Since this is my first post, here's a bit of my background, and a few questions I have.
I love playing board games. A couple of years ago I decided trying my hand at designing one. After many iterations and play testing I have a 3D tile based family/strategy game that really appeals to players who like pattern matching and was positively received by most (those who didn't like pattern matching weren't interested in the game).
I find I enjoy creating games even more than playing them. Recently I've started working on prototypes for a dice game, a tile based majority game and a word card game. I "invented" word poker last night only to find, on my first search in Google that someone already had (no surprise :).
I'd like to see whether I can take this to the next level and get a game published. One publisher I contacted said they only reviewed games at trade shows so I was thinking of going to Gen Con in Indianapolis in August. It's a long drive from Montreal but we would combine it with a family vacation. Still, I think it only makes sense if I can present to a number of publishers.
So my question is does this approach make sense ? If yes, what other things should I be doing ? I signed up for play testing sessions to get feedback from experienced players Do publishers ever attend these sessions ? Are there other events that I should participate in? Can anyone recommend specific publishers or people to contact ? Anybody else going ? Maybe we could meet for a drink?
Any feedback would be much appreciated.
There is always Protospiel.
This year we had representatives from; Academy Games, Arcane Wonders, Blue Panther LLC, Indie Boards & Cards, Mayfair Games, Minion Games, Tasty Minstrel, Tweedle tech, and would have had 5th Street Games & Elfinwerks but they had to cancel.
Protospiel is for testing games and it is bad etiquette to badger the publishers to look at your game. That being said the reason we are getting more and more publishers attending is that they are realizing Protospiel is a supermarket of games many ready or nearly ready to publish. We had 55 designers this year with most having 2-3 games apiece. That’s well over 100 games. Instead of having all 100+ games pitched to them publishers approach the designers that have what they are interested in.
Minion games alone discovered; Manhattan Project, Nitro Dice, Venture Forth, Grave Business, &Tahiti at Protospiel. Academy games recently published 1812, The Invasion of Canada and reportedly has 3 other in development. Steve Jackson games picked up Nanuk a few years ago. There are more but my fingers and mind is getting tired.
I realize this won’t help you in the short run since it’s nearly a year away but it could be an option for you if GenCon doesn’t pan out. I'll be at GenCon working the Mayfair Booth as usual.
Thanks for the reply.
I'd like to first apologize for my delay in replying. I've been trying to clarify my priorities and goals to have a better context to decide what to do.
Yes, I had found Protospiel on the internet and it sounded great, unfortunately I wasn't able to make it that weekend.
I want to focus on digital publication, creating mobile app versions of my games. While this is also an extremely competitive market , I like the idea of selling games for 1 or 2$, rather than 20$ or 30$. I also like having much more control over the publication process.
Whichever way you publish, the gameplay must be compelling, so going to Gen con to get feedback on the games and get new ideas seems worthwhile. If I can get something published even better.
Thanks again for the suggestion.
Hello, in general yes, I have found conventions to be the best way to talk to the most number of publishers in the shortest amount of time. My first game, Mars Needs Mechanics, is being published by Nevermore Games (http://nevermoregames.com/index.php/games/mars-needs-mechanics). I played the game with them at a convention. And if you do come to GenCon, head over to the Game Salute table in the publisher's hall, where I'll be demoing Mars Needs Mechanics!
Thanks for the feedback. Were you able to book appointments before the show? or did you just set up demos on the fly ?
Congratulations on Mars needs mechanics. I'll make sure I Check out the Game salute table. If you show me yours, I'll show you mine ... or something like that :).
If your planning on self publishing why do you want to speak with publishers?
I want to self-publish digital versions of the game, but I would still like to get a board version published.
It raises a good question though .. would most publishers go for this or are they already set up to create digital versions also ?
since everything is negotiable, how much typically are digital rights worth relative to board version rights ?
ps It's also an excuse to go to Gen Con :)>.
I have heard that everything is negotiable, but I know that our publishing contract grants digital publishing rights to our publisher, so it's something you're going to want to be clear about if/when you get an agreement in place to publish. One thing to consider is that game assets, like art and graphic design, that a physical publisher provides are usually something that would make a digital version shine.
I guess what I'm saying is that if I was a publisher in that situation, I'd be wary of someone wanting me to take the risk of putting out a print version of the game but not including me in the digital process, especially if the resources I put into the game were going to be used to make sales/profit that I don't benefit from... but I'm NOT a publisher, so take that with a grain of salt :)
Good point. but i guess first things first. I'll find out this week whether there is any interest in publishing them at all. :).