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Tasty Minstrel Games is looking for Designs to publish in 2010

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MichaelM
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Tasty Minstrel Games is currently looking for new designs to put into its pipeline for publication in 2010.

I know, many of you may be thinking.... Who is Tasty Minstrel Games? We are a new game publisher bursting on the scene in 2009 with Homesteaders and Terra Prime.

The Board Game Designers Forum, has really been producing some killer games recently, and I look forward to playing many of the published ones. Additionally, I am interested in publishing the best of what you have to offer. Please send me sell sheets for your best games. Send them to m i c h a e l@tastyminstrelgames.com For a good example, see this from Bamboozle Brothers. Please note, that we are already working with Bamboozle Brothers on potentially publishing one game, so their sell sheets certainly caught my eye.

We have a development team (read sedjtroll on BGDF), so we may want to take your game through a development process.

Michael

Dralius
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Flood gates opening

Thanks for taking on the inevitable onslaught of submissions. So many publishers have forgone open submissions because of the volume they get is overwhelming.

Your two upcoming releases look euro in style. So not to waste anyone’s time what are you not interested in publishing?

MichaelM
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Suggestions / Rules for submissions

That is a good point, I don't want to be wasting people's time... I am interested in publishing anything that I enjoy playing. At this point in time I am leaning more towards the following due to needs and desires. So to improve your chances, please know the following:

#1 - I am NOT interested in publishing party / trivia games.

#2 - Currently I am in preference of card games.

#3 - I am NOT interested in play testing 4 hour+ games right now.

Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. #2 is not a rule, just a current preference. To publish a game that breaks #3, I would need something extremely compelling.

Thanks,

Michael

Dralius wrote:
Thanks for taking on the inevitable onslaught of submissions. So many publishers have forgone open submissions because of the volume they get is overwhelming.

Your two upcoming releases look euro in style. So not to waste anyone’s time what are you not interested in publishing?

lucasAB
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Images and Markating

Welcome to the publishing business of the board game industry! I have a minor suggestion for your site that would help presuade people to buy your games... include pictures of the components or artwork included in the games. This is always a selling point for people, if they can see that they are getting quality materials that look nice, there is a bigger chance they will purchase the game.

Also, what kind of markating plan does your company have? Do you have advertising on other big board game sites(bgg, boardgamenews, etc), and how do people get to your site(other then this link on bgdf)?

Anyway, there's my two pence, and you might receive a submission from me in the next few months.

MichaelM
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Website

There will be artwork and pictures galore coming soon. I expect to have full production samples in about a month.

Additionally, I am looking for somebody other than myself to do some SUPER-HOT web design. As I know the site is seriously lacking.

As far as the marketing plan. I call it the social shotgun.

devin
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aahhh

this sounds great
i made a game wiche i will send in a submishon
for i also know how to make web sites but am really fead up with doing it so
i use city max sign up pay a standered fee and put some ads on it and bamm money right their you can make like 250 bucks a mouth i heared from some guys that do it for a living
use it http://www.citymax.com/

veeds
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Give me a couple months, and

Give me a couple months, and you will see a working, fun game. I just need to wrap up the rules, and test it. Then we will be all good. Oh! figures, I'll need 6mm figures too =( Either way. Prototype soon.

Dralius
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MichaelM wrote:That is a good

MichaelM wrote:
That is a good point, I don't want to be wasting people's time... I am interested in publishing anything that I enjoy playing. At this point in time I am leaning more towards the following due to needs and desires. So to improve your chances, please know the following:

#1 - I am NOT interested in publishing party / trivia games.

#2 - Currently I am in preference of card games.

#3 - I am NOT interested in play testing 4 hour+ games right now.

Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. #2 is not a rule, just a current preference. To publish a game that breaks #3, I would need something extremely compelling.

Thanks,

Michael

Dralius wrote:
Thanks for taking on the inevitable onslaught of submissions. So many publishers have forgone open submissions because of the volume they get is overwhelming.

Your two upcoming releases look euro in style. So not to waste anyone’s time what are you not interested in publishing?


I primarily ment your time since you will be the one sifting through hundreds of submissions once word gets out.

