The board game industry is full of companies who do various things. So far so obvious, but until I met Daniel I wasn't really aware how big issues like localisation and translation are. In this Q&A we get a little peak behind the curtain of Board Game Circus...
1) Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I guess I am a man in my best years, with a lovely family and the idea to make something that fills me and others with joy. I am a professional media designer and ran an independent record label from 2002–2012. Everything I have learned in that decade is applied in my daily business at Board Game Circus, the start-up I am spending most of my time with.
2) You own Board Game Circus - what is that? How did it come it happen?!
Board Game Circus is a provider of dedicated board game services for publishers and designers. Our core activity consists of three main fields of activity: publishing/distribution, translation/localisation and marketing/promotion. It started with the latter, when we noticed that many indie publishers, mostly run by a single person, require assistance in planning, promoting and managing successful crowdfunding campaigns to bring their products to market.
We have been able to achieve this for several publishers and during that process became a publisher ourselves. I guess it was our love for board games, gaming, the community and the creative process that led to today’s activities.
3) Tell us a bit more about how localisation and translating works?
Publishers often require translations for their international distribution partners or Kickstarter backers of different regions. We have native-speaking teams for the most popular languages (such as German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese ... also Dutch, Russian etc). Each translation at Board Game Circus is done by a team of two people, the translator and the copy editor. A third person supervises and proofs the translation together with them.
This process is exceptional compared to what many one-man-translators do and it ensures great quality done with expertise that publishers can rely on and print from. A full translation of the rule book and all components as well as the box is called localisation. This is required if a game will be released by foreign publishing partners in different areas of the world. The process of a localisation goes further than the translation alone and often integrates with our marketing services.
4) What are the current trends that you see happening in the board game community?
The community is getting more diverse. This is a trend that I fully embrace as it allows new and multi-faceted game designs for different gaming groups. Not only do the ideas that are formed into games got more interesting, the whole artwork segment also gets a lot more diverse, ranging from very cute and colourful artworks to epic worlds or really dark illustrations.
Many art forms have found their way into board gaming, we are no longer staring the the same Euro-style artwork again and again. At Board Game Circus, we are doing our best to contribute to this trend. Gaming has never been as open to anyone as it is today but there is still a way to go to attract everyone.
5) What are some of your current projects?
Our latest release is To War!, a tactical card game for two players with an abstract nature. We are currently bringing it to the stores via our own distribution segment. Up next is Ruchlos (aka Ruthless), the pirate-themed deck-building game that we have worked on together with the designer and illustrator Roland MacDonald and Alley Cat Games from the UK. All of us are looking forward to its SPIEL’18 release. For distribution in Germany we have won Pegasus.
We are also bringing demos of Grease Monkey Garage to SPIEL; the next game in our line-up. During the coming month we will carefully plan a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that’ll help us to bring this light weight family-friendly worker placement game to life. Grease Monkey Garage will be the first worker placement game in our catalogue
6) Finally if you could only play one game for the rest of your life what would it be?
This is very mean. The answer however is simple (and doesn’t contain shameless self-promotion): Jaipur. You didn’t ask why but let me tell you: I love its bright and colourful art, it’s simplicity and elegance.