Hello! If you are a game designer and would like to submit your game for consideration to be published by TMG, please read the following guidelines first.
Disclaimers and general information:
Please note that we do not acknowledge, nor will we be bound by any statements sent to us with submissions. This includes non-disclosure agreements – we will treat all submissions with the same level of respect as we treat all our products, and frequently this means receiving feedback from players. This also includes statements regarding acknowledgement of originality – we have many games in the pipeline at any given moment, and that may include things with the same or similar mechanics or theme to your submission.
We receive many many submissions, and our evaluation queue is often quite full, so it may take some time to receive a response from us. Frequently that response is simply that the game isn’t a good fit for us at this time. It is rare for us to provide additional feedback, as writing up a full in-depth response for every submission would mean we would be able to evaluate fewer submissions. We do try to respond to all submissions, but often the response time frame is in months, not days. In particular, we receive a LOT of submissions around major conventions, so if you are going to request a pitch meeting at particular conventions, the earlier you submit it the better.
We may ask for additional information, and we might even request a prototype to try out the game. If we request a prototype, it is with the understanding that we are the only company currently evaluating the prototype. Please let us know if this is not the case, and understand that we will probably wait to evaluate the game until such time as we are the only ones doing so. We don’t want to spend many hours for multiple people testing a game, only to be told that someone else has already signed it, or that we need to wait on someone else’s response before ours is considered. This is especially worth keeping in mind if you want to pitch a game to us at a convention – if you’re pitching the game to 10 different publishers, and 5 other people want to evaluate the prototype, then that usually means quite a long time before we’d even put it on our table (it probably would have been better to submit it via email well before the convention, rather than asking for a convention pitch). Prototypes are shipped at your expense.
If we decide we are interested in publishing a game, we would offer you a contract with the terms spelled out on it. Please keep in mind that TMG would reserve the right to further develop the game, changing theme, mechanics, and components as we deemed appropriate to make a final product that we would want to put on shelves.
What are we looking for and not looking for?
- We are looking for “complete” games, not including aesthetic elements.
- This would mean that the game has been prototyped, playtested thoroughly, and the rules have been blind playtested and tuned for clarity. We are not looking for games that are just at the “concept” stage.
- The prototype needs to be functional, but it does not need to be pretty. You do not need to have final art – broadly speaking some clipart and icons from the internet is MORE than enough, and often just basic shapes and values will suffice (for example, a red square with the number “2” in it is more than adequate to indicate “2 red cubes”, even if those cubes represent something else thematically).
- You will need to be able to provide a prototype upon request – either a physical copy, or digital files.
- We often publish games that we ourselves enjoy playing. This can encompass a wide range of styles, themes, genres, and mechanics, so being familiar with our previously published titles is often the best guide to what we like.
- Our audience probably knows us best for euro and German style boardgames with meaningful decisions, cool components, and low direct aggression. Being able to handle a wider range of players than the standard 2-to-4 or 3-to-5 players is a plus, and solo only or 2-player only games would be a negative.
- It is unlikely that we would be enthused by trivia games, abstract games (zero-sum + perfect information), sports simulations, roll-and-move games, draw-1-play-1 card games, games where direct aggressive conflict is the primary thrust (such as pure wargames or arena combat games), games dependent on exploitative or adult themes (including drinking games), games with an extreme average length (4 hours or more would be extreme, generally speaking), or games with commercially unfeasible component requirements (10 pounds of dice, for example). Seriously, please stop submitting arena combat games and drinking games.
- We do like to publish games with a theme.
- While we would look at abstract designs, if it turned out to be something we liked, it would need to be such that we could easily apply a theme.
- Even when submitting a game with a theme, please keep in mind that we would reserve the right to change the theme on any product we publish to whatever we felt was best for the product.
- Often we like our themes to involve some form of “escapism”. For example, doing things in a fantasy world would be fun escapism. Roleplaying as a literal accountant would generally not be fun, as very few people would want to project themselves into that situation. Again, being familiar with our previously published titles may help understand what we’re looking for here.
If you have read the above information and feel that your game might still be a good fit for our line, please send an email with the following information to email@example.com –
- Basic information: play time, player count range, intended target audience.
- Mechanical and/or thematic “hook”: what makes your game stand out.
- Rule book (and sell sheet, if you have one, or a picture of the prototype if you do not). Video explanations of the rules also work.
Thanks for reading!