Category Archives: Features

New features and services available to IGA Members

New: Bonus Loot Points for Photos in Demo Reports

Over the last few months, we’ve heard a lot of feedback from our members about our demo reports and ways that they could be more useful. Almost universally, we hear that photos attached to demo reports make them much more valuable. Today, we’ve made a simple but critical change that we hope encourages more Minion photography work.

Effective immediately, demo reports that include an uploaded image will earn 1 extra Loot Point. Like all other Loot Points, it will be doubled for games on Boost and tripled for playtest games.

We’ll also select a Photo of the Month for featuring on social media and our newsletter. The Minion that takes that photo will receive 20 extra Loot Points and a special achievement!

The other major comment we hear about demo reports is that the designers/publishers would like more player-level feedback. We’d like to remind all of our members that some time ago, we developed a custom survey editor that’s available to all Pro members. It can be found from the Studio Dashboard. You can make a survey for each game and expansion, with adding questions as simple as drag-and-drop. The surveys get completed by players on their mobile devices and generally take no more than a minute to complete. The surveys are available on our website to view by publishers, and will be emailed to you in real time.

Minions are reminded to encourage players to complete surveys at every demo. Games which don’t have a custom survey attached have a simple, basic default survey, so you never have to worry about whether a survey exists. If you want quick access to the survey, you can generate QR codes which embed your user ID, and even the game ID if you want to print one for each of your games, from both the Minion and Studio dashboards. Once a month, we randomly draw  one survey, and the Minion that collected it receives 20 bonus Loot Points!

Announcing IGA’s All-New Playtesting Service

Greetings! We hope you’ve been having a fantastic holiday season. Here at IGA HQ, I’ve been working on something to address a situation which I think we can all agree IGA has been less than stellar at in the past – playtesting. I’d hoped to release this in the first quarter of 2018, but I pulled out the stops and managed to finish it early!

In the past, we’ve set our playtest requirements pretty fast and loose. Send us a prototype, we’ll work on it when we can, that sort of thing. The issue is, IGA needs to hang on to a prototype for any game we work with, for a variety of reasons. So, when we only get one copy, that means Victoria and I have to do the playtests personally. As you might imagine, we’re pretty busy between day jobs and running IGA, and we don’t get out to run events anywhere near as often as we might like. This has lead to unconscionable delays in playtest feedback, and also slowed down IGA administrative work like shipping orders and developing new features.

Because we didn’t want prototypes just tossed out into the wild, we never added them to our reward store inventory. The big downside of this was that when we had extra copies of a prototype, we had no effective way to tell the minions it was available.

Well, today, we change all that. We’re announcing IGA’s new and improved playtesting service. Here’s the core of how it works:

  • Designers send us a minimum of four prototypes, and provide us all the required information for a successful playtest
  • Designers create a custom feedback survey for their game, to fine-tune exactly the sort of feedback they’re looking for from players
  • Minions who have earned a minimum of 100 loot points by running demos may join the playtesting team
  • Playtesters may select a maximum of two prototypes at a time from the IGA store, so they don’t cause a playtesting bottleneck
  • By taking a prototype, a Minion agrees to run a minimum of five playthroughs and collect a minimum of 5 * X player surveys over the course of six weeks, where X is the minimum number of players for a game
  • Once the above requirements are met, the Minion completes a brief final playtesting report for the designer
  • All of the Minion’s loot points earned as part of the playtest are tripled as soon as the playtest report is approved

We expect there will be questions. Please refer to the Studio Playtesting Guide and/or Minion Playtesting Guide for more specifics and frequently-asked questions.

For members who already have games in our old playtesting pipeline, Victoria and I will be working through these in the coming few weeks on the old system, as we don’t have enough copies to distribute to Minions in most cases. All remaining prototypes in stock have been added to the new prototype store. If you wish to discuss the specifics of your playtest-in-progress, please reach out to Victoria at (It still feels so good to type my last name as hers!)

Minions eligible to join the playtesting team will be receiving invitation emails today. Any Minion may learn more about the program and determine their eligibility at

As always, feedback is welcome in our IGA Developers’ Lounge and IGA League of Minions groups on Facebook. I’ll do my best to be available in both today to answer questions.

