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Doris & Frank's company

T here are many wrong ideas about professional game designers getting extremely rich and so on. decopics/igelkampf.gif

Why do we run the company?

I'd like to make it short: Just for fun!

Our game production is a hobby, we are no professional game designers. We invent games just for fun and when we think that one is good, we just love the idea that more people get a chance to play it. Well of course we love mail by fans ;-)
It's a cheap hobby cause for a hobby you don't measure the time spent and actually we really get a few bucks back from it, instead of simply investing like its with most hobbies.

We've been publishing our own games since 1989 ( our first game ), we do not plan to buy licenses yet. The main reason to publish a game yourself is that the normal way to publish your game with a big company takes a whole lot of time, your system or your artwork might get changed. So we publish our games, cause we're impatient.
Anyway we wouldn't mind if some of you big companies (where are you) will buy a license from us every now and then. For example our 1991 game Vendetta would have been impossible to be published by ourselves, since we didn't have the money and the high prices for little wooden cubes would have made the game very expensive in a small print run. Also card games a very hard to publish, cause the price rapidly goes down with the number of copies ;-)

What does it take?

Well, when you plan to go into boardgame business, you have two options, either you make it big and try to win or loose real money, or you make it small, don't loose money but waste some other resources. We can only talk about the latter way. decopics/igelrechen.gif

The following resources are what we rely on. This might be different with other small companies. In roughly decreasing importance.

  1. I (Frank) especially need a girlfriend and wife like Doris, to keep all going. Thank you Doris!
  2. Our friends and playtester's time for playtesting. Thanx!
  3. Friends who push you to present your first game in publicity. Thanx Dagmar!
  4. Our friends and especially my father in law's time for packing al those bit's 'n boxes. Thanx!
  5. Our friends and other small board game company runners time, to get all those production possibilites sorted out (Where do I get playing cards, wooden pieces, boards, etc.) Thanx!
  6. All those people who buy your games. Thanx!
  7. Those few dozens of game collectors who buy your games without knowing them or even subscribe them for a lifetime. Thanx!
  8. All those small shops who manage to buy games from small companies. Especially externlocal shop who selled over 1000 Igel Ärgern in a small town. Thanx Uwe and all the others!
  9. Attendence to some big gaming events, especially the Essen fair.
  10. All those small game magazines which also cover the small companies with their articles.
  11. All those small game magazines on the net. Thanks Ken and Knut!
  12. The garage and houses of our parents, to store all those goods. Thanx!
  13. A bigger appartment.
  14. More friends.
  15. Some important people to know you. Especially those journalists.
  16. A good artist. Thanx, Doris again ;-)
  17. A cheap artist. Thanx, Doris again ;-)
  18. Some of our own time.
  19. Fun with playing boardgames.
  20. Some ideas.
  21. Some money.

Many essentials, those small shops and magazines, are due to the pionieering first generation of German small game producers like Reinhold Wittigs Edition Perlhuhn, Johannes Trannelis , Walter Müllers Spielewerkstatt, Bernd Brunnhofer and Kalle Schmiel and many more. All those who demonstrated that good games can come from small companies.

Some other things are getting harder with the time. For example the attendence to the Essen game fair with a 10 square meter stand raised about a factor of 3 in price between 1991 and 1997 For example small shops feel, that German people haven't got as much money left as a few years ago.

The above is probably incomplete. But in short, you need many, many people help, but many, many people are what keeps the enterprise being fun. You can find a few of our friends on the People page .

Amateurs, but ...

But, yes Doris is a professional designer. She has started mainly with industrial presentation thingies, but now she has been doing the artwork for quite a few "real" boardgame companies like externHans im Glück , Amigo , Habermaas , the old Hexagames , Abacus , White Wind and Grünspan (I'm not sure, I got them all). For example she did the 1996 Game of the Year El Grande for externHans im Glück . You can find a complete list of Games by Doris on this site.

Here you can find some more information about us .

The Game Chronology

Well, just have a look at the games we've published .

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