We are gearing up for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign for the game, ‘Purim’. In addition to being our next game release, ‘Purim’, will also be our final game release.
When Funhill Games was started, I told myself that I should give publishing Biblical games a shot for 10 years and after 10 years I could decide what to do next. Since then over 10 years have passed and after considering everything, I decided it was a good time to end Funhill Games.
Some might wonder why would I get out of publishing board games after putting years of effort into it. I thought about it and here are the reasons why I, personally, am choosing to end Funhill Games:
- My children are older and I have limited time left with them.
When I started Funhill Games I had two children who were maybe 2 and 3 years old. Now they are 13 and 14 years old. Given the choice I would rather be spending my extra time with my children than working on publishing games.
- Publishing board games has diminished my enjoyment of playing board games.
A few years after starting Funhill Games I noticed I did not always want to play board games in the evenings like I used to. Publishing thoughts started creeping into game nights and my enjoyment decreased. I would play another game and then think about its mechanics and ways they might work in another game, or maybe I would play a game that had a similar mechanic to one I was working on and then be concerned that my game is not different enough. Or maybe playing games would just remind me of shipping issues, slow sales, or something similar bringing up negative emotions. I look forward to the day again when those thoughts are no longer on my mind.
- Publishing is an industry made for extroverts, and some of us are introverts.
I would consider myself an introvert and I don’t think many would argue on me for that. But publishing board games requires me to be out of my comfort zone to tell others about Funhill Games. Dedicating time to advertising, making posts to social media, going to conventions, etc. is all work that is stressful to an introvert like myself and I would frequently dread the coming week because of what needed to be done. I hate to self promote, and always felt a little morally confused doing it, so it was never a good fit.
- Funhill Games peaked with our first game.
Our first game release, “Kings of Israel”, was where Funhill Games peaked. Kings of Israel has sold the most copies of any of our games, it raised the most money on Kickstarter, and the most people have played it. You can argue that other Kickstarter campaigns did not do as well since they were either based off an older game design, like “Wisdom of Solomon”, or that the price for the games were lower and it would be unlikely to raise as much for them as “Kings of Israel”. And that could be argued but the number of Kickstarter backers have not increased, they have decreased, which is the real signifier. I was hoping that Funhill would eventually fuel itself as other people heard about us from word-of-mouth but that has not been the case.
- Various issues have caused me to dread opening up any Funhill Games e-mails or social media messages.
This is probably a personality issue where I have a negative Pavlovian response to Funhill e-mails and social media messages but it is there. While the majority of messages I receive are something positive, there are still negative issues that come through messaging systems which are the ones that stick in my head. Issues with international shipping (Purim will have no international shipping options for the first time), negative reviews of a game, damaged games, complaints about how Biblical or un-Biblical Funhill games are, rules issues, graphic design issues, and so on are all reasons I dread hearing a ‘bing’ from my phone.
- “It is better to destroy than to create something unnecessary.”
This quote is a rewording of a quote I heard in a Fellini movie years ago and I think it stands. I think it is better to end something that is not needed (or wanted) than to put it out there. People are overwhelmed with the amount of games and entertainment out there and very few things end up lasting. I think it is better to end Funhill Games than to potentially create something that will just sit unused on a shelf.
I think that is a pretty good summary of why I am ending Funhill Games, and maybe a good list of things for potential small publishers to consider before joining the industry. I plan on running the Kickstarter campaign for Purim and doing one print run of it, along with a reprint of Kings of Israel and Wisdom of Solomon. After everything is sold, bills are paid, and the start up money is returned I will be giving the rest of the money to various. Our family does not need the money and it will be nice to see what good could come from my time working on Funhill Games.
That is it! I hope everyone checks out Purim and purchases any Funhill Games that have been on their wishlists before the games goes permanently out-of-print. Thank you for everyone that has supported Funhill Games over the years, you are the reason why Funhill was able to last as long as it did!
Sorry to see this, but I understand how you feel. I’m a fan of Kings of Israel and was looking forward to Purim. It’s difficult bringing games to market. As an introvert, I can understand a lot of your points and have felt the same much of the time. I took a permanent break myself, but here I am two years later. Peace and best wishes for the next chapter 🙂
Thank you for reprinting Kings of Israel!! We discovered your company 1 1/2 years ago and it is seriously one of our favorite coop games to play! I understand you needing family time and the desire to want to just play board games. Thank you for the passion you brought to the game industry!
Purim’s mechanics look fantastic. I hope your opus has a great turnout. Thanks for trying out new things. Our family has greatly enjoyed our Kings of Israel and Disciples puzzle. As my boys get older we will be sure to introduce Disciple Detective as well! Wishing you the best for you and your family!