What if I told you that you don’t have to be in the same room with someone to play board games? It’s true – and that’s how Kenny Goodman, owner of Overboard Games, was able to build a business out of digitizing board games on Tabletop Simulator.
In this episode, we talk about how Kenny takes a physical product and makes it digital, why the business works so well, and how he got started in the first place!
Check out the Weird Marketing Tales website if you haven’t already. If you want to follow Weird Marketing Tales on social media, go to @WeirdMarketing on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Go to @WeirdMarketers on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Kenny Goodman: Oh my God. Right. Oh, we need to start. We’re gonna keep talking all night long.
Brandon Rollins: All right. Yeah. And it’s already late for you, which is gonna make this even spicier.
My name is Brandon Rollins, and this is the Weird Marketing Tales Podcast. On this podcast, I’ll be interviewing small business owners, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals who are finding really interesting and unusual ways to make a living. And for the very first episode of this podcast, there was really only one place I can turn.
And that is Kenny Goodman, owner of Overboard Games, Kenny, how’s it going?
Kenny Goodman: Oh, it’s going great, mate. How’s it going with you?
Brandon Rollins: Really good. Just to let everybody know, we are recording this for the second time, because as always happens when you’re starting something new, there’s going to be that kind of trial and error. So we’re already gonna be very spicy for this episode one.
Kenny Goodman: Oh, absolutely. We’re gonna get right into it. Aren’t we?
What is Overboard Games and who is Kenny Goodman?
Brandon Rollins: Well I, guess I should start with the logical first question, which is what does Overboard Games do?
Kenny Goodman: Well, it’s a good job you asked me that a second time so I can give you an even better answer.
What we do is. We’re a digital marketing company for board games, specifically, where we specialize in Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia adaptations, but we also branch into the other marketing sides of like renders and animations for your Kickstarter campaigns.
Brandon Rollins: I didn’t know you did the renders and animations as well. That’s actually news to me. Yeah, that’s interesting. Now, would you say that still your bread and butter is primarily doing the digital versions of board games?
Kenny Goodman: Absolutely. It’s been our bread and butter since, uh, 2018 basically. Animation has been something we wanna try and push more. As we, we have graphic design skills on our backend, as well as a very talented 3-D artist who can create renders, just incredible things. We wanna do more of that, but yeah, our bread and butter is making your game on Tabletop Simulator.
What is Tabletop Simulator and how do board game publishers use it?
Brandon Rollins: Very cool. And just so listeners know, Tabletop Simulator is a game that you can download on Steam, which allows you to play physical board games online with other people. It’s a really neat tool. I’ve been personally using it for years back, especially when I was doing board game design.
And of course Kenny’s been designing on it for over four years. So I’ve gotta ask how exactly do board game publishers use Tabletop Sim mods and other digital adaptations of board games?
Kenny Goodman: Yeah. So publishers use these platforms primarily as a promotional tool for their Kickstarter or Gamefound projects that they use to fund their games. So they will add their games to these digital, digital adaptations, platforms such as Tabletopia, which is free, um, Board Game Arena, which is also a free platform and Tabletop Simulator, which is a paid platform and to buy onetime purchase but it is the largest audience for it. And yeah, you’re able to demo their games before backing them on Kickstarter on Gamefound, which can be a really useful tool. And it also shows that you’re very confident in your game.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. So is the main idea basically that they demo this stuff before it launches on Kickstarter or Gamefound?
Kenny Goodman: Yeah. Usually before or during. So sometimes most people I work with, um, we aim to get the mod out a week before the Kickstarter or on the same day the campaign comes out so that you are able to hit them hard in that 24 hour period. The mod goes live instant traffic to the web, to the website, the Kickstarter website or Gamefound website and to the mod.
Where people find digital versions of board games
Kenny Goodman: And it creates really nice synergy cause as the Tabletop Simulator workshop, which is basically a storefront for all the unofficial mods, um, cause that’s what we do. We are not affiliated with Berserk Games. So we don’t do the downloadable, the content, which you can find on there. We do the unofficial content, which is called the Workshop.
