon. And just trying to figure out how to use the interface on Steam and the Tabletop Sim, there’s a big learning curve on it, ’cause you’re right, it doesn’t just… It doesn’t hold your hand through it and they really just throw you in and say, “Here, figure it out. Play the game.”

Brandon: And on top of that, it was like a mid to heavyweight game, too. And you don’t play a whole lot of tabletop games. And it was a marketing consult on top of that. That was a tricky night.

Kenny: Yeah, sounds like it would be, for sure.

Brandon: It was a good one though…

Pierson: Yeah.

Kenny: Yeah. I do feel it’s Tabletop Simulator’s company’s fault in a sense, as well, as they have been updating their platform for a very long time, but they have definitely faltered on actually teaching people the platform. And yes, there’s the website, and yes, there’s that really basic tutorial on the platform. But it’s why we did our tutorials on YouTube is because I do feel that Tabletop Simulator is the best platform to use. But unfortunately, they do have a little bit of lacking towards helping players out.

Brandon: Oh, there’s a lot of truth to that. One of the most popular articles I have ever written for any blog in any industry has been how to use Tabletop Sim or how to make a Tabletop Simulator demo.

Kenny: Yeah.

Brandon: Seriously, people want to use it badly, but they can’t actually find… It’s just the instructions are not there, or at least they weren’t previously there. Yours are starting to get out there and help people.

Kenny: Yes, they are. And you can find all my tutorials on my YouTube channel and on the Steam workshop, on the Steam guides page. So when you click on Tabletop Simulator, when you… On your Steam, you can find how to use Tabletop Simulator like a pro and it will send… It will show you all the videos I’ve created. And at the moment in time, it’s got over 7,000 views and 230 favorites. So it’s definitely using… It’s definitely being used.

Pierson: That’s awesome.

Brandon: Yeah, it’s really catching on. So how did you get into making Tabletop Sim demos in the first place?

Kenny: So started in 2017, it was just a couple of mates playing board gaming. And then I just thought, “You know what? I like board games, I like Tabletop Simulator, let’s just start making them.” So I started using print-and-plays publicly from publishers. And I would do it maybe for some kickstarters or just on my own back, just putting them on there, I’m playing them and just telling the designer, “Hey, I put your game on there because you gave a free print-and-play. And they would always be nice and… Or give it a retweet or something similar. And yeah, then it just slowly started developing until either late 2017 or very early 2018, I got the first commission for Chai, and that’s how I went. And then the rest is history.

Brandon: Yeah. I remember… I’m not sure if I was actually around for that one, but that was a pretty big one to land. That was a fairly substantial kickstarter in its own right.

Kenny: Yes. And they were absolutely wonderful. Don and Connie were absolutely amazing, and very friendly and very happy to help me out and be the first to, well, I guess you could say, put the flag in history, in terms of where I started.

Brandon: And is that where you… Is that about the time where you figured out there’s a market here?

Kenny: It was, yes. At that moment in time, because it was the first thing which we called an immersive experience. All our other games were just on tables and very simple, and then that was the one where we said, “Hey, do you know what? Let’s put a nice room, a nice table. Let’s make this attractive. Let’s make this a selling point. Let’s make this marketable. Let’s not just make this a game, let’s make it something that’s gonna be lasting a lifetime.”

Brandon: Now, when you are making these demos, how do you go about doing that? And bear in mind, when giving this explanation that a lot of people have no experience with how Tabletop Sim works.

Kenny: Yeah. I try and keep the technobabble to a low key, but in reality, I’m just taking images which are given to me by publishers and designers, and importing them in a high quality and fashion into the platform. And making sure that sometimes, dimensions are correct, colors are right, the image quality is readable, and then from there on out, I’m just finding ways to make it fabulous as I… From turning it from a functional game on a table to a fabulous game. So I’m looking at like, okay, in your game, you have bags that are colored, so I’ll add colored bags in. I don’t need to do that, but there’s some little things like that, which give you the feeling of, when you buy that game in physical form, you pull out that green bag, and you recognize it from the Tabletop Simulator game you’ve played. Like, “Ah, that’s the bag for wood or something.” And various things like that, and it just goes… It’s just layers upon layers. Like a cake.

Brandon: Yeah, and stuff like I’ve noticed some people, they’ll add labels to different parts in Tabletop Sim too, so you can tell what each component is from far away.

Kenny: Absolutely, and the great thing about that is if you have heavy games. A lot of games with multi-level cards, like a card will do three things, you can actually write a description on the card, which will tell you what to do when you hover over it. And stuff like that, you can’t physically do in board gaming because imagine all the text you’d write on some multi-level cards, it just… It’s why we go for iconography. So that level of teaching people through additional platform is also very beneficial.

Brandon: Now, what else can you do with Tabletop Sim that you can’t actually do with a board game?

Kenny: Normally it’s the other way around, but I don’t think I have an answer for that. I guess you have unlimited money. I guess it’s one of the first things, is you have unlimited money to do whatever you want within TTS. So you can spend… You can make a million dollar game and then start, as a fun project, but you obviously have to refine it to a physical game. But I guess there’s things Tabletop Simulator removes is… It removes stuff that you do physically, usually, to make it more accustomed to digital, so with the scripting elements within TTS, you have ways of drawing resources, changing HP on characters, maybe just changing the map, because you know you played Gloomhaven. You have this huge box and things and multiple scenarios and various things like that, and that is all improved upon TTS with a click of a button. So, the accessibility and access to games as, I think more as a casual player, are more appealing within a digital form, because you’re less accustomed to playing physical games.

Brandon: And I have noticed that some games are getting to the point where they’ll automatically set up the game and take it down for you.

Kenny: Yes.

