There has been some questions posted lately about how secretive a game designer should be when designing his game. I have a similar question. For a self-publisher, I think its a great idea to write information about his game, hold contests, post artwork, ask for playtesting, and generally get advice from the community. However, I may am not really planning on self-publishing my game, and would prefer to leave publishing and marketing details to an experienced publisher.
For this reason, I have refrained from posting too many details about my game in development and garnering advice mostly through private geekmail and emails. I have limited my playtesting to physical groups within the local area, and will soon open this up to groups in other areas - still privately. My main reason for this is out of respect to a hypothetical future publisher.
I don't know what changes the publisher would be interested in making. They may want to change the art, so I'm not sure if I should be posting up sample pictures. They may want to change the name of the game, so I'm not sure I should be making a BGG entry for it. They may want to change some of the rules, so posting up a public rules post may not be a great idea.
What do you think? Am I correct in trying to limit my publicity efforts so that I can leave the publisher the freedom to decide how such information should be released/used? Or am I making too much of a big deal out of it? Would a publisher be concerned if a lot of early information was released to the public before the publisher ever touched it, or would he find whatever publicity was gained from it to be an asset? I suppose the answer is "it depends on the results of the publicity", but I can't know that at this stage. I also know there are many cases of successful games that have gone both routes.
In general, which would you advise a game designer? To publicize his game as much as possible even before submitting to publishers or to be more reserved and leave promotion to the publishers? Or does it just not matter at all?
- Last edited Fri Mar 9, 2012 8:35 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Mar 9, 2012 8:33 pm
It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
1) They will change the art.
2) The rest varies from publisher to publisher.
To my mind, it depends more on what you're planning on doing with your game right now.
If you're going to release your game as a PnP title while shopping it around, then there's no reason not to put it into the BGG database; people will still benefit from the information cluster that is the entry, and if you do sell it to a publisher and they change anything, you can enter it as a new edition of that game, or even a new game if they change enough that it doesn't fit under the old entry.
If you're planning on keeping the game itself unreleased until you find a publisher, then don't create an entry - there's little point having an entry in the DB for a game which effectively doesn't exist.
Bear in mind when you make this decision that on one hand, some people have reported that publishers would have preferred that their game wasn't released as PnP or that it didn't have a BGG entry already; on the other hand, releasing it as PnP and getting more people to play it effectively gives you playtesting, which will improve the game...
John "Omega" Williams
Diffrent publishers have *WILDLY VARIED* rules on this. Really.
Some dont want a game submitted *anywhere* (Alot of would-be game designers have the misconception that publishers dont want the game on the BGG. Thats not the case.)
Some want a physical copy of the game worked to as close to finished as possible.
Some want no art at all and *WILL* junk all the art you've had done and slap on their own.
and so on and so on.
Art is the big one. 3 of the recent companies I talked with stated up front the "no art" part of the deal. They do their own.
As for design paranoia, which seems rampant on the BGG. A recent discussion pretty much took this apart.
Bottom line is. No one is interested in your ideas to steal. An unfinished game is useless for design theft. Its not yet been proven it works.
It is when you have the game published that people will want to steal from it. Now the game has proven it works enough to see publication.
And its pretty much allways a larger company that pulls tese stunts. Hasbro, FFG, and some Russian company come to mind from recent incidents.