“This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us” launches on Kickstarter today!

ThisTown-logoWhile Tortuga is still doing very well on Kickstarter, Sen and 1 have partnered with TMG – Tasty Minstrel Games – once more, this time to bring you a very cool micro game called “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us.”

What’s cool about this campaign is that it’s a Pay-What-You-Want campaign with a minimum investment of $3 – and that includes shipping to ANYWHERE in the world!! This is great news for Canadians (and all non-Americans) as it’s usually the shipping that demotivates us from supporting. Not any more!

So pay whatever you want and get as many as you want (think ahead to all the gifts your want to give!) and support it now. As a special note – I filmed the Kickstarter video and had my friend Ryan edit it with me – AND Sen did the music for the video. I had a lot of fun making the game – and the video! 🙂

I hope you enjoy the video and you support the game by backing it and sharing with all your friends! Thank you so much!!

Support This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us on Kickstarter!

-Jay

Belfort back in stock! Now with new Promo Guilds!

That’s right – the second printing of Belfort is now in stock, complete with a new, shiny “Dice Hate Me Game of the Year” award on the front. Not only is it in stock – but you can get quite the deal over at www.playtmg.com as they have it on for $36.99.

But wait, there’s more! If you act now (not sure when ‘now’ expires!), you will also get 3 new promo guilds with your purchase!! Wow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently I’m not sure how current owners of Belfort can get these 3 new promo guilds – so stay tuned.

-Jay Cormier

Expansion for Belfort Announced for 2012…

Lookie lookie!  Michael Mindes, the head honcho over at Tasty Minstrel Games, broke his vow of silence and let the world (well, all the people over at BGG.com) know that we’re hard at work in the game kitchen cookin’ up some expansion goodness for Belfort.

He announced in the “20 Most Anticipated Games of 2012” thread on BGG’s GeekLists.  You can check here to see the progress we’re making.

Exactly what it will be, we can’t say…yet!

But Michael has let it be known that the first expansion will be small and affordable – thing something akin to the expansions that have been released for Days of Wonder’s Small World.  So think some tiles, chits, cards, maybe a die or two.  So keep your eyes peeled and you just might see some of the work in progressed released here!

And if you have an idea you’d love to see implemented in Belfort, let us know your thoughts!

~ Sen-Foong Lim

Tales of Belfort – the new comic book!

Board games aren’t my only passion. I am also enamoured with comic books.

So much so, that I partnered up with fellow comic book aficionado, Tim Reinert (whose blog about comics and movies is amazing, btw), and we started to write our own comic books!

Belfort ComicWe have written about half a dozen short stories so far and the first one that we wanted to pursue also had another motivation for me: it’s set in the world of Belfort! Initially, Tim and I were a bit concerned because we didn’t want to make it seem like a cheap tie-in, like so many ‘anything based on anything else’ can often be.

Once we stumbled upon the conceit, we were excited to tell this story. If you’ve played the game and wondered why it takes an Elf AND a Dwarf to get metal from the mine, well, here’s your answer!  We wrote a buddy/cop story, where neither character is a cop! Once we got the thumbs up from our publisher, Tasty Minstrel Games, we wrote what we think is a pretty solid adventure story!

Our biggest challenge was finding an artist. But like any line of work, it’s often not ‘what you know’ but ‘who you know’.  I have a cousin in the animation field who hooked us up with Rob Lundy, an illustrator from Ottawa – we were ridiculously impressed with his work. Once we got through this first comic, we realized that we all liked working with each other so the three of us started a website called the Condo of Mystery.

We plan on releasing a new page every week on the site.  The first 10 weeks will be the Tales of Belfort comic. Following that, we’ll get into some other stories that vary in genres from Noir to Western to Superhero.

Check out the site and view the Tales of Belfort comic by choosing it from the header and selecting Page 1. Please subscribe to it so you can be informed of when new pages are posted! This is an exciting venture for the three of us – Tim, Rob, and myself – even moreso for me since the premiere adventure is set in the world of Belfort!

-Jay Cormier

Adventures in Essen, Part 2: Attending as a Designer

If you’re a Designer and you’re at Essen, it’s for one of two reasons: You’re there to promote a game that’s launching or you’re there to pitch new games to publishers.

Matt Tolman (a fellow Game Artisan of Canada) had his game Undermining, published by Z-Man Games, launch at Essen. He had a few obligations throughout the fair, like demoing the game at the Z-Man booth multiple times and filming a video interview for BGG explaining the game. Even though Belfort just launched as well, our publisher, Tasty Minstrel Games, was not attending the Fair, so my goal at Essen was to pitch new games to publishers and make as many contacts as possible!

