Wherever you are in your game designing journey, Facebook groups are a wonderful place to meet other designers, talk shop, ask questions, and be part of a community. There are quite a few out there, so there’s no need to join them all.
The rules in most groups are pretty simple, and are generally written along the right sidebar. Few welcome self-promotion, though some tolerate it in limited amounts. Some groups are more focused on a very specific aspect of game design, while others are happy to be more general.
I’ve sorted the list below into five categories: designing, the industry, Kickstarter / marketing, the arts, and general / community-focused. Although some groups naturally fit into more than one category, I’ve aimed to put each group in the most relevant category. Groups are then organized alphabetically by their name. Without further ado…
Board Game Design Lab Community
Run by Gabe Barrett, the Facebook group is a part of Gabe’s empire, complete with podcast and website. I have found this to be one of the friendliest groups around, offering plenty of constructive feedback and ideas.
Card & Board Game Designers Guild
Another Facebook group run by James Mathe, this warning appears in the group’s description: “WARNING: We can be very blunt with feedback. We don’t mean to be rude- but rather to tell you something maybe your friends and family have been to kind to do.” Since this is often the sort of critical feedback you need, that makes this group one of the more valuable places to post something. Focus on game design and theory in this group, and avoid self-promotion.
STARTUP Board & Card Game Designers
Another good group for designers, and one that explicitly allows linking to your Kickstarter / crowdfunding campaign. As with virtually every Facebook group in the universe, don’t just drop your link and ghost away — remember to engage with the community beyond your own games.
Tabletop Game Design Competitions
Probably about as specific a focus as there is in this post, though there isn’t always a ton of activity happening here. Share a contest you learn about, or comment about the game you’re entering.
Tabletop Game Playtesters Guild
Give you one guess what this one’s all about. It’s very specific, per the group’s description: “This group exists to help game designers and playtesters connect, and to share other play testing-related resources”. Find playtesters, but don’t promote your project or marketing stuff here.
Tabletop Game Publisher’s Guild
Run by James Mathe, the Tabletop Game Publisher’s Guild specifically focuses on the game industry, manufacturing questions, and best practices. Since James has answered a lot of common questions on his blog, don’t be surprised to discover a lot of links from people’s questions there.
Kickstarter / marketing
BoardGameGeek Crowdfunding Group
As you might expect from the name, this one’s all about games being crowdfunded. Expect some self-promotion alongside questions about the Kickstarter process, but there isn’t always a lot of interaction in the comments.
Board Game Reviewers & Media
Another very specific group. If you’re a previewer, reviewer, media, or looking for some of these fine folks, this is a perfect place to connect.
Tabletop Backer Party
Who doesn’t love a party? Everything here is focused on Kickstarter, crowdfunding, and there’s a fair bit of self-promotion to show off some excellent-looking games.
Tabletop Calendar & Promotions
Run by Board Game Revolution, the description summarizes what to expect: “This group is meant to serve as a database of upcoming campaigns as well as a forum for maximizing the effectiveness of your tabletop game crowdfunding projects. This is a place for creators and project managers to coordinate release dates to help prevent crowdfunding saturation in an increasingly competitive market
Tabletop Game Kickstarter Advice
Also run by James Mathe, the focus here is all about Kickstarter. Some folks ask members to look at their not-yet-live Kickstarter page Consider this a must-read group before starting your Kickstarter campaign.
Art & Graphic Design for Tabletop Games
While fairly specific in that it’s about the art and graphic design, this is a wonderfully mixed bag. Some people post different versions of cards in search of feedback, so feel free to give your opinion.
Card & Board Game Designers Showcase
Described as an “Open group for card and board game designers to post images and artwork from their games in development from early concept up to crowd funding/publishing stage.”, it’s basically a great way to publicize and show off the art in your game.
Writing for Games
Very specifically focused on the written word in tabletop games. Not a huge group, but I definitely appreciate that it’s retained a specific focus for the benefit of its members. Come here with questions on style or the writing industry, not to leave a link.
General / Community-focused
Board Game Exposure
Run by Martyn Poole, this is a more general group willing and able to give advice about game design, the Kickstarter process, or what to play next.
With over 50,000 members, this is perhaps the largest board gaming group on Facebook. It’s very general, and much like the BGG forums, can be all over the place. That’s perhaps this group’s strengths, but can also lead to drama. Consider this ‘market research’ if you like.
Board Game Haven
Kind of an anything-gaming-related community, so it’s perfect for discovering people’s photos of games, learning what people are playing, new Kickstarters, and the like.
Tabletop game design open discussion
While not the biggest or most active group, it’s perhaps the only group where you just ask just about anything that relates to game design in some way. If you have a burning question that doesn’t seem to fit in other groups, try it out here.
Over to you
I’m sure there are more Facebook groups about board games and game design – share in the comments!