Musician becomes game designer | Daily news from the peninsula
PORT ANGELES – Marge Rosen knew as a teenager exactly what she wanted to do for a career.
“I knew I wanted to be a musician for the rest of my life,” she said.
Indeed, the Port Angeles resident managed to make music her profession – until the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Northern Olympic Peninsula.
“With COVID, I practically lost my entire career,” said Rosen, conductor, drummer, trumpeter, teacher and veteran.
“I had a lot of free time. ”
Rosen therefore returned to another lifelong passion: table games.
“Since I was a kid, I have customized and experimented with existing games,” Rosen said. “Everything from changing the rules for card games and board games such as Monopoly, to creating new maps for Risk and Terraforming Mars, to making my own card games and board games. ”
Now, with training from the local small business incubator Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE), Rosen has started her own games business, Seaport Games, and hopes a Kickstarter catapults her first game, “Pirate Party: Women of the High Seas “, for Success.
“I have taken many courses and workshops offered by CIE and the Washington Small Business Development Center,” Rosen said.
“My business advisor, Rick Dickinson at CIE, has been instrumental in supporting my start-up efforts. What a great resource for the start-up community on the Northern Olympic Peninsula.
Pirate Party is a card game for two to four players, ages 10 and up, with 65 different cards, and it focuses on the female pirate people from the story (see piratepartygame.com). She hired Laura Erwin for the graphic design and illustrations.
“Pirate Party is a great example of using creative women to create a game that embraces history and diversity,” said Erwin.
“The diversity of pirate captains is what really interested me in the project,” she added. “I had never heard of many of these captains, and some had very few illustrations of them.
“To truly honor the diversity of these Captains, I researched their period and region to get a better idea of what these Captains might look like. Most of it is speculation, but I think it’s fun trying to merge modern pirate imagery with a historical perspective.
“My background in costume design and my love of history really shone in this project, leading to a game that I think people will love and have never seen before.”
At first, Rosen was working on a board game about music careers, but found that board games cost more to create and make, so it made more sense to start with a card game.
Rosen said it’s hard for game makers to get noticed by big game companies, but developers can get distribution deals if their games sell well independently.
When deciding to start her own business, she said to herself, “Do I want to spend my time building a business that is right for me, rather than trying to fit into a big business?” “
Rosen said independent game developers face other challenges. The prototype needs to look as professional as the final product, which involves an initial outlay. There must be extensive testing of the product. Plus, the game’s production costs add up, necessitating the Kickstarter campaign – a crowdsourcing platform connecting creators who share new work with communities who will come together to fund it, Rosen explained.
“Funders can contribute as little as $ 1 just because they believe in the project and want to see it come to life,” she said. “But most people do more to get the game as a thank you when the game is made. Backers will be the first to get the game before it goes on sale elsewhere.
On Kickstarter, the creator has a monetary goal, and if it isn’t met, they don’t receive any money. Rosen is aiming for $ 4,000.
“All proceeds will go towards making the game, shipping costs from China, Kickstarter and other fees and taxes,” she said.
Check out the Kickstarter page at tinyurl.com/Pirate HighSeas.
“If the project is fully funded, I will at least produce enough games to reward backers,” Rosen said. “I hope to raise enough money to make between 500 and 2,000 copies of the game, which would really kick off Seaport Games.”
Rosen said she is looking for a US-based company to make the game, but the costs are so high that she should charge $ 35 for the game rather than $ 22 if it ships from China, and she doesn’t. not think people would pay that much for a deck of cards.
She said U.S. companies still had to buy their stocks in China, shipping costs continued to rise, and all gaming companies were facing rising costs.
Rosen is hoping she can win enough Pirate Party to produce her board game, which has the potential to teach players “the different musical careers people might have, besides the obvious – everyone wants to be. a rock star, ”she said.
“But there are so many other jobs. I didn’t know it and I was looking for this when I was a teenager, “she added.” I thought I had three options: play in a symphony, go to the military bands, or be a music teacher. Didn’t see him as a rock star playing a trumpet, I became a music teacher and entered the Navy as a musician.
Rosen said she had plans for the future, beyond her own success, if the business took off: “My dream would be to provide jobs for my neighbors and the community, a job for myself. by making games that people will enjoy. ”
Emily Matthiessen is a reporter for the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is made up of the newspapers from Sound Publishing, Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. She can be reached at [email protected]