Planning for my trip to Essen started a few weeks before going to the actual Fair.  Sen, following our own advice as indicated in Step 17, used the Spiel ’11 GeekList on Boardgamegeek to create a database of all the publishers that might be interested in one or more of our new games.  He found out the contact information for each of them (sometimes much harder than it would seem, especially in foreign languages), prioritized which ones to contact and determined which of our prototypes should be shown to each based on their current product line or their submission guideline.

I then followed Step 18 and proceeded to email each of them explaining who I was and that I’d like to set up a meeting with them at Essen. Since this blog is all about being transparent and letting you see the entire process, here’s an example of an email I sent off to a prospective publisher:

Dear <Publisher>,

I’m going to be attending Essen this year and would like to arrange a time  to show you some of our new prototypes as noted below. Please respond with your preference.

Sen-Foong Lim and I are members of the Game Artisans of Canada and have designed Train of Thought and Belfort which have both been released this year from Tasty Minstrel Games.

We have a few games that we think would fit well with <Publisher>, and a sales sheet for each one is attached:

Bermuda Triangle: A time-travelling, pick-up and deliver, medium weight, strategy game for 2-4 players. Players program their boat’s movement using a unique mechanic in an effort to rescue more trapped explorers than the other players.


Swashbucklers
: A dice allocation game for 2-5 players. Players play pirates, rolling and assigning their dice to one of the 5 actions. Once all dice are rolled, players resolve the actions in an effort to get more boats or crew or attack each other with cannons in the sea, or with swords on land. We classify this as a medium-weight filler game.


Clunatics
: A party game for 3 or more people. Players must get any other player to guess a common phrase by providing the smallest of clues. On their own, the clues do not offer enough information, but add a couple more clues and it becomes more clear! A new twist on party games that keeps everyone involved at all times.


Lost for Words
: A word creation game that keeps everyone involved at all times with its unique 3×3 tile of letters. As one tile is flipped face up, players race to find the longest word possible in a straight line. Score is determined by subtracting the value of your word with that of the lowest valued word – so players are motivated to find any word to reduce other players’ scores! Fast and fun word finding game that can be played with 2-8 players in under 25 minutes.

We are also looking for international partners that are interested in publishing Train of Thought or Belfort outside of America. I’ll be bringing Train of Thought with me and if I receive my copy of Belfort in time then I’ll be bringing that along as well.

Thanks for your time.

I sent out about 15 emails or so to the publishers that we thought would be a good fit for the prototypes that we had to show. I got responses from most of them and we scheduled our meetings. I’d get a specific contact name, time slot and location (usually the publisher’s booth) and, after juggling a few conflicting, I had a pretty decent schedule with 4 meetings on Thursday, 4 on the Friday and 4 with publishers who said I should just stop by during the Fair at any time.

As indicated in Step 21, I packed my prototypes in individual Ziploc baggies and ensured they were clearly labeled with the game name and our contact information. I carried them in a backpack along with a folder full of 10 sales sheets for each game, as per Step 14, and an extra copy of rules for each game.  The amount of preparation we put into our pitches definitely helps make us look even more professional in the eyes of the publishers.  Many of them commented on how much they appreciated things like the Sales Sheets or how clearly everything was labeled.

I made sure to arrive before each meeting with time to spare because some publishers have multiple booths – if you go to the wrong one a few minutes before your meeting only to find that the meeting is supposed to be in another Hall, you might be out of breath for your meeting from all the running! I went up to the counter and asked a staff member if my contact was available as I had an appointment scheduled. I never had to wait more than 5 minutes and was soon escorted to a small room at the back of the booth – private and away from all of the hustle and bustle.

The publishers (or at least my contacts at the publisher – usually editors) were very nice and considerate – all of them! They all offered me something to drink and made sure I was comfortable. This was really nice as it made me feel more like an equal partner rather than someone who is begging them to publish my games. After a few pleasantries we got down to business.

Up Next: How I pitched games to publishers!

-Jay Cormier

Belfort: Designer Diaries, part 4: The Printers

In our final instalment of “Belfort: From Inspiration to Publication” we meet with Richard Lee of Panda Manufacturing, the Canadian company that handled the manufacturing aspects of Belfort for Tasty Minstrel Games. Panda has been setting the standard for having games manufactured in China in recent years. Belfort is a solid example of the work they can do.