Introducing IGA Checkups

Hey there, Team IGA! I just finished implementing a feature I’ve long wanted to add to our arsenal, which I am hoping will really help you take advantage of IGA’s myriad of benefits. I can’t tell you how many times I hear members tell me, “I didn’t know IGA offered that!” We’re hoping that our new Checkups feature will alleviate that.

Once a month, you’ll receive an email that goes through all of your profile settings, games and inventory stock, and makes intelligent suggestions based on patterns we detect for demo reports, sales, and so forth. It’ll identify areas where we can work together to improve things, IGA services you could be benefiting from, and incomplete data on your studio profile or game catalog. It’ll help you stay on top of bringing new games into our system and supporting old ones, too.

Want to check your progress? You can also view your checkup in real-time at Don’t want to receive the emails? You can opt out using our new-and-improved email alert settings page at

These emails will go out on the 3rd of every month, but since it’s after that date now, the December ones are sending as I type this.

Any questions? Just reply to the checkup email; it’ll go right to your designated account rep. We’re really hoping that this system will help bring you timely information about the IGA services that can be of the most help for whatever you’re working on right now.

As always, we welcome member feedback about this new service in our IGA Developers’ Lounge on Facebook.

Announcing Minion Certifications!

We’re stoked to announce an often-requested new feature for member publishers: certification programs! IGA Pro members can now link a rulebook and/or a how-to-play video to any game in their Game Catalog and create a custom certification exam for it.

The exam editor interface is very similar to our easy-to-use survey module, so it should feel immediately familiar to IGA Pro members.

You can specify whether a certification is optional or required for demos – although we strongly recommend that members not set certification as mandatory except in situations where there are frequently tournaments with high-value prizes. This is, however, a simple and intuitive way for you to communicate the basics of gameplay to Minions, and for Minions to show off their expertise. Our Minions already do a fantastic job of quickly picking up and mastering game rules!

Minions can complete the courses online in their own time – there’s no need to schedule a session with a trainer. Simply watch a video – in most cases, the same how-to-play video from the Kickstarter campaign – and answer a few simple questions.

You’ll get a cool little certificate you can print out, and the publisher will get an email letting them know someone else has mastered their game. Your certifications will appear on your public Minion profile — and there might even be some new achievements associated with certifications.

IGA’s Store is Live!

After literally years of design and development, IGA’s game store is finally live!

We’ll be using this store to supply our Minions with games and swag for their demos, as well as to launch a new micro-distribution service to help get member games into friendly local game stores around the world. The new software also delivers an incredible amount of transparency to our process; members can now see what we have and where it’s going in pretty much real-time.

We notified the Minions of the store’s launch on April 8, and we’ve already processed more than 25 orders. Minions, if you haven’t gotten out to run some demos in a while, now would be a fantastic time to do so!

Members, we’re sure you have questions. No worries! We’ve put together an interactive guide to help you get a handle on everything having to do with our new store software, stock policies, and the tools available at your disposal. We strongly recommend that all member publishers check this out, especially if we already have stock on hand from you.

Please direct any questions or concerns to our warehouse team at Thank you so much to Victoria, Sherri, Jason, and all the other Minions who helped out with testing and development.


Welcome to the all-new IGA!

Greetings! I’m writing this first post as part of the lead-up to the launch of our new website. This site’s taken far longer than I wanted it to, for a variety of reasons that really don’t matter anymore, but with it, we can finally roll out a bunch of things we’ve been promising and hinting at for months.

We’re so very excited to relaunch the site, and with it, the Alliance at large. We’ve taken everything we’ve learned about the tabletop community and our place in it, and poured it into an all-new Alliance offering. We’re pleased to say that the “IGA 2.0” we launch today blows away everything we’ve done in the past, which was already the best set of services available to game publishers in the world.

Here’s a look at a few of the enhancements on the new site, before we get to the really good stuff.

Integration with

If you’re one of the handful of studios who filled out the Game Library form on the original website, you know it wasn’t exactly user-friendly. The most frequently-requested feature for a new website, a supported game list, wasn’t feasible to provide because the Game Library was so unwieldy and so infrequently used. Not anymore. Members can input their publisher ID – which we’ve already done for all current members – and import their entire game collection in seconds.


