How to sell your board game and make money

Creating a cool game is one thing, making a game that sells is another. This post covers how to sell your board game and make money in easy to follow stages. As an acknowledgment of my skills and experience, I have co-created successful party games in the past.

The Commercial Director’s informed games commercial success in figures. This was also fairly recent as from 2017 onwards.

The games that I was involved in creating earned £200k in revenue – nothing to sniff at and this post will share that information.

How to sell your game and make money!

Intro – Monetising your game after creating it

Your number 1 priority should be making a great game that people can play and enjoy – don’t deviate from this principle. Making a halfhearted job and ‘just shipping’ it will backfire in the board gaming community.

If you want to sell your game in the future, make a good game!– don’t cheat your audience into buying a terrible product.

Creating the game – approach

My approach to creating a game was a bit different from many I feel. it didn’t come from an insatiable need to express my artistic desire or tell a narrative that will revolutionise the world.

The game as created based on a ‘ready’ market that didn’t need educating on what the game was.

We based our concept on a pre-existing model and try to improve upon it – it wasn’t left to chance and gut feeling when developing the game and all of its expansions. The actions were deliberate and researched before the game was created.

You have a look at one of the early editions here. Which takes you to Amazon, or you can get the general idea from this image.

Quality of game
We wanted to create a game people would enjoy!

We created a UK version of the game that filled a gap – it started as an idea and evolved it something that was bigger and more potent over time and became its an entity that could stand on its own 2 feet.

3 main approaches to selling your game

Moving on, here is a quick overview of how to make money from your game.

  • 1) Sell it retailers or individual shops
  • 2) Pitch it to games publisher or distributer
  • 3) Use a crowdfunding platform such as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo

How to sell your game and make money through publisher/distributor and earn over | 200k

I was involved in creating a party game that earned over 200k in turn over in one year and over 100 k (give or take) in subsequent years.

Game in action

Selling your game directly to a publisher or game distributor can bare large financial fruit. An advantage of getting your game in front of a large game distribution company is that they can sell your game in large quantities too. They have the channels, marketing, catalogues, and contacts. – You may, or may not!

So how do you get your game in their inventory?

You pitch to them

How to pitch your game to a seller and make money – wholesale

In order to look the professional, your game will need to look the part – eg be ready to ship, be affordable to buy and come with any marketing so you can to prove the game exists.

Don’t leave to much to the imagination, look as ready as you can be.

In order to pitch your game to the correct people, it will come down to knowing the right people. A previous colleague of mine used various methods to find the correct contacts, here are 2 I can recall worked well:

1) Finding them on LinkedIn

2) By going to shows and arranging meetings.

Pitching a game to a large distributor isn’t easy, but things with the best rewards rarely are!

My role in the process of winning such business (in addition to product creation) was to create pitch boards with renders and mock-ups of the games. These were often followed up with marketing PDF’s for buyers at the companies skim through.

I will let you in on a little something else also, should you get in with a successful game

Upsell your game to move toward a 200k gaol

So, you have a proven track record with a distributor, you have sold the game and now what do you do?

We gave them more – although there was a challenge here, we didn’t have more to give – initially anyway.

At this stage, we conceptualised prototypes of expansion packs and extra games and then pitched the “Final game” to the distributor via ‘mock-ups’ on a pitch board which may have still be in the concept stages.

*The games weren’t manufactured until an order was placed.

I won’t lie to you, this can be a risky way of creating a product. You should try your utmost to get a batch or set of prototypes ready to get around this risky approach.

These pitches and subsequent pitches which were driven by the commercial success were won with what was said and what was shown on the boards. At the best of times, a prototype of the game was made.

Pitch artwork for game
How to sell your game – use pitch artwork, This is an illustration down to the box and shadow.

So, that is the power of the pitch – don’t underestimate it and considering the potency of your game and whether it can be scaled.

Did that party game really earn 200k?

I think for the first run of the Family Edition of the game, from one single order – it was approximately 200k turn over in orders, and $150K in profits according to the Commercial Director. And more additions of the game were created.