Brandon: There’s an interesting user experience element at play when you’re talking about digital board games. Like for example, I’ve noticed that if you’ve ever played like Twilight Struggle on Steam, that game is freaking hard. It’s unbelievably, certainly difficult to learn, and it’s fiddly and it’s finicky, but it’s a lot of fun. You play the video game version of it, it does the calculations for you, you’re not rolling dice and trying to figure out probabilities, it displays that in front of you so that you can make an informed choice. I think it’s interesting how you can actually use Tabletop Simulator to create that kind of engagement for any game.

Kenny: Yes, I agree. And I think it kinda comes down to what we’ve kind of discovered from making so many games for publishers and designers, is there are free levels to a… I’ll just say, a digital experience rather than a TTS one. ‘Cause this relates to everything. You have to your… But to keep it to TTS, I’ll try to basically say, you have your physical adaptation, which is no scripting, no fancy room, just plop it on a table as you would in any other physical world, right? You’ve then got minor scripting and maybe some counters and things that automate the game to just save you from dragging resources around or drawing cards out. They’re all quality of life.

Kenny: And then you’ve got the third level, which is the big step up which is what we do, which is to add in everything which we just said previously and then put on top a fancy room, fully making it more script-able change… Adding set-ups and various things like that. But the way we will treat it, there is a fourth step after that, which is full automation, but we don’t believe full automation is a thing we should be doing in Tabletop Simulator because you lose how to learn a game. And learning a game inside Tabletop Simulator is important, as important to us as we believe physically. If you want to do full automation, then fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re wanting to learn it and then play it and get the feeling of as close to physical version as you can, with… Even with all the quality of life aspect, full automation is not the way to go, in my opinion.

Brandon: That’s interesting that you would choose to leave some of the difficulty in simply because it makes for a better experience.

Kenny: Yes, absolutely. You want to be… You, in my… Well, this is obviously all opinion in the end of the day. And we all have video game apps that we can play, and they’re fully automated and they’re all great. We all have a great time. However, we’ve definitely heard from a couple of reviewers and things that say… I think there’s loads of top 10s out there on YouTube, right now, that state like, “What games do you prefer digitally than physically now because of all the automation?” And that may seem like that’s a real big point. That’s a real hard full stop on this. Saying, “I’m never gonna buy a physical game because the game does it better digitally.” So that’s really something to consider when you’re making a board game, I guess, in itself, is would this be better as a video game, maybe?

Brandon: That’s a really hard question ’cause that’s getting into who’s your market in the first place?

Kenny: Exactly, ’cause you may be marketing it to board games, but we’ve seen so many great deck builders, so many great dungeon crawlers come out of video games, and I think they are just phenomenal and you can imagine some of the deck builders that we have in board gaming form, imagine they were just video games straight up. It would be a very different experience, but would they be better games? We don’t know, do we?

Brandon: I don’t know, I mean, you kinda have to just try it out and see if people respond to it well. And you know the line I feel is getting blurry. People stream board games now. They already were, but now they’re doing it a lot more. And sometimes they do this on Tabletop Sim. Every once a while, they’ll put a camera up in their actual physical room and they’ll do it. [chuckle] And you’ll notice that those things you were talking about, like, putting a custom room around the game and putting bells and whistles and colors on it makes for a better show. So what used to be a traditional physical board game turns into a video game simulation of a board game that is then watched by other people for entertainment.

Kenny: Yes.

Brandon: And sometimes, people won’t even watch them, they’ll just listen.

Kenny: Yeah, that too, that too. It’s a very strange… Once you take the person out of the board game, it becomes a very different experience and it’s something where you’re willing to learn, and a lot of publishers are not paying attention to this maybe so much is that, it’s okay just to put your game on a table and things and have it ready to play for other people, but what are you really doing with that? Are you just saying we’re gonna stick it up on TTS or any other platform for that matter then leave it be, or are you going to treat it like an actual marketing tool?

Brandon: Right, and you know before 2020, you could have made the argument that Tabletop Sim is a niche and it was.

Kenny: Yes.

Brandon: Like that and its sibling, Tabletopia, were not that popular. They were a really small fraction of a fraction of a market. And they were good for streams. They were good for demos on kickstarter. They saw a business use, prototyping, I’ve advocated for that for a long time. But things changed, obviously, very, very quickly, and Tabletop Sim downloads just went absolutely through the roof. I mean, we’re talking like the graph that I saw showed such a steep spike in downloads that I could not tell you how many times more that it had been downloaded. It could have been 10, 20, 30, 40, 50-fold increase, we’re talking about. It’s mind boggling.

Kenny: It is mind boggling, and I think, at one time, one of the developers did mention in the general chat. They said they had at one point, at this moment in time, they had 33,000 peoples inside TTS.

Brandon: Good Lord. I remember when it was like a few hundred, you know?

Kenny: Yeah. It spiked. I think, as board game popularity has spiked, and as TTS has improved as a platform, because my gosh, you go back four years and it’s a complete different platform, it feels like.

Brandon: The only thing I can think of in modern times that exploded that quickly was Discord, in the gaming world, and maybe Snapchat in the broader world.

Kenny: Yeah, or TikTok in this generation, I guess.

Brandon: Oh God, yeah. You’re right. TikTok did kinda sneak up on us. Yeah, absolutely. TikTok is in a weird place. I don’t know if it’ll be legal when this podcast goes out so.

Kenny: Well, who knows? We’ll find out, I guess.

Brandon: Things that I thought would be a joke, but are actually not.

Kenny: No. Who knows what that’ll be… And that you’ll see what will that change in the industry. Where will those people go? And that’s marketing at the end of the day. They’ll have to find where their audience will be and that’ll probably mostly be in Instagram.

Brandon: Yep, and that market is not going anywhere whether their needs are served or not, they’re not going anywhere.

Kenny: Absolutely.

Pierson: So, Kenny, your background prior to doing Tabletop sims, how did your previous work prepare you for what you’re doing now with Tabletop Sim? And if they go hand in hand, could you elaborate on that?

