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What NOT to say when pitching to a publisher

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jeffinberlin
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We often talk about the things you need to do and say when pitching to a publisher, but what about the things you need to AVOID saying? I've pitched games for over 6 years now, both through email and in person, and have made many mistakes along the way. It's not an easy thing to do--especially in person, and defending your work while still knowing how to take rejection is a fine line to walk.

Although I'm not a publisher, I've heard many pitches for games from first-time designers wanting to show my game designer's group their prototypes. For their sakes, it's a good thing I'm not a publisher!

Here's a list of things NOT to say when pitching to a publisher on my blog, Berlin Game Design:

http://berlingamedesign.blogspot.com/2011/11/things-not-to-say-when-pitc...

Some of these are things I've heard, and some are slightly exaggerated for the sake of humor.

What would YOU never say to a publisher? Have you ever said something and then thought later, "Ooops, I should not have said that!"

Cogentesque
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Nice article man, have

Nice article man, have replied in your blog :)

Good to hear from someone who has had genuine experience !

sam

Dralius
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I have talked to hundreds of

I have talked to hundreds of designers either in person or online and have heard some good ones. This one stands out.

Me: “This game seems pretty epic in scale, how long does it take to play?”

Designer X: “That’s the great thing about it, it never ends!”

Mike Young
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Joined: 07/18/2011
If I see one more game that

If I see one more game that has "unique game play" or "takes a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master," or will be the next Chess, or Monopoly, I may scream.

(I am not a game publisher... any more)

larienna
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I reminds me of a book that

I reminds me of a book that had the "Are you a crackpot?" test that had 10 questions which were similar to the ones on the blog. I was not sure to recopy them on my website because of copyright issues. But since it's only 10 sentences, it might not be a bad thing.

Quote:
It only has 50 pages of rules and about 300 game pieces

Wait a minute ... that game is Starcraft.

J. Alex K.
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Great article. It's a fine

Great article. It's a fine line to walk between humility and confidence in your design. It's unlikely you've really stumbled upon anything truly innovative-- if you're saying "this is the first time this has been done," you're either misinformed, or there's a good reason that's never been done, and your game better have a really good way of compensating for that. Do your homework, know what's out there, and be able to explain how you've solved many of the problems games suffer from (runaway winners, broken strategies, etc).

That all being said, I would add "Oh, no, I haven't played those games that use this same mechanic" to the list.

pelle
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If it's a wargame 300 pieces

If it's a wargame 300 pieces is ok.

Loved the patent line. Sums up 95% of new designers that have not done any research and only played risk+monopoly before coming to bgg/bgdf.

jeffinberlin
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J. Alex K. wrote:It's a fine

J. Alex K. wrote:
It's a fine line to walk between humility and confidence in your design.

Well said!

jeffinberlin
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pelle wrote:If it's a wargame

pelle wrote:
If it's a wargame 300 pieces is ok.

Yes, of course. There aren't many publishers I'm aware of who produce those kinds of games these days, and it's obviously not my experience.

There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule, however (but there should not be a lot of exceptions in your game rules)!

ilSilvano
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A lifetime

I have got a new idea for a unique game; it takes a lifetime to learn and a few minutes to master!

larienna
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Quote:I have got a new idea

Quote:
I have got a new idea for a unique game; it takes a lifetime to learn and a few minutes to master!

Well it seems that some people still does not get the message posted before.

Quote:
It's unlikely you've really stumbled upon anything truly innovative

And it's 100% true. In art, music, movies, books or any other creative media, there is no such thing as something new and unique. Every thing is designed or inspired from other products even if you are not consciously aware of it.

SLiV
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Uhm...

It seems you do not get the idea of sarcasm. ilSilvano was making a joke.

larienna
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Oh! Sorry

Oh! Sorry

jeffinberlin
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ilSilvano wrote:I have got a

ilSilvano wrote:
I have got a new idea for a unique game; it takes a lifetime to learn and a few minutes to master!

Nice!

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