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Upcoming Phoenix Comicon!

Category : Uncategorized

The biggest show for us of the year is coming up! It’s not a gaming specific show, but gamers in Arizona who go to conventions usually go to this one, along with a lot of people who have other hobbies and might be interested in what we have to offer. Phoenix Comicon is a fun, huge show and we have had a lot of support from them and their attendees.

This year, we’ll have 3 gaming tables in the Hyatt to demo the games at instead of 2. This means 1 more gaming table for us to play games at! I have 8 GMs this year instead of the 6 from last year, and scheduled more breaks for the tables. This year, we will play 3 games that we played from last year (Battle Gnomes, Nocturnes, and Book Collectors). We will also be playing House Monsters which is a completed game, and there are two games we are bringing specifically as prototypes. This means we will be seeking feedback from the game players regarding game play. These are Steam Masters and Dungeon Break.

Exhibitor Table
I also have an Artist’s Alley table that came up unexpectedly. It was given up by another, and they offered it to me. Next year I’ll get my own. The downside is that the original recipient has been getting the emails, and will be in the program book. I’ve still been getting the information, but the program book listing would have been nice. Next year we will definitely get one of our own. Now, I am still waiting on games to arrive but they should be here next week. The event is next week; so, I may get them before the event or during the event. I haven’t made promises to anyone about selling games at the event, because I don’t have them yet in hand. I hope that can happen. Otherwise, it’s a promo table and we optimize the use of it.

I’m so excited about our three panels this year. All are on Thursday. They aren’t specific to Branum Games, but I wanted to make sure we sponsored a few gaming panels and share what we’ve learned:

Artists in the Gaming Industry. Thursday May 25th. 10:30am.
Hosted by: Branum Games Artists.
Panelists: Jeff Perryman, Emma Lysyk, & Erik Vinal

How to be  Grunt: Gaming Staff. Thursday May 25th. 1:30pm.
Hosted by: Branum Games Staff.
Panelists: Corey Stillwell, Whitney Stillwell, Tim Aldridge, and Shawn Dempsey.

Careers in the Gaming Industry. Thursday May 25th 3pm.
Hosted by: Branum Games & Magic Meeple Games.
Panelists: Tiffany Branum, Jeff Perryman, and Patricia Stedman

After PHXCC is over, I’ll post updates and of course I’ll upload pictures on social media. I hope that supporters will come to our panels or play our games; I love seeing people who enjoy what we do! I’m super excited, I’ll post after the con!

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New Team Members

Category : Uncategorized

Over the last 3 months, I’ve adopted 4 new Game Masters. Two of them from the gaming group of a couple current GMs, and two others who were friends of GMs and previously played the games independently of each other, and their GM friends. There’s actually an adorable story about a couple that got together online, one of my new GMs and one of my previous ones, and in talking they realized they had met before while playing Nocturnes at Game Depot.

So, I had to expand my Game Masters. One decided not to be a GM again this year, to have more time to be at the table, answer questions, fill in for no shows, and so on. So, I am not personally running games. That left us two short for PHXCC. And really, having more people who want to run the games is only a good thing.

I’d like to get GMs in other locations; that would be exciting. I can’t be in all places at all times, and should probably put more effort into exciting and motivating others to be part of the team. Right now, I have 9 Game Masters, and 2 back up Game Masters (they prefer to do other things, but are available for that purpose as needed). I don’t just have people run the games, though, I make sure we meet and train on it.  Figuring out the best way to make this work outside of AZ will be one of the most effective methods of getting the games played in other conventions and states. That structure organization will be next on the list of things to do.

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Battle Gnomes Update

Category : Uncategorized

Hi there,

If you’ve been following, you know that Battle Gnomes is the game we successfully Kickstarted six months ago. We are now waiting for the shipment to arrive from our manufacturer, Panda Manufacturing. The are in China so it does take a while. We got an early copy from them (to approve) and it’s beautiful. I’m excited. It looks much more polished, especially after some box updates that graphic artist Emma Lysyk did on it. Made a big difference to the feel of the game. I think I could see it on a game shelf somewhere and isn’t that the idea?

