Guide for Designers and Publishers
This is a guide for new publishers and designers to get the most out of BGG. This little instruction sheet covers some of the major topics that come up frequently with first-time designers and publishers.
The first step in the process is to get your game in the BGG database. Submit your game at Misc --> Add Board Game. In your submission, include what information is available about the designer, publisher, categories, mechanisms, etc. If the designers and illustrators aren't already listed in the BGG database, you can create them first at Misc --> Add Person, then link to the pending person submissions in the game submission; the same goes for publisher, which can be added at Misc --> Add Publisher. As each of these submissions can take a moment to get cached in the system, allow a few minutes between submitting person and publisher entries and submitting the game entry.
The description of your game is the heart of your entry, so please take special care to describe your game well. You know more about your game than any other person in the world, so please tell us about your game. A good game description includes information about theme, gameplay, and goal. The description is the first information point that users have about your game, and it is the most visible. Applications that access BGG data typically pull this description data when a user looks up the game, so your description should be able to give an overview or synopsis of the game without the benefit of a user having access to images, forums, or other information. Typically 1-5 paragraphs is sufficient for a game description.
For more information on this topic, see the Guide to Game Submissions
After your game is added to the database, you can add further content items to it that inform and display your work.
After your game is uploaded, you can submit images of the game via the Upload button in the Images section of the game page. Images go through GeekMod, a user-driven moderation process that approves images based on consensus votes that an image is within the BGG guidelines.
After your images are approved, you set a representative image (the image that shows in searches and at the top of the game entry) with these instructions. The Representative Image page has information about how to select images.
The files section on the game page allows for further content on your game, such as player aids, rule sets, rules translations, alternate artwork, etc. For free print-and-play games, the files section on BGG is an excellent place for the files to be found in a central hosted location.
• Web Links
Web links are a great way to help users find more information about your game and to direct them to previews, reviews, and other external information. The Link Submissions page has more information on how to submit links, and how to set a representative link that will go in the Website field of the game page header.
Additionally, if you are pre-ordering or crowdfunding your game, you can add this information to the version that is being pre-ordered or crowdfunded along with the valid dates. The link to the pre-order will appear in the header space for Pre-Order Link during the active dates of the project.
The BGG page programming is set to link to YouTube and Vimeo videos. If you have created videos about your game – or others have previewed, reviewed, or unboxed your game – adding content to this area helps to get this information in the hands of interested users.
Additionally, BoardGameGeek TV attends several gaming conventions and shows each year and does on-camera interviews and previews of products. Check with BGG News Editor Eric Martin to see whether the BoardGameGeek TV cameras will be at a convention near you.
BGG has several opportunities for designers and publishers to get their game out there and known to the users. Here are ways to get your game seen above the tide of the 2,500 other new games that come out every year.
• Add Content
All of the above category. The more users know about your game, the better impression they will have to decide to get it and play it.
• Press Releases
The Press Release forum on BGG is a general announcement thread that users can use to bring attention to newly-released games.
Additionally, you may be able to get mentioned in BGG News by sending information to BGG's News Editor, W. Eric Martin. If you keep Eric in the loop, you may get a mention in his regular news postings! You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Eric also works with game designers to publish Designer Diaries, where designers can write about the process they underwent in designing and bringing a game to market. As BGG users are incredible consumers of information, these diaries can be a supplemental bit of promotion to the users that are very interested in your game design process.
BGG has several advertising avenues, including banner advertising, promotional links to crowdfunding projects, contests, and promo distribution. Contact email@example.com for rates and further information.
Maintain your entry
The BGG entry for your game is the hub of information that BGG users will use to learn about and discuss your game. If you keep the information on the game page up-to-date, then the users to come to the page will be well-informed about your game.
One notable example in maintenance that's not directly addressed by the submission system is the group of header polls that help further categorize games for users. Each game entry has a poll for suggested number of players, suggested ages, subdomain, language dependency. You can cast the initial votes in these polls to help with this categorization. Additionally, the subdomain poll will ultimately determine in which subdomain your game will appear.