So, yes – 200K then even more over the years. As it was it was being sold in other countries and snowballed.

How to sell your board game and make money | shop & retailer

As part of your strategy to either grow your wealth or hit a 200k target (or any number), you should consider selling your game direct to a large retailer. As above, the process of winning the business and selling your game to high street stores such as WH Smiths in the UK you should explore the tactics of pitching and trying to win business.

For the sake of clarity, I will discuss the steps in order to sell your game to a high-street store and what was involved in the process.

  1. Make sure you have your game ready. The more you have it together, the better this will be for you when you try to pitch your game
  2. Dot your I’s and Cross your T’s – in other words make sure you have all conformity, barcodes and product information ready.
  3. Is the product ready to be shipped? – fulfilment. Retailers like it to be straight forward and not have to worry about getting and unprofessional product etc. Have a warehouse or fulfilment centre ready to meet demand if the retailer places an order?
  4. Build Trust – Retailers don’t want to take foolish risks. If there is an indication of an existing market or you have sold games before, consider putting this in your proposal.
  5. Packaging – in retail, the packaging is more important than you may realise. The box art and how it looks on a retail shelf is incredibly important to a retailer and to the person buying the product. You need to make your product stand and look appealing. Its the box that may sell the game in the end.

It could also be worth noting that if you are yet to make or manufacture your box but have the artwork to utilise the visuals to create a planogram. This will help sell the dream and make your game look a little more real to the retailers.

These are some of the keys points I have been involved in when both collaborating and creating a proposal to a retailer.

This point was, in addition to the method of selling your game to the distributer a large contribution to it’s a financial success.

How to Kickstart your game and earn over 200k – if only knew.

Kickstarter Template Graphic
Kickstarter template graphics

Although, I have yet to be involved in creating a successful Kickstarter that sells 1000’s of unit most of my experience comes with working with retailers.

Companies have earned millions on Kickstarter

A website such as Stonemaier games covers lots of hints and tips on how to create a Kickstarter and make a success of it. If you have a moment you should take the time to read some of the articles.

I would also like to mention the games companies that made Bears VS Babies and Throw Throw Burrito, both of these board games were hugely successful on Kickstarter before going onto nailing it in retail. I have seen these games in Waterstones, John Lewis, WH Smiths & others in passing.

Both of the games had a huge fan base and used Kickstarter to its maximum potential. They used Kickstarter for what it does best – to validate a product and get ready for the next big step.

That next big step… conquer retail.

If you are intending on launching a Kickstarter anytime soon …. don’t launch unless you have a crowd waiting to place an order and buy your game!

Your crowd is crucial to a game’s success on the likes of Kickstarter. No crowd? Probably no crowdfunding either.

If you want to hit the bigger numbers get all of you marketing up to scratch first and then roll it out. If you are struggling there is no shame in canceling your campaign and moving it to another day.

Kickstarter is a great way of getting your product validated and tested before going to retail. I have written a post here on how to design a Kickstarter page.

How to sell your board game and make money – summary

I hope this post was useful and offers some insight into selling your game to the big retailers and distributors. As mentioned above, the large sum of money was earned through selling to a retailer and distributors.

If you would like to know a bit more about the making of the party game, you can view the post here and read at your leisure. This post discussed more of the design stages as opposed to the money aspect of the game creation.

Selling your game – my credentials.

I am a designer with 10 years’ experience and I have been involved in creating party and card games! Whoop whoop, if you would like to know a bit more about my services you can read more about my freelance card game design and get in touch.

Thank you for reading how to sell your board game and make money, if it was useful feel free to share.

“how to sell your board game and make money”

Other useful posts about games :

How we made a successful card game for retail

How to create a Kickstarter page

Packaging design examples

How to make your brand stand out – tell a story!

There is a difference between just having a logo plonked onto your website to having your marketing tell a customer a story. This post has been written based on professional experience on how to make your brand stand out by telling a narrative that will better engage your customer.

Illustration for part of brand story
Part of the brand story

There are many factors that will help you to carve out a trailblazing business and brand that offers a deeper level of engagement by telling a story is a great way of making yourself more authentic, memorable and much more human to your prospective customer.

