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I'm talking about card games like Uno, Rook, or Skip-Bo. Would any of our hobbyist publishers even look at a game that's just a deck of cards with numbers and colors?

The game I've designed is like that -- just cards with numbers, in colors, with some wilds.

It had a theme at one point, which complemented the game play nicely. But the game as a whole was too complex for the ultra-simple-yet-engaging goal I'd set for myself.

As I stripped away game play elements one by one, the theme made less and less sense. Finally, now that I feel like I've hit that sweet spot of simplicity and game play I was going for, the theme is utterly useless. It doesn't hurt anything, I guess, but it doesn't help explain the rules and the game play doesn't really invoke the theme.

So I decided the theme was superfluous and removed it from my latest prototype.

Now what are the odds I can get a hobbyist publisher to take a look at it (giving me the benefit of the doubt and assuming it's as fun as I think it is)?

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David Boeren
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There have been plenty of them released before, why wouldn't they?
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Scott Nelson
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Paste a couple of themes on so that when the rules are read, the can get into a character of what they should be feeling/doing. also mention the theme is not needed, but give the publisher the option. They may their own theme on it anyways.
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Nate K
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You might actually have a better chance of finding a publisher if you're flexible on the theme. The publisher can add their own theme or keep it theme-less at their own discretion.
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Freelance Police
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Z-Man Game's No Thanks is a popular filler FFG's Ingenious is a recommended gateway game. Many party games have no theme. Out of the Box Games publishes My Word, and Gamewright Games publishes PDQ.
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Nate
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Sam and Max wrote:
Z-Man Game's No Thanks is a popular filler FFG's Ingenious is a recommended gateway game. Many party games have no theme. Out of the Box Games publishes My Word, and Gamewright Games publishes PDQ.


Good points! I forgot about No Thanks and Ingenious.
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David Reed
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Amigo seems to publish at least one every Essen - 23, 11 nimmt!, No Thanks!, 6 nimmt!, Stich-Meister, etc. There are plenty of other publishers who do them, but Amigo seems to have an affinity for them.
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Paulo Augusto
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Dominion may be the best example. It is an abstract card game.

The medieval theme is just pasted on top of it's good abstract mechanics. It could be a space exploration game or a mining game or a wall street game as much as it is a medieval game.

So, even though i am not a publisher, i can safely answer that, as a possibility, they do bother with abstract card games. Although i think that they will almost certainly want to paste a theme on top of it.
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Tomello Visello
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kungfugeek wrote:
Would any of our hobbyist publishers even look at a game that's just a deck of cards with numbers and colors?
I could mention that Coloretto really has nothing but colors but I still don't know how responsive that is to your larger question.

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Asili Eiliaz
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You might actually look at educational publishers, even before the hobby publishers. The edu publishers tend to have a longer reach into the chain stores and such, and if your game truly is abstract then there's no reason to not go for the wide audience. Unless its complexity is such that it would be beyond children, I guess. But you might look at publishers of games such as Qwirkle, Gemlok, etc. Games that have a lot of penetration into the mass market by virtue of their publishers' overall connection with the distributors (Qwirkle is also a good game but that's almost incidental when examining this side of the question).
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Johan Haglert
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Tichu?
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Markus Hagenauer jr.
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First let me ask a question, what is a hobbyist publisher?

If the game is good it has a chance to be published (with or without theme). And if a publsher likes the games mechanics, but he wants a theme, they will add it.

The only reason, a card game with just colored numbers is not als likely to be published is, if you know the rules, you can play it with other simmilar sets of cards too. So there is no reason to buy the game.
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Nate
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Markus Hagenauer wrote:
First let me ask a question, what is a hobbyist publisher?


Mostly, I meant: a publisher I can approach that will sit down and listen to an unknown wannabe designer.
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Mike Kollross
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I would add Parade to the list of abstract card games
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Kirk Monsen
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What about SET?

-Munch "that's fairly abstract" Wolf
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Joe Mucchiello
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Aren't most of the game Nestor Games does somewhat abstract?
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