Jay: Hi Richard! Good to speak with you again. Can you tell us what services Panda offers to publishers?

Richard (left), Michael Lee (right) and Belfort (middle)!

Richard: Hey Jay! Hi Sen! Well, Panda offers full manufacturing, sourcing, quality control, testing, and shipping services to game publishers all around the world. Our primary printing and assembly factory is located in Shenzhen, but we source components from all over China.

Sen: How did you find yourselves in this role?

Richard: My brother, Michael, and I have always been avid gamers and fans of the gaming industry. In 2007, Michael partnered up with our primary printing facility in China that specialized in commercial printing (books, magazines, packaging). With the help of some industry experts, he discovered that it was possible to create high quality board games in China that could match the quality of German-produced games. After all, the Chinese printers had access to the same materials and machinery as the Germans. It was simply a matter of workmanship, expertise, and experience.

Not long afterwards, he started offering the printing services to board game publishers and attended major gaming conventions to promote Panda Game Manufacturing.

Jay: So, are you hardcore gamers or game designers yourself?

Richard: We have been gamers for as long as we can remember and have always enjoyed tinkering with games and creating house rules. While we wouldn’t consider ourselves game designers at the moment, we do have some rough designs that we have worked on over the last few years. We look forward to the day when we will be able to bring one of our own games to market.

Sen: Tasty Minstrel didn’t use Panda for their first couple of games and their early woes with moisture are, by now, a cautionary tale in the board game publishing world. How does Panda Manufacturing ensure that this doesn’t happen?

Richard: Printed components made in China can be subject to very humid conditions, which can lead to warped components or even worse – mouldy components! Panda’s manufacturing process places a strong emphasis on ensuring that all components are properly dried in a specially-created climate control room. Component moisture levels are consistently monitored and brought down to American and European levels.

Jay: Seriously? That’s really interesting! But why does it take about 30 days to fully manufacture a game?

The factory in China...making games!

Richard: Actually, it takes more than 30 days to manufacture a game. Typically, after a publisher uploads their graphic files to our FTP site, we need 2 – 4 weeks in the pre-press and sample production stage to ensure that files are print-ready and that custom components samples are made properly before we kick off full production. In fact, we don’t start full production until our clients approve a proofs and materials package that contains full-colour proofs, a mock-up of the game, and sample materials and components. After we start full production, the average game takes 45 days to complete. Of course, this depends on the complexity of the project as well as the total quantity of the order.

Sen: So it’s not as simple as pressing ‘Print’ huh? Got it! Take us through some of the steps that Belfort went through to get through production.

Richard: There are many steps to producing a board game but here are some of the most important steps along the way:

· Creation of printing plates
· Colour matching
· Printing
· Creation of die-cuts
· Component sourcing
· Component quality control checks
· Assembly of games
· Packing in cartons & Palletization

Jay: What was the most difficult aspect of production for Belfort?

Richard: Overall, Belfort is a fairly standard production with wooden pieces, cards, punchboards, and a game board. However, the game board is a unique pentagon shape that consists of 5 kite-shaped pieces. To ensure that the game board pieces would fit together nicely, we printed all 5 game board pieces together and then cut the board into the kite shaped pieces to ensure a proper fit. This required additional pre-press work as well as carefully calibrated die-cutting machines.

Sen: Cool, that’s pretty neat! The board is a thing of beauty! But There is no insert to hold things in Belfort – is this something that’s common? If so – why?

Boxes!

Richard: After sending the publisher the proofs and materials package, which included the “white dummy” mockup of the game, we realized that the submitted box specifications did not allow enough room for an insert. Rather than adjust the box size (which increases both production and shipping costs) or reduce the thickness of components, the publisher chose to remove the insert from the game.

For games that do not have many wooden or plastic components, it is not uncommon for them to be produced without inserts. Belfort includes 12 ziplock bags, so there is plenty of storage to keep the game organized.

Jay: Ah, that’s actually great to know! As of the writing of this interview, we haven’t received our copies of the game yet and I was wondering if it was coming with bags or not. Yay!

Sen: And how much does each copy of Belfort weigh?

Richard: The weight of 1 game of Belfort is 1.65Kg (Ed: That’s 3.64 pounds for you Imperalists)

Jay: That’s pretty hefty! If great games were determined by weight then we’d be right up there! It could have been heavier because I remember we originally wanted Befort to have custom-sculpted elf/dwarf/gnome figures but the cost was prohibitive.