Kenny: I guess the only way I can really say is I was a Jack-of-all-trades in my entire… And I always have been in my entire life. There was no one job that’s really honed me into being TTS-prepared or tech savvy. I always was interested in computers and video games as a kid, so the natural instinct of playing video games and getting used to computers was there, but no real job had really honed my skills. I’ve been a continuity director for a film, I’ve done marketing advice for multiple companies, I’ve been a waiter for almost three years, so there’s a load of jobs that I’ve just kind of I’ve done, really.

Brandon: [chuckle] You probably pick up a bunch of little things from every single one of them.

Kenny: Yeah. The lot of it, yeah. Just, yeah, I’ve just done so many different jobs for certain amounts of time. I’ve always picked up something new.

Pierson: So the process of when you got into Tabletop Sim and you’re working on that, how was figuring out how to effectively do it? Did it bring new perspective on your long-term goals or the industry as a whole?

Kenny: Yes, I guess. It’s a strong question, that. I mean, it got me into board gaming, right? And that in itself is a strong point to say a digital platform got me into a physical world. And, I guess, I kind of saw the development of… As we do Kickstarters now, majoritively, we noticed like our first project, our first commission project was for a kickstarter. And I think, at that point, we realized that this is not just a platform to play games. This is a platform to market your games more so than ever before.

Pierson: It seems like you were able to really hone in on… There’s a bigger thing going on than what people see. And you were able to almost run with that a little bit and take it into something further.

Kenny: Yeah, absolutely. Just take it further, take it beyond. Trying to make it something special rather than just a import.

Brandon: And I feel like this is a really hot subject in board games right now, but I think also applies to more general industries too. People have been marketing their games at conventions for a long time. That was the primary way of getting the word out because it was the easiest way to reach a large group of people all at once, but now it’s not anymore, and Tabletop Sim is the closest thing we have to that now.

Kenny: Yes.

Brandon: The market need is there, but the method of actually fulfilling that market need has radically changed.

Kenny: Yes, absolutely radically changed in both designers and in publishers. I’m now… I decided to design my game in TTS, only around four months ago, four or five months ago now, when lockdown happened and I needed something to do. And I’ve noticed, I’m now in a virtual play-listing group and it is a set like… We get like 30 or 40 people in every single… Two times a week doing Tabletop Simulator prototyping, and every single one is using it and they’re all having a great time.

Brandon: Yeah, how many clients are you juggling right now?

Kenny: I’m juggling four clients at the moment. Yeah, four clients at the moment. I just landed one, I’ve got one in September coming, and then potentially I have two from another indie developer, and I’m waiting on another one to get back to me.

Brandon: That’s pretty impressive because again, to people listening, we’re talking about making virtual board games on a Steam game.

Kenny: Yeah. It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it?

Brandon: It’s so strange, but it’s so interesting.

Kenny: It really is. And it’s interesting, when I speak to the publishers and designers about what they want, why they’re wanting it, and kind of almost having to sell them on it in a weird way. It’s like… This is one publisher who’s just like, “Well, is it gonna be solely for marketing and that’s it?” And I was like, “Well, that’s the point of anything.” and I was really confused by that point, and I think he was worried, and this is a common thing with a lot of publishers and designers, is they just don’t see the monetary aspect of Tabletop Simulator, but the monetary aspect is playing the game. [chuckle]

Brandon: Yeah. I mean, let’s put it this way. I have made literal thousands of dollars by playing games on Tabletop Sim on live streams. There is a real money aspect here. This is not something to miss out on. Not to mention expense management. I’ve saved literal thousands by prototyping in Tabletop Sim too, but it’s so hard to actually get that across. It’s so hard to actually convince people that’s what’s happening because it’s weird.

Kenny: I agree. It is something I am struggling with, and I’ve actually struggled more with COVID, if I’m really honest. It’s actually being harder to convince people.

Brandon: Yeah, that’s funny, ’cause I feel like in some ways, this whole pandemic is kind of… You would think that it would radically shift people’s expectations as they prepare for an irrevocably altered world, but in a lot of ways people are doubling down on beliefs that they already had.

Kenny: Yeah, exactly, yeah.

Brandon: Let’s be honest, I mean, e-commerce is probably not going to… It might revert to the mean somewhat in terms of growth, but that 40%, 50%, 60% spike in online sales is probably not going to go away, that’s probably the new normal. We just had 10 years of change in a few months.

Kenny: Yeah.

Brandon: Tabletop Sim has been downloaded. It’s on people’s computers. They know how to play it, that’s not going anywhere. The live streamers aren’t going anywhere.

Kenny: It’s just trying to let them know that it’s worth doing. And I remember, I won’t name any publishers or designers, but I would walk up to people in pre-COVID, this is last year or in conventions, and be like, “Hey, do you want your game on Tabletop Sim?” And like, “Nah, we don’t really like it. Nah, we don’t use it.” Or, “Nah, we just like physical gaming, that’s all we care about.” Six months later, “Oh, we love Tabletop Simulator. We’re an absolute advocate for it now. We love it, download it, everyone.” And it’s just… It’s really sad in a weird way, because I’ve always wanted to normalize TTS.

Kenny: And when these people are being so adverse towards it when I’m talking to them, trying to help them out. All I’m trying to do is help them out, get their game on the platform, and get their game out there for people to play who can’t be at your conventions, or can’t fly over to Essen, or can’t fly over to the UK or go to these big conventions, for whatever reason. And so many would be like, “Not interested.” But once a pandemic hits, “Oh, we love it now.”

Brandon: Yup, and the truth is, you really need to be using the physical events and new tools like Tabletop Simulator in tandem.

Kenny: It’s a hand-in-hand.

Brandon: People love being in large groups around a lot of like-minded people, that’s why people go to these business conferences and stuff. It’s not like your best ROI, it’s not your best return on money, but it’s fun, it’s exciting. It feels good. It’s good branding.

Kenny: Yes.

