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BGDL 15 -Dan Peterson: Why a Publisher Might Reject Your Game and How to Handle It

Dan Peterson, chief developer and head of new acquisitions at Mayday Games, discusses why a publisher might reject your game and how to handle it.

Dan looks at close to 200 unpublished games a year and has years of experience in finding new games to publish. This episode is packed with great wisdom for anyone wanting to travel down the traditional publishing path.

Check out the episode here:


Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for sharing!

this is great - really really

this is great - really really helpful!

It's funny...

I submitted my WIP "Tradewars - Homeworld" to Mayday Games a couple years ago. Ryan was the person who I was dealing with... Mayday said that my use of cards for configuring the starships was and I quote "Very Clever". They were ultimately worried about "player elimination" which occurs in any scenario - but there are alternate ending to winning the game which means you can win quicker than just defeating all your opponents.

Mayday Games ultimately (after an entire year of having the design) decided not to pickup the game.

I was surprised since it had been in their hands for so long... But no worries, I found a Publisher and am working towards our Joint Kickstarter coming in the next few months.

Like I said, I didn't deal with Dan, Ryan was the one responding to my e-mails and providing feedback concerning the game.

I do have to say this: "If you THINK you have a completed game BEFORE a Publisher picks up your game... You are SERIOUSLY mistaken!" Even with a "The Game Crafter" (TGC) version available for purchase, we (my Publisher and I) have made so many changes some which affect the way the game plays even if at it's "core" it is the same game.

We've gone beyond the simple One (1) Player Box Set and made a HUGE Four (4) Player Game Box which will be filled with so many "goodies" you can't imagine.

If you liked "Tradewars - Homeworld" the "core" game... You will absolutely enjoy playing the ENHANCED version from "Outer Limit Games"!


And with all fairness...

Afterwards I contacted "other" Publishers such as "Victory Point Games" (VPG) and spoke with none other than Allan Emrich himself. He also like Ryan seemed interested in my game. But there was hesitation from his team...

And my guess it was the way I was "presenting" the game. VPG felt that the game was "not sufficiently unique". And yet people keep creating more and more Deck-Builders that play like the original (Dominion).

What both Ryan and Allan picked-up was the distinct set-combination/collection mechanic which has grown now to include Tradeships for Missions... means players can now play four (4) cards to configure a "Tradeship".

But ultimately because of the teams "feelings" about our game - VPG did not pick up the game either... So it's a process in finding the RIGHT Publisher and it takes some EFFORT and WORK to "re-brand" a product as a novel and new game with it's own characteristics.

So you need to shop around your game and hopefully get people to have a look and tell you what THEY think.


Other comments from gamers

Some players thought that the "progression" you normally get from more traditional Deck-Builders was "missing"...

Well in truth, if you want to SORT the Decks and play in-order to have that sense of progression, gamers CAN do that!

So if the deck is sorted, the cards go: 1,1,1, 2,2,2, 3,3,3, 4,4,4, and 5,5,5. The default and preferred way is RANDOM. It means that you are a bit at the mercy of the deck... But still can score with HIGH cards, without needing to EXHAUST a Deck...

By imposing ORDER, you are actually forcing a deck to be LARGER than required by the RANDOM (Default) method of play. And this comes from Veteran Gamers who visit the FLGS regularly and play all kinds of different games...

So I guess my comment about the podcast is...

Once you have a GAME, keep presenting it to Publishers. Get the word "out there" about your game and hopefully you will find someone interested in your game.

Thanks @Gabe for such an insightful interview...!

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blog | by Dr. Radut