Ever pan for gold? It will be like that. Mostly sand and rock with something shiny every now and then.

simpson
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Dralius wrote:Ever pan for

Dralius wrote:
Ever pan for gold? It will be like that. Mostly sand and rock with something shiny every now and then.

I thought that is Seth's job.

simpson

sedjtroll
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Yeah, my job

simpson wrote:
Dralius wrote:
Ever pan for gold? It will be like that. Mostly sand and rock with something shiny every now and then.

I thought that is Seth's job.

simpson


Yeah, that's kinda my job... which explains why Mike wouldn't worry about wasting my time ;-)

If you send us a submission email and sell sheet we will look it over, but if we get a huge flood of submissions I cannot guarantee any specific time frame that we'll even be able to read them all. I will try to respond to each submission email in a timely fashion at least to let you know we got it.

- Seth

Oh, I learned something interesting at the KublaCon game design contest - when submitting a prototype to a publisher or a contest, it's a good idea to include multiple copies of the rules so that more than 1 player can have it in hand at a time!

MichaelM
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Seth should have no difficulty...

Since people should be sending them to m i c h a e l@tastyminstrelgames.com, I do not expect Seth should have much difficulty. Since I will be dealing with sell sheets, I expect that I will be able to respond to all submissions that are made in short order. The comments are likely to be very short, but I am committed to responding quickly.

I know I will be panning for gold. That is what I have to do though.

Michael

sedjtroll wrote:
simpson wrote:
Dralius wrote:
Ever pan for gold? It will be like that. Mostly sand and rock with something shiny every now and then.

I thought that is Seth's job.

simpson


Yeah, that's kinda my job... which explains why Mike wouldn't worry about wasting my time ;-)

If you send us a submission email and sell sheet we will look it over, but if we get a huge flood of submissions I cannot guarantee any specific time frame that we'll even be able to read them all. I will try to respond to each submission email in a timely fashion at least to let you know we got it.

- Seth

Oh, I learned something interesting at the KublaCon game design contest - when submitting a prototype to a publisher or a contest, it's a good idea to include multiple copies of the rules so that more than 1 player can have it in hand at a time!

Dralius
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MichaelM wrote:Since people

MichaelM wrote:
Since people should be sending them to m i c h a e l@tastyminstrelgames.com, I do not expect Seth should have much difficulty. Since I will be dealing with sell sheets, I expect that I will be able to respond to all submissions that are made in short order. The comments are likely to be very short, but I am committed to responding quickly.

I know I will be panning for gold. That is what I have to do though.

Michael

Your process is admittedly different from other publishers. Hopefully the sell sheets will give you the extra information needed to cherry pick submissions to test.

I’m sure I’ll have something to submit after Protospiel this year. I better practice writing up my sell sheets so I at least get past stage 1.

MichaelM
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Other Publishers

I do not want to be critical of other publishers, but I believe many of them are doing some things wrong.

Over the past couple of months I have cut out many typical 'recreational activities' such as watching TV. I have a lot more time in a day then I thought. Even with a full-time job as a financial adviser, wife, two lovely young children.

I think it is fun to pan for gold, and drive web traffic. Speaking of which... Here is a blatant naked plug/spam... follow me on Twitter, here is my feed: www.twitter.com/michaelmindes

Michael

sushi
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..

Followed. I've got a game near completion and am thinking about submitting.

End of Time Games
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MichaelM wrote: Over the past

MichaelM wrote:

Over the past couple of months I have cut out many typical 'recreational activities' such as watching TV. I have a lot more time in a day then I thought. Even with a full-time job as a financial adviser, wife, two lovely young children.

Michael


That's a great rub!

MichaelM
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Just Do It. The worst I can do is say "no"

sushi wrote:
Followed. I've got a game near completion and am thinking about submitting.

Think about what you want to convey on a sell sheet...

Create one...

Send it to me, and then we will see how we can move forward. If the sell sheet is not enticing, I may provide suggestions (no promises) on what would make it more enticing for me.

Michael

sushi
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By example

I appreciate you sharing the example sheet. Creating one of a similar style (but with my own twists - I already have thoughts on improving it) should be easy enough. But making sure I've got the pitch down will be the most important aspect.

Momerath
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Email Address?

I assume the "michael" in your email address is meant to be all together, not separated by spaces or underscores or something. It's a little confusing. If I'm not mistaken, you should receive a sell sheet from me shortly.