As I said, the Workshop is a storefront where users who create the Workshop content like we do, can display like, Hey, this is a new mod. And if it gets loads of traffic, I like releasing it on the same day as the Kickstarter, it will climb the ranks and potentially, if it’s a very popular game and if the publisher has also marketed their Kickstarter campaign, you will see that in the subscriber count, on the Workshop mod.
Brandon Rollins: That’s really cool. You can Google a lot of different board games and just follow it with the words “Tabletop Simulator” and it will actually take you to the Workshop page and you can read more about it there.
It’s interesting cuz a lot of games use it these days. And a lot of it, it sounds like, is just about generating that trust before actually, um, accepting money, but it sounds like these days it’s used for actually part of the marketing and promotion as well, like to actually find people through the platform of Tabletop Simulator.
Is that right?
Kenny Goodman: I think so what I would, I think the best way to explain it is, yeah, it, it is primarily a marketing tool, to play before you pledge. But you can design your entire board game using Tabletop Simulator and then go on to, fund it on Kickstarter and Gamefound just like, um, there’s a guy called Dustin who did a game called Don’t Let It Die, who, from start to finish was on Tabletop Simulator and he has a very, if you’ve ever wanna reach out to a guy who has done it all, as in the Tabletop Simulator mod first to then, um, play test and promote it to then go to a Kickstarter. I think he failed the first time, but then succeeded the second time. And I think now he’s onto his third iteration of the game where it’s got new art styles. So clearly, um, check him out if you’re in just Dustin and his game’s called Don’t Let It Die.
How do you make digital versions of board games on Tabletop Simulator?
Brandon Rollins: I’m gonna put a link in the transcript down below. One thing I would like to know is how exactly do you go about making a digital adaptation of a game on Tabletop Simulator or another platform?
Kenny Goodman: Sure. I’m gonna be able to speak for Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia. And they kind of run a similar way. The other platforms such as like Screentop.gg and Vassal and Board Game Arena, they all function differently and I’m not as familiar with those, but the way they work for Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia is you will send print files like you would send to a manufacturer, you’d send them to us.
And we extract those images just like, um, PNGs, as you would find in like youth like brochures on Photoshop or Publisher, for example. And we take those images and we drag and drop them into Tabletop Simulator and they will spawn onto the table and we can move them about resize them, drop them, um, change their colors, all that kind of thing.
But what we do, specifically is not just drag and drop them onto the table. We could easily do that, but we wouldn’t be in business. What we do is you add the, uh, the spice of professionality and, uh, luxury to your product. We do this via 3-D environments, for one. So you will, if you ever see a 3-D room and a basically a rendered out beautiful room and a beautiful table. Nine outta 10. I’d probably say almost 10 outta 10, to be honest, it’s going to be us.
But we also make all your components optimized. So it’s quick to load. Cause the worst thing you can have is when someone who is, um, on a laptop or a very old computer, if they load up Tabletop Simulator and they can’t play the game, that’s a, that’s a, that’s a bad thing.
And finally we just make it playable to the, everyone so we can have automated scripting for that. So it makes it easy to get people to playing immediately.
Brandon Rollins: Oh, and I’ve seen your work. It does definitely look very polished.
Kenny Goodman: We aim to be as polished as we can be, because this is your product at the end of the day. And we don’t want to, um, hand you something that would, we wouldn’t be proud of.
Why Kenny’s business is working so well
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, absolutely. Now I think it’s interesting because there’s so much that you just said that is worth pointing out. So I’m just gonna, like, I’m gonna try and pick a few pieces and, and just kind of take them apart one by one, if I can. So first thing, I wanna make this clear to the listeners, cuz it’s kind of not immediately obvious, but you were one of the first people to start seriously making really high quality Tabletop Sim mods and Tabletopia mods and that kind of thing.
