A collection of useful web sites and other links
It's a big, new world out there when you're just trying to get started. We've assembled a list of web links that can help you out. If you know of a link we should have listed here, send us an email and we just might add it to our list!
You don't have to do it alone. These links offer communities and tools to help you.
BGDF.com - This is a great place to discuss designs and ideas.
nanDECK - Software for card games designers. This has been recommended several times on BGDF.com. We cannot print from a nanDECK file, but it's supposedly a good tool for working out your game design.
Game Design Central - Useful news and other information from game designer Keith Myers.
Catan.com - Advice for future game authors from Klaus Teuber, inventor of Settlers of Catan.
These groups promote games and offer services to their members.
Discover Games - Discover Games organizes the Chicago Toy and Game Expo and has a presence at other conventions. Membership is most beneficial to small companies with products designed for a mass market audience.
Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) - GAMA's specialty is the hobby market. Companies printing Euro games, historical games, and roleplaying games are well represented by GAMA and hobby retailers. GAMA runs the GAMA Trade Show and the Origins Game Fair.
Toy Industry Association (TIA) - organizes the New York Toy Fair. TIA membership offers many benefits, but it is expensive for small companies.
Game Publishers Association (GPA) - GPA is designed for small, independent game companies and designers.
For more information on when shows are throughout the year, please see our Events page. "Conventions" or "Cons" are usually player-oriented shows. Other shows may or may not be open to the public.
American International TOY FAIR - aka "the New York Toy Fair". This is the largest game/toy show in North America and is held in mid-February each year. It is a huge show, so small companies can get lost in the shuffle. DeLano attends this show each year. This is a "trade only" show. The general public cannot attend.
GAMA Trade Show - Held in Las Vegas in mid-March each year, this event focuses on the hobby market. Large numbers of hobby retailers attend, as does DeLano.
Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTaG) - ChiTaG is a good and growing show sponsored by Discover Games. The show is held the weekend before Thanksgiving in November and focuses on the mass market. The week leading upto the Show is filled with many activities and industry conferences for those in the industry. The Show itself is a "consumer" show, open to the public. In 2008, ChiTaG also added TAGIE (see next link) to the agenda. DeLano attends this show each year.
Toy and Game Inventors Expo™ - (TAGIE) - Focused solely on inventors, this show takes place in the same location just prior to ChiTaG. 2008 was the first year for this show and continues to be quite good. DeLano attends each year.
ASTRA Annual Marketplace & Academy - ASTRA is the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. It's focus is independent toy and game stores. Location varies each year and DeLano attends this show.
Origins International Game Expo - Origins is sponsored by the GAMA trade organization. It focuses on the Hobby Market, but has a large board game presence. Held in Columbus, OH in late May and early June. DeLano usually attends this show. It is open to the general public.
GenCon - GenCon is the largest Hobby Market show in North America. Held in mid-August in Indianapolis, IN each year it has a 50,000+ attendance. If you are selling your game in the Hobby Market, this is a good show to attend. It is open to the general public. DeLano attends this show.
BGG.CON BoardGameGeek.com sponsors this show in November of each year. It is a "player's convention" with less focus on a dealer showroom. It is growing in popularity and attracts large numbers of "alpha gamers", willing to try new games. This kind of show is a staple of the Hobby Market, but most such shows are small, regional affairs, only worth attending if you are in the area. BGG.CON is the exception.
Internationale Spieltage SPIEL - For the adventurous or those with a large travel budget, this show in Essen, Germany is held in October every year. It is the world's largest show dedicated to just games. Very few American companies attend this show, but if you are producing a "Euro-type" game it may be worth the trip.
Nuremburg Toy Fair - Nuremburg makes the New York Toy Fair look like a tiny affair. A mammoth show, Nuremburg is not well attended by American companies. Still, it is worth mentioning if you speak German or have time to attend in January.
NSSEA Ed Expo - Sponsored by the National School Supply and Equipment Association and was typically held in March each year, this show is for those with educational products. In 2009, the show was in Dallas, but the location changes from year to year, usually in a warm city. In 2012 the expo was moved to January (in Atlanta).