How to make your brand stand out with a narrative (storytelling) approach

I have had the pleasure of being able to work on numerous epic and professionally rewarding projects over the years which I believe has contributed toward further reinforcing the brand images and engaging customers.

The brand(s) I have been involved with has caught the attention of large international retailers and the eye of Guy Kawasaki – Who was the chief evangelist at Apple. It has both been a privilege, honour and golden opportunity to develop myself and work on the conceptual and creative direction part of the brand.

Many of my past projects have been so much more than just dropping a logo onto a website or a piece of packaging. With each project, I have strived to literally make a brand tell and story and truly engage the consumer and make a memorable experience. If you are here to find ways of making your brand stand in a busy market place consider my tried and tested methods in this article.

Steps | How to tell your brand story

1 ) Why did you create the brand?

Consider why you created the brand or the company in the first place. Did you create your brand to sell an ideal? Are you following on in the generations of businesses? From Mother to Daughter, Father to son or for another reason. Are you wanting to change the world? Does your company have a uniqueness to which can be used to help you stand out?

Why are you here are why should I care?

Use parts of this message, this story to talk about who you are. It can start with the logo but should be woven into other parts of your brand.

The deployment of your story would come much later in the plan once you have settled on what it is you want to tell.

2 ) Why should anyone want to invest in you and hear what you have to say?

People like to back other real humans. If you care about them, they are much more likely to care about you. If you can create a message of how you want to go forward and potentially improve their lives they are more likely to take interest in you and your brand.

Tailor your story and your tone to your target demographic.

3 ) Integrate your message – both visual and written

Remember, if you want to tell a story you need rely on more that just a single logo to tell the whole story. Use written messaging across your marketing alongside visuals such as photos and illustrations to drive home the message.

4 ) Use good photo’s or images

Stock photos are great as they are free and do a basic job for photography – but it ends there. They are never a match for your authentic photo’s or images. Using authentic imagery instead of ‘cookie-cutter’ solutions is better if you want gain real trust – especially in the age where not all is as it seams.

Take away – use genuine pictures and photos to tell your story!

5 ) Now make me want to be part of the journey

Where are you heading to? Take your customer or client on the journey with you. You want to immerse your customer or client in your brand narrative and leave them wanting more! Considering what I said in a previous point, you should also consider how you like to deploy your brand narrative be it online or through print.

My professional approach to tell a brand story

I have had the privilege of being involved in telling brand stories on numerous projects, a part of my job I relish and go mad with if permitted. I would take a challenge or a problem, consider how we could sell it and then I would plot and strategise.

A miniature case study: For Satzuma, as a subsequent step to theme the brand for trade shows I came up with an ambitious idea and started with some hypothetical questions.

  • Where do the products come from?
  • How will I adopt the semiotics (read more semiotics in Wikipedia)
  • I needed to be considerate in adopting the brand guidelines
  • How do use a narrative to help sell a product?
  • How do I make it ‘fun’ this point was specific to the brand. If your brand will differ depending on your industry.

How to make your brand stand out – Developing a concept for a brand story

Taking the above into consideration for the concept, I set about the next few steps of brainstorming and liaising with the MD and Commercial Director.

After much doodling, sweat and tears (translated – sketching, brainstorming and working with the team) I came back with the concept – the “gadget factory”.

IS it 100% unique, not really. Was it very applicable? – VERY. The products needed to come from somewhere. So why not have some fun with the brand and declare that all the cool gadgets and electronics come from a special Gadget Factory in a faraway land? The factory concept was black and orange – keeping it in line with the brand guidelines.

Brand Typography
Typography

Gadget factory typography – this was used on cover work, stickers, websites, marketing both online and offline and integrated all mediums of branding.

The Gadget factory was a progression to the Gadget Garden – it’s predecessor.

Below are some of the visual elements that I worked on when creating the artwork for the brand narrative.

Print examples of how the story was integrated
Print examples

The print samples above show how the narrative of the Gadget Factory was integrated into the marketing collateral to help it stand out in a busy crowd in a retail market.