MichaelM
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Email

correct it is in fact michael @ ... I just wanted to make sure that I don't get picked up by the spambots.

jeffinberlin
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take your time

veeds wrote:
Give me a couple months, and you will see a working, fun game. I just need to wrap up the rules, and test it. Then we will be all good. Oh! figures, I'll need 6mm figures too =( Either way. Prototype soon.

Excuse me for being direct, but how can you possibly know that you'll have a good game in two months, if you have not even finished the rules and tested it?

Playtesting and revising will make up the bulk of your design time, if you really want to do it right and get published. I'm sure Michael is looking for a "finished" game, and not just an idea that he has to finish for you. And there's that saying about the last 10% taking 90% of the time.

Give yourself time to playtest and tweak your design--over several years, if you have to--until more than one group of playtesters gives you the impression there's not anything that can be improved and a publisher might be interested.

It's a rewarding process, even if you can't find a publisher, so don't rush it and sell yourself (and your game idea) short!

jeffinberlin
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"Amen" to that!

MichaelM wrote:
I have cut out many typical 'recreational activities' such as watching TV.

"Amen" to that! Amazing what you can get done and how your communication/relationships improve with a simple change in lifestyle.

MatthewF
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jeffinberlin wrote:Excuse me

jeffinberlin wrote:
Excuse me for being direct, but how can you possibly know that you'll have a good game in two months, if you have not even finished the rules and tested it?

Playtesting and revising will make up the bulk of your design time, if you really want to do it right and get published. I'm sure Michael is looking for a "finished" game, and not just an idea that he has to finish for you. And there's that saying about the last 10% taking 90% of the time.


I'm with Jeff on this one. For me, anyway, the breakdown goes something like this:

Game Idea: .000001% of the time
Fleshing Out Into A Full Game: 2% of the time
Getting Everything Working Together Into A Truly Playable Game: 5% of the time
Playtesting and Revision Into A Fun, Potentially Publishable Game: 92.999999% of the time, or more (possibly an infinite amount of time)

Lots of good ideas that are very clearly good, fun games in my head and on paper turn out to even more clearly not be so once played enough times.

GamesOnTheBrain
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MatthewF wrote:I'm with Jeff

MatthewF wrote:
I'm with Jeff on this one. For me, anyway, the breakdown goes something like this:

Game Idea: .000001% of the time
Fleshing Out Into A Full Game: 2% of the time
Getting Everything Working Together Into A Truly Playable Game: 5% of the time
Playtesting and Revision Into A Fun, Potentially Publishable Game: 92.999999% of the time, or more (possibly an infinite amount of time)

Lots of good ideas that are very clearly good, fun games in my head and on paper turn out to even more clearly not be so once played enough times.

I think this really depends on the designer. Some designers are able to conduct pseudo-playtests in their mind, enabling them to work out many of the kinks long before the physical playtesting starts.

MatthewF
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Hmm, I suppose so, I guess I

Hmm, I suppose so, I guess I just haven't seen it.

Don't get me wrong, doing psuedo-playtests in my mind (and solo playtests, if necessary) results in games that seem like they'd be fun and that should be publishable, and are absolutely workable: non-broken, can be played from beginning to end, and most definitely qualify as true games with at least a some level of fun.

It's just that once they're playtested by others enough times, that's when the "is it actually fun" and "would it actually be a good idea for a publisher to publish it" stuff comes into play.

All of this is certainly "in my own experience." I just haven't seen any completely fun and ready to publish first playtests so far, or even after a small amount of testing. This despite having played dozens (maybe up to hundreds now) of folks' prototypes, including dozens by well-known designers that went on to be published. Probably depends on the complexity of the game.

Either way, thinking "my game is done despite having never tested it, I'll just test it to prove it" is incredibly likely to be delusional.

jeffinberlin
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Playtesters are like GOLD

Of course, a simple game might not require as much playtesting to get the 'bugs" out, but aside from two-player games, it's very difficult to simulate a multi-player session in your mind or even by playing every player solo (even if you choose different strategies for each). You just can't predict what others will do and how their interaction will actually happen withing the limits of the rules you've created.