Our automated systems will then monitor your BGG profile and automatically add new games into our library within 6 hours of when they first appear on BGG.

Of course, you can edit the games once they’re imported using our completely redesigned game editor tool.


Oh, and that IGA-supported game list? It’s a reality now too.


If you’re a Minion (or potential Minion), you can simply enter your username…


… and we’ll scan your collection and list all the IGA-supported games you already own and can start demoing right away.


Live Kickstarter Tracking

The new site integrates with Kickstarter directly, and shows the progress of every active IGA member Kickstarter campaign, updated every 15 minutes and available right on the front page.


It also provides us admins with an awesome back-end tool we can use to easily share campaigns on social media like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, to make us even more effective than ever before at spreading the word.

Better Support for Hybrids

When we launched the Alliance in April 2014, we never expected the number of “hybrids” we’d meet — folks who wanted to be both designers and Minions, or Minions and retailers, or some other combinations thereof. Our user accounts weren’t structured to allow it. With IGA 2.0, an account can have as many Community Roles as you need, so our double-, triple-, and even quadruple-threat members can use the site seamlessly with a single account.


Upcoming Appearances

We’ve added a chronological preview of all the events our teams are scheduled to attend, and the services IGA will be offering at the show. This will make it easier than ever before to make your presence felt at conventions worldwide — even when you can’t be there.



Our members and Minions can now earn achievements for their feats of gaming excellence.


Actual, Real-Live Company Stuff!

IGA’s new website adds a bunch of “grown up company” stuff that the previous iteration lacked, like a media guide and logo pack, testimonials section, a news area with real-live press releases, and even a jobs page.


This Blog

Prior to the launch of the new site, most IGA information was disseminated over our private Facebook groups. We’ve discovered that more than half our members never joined the groups, and thus never got wind of amazing opportunities and vital details that would have enabled them to get much more benefit out of their Alliance membership. This blog will be the source for the up-to-the-minute pulse of the Alliance. We’ll syndicate the posts to our social media channels, so if you’re used to talking to us there, don’t worry — you won’t miss out!

Improved Hosting

We’ve moved all our sites and services from a craptasmic shared hosting plan to a swank virtual private server provided by the network gods at HostDime. While this might not sound terribly exciting, it has more than tripled the speed of page loads and provided a much more reliable platform for everything we do. As an added bonus, the server’s in a data center 15 minutes from IGA HQ. We seriously can’t recommend HostDime enough.

… and that’s just the relatively boring stuff.

Now’s where things really get good. Introducing: the future of the Indie Game Alliance.

Real-Time Demo Reporting

Our Minions can now file demo reports from the field on any smartphone or tablet. The average demo report takes about 30 seconds to file, including photos of the event — and the whole thing gets emailed to you in real time! No more wondering where your games are being played; you can follow along with the action at conventions around the country and the globe.

Minions will be awarded their Loot Points instantly, and can spend them within minutes.

mediakit demoreport1

Partner Discounts

One of the original concepts behind the IGA was to allow smaller publishers to get the same economies of scale that bigger companies do on everything from manufacturing to business cards. We’re pleased to say that’s now a reality.


IGA’s partner program offers significant discounts from industry-leading  manufacturers, business printers, professional memberships, accessory manufacturing, and even legal services, just for being an active IGA member. Details on all the discount programs are available in one central place on the new site, allowing you to quickly and easily see where your IGA membership saves you money!

Freelancer Board

Looking for an artist, a graphics designer, a translator, or a rulebook editor for your project? IGA’s new Freelancer Board allows professionals to post their portfolio for our members to browse.


If you’re a publisher who has hired the freelancer before, you can leave feedback for others to view. This feedback system will help members pick the right professional to help finish your project, every time.


Game Store

At long last, the IGA Game Store is live. The store is how Minions will redeem their Loot Points to score new games to add to their demo library.

… but that’s not all it’s for!


Retail Wholesaling

IGA is proud to announce that we’re rolling out our long-awaited consignment wholesaling program. Now, the same Minions that demo your games in their friendly local game stores will become your field sales reps, encouraging the stores they visit to carry copies of your games to sell to all the new fans their demos create. You receive a generous 40% of MSRP on every copy sold — better than most distributors pay! There’s no minimum quantity to get started. We handle the shipping and fulfillment on our end. You provide us some stock, we handle the rest, and you just wait for the money to roll in!

