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Best way to go about getting a publisher

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/03/2014

Hi, I'm new here.
- I've got a game
- Had it tested by a couple of families, feedback from the children ranging from good to fantastic. I concealed my identity as designer from the children, though the parents knew me.
- There are certain improvements I still want to make to the game in order to make it more complete.
- Plus, the feedback indicated certain areas in which the game can be improved.
- I am interested in selling the rights to a manufacturer. I would like to get a cut of the profits.
- Some details: the game, is an educational board game whose target audience is children aged 6-12. It is slightly more complicated than The Game of Life. The educational topics it covers are expected to make it a very appealing buy for the parents, but as I said, so far the kids are giving positive feedback as well.
- The prototype is cardboard and paper.
- This is my first game. For that matter, it’s my first anything.

I've got a million questions. Here are some of them:

1) At what point do I start looking for buyers? From what I’ve read here, before you go speaking to potential buyers (say, MB) you need to have the game fully developed and extensively field-tested. Is there a way to pass those tasks over to the manufacturer? If so, what would be the “cost” to the developer (i.e. myself)?
2) Do you recommend going to big, established game marketers, or to small startups?
3) Should I speak to a lawyer before contacting MB or some entrepreneur? I suppose I would need an NDA. Where can I find a good lawyer in NYC?
4) I assume I would want a patent. Should I bother trying to write the patent myself, or go straight to a lawyer?
5) Do you recommend applying for a provisional patent at this point? Right now I’m being very careful who I test the game on, but with a PP I suppose I could accelerate the testing process. How much would it cost for a game?
6) What can I expect the contract to look like?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Wrong direction...

Sent you a Private Message (PM) just to give you a better *direction* because I see you are new to board game publishing and you are looking for things that you don't need.

Evil ColSanders
Evil ColSanders's picture
Joined: 12/08/2010
Hello, fatman, Short

Hello, fatman,

Short answer:
Getting a game published is no small task. Lots of research is required. will have all the answers you need. Just read everything that is says: "Pinned".

Longer answers:

- Don't bother with a patent. Your mechanic has already been used by many other games but has been used in conjunction with other mechanics to make it unique. To quote Jim Jarmusch, "Nothing is original."

- Don't worry about people trying to steal your work. It takes far too much effort and time for very little gain for anyone to "get the jump on your game and put it out before you do".

- Keep playtesting it. Find a game store / church group / after school club to playtest your game. Write instructions for people to read rather than you telling them how to play. This is called "blind testing" and is INVALUABLE.

- Write a questionnaire asking about the game. I like mine to start with "What DIDN'T you like about the game?"

- If you are getting into board gaming with the intention of making money: RUN. GET OUT. Chances are, we aren't going to make the next Monopoly or Boggle or Yahtzee. There is very little money to be made in board games. Some have this pipe dream as some point when starting out. With the advent of kickstarter, this has made self-publishing board games 1000 times easier, but you have to put in the work. With doing all the work, you get all the profit.

I hope this helps.

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