2019 Year End Report for Jellyfish Game Studios

Cody Thompson Icon Blog
March 28, 2020
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


Continuing on from last year, here is the 2019 yearly review for Gold Nugget Games, here is last years review if you want to check it out. First off, my name is Cody Thompson and Gold Nugget Games is still 100% owned by me (though I am not opposed to bringing on partners in the future).

I started Gold Nugget Games to make cool things that people will love. I write this report at the end of the year to share with you how things are going and as a way to look back and keep myself honest to what we’ve accomplished

Thank you for taking the time to read this, please let me know if there is anything you would like me to share in these reports in the future!

Summary of 2019

So 2019 was a big year for Gold Nugget Games. We launched our first successful Kickstarter, went to quite a few new conventions, and overall increased our network of people in the board game world.

Below you will see our Revenue/Expenses, our Social Stats, Conventions we attended, how we did on the Goals we set for 2019, and what we are looking forward to accomplishing in 2020.

2019 Revenue and Expenses

We are still kind of a pre-revenue company. While we had our first successful Kickstarter for Vamp on the Batwalk we use the accrual method of accounting, which allows us to pay taxes on that revenue in the year that the product will be delivered. So that revenue will show up on our 2020 review. The $20 in revenue comes from creating some custom meeples for another publishers prototype that I made with my laser cutter.

As for expenses, we have been spending like crazy trying to get everything ready for a variety of games that we have in the pipeline. 1–2 of which we are hoping to have on Kickstarter in 2020 after we have delivered Vamp on the Batwalk)

$20 ($0 in 2018)
$15,597 (~$7200 in 2018)
$8,123 (52%) : Miscellaneous Expenses
$4,281 (27%) : Contractors/Royalties
$3,146 (20%) : Conventions/Meetups
$47 (<1%) : Shipping
$0 (0%) : My salary

2019 Social Stats

Updated 3/28/20 (each has a link in case you want to follow along)

855 (+429, +101%) : Twitter Followers
225 (+77, +52%) : Instagram Followers
134 (+47, +54%) : Facebook Followers
57 (New in 2019) : Vamp on the Batwalk FB Group Members
64 (New in 2019) : Flytrap Frenzy FB Group Members
14 (New in 2019) : IGC3 FB Group Members
10 (New in 2019) : TikTok Followers
111 (+52, +88%) : Newsletter Subscribers
17 (+4, +31%) : Playtester Subscribers

So Twitter has continued to be the main (trackable) way I have been interacting with fans. I would actually consider my interactions in various Facebook groups to be almost on par with my Twitter usage, though that is not an easily trackable thing.

One of my goals from last year was to was to continue to improve my social engagement, which I have done, but I could be doing much more. So that continues to be a goal for the foreseeable future.

A new thing we started in 2019 is Facebook groups for each of our announced games, so far we are still finding our way to how best engage with people there, and make it worth their while to be there. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!

Our newsletter subscriber count has grown a bit, but is still insanely small. This is because I haven’t been doing much with it, so I haven’t actively tried to grow it. Look for that to change in 2020

2019 Conventions Attended

  • Orca Con (2nd time)
    This is a very small local con for me. Orca Con is mainly for just hanging out with friends, especially some of my Oregon friends that attend. This year was special though as Jon Simantov the designer for our first game, Vamp on the Batwalk was able to attend, which is the first time I have actually got to meet him in person.
  • Dragonflight (2nd time)
    This con is pretty similar to Orca Con (its even in the same venue), mainly just hung out with friends and played games.
  • ETX (2nd time)
    Super small but is like 5 minutes away from me. This con has good panels and also is home to the Luci award which my core board game friend group has now won the previous 3 years.
  • Gamestorm (1st time)
    Small Portland area con. This one I attended to hang out with friends and see how the con operates to see if it would be worthwhile to attend as an exhibitor in future years
  • Origins (1st time)
    Attended my first Origins, which I helped Carla from Weird Giraffe Games out with her booth. This is the biggest con that I have been able to be part of a booth for. The experience was great and learned a lot during this con on how to manage a booth for a larger convention.
  • GeekGirl Con (1st time)
    This was a super fun experience which my wife and I attended one day of. It was my wife’s first convention and we just hung out with friends and shopped for trinkets at all of the super cool indie booths.
  • PaxWest (2nd-ish time)
    Got a free pass as I was supposed to speak as part of a panel, but timing didn’t work out well for me and I was only able to attend for a few hours on a Friday evening.
  • SHUX (2nd time)
    One of my favorite conventions. Had a table in the Indie Ave while Vamp on the Batwalk was live on Kickstarter. Tons of demos, tons of great food and quality time with friends. This is a must go to convention for me.
  • PaxUnplugged (1st time)
    This was my first time getting to go to PaxU which I have been wanting to do. The opportunity arose where I was able to help some friends with their Fantastic Factories booth. Similar to origins, this was a great experience to learn how to run a booth, we also sold out of Fantastic Factories so that was great.

Review of 2019 Goals

  • Launch our first Kickstarter! (Success)
    This is by far the biggest accomplishment of 2019 (and probably my life) we successfully funded Vamp on the Batwalk on Kickstarter! Now it was a very humble campaign, but we did it! :)
  • Up our social media game (Success Kinda?)
    So while I was more active on social media and grew all of our channels, I didn’t have any concrete targets to hold myself accountable to, and there is much more that I could have done
  • Create a blog (Big Fail)
    Really dropped the ball on this one. Writing isn’t my strong suit and I kept putting this off until it eventually became a back burner task, then eventually was forgotten about. Tons of respect for all the people able to keep a consistent blog going.
  • Keep the website more up to date (Fail, but learned a lot)
    So I decided I was going to “stick it to the man” and take my website off of Squarespace and learn how to make a website completely from scratch. This has been a huge (and probably very stupid) undertaking. I have learned a lot, but progress on the website has been extremely slow. I'm probably at a crossroads of putting it back on a website creation service, or hiring someone to help me build the website from scratch.
  • Create tools/systems to help streamline my workflow (mild success)
    This has been a slow and steady improvement. I have tried lots of different software's out for task and team management, as well as built a few spreadsheets to help me manage other things. I am now using Trello to manage tasks, and created a Slack to keep in better contact with designers and other independent contractors that im working with.

Goals for 2020

  • Deliver Vamp on the Batwalk on time
    This is the main thing we need to do to start GNG down the path of being a respected publishing company.
  • Launch our 2nd and be ready for our 3rd Kickstarter Launch
    This is a must to continue to grow the company and generate revenue to start making up for our startup costs over the past 2 years so that we can continue to progress all of our other games in development.
  • Fix the Website
    This is going to be crucial now that I will finally have products to sell. If people don’t have a way to support me directly or keep up to date with news, then I am definitely not running a functioning company.
  • Actual Concrete Social Media Goals
    Unlike last year, I want some actual measurable statistics to see where I stand in upping our interactions with fans.
    - 1500 Twitter Followers
    - 500 Instagram Followers
    - 300 Facebook Group Members
    - 500 Newsletter Subscribers
    - 100 TikTok Followers
Special Thanks to all of you who have been following us on this journey so far!

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