The Dark Imp Blog

Top Tips for Super Sizzles

Top Tips for Super Sizzles

If you’re a game designer or toy inventor you’ve probably heard the term ‘sizzle reel’. But what does it mean? Why are they important? Do you really need one? And, if you do decide to make a sizzle reel … how, what, where, which bits??? This blog post aims to answer...

Stephen Wilson and the Big Potato Inventor Challenge

Stephen Wilson and the Big Potato Inventor Challenge

I had the privilege to talk to Stephen Wilson a Board Game Inventor who teaches part-time in a special needs school. Stephen and I talked about his experience with of working with learners at his school to enter the Big Potato Inventor Challenge - a competition for...

Digsaw Designer Diary

Digsaw Designer Diary

During most of 2020, playtesting was all online. With little desire to master the necessary digital skills, I turned my attention to games that could be played over Zoom, without using Tabletop Simulator or similar. I spent much of the year designing Roll & Write...

Why do some people hate party games?

Why do some people hate party games?

Party games are loosely defined as light games for larger groups that encourage social interaction. This is a broad category and it’s easy to see how many different types of games could be described like this - but the mere mention of a ‘party game’ is enough to send...

Self-publishing checklist

Self-publishing checklist

This is the 5th and final part in the blog series: So you’ve designed a game… now what?  If you’ve not yet done so, please read Part 1: What’s your motivation?, Part 2: Testing and development, Part 3: Pitch or Publish and Part 4: How to Find a Publisher. Though I’ve...

How to find a publisher

How to find a publisher

This is Part 4 in the blog series: So you’ve designed a game… now what?  If you’ve not yet done so, please read Part 1: What’s your motivation?, Part 2: Testing and development and Part 3: Pitch or Publish. A link to the final part will appear in due course. In the...

Pitch or publish?

Pitch or publish?

This is Part 3 in the blog series: So you’ve designed a game… now what?  If you’ve not yet done so, please read Part 1: What’s your motivation? and Part 2: Testing and development. Links to future parts will appear here over the coming weeks. In those posts, I will...

Testing and development

Testing and development

This is Part 2 in the blog series: So you’ve designed a game… now what?  If you've not yet done so, please read Part 1: What's your motivation? Links to future parts will appear here over the coming weeks. In those posts, I will cover: To find or to be a publisher?...

What’s your motivation?

What’s your motivation?

This is Part 1 in the blog series: So you’ve designed a game… now what? Links to future parts will appear here over the coming weeks. In those posts, I will cover: Testing and development To find or to be a publisher? How to find a publisher First steps in...

Designing the ‘Teach’ into the game

Designing the ‘Teach’ into the game

I have a theory that we are ‘dumbing down’ family games for adults, rather than children. I think that a child’s ability to cope with complexity far outweighs a parent’s ability to learn and teach the game. Reading a rulebook seems to be the real hurdle in making a...

2023 Roundup

2023 Roundup

In traditional style, in this post I’m reflecting on the last year and looking forward to the next.Top highlights from 2023 Winning the inaugural Hasbro Women Innovators of Play challenge.  Signing 8 games to publishers: Laurence King Publishing x 2, Ginger Fox x 2,...

Dealing with rejection

Dealing with rejection

If you’re not getting rejections, you’re not pitching. Even if your game is the most innovative and brilliant design the world has ever seen, You will still get rejections. Here are a non-exhaustive list of reasons why publishers might reject your game (that’s nothing...