Tuesday, April 8


That's 36 submissions, from 24 designers, 25 of which I've accepted on the first pass.

My first pass through the list is looking at a couple of paragraphs the designers sent me to see whether I'm interested in seeing the rules. At this point I'm considering the theme, mechanics and components. Here's the criteria I use to rule games out:

  • Theme. I'm looking for fun themes (rather than abstracts), nothing too distasteful or which I find un-interesting - e.g. sport games.
  • Mechanics. Mass market games are right out, I don't have the clout to compete in the party game/mass market arena, Hasbro would eat me alive! You also need to make massive runs to make it affordable, I don't have the capital for that. I'm not interested in wargames, or card games based on a standard deck of cards, nor anything that sounds too light (not enough meaningful choices) or too heavy (very long or complicated games).
  • Components. I don't like using generic boards, I'm trying to position Reiver Games as a company that makes attractive but unusual games, I can't do that using a chess board as the playing area. If it requires hundreds of plastic minis that's out too.

Also games that the designers freely admit to not being especially well tested fail the test too. I'm after games that are ready to publish. While I don't mind doing a bit of development if a game is almost there, I don't want to be doing the designer's playtesting for them. That's what they get paid for.

I've done the first pass through my submissions, now I need to look in more detail at the rules for those games that make the cut.

In other news, the meeting with the new bank manager went well and was useful, and I'm hoping to meet the manufacturer towards the end of this week too. I need to get a lot done this week, as it now looks like I'll be spending a decent chunk of next week in and out of hospital :-(


runehardt said...

I can't wait to see what games you decide on.

Jackson Pope said...

Nor can I! Until I've read the rules I'll not know which ones I want to playtest, and then I've got to decide which ones to publish. Hopefully there's some really good ones in the pile.



Mal said...

Excellent post - really interesting to see the criteria you use for reviewing submissions. :)

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Mal,

Thanks, I'll do a follow up explaining the next step soon.



Yehuda Berlinger said...

Mass market games only require you to produce enough that Hasbro or Ravensberger pick it up.


Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Yehuda,

I'd not thought of it like that - good point.