Brandon: So, people… You can have that, and you can also have your digital way of reaching people as well.

Kenny: Yeah. And for $20, why wouldn’t you?

Brandon: Yeah. Yeah, I bet it’s even less. I bet it’s like $15, what is it, like £15 in the UK?

Kenny: Yeah, it’s probably 15 quid, but it’s like I say, if you don’t wanna do it, you can find people… You can find me and we’ll do that, put the game on for you. And yes, we would commission it maybe a bit more, but if you imagine how much money you’re making on board games, you could probably make like quadruple your amount on the sales on board games than you pay me, probably.

Brandon: Probably, honestly, yeah. And I know that sounds ridiculous, but how much do you charge to make a prototype?

Kenny: Oh, prototyping is usually ridiculously cheap. Like…

Brandon: Or not prototype, a finished game, rather.

Kenny: It all varies generally on components. Size… Giant games are way more. But I try and keep basically all my prices fair and understandable, and I’m really happy to negotiate with anyone, because at the end of the day, I may be charging based off components and things and how much scripting you want, and how fancy do you want your room, but at the end of the day, I really have to understand that how they’re feeling towards the platform is almost worth more than the quote I’m giving them. So, if they feel very unsure about the platform, I may just be doing less because it makes sense to, ’cause I don’t want to scare you with a big quote and then telling you all the things we’re gonna do when you literally have nothing to do with the platform. So, I’ll probably do a lower quote and then try and help you out, and then sometimes I’ll throw in… We always throw in, by the way, free technical support after your game is finished on the platform. So, if things break or you try and change something because you tried to… Add in an expansion pack and it broke, you contact us and we fix that. And we sometimes help people who’re doing prototyping specifically like, hey, how do I change this deck of cards? I’m like, “Okay, you go do this, do that, do that, and done.” And then I’m giving back to them as well as they’ve given back to me.

Brandon: That’s a pretty good value too, ’cause a lot of folks will charge a retainer for that kind of thing. Now, if you charged even, let’s say 300 British pounds. I don’t know if that’s reasonable or not, but let’s say 300. And I’ll say that like you put a demo up on kickstarter. Shift the… How much is that gonna move the needle in terms of conversion rate. If an average kickstarter, a good, well-run one gets, let’s say, a 4% conversion and a demo pushes that up to 4.1 or 4.2, you could very easily see thousands of dollars in return just because people feel more comfortable backing the campaign because they see that you put the effort in to make a demo.

Kenny: Yes, and it also proves you actually think your game is good.

Brandon: Yes, yes. Because you actually took the time to make a demo of it.

Kenny: Yeah.

Pierson: One of the things that I’ve… As someone that doesn’t know as much about TTS, but one of the things that’s pretty interesting for me to hear is how in terms of game development, you guys actually utilize TTS to prototype games to save on money. That was something you guys touched on a little while ago, and I wrote it down just because it’s so fascinating. I would have never thought to utilize TTS as a form of prototyping to cut down on expenses. And that’s really smart and that’s really cool, it can be used like that.

Brandon: So let’s put it this way. When I was making Orca back in 2016, I did not really use TTS until like late in the development. And what I did every time I played this game, it had 500 cards. So I got business card perforated stock, and I put 50 sheets into the printer and I printed off 500. We eventually winded down to 300 cards in the final game, but still you get where I am going with this. We printed on plain text, 50 sheets of specialty paper, so that’s maybe $10, a bunch of ink, and that’s like maybe another 10, and that was one round of games. I wrote on the cards, I changed them, and then I made another version, and that was $20. And I maybe did 10-15 versions and probably spent $300 or $400 doing that, not to mention the value of my time setting this up in MS Word to print on that stock. Whereas, if I did Tabletop Sim, I would just get together a template, swap out some words, re-upload a file, it shows up on the game just fine, automatically updating.

Kenny: Yeah. Absolutely.

Brandon: People don’t see that.

Kenny: Yeah. People don’t see that and it’s weird. And I think it’s really odd because at the end of the day, we hear… I don’t know how many people who are listening to the podcasts understand how expensive it is to do board-gaming or how much costs people forget about when it comes to kickstarting. And there are many companies that do go bankrupt after doing their first kickstarter due to many, many issues. But one of the things you can save on is prototyping. If you are a new developer and you need to send it over to… You make five prototypes, you send it to possibly the top… If they like your game, you send it to the top five reviewers and promoters of board-gaming that you can think of or you think would be good, and the rest on TTS, you’ve saved yourself thousands of pounds on shipping, prototyping, everything. And guess what, you can then use that prototype as a full version when your kickstarter comes out and then post-kickstarter, update it again. And it’s just like… It’s those connections you’ve got to make.

Pierson: It just seems like, honestly, as an outsider, it seems like it could be the future of board game design for a number of different reasons. And it’s surprising to see not everybody gravitating towards that, especially now, given COVID and the state of the world and everything. But designing it online, saving on marginal cost, you’d think that more people would gravitate towards that than, you know, sticking to the old ways of how people have done things.

Brandon: It’s part of our future, yeah, for sure.

Kenny: Definitely.

Brandon: I like board games. It’s like broader examples of how business works because it is the kind of product where when you describe what goes into it, people actually get it. It’s not as complicated as like manufacturing something that like a part that goes in a lawnmower or something. It’s easier to understand. You can cut your early prototyping expenses, you can print just 10 review copies, which is for lightweight games is still like $500 or $600. You ship those by USPS, that’s another about 100 there, but the rest you can send out through Tabletop Sim. So you send ten hard copies and that’s maybe $600 or $700 all in cost, and then Tabletop Sim free. Maybe you give them a copy of Tabletop Sim to be really nice and that is cheaper than printing the prototype. It is cheaper to give them Tabletop Sim than to print another prototype.

Kenny: Yeah.

Brandon: This it’s not unusual in manufacturing more broadly either. Most things that you manufacture have to reach a certain minimum order quantity to be cost sufficient, and if you make less than that minimum order quantity, it is enormously expensive.

