Hi! I have a board game. How do I get it published?

You have two different options:

  • 1.Try publishing it independently, by simply ordering printing and postproduction (this is the method of true Jedis).
  • 2.Or contact a publisher with a prototype, so that the publisher does all the rest. This is the most common route via which games enter the market.

Анкета автора

Скачать анкету

Отправить заполненную можно на info@mglan.ru

Вы разработали только механику игры и принесли прототип «на салфетках»

От вас:

  • – Прототип для тестов
  • – Правила
  • – Договор авторского заказа

Магеллан делает:

  • – Дизайн
  • – Вёрстку
  • – Продюссирование
  • – Тесты
  • – Сертификацию или ОП
  • – Дистрибуцию через Мосигру
  • – Дистрибуцию через другие сети

Вы получаете 5% от оптовой цены игры. Например, если игра стоит 1000 рублей на полке, её оптовая цена будет около 500 рублей, а вы будете получать около 25 рублей с каждой проданной коробки.

Вы разработали механику и принесли игру с готовыми иллюстрациями и дизайном

От вас:

  • – Прототип для тестов
  • – Правила
  • – Готовая коробка (дизайн)
  • – Готовые дизайны и вёрстка всех компонентов
  • – Договоры с художником, верстальщиком и т.д., подтверждающие ваши права на их часть работы.
  • – Договор авторского заказа.

Магеллан делает:

  • – Продюссирование
  • – Тесты
  • – Сертификацию или ОП
  • – Дистрибуцию через Мосигру
  • – Дистрибуцию через другие сети

Вы получаете 10% от оптовой цены игры. Игра на полке 1000 рублей, опт 500 рублей, вы будете получать около 50 рублей с каждой проданной коробки.

У вас есть готовая игра и деньги на производство

В этом случае ничего вышеописанного не требуется, достаточно заказать её производство.

Игротека авторов

Мосигра провела крупнейшее мероприятие для авторов настольных игр в России, на которое съехались авторы настольных игр со всего пространства бывшего СССР и крупнейшие отечественные издатели. Из 94 представленных проектов 9 были изданы в Магеллане и у других издателей.

What do I need to know about a publisher before I choose?

Usually, publishers are closely linked to one or more retail chains. For example, all our games get priority distribution through Mosigra (the largest retailer in the country) and other partner chains. Check how exactly your game will be marketed – publishing is easy, but selling several thousand units of your game a month is very difficult. We can point out that 12 of the Top 20 national bestsellers at the beginning of 2013 were published by us.

How rigorous is the selection process?

To begin with, games are tested. Bearing in mind we are preparing to invest our team’s time and money in the project, only the best games from those presented are selected. Each year, we usually review 150-300 games, and of those we publish less than ten.

If my game isn’t selected, can I contact another publisher?

Yes, we normally even recommend a suitable option, if the project is good but not quite right for our market. Each has its own specific features. For example, we like working with games that will sell 500 or more units per month, or with truly incredible clever or complex projects.

How come less than ten Russian games are published each year?

Because every creator is competing with localizations too.If it’s possible to take a complete, tested game from the West, where it has already proved effective, it makes more sense to work with that than with something new. Nevertheless, we make every effort to support the Russian market, and regularly run events for game creators.

What will Magellan do with my prototype and how does game development work?

  • 1. After the tests, changes to the mechanics, setting, or rules of the game may be recommended.
  • 2. Then the illustrators’ work begins. This is a very important point – we are never satisfied with half-measures, and our illustrators are therefore among the best (and most expensive) in the industry.
  • 3. When all the illustrations are ready, the precise layout of the cards, rules, and other components is made up. If you have an eye for typography, you can compare our work with the average standard of published games on the market. The difference will be clear. We guarantee your game will be attractive and expertly designed.
  • 4. Then, the components for each individual technical assignment are manufactured. Magellan uses the very latest range of equipment. We have spent the last two years traveling around a number of German manufacturers and getting hold of the same machines that they are using. Our boxes, counters and boards are pleasant simply to hold in your hands. Plus, you can be sure your box will look just the way it should on the shelf (this has a very big significance for sales).
  • 5. In parallel with this, the “cover” is produced – the illustration for the box and the text to go on it. The title of the game is confirmed. It is important here to hit the right market segment. You’ve probably already heard stories of wrongly formatted or unstable boxes – many publishers simply don’t know how their game will be sold, and they therefore allow mistakes that have a seriousimpact on future editions.
  • 6. When everything is ready, your game is assembled at the manufacturing facility. Each assembler signs off every assembled box personally (and puts their personal marker on it). You can imagine how this increases the level of responsibility.

Here are some examples of stories of our games being published:

Yep! Just take a look.

What form is it best to send the prototype in?