Surveys and Email Lists

When Minions demo for you at stores and conventions, they can now bring along a QR code, printed off the website. When the code is scanned, the player will be taken to a fully-customizable survey, designed to be completed on mobile devices, which takes into account expansions being played and playtested.


The average survey is 5-10 questions, and can be completed in about 90 seconds, which is about as long as it takes for a Minion to switch games. This keeps players at the table between games, allowing the Minion to get off more and more demos.


To encourage Minions to ask for the surveys, and players to complete them, IGA will randomly choose one survey a month, and both the player who completed the survey and the Minion who collected it will receive a free game!

Of course, for the player to receive the game, we’ll need a way to contact them…


As players complete surveys, they can sign up to receive news about all IGA games, just your games, or just the game they played. Members can gain access to this ever-growing database of players to send out Kickstarter announcements, promote organized play, and any number of other exciting opportunities. We even prompt the players to sign up to join our Minion program, potentially adding new volunteers — and best of all, they just finished learning your game!


You can use our default survey, or customize your own for each game in your catalog! This is a powerful tool for designers utilizing our Minion team for playtesting, as you get the feedback you need, instantly, on the questions you need answered most!

To get started, simply drag and drop survey questions from your question pool into a new survey.editsurvey2

Adding new questions is easy, with powerful customization options like free-form entry or multiple choice questions, requiring no answers or more than one, and including an ‘Other’ option that requires user input.


When your new survey is ready, you can attach it to any game in your Game Catalog with a single click. You can even assign sub-surveys to expansions, and the player will be prompted to complete the survey for the base game in addition to the sub-surveys for all the expansions she indicated she played in the demo.

Publisher Marketplace

In your member game catalog, you can now turn on a simple checkbox to indicate your game is available for publication. Member publishers can visit our Publisher Marketplace and browse any IGA-supported games that are available, read up on the games, and contact the designer. The designer’s contact information is kept completely anonymous unless he or she decides to respond.


Account Executives

IGA is in the process of hiring Account Executives to work with our member studios. As our client list has grown, it’s become impossible for our small but dedicated admin team to give each member the kind of personal attention we feel that they deserve. To rectify this, we’re expanding our team.

Account Executives will be responsible for no more than 25 or so member studios, and will be in touch with them at least once a month to make sure our members know about the latest IGA news and opportunities, and to make sure IGA knows about the new games you have in the works.  These will be paid (commission-only for now) positions and are great part-time opportunities for folks looking to make some side cash or build their gaming resume. Get all the details about applying right here.

I’d like to take a moment to publicly acknowledge some people who helped us make this relaunch possible over the last few months.

Thank you to every minion and member designer that took time to test the site, check out screenshots and offer feedback. You are too numerous to name, but we appreciate all that you did and all that you do. Special thanks to our seven Minibosses: Dylan Martin, Jason Gough, Sherri Haight, Jayson Stevens, Michael Russell, Billy Salazar, and Billy McCann, who also has done a substantial amount of graphics work for IGA.

Thanks to minions Forrest Evans, Victoria Hardman, and Cheryl Billinger for hours of grueling data entry work, and also to Forrest for helping us get the BoardGameGeek integration working. Thanks to Ken Grazier for repeatedly breaking our BoardGameGeek integration with his obnoxiously huge game collection. Thanks to Paul Nguyen for pulling a rabbit out of his hat and getting our store up and running at the last minute. Thank you, Daylina Miller, for your help getting our social media profiles expanded and for giving our new media kit a journalist’s eye.

Thank you to studio members Adrienne Ezell of Dreadful Games, who has become our go-to source for graphics wizardry, and Jason Washburn of Talon Strikes Studios for designing our swank new business cards (and overnighting a few thousand of them to Gen Con for us). Thank you to Shea Looijen and Kristi Uhles of Bibelot Games, who not only took it upon themselves to redesign our logo, but then proceeded to burninate it onto everything they could get their hands on with a frickin’ laser. Thanks to designer Doug Levandowski for the obscene amount of phone calls he took that started with the same sentence, “Let me run something by you real quick.” It rarely was real quick, but it was always real productive.