Originally posted to www.hoopcatgames.blogspot.com
This blog is for the benefit of any who are wondering why we haven’t published Attatat yet. Or why we as a proclaimed self-publisher are submitting an entry to the Unpub4 54-card challenge sponsored by Dice Hate Me Games. Or why we are excited about the number of publishers who are attending Unpub4.
After much careful consideration, thought, and prayer, HoopCAT Games is moving in a different direction. We are moving away from self-publishing and seeing whether we can publish our designs through other game publishers.
We will enter 2014 with 3 unpublished prototype games:
- Attatat - This path-building, tile-removing abstract has fared extremely well in Unpub playtesting;
- FireBreak - Our cooperative game where players work together to save a park from a forest fire has been rating even higher with Unpub playtesters, and;
- Lady of the Diamonds - Our entry to the 54-card challenge entry is good enough to make the rounds on the Unpub circuit in the Spring if it doesn’t catch the eye of the competition judges first.
Our goal as we move into 2014 is to find publishers for these games.
The self-publisher must be good at a lot of things, then well-connected and adequately-financed for those things which they are not personally good at.
Having a great game is important, being willing to work tirelessly is essential, yet those two things are not enough to guarantee success. Art and graphic design also matter. You must pay attention to the production and shipping and warehousing details. Marketing is just as important if not more important than the quality of the game itself. Self-publish a fun game and you will receive positive reviews, yet good reviews alone are not enough to ensure your game will fly off the shelf and onto game tables.
We realize that there are other small publishers out there who are far better than us at picking the right artist, arranging the production details, running a Kickstarter campaign, using social media effectively, and marketing on a limited budget. Attatat, FireBreak, and Lady of the Diamonds are all great games. We want them to be all they can be. And allowing those games to reach their full potential probably means our letting go of some of the control and letting others with different strengths than us publish our games.
We do not regret self-publishing Fill The Barn. It was an accomplishment that we will continue to treasure in our family memories many years from now. We developed the idea, found playtesters, worked with the graphic designer to get it ready for commercial publication, coordinated details with the manufacturer, arranged the freight shipment from the Michigan factory, arranged for the warehousing, contacted reviewers who wrote positive things about our very first game, visited area stores who put our games on their shelves, then found a distributor who had the national & international reach to get our games places far beyond where we could go. It was a huge task with a myriad of smaller individual tasks, and we pulled it off to self-publish our first game. We also learned first-hand some valuable lessons along the way.
Yet if our next games can do even better in the hands of others who are stronger in other key areas, we don’t want to hold our games back from reaching their full potential. Our HoopCAT logo may not appear on the next games we help to create. Yet while our name may no longer be on them, trust us when we say our hearts will always go in them.