*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 09, 2021, 09:50:34 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 161 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Query: Indie Presses accepting submissions?  (Read 4871 times)
Sovem
Member

Posts: 94

J.F.Halsey


« on: August 30, 2006, 02:29:37 AM »

I was wondering, do indie presses every look for game ideas beyond their usual repertoire? My first thought is that, no, indie presses are too small and focused to branch out to new things. But then I thought, perhaps more well to do or enterprising businesses are looking to expand?

So, do they? Does anyone know of an example, or perhaps run a business that is open to new ideas and submissions?
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2006, 05:07:53 AM »

I was wondering, do indie presses every look for game ideas beyond their usual repertoire? My first thought is that, no, indie presses are too small and focused to branch out to new things. But then I thought, perhaps more well to do or enterprising businesses are looking to expand?

So, do they? Does anyone know of an example, or perhaps run a business that is open to new ideas and submissions?

Sovem,

The point of the Forge is to promote and help creator-owned publishing. While "indie" may not say that to all people (it's a term we've used historically, and, yeah, we know the hang-ups), that's what it means here. Your question then is invalid: by definition, we are not interested in helping non-creator-owned publishing. (We aren't against it, obviously - there's just other sites for that.)

But it seems like you have a game that you want published, and we're here to tell you you can publish it. I suggest hopping over to the First Thoughts forum and talking with others about your game.
Logged

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


WWW
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2006, 07:47:11 AM »

Clinton,

This is sort of a grey area in the indie definition for me.. Maybe it's plainly black and white for you, but it's always been fuzzy to me.

What's to stop the current indie definition from including Sovern writing, printing, publishing and retaining full ownership rights to his game, but calling it, for instance, an Adept Press game? Ron and he could join forces on promoting and all the other fun stuff that comes with trying to sell a game. Sovern would benefit from publishing from a known indie name, and Ron would benefit from having one more game in the Adept Press stable, as well as someone with a vested interest in increasing the brand recognition.

The above example assumes of course that Ron would be interested, and that he and Sovern could work out a deal acceptable to both. That's not the question. The question is, would such an arrangement violate the Forge definition of 'Indie'?

'cause I'm thinking the answer is no, myself. If I were a published name with something to offer, and Sovern had a game that fit with Wolves Den Productions, I might be interested in his proposal. I'm not, and I don't know what sort of game he's got in mind so it's entirely speculative in my case.
Logged

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Lxndr
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2006, 08:00:44 AM »

To bring this into the real world:

Wicked-Dead is a company formed by Jared Sorensen and John Wick, and publishes (or at least advertises) games from both of them under that banner.  But, they still own their own games.  If Wicked-Dead goes away, there's no question over who owes what, because the products aren't property of "Wicked-Dead", but property of the creators.  On top of that, I'm pretty sure Wick gets all the money from the Wick products, and Sorensen gets all the moeny from the Sorensen stuff.

That said, it's not like they "submitted" their ideas to Wicked-Dead.  They just publish them, and advertise through their alliance of names.  They're doing exactly what you're describing, and since Wicked-Dead took part in the Forge booth this year, and at least Jared's products are being sold on Indie Press Revolution, I'm pretty sure that's considered "indie" by the Forge's definition.

But I also don't think, from reading what Sovem typed, that that's what he was seeking, at least originally.  That said, it might be an arrangement he'd be interested in accepting.
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


WWW
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2006, 09:00:35 AM »

Right, my response was more to Clinton-as-moderator than the original poster.. but I think, perhaps, the original poster might be interested in the response as well.

Wicked-Dead did influence my thoughts on this. But my main reasons for this being a grey area comes from my old assumptions that publishing houses don't consist of just one guy. Since the Forge, I've come to realize that they can, and in most indie cases, do. But that old idea has never left, and if I could find somebody interested in my projects and whose projects I'm interested in enough, I wouldn't mind in the least joining together. They could do their games, I could do mine, and quite possibly their projects or my projects could become joint projects.. I'd be really cool with that, personally.