Once we get those copies in, our first priority is sending copies to the Kickstarter backers. Next, we have two goals. The first is to send game copies to reviewers all over the nation. This is a little late, as we should have done this before but I definitely like the updated copies better. It should have been done before the Kickstarter but I felt pressed for time. It was a learning experience, to be sure. Anyhow, sending game copies all over to any one who will review it. The other thing we want to do is sell game copies at Phoenix Comicon at the end of May. We should be able to get game copies to backers prior to then, and can bring extras to the event and sell them. I know people who didn’t support the Kickstarter would still purchase the game in support of us at this time. I hope the timing works out for this.

Right now, in many regards, it’s a waiting game. Once the above is done (backers get games, reviewers get games and do reviews, extra copies begin to get sold), my sole intention is to get into distribution. I am primarily hoping the reviews will push that option over the edge. It’s going to be a second push of the game. I don’t know that I did it effectively for the first go around, but here we go again! It’s time to revise the Battle Gnomes enthusiasm, and get into distribution!


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First BG Panel

Category : Uncategorized

On February 19th, the 3rd day of OrcCon, I completed my first panel since starting Branum Games! I was only able to make the one day convention that weekend, but I intend to do more Strategicons. It’s a good setup, and the people are great.

When Justin and I found the room 15 minutes early, the lights were off and it was being used for streaming an anime. Further, it was a bit far from the other event areas. The first thing I worried about was it staying empty. It didn’t feel like a panel room so I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place, or if people would come find us. So I turned on the lights and waited anxiously. Part of me was thinking that if no one showed up, well, it would be a great practice panel run just for fun, but without me being nervous about public speaking.

My jitters were gone pretty soon, even as people began to enter the room. It wasn’t a huge audience, but I realized I was excited to see people show up. Ian Stedman from Magic Meeple Games joined me. The topic was to discuss KickStarters. He’s been involved with 3, and of course I completed Battle Gnomes last October.  There was also a camera crew there, but, that’s a different thing altogether. They were working on their own project. I personally asked Justin to film it because of my intent to record more of the experience. As anyone can tell from my inability to blog very often, recording the experiences so far has been rather touch and go.

As for the panel itself, I created some talking points, which helped. We started out talking about our own experiences with Kickstarter, and that creators should be involved in the community before asking others to support one of their own. Further, I recommended that people work on some one else’s project before doing one of their own. That way they get a behind the scenes look at the project creation experiences beforehand. We also talked about why a person would use a Kickstarter, including the obvious reason for funding and another reason which is marketing. Further, there was discussion over the process of Kickstarter which is far too long to do a blog post about, but we briefly reviewed what it looked like in our unique situations. It was nice that people were engaged in what we had to say, and for Ian and I to have different stories to tell. The panel is on the Branum Games youtube channel for more specifics.

After we had gone over what was planned, we invited questions from the audience. I remembered being in that audience and asking questions when I was preparing for my own first KickStarter and that hit me. It’s a cool thing to transition from learner to…. well, someone with a bit of experience passing it on. I still have a lot of audiences to sit in but being able to pass what I learn and experience along the way to others is actually a great feeling. I want to do more panels now and talk to more people in those seats. So yeah, I left there feeling more confident than going in, and wanting to talk to more people who want to do things I’ve done. It was scary at first, but totally rewarding and a neat experience.   🙂



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Playtesting & Video

Category : Uncategorized

About a week ago I had a videographer, Jeremiah, record a playtesting session for the game Dungeon Break. We did this at the home of the Head GM, Corey Stillwell. Despite some technical difficulties, it should be good on the video side. Regardless, it was a good experience for the playtest itself. I’m hopeful it will be an available video to put on the Branum Games channel of YouTube. It’s been brought to our attention several times that recording the experiences and process would be beneficial for us and others. Jeremiah also took some time before and after the playtesting to talk to team members individually about their experiences with the group. I’m glad about that; it’s a super tight nit group. Though honestly, this company experience has brought everyone closer. We mostly all friends before, and now we’re much closer than generic friend status and have begun to spend the holidays together. It’s been a good two years.

