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Creative Marketing/Publication Avenues? Let's Brainstorm...

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As a gaming enthusiast who has always secretly dreamt of publishing my own games (much like most of us here) rather than work on the designs of others, I'm always keen to think about new ways to look at self-publication. As such, I'm wondering what sorts of publication models exist which help soften the risk involved in self- or limited-run publication.

For example, GMT Games has their P500 Model, where a game concept is developed and prototyped, but doesn't see print and distribution until the game receives 500 Pre-orders (please correct me if I'm wrong or being overly simplistic about this). This helps ensure a minimum revenue commitment by the fans to help offset printing and distribution costs.

Another model I thought was quite clever was the Ransom Model used by Greg Stolze and Daniel Stolis for Meatbot Massacre, a PDF download game. This ransom model would work well for indie RPG design, or for certain component-light game concepts, but not quite as well for larger scale projects.

Are there other similarly creative publication models? Are there some great ideas the industry has not put to use yet?


If you're a convention goer, you can always print up a few of your games and bring them along.

Host a gaming session where first prize wins the game, and sell the others at enough of a total profit to cover your publication costs for the games brought with you.

Do this several times, with contact info and a flyer put into the game itself (say the manual or as an insert) telling folks where they can purchase the game.

You could either lead them to a website that uses the P500 model, or the ransom model, or some so far unmentioned method.

Or do a countdown on your website. If you sell 50 games via conventions, you'll have enough to print up another 100 and then make those available via the web to purchase. (Don't forget to charge for shipping!)

Just some thoughts.


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