MemberFebruary 18, 2022 at 1:11 am
Hi Ren! Very happy that you’re here.
When to pitch is a tricky one. My friend (and frequent collaborator) Jeff Fraser believes in pitching as soon as the game has a good sense of what it is. A few years ago (so might not be representative of his current views) he told me that publisher meddle and tinker so much, you’re wasting your time if you give them a finished product. He’s also fine with multiple pitches over a longer period of time: pitch to see if they like the idea, and if they say “that’s fun, now fix these problems”, come back in a few months with changes, repeat until it’s signed.
Personally, I like pitching something that could be published as-is and I’d be happy with it. It never is, of course, but I know that sometimes a publisher will just take the files you’ve sent, put it through graphic design, and print it, so I need to be completely confident in the game before I’m comfortable having it be signed.
In terms of “how do you know”, I’ll give the answer I always give: when your playtesters (and you should be playtesting with as many groups as possible) insist on playing again. Not agree to playtest it again, not ask about the game a few weeks later, but say “Peter, I want to play this game again, when can I do this.”
Another good question to ask is “how much would you pay for this?” – if people are being nice, they’ll say it’s ready to be published. If you ask them for a dollar figure, it activates a different part of their brain, and they start thinking “oh shit would I actually buy this game?”