Spieleschmiede (game forge) is a platform created by board game enthusiasts for board game enthusiasts. Together we support and finance projects related to board gaming and the board games that we like, which the publishers think are too risky to produce with a normal print run. With our help these games can become reality.
Spieleschmiede does that via a principle called crowd funding. Everyone who likes a project can become a smithy and contribute money to the project. The contributions of all of the smiths are then combined to finance the project.
In most cases, game smiths get a reward for their contribution. Usually, these are copies of the game and exclusive material to expand it.
- How do you get the ideas for the projects?
Most of the Spieleschmiede projects are based on ideas that their authors have thought about and worked on for many years. Then they often have waited for years hoping to have a publisher take on the project. They know that the project is good, but either the publisher is too busy or does not think that the profit margin is high enough to print the game through regular channels.
- How can I launch a Spieleschmiede project myself?
Spieleschmeide is not an open financing platform. We work directly with boardgame publishing companies and experienced game editors who contribute their expertise to the boardgame project. So if you want to launch a project on Spieleschmiede, a boardgame publisher or known editor should back your project and suggest it to us. (We are working on a way to make this easier in the future.)
- Why does Spieleschmiede work only with boardgame publishers or editors?
Boardgame publishers are very important for our hobby. Boardgame ideas coming from authors are like rough diamonds. Experienced editors help polish and shape them to make them the best they can be. Even if the publishers may not be able to finance a game, their expertise leads to better thought out and playing games. Smiths also profit in another way: the experienced editors add security to the project by helping the publishers fine tune production planning.
Before the start of Spieleschmiede, the principles of Spiele-Offensive.de hosted an involved discussion about this concept on the Spielernetzwerk, a big boardgame community in Germany. They discussed their concerns and asked for suggestions regarding the crowdfunding of games. Many participants worried about the possibility of a losing their money without getting the promised rewards. Working directly with the boardgame publishers gives Spiele-Offensive.de the opportunity to make direct contracts with these companies after a project is funded. This increases security for all smiths.
- Is the publisher just passing the risk onto Spieleschmiede?
Spieleschmeide only provides the start up funding for a board game project. The remaining risk is still high. Before a new project is presented to you, much money and many hours have been invested in the development and testing of the game. Also, the preliminary artwork and graphics have usually been created and paid for. Spieleschmiede helps to reduce the risk of production, but the production costs are only a part of the overall costs in developing a board game. For small print runs, as most Spieleschmiede projects are, we calculate that about 60% of the overall costs are production costs.
A publishing company can utilize the Spieleschmiede to test customer support for a project, before it invests money in production, thus mitigating its risk. The money can then be used as start up capital, but will usually not cover all production costs. If funding is not successful, it could be a sign that the game would not sell well and thus the company may have been saved from losing additional money spent on production and other expenses.
The smiths carry little risk, since if funding goals fail they get their money refunded 100%.
- Are these games junk, since no publisher financed them before?
No. These games are very special, but a publisher may think that a game is very niche and will not sell enough copies to be produced in the normal way. Or a publisher may not have enough market feedback on a niche or ground breaking game in order to calculate the market size, game demand and thus risk of production.
- Who is responsible for individual Spieleschmiede projects?
The project description includes the name of the project manager who is responsible for full development, production and fulfillment of the project. Usually, this is a board game publisher initiating the project with us. Your contractor is Spiele-Offensive.de. This is different from other crowdfunding platforms.
Because of the discussion Spiele-Offensive.de held with the Spielernetzwerk (their large German board game community), they decided not to make Spieleschmiede an open platform. This way there is more legal security for all smiths backing the project, since Spiele-Offensive.de can make contracts with the publisher directly and is not just an intermediary.
- How is the funding limit calculated?
The initiators of the project calculate the financial needs together with Spiele-Offensive.de before the start of the project. This is the amount of money required to successfully launch the project. Usually the sum covers a part of the production costs of the game and the initial Spiele-Offensive.de costs which include creating a video, programming, presentation, advertising and logistics for the rewards).
