Birth of a Board Game | Travis Hancock & Holly Hancock | TEDxHilliard

July 31, 2020

Get a glimpse into the world of a couple who are full-time board game inventors. Learn how they: 1) create simple mechanics with intriguing choices; 2) raise the stakes and get people invested in the outcome; and 3) find balance between player autonomy with luck in the overarching narrative of a game. Facade Games has sold over 80,000 copies of their games, earned more than $1 million in revenue, and have been featured on CNBC. Travis designs the game concepts, while Holly takes charge of the graphic design and overall presentation of the games. Board game designer

Board game designer and former 4th grade teacher. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


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  • I just found out about Tortuga 1667 and put an order through after I looked at a play through. I love the simplicity of the game yet the fact that it's brimming with real social strategy. You aren't playing against the game you are directly playing against your fellow players and tactically tryin your best to win for your team. I love it 😍 great job from two great designers

    Stephen Smith July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply
  • Ay
    Watching this for merit badge

    Mech_Lor July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply
  • Thanks for sharing this, you guys. My introduction to Facade Games was the Deadwood 1876 Kickstarter. We really like the game as a family! One thing Holly said about the game creation process really resonated with me. The fact that it is a subtractive process is pretty similar to the songwriting discipline. After musical and lyrical ideas are tossed into the pot, it really is about taking away anything and everything that doesn't really serve the song.

    Jonathan Blycker July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply
  • wait they're working on nymber 5? what is their 4th game

    NonConDon July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply
  • I bought their latest game on kickstarter. The experience couldn't have been better! The updates were clear and timely, keeping me up to date on the status.

    vandrewsan July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply
  • Very cool Travis & Holly!!!! Congrats!

    Citrus Architect July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply
  • These guys are great. They've raised over $1MILLION through Kickstarter campaigns! … for board games!

    Brandon Hightower July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply
  • inspiring, creative minds! awesome. is that a byu cap and gown?!

    Zac Stewart July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply
  • Way to go guys! It was so fun being part of one of those test groups!

    K.E. Crookston July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply
  • I loved the couple's TEDx Talk. What really hooked me was the thumbnail, so intriguing. I'll consider buying one of their games. Nice job, you two!

    Khaliah July 31, 2020 7:00 am Reply

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