Sending game ideas & tips for game-designers

You have developed a game idea and now you are searching for a publishing company which publish it?
What do you have to do?
Like we ascertain over and over again, there are absolutely wrong performances of beginning game designer with regard to the attainment of a publishing company and the expectations which are put in the same. Here, hence, you receive from me (Henning Poehl) tips to the approach.
Attention: These tips correspond to my personal agenda and experiences. It can be that other publishing companies see it absolutely different.

General tips

  1. Write your game idea not to a publishing company before you have formulated your rules completely and you own a playable prototype which you can send to the publishing company any time.
  2. What you should not act:
    1. You should never send a prototype unsolicited to a publishing company!
      This causes only to you and the publishing company (who must send back the prototypes to you) needless costs.
    2. You shouldn’t send faxes which have basically the following contents: "Ich have a game idea. I send it to you if you sign to me on this fax, that you wouldn’t steal my game idea."
      This cost the publishing company only needless ink and paper. We put these faxes immediately in the wastepaper basket. On the one hand, a signed fax would not protect you against the theft of a game idea and on the other hand the base between a publisher and a game disigner is the trustfulness (which you obviously – because of the fax – don’t have to the publisher).
    3. Don’t write a publishing company letters like these: "I have a great game idea! If you have interest, I send it to you."
      As a publishing company one gets constantly game ideas unsolicited. Among them are the countless games which are uninteresting for the publishing company. Why one should react there to such an request, particularly the unimaginativeness of the request is at portent for the game (what can be absolutely wrong).
    4. Don’t use in your covering letter formulations such as "After testing the game it seemed to be nice." or "My friends says: ‚the game is not bad’". Game publishing companies are constant in search of "the big one" game, possibly everybody should think this is "the best game ever"!
      Games which are "nice" or "not bad" are countless published. However, these games produced by no publishing company deliberately as such. If youselve aren’t confident to your game idea, what should a publishing company think about?
    5. Don’t send (as far as possible) your game idea at the same time to several publishing companies. If you nevertheless do it, please point it out to the involved companies.
      It’s much work for a publishing company and they use a lot of time to deal with your game idea. Hence, it is especially irritating for a publishing company if he has deal a long time with your game and finds out then that you have decided on another publishing company.
  3. And thus should go forward you by contacting game publisher:
    1. Watch the program of the publishing companies. Consider whether your game generally fits in the publishing company program. Try to answer the following question: Why is my game interesting for the publishing company well-chosen by me (it is not enough, that the game is "excellent")?
    2. Send a mail to the chosen publishing company. Present your game idea briefly outlined (maximum one letter side). Emphasise, if possibly:
      • the goal of the game.
      • play mechanism
      • required play materials
      • What is new in your game?
      • What are the specific features of the play mechanism?
      • Why it is suitable for the publishing company?
      • What is in your mind in your game the especially best thing.
      • Attach graphics and/or photos of the prototype which shows the game play.
    3. Don’t be to much disappointed if your game idea is rejected (I knew, this is difficult), because there are many reasons, why your game can be refused.
      Here a few reasons, why a excelent games can be rejected:
      • You have not hit the liking of the test persons (also games are, like everything, things you like or not)
      • Your game does not fit in the publishing company program (something like that can be mostly cleared at the beginning, simple by calling the company!)
      • Your game mechanism is analog to a game which is already in the publishing company program or was some times before.
      • Your game was simple at the wrong time in the wrong hands.

    Please notice, there are only people who watchs your game. People with mistakes, as you are also not freely from mistakes. Also consider that your game idea is not the only one at which the editors must look. Talk with other game designer.

Special tips for sending games to the sphinx game company

If you think about sending us a game idea of you, then we would like to point out the following things:

  1. The sphinx game company is a small publishing company. The games we produce, primarily, are designed by the company owner.
  2. Because of the point before our financial resources are limited and we will produce games of other game desingners only in special cases.
  3. The sphinx game company published only games with black and/or whimsical and/or biological themes. Should your games not be alignend to these themes, we must (unseen) your play idea by now reject.
  4. The most game publisher works "slow" and the sphinx game company works especially slowly. Shouldn’t you have heard within three months from us after sending us your game idea (and your game has a theme of our liking), please, ask what happens.
  5. If we are interested at your game idea, then look forward at ther earliest in two years on a publication of your game. Feel free to publishe your game in other publishing companies before. Please inform us if you send your game to another game company, however only if we have stated interest in your game.
  6. The sphinx game company supported with pleasure young game designer, and thus we advice you with pleasure, even if your game is not considered for our publishing company.
  7. Do you think about publishing your game by your own, then we and support you with pleasure (we maybe would be interested in cooperations). It is needless that you do all mistakes of a beginner.