You were one of the first people to do it and you have got probably most of the really professional work that is in this super specific niche right now. So, uh, you know, listeners who don’t know who you are, might not know this because we work together through Weird Marketing Tales and other stuff.
Another thing I think is interesting is that you mentioned like four different platforms for playing board games online. And that’s super interesting because even that is relatively new. When I was making games a few years ago, it was just Tabletop Sim and Tabletopia and that was basically it. And then you would have like, sometimes people would make a Steam version of a popular board game in, in our niche, like a Twilight Struggle or something which is kind of different.
That’s, that’s not the same as making a game or an environment where you can make any game you want. So. I think that’s worth pointing out because it means there’s a serious market demand there for tools like this. And you are, you, you’ve identified this market demand and you’re seeking to serve that.
The third observation is… is that a lot of what you do? It’s, it’s not about actually putting the mod together. It’s about putting it together nicely because these tools are they’re free or cheap in all cases, right? Correct me if I’m wrong on this.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, Tabletopia your free platform. However it has a subscription model, um, but Tabletop Simulator, think like less than 20 bucks.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, it’s either 20, maybe it’s 25 these days, but half the time it’s on 50% off sale.
So point is it’s super, it’s super, super accessible and super cheap. And just about anybody can upload images from Imgur or whatever, and put together a few decks of cards. If you have a little patience there, but actually getting it to look really good. That’s that’s hard um, it’s like you said, like in Tabletop Sim in particular people, play the game.
Like you see all the cards, all the, the board, all the pieces there, sitting on a digital version of a table. Well, somebody’s gotta design the table and of course that table’s in a room and somebody’s gotta design the room and you guys actually do that.
How some parts of board games can even be automated
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, that’s correct. From start to finish, we import all your components, we script whatever needs to happen. Um, that could be set up as in the one thing, every board gamer in physical life hates is setting up a game. So why do it digitally when you can script it to do so. We can go further beyond that script.
Do automation, scoring, UI tools, if need be, any amount of complexity, we can do it. But we always like to like, just let people know that automation is great and we will script stuff that is just boring to do like set up. It doesn’t add anything, but when it comes to learning the game, we want you to be able to play this game digitally and learn it digitally.
And then when you get the game, when you buy the game, physically, you’ve already learned how to play. And rather than your automation telling you what to do and then when you buy the game physically, you will like, oh no, I need to read the rules again because the game did everything for me.
Brandon Rollins: It’s interesting. You, you mentioned scripting. So is that like when the card shuffle themselves and the board sets itself up that kind of thing?
Kenny Goodman: Absolutely. Yeah. Board setting.
Brandon Rollins: Oh yeah, I love that.
Kenny Goodman: It’s, it’s so magical when you see all the components like flying around the table and it’s just like, whoa, that thing’s shuffling that one’s, that, that board’s changing. The player boards are spawning, you know, it’s giving it, giving you notifications to when to do certain things.
It’s great. It’s a really pleasing thing to the eyes.
Brandon Rollins: So you, do you have to program this, like, in a coding language?
Kenny Goodman: Yes. It’s a coded in Lua scripting language.
Brandon Rollins: Oh, okay. Lua is, um, that, that might as well be like ancient, uh, mystical text or something because it, it is, it is a pretty unusual language to work with. Did they all use Lua? Tabletopia, everything like that?
And, uh, is it PHP? I can’t, I can remember, but yeah, that, one’s a lit… that one requires a lot more coding because that is a fully automated system. So everything is automated. There’s no manual process you can do.
Kenny is smart about outsourcing highly technical work
Brandon Rollins: Do you do that yourself or do you have somebody else help you with it?
Kenny Goodman: We don’t. We only touch Tabletop Simulator. But so we have a team. We have a team of three people who all work. We all work together on the projects. But if I, and the same, it would be the same if I did Board Game Arena, cuz that requires a lot more coding. Like that’s almost like a software developer kind of level of cording.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, that, that gets pretty complicated pretty quickly.
