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What if the Game is the thing?!

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Brummbar
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I know that ideas can't be copyrighted...what is really being copyrighted in games is the art etc...

However...I have an idea for a game that doesn't use a lot of components and can in fact, make use of components people already have.

So I could sell the rules. But I see two problems with that. One is the proliferation of PDF's. Initially I thought to sell the PDF of the rules but quickly realized that people could easily distribute the rules this way without getting proper payment.

Then I thought about holding the PDF's but selling hard copies only. This only removes the distribution by a small step, people could easily scan the rule and then freely distribute. This method is also an inconvenient method of getting the product to the consumer initially (plus shipping etc...).

So my dilemma is...I have a great idea that has been playtested and doesn't rely on the necessity of particular components...so it is easily distributed...but then that's the problem, it's too easily distributed.

Any suggestions?

Darkehorse
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If

If it really is a good game, I'd say dress it up in packaging and sell it. I have a game called _Kings in the Corner_ which is basically just a deck of cards with a special tray insert which could easily be played with a standard deck of cards, but the packaging is what sold the game. So even though there may not be much to your game component wise, it's the PERCEPTION of value that will make your game sell. People aren't likely to buy a .pdf version of a game, there is just no perceived value. But if they see something on the shelf that looks professionally done, they will be more likely to purchase.

Also consider that a lot of people, especially on Board Game geek, make home made versions of games. Sometimes this is due to the game being out of print, sometimes it's not available in the native language of the person wanting to play it, other times its due to perceived poor production quality of the published game. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but consider that MOST people don't want to print out anything for a game or gather components. In this fast paced world, most people just want to open the box, read the rules and play (and sometimes they can't even be bothered to fully read the rules). So consider actually publishing your game if it is indeed good. If publishing is not for you, consider shopping your game to existing publishers to see if they will bite. A good game with a low price point is golden in this market, so you may have a real hit on your hands!

Just some things to consider,
-Darke

InvisibleJon
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Consider UNO...

Darkehorse wrote:
If it really is a good game, I'd say dress it up in packaging and sell it. I have a game called _Kings in the Corner_ which is basically just a deck of cards with a special tray insert which could easily be played with a standard deck of cards, but the packaging is what sold the game.
+1 to everything Darkehorse said.

Consider UNO. You can play that with a standard deck of cards, but it's (if I'm not mistaken) the single-most printed card game ever (other than Poker cards, of course). My understanding is that they have presses and presses running non-stop, printing UNO decks of various types.

Early in their existence, Winning Moves (I think it was them... Yep. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/175 ) put out a game called Raj. I really liked it a lot, and quickly realized that buying the game was unnecessary. You can play it with a standard Poker deck. However, they did a nice job on the game, and concealed aspects of the game that would make it obvious that it can be played with a standard Poker deck.

I've put a lot of free games online. Many of them use standard household components. I've come to realize that many of these games bring enough fun to the table to make them commercially viable. To that end, I've been retooling and re-imagining the games. Much like Winning Moves did with Raj, I'm exploring ways to make the game components better than "stock household" components. Ways to make the components support the game's theme better, more clearly communicate what their uses and purposes are, and such.

Just because your game *can* be played with standard components doesn't mean that you can't present it with non-standard components in a way that brings and adds value to the game. If you do that, and do it well, then your game is likely to be well-received in the commercial market.

Best of luck!

Brummbar
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Thanks

Thanks for the input guys.

You make some very valid points...just wondering if anyone has done something similar to what I am thinking and to see what that experience was.

ttgames
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Agree with both above

I knocked out a couple card games using the same deck of standard card, which could easily be designed differently, and they can be sold as '2 for 1' set

It's the packaging that sells!!! Sad, but true.

ttgames

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