What about original games?
We typically look at over 100 original games a year. By an original game, I am talking about receiving a prototype from a game designer, as opposed to a finished game from a board game company. We playtest them to see if they will fit with out current lineup, and to make sure that they are more than “mechanically functional”. We have played many, many prototypes that range from “this needs work” to “wow, this is great”. But, even if a game is great, we still need to be able to market it, and that is easier said than done sometimes.
I remember that we played a game one time that was about fracking (if you aren’t familiar with this subject, check out the Wikipedia article for more information). To give credit where credit is due, the concept was explained very well, and the game itself was well-done. However, I believe you can’t justify making a game about destroying the planet; it would be incredibly controversial if nothing else. Other companies may have a different attitude about their subject matter, but here at Quick Simple Fun, we have a few rules that we like to follow:
1. Is it family-friendly?
We get a few games a year that I am sure someone thought was fun, but ultimately were inappropriate in one way or another. We have received board game prototypes with subject matter related to sexual assault, becoming slavers, and playing a violent medical doctor who intentionally harms their patients, among others; these are not the games for us.
2. Is the game playable in less than two hours?
We do have “quick” in our name after all. 🙂
3. Is the game fun for people outside your usual play group?
We receive many board games with notes from the designer that their family and friends love the game. But I’m sure we have all seen the early episodes of American Idol where bad singers tell the judges that their family loves their singing…
When it comes time to playtest your game as a designer, you need to test it outside of your regular group. Criticism can be tough to hear, but can also help you grow as a designer and person. Our hobby is niche to begin with, so making it a subset of a subset of this group makes it a hard sell.
4. What would it cost us to produce the game?
I have seen games that would have cost us $20 to produce in China, simply because it has a giant wooden board, or a giant mountain or temple as a major component of a game. Though we could produce it and sell it for a huge amount, most people don’t want a “light” or “party”-type game that costs a lot of money.
How do people pitch games to you?
This has a bit more difficult for us during COVID. I used to go to conventions, and would schedule meetings all day (and most nights) to meet with designers and playtest their games. Once the conventions and in-person meetings were canceled, we started asking people to mail us prototypes. We also started taking print-and-play (PNP) copies, but that quickly spiraled out of control. We got 32 in one month! That was a lot of tokens to cut out.
While we do appreciate quality copies from game printers like The Game Crafter or Print & Play, but we don’t really need that. We just need a functioning prototype with all of the required components. Additionally, we currently do not have the capacity to return prototypes back to designers, so please do not send us your only copy of your game!
Once we receive a prototype, we will try to get back to you within a three-month time frame. I know that sounds like a long time, but it gives us time to schedule playtests with different groups that have different likes and play styles, so that your games gets a fair chance with different board gamers.
To mention something that we have run into before: we will never pay for a game before it is printed. We have had several designers who have said that they will not even show us or tell us anything about a game until we cut them a check. Unfortunately that is just not how the business works. We are more than happy to pay people for their work, but we have to see that work first.
To send us a game, head over to the Contact Us page on the Quick Simple Fun website. Select the “Game Submissions and Ideas” option from the Subject dropdown. Be sure to include a valid email address and a summary of your game (plus any important details) in the message.
Keep an eye out for an email from a QSF team member with an “@quicksimplefun.com” address who will provide further information and request copies of your game’s rulebook and its sell sheet.
PLEASE NOTE: We are not currently accepting “print-and-play” copies.