Kenny Goodman: Yes, which is why Tabletop Simulator is so great for this it’s because if you don’t have the money or you have a very limited budget, you could learn yourself and get it on there. A lot of publishers and designers who are starting out for the first time can play test their games on the platform and I’m in a huge server dedicated towards game design right now on using, um, these platforms, primarily Tabletop Simulator per se, but it’s great because every week we come together and we see people develop the games further and further and further.
And so many of these people have gone beyond this group and published their games and have found, uh, Kickstarted or Gamefounded.
Tabletop Simulator helps board game publishers refine their games as products
Brandon Rollins: You mentioned play testing earlier. And I wondered if we were gonna get back to that. And I, I think it’s really interesting that people can just easily iterate their games on Tabletop Sim and other tools like that. It is no big deal to upload a new deck of cards or like change out the image file on a board.
You don’t have to print anything. You don’t have to special order it. You just change it in Tabletop Sim, and you can make a hundred different versions of the game. And it won’t cost you a dime, which I think is like, what a game changer. I think honestly, kind of an underrated. Probably an underrated asset in the industry right now.
Kenny Goodman: I think. And you would, you would say it was underrated. I would say it was underrated before the pandemic, um, as the entire digital space was underrated, to be fair. And now because it was, it’s an archaic system. It, it, they are an archaic viewpoint. It’s a physical game in a physical space with physical people.
Unless you somehow have some digital AI playing your game in real life, then you might be Tony Stark at that point.
The difficulty of getting board game publishers to adopt a new way of doing things
Kenny Goodman: And then telling people, Hey, do you wanna to play game digitally? And it’s like, well, that’s a bit weird. Why would I do that? And then, oh yeah. How about we remove your physicality, remove your physical table, remove your distance to however many feet it was between people and voila.
You have no worry of playing games with someone. So then everyone jumped ship and immediately had to figure out how to use these platforms to their benefit. And as you mentioned with play testing specifically among other things, which we can get to later, Um, they realized, oh wait, this is a great platform to iterate on over and over again.
And our games have probably got gotten better because of it.
Brandon Rollins: I’ve seen a lot of people live stream with Tabletop Sim too. So I think there’s also an entertainment value.
Kenny Goodman: Well, definitely there’s an entertainment value for Tabletop Simulator because the game itself, playing board game literally is kind of dull to watch. But if you get really good entertainers, just like we’ve talked about Critical Role in one of our articles, is that like, if the people are entertaining you and you’ve got a good story and you are rewatchable and then, yeah, you can make really good entertainment out of it, especially but beyond entertainment is the notion that digital conventions became a thing for the first time.
Which was a wonderful thing to see in the industry. Seeing people actually not just embrace the digital space, but fully give it a good old hug and say, “hey, we need this because I wanna play board games with my friends. And we also need to promote our games that are coming out because board games didn’t stop being made.”
When the pandemic hit, they, they might have slowed a little bit due to the shipping crisis, but I’m not the one to talk about that one. Cause that’s a whole subject.
Brandon Rollins: I’ll probably guy on here for it.
The rise and fall of online board gaming conventions
Kenny Goodman: Oh, yeah, you probably can be for sure. But it was fantastic. Loads of conventions happened, some hosted by content creators that were in the physical space and some by the publishers who hosted their own day, or, weekends or however long it was game nights.
And even the conventions that were originally hosted in America, like Origins and GenCon and a few others – I can’t think off the top of my head right now, they also created their own Discords and hosted the additional conventions and people came in all day, every day, hours upon hours and just played games just like you would do physically.
And that was phenomenal.
Brandon Rollins: And is that, is that behavior sticking around even today as the pandemic eases off?
