117 – Erin Dean – The Family Gamers Podcast

Erin Dean

Today, we welcome Erin Dean, board game renaissance woman! She tells us about her book, the board game museum she is founding, along with a game or two she’s been working on.

“I recently quit my day job to focus on board game related activities full time” – she’s not kidding! Erin is currently doing all of the following:

  • Social media manager for Lucky Duck Games
  • Author of “For the Love of Board Games” book
  • Founder of The National Board Game Museum
  • Also working on developing some games

National Board Game Museum

Board games have a robust history, going back thousands of years. Erin and the board of directors think board games and their history are worth preserving. They’re a physical medium. No one else is focusing solely on them.

The museum is intended to be very interactive – super-sized games to be played, copies of old games. Board games should be in a “please touch” museum – that’s how they’re intended to be interacted with.

Erin has ambitious goals for the museum, including rotating exhibits, tournaments, and awards.

How do you start a project like this?

  • Start with seeing a need
  • Form a board of directors
  • Filing for incorporation, 501©3, etc.
  • Work on finding a location (somewhere in the midwest USA).

How can people like us help?

Book: For the Love of Board Games

The Kickstarter campaign for Erin’s book was a smashing success (almost 1000% funded). There haven’t been many other books that go behind the scenes on game design without specifically being a how-to book for other game designers. Erin’s book explores the stories behind the games, as well as inspiring tips from over 50 designers.

How can we get it now?

  • Can still pre-order / late pledge on Kickstarter
  • Eventually on Amazon / bookBaby / ePUB

Erin has another book in the works. This one will be a bit heavier on female designers. There’s so many designers that haven’t been asked to tell their stories yet!

Game: “Treedles on the Tree”

This Christmas-themed, children’s game started with a trip to a psychic! Shortly afterward, Erin’s dad called her up and asked her to help a designer friend who needed help with a children’s game.

Concept: A blizzard has hit Treedle Village and knocked apart the star from the top of the Christmas tree. Cooperate to gather the pieces and put them back together so Santa can see the tree & deliver presents!

How to play: Roll on your turn, choose where to move, flip discs on the way. Reveal an ornament or a “whackadoo” – a bird who needs to be fed candy, otherwise they will steal the star pieces. Roll dice in real-time to keep the birds fed!

Treedles on the Tree is currently planned for Kickstarter in early 2019, for fulfillment in the fall.

Want to find more information?

Right now, the best way is the Facebook group to get all the updates. Website TheTreedles.com is coming soon.

Erin, what are you most excited for?

Detective: City of Angels, a noir detective sandbox game, coming early 2019.

(We’re super excited for the Sagrada expansions announced at Essen – more on this next week!)

Find Erin online:

Facebook Erin Dean

Twitter @deanmachine100

Instagram @deanmachine100 / @loveofboardgames

And find us online:

Facebook: @familygamersaa

Community: thefamilygamers.com/community

Twitter: @familygamersaa
Instagram: @familygamersaa

PLEASE don’t forget to subscribe to the show, tell your friends about the show, and leave us a review at Apple Podcast or whatever your podcast subscription source is. We’re now on TuneIn.com. Listen on your Amazon Echo or Google Home!


The Family Gamers Podcast is sponsored by Wild East Games. Find Wild East Games online at WildEastGames.com, or @WildEastGames on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

That’s it for this week. Until next week, PLAY GAMES WITH YOUR KIDS!

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