Oct 302007

I found out yesterday that Travelogue has failed to move forward in the Lucca Best Unpublished Game contest. It stalled out in the top 10. It is my understanding, though, that it will be available for all to play at the Lucca Comics & Games convention. That is assuming they translated my rules into Italian or someone is willing to teach it. In any case, I look forward to reading any feedback I receive about the game from the contest judges. I’ll have to make a nice copy again for my own collection, but I think I’m going to wait until I get the official “death certificate” email from them.

You have to have a thick skin to take the rejection you get as a fledgling game designer. Once you make it past phase 1 (idea, design, playtest, development), you’ve got something that people tell you is a good game. Rest assured, they told you it sucked at some point along the way, but since then you’ve made your game into something they really like now. You’ve got the prototype and the rules as polished as you can. You’re happy with it, and you’re ready to push it out into the real world. Yay!

You then move on to phase 2, where you send it out to a contest or a publisher. Get ready, get set, wait! It is best to just forget about your game for this period because there is little you can do to move the process forward (besides nagging to the publisher). As the months progress, you may wonder about what kind of adventures your game is encountering, and if it is making friends. The big day will come when you’ll find out that your game doesn’t suit their needs. It is very anti-climactic. It just ends after all that wait. Your little game went out into the big world, only to be squashed like roadkill. Sometimes they’ll send it back in a box, most of the time they won’t. Maybe the game deserved it. Maybe it didn’t. Poor game.

On the bright side, a game is only an idea. You can make another copy! You can send it out again, but this time better prepared. Hopefully someday it will make it to the published world, where you can move on to phase 3, where you can feel a new type of rejection: apathy or even disdain from the gaming public. Every game has its lovers and its haters. Some games even fade into the background after its initial hype. It is to be expected.

Anyways, I don’t want this to be a depressing post because I’m feeling fine. It’s a repetitive process, and, if anything, I’m feeling a bit exhausted. Its a lot of work for little feedback. I’ve got all the time in the world to continue this process, and I intend to do so. So it looks like back to the drawing board.

2 Responses to “Game Rejection”

  1. I’m right there with you, on all accounts. Still, I hold out hope for eventual success – one way or another. I’m starting to believe that persistence is as important as having a good game.

    Really good design and art help a lot too!

  2. …and dumb luck too, don’t count that out!

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