Kenny Goodman: No, that is not sticking around. No, I think you are, definitely still keeping the play testers. Of course. As I mentioned every week, um, play testers are all good. Tabletop Simulator is still thriving and it always will be still thriving. However, the conventions, I don’t, I don’t think we actually had any digital conventions this year.
Brandon Rollins: I I’ve been outta the loop for a while, but I haven’t heard of. Because of course, Gen Con’s still in, it’s in person now. I think Origins is. PAX is in person and so on.
Kenny Goodman: Should bring it back, bring it back, digital convention.
Brandon Rollins: There probably is demand for it. Although maybe not by some of the legacy ones that are already out there, cuz the point of Gen Con’s to go to an actual big room with a lot of people in it. Not gonna get the same thing online. I think you’ll probably have to have a new brand name, really come up and make that a thing.
Kenny Goodman: Ooh, Overboard Games, digital board game convention. It’s just written in the stars right there. Isn’t it?
Brandon Rollins: Honestly, if there’s anybody who could do it, I, I could see you doing it, I really could.
Kenny Goodman: I, I, think it would be very fun to do it, to be honest.
Brandon Rollins: Dude. You, you’ve, you’ve made, you’ve, made a pretty solid amount of money just by doing digital adaptations of board games, which is like not a thing that anybody would think that you could do for money, but, hey, it’s there.
Kenny Goodman: Not even I.
How Kenny got into making digital versions of board games for money
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, exactly. I want to ask, um, I want to ask you, how exactly did you, how did this happen? How’d you get into this line of work?
Kenny Goodman: Well, I just fell into it because I was passionate about board games and I wanted to play, and I didn’t have many friends at the time when I was wanting to play physical board games. And so, and the friends I did have on Discord wanted to play board games on Tabletop Simulator, so started playing some games.
And I thought, oh, hey, I’ve got some spare time. I’ll make a game on here that I like. I think the first one’s called Blighted Chronicles, and that was from a print and play, a free print play, on their Kickstarter back in like 2018. And I just DMed them saying, “hey, made your game on here. If you want to promote it, you’re welcome to, if not, thanks for giving me a free print and play file, it’s a really great game.”
And then from there on, I think it was only like six or seven months or so until like, I got a email from Steeped Games. I think they’ve changed their name now, but it’s for the game Chai.
And they were like, oh, “hey, can you make our game in Tabletop Simulator? We dunno what we’re doing on the platform,” I think, or some of along lines of that.
And we also, at that point realized that, oh wait, we can do these 3-D rooms. We’ve got a, I have a friend who can, who can do these 3-D room designs. And then it was just from there on, it was like instantly fit something that, oh, wait, we’ve got a market here. We’ve got something that we can market. We can even market your product even better than anyone else on the platform right now, because of these rooms and the way we’re designing the Workshop pages, which is the storefront, or a mod. And yeah, it, I think after that we got through with a bigger name publisher called, uh, everyone in the board game industry will probably know them as Garfield Games, which has had a massive success.
How Kenny was eventually able to start creating digital board games as a full-time job
Kenny Goodman: And then yeah, it just came, kept rolling on and rolling on. And it’s just like, oh wait, this is working. And then it, I was working as a waiter at the time. Just earning my pay, you know, paying rent and stuff like that. Didn’t really consider this to be a, you know, something I actually, viably use as a life source of income. But once the pandemic happened, I had to leave the job and in doing so, I took it on full board and was like, wait, I am, it is working.
It is actually working, which is insane. And I don’t exactly remember the exact date of when I started taking this properly seriously or the year, but it was very nice to, like, be given that opportunity, that scary opportunity to take it on fully, but it’s, it’s worked out well.
Brandon Rollins: So for you, is it, is it just Overboard Games and writing Weird Marketing Tales posts?