BoardGameGeek - Game Conventions - A good list of game conventions around the world that are large enough to warrant mention. Not everyone will be going to game shows in Portugal, but it is a good list of major public US shows.
gameconventions.info - This site attempts a canonical list of all game conventions everywhere. There are many, many small shows in their database, most of which aren't going to help a typical game company.
Jenga's Links to Other Convention Listings - Although the site hasn't been updated since 2004, this bibliographic list of other convention lists might be useful to those who are looking for shows outside traditional game shows as it includes lists of game conventions, sci-fi conventions, anime and more. Again, this is probably most useful to those selling into the Hobby Market.
In addition to your typical/obvious options, Crowd Funding Sources, via the web, have grown in popularity as a way to generate funds so you can produce your game(s).
There are several key sites our customers have utilized such as, Kickstarter.com (largest funding platform), Rockethub.com, Indiegogo.com and there are several others. Search the web for more information by keying in Crowd Funding in your browser and you'll be on your way to achieving your goal to bring your game(s) to reality.
There are many, many niche markets out there. These are just a few of the web sites and magazines that we know of that are focused solely on games.
Boardgamegeek.com - "The Geek" as it is often called, is a huge web site dedicated to all types of card and board games. It is highly recommended that you post information about your game here. The site feaures discussions, adverts, news, and more covering any possible game subject.
Purple Pawn - General news site covering a wide variety of games.
Boardgamenews.com - As the name suggests, this is a site about board games. Focus is mostly on Euro-type games.
Dr. Toy - Stevanne Auerbach, aka Dr. Toy, rates and reviews toys and games of all types. Her stamp of approval is an excellent marketing tool for game publishers too!
Gamingreport.com - Online news site sponsored by Scrye Magazine dedicated to the Hobby Market.
ConSimWorld - Focuses exclusively on historical simulation games and has a large, dedicated community. Many historical game manufacturers provide support for their games via this site.
Games For Educators Run by DeLano Service customer Pat Matthews of Live Oak Games, this is a great information resource for educators and educational games.
Greater Games Industry Catalog - Successor to the Games Quarterly Catalog, this is a printed guide to the games industry. It accepts paid advertising, but listings are free. It is widely read in the Hobby Market and by independent toy and game stores nationwide.
Games Magazine - One of the oldest Game magazines around, Games does a Top 100 list every year that is a coveted award in the industry.
Game Buyer Magazine - An independent monthly devoted exclusively to the Hobby Market, it is widely read by Hobby Market retailers. Purchased by GTS Distribution in December 2008.
Game Trade Magazine - Game Trade is Alliance Distribution's monthly ordering guide for games. It services the Comic and Hobby Game industry. Alliance is owned by Diamond (see below).
Previews Magazine - Previews is Diamond Distribution's monthly ordering guide. It services the Comic and Hobby Game markets. Previews mostly covers non-game items like comics, action figures, and related, but is widely read and does have some game items.
Selling Your Game
You'll note that the Distributors listed here specialize in the Hobby Market. Due to big box retail consolidation in the mass market, there are no mass market distributors that we know of since the large chains buy direct.
FRED Distribution - FRED is a new distributor, growing out of Funagain Games.
ACD Distribution - Large distributor for the Hobby Market.
Alliance Distribution - Alliance is the other large distributor in the Hobby Market. Owned by Diamond Comics.
Diamond Comics -Distributor of comics and games; services the Hobby Market.
GTS Distribution - Distributor of Trading Cards, Games, Toys and Hobby Supplies to the Hobby Market.
Amazon.com - Tap into Amazon.com's massive customer base. You will need a UPC code to sell on Amazon.com. They offer several ways to sell.
Funagain Games - Funagain is probably the largest online game retailer. They also own Fred Distribution. Largely a retailer, they offer many, many titles and are a good source of information on the game market.
Games Plus - Games Plus is one of our favorite Hobby Market retail stores. They are an excellent example of that market segment.
Be Beep: A Toy Shop - Their web site isn't much, but this is one of the best independent toy and game retailers in the United States. An excellent example of the sub-"Toys R Us" retailer.