We maintain an open submission period for games. We only publish a few games a year, with a commitment to multiple years of support and marketing. We provide standard 3%-6% royalty rates on games, as per the negotiation process and presence of multiple designers. We also pay advances on royalties, and come to arrange royalties for additional parties as part of the publishing process.
This also means we are very, very picky.
A good start is to talk to us. We keep a behind-the-scenes Discord channel where we discuss current projects, contests, and more, and joining us there may give you a leg up in getting to know what we want, as well as get great feedback from other creators.
We will do our best to keep the list below as updated as possible with specific types of games we are looking for, but the reality is that a game has to impress quite a few people to get to the front of the line. We require unanimous approval of 4 key people, and even getting two is a challenge on its own (although what they are looking for is touched on below). All game submissions have the following features:
- A complete, playable ruleset.
- Playtested by multiple groups.
- No reliance on a specific IP ("It only works if it is ______ themed")
- Currently available prototype
- Digitally-composed components (nothing handwritten)
- Basic formatting to ease play, including free and public domain clip art /images as desired to convey the game
Game submissions we receive often fall into the following categories, and we will respond within a couple of weeks, barring large-scale plagues and other catastrophes (we now know this to be true). This just gives a sense of what our responses will be, and to give you a sense of what to submit next time.
- This game is not ready to be played or shown, such as large ruleset gaps, incomplete information, lack of a prototype. Please don't submit projects of this type, as they influence our relationship with you as a designer.
- This game is not our style, which means that on a mechanic or dynamic level, the game will never be accepted by our current team, or for our current or future needs. This often can apply to perfectly good or fantastic games that just don't meet our personal tastes.
- We could not commit to this game at this time. Some games require components or manufacturing specifics outside our comfort zone for the reasonable future. We are a hobbyist game publisher, so our games must fit our print runs, audience, and business structure. This is in tandem with other categories.
- This is similar to something we are considering. Sometimes a game hits on a need or design goal that we are already trying to meet by other means. This is often just bad timing or luck. If the game is a better fit than the other things we are working on, we wouldn't then say this (the other thing would become the redundent project).
- This is something we would like to publish someday. This often comes in the form of notes on what we would like to see. This isn't a guarantee that we will publish it someday, but it does mean that we like the project, we like you, and we want to give as much honest feedback as possible to help with your development process. You can heed our advice, or ignore it, as you need to in your journey, but you struck a particular chord if you get at-length feedback.
- This is something we would like to publish, but you have to be up for a change. This may be a key game element or theme choice that we want to be up front about before you get further invovled.
- This is something we want to publish. This means soon as in withint he next two years (we don't sign much further out than that).
If that all sounds good to you, then check out the list below of the direction of our current design work, and then submit at the bottom of the page. You are encouraged to mention if your project seems to fit any of the below, as it will help give the right angle for our consideration, or to better understand your intent.
- Community Conscious: We adopted a social mandate in 2020 to make anti-racism, diversity, and equality a centerpiece of our company process. We especially want to encourage designers who feel underrepresented in the community and industry to submit, and that we are excited to look at their work, as well as to consider projects that center these experiences.
- Play Different: We have grown fond of the folded magnetic-lid box of Rosetta: The Lost Language, and are tentatively expecting to re-release Quota in this larger box with additional cards and components. This means we are interested in building a line of unexpected and unique games ("Play Different") that share this box size. For your use, the box is 5.5" x 4" x 1.25". We are looking to be entirely surprised by these games, and aiming for games that fit in the box, rather than games that feel "shrunk" to fit.
- Get To The Point: With Sacred Rites, as well as a currently unannounced dexterity game, we are enjoying games that are in smaller boxes that get to the table quickly, teach quickly, and keep downtime at a low. The games should still have depth to them, but these games should impress us by taking a specific enjoyable mechanic or game moment and make it happen both often and with ease for casual and hobbyist gamers alike.
- Immersive Large Games: We clearly like making small games, but some like Danger Park get through and we just want to make them. The key seems to be that the projects we are drawn to are concerned with the play experience more broadly, and that may be more of a development thing, but we have considered signing games that introduce a chance for worldbuilding, unique characters and settings, and a chance to give the experience that other similar games do not (e.g. the destructive theme of Danger Park over the constructive theme of other theme park games).
- Table Presence & Verticals: We have been looking closer at submissions that take an aim at good table presence, especially when large, cool, and complex table elements are centered in the play experience (one could say they are integral- we have seen our share that also add these elements ina way that doesn't actually matter or add to gameplay). We also like games that get players to stand up, move, or use vertical space and height as a game mechanic.
- Storytelling, horror, dexterity, and puzzle games: The team has a particular weakness for these types of games, along with what we have already published (party, worker placement, map building, social deduction, bluffing, cooperative, drawing, etc.). We seem to have a broad aversion to highly abstracted and heavy strategy games (but perhaps we will some day be proven wrong).
- Idiosyncratic: Danger Park encourages players to embody greed and risk and nonsensical storytelling. Sacred Rites requires cult-like chanting as a game element. Quota is best played by people who are ready to undergo strange conversations just to score a point. Rosetta: The Lost Language plays to a higher skill level when the author builds more meaning and cultural creativity into their work. A lot of what we like about our games is that they get players out of their usual zone, or nudge them to be silly, performative, or creative in a way they weren't before. This isn't automatically true of other projects that are in-progress or we are considering, but perhaps it says something about why they stood out. We don't get these specific feelings from other games, even ones that seem similar, and maybe that is the point.
- Expansion Content: If a game involves non-team designers, we prefer to reserve the right to monitor the expansion content process for them. However, since we internally design and publish games as well, we are open to collaboration and involvement from designers who have come to love our games. If you are a game designer and are interested in the planned expansion process for one of our games, feel free to either jump in the Discord or reach out to us. We are pretty open about what we feel when it comes to which games getting what kind of expansion content.