Packaging example - Brand story
Brand story applied to packaging

The image above shows how the story was also applied to packaging

And Website Design

Broken 404 page – includes part of the story

Factory Pest

Last but not least – the factory pest. A character that was created by me.

Summary | How to make your brand stand out – Tell a story

I hope that this article has helped shed some light on how to potentially make your brand stand out. Using the approaches above these projects and brand “stories” have been placed with global high-street retailers and at trade shows across the world.

I have attached a quote that I felt was interesting for this post.

“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.”

– Lisa Gansky

If you felt that this article was useful you may find these useful:-

My credentials

I am a Designer & Developer with over 10 years of commercial experience looking to push businesses to the next step and help them grow. I have been involved with Creative Direction, product development and trying to come up with quirky marketing approaches. If you would like help in telling your story I can certainly help!

How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads?

So “How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads?”… overview.

This post offers some potent tried and tested methods you can implement into your email marketing campaign to get those old leads to sit up and pay attention! They may be asleep now, but hopefully, by the end of this list, they will feel as refreshed as your with your marketing ideas.

Reading on – nuggets of juicy information on how to design an email marketing campaign for your old leads. Rock on!

Get responses from old email marketing leads - picture of old people
Get a response from old email marketing leads!

Who are your ‘old leads’?

A good starting point, who are your old leads? Why do you regard them as old? What have they done to warrant being targeted and regarded as ‘old’. Another way to look at your old contacts and subscribers is to view them are as loyal customers and clients. The list below covers tried and tested ideas, but perhaps a good place to start is how you perceive them, and how in turn they may come to perceive you.

1 ) Most important, offer something ‘they’ want

I wanted to start with this point as I felt it was actually the most obvious but possibly most overlooked. If you are failing to get the enquiries or interest are you failing to engage the reader? Are you selling a product that they no longer want or need? Are you talking about a topic they no longer care about? If so, how can you change it?

How to do it

Make your marketing about ‘them’ and their business – not yours. Tell and show them how you can help them to grow.

Fulfil their needs first!

2 ) Offer a loyalty scheme

So they have been on board for a long time but there has been no activity from them? You could potentially offer a discount to try and coax them back to life and become an active subscriber. Give a bumper service to the loyal ones and offer a reward.

3 ) Treat your ‘old email marketing leads’ as special customers.

In the body of your email consider using wording that makes your trusty old subscribers feel special and acknowledges that they have been loyal for a long time. Perhaps, writing a message along the lines of :

“Dear (name), as a loyal customer we have decided to offer you (x service) for a limited time. The company wouldn’t be where it is today without its loyal customers such as yourself and that is why we have decided to offer you this excellent reward!”

4 ) Talk about something new

It’s a very strong possibility that your old leads are bored with what you have to say, your brand your message anything and everything – people get bored very easily, and especially the internet user. In the past, I have noticed a strong correlation in campaigns with the wording “New” generally pushing more interest. So, create something new, or talk about something new.

5 ) If you have a tidy list, address them directly

If you have a contact list with all the personal *contact names as and where they should be you could write an email campaign addressed directly to them. But this only works as well as the cleanliness of the list. For example :-

Clean List

Dear Dave Higgins

Vs Untidy List

Dear 123 at qwqwq

Why is the second example like that? Because the name field was left with a trash name or a number in the field because somebody forgot to change it or the subscriber didn’t give you their actual name.

In other words, the form – personal name – form field will pull in whatever data is in the “name” column. be it good or bad.

6 ) Change up your email design to catch the attention

Visuals do work. Have some catchy images, logos and importantly a Call to action! Click me!

How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads - example
Example of a responsive mailshot

My Old leads – They are still playing backgammon?

Made it this far down the list eh and your old email marketing leads still haven’t turned their heads away from their game of backgammon? Don’t worry just yet, we still have some thoughts and ideas yet that will hopefully help you in getting responses! Continue reading – How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads!

7 ) Use stats and numbers

Analytics’ data or sales figures can be a good way or proving how good your service is – with numbers! It makes you look authentic. I also believe (my opinion) people love data and numbers as it makes information easy to digest.