Anyhow.. I'll hold off on replying further until Sovern comes back and says whether or not this line of conversation is of any interest to him, or of any use.
Logged

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Sovem
Member

Posts: 94

J.F.Halsey


« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2006, 11:46:37 AM »

Indeed, this is precisely the kind of information I was looking for. That stuff about the Wicked-Dead is interesting.

Here's my (abbreviated story): my wife and I have a game we've been working on for a very long time. It's been through many revisions and playtests, and I feel we're getting pretty close to finishing it. So, I started doing some research on how to publish. I had a nice, large budget set aside for things like art and other costs, but some unexpected bills wiped it out pretty completely. Now, we're not the richest people in the world. In fact, just the idea of paying $40 for an RPGNow.com membership as a publisher makes me cringe pretty deeply. I'm in talks with the artist I want to do the cover (because, let's face it, books are judged by covers) who says he's willing to do a "payment plan," instead of the usual lump sum. But I'm still worried whether my family can afford it, especially with a second little one on the way. So this morning I wake up with the question you see posted before you. And, voila!, that brings us here ^_^. Perhaps this belongs in the First Thoughts forum, but the game is pretty much done in terms of development and my question was purely from a publishing standpoint, so I thought I'd come here.
Any advice would certainly be welcome.
Logged

Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2006, 12:10:20 PM »

Well you're certainly in the right place.  For the budget minded you can pretty much climb the ladder at your own pace.

PDF publishing saves you on printing costs, has become enormously more accepted than it was a few years ago, has many outlets and venues for distribution and can handle as much or as little art as you have the budget for.  I wouldn't skimp on layout or editing costs, however.  It also has the benefit of having many interactive feature possibilities that are often underused.

True Print on Demand like found at Lulu lets you have a real honest to god book get printed out one book at a time when someone orders...so minimal up front costs there.

Small Print runs will give you better per unit cost (usually) than Lulu but require more upfront investment.  Depends greatly on the size of your project but you can get 100-500 copy print runs pretty reasonably, and I certainly wouldn't start larger than that.  Universalis's first print run was 100 copies.  My most recent was a 1000.  Starting with 1000 would have been unnecessarily risky.  Printing 20,000 as some over eager, overly optimistic wishful thinkers have done has proven to be a huge mistake.


First though, feel free to make your game available by link or discussion here.  Its often good to give a game to folks who don't have long term emotional ties to it to see how close to finished it really is.

Logged

Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2006, 01:16:23 PM »

If costs are your main concern, then the Forge can definitely help you figure out ways to cut costs without necessarily cutting corners. If your original intent was to inquire if someone were willing to take the financial burden of your game, then Clinton's first answer pretty much stands; Not likely.

Many, I'd even hazard to say most, designers here aren't really making any money doing this. If they're successful, they probably manage, at best, to cover their Con costs, and make a little bit extra.. Which most reinvest almost instantly into new products, or into improving their existing products.

Lxndr recently totaled out his costs for me; He's been published for about two years, with Fastlane, and with a stake in the No-Press Anthology collection of games with Snowball. He's not even breaking even, counting only costs incurred specifically as a designer (art, layout, printing and Con booth buyin, not to include travel costs or room and board for the Cons), but is just inching toward it. And now with the second edition of Fastlane in the works, he's incurring more expenses.

Now, I'm sure he'll probably add to this, and give a little more background on his processes. It's very likely that he's made some avoidable mistakes that have kept him from being profitable that experience will prevent in the future. So don't be discouraged; It's a hard road (one I'm STILL traveling) from idea to publishing, but there's a lot of experience and knowledge to draw on here to make it as smooth a road as possible.
Logged

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Judd
Member

Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2006, 06:17:21 PM »

But I'm still worried whether my family can afford it, especially with a second little one on the way. So this morning I wake up with the question you see posted before you.

Sovem, these sentences put a cold lump in my stomach.

The most important publishing lesson I have learned from the Forge is probably that you should never invest more money in a game than you can afford to lose.

Lose.

Kaput.

Because it is a brutal market and it happens all of the time to all kinds of games.