Kenny: Yeah. It really is, isn’t it? And if we’re gonna be talking through, and be serious, and one of the things we mentioned was previously, is the old world view is that people may be thinking they can’t get a proper review out or they can’t get a proper feeling for the game if it’s not physical, and I will agree to that to some extent, which is why I never really did many reviews on TTS because I was very much thinking, “This is early stages.” I was thinking like, “How is this game gonna differ from physical… From digital to physical?” And doing it over three years and playing these games and they’ve come out in various different forms, there is differences, but it’s not enough to be a dramatic difference. You’re gonna suffer downtime, play time, some slight issues if you’re not used to the platform. But the game’s gonna be very much the same.

Brandon: I think it’s going to take some people time to get used to it, and I don’t begrudge reviewers for wanting the physical copy, but I think it’s gonna go the way of books. I’m actually working with an author to help him get his first book published, and part of that process, you reach out to reviewers. Right? And a lot of them are perfectly fine getting an e-book format. Some are hold outs, they want that print, they want that paperback, they want that hardback, but the majority of them are fine getting the digital product. 2005, that would not have been the case. 2010, maybe that wouldn’t have been the case. But things changed. Things moved on. I have to wonder if in the world of 2030, after we have landed on Mars or something. [chuckle] If people will eventually come around to say, “Oh. Yeah. I will actually review the Tabletop Sim version.”

Kenny: Yeah. Sending its prototype to Mars might be a bit costly.

Brandon: Oh God. Yeah. No kidding. It’s probably like a million dollars, but I mean, who knows Elon Musk shot his car into space, so you can do anything you want. Right?

Pierson: That’s just a power move. No one is sending a Tesla into space. What was it, was it playing Bruce Springsteen, was that what it was playing? [chuckle]

Brandon: I think he just sort of does stuff because he can. [chuckle] Or because he wants to see what happens. He’s pure chaos.

Kenny: He’s pure chaos.

Pierson: That’s hilarious. That’s the greatest way to describe Elon Musk.

Brandon: Yeah. Pretty much. When we get big enough, we’re gonna have him on the podcast and we’re gonna see if we can get him to repeat his Joe Rogan stuff.

Pierson: So Kenny, so you said that you do social media for Pangea Games. Has working in social media helped with the UX experience of effectively designing Tabletop Sims in the element of appealing to a large number of people and effectively communicating what you’re going for and what your game’s goals are? Has it helped at all?

Kenny: Yeah. It definitely helped because I’ve been able to market Tabletop Simulator a lot better. I know also it’s allowed me to explain also the various things that I need to tell publishing designers in a more coherent way.

Pierson: Yeah. Social media is great for marketing stuff like that, but I was curious, yeah, if doing the social media work for you has really helped your overall experience in Tabletop Sim, and it sounds like it’s definitely enhanced that for you.

Kenny: Yeah. I’ve definitely noticed a lot more that I can market within TTS. Like, for example, when we do posts on Instagram or some memes which I sometimes create. It’s like it’s using imagery within the game, for example… We don’t use it too often because we kinda get a little bit worried about heavily advertising within TTS, ’cause a lot of people who are gamers just want to play the game and will just delete the advertisements when they go in the room, but when there’s occasions where some people…

Kenny: We tend to drop in a back now kickstarter button occasionally, but once the game’s out fully, we’ll always have a workshop page telling where everyone can get the game and various things like that, but when it’s within the game, there’ll sometimes be like a notepad saying, “Hey. You are enjoying this game, back now on kickstarter it’s gonna be… ” And send him the link or with Dustin’s game, he has literally written down the text on the corner table saying, “You can buy this now and just go to this link.” And it’s stuff like that, learning from the social media like having to express yourself and how to market and ask questions. And can it get the message out there that you really would want without being too forceful?

Pierson: Right.

Brandon: Yeah. Social media is really good about teaching you when exactly to place that call to action. [chuckle] Because you can’t just outright hit them with the sales pitch, you have to dance a little bit before you get to that point.

Kenny: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Brandon: How did the pandemic change up your business model?

Kenny: It didn’t really change… Yeah. It didn’t change the business model too much. I had… Oh. I don’t think the business model changed. It was just the business side of trying to get clients changed. It suddenly got a lot harder to try and engage with publishers and designers about getting on TTS. I had to change the way I speak to them or explain what I’m trying to do and how I can help them, more like helping rather than doing it for them, that kind of changed us. I think learning about how they were almost wanting to do it themselves a lot of the time and weren’t wanting me. So it was like, “Okay. How can I help them out in this process? Can I do some scripting for them? Can I just do some nice fancy rooms?” That’s it is all well and good. I’m not telling everyone don’t ever import into TTS, come straight to me all the time. I’m just trying to find ways of helping them, which isn’t to do with just importing the game.

Brandon: Yeah. That’s smart.

Kenny: Yeah. It’s like… We did it a couple of times pre-COVID as well, which is really good, ’cause they were like saying, “Oh. Yeah. We’ve got all our stuff in Tabletop Simulator, but we really like your 3D designs.” And that’s what we do. We do 3D designs too, so what you see in… This is something which is really cool, but I’ve never seen anyone do, and I really hope someone reaches out and gets me to do this, is we could literally take the room we make inside the TTS, with all your game on it and literally do a 3D kickstarter video with that same room.

Brandon: Oh my God. Why has nobody done that yet? That’s such a missed opportunity.

Kenny: If I wasn’t, I would be shouting right now, but I’m not peaking the microphone. It’s exactly that. Why aren’t we? That’s entirely been our model. Early this year, I think it was, or was it a bit late last year, I can’t remember too much, but when I got our website out, we wanted to say, “Hey. What we can do for you? Tabletop Simulator importing, visual imagery, the 3D imagery and animation as well as we could do minis for you.” We could do like wooden minis and various things like that, and then we got in some play testing as well. So when you think about a complete package, it’s weird that people weren’t taking advantage of it, and that’s probably due to marketing it as well, then finding ways about doing it, but the whole package is there, and I’m just waiting someone to grab it really.