So, the focus of the video was the playtest. My playtest team got to check out the game and provide feedback about what worked or didn’t. They seemed to have a lot of fun figuring out the game and discussing how to make it better. I enjoy getting feedback from my team members. They have a lot of good input. It’s an initial playtest, of course. Once the more obvious things get cleaned up regarding the game, the easy things to spot, then we clear up the minor discrepancies. And when it isn’t obvious to us, we bring it to the public and they will have a chance to find something our team missed.

I know also that they like to be heard. Their feedback can be found in any of the games. Suggestions they’ve made, and issues they’ve noted that I wound up ironing out based on their findings. They are invaluable as my first line of defense for the games to be smooth. I try to encourage any thoughts that come up. Tim Aldridge is one of my GMs, and I enjoy how often he has a thought or suggestion. I appreciate that about him. That day, several folks were on point for providing feedback. It was a fun day of figuring out the game, and eating Corey’s food. He makes amazing food for us when we go there often.

Anyhow, for each of the games, of course extensive playtesting is necessary. I usually have these guys test it out multiple times, and in multiple revisions, then I bring it to new audiences to find new things that can be made better. These folks really are my “first line of defense.” If it doesn’t get through them smoothly, it doesn’t get to a larger playtest audience. The first six months of doing all this I was mostly working alone. It was when I started seeing who would be interested in running games about a year and a half ago that a team started to form. In preparing for the convention, they also became a critical part of the game construction process. Even though I was determined to be independent and pursue Branum Games as effectively as possible solo if necessary, being part of a team has been more rewarding and fun than I anticipated. I’ve loved having a group to rely on and enjoy things with.

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2017 – Our Plans!

Category : Uncategorized

I have been evaluating plans for 2017.

Last year was very exciting, and I’m thinking this one will be just as exciting if not more. Here I have provided several of the current goals and plans for this year. I hope supporters will stick with us as we try to make this a long-lasting game company.

  • Let’s start with old business. I  have my attention still on getting the Kickstarter backers their Battle Gnomes game copies before working on getting it into a main distribution channel. It is still in manufacturing mode, and once that is completed, I will send copies to various reviewers to gain traction. I will bring copies to Phoenix Comicon and other events, but the goal is to get the game attention and into stores.
  • Regarding the other 3 games that were published in 2016, my goal is to get them into distribution as possible. Each one (Nocturnes, Book Collectors, and Parks) has a potentially different audience, and I will get them in front of those audiences for promotional purposes. With Battle Gnomes in stores, I may have better chances of getting another game in once Gnomes sells well.
  • A Kickstarter for the game House Monsters will happen after backers of Battle Gnomes get their games. Hopefully we can complete the Kickstarter by May.
  • Prototype games. We have 2 other games in prototype stages: Dungeon Break and Steam Masters. We are still evaluating if we want to release them either through crowdfunding or other channels. These need to be playtested further, completed, and reviewed before proceeding.
  • Promotion and brand awareness. I do want people to be aware of both the company and the games. I am going to increase awareness with videos about our game creation and playtesting process. I will also be doing this by getting games to reviewers and blog sites.
  • GM and support expansion. I would like more GMs, and not necessarily just in Arizona. I can send gamers copies of the game to demo locally, either at their stores or local gaming events. I’ll be reaching out to those who have shown that kind of an interest and setting up methods of organizing a GM group structure beyond the group I currently work with.
  • Limited events for myself. I will be at Phoenix Comicon and a few other events, but maybe not as many, and not until I have more product. We learned last year that attending events was great for info gathering, but it’s an expensive hobby. We’ll keep people posted on what we do attend this year, though it will likely be much more exciting a calendar in the years to come.