Preferably as finished as possible, i.e. as a box with components and rules. Cards should be cards (and not slips of paper that can’t be shuffled); if you are writing by hand, write in capital letters. The box should be durable and clearly marked. Everything inside should be as close as possible to the real thing – for example, for counters, it is good to use counters from other games or metal nuts, but bad to use paper markers. The board can be drawn by hand – this is better than attaching a file. And so on.

If you are unable to send the game in boxed form, we need a description of the concept (2-3 paragraphs) and the rules of the game, as well as the files to create the prototype. Remember, there is no point discussing an idea on its own. The testing team needs to be able to sit down and play it at least once.

Most importantly – what is the game called, who is it for, how many players, what age range, how long does the game last, what mechanics are used, what are the most similar games that already exist, how is your product better.

If I just have an idea, what do I do?

Put a prototype together. It’s better not to rush. If you assemble it in a hurry, it’s very possible that your game will be given a poorer assessment than if you think through the small details and write the rules out clearly and accurately. But don’t linger over it either – perfectionists come last.It’s better to stop at a particular stage of completeness and hear a publisher’s opinion than to work in the wrong direction for a whole year.

Are any nondisclosure agreements signed?

At the prototype stage – no. Creators often worry about the publisher being able to use their files without their involvement.We’d like to point out that, due to the lack of any kind of distinct protection of game mechanics in Russian law, any agreements and documents at this stage may, of course, give a sense of security, but in practice would be null and void. Therefore, you can simply trust the publisher or not. Then again, nobody is going to risk their reputation, just as publishing a game without the creator is simply not economically feasible.

What kinds of games are definitely not worth sending?

  • 1. Copies of already famous games. “So, I’ve invented Monopoly, but with names of rock groups instead of the spaces” – that’s a bad idea.
  • 2. Games that your 14-year-old sister can’t grasp. If the rules take up 40 pages of fine print, and learning the game takes several days, perhaps you should simplify it. It’ll be quite difficult to sell a game like this.
  • 3. Games without a realization – i.e. something it is impossible to make a prototype of.
  • 4. Several versions of the same game with subtle changes – one prototype is enough.

I have illustrations. What then?

If they are good – we’ll publish the game with them. But our experience shows it is better to bring a couple of samples of concept art, then it will be clear whether the artist/illustrator is suitable before work begins.

Most importantly – what about the money?

The creator gets between a 5% and 10% royalty on the wholesale price of each production run. If the game costs 1,000 RUB off the shelf in store, then it costs 500 RUB wholesale and around 300 RUB in production costs. You receive a royaltyonthe wholesale price, i.e., in this example, on 500 RUB.

What is the average production run?

The minimum run is 1,000 units, and a usual run is 3,000-5,000. We try to work with games that can sell more than 10,000 units a year. Taking into account that a published game will give you income for a minimum of 3-4 years, you can calculate the profit yourself. Usually, publishing games only becomes regular work for very, very few who are able to do several projects a year, but as a supplement to your main income, it is quite worthy.

What risks does the publisher bear?

  • – If the game doesn’t go on the market, the publisher will lose money developing the first edition. You can only make money on the game – and at least receive royalties from the first batch.
  • – If a fault occurs that requires a batch to be remade (a frequent occurrence for any publisher), everything is resolved at the publisher’s expense.
  • – If the game is not delivered to shelves on time and the retail chain imposes a fine for the delay – this is the publisher’s problem and not yours.

And so on. In this way, none of the traditional risks of publishing or any other things apply to you. You simply receive your royalty on each box – it doesn’t matter what has happened with it financially and how. These royalties remain unchanged, even if there are challenges with theproduction run.

What documents will I need to put together?

The main document is the copyright agreement, in which you guarantee that you are the creator of the game and own all the rights to it, and the publisher describes all their obligations in detail. In the majority of cases, you just need to sign this. The copyright agreement can be signed both by residents and non-residents of the Russian Federation.

If you use third-party materials in the game, for example, illustrations, you need the documents transferring the illustrator’s rights, or an agreement with them. If we are doing the illustrations, you don’t need to think about this.

We take care of everything else. This includes, for instance, certification of the game.

How is testing done?

Let’s assume you send a completed game (incidentally, if you have a record of at least 20 games – this is okay). The game is tested not for balance, for example, but for playability. The tests are carried out in three stages: first, the developers look at it, then experienced players, then, under supervision, random volunteers “off the street”. All three stages must be completed. The most important is the third.

We sometimes give recommendations about the mechanics, setting, and component parts, i.e., we act as producers of the game.

What happens if the game is not suitable?

Generally, 10% of games are good enough to publish. But less than 2% of games sent to the publisher are published. The others are simply put to one side in case they are needed. We let you know if your game is good but is not going to be published yet – and we recommend other publishers. In this case, the game will be placed in a publishing queue. In practice, over the last year, we have released two games from this reserve “queue”. The normal length of the queue is around 30 projects.

How long does it take to evaluate a prototype?

Normally around a month.

How long does it take to publish a game?

The cycle is 8-12 months from contacting us to it appearing on shelves.