FAQ for Creators

Learn about Indie Tabletop Club: a connected, cooperative platform bringing enthusiastic tabletop games to indie creators.

We live in a golden age of tabletop games. More people than ever are eager to roll dice and paint minis with their friends in real life. Crowdfunding platforms, 3D printing, and widespread enthusiasm for off-screen entertainment are making the industry boom.

But only larger companies have the resources, expertise, and scale to actually reach and retain this growing audience. This sucks!

The goal of the Indie Tabletop Club is to bring this audience to the indie scene by creating a connected, cooperative platform where indie creators can reap the benefits previously only available to much larger organisations.

Thanks to a successful pilot with Electi Studio on their award-winning game Hobgoblin, we think we are in a good place to make this vision a reality. We're looking for one to three creators in the fantasy tabletop space to take the next step with us.

What really is “the platform”?

Mirroring the two goals of reach and retention, the platform itself will have two parts: a games library and game apps.

The games library will act as the central hub, where tabletop enthusiasts can easily discover high-quality indie games. The same way how, for example, the Warhammer Community website makes it easy for an Age of Sigmar player to naturally discover new and related games, so too will our games library make it easy for an indie enthusiast to discover games in and around their current set of interests.

On the flip side, our game apps will be laser-focused on making sure that players who start playing a particular game continue to do so. In other words, we want to make indie games as sticky as the mainstream.

For a good example of a game app, read more about the pilot app for Mike Hutchinson's Hobgoblin.

How about that pilot app?

Our game app for Mike Hutchinson's Hobgoblin has evolved from a humble battle generator to a fully fledged web app with a tailor-made army builder, syncing, versioning, sharing, and printing baked in. As of May 2024, it has been visited over 110K times, with close to 7K unique visitors. Community members regularly use it to share their armies all over the internet — and they have fun doing it!

I love the app! Only feedback I have is that it's really smooth and easy to use and actually quite addictive — I keep churning out lists every time i have a free moment 😅

As for the game creators, we have made sure that our app development is not something that slows them down. All app content is generated from source .docx files, making sure that we can release ruleset updates instantly without additional overhead.

The app's key features are:

  • A tailored army builder, which follows Hobgoblin's unique and flexible army and unit building mechanics.

  • A battle generator, allowing players to spin up a custom battle setup with one click.

  • A customizable print feature, allowing players to get their digital content back on paper for easy reference.

  • Deeply integrated sharing via links (for messaging and social media) and QR codes (for in-person sharing). Check out Mike's awesome goblin army, or this randomly generated battle.

  • A convenient keywords peek, allowing users to easily look up rule definitions from anywhere in the app.

  • A seamless backup and sync between an unlimited number of devices via Indie Tabletop Club user accounts.

  • Ability to handle multiple game rulesets at the same time.

And there is more in the pipeline!

If you are a game creator interested in a similar app for your game — get in touch!

How will this project sustain itself (i.e. make money)?

In today's world of privacy-infringing ad tech, VC-funded enshittification, and rampant crypto scams, we think it is important for a tech project to be clear about how it plans to make money. Without transparency about it's business model, it should rightly be viewed with suspicion — especially by potential partners!

ITC is at the beggining of its journey and is currently not making any money. However, it is clear to us that for long-term sustainability, we need a business model that is well aligned with our partners — indie creators of all sorts. In fact, one of the main reasons we are looking for partners right now is precisely to find a business model that is compatible with the variety of ways that indie creators make money. If you're interested in having this discussion, reach out!

However, there are several avenues that, on principle, we are certain never to pursue:

  • No privacy-infringing ad tech like Google Ads.
  • No data resale for AI training or otherwise.
  • No cryptocurrency of any kind.

Additionally, there are several paths that we think don't make sense because of the nature of what we're trying to build:

  • No charging game creators for the development of game apps.
  • No charging creators a subscription fee for the maintenance of game apps.

Fundamentally, indie creators are the people we are trying to support, not stretch their already-thin budgets.

Charging only for the initial development would not really make sense given that any online app also incurs non-insignificant maintenance costs.

A recurring fee would address the maintenance costs, but it would also introduce a weird dynamic between us and the creators: What happens if they stop paying just after the game is made (and we have accummulated the initial development cost)? What if there is a vibrant player base, but the creator is no longer interested in supporting the game?

A better business model can make sure we never have to worry about these questions.

So apart from these closed paths, we are happy to explore our options. We are aware that creators use a variety of business models to make a living and we want to make sure that we take all of them into account.

How do I get involved?

If you are an indie creator with a fantasy tabletop game that could benefit from a game app, we would love to hear from you! Get in touch at me@arturmuller.com and we'll take things from there.

Here' a quick FAQ that might answer some of your questions before we even get started!

Why fantasy?

We think platforms grow best when they serve a niche audience extremely well. The idea is to go deep, not wide. Since we've already started with Hobgoblin, we want to continue with fantasy games for a little while.

Will this cost me money?

No. If anything, we would like to figure out a way to make money together! See the money section for more info about how we think about making the platform sustainable for the long term.

Will this cost me time?

Very little. The entirety of our pilot app was managed through only a handful of online meetings. We don't expect there would be significantly different dynamics for other apps.

Anything else?

Get in touch!