Hey! don’t lie about your numbers or stats. There will come a day when people won’t believe what they read – if that day hasn’t arrived already.

8 ) Use a timed offer to encourage an urgent response from your old leads

I have mentioned this in a previous post (link) but placing a timed response or a limited offer can encourage urgent action. This approach can be a little pushy in my opinion but I can’t deny that I have seen it used effectively including by myself.

9 ) Consider who your old leads are – your message, your tone.

This is important, who are you talking to? Your messaging needs to resonate with them. It needs to talk to them and it needs to be useful to them – create good content for your quality readership. Connect.

10 ) Solve their problems, help with their pains

Companies/businesses/people have pains – not ones for a real doctor, business ones I mean. These pains can vary from: How to get more leads, how do I get people to stay on my website, how do I get people to sign up, how do I make this easier, I have no time, I’m tired, etc, etc.

So once you have identified their pains, and if you are familiar with your industry, you will be better equipped at answering their questions and helping to solve their problems. Using you, or your service will help solve their problems – or better still. Avoid them altogether!

11 ) Try to be helpful

As mentioned a couple of times in this post make contacting your email leads about them and how you can help with your experience. Answer questions create posts, try to see what types of questions your demographic ask by trawling forums and post online to give you indications or if you have a survey software use that to learn about them.

12 ) Speak their language

Try to speak their lingo. If they use industry-specific jargon use this in your email to make it sound like you know what you are talking about (oh, and check that you know what you are talking about). If your email marketing is more B2C then try to understand the demographics of your readership, how old are they, are they male, female, what are their hobbies and so on.

learn who they are.

13 ) Check you are emailing the right people

If you have a very specific few golden leads out there and they have stopped answering your emails or opening them, check to see if they are still working at the company or have moved to another department.

You can use LinkedIn to see who is correct contact and start building a new working relationship.

Summary | How do I design an email marketing campaign for old leads

I hope this post is useful. I have given you some tried and tested ideas which I have seen work first hand in the past with my email marketing experience. Many of these approaches should be useful for tomorrow and for the future as many of the tips approach geared toward what messaging is as well as how.

It is worth your while employing not just one of the tactics above for best results but many with a mix and match to see which are most useful for ‘your’ email marketing. There isn’t a golden bullet for things like this as some would like to sell to you, it requires learning and effort. I have sent out many, many campaigns over the years and have seen which works for gifting, retail, subscriptions, and general newsletters.

Setting aside the technical information, the tricks etc, it often tends to boil down to something you probably already know, and I knew but didn’t want to admit either – they weren’t interested...

So make them interested

Sell something your customer or client ‘wants’ or needs. Don’t push something onto them that they don’t want or need. It is a tired and boring struggle for both parties.

As time goes along, trial and error will show which tactics bare the most fruit – all the best in “designing email marketing for your old leads.”

About Me – A Designer

I have worked on numerous email campaigns over the years sending campaigns to 1000’s of contacts. Much of the data I have written here has been based on my first-hand experience of blood sweat and tears and also with keeping myself up to date with new email marketing ideas. You are more than welcome to read a bit more about me below.

You may find the article on the 32 tips useful for more visual design tips.

Other Helpful Posts

How to create a STEM game or application

To create a digital STEM or E-learning game ‘app’ you will need to make a plan, download software to construct the game and have access to or own software to create the artwork and ‘assets’ for the game. This post covers all of the details on how to create a STEM game or application in a step by step process from software suggestions, to hints and tips.

Blossom Tree E-learning - How to make STEM game
Caption from E-learning game

The steps I used to create an E-learning / STEM game.

This post covers the steps and stages I undertook to create a STEM game or what was then an E-Learning game that could be played on a computer, be it either an iMac or PC.

I would like to mention now that I am not a teacher or a STEM specialist. I took what was a principle and applied it to my game design for a major project. This article focuses more on the creation of the application itself, opposed the focus of STEM subject matter itself. If you wish to read more specifically on the subject of STEM you can find out more here : source

Why Create an E-learning (STEM) Game?

