A Maker Approach to Games: Pijin, Portland Makerfaire 2014
A Maker-Approach to
Creating and Manufacturing
Tabletop (Word) Games
OMSI - Portland Mini-Maker Faire!
September 14, 2014
THE PROCESS OF MAKING PIJIN:
• DEVELOPED IN 12 MONTHS!
• THREE MAJOR ITERATIONS!
1. YOUR EXPERIENCE MATTERS - “Spell What You
2. THERE ARE NO “EXPERTS” - No Official or External
Word Lists - Players Assess Each Move as a Group!
3. NO CHEAP STUFF - Use Good Quality, Aesthetically
Pleasing Materials for Game Pieces (Bamboo)!
4. MODULAR SYSTEM - Encourage and Build into
Game Openness, Variants & Expansions
the game, I
I took a
learn what is
needed as it
is needed &
For instance, I
made this !
We spent months
playtesting. Wine, it turns
out, often improves the
experience of phonetic
By January 2014, I had arrived at a “working prototype”!
complete gameset, with graphics and branding!
In November and December 2013, I used
TaoBao, Alibaba, ThomasNet, Amazon
and Google searches to find different
suppliers for each part of the game.!
By January I had explored many
manufacturing options, I procured
estimates for the costs of making the
game using several different methods or
At the end of January, I shot tons of
photos, made a video, and was ready to
raise the funds needed to make the
THE GROWING BOARD GAMES MARKET:
Sales at retail game and hobby stores have risen
15-20% for each of the last three years
Amazon says board game sales increased by
double digits from 2012 to 2013*
On Kickstarter, the amount raised for board game projects
surpassed the amount raised for video games last year, !
$52.1 million to $45.3 million *
*NYTimes, May 6, 2014
So… on February 10, I launched on Kickstarter -!
Pijin: The Spelling Game of the Spoken Word
Kickstarter backers were !
interested in many facets!
of the game, including!
the materials and
of the grab bag.
One project Update included close-up!
photos of the bag…
for making a
I also shared
details of tile
THE KICKSTARTER WAS SUCCESSFUL.!
NEXT I ORDERED!
AROUND THE WORLD…
Tiles: Made in China!
Cards: Made in India!
Everything Else: Made in USA
parts of the
game arrived, !
I asked friends
to help me
for shipment -!
one night in
June, we put
game sets !
TOWER OF BABEL!!
200 PIJIN GAMES!
READY TO SHIP
MY APPROACH TO MAKING!