Richard: Yes, plastic components are fairly expensive, especially for smaller sized print runs (anything under 5000 games). That said, some publishers really want plastic components in their games and believe they can justify a higher retail price for the game. We have actually done plastic components for some orders as low as 2000 in the past but this usually adds at least $3 or $4 more to the production costs.

Jay: But what’s actually cheaper to use as a material? Paper, wood or plastic? What are the pros and cons of each?

Richard: Generally, paper is cheaper than wood, and wood is cheaper than plastic. Cardboard tokens are fairly cheap since you can fit many of them on a single punchboard. Wooden components have low set-up costs and are faster to produce whereas plastic components require an expensive mould set-up fee but have a lower price per unit afterwards. For smaller print runs wooden bits are cheaper than plastic bits, but for large orders sometimes plastic is cheaper than wood.

An example of the die cut for a punchboard (not for Belfort though).

Punchboard tokens are great because printed images and text will show up clearly on them. However, they have the downside of being 2 dimensional. Wood and plastic are more durable and are good for custom 3-D shapes. However, if you are designing a game where the pieces must be identical, keep in mind that wood pieces are prone to higher variances between pieces.

Sen: Has there been any really expensive game bit that you’ve had to manufacture?

Richard: Panda hasn’t actually been contracted to produce any game with a single component that has been especially expensive, but terms of games that have been more expensive to produce overall, the following come to mind:

· Tales of the Arabian Nights (with a special finish on the box and a huge book of tales)
· Merchants & Marauders (with plastic ships, custom bone dice, a cardboard treasure chest, wooden bits, and just about every cardboard component you can think of)
· Eclipse (an upcoming epic space game for a Finnish publisher – Lautepelit games)

Sen: Has Panda ever manufacture anything with electronics in it?

Richard: Panda has never produced a game with an electronic component. However, we are always looking for new and interesting ways to help our customers develop games of exceptional quality. In general, when working with new factories it is important to account for additional time to allow for more thorough quality control checks. In addition, we would encourage publishers considering electronics in their games to look into CPSIA and customs regulations related to toy testing standards for electronics.

Jay: If we were to do an expansion to Belfort, what should we consider from a manufacturing perspective?

Richard: Be sure to let us know if certain components need to be color matched to previous editions. For example, some card game expansions need extremely careful color matching. Otherwise, cards would be “marked” and the game might be unplayable. Also, you may want to consider advertising the expansion right in the base game. Many larger companies put game catalogues in each of their games. Lastly, there are optimal sizes for game boxes and boards, as well as optimal quantities for card decks. We would encourage you to contact us early so we can provide more specific advice for your game and find ways to help you save on costs.

Sen: For publishers thinking about manufacturing through you, what are some of the things they should know up front regarding both Panda Manufacturing and working with a production plant in China? What are the dangers of not using someone like yourself when dealing with printers in China?

Richard: It is not easy to be a successful board game publisher. You need to have an excellent marketing and sales strategy, great customer service, talented individuals, and of course fun games! Nor is it easy to be a successful board game manufacturer in China. We need a strong network of suppliers to provide quality components for all our games, and a dedicated team on the ground to ensure that colour matching, quality control, and shipping logistics are all carefully conducted.

Our service allows our clients to focus on their core business and be relieved of manufacturing headaches by letting us handle their production. Manufacturing a board game requires many small steps, many handoffs, and cooperation across many factories and companies. While there is always a chance that things can go wrong, Panda has built a reputation for standing by its customers and working with them to resolve any issues fairly and expediently. We take great pride in producing great quality games as well as solving problems if they do arise.

Jay: Is there anything else the world needs to know about Panda Manufacturing and the Lee brothers?

Richard: Panda regularly attends major gaming conventions such as GAMA, Origins, Gencon, and Essen. Feel free to email us at sales@pandagm.com to setup a face-to-ace meeting. We would be happy to discuss your upcoming project or just hang out and chat over a casual board game!

So that concludes our Designer Diaries on Belfort! If you missed the first three, you can read them here:

Belfort Designer Diaries: Part 1, The Playtesters

Belfort Designer Diaries: Part 2, The Developer

Belfort Designer Diaries: Part 3, The Artist

If you are interested in learning more about how we came up with the ideas and how the game grew from something small into what it is now you can read this interview by Jeff Temple and watch this video we recorded.

The Big Belfort update!

