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Tradewars - Homeworld: about publishing!

What sort of *frustrates* me is how well my game is perceived by other game designers and how "neutral" Publishers seem to be.

I was asked to "pitch" the game and came up with: "it's a mash-up of Dominion, San Juan and Magic: the Gathering".

Yes - that sums up the game pretty well. But it's not like the game has 400 cards (like Dominion). It only has 99 cards. Roles used are unique and different that San Juan (plus there is no first come - first served aspect). But on each turn, player's select one (1) role. Lastly combat mechanics were *inspired* by Magic. But we had to refine it for the game - so we added dice and some luck - since strategy only was *boring*. Plus with the "configuration" aspect of the game, you can have up to 500 different starship configurations (and it's like having a deck with 500 creatures)!

All that is how "I see" the game (how it was designed - and how each part fits with the other).

But what *frustrates* me the most is the ECONOMICS of the game. Please let me explain:

  • We drove DOWN the RETAIL price to somewhere between $25-$35 per game set.
  • The game is sold in 1 Player Game Sets. What this does is lower the cost to buy the game and we even provide a solitary scenario for one player game play.
  • Next the game was designed using Scenarios and right off the bat we talk about *expansions* for the game. We have not designed them - YET. But I do have some ideas...
  • The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of a four (4) player game is higher than your average game. So it's about $100-$140 which is GREAT for Brick & Mortar stores - because they can sell more of the game and make more because of more sales.
  • Lastly I have priced the game's production: under $5.00. And I'm certain US publishers can get an even lower cost to manufacture - since this is dealing with a US Broker - who will deal with China.

All these points make for a game that is *interesting* for not just gamers but also the Brick & Mortar Store owners and publishers likewise. I just don't understand how this *good* game is struggling to find someone to publish it! :(

MOST IMPORTANTLY: if a Publisher wants to take the game - and TRY to improve it... I'm ALL FOR THAT. Maybe they can improve certain aspects of the game or such. I'm OPEN to having the game looked at. I want a Publisher that will be interested in producing EXPANSIONS for the game.

And so the process of trying to find a publisher has been *very* challenging.

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Update: *Blind* Playtesting

We hope to have some *blind* playtesting done early next year (for January 2015). This will put us in a better position to show how our game has been playtested and this is what *blind* playtesters have to say about our game and our rulebook.

We are looking forwards to this - because that's what some Publishers wants: ratings by people who have played the game "without coaching"!

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blog | by Dr. Radut