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The Definitive Book on the Tabletop Gaming Business

  • Mar 8, 2010
The most essential book on the market for people who want to learn more about what it takes to bring a tabletop game to market.

It's not going to teach you how to conceptualize and lay out a game, but once you have a prototype, this book can absolutely help you with where to go from there - the business side of the equation.

Not only is is packed with real life info (as opposed to theoretical or unproven stuff), but the writing style is outstanding. It resonates extremely well with inventors.

One thing I took from the book was that you don;t have to spend a lot preparing your game to take to the industry. Don't spend money on patents and trademarks, expensive graphic artwork, and a slick complete package. If a major manufacturer likes your game, they will do a lot of this work for you. They will likely change anything you did in terms of artwork and rules tweaking anyway. Professionals can recognize a good game in the simple prototype stage.

Tinsman does not promise riches and fame. It covers many games and inventors (designers) who have done well, but does not fill ones head with unrealistic expectations. It outlines what is possible, what you can expect, and why you should be inventing games in the first place.

Highly recommended!

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More The Game Inventor's Guidebook:... reviews
review by . May 14, 2009
This excellent, highly readable guide to the practice and business of tabletop (board, card or miniature) games. Its chapters are interspersed with several enjoyable, brief interviews with successful game designers. Every practical question you might have about breaking into the industry is answered here: How to playtest; how to write a pitch; whether you need an agent; what the standard contract is; which markets you should target. If you're considering self-publishing, there's a chapter on that, …
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Dan Limbach ()
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About this book


The definitive guide for anyone with a game idea who wants to know how to get it published from a Game Design Manager at Wizards of the Coast, the world's largest tabletop hobby game company. Do you have an idea for a board game, card game, role-playing game or tabletop game? Have you ever wondered how to get it published? For many years Brian Tinsman reviewed new game submissions for Hasbro, the largest game company in the US. With The Game Inventor's Guidebook: How to Invent and Sell Board Games, Card Games, Role-playing Games & Everything in Between! he presents the only book that lays out step-by-step advice, guidelines and instructions for getting a new game from idea to retail shelf.


How they did it. Trivial pursuit / Chris Haney and Scott Abbott --
Magic : the gathering --
Richard Garfield --
Dungeons and dragons / Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson --
Pokemon trading card game --
Tsunekaz Ishihara, Kouichi Ooyama, Takumi Akabane --
Interview with an inventor / Reiner Knizie --
Interview with a publisher / Mike Gray --
How the industry works. What's in it for you --
How new games happen --
Anatomy of a publisher --
Markets for games --
Games and companies you should know. Mass market games you should know ----
Mass market companies you should know --
Hobby games you should know --
Hobby game companies you should know --
American specialty games and companies you should knwo --
European games, companies, and an award you should know --
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ISBN-10: 1600374476
ISBN-13: 978-1600374470
Author: Brian Tinsman
Genre: Entertainment
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
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