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Any publishers on the site? Can we talk to you directly?

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tomi71
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Joined: 07/28/2008

Any publishers on the site? Can we talk to you directly?

Email is slow. Is there any chance of transparency?

I feel that email is something that has no response nowadays. It´s basically a spam if no-one knows you.

What are your experiences? Game designers are underdogs and sometimes publishers don´t even bother to answer.

How do you feel about these issues?

I think it´s easier to communicate if you are at least at the same continent.

I still think that there is a lot to improve with these kind of things. There is a LOT of waiting in the game industry business.

For example many publishers think that you shouldn´t show your game to many publishers at the same time. Let´s see what this means: If a publisher checks your game and it takes say 3 months and an answer is no in a whole year there would be only 4 publishers to see your game and this is an optimistic value.

Game industry is great but I guess game designer is a profession where you must have really good "butt muscles".

How do you handle these kind of "professional" issues?

Or is this only a hobby?

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
I hear ya

tomi71 wrote:
I feel that email is something that has no response nowadays. It´s basically a spam if no-one knows you.

What are your experiences? Game designers are underdogs and sometimes publishers don´t even bother to answer.

This has happened to me too. It is frustrating when you e-mail and no one replies. This should never happen with a profesional business it's just bad service.

tomi71 wrote:
For example many publishers think that you shouldn´t show your game to many publishers at the same time. Let´s see what this means: If a publisher checks your game and it takes say 3 months and an answer is no in a whole year there would be only 4 publishers to see your game and this is an optimistic value.

I have talked to several publishers about this. There are two parts to the problem.

1. Most publishers are looking at many games at once and developing many others. They can't stop what they are doing to focus just on your game and they may have to play your game over several times with different groups that don't get together all the time. Some only will have the right people together once a month or less to give the thumbs up or down.

2. Because they may be devoting dozens of man hours to just deciding if they are interested they don't want the rug pulled out from under them. Time is money and margins are tight in this industry.

tomi71 wrote:
Game industry is great but I guess game designer is a profession where you must have really good "butt muscles".

What you need is persistence and flexibility. Every publisher will be different in how they do things. Some will keep in contact with you; some won't tell you they changed the rules until the game has gone to the printer. To get published may require compromises on your part.

Very few game designers make their living from it. Still it’s not a hobby to them if they don’t.

EDIT---

Just to note my first rejection letter was recieved in 2004 from HABA. They were very promp and professional in reviewing my game. After that shopped it around to other publishers. The game in question is now under contract and expected to hit the market in 2010.

guildofblades
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Here is the thing.

Here is the thing. Unsolicited e-mails are an unprofessional medium of communication.

Any publisher with a solid internet presence is going to be recieving a LOT of e-mail. I personally deal with 1000 to 1500 e-mails every day. Now, I'll grant, 70-80% of them are spam and get deleted quickly. But the remainder sure can chew up time trying to respond to them all.

Realistically we can't. So when deciding which to respond to, clients obviously get top priority. As do friends and family members. Then potential clients and then various business associates. But the guy who e-mails us saying "I have a great idea for a game. How much will you pay me for it" without providing any details, they get ignored.

I would say if you want to get a publisher's attention, DON'T use e-mail. Or certainly not just any e-mail. Use e-mail if they have submission guidelines that tell you to use e-mail and follow those guidelines exactly. Otherwise, just like when doing sales, call them and find out who the appropriate contact person is and what is the preferred means of making contact with that person. If you are just shooting into the dark, send a qeuery letter not an e-mail.

Any darn fool can fire away an e-mail with the most minimal amount of effort. Most are nearly nonsensical and do not warrant a response. When facing a flood of such every day, it can be easy for a well written, professional e-mail communication to be lost in the mix, especially if unsolicited or from a person not top on the "must" communicate with list.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

bluepantherllc
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Joined: 07/29/2008
Submissions

How you present yourself and your ideas has everything to do with whether you will get a response. If you're professional about it, you have a much better chance of a response. Check out if the publisher is accepting submissions, what their policy is, what kind of games they publish in the first place. Then target the ones you think you have a good chance with. FInd a mutual friend to make introductions, or make a phone call asking if the publisher would be interested. An unsolicited email for the next big thing can easily get lost in the shuffle.

I made some custom sets of a game for Dralius a few years back. Then later, on we published the same game. This process still took over a year between talking about it and actually releasing the product. I'm glad he was patient throughout the process.