Kenny Goodman: Well, yeah, that’s kind of it right now. I mean, yeah, it it’s, it’s those two things. I mean, I’ve, I’ve had a consideration of, there’s been a coffee shop over, down the road. I’m like, maybe I should go get a, another, a part-time job, but man, it’s, I’m still getting pulled in. I’m still getting clients. I’m still getting, I’m still, I’m still able to be weird and write marketing tales. So, you know, it’s, haven’t had the need to be pulled into a regular job yet.
A hard, but reliable way to get noticed for the first time
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. That’s wild. I, what speaks to me is that you just, you did free stuff for fun, that was kind of technical and kind of complicated. But eventually it just caught on because people noticed what you were doing. Uh, obviously that first person that you reach out, like that’s a big part of it, but eventually it sounds like people just start coming to you.
Like they come to you for the most part.
Kenny Goodman: Well, you say that I would’ve loved that, but this was still early days. You gotta consider this was early days. The Tabletop Simulator. Was a period of time, like the dark ages of digital implementations before anyone really took them seriously. And so it was mostly me reaching out, doing cold emails, over cold emails to get people interested, and most people were interested.
And that’s what was so interesting. It was like, there was a clear interest for this market, but no one had done the emails or contacted them. And with me being able to show them like, “hey, look at this 3-D room, look at all the components and what we can do.” And they’re like, “oh wait,” that I, I assume in their head, they said, “oh wait, we can actually hire you to do these things that we, that they don’t know what to do with the platform.”
Brandon Rollins: I, think, I think it’s interesting that you went from just doing stuff for free. And then eventually doing cold outreach, but taking money for it. And then you built up a reputation, a around the same time that the pandemic got really, really bad. And, and that is when people started reaching out to you, which you still do some cold outreach, I think. But, uh, from what you’ve told me…
Kenny Goodman: yeah. I still do cold outreach because it’s there, there feels like you can turn over a rock and there’s a hundred publishers under it, and you don’t know who’s gonna say yes to you. Um, and there’s always new games coming out all the time. So I, even I miss games that, you know, get popped up on Tabletop Simulator like, “oh wait, that game existed?”
And that publisher wanted it on the platform. I had no idea. So because it’s just, it’s just that intense. And there’s only, I think three of us, realistically, who are professional on this platform, and even then it’s just like, you’ll see, occasionally publishers will do it themselves. And hey, that’s awesome too, because it shows that you are caring enough about the platform to, um, actively learn.
And if you script it as well, that you’ve actively learned how to script them on to like that’s even better. Like, I find those people, um, equally awesome, even though I’m not getting paid.
Kenny’s favorite project: Merchant’s Cove
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, so, what, what do you think your, your favorite mod to work on has been?
Kenny Goodman: Oh, I figure one has been Merchant’s Cove.
Merchant’s Cove is great. Fantastic game. First of all, you have all these unique factions who have their own little mini game that you have to complete to play the game. So you have like a pirate ship, which has a spinning wheel and ships that go round a board.
You have a blacksmith that’s using dice to forge things like weapons and stuff to sell on the market. You’ve got the Alchemist, who’s making potions using marbles and, like, there’s obviously, these are wonderful little boats on the board too. So there’s got these, all these beautiful, like what will be feeling amazing tactile elements within the physical realm.
And we’ve brought them in as best as we can do and make you feel like it’s there digitally.
Brandon Rollins: That’s cool. Like custom 3-D components and everything?
Kenny Goodman: Custom 3-D components, physical based ramps, recessed boards. So, you know, the boards that have like the holes in and things that you can, we drop that you can do those two. And it’s those details that we love and are passionate to do because we love playing board games as much as we love making them.
And so when we get to, when we get to sit down and play these games in the future, it is just a joy because we know we’ve put the effort in to make it this much fun. We can, we could also see it too. And everyone loads of people see it too. And, and tell us like at conventions and things saying, and the publishers tell us too, like how many times people have like, said, “wow, this room looks great.”
They haven’t even played the game yet. And they’re saying how good the room is, like, they, and we’re not talking about The Room, the film that is a film, but it’s a great article which you can read.