Good luck.
Logged

Lance D. Allen
Member

Posts: 1962


WWW
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2006, 08:03:19 PM »

Judd,

Thanks for putting succinctly what I was trying to say. I can't speak about Ron or Clinton or Vincent, all established, well-known indie designers, as they've not felt the need to share their financial progress with me, but Lxndr is a moderately well-known designer who's been published for two years, and he's not even breaking even yet, let alone seeing a profit.

So yes, definitely don't go into this counting on even making your money back, let alone making a profit. If you do well, then awesome. Plan for it. But don't count on it.

But that aside, don't lose hope! Go read some of the articles posted about people's experiences with game publishing. Do a search for other games.. As a matter of fact, the designer for carry: a game about war recently posted sharing his experiences from concept to product. There are methods of publishing for all budgets, including the no-budget. So you don't have to worry about taking money out of your babies' mouths.

As specific advice, a good way to start building buzz about your game, the sort of thing that can eventually lead to sales, is post about your actual play experiences with your game. Do it here, do it on RPG.net, do it wherever you can get people to read about it. This can also lead you to questions and comments which will help you tweak the game and the text before sending it off to print, or maybe offering it for sale as a .pdf on a website somewhere.
Logged

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Lxndr
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2006, 07:49:56 AM »

I should mention that the only reason I'm not breaking even is that I was too ambitious at the beginning.  I ran off 150 copies of Fastlane on my first run, which was somewhere between 50 and 100 too much for that game, especially since two years later, it hasn't sold out yet.  If I'd done print runs in blocks of fifty, I'd be significantly better off.  (The No Press Anthology, on the other hand, looked at on its own, is a huge success for me.)

That said, I'd also be significantly better off if I didn't take, like, almost 18 months off from promoting my game at all.  I switched jobs shortly after Fastlane made its debut at GenCon 2004, and that led to a very sharp decline of my activity here and elsewhere.  Then I went back to school which steepened that decline.  Lance is right - buzz about a game really helps, and the best kind of buzz is generally Actual Play experience.

But if you haven't yet, Sovem, check out Lulu.  There is zero up-front cost, and it's a perfectly good situation to start there, selling your book, and then once you earn enough money from the Lulu sales, at that point, you can think about a more traditional print run.
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
Sovem
Member

Posts: 94

J.F.Halsey


« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2006, 09:35:53 AM »

Thanks for the suggestions, Lxndr, and for the life experience advice. Right now, though, my plans are to go the pdf route.
Logged

daMoose_Neo
Member

Posts: 890


WWW
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2006, 10:11:13 PM »

The RPGNow membership is WELL worth it. You invest $40, yes, but you also get a decent wealth of information (when I joined I got all of the current "How to" books on PDF publishing dos and don'ts), you get access to PDF customers instead of trying to pedal it off of your own site (which you would have to then advertise up the yin-yang), and depending on your membership (basic means a %25 cut to James, Gold means a %30 cut to James, the owner), you get access to some incredible selling tools and advertising abilities.
In a little more than a year on the site, I've done about $400 in sales, essentially sitting on my thumbs. This has paid for some art packages I've used to expand my print offerings, indeed its paid for one product totally (Imp's Big Dumb Heroes :D), and countless advertising outlets, mailing lists, and more.
Trust me, with a solid title and some good, old fashioned stumping and pimpage, you can make your money back on RPGNow in no time.
Logged

Nate Petersen / daMoose
Neo Productions Unlimited! Publisher of Final Twilight card game, Imp Game RPG, and more titles to come!
Lxndr
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 1113

Master of the Inkstained Robes


WWW
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2006, 06:51:49 AM »

I have to agree, the RPGNow membership is well worth the price.  I haven't done as well as Nate has on sales over there, but even without knowing how to take advantage of half the selling tools and advertising abilities (as I don't), it's still a great place to sell your product.  (I keep meaning to figure out the rest of RPGNow's offerings, and then never getting around to it).

That said, there's Maslow's Hierarchy of needs.  If spending $40 means that you might give up food or shelter, then quite obviously, no matter how much of a bargain the RPGNow membership is, now is not the time to buy it.  Start at Lulu (which sells pdfs as well as print volumes, and has no buy-in fee) and move to RPGnow as soon as you make $40.
Logged

Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
Moderator of Indie Netgaming
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!