There has been plenty of action with Belfort recently! Let’s break them down:

The Hotness

Belfort is currently, as of this writing, the 5th hottest game in the Hotness List on boardgamegeek.com! This is just a fluctuating list that tracks which games have the most activity on their pages. Lots of people are interested apparently. Not only that, but on the people side of the Hotness List, both Sen and I are hot. For some strange reason, Sen is hotter than I am!

Belfort at the Printers

On June 1st, Belfort was at the Printers being printed! We’ve been told that it takes 28 days to get everything printed and fully boxed. Then it gets placed on a boat and is shipped to America, and that takes another 30 days. That means Belfort should hit America around August 1st. Some time will be needed for it to get to the distributors and then even more time to get it up to Canada for our Canadian readers out there. Still, we’re expecting to have it in our hands sometime in August!

Final Rules are available

Belfort Board Game rulesIf you can’t wait that long for a taste of Belfort then, you can check out the final rules with all the amazing art from Josh Cappel. They are posted on the new Tasty Minstrel website (which is much more functional than their last site!): http://playtmg.com/products/belfort. If you’ve been interested in the game but wanted to know how it works, then give them a read!

Contest to win Belfort!

For our American readers, Tasty Minstrel is holding a contest in which you can win one of 15 prize packages that includes: Belfort, Jab: Real Time Boxing, Eminent Domain and Homesteaders (2nd printing). To enter the contest, check out the rules and link here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/661048/tasty-minstrel-games-mega-giveaway-contest

Pre-orders for Belfort – even for Canadians!

You can now pre-order a copy of Belfort for yourself, even if you’re not in the US! They’re even offering a package deal if you want to get a few games from Tasty Minstrel Games (like, say, I don’t know…Train of Thought maybe?!). Straight from Michael Mindes, the owner of Tasty Minstreal Games comes this message:

I have been receiving numerous emails about shipping costs worldwide through PlayTMG.com.  I was planning to offer no shipping outside of the United States, for various reasons.  So, let me preface these costs with the following information:

    • These rates are non-negotiable.  They are as low as I can afford to make them, and I will continue to learn about how to get better rates.
    • These rates do not include any import taxes or duties imposed by your home country.
    • I will not make any adjustments to the stated value of the games to help you avoid those import taxes or duties.  You will need to address that through the political process afforded in your home country.
    • Yes, you can combine orders of multiple games from multiple people for combined shipping costs.  Up to 25 pounds.

In this fashion, I am able to offer worldwide shipping for those that desire it.  Tasty Minstrel fans have asked for worldwide shipping and it is now available.  Those are the terms.  Here are the rates:

    • Hawaii & Alaska = $30 USD
    • Canada up to 25 pounds = $30 USD
    • Canada 26-50 pounds = $50 USD
    • Rest of the World up to 25 pounds = $50 USD

Promo video for Belfort

Sen and I have finished the script for a promo video to help promote the game and now we’re in the process of getting it animated as it will only feature real people at the end when it zooms out to show people playing the game.  Of course we’ll be sharing it here as soon as it’s done – which might even be a bit after the game launches.

Comic Book for Belfort

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve partnered up with Tim Reniert to write comic books. We’ve written a bunch of scripts already, but the first one we’ve commissioned an artist to draw is a story set in the world of Belfort. We found an amazing artist, Rob Lundy, who has gone above and beyond our expectations for this story. We’ve seen some rough layouts and are excited about how it’s coming together. We’ll be sharing more as we progress, but for now, here’s some character art for our two main characters in the story.

We’re very excited about this game. As excited as we were for our first game, Train of Thought, I would say that I am twice as excited for this one. Belfort is the kind of game I like to play – the gamery game! We’re in the home stretch now!

GuiltFreeGames reviews Train of Thought

Another great review of Train of Thought has come in.  Read it here. Here’s my favourite part:

“Of the three party games I played on Super Bowl Sunday, Train of Thought by Tasty Minstrel Games was the best. It was the most innovative of the three games, and frankly, we had the most fun with it. We played it several times over that weekend, and we made sure we introduced it to everyone that swung by. And now I recommend it to you.”

Thanks GuiltFreeGames!

-Jay Cormier

 

 

Step 22: Getting your Game in front of a Publisher at a Convention: Now you’re at the convention

We’ve picked the best convention, we’ve set up some meetings with publishers beforehand and we’re packed properly – now we’re at the convention!