Brandon Rollins: I, I should probably link that in the transcript.
How to know Tabletop Simulator mods are actually worth it
Kenny Goodman: Exactly. But yeah, we, it’s just knowing, we know it’s working, even though the statistics, we can’t obviously show and that is a killer, but I would love to show the statistics saying like, a 3-D room and a table and all this kind of just jazz against something that’s not, like I’d love to actually show the physical bounce rates, impressions, um, likes, dislikes, you know, all that gorgeous stuff, but Hey, we just know from word of mouth, at least from publishers and players, it’s working.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, definitely. And, and you can, you can definitely feel it, even if the analytics aren’t there. I mean, I’ve been in the board game industry. I, I started designing games in ’16 and I really moved primarily into marketing in general, not just games, but in general, around ’19 or ’20. And even at that time, before the pandemic, you knew Tabletop Sim was making waves.
Kenny Goodman: Definitely so.
Advice Kenny would give to someone just starting a business
Brandon Rollins: So what advice would you give to somebody who’s starting a business based on your experience?
Kenny Goodman: Well, passion.
Just genuinely have a passion for it, for the start and have the drive to push that passion to where it needs to go. Because you can, you will end up slowly chipping away at your passion as you realize how hard it may be. Because when you love something so much and you keep doing it and over and over again, and you’re trying to make money out of it now.
It’s not everything. Some things are obviously a bit easier than others to make businesses out of. But for any case regarding that, you have to realize that if you don’t keep your passion up and it does chip away at you fully and you start hating it, then you will definitely fall flat and possibly burn out and quit.
And the way I combat that, for anyone who’s making a business, doing what they love is that understand that you may not be able to do it as much as you want. In the future, especially like playing board games. Like, I make more board games and I play them. Now I write more than I read, you know, those kind of things, but I’m okay with that because I still love, and I’m really passionate about doing these things in business and that’s what you need to keep in your head too.
Brandon Rollins: I think that’s really important. You have to love at least some aspect of what you’re doing. Like even if it isn’t necessarily the work itself, like the impact or something, there has to be something that fuels you to do all the hard things that you need to do.
Kenny Goodman: Absolutely. And that, that fuel is not infinite. And you can, especially if it’s hard, especially if it doesn’t work out or it’s taking multiple iterations, it can really weigh on your brain. Like I obviously had the business where it just, it just rolled and I was very lucky that it just kept rolling and rolling and rolling.
And I had my side, my, my waiter job. So I wasn’t ever worried about it, not making money and I never considered it until post pandemic to actually be a viable business. Um, and I think that’s, what’s also key in running a small business is that, especially a creative one in my field, it’s obviously not gonna apply to things like selling products and stuff like that.
Drop shipping and other things in that degree. But anything creative wise, you have to realize that, like, it may not be a life source eventually, but if you want it to make it a life source income, then it’s, it will become your life.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah.
Kenny Goodman: And you, and that’s hard. That’s hard fuel to burn because. You do something for so many years and you may want to change, but if you realize now it’s your only income, what do you do then?
The importance of finding a really specific niche
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, I’ll tell you the one thing I learned from watching your business grow is just find the tightest niche you can and serve it really, really well. And you have done a much better job of this than I have in anything that I’ve tried by the way. You found the most specific thing you could and you went really, really freaking hard on it.
Like the market was there, the demand was there and you’re like, all right, I’m gonna provide a service that just isn’t being provided right now for people who really want it. And like, that’s you combine that and some base level of passion for what you’re doing. I mean, that’s a really powerful combination. A lot of people are afraid to start small cuz they think they’ll have to stay small, but they don’t.
Cuz you can always expand once you get the essential level of power that you get just from starting something small. Um, now speaking of expanding…
Kenny Goodman: yeah. Yeah?
What’s next for Kenny and Overboard Games?
Brandon Rollins: So what’s next for Overboard Games?
