Behind The Joy

Behind The Joy #1: An Introduction


Recently, we were encouraged to share some of our experiences and thoughts on playing, designing, and publishing board games. We decided to post them here on our website. We hope this blog proves interesting and insightful for all gamers whether you are interested in just taking a peak behind the industry curtain, or you are neck deep in game design. Right now, we are planning to write a short post every week on Friday morning. Here is a list of the topics we will explore (Click the Links below to explore):

2)    Designing Games Using Player Experience…In Theory

3)    Designing Games Using Player Experience…In Practice

4)    Play-Testing Feedback: Getting It & Using It

5)    Conventions: Priceless Resource & Networking

6)    It Works! What Now? (Pitch or Publish?)

7)    Pitching For Success

8)    Interacting With Your Publisher

9)    Self-Publishing: Choose Your Own Adventure

10) The Details: Art, Marketing, Production, & Fulfillment

11) Stand Out From the Crowd While Crowd-Funding!

12) Cracking the Distribution Nut

13) All Systems Go For Launch


Before we dive in, we wanted to tell you a little more about us. We are a husband/wife design/publishing team. We started designing games in 2012, and have 2 games “finished.” Our first game was picked up for publication by a smaller company, and has not yet been printed. After pitching our second game to publishers, we elected to create our company and self-publish Commissioned. We just finished the Kickstarter campaign, and are pleased to report that 443 backers helped us raise $22,891. Our company is called Chara Games. Chara is the ancient Greek word for enduring Joy. Our mission is to build games that create joy by developing relationships with God and people. Our line of games explores the tensions inherent in the Christian life. We want to make fun, high-quality games that allow people of all faith backgrounds will enjoy.

Commissioned is a 2-6 player, historically-themed, cooperative board game with a simple deck-building mechanic that plays in 1 hour. Players are the Apostles of the early Christian church, but no knowledge of Christianity is required to play. Throughout the game they work together to strengthen their individual faith decks, grow the church, collect the New Testament, and overcome trials. The game has 5 scenarios, 2 difficulty levels, and an adversary variant that lets one person play against the team as the Roman Legion. More information about the game is available on Kickstarter, or our company website:

In our own journey, several blogs and websites made the difference in helping us get our successful start. We hope that we can repay some of this by sharing our own story here. To participate in the dialogue, please send your questions, comments, & stories to us through the comment section below, our Facebook page (, or on Twitter (@CharaGames). Next time, we are going to explore our working theory of game design. We look forward to the discussion, and hope you do too!



Pat & Kat Lysaght