Available on VOD and Digital HD: July 7th, 2020
Directed by Charles Mruz
Produced by Mia Chang, Scott Kim, George Loucas, Jimmy Nguyen, Alan Poa, Matthew Shreder, and Stefanie Woodburn
SYNOPSIS: Gamemaster is a deep dive into the world of the thriving board game industry, the recent billion-dollar tabletop renaissance, and the creators behind wildly popular games. Watch first-time game designers as they try to achieve their dream of creating a board game.
From initial inspiration through prototyping to iteration after iteration to Kickstarter (or to publishers), conferences, conventions, and beyond! Gamemaster follows the journey of first time game-designers as they guide their game through its own journey.
Our Players: Jason Serrato whose game Thug Life was brought to Kickstarter but didn’t take off due to budget. Charlie Bink who created and Kickstarted Trekking the National Parks, taking it from an idea to a family business and beyond. Scott Rogers is taking Rayguns & Rocketships to conferences for testing. Nashra Balagamwala is working to produce her personal game, Arranged!, to market but has to deal with immigration and fending off potential suitors.
And it’s not just newbies to the field, we also sit with Klaus Teuber who designed Catan and his sons who now work with him. We spend time with Bruno Cathala at the Spiel des Jahres awards.
Each of these designers is at a different stage in their career and following them shows us a rough life of a game, from doodles in a sketchbook to second printings of second editions. We hear of their particular challenges, and get a peek behind the curtain for an industry that made over $7 billion dollars in 2017!
I particularly enjoyed the time spent with Serrato and Balagamwala and their games. As the POC, their detailed struggles of being in the game design space and getting their games made was an important story to tell. Their games were intensely personal to them and showed how people can take cultural experiences and draw from them to craft fun and relatable tabletop games. Rogers and Bink built their first games from a strong personal connection to their subject matter, as well, and all of the designers took it and passed it through their minds to design a fun experience through that lens.
I don’t want to spoil anything, because it’s a bit of fun to follow the arcs of the creators and their journies to get their games on shelves. All I’ll say is I can’t wait to pick up copies of Arranged!, Thug Life, Rayguns & Rocketships, and Trekking the National Parks Board Game.
Interested? Head over to iTunes and make it happen!