The first thing to do is to understand the schedule.  As Sen alluded to in Step 20, you might want to take in a few seminars (if there are any) or even – heaven forbid – play some games!  Sometimes the schedule is available before attending, so you could have this done before attending – but it’s always worth re-checking as schedules often change at the last minute. Try to attend as many seminars or workshops that are about game design or game manufacturing as possible.  Even if you never want to self-publish, it’s extremely important for a designer to understand the ins and outs of the entire business.

When you’ve determined it’s time to hit the trade show floor, make sure you have everything you need.  What do you need?  Come on, haven’t you been reading this blog from the beginning? Just kidding.  OK, you should be carrying around your sales sheets (Step 14)  in an easily accessible folder.  I get my sales sheets printed in colour on nice glossy or thicker matte paper.  I then put one sales sheet for each game in a folder.  The folder is one of those that open up, but the sales sheets are not bound or attached to the folder in any way.  This allows me to easily find the one I want and show somebody.

So rule #1 – always, always, always have your sales sheets on you.  Always.  If you go to dinner at a convention – bring your sales sheets.  If you’re playing someone else’s games – bring your sales sheets.  You just never know when you’re going to need to show them.

Case in point: I was at the GAMA trade show a few years ago and saw a couple people setting up a prototype of a game.  Seeing that I wasn’t too busy, I asked if they would like another playtester for the game.  They agreed and we started playing and chatting.  While chatting, the purpose of my visit to this convention came up and I showed them my sales sheets.  They expressed interest in a game called Belfort and wanted to play it after.  Sure, why not – I thought.

About ¾ of the way through playtesting this game, I realized I wasn’t playing with other game designers – but I was playing with a publisher.  Tasty Minstrel, in fact.  Astute readers will see where this is going.  After playing their prototype – called Homesteaders (now published by Tasty Minstrel Games), they played Belfort and enjoyed it.  So much so that they wanted to play it again the following day.  After that second playtest they offered to publish the game.

So you really never know when you’ll need your sales sheets – so have them handy at all times!

Second ‘rule’ for conventions – have all your prototypes with you when you are walking the convention floor.  I try to have my prototypes with me almost all the time when I’m at a convention – but for sure you need to have them when you’re walking the floor.  The best case scenario when approaching a publisher at a convention is that they will want to take a look at your game – right now – so you better have an easily accessible prototype at the ready.

When I first get into a convention floor – where there are dozens of booths, I like to do a walk around before talking to anyone about publishing my games.  I like to see what they are showcasing and how they’re doing it.  I like to see if I can tell who the person is that I should speak to when I return.  I also like seeing all the new games that they have out!  Once I get a good lay of the land, I refer to my preparations and see which publishers I wanted to speak with first.

Now timing is key at a convention.  You never want to approach a publisher right at the beginning of a convention because they are really focused on the purpose of why they’re there (see Step 19).  If you’re not a potential customer, then you could rub them the wrong way right off the bat.  Also you want to time your approach to when their booth is empty – or at least one person at the booth is not occupied.  If the publisher is there to talk to customers or retailers, then you are preventing them from doing that – so respect their purpose!  The best timing is, of course by setting up a meeting in advance (Step 20).

In the next post we’ll get into details about approaching a publisher and what happens next!

-Jay Cormier

Again, my comments are pretty short and sweet on this section as Jay’s the point man for our two-man strike team when it comes to conventions.

When you consider that out of all the prototypes a publisher sees in a given year, only a very small percentage get published, you might attribute some of our success to luck. But if you think of the equation:

Luck = Opportunity + Planning

then you might be more apt to see how Jay and I work. Nothing came to us by luck. Did we go to GAMA 2009 knowing that we’d get signed or that we’d even have a meeting with Tasty Minstrel Games? No. We didn’t have the benefit of a nifty blog like this one telling us to get an appointment first!

But Jay’s willingness to help playtest (Opportunity) plus us having prepared well laid-out and thoughtful sell sheets at the ready (Planning) ended up in Tasty Minstrel Games being interested in our product and reciprocate by playtesting our prototype.

Even more than that, sometimes, is this often overlooked fact – we are not trying to sell the publisher on just a single game. We view the designer/developer/publisher relationship as one that needs to be developed and nurtured. We want to make sure that the publishers are a good fit for us and vice versa. We want to let prospective publishers know that we are a good team to work with – we are selling ourselves as designers as much (if not more) than we are selling our designs.

And this is how you turn one bit of “luck” into even more good fortune.

-Sen-Foong Lim