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Behind the Board - Episode 3: Product Photos


"Behind the Board" gives you a behind the scenes look into our everyday life as an indie board game publisher. In the third episode, Kirk sits in with photographer Amandalynn Jones while she takes product photos for Gearworks.

Click here to view on Facebook and enter to win a copy of Gearworks!

Behind the Board - 03. Product Photos

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Behind the Board - Episode 2: Playtesting


"Behind the Board" gives you a behind the scenes look into our everyday life as an indie board game publisher. In the second episode, Kirk heads to Protospiel Milwaukee to demo Rurik: Dawn of Kiev. The results and input from players there are then reviewed for consideration of potential updates to the game.

Click here to view on Facebook and enter to win a copy of Gearworks!

Behind the Board - 02. Playtesting

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Behind the Board - Episode 1: Prototypes


Our new video series "Behind the Board" gives you a behind the scenes look into our everyday life as an indie board game publisher. In this first episode, we are creating eleven prototype copies of our upcoming game Rurik: Dawn of Kiev (making prototypes takes a lot of time!), receive updated manufacturing samples for Gearworks, and more!

Behind the Board - 01. Prototypes - Full Episode

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Publishing Insights: Taxes and Your Board Game Business


It's that time of year - March Madness! I mean tax season... We originally posted this article for the 2016 tax year but it is still just as pertinent today. If you read last year's article, read the "What's New" summary before deciding whether you need to read further. Otherwise, you might find it helpful to read the entire post.

Note: I am still working on our 2017 tax return. When I complete it, I'll edit this blog post to show the actual tax savings attributed to the "Overlooked Deductions." You can see our tax savings from 2016 here.

I thought a board game business was about playing games...
I am addressing individuals who file their board game publishing business taxes on Schedule C with their personal tax return. I will start with some of the most valuable deductions I believe are often overlooked (in order of the largest tax savings for us in 2016) and then move on to specific line details.

Please note that I am not an accountant and what is listed below is my own perspective based on reading IRS documents and soliciting professional advice. I am happy to help answer any questions via this blog or email (games [at] piecekeepergames.com) but consider hiring an accountant as needed.

What's New

  • Very few tax law changes

    Very little changed with US tax laws between the 2016 and 2017 tax years that impacts small board game publishers. However, there are larger changes looming for the 2018 tax year.

  • Removed non-taxable gifts

    After further consulting legal advice, I no longer believe any Kickstarter pledge amounts constitute non-taxable gifts. So you need to report all the funds received from Kickstarter as revenue.

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Publishing Insights: License Agreements


If you are a game publisher, where do you start to create a contract to sign that game you're excited to create? Today I'm talking about contracts between publishers and game designers.

I'll focus on what we do for our contracts and leave a lot of the basic definitions and other options we don't use to other blog posts that do a great job, such as:
  • Game design contracts by James Mathe
  • Many legal topics by James Mathe (halfway down talks about contracts)
  • This contract is written from the perspective of a business in the United States. If your business if based outside of the US, you should give this contract a really thorough review before using it.

    Please note that I am not a lawyer and what is listed below is my own perspective based on paying lawyers for advice and years of reviewing legal documents. I am happy to help answer any questions via this blog or email (games [at] piecekeepergames.com) but consider hiring a lawyer as needed.

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    Publishing Insights: Taxes


    Now that we are 1 year past the completion of our first Kickstarter (Flag Dash), it's about time to start sharing some of the lessons that we learned throughout the process of designing and publishing our first game. I (Kirk) wanted to start with a time-sensitive topic that I see discussed infrequently: taxes.

    I thought a board game business was about playing games...
    I am addressing individuals who file their board game publishing business taxes on Schedule C with their personal tax return. I will start with some of the most valuable deductions I believe are often overlooked (in order of the largest tax savings for me in 2016) and then move on to specific line details.

    Please note that I am not an accountant and what is listed below is my own perspective based on reading IRS documents. I am happy to help answer any questions via this blog or email (games [at] piecekeepergames.com) but consider hiring an accountant as needed.

    Overlooked Deductions

    • Mileage Costs: $3,181

      When driving anywhere for the purposes of business, you can count the mileage driven as a business deduction. This can save you a lot of money on your taxes compared to just deducting your gas receipts (you can only deduct one or the other). However, many people find it overwhelming to record your business mileage accurately and easily (due to IRS rules) and settle for just claiming gas costs.

      Hopefully I can help make this process much simpler. I created a Mileage Log that satisfies all IRS rules and is pretty easy to use. I have now used it for 2 tax years and am ready to share it with others. Feel free to share with others and ask any questions.

      Notes:

      - Instructions: I put together detailed instructions in the "Instructions" worksheet.

      - Examples: I listed some examples to help get you started on the "Mileage Log" worksheet.

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    Behind the BoardConventionsDesignDoor Number 3Flag DashGearworksGiveawayKickstarteroriginsPiecesPublishingReviewsRurik