Even though I knew some folks at a large game company fairly well from cons and other events locally, it took a while for them to get back to me (months). And when they did, they asked for patience. And even though one of the folks at that company was a real advocate for one of my submissions, it didn't seem to speed the process along. Frustrating. But when I did hear back, it was very professional. Another company even mailed back my prototype - it had been so long I forgot they had it.

Patience is a virtue. Set a reasonable time limit for a response. Tell a publisher if you are offering it in more than one place. Make a video explaining how to play the game. Do something that stands out. If you don't get a response, then move on to the next publisher. DId I mention patience is a virtue?

Now a few years later, as a small publisher with limited time and about 4-6 releases per year (compared to about 15 games already submitted that we'd LIKE to publish) , I find that we send out notes to people asking them to be patient too.

Full circle.

Traz
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Joined: 04/06/2009
just sayin'....

tomi71 wrote:
Game industry is great but I guess game designer is a profession where you must have really good "butt muscles".
Interesting you should mention this - after a similar discussion where I coined the term 'ASS HOURS', I also made a cool icon for it - for use on box covers. Hilarious!
tomi71 wrote:
How do you handle these kind of "professional" issues? Or is this only a hobby?
Why can't it be both? I consider myself a professional game designer - but I can testify to the FACT that my 'status' as a professional only exists within this HOBBY.

Check the posts of every other guy on here. You will be amazed at the number of folks [myself included] who have designed [fill in variable number here] completed games ready for the box - but can't get them published for a bizarre number of reasons too diverse to go into.

We're more like authors, or screenwriters... many of us have one or two published credits to our name, but we still have to spend all our time trying to get anyone in the industry to take a look at our next screenplay, or read a chapter from our next book. Producers and editors who are besieged constantly by hundreds others just like us...

Fortunately, we have a few advantages over those guys because we have something they don't - we have direct access to the public! Take your games to local Conventions and get invaluable feedback - and possible exposure to The Big Guys.

But don't expect any quick responses....

BTW - if anybody wants to see the ASS HOURS gamebox icon, email me and you can display it here... I still can't figure out how to post images in the middle of a post... :-/

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Really good advice.

bluepantherllc wrote:
How you present yourself and your ideas has everything to do with whether you will get a response. If you're professional about it, you have a much better chance of a response.

100% true, including the parts I didn't quote. Really good advice.

bluepantherllc wrote:
Even though I knew some folks at a large game company fairly well from cons and other events locally, it took a while for them to get back to me (months).

(*snip!*)

Now a few years later, as a small publisher with limited time and about 4-6 releases per year (compared to about 15 games already submitted that we'd LIKE to publish) , I find that we send out notes to people asking them to be patient too.

Full circle.


What a perfect example. Thanks so much for sharing this, because it's so useful.

truekid games
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Joined: 10/29/2008
guildofblades wrote:Here is

guildofblades wrote:
Here is the thing. Unsolicited e-mails are an unprofessional medium of communication.

that's very dependent upon the professional in question. quite a few publishers state their primary form of contact is email. i'd say it's more based on how well the person receiving the emails can handle it.

Quote:
Any publisher with a solid internet presence is going to be recieving a LOT of e-mail. I personally deal with 1000 to 1500 e-mails every day. Now, I'll grant, 70-80% of them are spam and get deleted quickly. But the remainder sure can chew up time trying to respond to them all.

this illustrates the point- i work at a technical helpdesk, i co-ordinate 10+ external vendors with the multiple departments of our client, as well as dealing with my own corporation's emails. despite that, i spend less than 10% of my day handling emails... and NONE of them are spam (well, maybe a couple of the corporate announcements count). it's all about knowing how to handle the workload. (as an example, when i sat down today after being off for 3 days, ONE of my vendor inboxes was at 4800 new emails.)

and the way the people i'm dealing with via email respond also varies greatly- there are vendors that i don't expect a response from for over a week, and there are ones who respond within the hour. this disparity even occurs with different people within the same vendor. some people just handle their email better than others. this is the same everywhere- so while i agree that you can't expect companies to respond quickly, the "omg we get so many emails" defense isn't really necessary. some people/companies just don't use email either as frequently and/or as efficiently as others, and that's not really going to change.

but as blue panther pointed out, be as professional and succinct as possible in your emails- or else they'll just get deleted with the spam.

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