Before STEM was a term I had heard of, I wanted to create an application that was both entertaining and educational for young children. Games or gaming has a bad rap for being mindless and many are (I do like a mindless shooter as much as the next person). I was also a fan of the classic puzzlers growing up such as Monkey Island and Fate of Atlantis.

I wanted to create a fun purposeful experience through the medium of gaming that will help children.

And…

When the project was assigned to create a big experience I wanted to create a game that would utilise some of my existing skills as a young designer and illustrator (as a student) and create a product that I would be proud of. I wanted the E-learning game to have engaging puzzles and characters that would pull the children in and compel them to explore through the levels. They also had a mission, they needed to save a friend.

Illustration of a crooked castle for an E-learning game
Crooked Castle for E-learning

About this E-learning game – Blossom Tree

The game was aimed towards children aged 7 +. As the player progresses through the game, they would have to answer questions of varying difficulty until they arrive at the final stage and save their friend. There were 2 main paths that had 2 types of questions.

  • Path 1 = Sums
  • Path 2 = Spelling

    It should be noted that you can pick any of the core STEM subjects for your own project.

Both paths converge at the end to logic and problem-solving questions which broke format from traditional ‘yes” and ‘no’ English and maths.

Black game background for e-learning game.
Blank background for level

The steps used to create the E-learning game whilst adopting STEM

After studying design this was my first venture into developing websites, apps and 2D games in Adobe Flash. From the start, I planned the project from the look and feel to how it would play. I also made a level randomiser but the concept ran into technical difficulties late into the game development – get into your “white boxing people” please. It is such a valuable stage for the process. I have mentioned in detail below what “White boxing” is.

1 ) The idea for the E-learning Game

Sounds obvious, but the idea was an important step. I had a vision and idea for what I wanted the game o achieve and how it may look! After developing a viable idea I set about doing some research online into “pedagogy” and how it could be applied to the design of my e-learning game.

2 ) Game Objectives – “The Mission”

So you have an idea, now what do you want it to achieve? You will need to consider the age range for your game, whether it will be for all educational subjects or will it just 1. If this going to be for free? Etc. As a teacher or somebody looking to make a STEM game grab a piece of paper or open word and start jotting down what you would like your application to do for the world.

3 ) Planning your STEM / e-learning game

Great, so you have established what you want your game to achieve and what will happen in the game. I approached a more narrative approach to my game which lent itself well to word challenges and maths questions. If you are making a Science themed game maybe you could have a lab and you need to find the secret ingredient for a concoction? Of you have calculated sums and outwit an evil computer! The ideas are endless. Start to the application – you game, how many levels, how many characters, sound, animations, and try to do a rough cutting list of what will need to be created. This may change as time goes along.

* note: the more ideas you have the longer it will take finish

Basic Level map for gaming app
Level map for game

4 ) Your Game Project Timeline

If this is your first venture into creating a game project it’s tricky to gauge how long it will take to create a fully-fledged game. If you are building it all yourself – and learning all of yourself it could be a steep old slope = a lot of time. None the less, in order to get your STEM game live you need to set up milestones. I would advise breaking your milestone down into smaller steps if not for timekeeping, then for your own morale.

So, with your idea ready and your research finished and plan set to be into motion. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and start building. The next set of steps covers the more technical steps for getting started.

Technical steps on “how to create your STEM game”

The game that you see displayed was created by me in Adobe Flash (See product here). To create this game, I had learned how to code in a language called “Action Script”. Action Script is what made the nuts and bolts of the game tick, from the scene transitions to the answers boxes checking to see if the question is right or wrong. I have attempted to break down the process of making your game.

1) What gaming program should I use? Select a program to start making your game

Example of game engines you could use for your STEM project

  1. Stencyl (great for beginners with no programming knowledge)

    Stencyl is great for complete coding novices. The coding system works similar in principle to Lego Bricks, where you can stack and click together the functions and activities in your game. I have attached an example of what you can do in Stencyl. Or if you would like to, you can navigate to the post here and get an idea of how it works – (Stencyl post, custom cursor) Although Stencyl is good and has merits it has many limitations in my opinion. It should also be noted, that this engine is 2D only.