Kenny Goodman: I wanna to just finally touch on that, just that final bit, like yeah, it was, it was niche. I had zero idea. It was going to be viable, but funny enough, it was. And I think that’s also as a small business, is that like, even if you don’t think it’s viable yet, keep working on it and it may become viable, or you may just hit that one client who actually tells you, oh yeah, this is exactly what we want.
And then you’re good to go. So it, no matter how weird or wild your idea is, there’s gonna be someone who’s gonna purchase it probably. Um, what’s next. I want to, um, expand the Overboad Games brand to go fully overboard. Um, if you’ve seen my writing on the Weird Marketing Tales, I have an eclectic means of, uh, thought process, uh, to put it lightly.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. Yeah, no kidding, anime and Bond and Formula One and God. I mean, you’ve you did gaming supplements the other day.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, this is my mind guys. I am a, I, I have everything in my… I have so many interests and so many things that I can write about and that have only been heightened thanks to being able to write so much about this.
Brandon Rollins: I’ve created a freakin’ monster. That’s what I’ve done.
Kenny Goodman: You’ve created something here and I don’t know where it’s gonna go, but it’s, sky’s the limits, right? But yeah, I wanna expand the Overboard brand to a full-fledged media marketing company. Like I want to be able to do everything and talk to like, I wanna be a host. I wanna talk to people. I wanna talk to musicians. I love music so much. And I, uh, love listening to new artists. I wanna talk to them.
I wanna, I love watching films and TV. So I wanna write about those and be analytical. Cause I have an analytical mind. I also love food and drinks. So being able to go to a restaurant or something like that and being paid to do press, that would be incredible. Obviously, this is Overboard to the nth degree. Obviously, I’m going to start refining things and figure out exactly what I can put my time into, um, and what is gonna be viable to make content out of.
But that’s basically it is, I have an overboard brain and it needs a site to be completely unfiltered and unrestricted. And just doing it, just you wanna write about, um, cakes in space because yeah, sure. How do you make a cake in space?
You know what I mean? It’s just, that’s my brain. I just came up with that on the spot, came out on the spot, you know, and it’s just that’s me. And that’s how I, where I wanna take the business in the future.
Brandon Rollins: That’s gonna be awesome. I can’t wait to see what you do.
Kenny Goodman: I’m, I’m terrified, too, mate.
Brandon Rollins: Honestly, I think you’d make for a good YouTuber there. Um, especially like, you know, the ones who just do something unusual every week or two, like, you’d be really good at that.
Kenny Goodman: Yeah, I think that’s that’s content I’d like to do. Yeah. I’d like to do more YouTube content. That would be fun. cause I have a passion in video editing.
Brandon Rollins: Yeah. You and me both. We better learn Premiere Pro.
Kenny Goodman: Man, Adobe and creative people. We can have a, you can have a whole podcast based on that alone.
Where you can find Kenny online
Brandon Rollins: Yeah, pretty much. So, where can people find you online?
You can do youtube.com/overboardgames. You will see, I haven’t made a video in over a year. What you can find on there is my Tabletop Simulator tutorials as well as some interviews with game designers, something which I’d love to do more of. So if you are a game designer and listening to this, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to talk to you about your games.
Brandon Rollins: Well, thank you for introducing us to all those channels links are going to be in the show notes as well as within the transcript if you find this on the blog as well.
And at this point, if you are just tuning in, first of all, it’s the end of the podcast. Like you need to rewind like a bunch right now, but just in case, this has been the Weird Marketing Tales Podcast.
My name is Brandon Rollins. Thank you very, very much for listening in. We really appreciate it. If you would like to find us online, you can find us as either WeirdMarketingTales or WeirdMarketers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and YouTube. All those links will be in the transcript as well as the show notes.
If you liked this podcast, take a moment to leave five stars on Apple Podcasts. We really appreciate it. And also take a moment to subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts. Thank you again. We really appreciate you listening.