Welcome to an interview for the series Game Credits Who’s Who (#GameCreditsWW). Ever read the credits page of a game you enjoy and wonder about the various positions listed? Would you like to work in the game industry someday but are not sure how some of the positions work? This Monday series will take a personal look into those positions and introduce you to real people doing those very jobs in the game industry. This week we have a very timely post for Gen Con 2016, let me introduce you to Greg Spence, CEO of The Broken Token. If you are an avid tabletop gamer, then you likely know the inserts TBT offers.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do as a CEO of a game accessory provider.
Hi! My name’s Greg, and I’m the CEO of The Broken Token. I’m a gamer, a creator, an entrepreneur, and I guess you can call me problem solver. I’ve always enjoyed finding a thing that could be made better, or more efficient in some way, and coming up with solutions. Before I started The Broken Token, I was a computer programmer, and worked on several big MMO games. It was that industry that introduced me to friends who brought me into the board gaming hobby. I spend a lot of my time running the business now, but I started as the original organizer designer, and still get a little time here and there to work on some designs. A lot of my time is spent talking with publishers and other people in the industry to come up with new and interesting products to add to our line.
How did you become a CEO of a game accessory provider?
I started the company about three years ago, when a couple of table top game accessories I made just for fun gained popularity on BGG. I had recently joined a local maker place, and was using the flatbed laser machines to cut wood. One of the projects I tinkered with was a box organizer to sit inside the King of Tokyo box and hold all the cards and bits better than plastic baggies. I posted photos of it on BGG, and the response was great. It turned out a lot of gamers were frustrated with the lack of organization offered in our table top game boxes. With the idea of starting a small business to provide these accessories and more to my fellow gamers, I launched a Kickstarter project. The product I launched was the Case for Humanity, a wooden card holder to hold Cards Against Humanity, or any card games with abundant cards. It was successful enough that I could buy my own laser, and over the course of about six months, most of the orders were created and fulfilled from my garage. Since then, we’ve grown and grown, adding dozens more organizers and storage solutions to our product catalog, along with nine more lasers (so far), 20 employees, two warehouse buildings with over 7000 sq ft of space, and more. We’ve been successful thanks to the excitement, encouragement, and support of the gaming community.
Share with us some of your recent projects.
Recently we’ve been working on the new officially licensed Codenames organizer, and a special part of that project was securing the right to make an exclusive promo card for Codenames Pictures that can only be acquired by purchasing our organizer. We’re really proud of the new card art, and it was a fun project to work with the guys at CGE, as well as learn a little more about printing game cards. Prior to that, we launched our new Craftsman Series of organizers, with the Big Damn Crate which is compatible with Firefly, our Biohazard Containment Unit that works with Pandemic, and the Deepwater Crate, which can replace the cardboard boxes for Lords of Waterdeep. These boxes are all really nice and can be stained and customized by the customer for an even more personalized finish. We’ve got a few more things ready to launch when we get back from Gen Con, too, and then we’ll just keep rolling them out as quickly as we can.
What is your greatest frustration or pet peeve as a CEO of a game accessory provider?
The biggest frustration is what keeps us in business… the lack of organization in game boxes! 🙂 Some of them have nothing, some make a good effort, but almost all of them fall short of what’s really needed. Even the really good ones usually get outdated as expansions come out for those games. So we don’t complain too much, but I’m sure a lot of people can agree with that frustration. A lot of us are collectors, and we want these collections to display nicely.
How can readers learn more about you or contact you?
We pride ourselves on our customer service, so you can always reach us via email@example.com. We’re also available via phone during our regular business hours, and on social media most days, including weekends.
Website – www.thebrokentoken.com
Twitter – @tht_gaming
Public Facebook – facebook.com/thebrokentoken
Youtube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/thebrokentoken
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram – instagram.com/thebrokentoken