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Second question; how to match my game to the right publisher

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/16/2010
Ortus, midgame

Hello all,

My second question in two days, but Essen is coming up and I want to do this right. My goal is to set up appointments with possible publishers at the Essen games fair to get my first game Ortus published.

The wall I face now however is finding a company whose catalogue fits my game. Ortus is very hard to compare to any other game I know, which is why I (and all my playtesters) like it so much, but this makes it very difficult to find the right company to approach.

Ortus is a purely tactical, no luck-factor game that could be placed in the same family as chess, checkers, shogi and go etc. It plays nothing like these games, but it is a sort-of Thinking man's classic game. I know that abstract games are a hard sell so I have tried my best to add theme. It now has a fantasy martial arts theme to it (House of Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon etc.). The moves you make have names like: Strike of Six Streams and Path of the Kite.

So my question to all of you, with which company do you think a game would fit that follows this description:

Number of players: 2
Average playing time: 30 - 45 minutes
Ages 12 and up (approximate)
No luck factor involved
Tactical gameplay
Two victory conditions

Second I'll have to find a way to get in contact with this company, but this I have to figure out first. I have attached an image to give you guys more visual feed back. If you need more info to go on, let me know.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


RacNRoll Gaming
RacNRoll Gaming's picture
Joined: 05/12/2010

Show the game to anyone who will give you the time to look at it and talk to you. Trying to sell your game to specific publishers may sound like a good plan but the fact is you never know what a game company has in store. Example...Mayfair games recently launched a new FamilyGames division called FunFair. Using your "gameplan" someone with a family game wouldnt have thought to approach Mayfair with the design.
Also keep in mind, even though game manufacturers are in competition with each other, most of them are friends with each other so perhaps you get an appointment with Queens Games and Rajive says "This is a very good game but not something we would make...but you should go talk to XXXXX at XXXXXX games"...and if you alreadyhave an appointment to talk to XXXXX you can say that Rajive liked your game and suggested you speak to them...or if you don't have anappointmnt with XXXXXX you can tell Rajive and maybe he can open the door for you. (not saying he will/won't...he is a really nice guy..I got to speak to him at length at ToyFair last year)

Pastor_Mora's picture
Joined: 01/05/2010
Nestorgames abstracts

I'm thinking Nestorgames. They recently hosted an abstracts contests. I think Topology made to print from it and the creator is a fellow designer in this forum. Maybe you can get a hint from him. Don't know if they'll be at Essen though.

Good luck. Keep thinking!

Markus Hagenauer
Joined: 12/04/2009

Yes, my game Topology was published as one of the winners of NESTORGAMES continuous abstract game design contest

As the contest is continous, ther can be more winners.
If you have already added your game to the BGG database, just list it as new item on the list.
The contest is currently the only way, you can submit abstracts to nestorgames.

If you are looking for a bigger publisher, you will not have much choice with a no luck game. Only Huch and Gigamic come to my mind, and maybe Pin-Toys.

Nestor will have a booth in Essen (
During the weekend I´ll be there for some hours too (playing a demo game of 'Topology' and maybe signing a few copies) The exact time will be announced.

Joined: 02/16/2010
Thanks again for all the info

Thanks again for all the info guys (and galls?)

I got some information from a new contact working in Germany and he says I'll need appointments. So I guess I'll just do both. I'll try to set up some appointments and when I'n in Essen I'll try to get to speak to as many people as I can.

Would be nice to see some of you guys there as well, so let me know if you're planning to come to Essen like Markus is.


Markus Hagenauer
Joined: 12/04/2009
I will play some demo games

I will play some demo games of Topology on Saturday morning from 10:30 to 12:00 at nestorgames booth.
Hall 9, Booth 30

There will be more desigers. Have a look at

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