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Send a Prototype

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Gmcsph
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Joined: 12/14/2008

Hi Guys,
In looking for a Publisher to pitch my BoardGame to
I came across JKLMGames,in their Submission info
they asked for a Working Prototype.
I have 2 Questions.
1 Has anyone used this Company?
2 What are the Pros and Cons of this method?
Any help would be Appriciated
Gerry

kungfugeek
kungfugeek's picture
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Joined: 09/10/2008
submitting...

Sorry I haven't worked with them. But I've worked with Z-Man and found him to be very professional and easy to work with (he rejected my game very professionally :) -- and returned it without me even asking!) and the people from Bucephalus (http://shop.bucephalus.biz/news/list) games seemed nice and eager for game submissions when I talked to them at GenCon last year.

I'm surprised that any company would just ask for submissions instead of asking for a cover letter first, but they each do things their own way.

Yoda
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Joined: 12/08/2008
Gmcsph wrote: Hi Guys,

Gmcsph wrote:
Hi Guys,
In looking for a Publisher to pitch my BoardGame to
I came across JKLMGames,in their Submission info
they asked for a Working Prototype.
I have 2 Questions.
1 Has anyone used this Company?
2 What are the Pros and Cons of this method?
Any help would be Appriciated
Gerry

So, do you really send a prototype than? I mean, for my own boardgame I've been printing, cutting and writing manuals for a while now. And I have something that is playable, but it is the only version I have...I would be anxious to send it away.

Is "prototype" in many cases a fully (graphical) designed one? I don't have any graphical competences, so it is all made from microsoft office programms :(

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Rules come first.

I have helped test games of Mayfair back when they where still taking submissions from the general public. They didn’t want anything fancy, just fully functional. Some of them were drawn with ballpoint pen.

One of the guys there told me that the quality of the game play is usually directly inverse to the quality of the prototype. The logic is the more time you spend on graphics the less time you spend on rules.

ReneWiersma
ReneWiersma's picture
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Joined: 08/08/2008
First determine whether a

First determine whether a publisher has published similar games before. Not too similar of course, but in the same vein. Pitching a party game to a German games publisher doesn't have much chance of success, for example.

Then, contact the publisher, either by mail, email or phone. Describe the game, or send them the rules, and ask if they are interested in receiving a prototype. If yes, then you can send a prototype. Most publishers don't appreciate it if you send them a prototype without forewarning. Also, it might save you (and them) a lot of time and money if you contact them beforehand.

I haven't contacted JKLM ever myself, but I have heard good things about them. In any case, good luck!

Gmcsph
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Joined: 12/14/2008
Send a Prototype

Hi Guys,
Thanks to everyone who gave their Advice.
I'll take a little time to sort it out.
Thanks Again
Gerry

jeffinberlin
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Joined: 07/29/2008
ReneWiersma wrote:First

ReneWiersma wrote:
First determine whether a publisher has published similar games before.

Then, contact the publisher, either by mail, email or phone.

Good advice. Never send a publisher an unsolicited prototype.

As for making something graphically appealing, there are diverse opinions. For me, the graphics are important in helping my playtesters understand the theme and the mechanics, and they also give the publisher an idea of how the game could look. Perhaps I'm a "Frank Lloyd Wright" designer, but I always think of the theme and visual production at the same time as I develope the mechanics. I don't separate those parts, and oftentimes the process of making prototypes actually encourages design changes. Everyone does it differently, however.

And every publisher looks at prototypes differently as well. If the rules are well-written, well-tested and at least somewhat original, a nice-looking prototype can't hurt you. A good publisher will recognize a good game either way, but sometimes even they can get a better vision for the finished product if the prototype is attractive. It does not always mean that less time was taken on the mechanics--sometimes it means that MORE time was taken on the game as a whole. And the publisher will often have different groups of people play-test the game, which means that the prototype has to be able to communicate the theme/mechanics to all of them as well. The more rules you can communicate through the theme and graphic design (rather than the rules booklet), the better.

These days with clip art and computers, it is not difficult to make a fairly attractive prototype, although you certainly don't need to make it look ready for printing.

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