Just ask the "pros" like Knizia (who admittedly does a lot of work in his head first), Kramer or Moon, and they'll all emphasize the importance of repeated playtesting.

What I see from many of the comments on BGDF, is that it seems that there are many designers here who do not have a group that will playtest their games. If you're lacking a group, there just isn't much chance your design will ever reach its potential. My advice: organize a regular gaming group first, then slowly introduce a prototype or two (maybe even encourage those in your group who might be aspiring designers to make a prototype too), and if they enjoy playtesting and give good feedback, treat them like GOLD! If you treat your prototype as the "group's project" it can give them a sense of ownership on the finished design as well, and it's fun to be able to mention them in the credits if the game gets published (and be sure to give them free copies of the game!)

InvisibleJon
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Credit where credit is due...

jeffinberlin wrote:
My advice: organize a regular gaming group first, then slowly introduce a prototype or two (maybe even encourage those in your group who might be aspiring designers to make a prototype too), and if they enjoy playtesting and give good feedback, treat them like GOLD! If you treat your prototype as the "group's project" it can give them a sense of ownership on the finished design as well, and it's fun to be able to mention them in the credits if the game gets published (and be sure to give them free copies of the game!)
Long before I started designing games to shop around to publishers, I made games to give away for free. After play testing them with the people in my gaming group, I always made sure to get the names of everyone who played so I could properly cite them in the Origins & Credits section of the rules. I didn't think that this was a big deal. I always saw it as simply giving credit where credit was due. Once, after I got everyone's names, Brandon came over and said, "I think it's so cool that you do that." He was referring to being diligent about getting names for proper credit. That's when I realized how important it is.

The point? I agree with Jeff. Typically you can't pay your play testers (and it may even feel awkward). You may "pay" them in pizza and drinks, but that's awkward in its own odd way. However, you can credit them with helping you. All it takes is a little bit of diligence and bookkeeping. As Jeff states, it has the added advantage of giving your play testers a sense of ownership in the final product.

If possible, I like to note and credit specific play testers with the changes or developments that their input and feedback caused. ex: "Thanks to Ben for the core combat mechanic." "Thanks to Carla for the great turn sequence questions. The streamlined flow-of-play chart was a direct response to them." Not only does it make play testers feel valued and respected, but it's very honest. I'm not taking credit for parts I didn't think of.

GamesOnTheBrain
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MatthewF wrote:Either way,

MatthewF wrote:
Either way, thinking "my game is done despite having never tested it, I'll just test it to prove it" is incredibly likely to be delusional.

Don't get me wrong, I was just saying that for some of us, the percentages quoted above might be way off. I occasionally work on a game for dozens if not 100+ hours before the game ever gets playtested. Yes, that is primarily due to the infrequency that I have an opportunity to game, let alone get to playtest something. I feel an obligation to get it as solid as possible on paper before it ever hits the table, so as not to waste players time.

jeffinberlin
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cool ideas

Very cool, Invisible Jon. I like the idea of crediting playtesters even for games you give away, and crediting them for specific ideas is a nice touch as well. Most publishers won't give you that much space in the rule book, unfortunately (they even cut out my "designer's credits" section from two game rule books because there wasn't enough space).

And GamesOnTheBrain--there's absolutely nothing wrong with working on something solo for a long time before feeling it's presentable to playtesters. When I think about it, one of my games went through years of mutations before I ever playtested it, because it just wasn't very good until I finally had that breakthrough that made it playable. My point was only that it's important to playtest, and you can never really tell when a prototype is "finished" until you've playtested it multiple times. I wish I could say that one of my untested prototypes "just needs to be playtested a couple of times before it's ready for a publisher." Every time I think that, I test the thing and realize there's a lot more work to be done! For example, I'm STILL working with that blasted Queen cube tower...

Meddler
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Michael, any preferences for

Michael, any preferences for number of cards in a card game submitted to you? From memory some companies have sweet spots they try to target in terms of cost of production/maximum's above which they'll generally not touch.

albfalco (not verified)
Great idea.people will be

Great idea.people will be desperately waiting for its release.As now a days people always want to experience new games.So they will definitely be waiting for this.

Affordable SEO Services

Edit: spam link removed -seo (seo the user, not the acronym!)

simpson
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-----------------------------

I have a great idea for an SEO services game

simpson

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