Usually games have to be produced in quantity and not on a one by one basis. So we need to calculate the ability to sell any excess games of the print run that were not sold through the funding process. The funding limit is the sum were both the publisher and Spiele-Offensive.de can start the project on a break even basis.
- What happens when the funding limit and the stretch goals are exceeded?
Usually, funding continues even when funding limit has been met and exceeded. Excess funding often allows the publisher to upgrade game components, since the publisher's monetary risk has been reduced or completely eliminated. Higher demand for a game could increase the print run size, thus decreaseing the costs per copy of the game.
If the funding exceeds the last stretch goal, the excess amount is not pure profit, but covers the costs to produce the games and stretch rewards that will be sent to the smiths that funded the extra revenue.
Whenever a project's funding exceeds the funding limit, the publisher as well as Spiele-Offensive.de start to finally earn money. This is important, since it gives both companies the opportunity to make more games and handle future projects.
- Will sucessfully funded games be available in retail after the funding?
This is the aim of Spieleschmiede: to bring games to market, that would not have made it without the crowd funding. Most of the games will be available through retail outlets after the funding. But these games will not include the exclusive rewards reserved for smiths.
- How can I become a game smithy?
When visiting the detail page of projects in funding, you can click on the reward step you like or the big button reading 'Back this project now' to reach the funding page. There you can enter the amount to contribute to the project and you can choose the reward you want to get for your contribution. Click on 'weiter' to reach the checkout. Enter your address and choose a payment option here before you submit.
- What happens with my money if the project does not fully fund?
If the project is not fully funded at its deadline, there are 2 options for you to chose in the next step:
1. The money will be fully refunded to your bank or paypal account, depending of the payment method you chose.
2. The money remains as a credit on your Spiele-Offensive.de account for your next order. In this case you will get an extra bonus.
You can use your account credit to not only to buy from Spiele-Offensive.de, but also from our other online shops. Refunding this amount to your bank or paypal account after you received the bonus is not possible
- When do I get charged?
We charge your payment as soon as you commit to the project. This way we make sure that the project really gets funded and can start immediately. Because of this the only payment options are those to make sure that the money is really available at the project deadline. When choosing Paypal, the payment is processed immediately.
- How can I change the amount to back the project at a later date?
You can always increase the amount of money you want to contribute to the project. Just check the project page and click "Manage Back". You can increase your back and change the rewards there. If you want to reduce the amount of your contribution, please also contact our customer service. We can give support in German, English and French.
- When will I receive my rewards?
Whenever there is a reward for your contribution, a date is shown next to it. This date is an approximation based on what is planned for the project. If the reward is a physical item, such as a board game, it must be produced first. The production process may take several weeks, even months. It is not always possible to give a 100% correct production time estimate. But we keep you continually informed as news regarding the project becomes available.
- Are there shipping costs, tolls or taxes to receive the rewards?
Shipping rewards to countries other than Germany may cause additional shipping costs. These are linked to everys project, because they may be different between projects. You do not need to calculate shipping yourself. The Spieleschmiede will calculate them automatically and add them to your invoice in the checkout process. In some cases their may also be tolls and taxes to pay, depending of the country to ship to.
- Do I have a guarantee on my rewards?
We give the same guaranties on the rewards as on all other games. When they arrive damaged or with missing parts you will get compensation or the replacement parts.
- How can I change my delivery address?
If you want to change your delivery address for rewards, please write an email to our customer service: service@Happyshops.com
- Can I withdraw my contribution?
The Spiele-Offensive.de terms of service
apply to the Spieleschmiede, too. But you should be aware how they apply in terms of a Spieleschmiede contribution: You may withdraw your contribution within 14 days after making it to receive a full refund of your money. It is not possible to withdraw the contribution and receive a money refund after you received the reward.