Trevor Stokes at the Times Daily writes about the board game design business.

Most of the featured designs look pretty depressing, which is the point.

“A lot of them think it’s going to be the next Monopoly,” said Mickey Johnson, co-owner of Tennessee Valley Press that produces board games with developers. “Unfortunately, that’s not the case.”

“You can’t just come up with a great idea and everybody is going to knock down your doors,” said Johnson, who has seen many independently developed board games sit in warehouses.

“Some people waste money on the legals when you can design a game, get a copyright for $35 then produce the product to sell it,” warned Johnson, who has been in the game business since 1982. “They waste a ton of money they could have used on marketing.”

Many developers use former games as templates.

“You get games that are based on storybook and comic characters, games produced and manufactured to exploit TV shows or cartoons,” Johnson said. “The game itself is pretty much irrelevant.”