[games_access] EcoChains: A card game about climate change

Joey Lee axle_psu at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 26 11:38:34 EDT 2015

Hello IGDA!  My name is Joey Lee, research professor of game design and education at Teachers College, Columbia University and the founder of Jogolabs, a company that creates games for educational and social impact.  I want to tell you all about our project: EcoChains: Arctic Crisis, and I'd also like to ask for advice regarding self-publishing and distributing internationally.
EcoChains is a multiplayer card game about climate change -- it’s about life and the struggle for survival in a rapidly warming Arctic.  You get to build food chains as you learn about Arctic ecosystems and how humans impact the environment (e.g. how carbon pollution and diminishing sea ice can impact Arctic species).  It’s co-developed with Dr. Stephanie Pfirman, environmental science professor and director of the Polar Partnership, which includes a team of game designers, educators and climate science experts at Columbia University.
We’ve already playtested it with hundreds of people from middle school students to adults -- and we’re proud of our game design.  It’s easy and fun to play, family friendly, and teacher and scientist approved.   If you’re interested in this project or want to be one of the first to receive a copy of this unique game, you can check out our Kickstarter campaign here:  http://www.ecochainsgame.com  There's only 4 days left to meet the Kickstarter goal.
As we’re self-publishing this game, we’ve learned a lot about using Amazon fulfillment to distribute the game, and have found it to be useful and convenient in some ways, but not so much in other ways.  For example, Amazon is not letting us ship the game outside the United States, which is quite frustrating.  I was wondering if anyone has any experience with trying to distribute card and board games internationally (with or without Kickstarter) and how to do this in the most efficient way with the least amount of headaches?  Any tips?
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