Pierson: It seems like you’re really on the forefront of pushing TTS forward into its next stages of what it can be, ’cause it seems like there’s a lot of elements to it that people just aren’t tapping into that you’re just kinda… Understand how, you understand there’s a market for it and you’re ready to take those steps.

Kenny: Yeah. Very much so. I’m ready to take those steps and I’ve got it all lined up. So it’s like, yeah I’m just waiting for someone to say, “Hey. This is what we can do.” And we know how hard it is chasing up emails of multiple people, and if only you have one person doing your TTS work and your marketing for your kickstarter and your animations for the videos, it’s all one person, under one roof.

Pierson: Mm-hmm.

Kenny: And that’s a… It’s a bit of a hassle, for the receptionist. [chuckle]

Pierson: Yeah. It seems like you’ve got a great program and a great system set up where you’re really trying to push the… What’s considered the norm in not just TTS but in gaming as well.

Kenny: Yes.

Brandon: I feel like you’re making electronic music in 1989. It’s not mainstream, and you’re not the first one. But things are about to… Like, you’re so close to this going mainstream. You’re right there. And you have a complex technical skill, which a lot of people don’t quite get yet, but it is right on the edge of their consciousness.

Kenny: Absolutely. I agree with that fully. And it’s not just a complex skill. It’s like with what we’ve already mentioned beforehand, it’s marketing it too. So the worst thing I’m seeing right now at these conventions is someone will go, “Hey. Guys, we’re gonna go play this game.” And then they’ll just won’t move the camera ever in the entire Twitch stream and I’m like, move your camera and then it gets worse as they don’t speak to Twitch chat, or they ignore someone for whatever reason, because they’re playing the game. And it’s like… It is so many factors within a digital platform that physical gamers, publishers and designers that aren’t aware, that aren’t used to doing, are needing to learn and we’re there to help you in so many ways.

Brandon: A lot of people don’t get the media that they’re using. And this is like a really important… It’s a marketing lesson. But I think it’s also maybe bigger than that. Like when people don’t move the camera and when they don’t talk the Twitch chat, they fundamentally do not understand the medium that they are working with. They are trying to do something in a way that makes sense in person, but that does not make sense when you’re broadcasting the video to a lot of other people.

Brandon: It’s like some of these virtual conventions. I’m not talking about board games, I’m talking about just general virtual conventions, where just record somebody talking and giving a presentation. And they don’t realize that that doesn’t actually work online. You have to make an online course instead or you have to give a really dramatic and engaging lecture, that… Those are your only real ways of succeeding on that medium. You try and do it the way you would in person, it won’t work.

Kenny: Yeah. I agree. And that’s when I did my seminar on functional to fabulous and marketing your game on TTS. Because of my experience in Twitch streaming and understanding those things, is I had multiple scenes set up so it wasn’t just TTS talking, staring at a table the entire time. I had scenes set up for talking to the people, I’d scenes set up when I had… Was in TTS, I’d scenes set up when I was going through Steam and various things like that, explaining stuff so that it felt… It’s almost like you do like a PowerPoint presentation in a meeting. You have those scenes and panels set up so that it directs the audience in a way and you’re keeping them engaged and if someone joins like five… At the start, and then comes back and it’s the same image. They’re gonna be thinking, “Well, either this guy’s talked on too long,” Or, “There’s nothing to see here.” And they’ll leave again. It’s it’s learning the media, like you said.

Brandon: And that was a massive milestone for you. By the way, landing that seminar. That was really cool.

Kenny: Thank you very much. If you haven’t watched it yet it is… I’m I am going to be uploading it to YouTube eventually. So because it’s on Twitch, but it won’t be on there all the time. Because obviously, videos get deleted. And this is something I actually learned. This is actually something really good that you mentioned, I didn’t learn about doing this when I first started and I delete… I had vaults getting deleted over time, and didn’t consider saving them. And when you think about that, losing your content and never saving it when I stopped Twitch streaming for a whole year, I was dead in the water for a while.

Kenny: I was really dead in the water. And I… And that’s something I need… That’s again, learning the media. I didn’t learn about using Twitch in the way of backing up content because I thought, “Well, people are just gonna come to my Twitch, why would I backup content.” But people don’t all the time people use YouTube and various different platforms. So you need to keep that information backed up. And so I’ve got six weeks worth of content, ready to upload to my YouTube every week now.

Brandon: Yeah. I’ve actually just made a note to backup my websites because you said that.

[chuckle]

Brandon: I do actually have weekly backups for the big ones, but some of the smaller ones, I probably need to get on that. You absolutely don’t want to be dead in the water because you’re not putting out content. That’s one of the most unfortunate things about doing modern… Just online marketing is because if you… If you are not super, super proactive about putting out new content, it is really easy to be forgotten. And about the only way around this, is for the board game industry to be like James Mathy, rest his soul. He he wrote this really detailed and complex blog and then he eventually stopped updating it around 2013 or something or he hardly updated since then. But people still found it because he ranked in people [0:52:13] ____. That is the only way that I can think of that will get you off the content treadmill. Everyone else has to keep creating content until they make something like what he made, which is like a gold standard for teaching.

Kenny: Yeah. I agree. I think it’s… I don’t think it has anything to do with age or anything like that with my experience because I think… But I think it has some impact in it. But I know when watching, being a kid watching people on YouTube from… Who were very popular are now non-existent now. And it’s the kind of same about it’s in this generation, it’s a bit board gaming, it’s kind of similar. Board gaming is so hard to find people within it and that’s ’cause you’re constantly creating content. And it’s so easy with the like… I guess I will call them the top five conglomerates of board gaming, that if you don’t try and create something new, you just get swallowed up by them.

