limited and numbered edition
of 1936 games
[last update: 2010.05.08]
The idea of developing a card game with the Spanish Civil War as a theme came to me in the Spring of 2000. From there I started to develop rules and search for images for some years without really knowing my destination. What I did know was that I didn't want to create a game centered on the military aspects of the war, but rather take advantage of its visual potential through photography and posters available from that period of history, offering a global and structured approach. Finally, in 2006 –and after endless hours and effort– I decided to publish it myself. The main reason for self-publishing was that I could have total control over my work. I also decided to finance it with my personal savings and not to ask for any kind of public funding (subventions) because I didn't want the game to have any political interpretation (I don't think I'd have gotten one, but I didn't even try). And on the last working day of 2006, 1936 guerra civil was commercially released.
In these years since I published the game I've learnet a few things.
That the market in Spain for this type of games is, unfortunately, much more smaller than what I initially thought. Selling 1000 games is a great achievement. And in round figures I did twice that amount.
That self-publishing is not worth it. My low margins (I'd have to sell most of the games just for break even) forced me to be my own distributor and I have to spend a lot of time and effort in promotion and after sales support. I once did the exercise and if the same money I put into the game I had spent on state bonds and waited 10 years doing nothing, I would've gotten more money than what I will get in the case of selling out. And that because my time and my effort are free, otherwise even if the game sold out it would be in the red.
That the game is even better than what I initially thought. I could see this after having the opportunity of showing the game to many people and see their reaction (enthusiastic in quite a few occasions).
That the language barrier is by no means insurmountable as it may look at first glance. I was able to play with some people with rudimentary or no knowledge of Spanish and with a bit of help they were able to enjoy the game.
That the game is not as complicated as it looks at first. It has a learning curve that requires some initial effort to get familiar with the terminology, the icons and the mechanics, but after that everything runs smoothly and the game shows it's really fluid. There are those who even told me the game was simple. I would describe the game as deep, elaborate and multi-layered, but not complicated.
That the media have almost no interest in board games, with great ignorance on the subject. I initially thought that my work would attract attention because it's common to see news around the Spanish Civil War. But I've almost gone unnoticed for the media. Perhaps if I had done a more controversial game I would have gotten more spotlight, but it was always clear to me that the right thing to do was being as rigorous to history as possible.
I still think there are 1936 buyers for my game out there, even if finding them/you is taking me longer and more effort than I initially expected. Ten years is too much to work on this (too much time, too much effort, too much money). I don't regret having published the game but if I could turn back time I would reconsider. At least I'd do a few things differently.
If you are a publiser, a distributor or simply a patron and you want to buy from me all the stock I still have left, please let me know (you can see the stock I have left at home by substracting the game figure at the bottom of the index page from 1936).
Finally, I consider I have done not only a good game in terms of mechanics, but that I've also approached the Spanish Civil War from a different and interesting angle. I honestly think 1936 guerra civil is a worthwhile piece of work, as a game and as a work on the Spanish Civil War. Regardless of how this adventure ends, I am proud of it.
Madrid, Spring of 2010 (in the 10th anniversary of the "brilliant idea" of developing the game)