Friday, November 7

Trapped!

My email was broken yesterday: I didn't receive any, not even spam. When you run a business from home, predominantly using email you feel strangely cut off, knowing that all the emails that you've been sent are sitting on a server somewhere, waiting to be delivered. It didn't help that I was sending out emails to distributors pimping Carpe Astra, and I was unable to respond to any replies they might have been sending. It seems to be working today though, I'm getting a steady trickle of emails that were sent yesterday.

I got my books finished yesterday as planned, that's two months in a row that I've finished them within a sensible length of time from the end of the month. I can only assume that I've been abducted by aliens and replaced by a robot double. It's not something I'd do, at one point I was probably eighteen months behind!

With Carpe Astra nearly here I need to seriously start thinking: 'What next?' I've lined up Sumeria/Codename: Ancient for next Essen, but in the meantime, I'd like to get one or two games out early next year. I've spent fairly heavily on It's Alive! and Carpe Astra though, so I'm not going to have much cash-on-hand until I've sold a decent proportion of both print runs. This necessitates cheaper games for early next year.

I want more games so that I can balance the risk better (I'm less dependent on all my games selling out quickly as I'll have multiple income channels), but I can't afford large games which require a large capital investment. I think card games are the way to go. As a result, I'm going to look closer at Codenames: Jorvik, Backyard and Native as well as a few submissions from Reiner Knizia! Yeah, his agent stopped by my booth at Essen and asked if I was interested in publishing other designer's games. 'Yes, if they're his!' was my answer!

I'm also going to revisit a sci-fi television show license I was working on two or three years ago. I've no idea whether there's any chance of getting the license, but I bought Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game at Essen, and now I've played it a couple of times it has inspired me :-)

9 comments:

Jason said...

Double Wow! First, a game designer has an agent?! Second, you might publish a Reiner game, that's gotta be pretty exciting.

Mal said...

Oooh... a sci-fi TV licence. Intriguing. You kept that pretty quiet, Mr Pope. :)

Jack said...

Hiya Jason,

Yeah, I need to take a look at them and see if they are my kind of thing :-)

Mal,

Well, I've done very little work on it for a long time, and I've no idea what the chance of actually getting the licence is...

Cheers,

Jack

Eric Hanuise said...

You might want to consider preorders as a way to reduce risk. This could open you for bigger games in a shorter timeframe (like a border reivers reprint wink wink wink )

Jack said...

Hiya Eric,

There's a surprising amount of interest in Border Reivers, I get emails every now and again.

I don't like pre-orders where I take your money before the game is ready, I prefer to offer a reduced price to people who sign up early, but not take any money till the games arrive. I did that for It's Alive! and I'm doing it again for Carpe Astra. It seems to work...

Cheers,

Jack

Mal said...

Curious. What is it that you don't like about taking people's money? ;)

Or is it that you reckon people are less likely to pre-order with that approach?

Jack said...

Hiya Mal,

In my experience the production can be significantly delayed, so I don't feel comfortable taking peoples money then waiting ages before they get anything for it. I'm much more comfortable taking people's money when the games are on their way to me. That way the wait is very short and known.

Cheers,

Jack

Philip said...

Very impressive contact! Your experience is such an inspiration to me!

Jack said...

Hiya Philip,

Glad my ramblings aren't a complete waste of my time :-)

Cheers,

Jack