Brandon: I zigzagged around that just by writing for the most… I wrote for a very specific audience, like people who are making a board game for the first time. But it was a super, super, super specific audience, and I managed to get a lot of attention without going through the traditional method and it worked. But if you’re just trying to get reviews and stuff like that, you absolutely do have to be pretty much constantly networking.

Kenny: Yeah. And it’s why I stopped doing reviews, really. I used to do reviews and writing things up and I was enjoying it, but then it just felt wrong. It just felt really hard. And I’m not saying it’s hard and I wanted to quit. It just felt like my voice was just… It felt like reviewing wasn’t enough I guess is the point. Is that I can play the game and give you my opinion, but that didn’t feel like it’s enough content for me to… And what I wanted to give out to people. I want to be more expressive, I want to be more… I want to be more engaging with people, I wanna be on there on hand. And I guess it’s why I fell in love with Twitch And doing TTS and stuff, it’s because someone drops in the chat they’re like, “Oh. What you playing?” “I’m playing this game. You can… ” And I’m here maybe with the designer and then they have instant response rather than just reading a wall of text, which I didn’t have that much quality in my writing. I didn’t… I wasn’t a very good writer as well. I’m much more visible and expressive.

Brandon: That comes with time. But I’ll say it is not unusual at all. I can very much relate. You start off by doing something. You create some content in some field that you like just to get started. But I can relate to getting a couple of years in and realizing like, “This isn’t the best use of my skills. This doesn’t feel quite right.” That’s like why I pivoted ultimately into a marketing agency and why I stopped writing these longer marketing articles and these longer supply chain articles. When your work starts feeling really, really hard even after you have built up the skill set, it is often time to just pivot into something that you like more.

Kenny: Yeah. And that’s the whole… That was TTS basically. TTS started me off. I got into physical for about maybe a year, and I… I may make physical content every now and again if I really feel about something, but it was really my calling to be on Twitch and on YouTube. And I always preferred to do my video content on YouTube when I did it. So I’m definitely a visual kind of person way more than writing. When I write, I do my best.

[chuckle]

Brandon: Writing is vital to learn when you’re doing it for a broad audience, like what you’ll find online. It is only through years of bitter experience that I’ve learned to actually express my thoughts in a way that I am proud of. And I can say that when you force yourself to write your own logic and your thinking becomes quite a bit clearer [0:56:09] ____ is a vital process to learn.

Kenny: It really is. I did your… I did the article for your website, and that was really tricky for me at first because I was like, “I have all this experience in TTS, I have all this experience of knowing how board gamings work. Why can’t I write a close to 2,000 word article?” And then I was like… It kind of put me off. I was like, “You want me to write close to 2,000 words?” I don’t think I can even go for 500.

Brandon: That’s where the best SEO benefits are at though, you wanna try and hit… We don’t do this all the time, by the way. But for optimal results, you wanna hit like 2500 words and stay around there. Now, for just solid articles a thousand will usually suffice. But yeah. It’s hard.

Kenny: Once I got it, like you said, it was like my feelings, my thoughts, my passion about the platform and came out. Which I’m really happy I did that, and it really opened me up and it… I would almost like that to be myself all the time when I write. But I just sometimes I feel just sometimes writing, especially about games specifically, is it can get really hard ’cause I get very mechanically focused. ‘Cause I am an analyst at the end of the day. I love analyzing game mechanics.

Pierson: It’s almost like you have so much to say, you lose track of what you really wanna express.

Kenny: Yeah. Exactly, and I’ve learned that doing my game, designing my game is I want to express something so deeply as I would build, that I really struggle to find mechanics that work within this world and vice versa too.

Brandon: I think you get benefits even just from periodically writing because it forces you to have to bring your thoughts, put your thoughts in it in a way that other people can interact with. So where do you go from here? What are your future plans?

Kenny: So I want to publish my game. Probably gonna do self-publishing unless the publisher does really like it and wants to pick it up and all that jazz. And I really want to start partnering. I want partnerships with publishers and designers for full time digital distribution of their games on TTS and Tabletopia as I am now… I’m sorry, but I am crossing over the line to Tabletopia as well because unfortunately, it’s been… It’s one of those things where I’ve been like, “I don’t wanna use Tabletopia personally.” I don’t particularly like the model of it, but I can’t escape the fact that it’s… People say it’s free and we’ll use it. And so I have… I’m going into Tabletopia designs. And yeah, so that’s three things partnerships and publishers, game getting out next year, and moving into Tabletopia.

Brandon: That’s good. This is what Sean or other gaming contact called probably on this podcast, the octopus, which is where you have many different ways to bring in leads, many different arms to a business.

Kenny: Yeah.

Brandon: Just diversifying Tabletops and Tabletopia, your own game, partnerships with publishers, you’re building that right now.?

Kenny: Yes. And I think three years, it’s pretty still early, but I feel like I’ve got my foot in the door that I just need to start kicking in that door open to other publishers and being like, “Hey. TTS. It’s good.” And it’s like, “Here’s TTS.”

[laughter]

Kenny: Screaming publisher with their board game, physical board game collections, like, “No.” I want to give digital board gaming, not just a game. I want it to be something you should care about.

Brandon: Once you get a little leverage, things just really start to snowball ’cause in around this time last year, Pierson, our company had one client, right? That was at one steady client, anyway. You get one steady client though, and then you start getting others.

Pierson: You’re laying the groundwork for further work.

Brandon: Exactly. And for your business, it’s different ’cause they come for… The clients do like less business ’cause they just give you downloads but four clients today, could very easily be 10 in a year, you know? This stuff snowballs quickly.

Kenny: I do have my Trello board up. I can pull up my Trello board as I have all the projects I finished. So if I just pulled that up just for a second while we are on talking, I can have a look. And I think last year I did a total of 22 projects in 2019. And I’m looking to get 44 projects in 2020 and then going from there.