    Stencyl Code Block Example

  2. Unity Software (great for someone with some coding skills, create powerful games)

    Unity software is everywhere and with large developer communities constantly improving the assets and the software but, be warned – it can have a steeper learning curve if you are wanting to create e-learning or STEM games this is truly a powerful piece of kit. One great advantage is that Unity comes with LOTS of tutorials, assets and game templates to bump up your game into completion.

  3. Adobe Animate (Used to be king of the game makers, still good but not the most powerful)

    The E-learning / Stem game shown throughout this post was created in what was known as Flash. Flash, now Adobe Animate has somewhat fallen out of favour with powerful programs such as Unity bumping it out of top position and accessibility issues for Smartphones driving in the wedge.

    It’s a misconception that you can’t use Animate anymore to create rich-media applications – it’s not true. You can still create phone apps, HTML 5, animations, video indents, and games!

2) ‘White Box’ your game first

White boxing is single-handedly one of the best modern techniques I have been taught in recent years as it can save so much time. When I say ‘white box’ its a case of roughing out functionality and lose the form of your game. Worry about the function and how the game plays first and use place holder graphics in the early stages of development.

One terrible mistake I have made in the past with utilising time is to create artwork for a component (part) of a game that will not work and you end up having to junk not only the component but the artwork/animation also.

Rough it, test it, play it and then make it beautiful!

3) Find a game Artist or Designer

A very important step for your STEM Learning game is creating artwork that will be visually appealing to children (and adults) when they interact with your awesome puzzles. I tried to make the artwork for my game appealing to a younger audience, to keep them engaged in the topic. You can either create the visuals yourself, hire an artist (link) or look for free and open-source artwork and make a Frankenstein monster of moving stock graphics! (yes, a pinch of sarcasm)

4) Test, test again and assess – then develop your game further

Test your game on players that have never heard of it or played it. Although, I have to confess that I had trouble finding young testers and the youngest I could go to was 9 years old. Watch how people play your game and take notes on what you can improve. This is a valuable step, more so if this is being created for commercial purposes.

5) Publish your STEM application / E-learning game

You’ve done it! Depending on the size of your game, you have spent a year, 6 months, 2 weeks and you have published the application ready to go out to your classroom. You have created a game with a purpose that will hopefully help with learning and STEM development. – Well, in theory, you have made it, now you need to put it into practice.

How “I” created my STEM / E-learning game

I have outlined how you can create a STEM or E-learning game based on my experience and playtesting. I have attached a few conceptual details and visuals of the original game – Called “Blossom Tree” which was my first major foray into interaction and game design at the University of Cumbria.

Field Background For e-learning game
Static visual for field

I wanted the game to feel warm, friendly and filled with the freshness or being the outside, you never know – the artwork my spur children to go play outside, maybe build a den. You may also notice in the background there is a twisted silhouette of a castle. That is the final destination for the player.

E-learning game spoiler alert!

(Wilber Worm)
(Wilber Worm)

Speed rounds and classroom chalkboard.

Speed Round from e-learning game
Speed Round from e-learning game. (Do you reckon children will know what a blackboard is 20 years? Probably not.
Castle level Background - getting near the end!
Castle level Background – getting near the end of the game.
The empty end scene
Dungeon

Looking back

I feel I may have constructed this game slightly ahead of its time. This game was created as part of a final major project whilst studying at the Cumbria Institute of the Arts in my final year of study. This would have pre-dated the surge in the smartphone and the tablet technology and well before the surge in digital downloading platforms such as Steam, Google Play, Apple Store, PS4 network etc.

This e-learning game was created to be a web application or CD ROM .exe. The platforms for downloading such games weren’t as prevalent then, whether they existed at all. The commercial standpoint if I was to create this game again I do a lot of things differently.

things I would do differently, for my STEM / E-learning game

If I was to remake this game I would add so much more interaction into the game, maybe some quicklimes scenes, a bit more movement and generally make feel a little less static, but hey, this was my first ever go at making something like this. I look at many aspects of the project – especially on the design side of things and hiss through my teeth or feel my toes curl as some of the aesthetics but still proud to this day to hear this from around the corner.

