Jamie Noble Frier
DoodleMeeple is live!
Hey folks, it’s Jamie here from DoodleMeeple. I’m pleased to announce that last week, we gently launched our board game industry platform to help board game artists, developers, marketers, testers and so many more professionals find each other and collaborate in a secure environment.
I say ‘gently launched’ because it was just that. We crept out, told a few of our closest followers who have been helping us test, and cracked a bottle on the side of the good ship DoodleMeeple. It was our aim to ensure we could keep reacting live to any issues that arose. Thankfully, due to our amazing community, we’re looking ship shape and have since announced our launch across our social media.
Things are looking great here at DoodleMeeple HQ, there’s a lot of excitement. We’ve already seen a rise every day since launch in our membership numbers, messaging through our platform has been buzzing and we have already have briefs and quotes flying backwards and forwards between Creatives and Creators.
Helping professionals find each other in the board game industry
I feel now is a good time to give a bit of background on why we’ve created this board game jobs and freelancing platform.
Some of you may already know this, but for those who don’t, I’m Jamie Noble Frier. That’s me in the photo (not the dog)…
I’ve been working in the creative industry for over ten years as a digital artist. I’ve worked in video game companies, I’ve worked for corporate companies, and I do a lot of illustration for fantasy novels. But, by far the most exciting, is having the luxury of spending much of the last ten years providing artwork for board games.
Having worked on so many other board games, I began to design my own. In 2018 I launched my Kickstarter campaign for Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails, which found great success with over one thousand backers.
Producing the game allowed me to learn a lot of lessons ‘on the other side’ of game production. Where as I’d often handed my board game art assets to the publisher or straight to the manufacturer, I’d never witnessed the other bits. The marketing, the rules editing and everything else that goes into making a good board game.
With Hero Master, I found myself doing so much of it myself, and being fortunate enough to find help from the contacts I had in my clients from the board game industry.
I could see this was a major problem facing people trying to make games. Looking back it made sense, because without my established network, finding projects as a board game artist in the early days of my career was just as hard. There wasn’t a straightforward hub for me and clients seeking me to find each other.
Where do you find people? Where do you find work?
Where can you find good board game freelancers?
At the time, and right up until the present, the best bet was… digging. When I first began my career, often I’d spend half my day digging for work, and the other half actually producing the work. Building up the network I have now was an immense undertaking of emailing, social media schmoozing, and trying to scour the web for indie forums.
It seemed like the best places to go where hitting a perfect balance of ‘right place, right time’ on Board Game Geek’s blogs, Facebook groups and my least favourite, enormous job boards on mainstream freelance websites.
Where was the smooth dedicated freelance platform in the board game industry I’d experienced in the other industries I’d worked in? It didn’t exist. All there was to do was to ‘hit and hope’ or blanket apply to jobs in hope that something stuck.
Due to the emergence of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter there are many designers and first time publishers new to the industry, now with great access to funding, but no network to make their project come to life.
Deviantart can be a bit of a minefield, and other portfolio sites host work from professionals who may simply be hobbyists or full time employees unable to take on work. All of them are a colossal time-sink for any new Creator, with the risk of coming away with nothing.
Find everything from board game artists right through to marketing your tabletop game
I knew that if I could put great board game artists at the fingertips of publishers, it would make the process infinitely easier. Then I realised, using the experience of publishing myself, that it wasn’t just my comrades in art who were needed. With that in mind we began to research and expand DoodleMeeple to become a place where every need of producing the content for board game was catered for.
We opened our doors to board game graphic designers, miniature sculptors, board game marketers and social media campaign managers and valuable kickstarter campaign managers. We encouraged board game reviewers and content creators to join. We continued to ask our users what they’d like to see, or if they had skills they were yet to showcase on the platform.
We opened roles for board game developers, board game play testers and translators (for those big licensing deals…).
We also began to think of all the extra things you’d need, like video editors to help you make board game preview Kickstarter videos, and voice over talent to narrate them.
We’re still adding roles now, and we’d love to hear from you if you’re looking for something you can’t find, or you’re not represented yet.
What's next for DoodleMeeple?
It’s important for us now to watch DoodleMeeple blossom. We’re listening to every bit of feedback we get, and right now we’re in reactive mode. Helping our users get the best out of our platform, and making changes to facilitate that.
There are more features on the horizon. In my head I could take this in a thousand different directions, giving users increasingly more value to the production of their board games. So watch this space, stick with us, and chat to us about what we’re doing. We love this community, and we’re here to help.
Jamie and Tim, Co- Founders of DoodleMeeple
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