We are currently open for submissions. However, our publishing schedule–which involves a focused approach of significant development and only publishing 2 new games each year–is such that if we decide to work with you today, your game will not be published until around 24 months in the future.
HOW TO SUBMIT: Please fill out this form. That’s it!
IF WE LIKE YOUR PITCH: We’ll contact you and arrange to see the game in more detail through ONE of the following (usually your choice):
- Pre-recorded video of you and your friends playing the game
- A prototype sent to us
- In person at a convention (this is not an option in 2019)
- As a participant of our annual Design Day. We don’t actually hear pitches at Design Day, but we look at all the games other designers bring to it.
You can read more about the various steps in our submission process here.
Guidelines and Requirements
- Carefully read our 12 Tenets of Game Design.
- We’re looking for tabletop games (not RPGs) that capture our imaginations.
- The player count must accommodate a minimum of 2 players (we’ll probably add a solo variant to take it down to 1) and an upper range of at least 5, 6, or greater. We’ll ignore submissions for 2-4 player games.
- We’re looking for event games–the featured main course at game night, not the appetizer or side salad–that play in 1-2 hours.
- We’re looking for unique games–your game must feature something that has not been done before.
- A player’s turn should be short and simple, and players should dictate the flow of play, not the game. If your game has a number of phases (either within each player’s turn or within each round), please don’t submit it to us.
Your Game Must Be:
- Fully Created, Not Just an Idea: Ideas are important but largely worthless. Actually taking a game from a concept to a fully-formed creation is a completely different matter–that’s what we’re looking for.
- Polished and Playtested: Part of our role as the publisher is to playtest and arrange for blind playtesting of your game beyond the scope of what you can do. But it’s still your responsibility to extensively playtest (and blind playtest) your game before sending it to us.
- Playable: The #1 mistake we see is that the prototypes we receive are unplayable, either due to the rules, the lack of reference cards, or other factors that could have been solved by blind playtesting. You get one chance to make a first impression, and if that involves an unplayable game, we’re not going to publish it.
- Thoughtfully Graphic Designed: It’s our responsibility to make the game look great in terms of art and graphic design. However, submitting your game to us without any art or thoughtful design will make the playtesting process very difficult. Please use placeholder art that reflects how you view the world of your game, and be intentional with your graphic design for the final prototype–user interface matters. Do not commission final art, though–that’s our responsibility as a publisher.
- Rules: We need to be able to figure out how to play the game by reading the rules. Just as with any written work, confusing writing, poor English, and numerous typos will negatively affect our impression of your work. A Microsoft Word file is completely fine, but please try to insert examples and photographs/images throughout the rules.
- Flexibility: We may love your game, but there’s still a high chance that we’ll have some changes we want to make it better and make it more marketable. Please be clear with us up front if there are certain changes you will never consider. If you won’t consider any changes, you’re not a good fit for us.
- Unique: We’re looking for unique themes and mechanisms–please, no pirates, zombies, Cthulhu, or trains. Jamey typically does not enjoy stock games, tactical combat games (or games the primarily focus on combat/war), hidden-movement games, party games, take-that games, punishing games, programming, and dungeon crawlers…but there are exceptions to those preferences.
- Hooks: Your game should have one or more hooks.
Why Would You Want Us to Publish Your Game?
- We’ll be honest with you. If you’re deciding between publishing the game yourself via Kickstarter or submitting it to publishers like Stonemaier, please consider the pros and cons of each. If you self-publish, you can build a business, you have full creative control, and you’ll make more money if the game is successful…but it will involve a lot more work. If you just want to design games, submitting to a publisher may be a better fit for you.
- We’re focused. We don’t publish many games, which means that when we release a game, we make a big deal about it and support it for a long time.
- We’re passionate. We’re not trying to pump out games that we barely know or care about. Rather, we focus a ton of time, energy, and money on games we truly love, the games that we’re happy to share with the world as if they are our own. If you want that type of passion and drive at the helm of your game, you’re at the right place.
- We love games. We truly love tabletop games. Hopefully you will find that to be the case for any publisher, but it’s worth mentioning that our love of games is why we do this. We’re not in it for the money–we’re here to connect thousands of people with memorable, fun gaming experiences. If that’s what drives you too, we can build amazing things together.
- We’re a partner, not an employer. We want to make the best version of your game. That means collaborating with you to make sure we stay true to your vision while enhancing and elevating various aspects of the game. We will ask for your opinions, thoughts, and permission throughout the process.
If you’re just getting started on the game design process, please use these resources.