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Creator Forge Podcast

"What forges great professional artists?"

That's the simple question we try to answer as we interview professional creators with careers in the Entertainment Industries. We post one interview per month. Extra materials, like Geek Talk about movies, comics, and games may be released any time of the month.

Episode 14 - John Clowdus: Card Game Designer and Publisher

John Clowdus is the owner and designer of Small Box Games, a publisher of cards games based near Atlanta, GA. His philosophy is to stay small, move fast, and produce a high-quality product that his customers will love. He has been running SBG as a one man show (with some occasional help from friends and family) since 2007 and has published and sold over 50 games, largely funded using Kickstarter and consisting of runs as small as 50 copies and up to 2000 or more.

Small Box Games
SBG on Board Game Geek
SBG on Kickstarter

Links

Games

People & Companies


Selected Quotes

  • I try to fit as much game as I can in 56 cards.
    ~John Clowdus
  • I'm very much "fail fast", I guess. If I'm working on something I put some effort into it, and if it's not going where I want it to go, I try not to spend to much time on it.
    ~John Clowdus
  • Jeremiah Clark: How long is the turnaround, from you have an idea [...] to having a produced product? John Clowdus: How long does it take to cook dinner?
  • On a daily basis I'm working on design, I'm answering email questions, boardgame geek posts, facebook posts, twitter posts, posting stuff on Instagram.
    ~John Clowdus
  • I always try to under promise and over deliver, and it's worked for me for ten years.
    ~John Clowdus
  • The only thing I don't do is actual illustrations. I do all the graphic design, all the logistics, all the web design, advertising, shipping games, talking to manufacturers, talking to customers, everything.
    ~John Clowdus
  • I finish a game before it's ever play-tested; I finish it design-wise, I don't ever come to the table with something like "I have this idea..."
    ~John Clowdus
  • You have to [stay active with customers and community], especially if you're the size that I am. And that's one of the reasons I stay the size that I am, because I like that interaction.
    ~John Clowdus
  • Personally, I like board games because it gives me a structured excuse to have, you know, eight people over. Whereas if you're having an "adult" dinner party, I don't know what to do with that.
    ~Jeremiah Clark
  • If you like [board] games, there's a game out there for you.
    ~John Clowdus
  • When I found Small Box Games online, I was struck immediately by the quality of the art, and the simplicity of the art.
    ~Pat Bollin
  • I get so many people who want me to work with them on spec, and I'm sorry, I just don't do it.
    ~Pat Bollin
  • I'm in the business of creating entertainment. I don't care, really, if I'm bringing happiness to 500 people or 20,000.
    ~John Clowdus
  • I eat, you have fun, everybody wins.
    ~John Clowdus
  • I'm not a very good salesman, becuase I don't buy into the bullshit. I don't like dealing it, and I don't like dealing in it.
    ~John Clowdus

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