2017-2018 Year End Report for Jellyfish Game Studios

Cody Thompson Icon Blog
May 30, 2019
Cody Thompson
Note: This was written before we rebranded to Jellyfish Game Studios, but I am leaving it as is in its original written state.

Behind the scenes look at Gold Nugget Games operations


I’m Cody Thompson, boardgame fanatic trying to make cool things that people will love.

Inspired by Steve Jackson Games and Stonemaier Games, I have decided that I would do something similar to their yearly “shareholder” reports for Gold Nugget Games. While not nearly as exciting as those two amazing companies, one of my goals from the start of Gold Nugget Games was to be as open and transparent as possible.

While Gold Nugget Games is owned 100% by me (Cody Thompson), and most likely won’t ever have shareholders in the traditional sense, I will define a shareholder as anyone that has interest in Gold Nugget Games succeeding (So hopefully you).

While I officially started Gold Nugget Games in October of 2017, the majority of this report will be about 2018 though some things I mention may have actually occurred at the end of 2017.

2017–18 Revenue and Expenses

We are still a pre revenue company so not many exciting numbers to report here, but we are hoping that changes in 2019 when we should be launching our first of hopefully many Kickstarter projects. While we expect a very humble 1st campaign, it will feel great to get our first revenue on the books.

40% : Art and independent contractors
37% : Conventions
23% : Prototypes and other miscellaneous Costs
0% : My salary

2018 Team Stats

426 : Twitter Followers
148 : Instagram Followers
87 : Facebook Fans
59 : Newsletter Subscribers
13 : Playtester Subscribers
~110 : Game Submissions
12,728,054 : Website Alexa Rank (avg. 7 page views per day)

2018 Conventions Attended

  • Orca Con
    Small but good for my first ever gaming convention, attended some panels and made some industry friends.
  • ECCC
    Huge convention that I only spent 1 day at and a few hours of that was interviewing for my new day job here in Seattle.
  • Dragonflight
    About the same size as Orca Con, mainly hung out with industry friends and played games.
  • ETX
    Super small but had a few good panels and also the Luci award which my friends made up the 3 finalists. Also made more industry friends and convinced them to move to the Seattle area.
  • GenCon
    Convention insanity. Took ~65 game submissions, bought a duffle bag full of games, got to meet some of my industry heros, and hung out with friends.
  • SHUX
    Absolute favorite convention. Did ~35 hours of playtesting/demoing of our games in a 3 day span and hung out with friends.

What we did in 2018

At a high level we were just heads down working on games and learning the industry getting ready for our first Kickstarter launch (Vamp on the Batwalk). At a bit of a lower level, we attended a few conventions, networked with playtesters, artists, designers, manufactures, other publishers etc.

Biggest challenges in 2018

  • Wearing so many hats
    Manufacturing, shipping, development, marketing, design, social media, illustration etc. all have an insane amount to learn to do any of them well.
  • Learning how to travel like an adult
    I didn't travel a ton growing up, and had to learn how to do things like fly (which I am terrified of) and book lodging in order to attend out of state conventions.
  • Moving cities and getting a new job
    When I moved to the Seattle area (Redmond to be specific) and learned how to balance my new but more demanding day job, it caused a nearly 3 month hiatus from publishing. On the plus side though, I am now close to the Seattle design community, which I would argue is the best in the world.

What we plan to do in 2019

  • Launch our first Kickstarter!
    This is the main step to becoming a “real” company.
  • Up our social media game
    I love interacting people online so I want to do more of this.
  • Create a blog
    I’ve gotten so much value from other peoples blogs and would love to return the favor.
  • Keep the website more up to date
    This is something that tends to lag behind on my many hats that I wear.
  • Create tools/systems to help streamline my workflow
    Being one person it gets really hard to manage what tasks are the most important at the moment and using tools to streamline these tasks should help with that.
Special Thanks to all of you who have followed us on this journey so far, and to all of you that will in the future!

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Posted by:
Cody Thompson
Date Published:
February 28, 2021