Pierson: That’s awesome.

Kenny: Yeah. It’s great. And it’s such a joy to do it. I love it. That’s the thing, I’ve really enjoyed doing it. It’s so nice to hear someone say, “Oh. Wow, this looks amazing. You’ve got this like you did the room exactly how we wanted it, or you… ” ‘Cause it’s just such a joy to hear those expressions from people.

Pierson: Isn’t that the ultimate goal though? To do something that you love to do, that brings you fulfillment, that leaves you happy, and just feeling like you’ve accomplished something that you really wanted to do? That’s all you can ask for.

Kenny: Yeah. Exactly, and that’s why I’m doing with Twitch streaming as well as my, I guess, my fourth thing, the octopus, my fourth tentacle is to get myself Twitch, well, popular, I guess, in one way or another. I mean, I’m affiliate now which is fantastic. So I can now start earning a revenue through there. But it’s a big step and it’s just like I said the octopus will eventually start. Those other four tentacles will start pulling in the other people and the other designers and various things like that that I need in my life.

Brandon: There you go. King of the ocean at that point.

Kenny: Yeah. Call me Poseidon, right?

Brandon: So, Poseidon…

[laughter]

Brandon: So I… Pierson, it sounds like you were starting with a question. Why don’t you go ahead?

Pierson: I was just gonna say, one of the questions that we have started to ask towards the end of our shows is if you could do anything different over the last few years, is there anything that you would like to do differently?

Kenny: I probably would have tried harder to work on building a network and finding people to collaborate with, and I’m still doing that now, but if my… Five years ago, I’d been told, “Hey. You’re gonna have a TTS this… TTS business and you’re going to be trying to make your own game.” And things like that. I really would’ve done networking a lot more, not aggressively, but a lot more potently than I have now. And I noticed that with being in TTS, the people I have networked with have been a massive gain, so yeah. Networking for sure. Get your name out there, get your foot in the door and just start talking to people more.

Brandon: That’s good advice.

Kenny: ‘Cause that’s the one thing I’ve noticed with a lot of people on Twitch and things is the people I’ve been kind of watching and then who I kind of feel… That feels like where I should be, but I’m not. I’m looking at what they’re doing, how they’re talking to their audience, what kind of content they’re putting out, I’m trying to not mirror it, not mirror it, but just trying to understand, “Okay. I should absolutely be there, but what do I need to do to get there?”

Brandon: Yeah. And a lot of times, all you can do is just kind of watch and try and reverse engineer it and experiment and see what works.

Kenny: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I’m trying to find new avenues as well. It’s not just board gaming for me because I love video games so much as well.

Pierson: And I think that’s going to serve you well to diversify into video games as well when you’re streaming, ’cause that’ll bring in a bigger audience and you’ll maybe even get some cross-over.

Kenny: Yeah. Well, I’ve sent up the email to probably one of the biggest gaming communities ever. So we’ll see how that comes out.

Brandon: So, Pierson, do you have any more questions?

Pierson: That was my last one. I don’t have any others. Do you?

Brandon: You stole my last one.

[laughter]

Pierson: It’s almost like I knew it was coming.

Brandon: You did know it was coming, yeah.

Kenny: As I said, I guess I’ll ask this to the… If anyone’s… Any publishers or designers are listening, is that when you’re importing your game yourself, what do you… Hopefully, you’ve understood what I’m trying to get out and the points I’m trying to make, and I hope it really improves your experience using TTS and all the other medias we have available for us on the digital platforms.

Brandon: And you can find the link in the show notes if you would like to learn more.

Pierson: Alright. Everybody. That is it for this episode with Kenny. I wanna thank you guys so much for listening to this point. If you’re interested in finding any of our other episodes, you can find them on Spotify, Google Podcast, Apple Music, Stitcher, and pretty much anywhere else you stream your podcasts. Once again, I’m Pierson Hibbs.

Brandon: I’m Brandon Rollins.

Kenny: I’m Kenny and I’m Overboard Games.

Pierson: And we’ll see you soon.

Categories: Podcast

17 Comments

André Mendes · August 31, 2020 at 1:07 pm

Excellent interview, thanks for sharing 🙂

Nancy Femmer · August 31, 2020 at 9:36 pm

WoW, that’s a long conversation between both you and Kenny.
I got a feeling this is going to Big, now if COVID will go away.

Javier Vallejo · September 2, 2020 at 11:53 am

great conversation, we always learn with conversations like this

Maria Teresa Fernandez Ferreira · September 3, 2020 at 11:12 am

Great interview, thanks for sharing.

Brandon Sparks · September 4, 2020 at 10:21 pm

What a great read. Thanks for this..

Michael DeFren · September 8, 2020 at 9:32 am

great info thanks for sharing

Tonia Booker · September 8, 2020 at 10:44 am

Podcast holds very useful information

Molli Taylor · September 8, 2020 at 12:39 pm

this was a great interview! thanks so much!

Della Cox · September 8, 2020 at 2:03 pm

Wow that is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing I can’t wait to try it.

Tina · September 9, 2020 at 11:30 am

always loved games

Mya Murphy · September 13, 2020 at 12:27 am

Board games are SO much fun!! The entire family loves em.

Scott Winchester · September 14, 2020 at 11:15 pm

I would love to have some of the old board games to play now.

Scott Winchester · September 15, 2020 at 10:10 pm

I would love to see some of the old board games make a comeback !

Tiffany Williams · September 17, 2020 at 4:10 am

Absolutely can’t wait to play!!
Sounds amazing
Great information and podcast

Tammy Catterton · September 17, 2020 at 10:14 am

Great conversation indeed this look interesting digital games sounds very interesting to try

Paulo Oliveira · September 17, 2020 at 1:35 pm

Amazing sound and interesting conversation

Javier Vallejo · September 17, 2020 at 6:45 pm

great information, as always

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