Those are our big plans for 2017! Please stick with us and support us. I believe if this year goes as well as planned, the company should be around for some time. Thanks!

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Guest Blog: My 2016 Experience with BG

Category : Uncategorized

Branum Games is an amazing company to work for.  In the past year I have helped test games, given input on production, and attended many conventions.  The company has also helped me to travel.  I have also learned some of the inner workings of a game company.

Prior to working with Branum Games, I had never been to a convention.  This past year has been amazing for me as I have been to three with the company!  I have met many amazing people and introduced them to the amazing games that have been produced.  It is an amazing feeling to see someone enjoy a game that you helped bring to fruition.

As for production, I have been able to voice my opinions and help with advice on art.  Branum Games has a dedicated site where all of the testers, game masters, and other designated support staff can view and give their opinions on games, art, rules, etc.  It has been nice to know that my opinions are heard and seeing little pieces of games and being able to say “That part there was me!”.

As a person with a disability, I am homebound most of the time.  Branum Games has given me the opportunity to get out more often.  Plus, some of the time it is on trips to places and events that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about or gone to!  As I continue to work with the company, I hope to learn of other events and get the opportunity to attend them while supporting these amazing games!

This past year, on a personal level, was hectic.  Working with Branum Games has been a great source of pride and a stress reliever.  The people I have worked with and have met are amazing and fun!  I hope to continue working with this company for many years to come!

  • Branum Games Head GM Corey Stillwell

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Guest Blog: Holiday Party Review

Category : Uncategorized

The first annual Branum Games Holiday Party was held on December 12th. It was hosted at The Spaghetti Factory in Chandler, AZ and brought together the founder, GM’s, game reviewers, and artists, most of whom hadn’t met previously. I didn’t really know what to expect because this was the first Branum Games Holiday Party, and I’d never attended a company holiday party before. We were given gifts from Tiffany, the founder, and I ate the chocolate that very night.

We also got to see for the first time the prototype of Dungeon Break, the new game being released this year. Everyone was excited to see it and seemed pleased with the result. I was especially excited because it’s Branum Games’ first board game. Battle Gnomes, Book Collectors, and Parks are all card games, and Nocturnes is a tile game, so I was pleased to see the expansion into another type of tabletop game.

I enjoyed chatting with friends and making new ones with the artists and game reviewers I hadn’t previously met. It’s a strange experience to meet a person you’ve only seen on YouTube. The Chews Smart guys were very nice as were their wives and we shared a few laughs. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I look forward to working with the team in 2017.

  • Denise MacIntyre

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Parks! Published!

Category : Uncategorized

I published parks on this date because it is complete except for a few graphic art design details, and I made the promise to publish a copy on this date. I plan to update the graphic design but I am not yet sure how I want it to look.

I am occasionally considered stubborn for doing the things I say I will do, but I am determined to be reliable in that way. I did complete 4 attractive, playable games in 2016 and that is really cool. I’ll work to improve each of them over time but Parks is the only one that I currently see needs any kind of real attention.

I was asked why I didn’t do a Kickstarter for Parks and Book Collectors. Honestly, I love these little games but I know they really will have a niche following rather than what I see as a widespread one. Even though, among players Book Collectors has found a shocking following. Still, if I can just publish and produce the games I will. Kickstarter will be more beneficial for games requiring larger components or that will have a larger target audience when entering the market. That way I can get the funds necessary for a mass production.

Parks is just really fun to watch kids play. I mean, I will play and enjoy it. But watching little ones play it and look at the cards with such interest is a delight. I hope to get it around to schools and perhaps children centers eventually. That would be very cool.

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Sale for Supporters!

Category : Uncategorized


We have a sale available for anyone who uses a promotional code for the company of one of our backers!

Quickie Tie-Down Enterprises, LLC

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KLDT Products is offering an exclusive discount to fans of Branum Games!  Through December 4th, enter the Promo Code “Gnomes10” at checkout to get 10% off your total purchase!  Complete product list is available here: https://goo.gl/nghwAz
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