Monthly Archives: January 2019

Big Money

I experimented recently with printing our money at approximately life-size, and it looks really good –  and feels much more like money.

This experiment was inspired by the photograph above from Way out West. Sent to us by Jaqui French, I was intrigued by the dollar bills. Those look like the graphics from our money cards, but printed extra large (they look about life-size).

And I think they look great.

So I thought I’d see what printing life-size money would look like for one of our other games, and as I’ve recently prepared and hosted Death on the Gambia, I thought I’d do that same.

The result is below – I also printed some of the normal money cards as a comparison. Overall I think they look much better.

All the money

If you want to do this yourself, here (at the bottom of this page) are the image files that we have used for all of our games so far. (As we add more, we’ll try and remember to add them to this page. If we forget, please don’t hesitate to nudge us.)

You may wish to print different denominations on different coloured paper – we’ll leave that up to you.

Printing the money

The easiest way we’ve found to print the money is to use the Windows print function – simply select the file, right-click, and select “Print”. This brings up a dialogue box (below). For Death on the Gambia I just selected four copies to a sheet. (I also printed them double sided.)

Money money money!

To download the files just right click on the image and select “save as…”. And enjoy!

Looking back at 2018

It’s the start of a new year, and that means it’s time for our traditional time to reflect on the previous year. We’ve been doing this since 2013.

Hollywood Lies - a Freeform Games murder mystery game

Hollywood Lies

2018 was our best year so far in terms of sales. We sold 28% more games on 2017, and we finally beat our 2011 previous best. No doubt the drop in the exchange rate has helped us there – we’ve never raised our prices in the nearly 17 years we’ve been trading.

However, in terms of things that we planned to do… well, let’s see.

Best selling games

Our best selling games for the year were Way out West, followed by A Will to Murder and A Speakeasy Murder. Clearly our policy of giving away Way out West (or at least, the 10 player version of it) is still working as this isn’t the first time it’s been our best-seller.

Overall our top three games accounted for 28% of our sales (similar to last year).

New and updated games

We finally published The Reality is Murder in 2018. This has been brewing for a while, and Steve is a bit ashamed at how long it has taken to get this far. But now that’s it’s finished, we’re really happy with it.

Murder at Sea - a Freeform Games murder mystery game

Murder at Sea

Freeformgames.com

In 2018 we removed the discussion forums from the site. They weren’t much used, and they were a target for spam. This meant that they required much more maintenance than we were comfortable with.

So we went through the forum and harvested all the great tips and advice and added that to a new set of hints and tips pages. Hopefully these are easier to use than the forum, and if you have a tip of your own please do send it to us via our Contact Us page.

What about our plans for 2018?

Way out West - a Freeform Games murder mystery game

Way out West

We set ourselves some goals for 2018. This is how we did:

  • Improve our website: While we did remove the discussion forum, we didn’t restructure freeformgames.com to make it simpler and more intuitive. We started the planning for that, but we didn’t actually implement any of the changes. At least, not yet.
  • Publish The Food is to Die For: We hoped that this would be ready for 2018, but sadly didn’t make it.
  • Publish The Reality is Murder: Success – we published The Reality is Murder in October 2018.
  • Publish Murder on the Istanbul Express: Again, we hoped this would be ready for 2018, but we didn’t make it in time.

So of our four goals we one solid success and one partial success (improving the website). We failed our other two goals.

Plans for 2019

Our plans for 2019:

  • Improve our website: We’ve started the planning for improving the website to make it easier to navigate, and in 2019 we’ll make those changes. (Although we’ve been saying that for a couple of years now – we need to make it happen instead of just talking about it.)
  • Publish The Food is to Die For and Murder on the Istanbul Express. Both are very close and just need pushing over the line.
  • Update Under the Big Top or Happy Birthday RJ. Both of these games are still in their original format, and need updating to our current format. We haven’t decided which of these to do yet.
  • Improve our use of Facebook: One of our customers recently asked if we were still in business because we hadn’t updated our Facebook page in over two months. That’s not a good sign, so we’re going to make more use of Facebook in 2019.

Brexit – the big unknown

We’re based in the UK and right now, despite being less than three months away, it’s still not clear how Brexit will affect us. That’s because our Government seems to be more concerned with in-fighting than providing a good deal and clarity for business.

From what we can see so far, our customers won’t see any difference, however there will be some additional administrative burden for us, particularly in relation to dealing with EU VAT (as we will lose access to the one-stop service that we currently enjoy as members of the EU). But as we aren’t reliant on a complicated supply chain, that should be about it.

But as I write it seems that there is still all to play for in Brexit-land, so who knows where we will end up.

TL;DR – 2018 was a great success

So overall, 2018 was a great success for Freeform Games, and we’re hoping we can build on that in 2019.

Court in the Act - a Freeform Games murder mystery game

Court in the Act