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Couple of questions about "barrier to entry" for a new game...

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eekamouse
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Joined: 07/18/2011

So I'm gonna take a stab out into the void here and ask for some advice.

I've got a game I'm developing/designing. I've also got a design group here locally and we are all quite familiar with the game at this point. I have actually been asked, "Hey did you bring your game?", so I became confident enough in the game to start showing it publishers... which I have done and received my first "rejection" notice! Yay!....?

Well, it was actually a very pleasant and encouraging "rejection" notice. Here is a quote from the email response I received. I have bolded my favorite part for self esteem reasons.

Quote:

I don't think the game is bad at all, but the first play through is very difficult to understand. In order to make relevant decisions you have to understand the game at too high of a level and the up front draft makes it very hard to process... especially in the absence of the knowledge of all the cards in the deck. I think the game would probably be quite good after a few plays, but it's very hard to get to that point when the first plays aren't quite as engaging as they would be later on.

It's a good game and there are some great elements there.

I've also begun sending the game out to blind play testers and received pretty much the same feedback as the quote above. And, to be quite honest, it's something that's been in the back of my head since I thought seriously about trying to get it published. However, I've spent some time trying to make a "Basic/Learning" variants, and they are all horrifying!

Thanks to great feedback from testers, the rule book has been beefed up for clarity and also some strategy tips, but this brings me to my question. ("That took you long enough", I hear you say.)

Basically...

Is this "barrier to entry" usually a deal breaker for publishers?
Is there something I can do to improve my presentation of the game to get passed this?
I love complex games (ex. Caylus, Power Grid, Belfort, train games), but how do these make it passed a publisher's submission desk? I know that certain companies specialize in games with complexity, but are they presented as such via a blind submission?

Thanks for any help!

Maaartin
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Joined: 05/15/2011
Learning variant

eekamouse wrote:
I've also begun sending the game out to blind play testers and received pretty much the same feedback as the quote above. And, to be quite honest, it's something that's been in the back of my head since I thought seriously about trying to get it published. However, I've spent some time trying to make a "Basic/Learning" variants, and they are all horrifying!

I can't answer your questions, but I'd suggest to ask somebody here to help you with the Learning variant. Many people here know thousand of games and have a lot of experience. Moreover, we all have an advantage: By not being the author we can see a way you can't.

eekamouse
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Joined: 07/18/2011
Thanks. Here is the entry for

Thanks.

Here is the entry for playtesters on BGG, with a link to download the rules etc...

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/7607624

I have mixed emotions on doing a learning variant. It's possible that I haven't yet thought of a good way to do it. Maybe I will think some more on it, but everything just seems to water the game down and detract from the best parts of it. I'm afraid if I hate the "Learning Variant" then it's guaranteed that other players will as well, and not want to venture further into the game. But... maybe I'm missing something in a Learning Variant... Man, lol. I hate "basic" versions of games.

I'm probably just prejudiced.

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