Saturday, October 10, 2020

Advice for inventors and publishers


My friend Richard shared an article with me entitled Ten Top Tips for Toy and Game Inventors - which comes from the book The Toy and Game Inventor's Handbook by Richard Levy and Robert Weingarten.

1. Don’t take yourself or your idea too seriously. The world will survive without you and your game.
2. The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep running. A major component in success is persistence.
3. You cannot do it all yourself. Partner up. Share royalties. Remember: Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.
4. Keep your ego under control. Unchecked egocentricity is a major source of failure.
5. You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Embrace a creative-failure methodology.
6. Do not invent just for the money or you will come up shortchanged.
7. Relationships are more important than transactions.
8. Learn to take rejection. Few games sell at the first pitch. Rejection is rehearsal before the big event.
9. Believe in yourself. Permit nothing to affect the integrity of your mind.
10. Sell yourself first, then your idea.
Which points do you need to work on?
After posting that online, someone suggested making a similar list for publishers working with designers. Here's my list
1. Have a clear idea of what you are and aren't looking for. "Totally original" and "fun" (all games should be fun, right?) are not solid goal posts for inventors to aim for. 
2. Even if you don't care for a prototype, provide feedback. This helps an inventor improve. 
3. Set clear and honest time lines. Let the inventor know how long it will take to review a prototype, even if its months or a year.
4. Treat the inventor as a partner, not as a contractor.
5. Pay advances and royalties on time.
6. Offer the inventor a contract that you yourself would be comfortable signing.
7. Keep in contact with your inventor. Even if there is no news, they will appreciate the message.
Keep the inventor/publisher relationship going after the game is signed - many inventors are also graphic designers, art directors or good at promotion.
9. Always give the inventor credit on the game. Be clear where that credit will appear - on the cover, on the box or in the rule book.
10. Provide the inventor at least one copy of the game. Don't make them negotiate for it.
What do you think? Do you have a point that you would change or add? Post it in the comments!