“This is F*****g ace!”

in a Cumbrian accent. And that was directed at what I had learned, what I had created and I had hoped would be an of a benefit to a few.

The take way on how to create a STEM game application

I hope my project and how to post has motivated you and given some insight on how to create a STEM application or learning game. The process of creating a game such as this can be incredibly rewarding. It can also be a big undertaking and if you need any help or have any questions. Well, you know where I am.

If the found this post on “how to create a stem game application” useful please share. It could be helpful for those looking to create an educational game or something for friends and family.

Jimm – Designer & Developer

Other useful posts

My Services :

External and reference services for topic

Cumbria Institue of the Arts (now known as Faculty of Arts)

About Pedagogy

STEM Information

Free scrumptious Inline CSS Snippets for your email campaign

Free to usee CSS Snippet | Title image on purple background
CSS Snippets! Ripe for the taking!

Why use free inline CSS for your email campaign?

This post is a light-hearted free-for-all which shows, no… even allows you to take these CSS snippets for free for personal or professional use. Free inline CSS Snippets, here is why it is useful:

  • You don’t know what you are doing with certain CSS
  • Are in a mad hurry to get a project completed for a deadline
  • Can’t be bothered trying to work out your own code
  • Are so stuck you just don’t know what to do next, don’t worry, I feel your pain.

Also, in this post it covers a little bit about what is going on, if you have time to read it.

In-line CSS snippets

It is time to get some Free Inline CSS snippets into your work! This article has been written with responsive mailshots in mind, although there’s no reason why you couldn’t adapt the code for you CSS on your website it is mostly inline CSS. So casting my CSS magic wand I have created some snappy grabby inline CSS for you to copy and paste and do with as you please. Are you In a hurry? Just need to whack it together because the boss or client has given you a tight deadline? Well, this article is for you! As I have have already mentioned!

( Inline ) CSS Naughty Top Div Spacer

Need to add space at the top of the div to move text down or fake padding from the top? This crude but effective hack should do the trick! You barbarian!

    
//  Place this inside the parent div, or span you are trying to force down.  
 
 <div style="height:5px;"> </div> 

Add this spacer div. change px height for your purpose, ideal for mailshots and serve!

Naughty inline spacer
Naught Div Spacer with Inline CSS

(another horrific way of doing it would be to a clear .png and change its height)
To use the div place the snippet inside the master div. <div> <spacer> </div>

CSS inline – Waist Size for Mailshots

For the purpose of responsive mailshots, this can set the bounding div width.
This will help make the width elasticated so when you come to viewing your email campaign on mobile it will constrain to the screen width… providing all the other elements are not forcing the mailshot outside the screen etc

<div style="max-width:640px;"></div> 
Control the width of you CSS div with "max-width"
Max width CSS – Belt sizes!

Elastic Imagery | control image width with inline CSS

Like a magic trick, make your images adjust to the size of the mobile device or tablet. This can also be applied to desktop computers. Notice how the code needs to placed inside the image.

<img src="/yourimage.jpg"style="max-width:100%; max-height:100%; display:block;"/>
Example of Inline CSS elasticated image snippet picture
Elasticated image = width 100%

QUICK Inline CSS snippet for E-mail Titles!

Feel free to amend the font family, point size, colour, better still you can change it to the proper heading tags :

Your Title / big text

<h1 style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; color:#ff6600; font-weight:bold; font-size:60px; padding:3%; "> Title </h1>
Change you title with an Inline CSS Snippet
Inline CSS Title Snippet!

That’s all for now – 4 handy Inline CSS snippets for you to grab and run off with!

Thank you for reading this post. If you have a moment please feel free to share on social media, your blog or even your website. Free inline CSS Snippets

Or if you are feeling bit leisurely, you can browse other articles on this blog :
Such as :
– UI Design projects
Tips on making a successful email campaign
– Php + HTML tut

Hey, if you are would like any assistance with your website design or graphic, feel free to get in touch or have a browse –