Here at Geek & Sundry, we couldn’t be more excited for the next season of TableTop. To kick things off, here’s a note to all board gaming publishers about the submission process. Good luck to all the games and we hope to see you next season!
To the Publishers:
At GenCon this year, after meeting with dozens of game publishers, it became clear to us that our submissions process for TableTop was broken. The first step toward repairing this process is better direct communication between us at TableTop and the publishers we hope to work with. Rather than rely on a single person to communicate our submission criteria, we are publishing it online and in email, so everyone has access to the same information.
The following criteria will help you determine which of your games are most likely to be played on TableTop:
- Your game must be available at retail outlets when its episode of TableTop airs. We will not consider games that are in development, in stages of crowd funding, or otherwise not available for gamers to purchase and play.
- We have 4 players on each episode of TableTop, so your game should work best with 4 players. This does not mean that it can be played by only 4 players, but it should really shine with 4 players. A good example is Bang!, which technically works with 4 players, but is at its best with 7 or more. As much as we love Bang!, it just won’t work on Tabletop.
- Games can not require simultaneous play, or need to be played in real time. Games like Escape: The Curse of the Temple or Jungle Speed are super fun, but the simultaneous play makes them impossible to film and edit.
- Your game should have a strong, good balance of strategy and luck. We want everyone who plays to feel invested throughout the episode. Skewing too far in one direction or the other may leave some players out.
- Your game should look good and be produced on quality materials. TableTop is a visual show, after all, and we need the games we feature to look awesome.
- Games need to be playable in about 90 minutes to fit into our production schedule, and to allow us edit the final cut to about 35 minutes. Longer games are occasionally okay for two part episodes, but those are rare exceptions.
- For season 4, we’re very interested in seeing and playing games that are accessible to families. We’ve seen that a huge portion of the TableTop audience is made up of families who watch together, and we want to play some games this coming season that they’ll love to play together. This does not mean that we’re looking for children’s games. Rather, we are looking for games that can be played by a wide range of ages. For example, Catan Jr. is a game you can play with your kids that is not a kid’s game. Smash Up is probably a little complex for a 7 year-old, but a 10 year-old shouldn’t have any trouble with it. Both of those games can be fun for adults to play with or without their kids.
We want you to know that games fitting all these criteria are the most likely to end up on the show. We anticipate over 200 submissions this season, from which 18-20 will be selected for TableTop, so a game that fits all 6 of these criteria will probably edge out one that fits only 4. However, if your game doesn’t fit all of these rules, but fits most of them, we’d still love to see it. If your game breaks one of these rules in a spectacular and interesting way, we’d also love to see it. Please let us know in your submission if this is the case, which criteria you did not align with, and why you think we’ll love it. Please note, Rule 1 is non-negotiable.
Rather than send product, we’d like to save you time and money. Please submit information about your game to Ryan Copple & Claudia Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll need to know the title and designer of your game, the core mechanics, playing time, target age, and when it will be available in stores. You may include marketing materials if you think they will be helpful for us.
We will compile a list from these e-mail submissions and reach out to those of you who have games we believe could be a good match for our show. At that time, we’ll ask you to send those games to the Geek & Sundry offices, directed to Ryan & Claudia’s attention. We are asking for a minimum of 2 copies of your game. One copy will go to Wil Wheaton, to play with his family and his game group. One copy will be played by the offices of Geek & Sundry. Going forward we do not require more than 2 copies of a game in order to consider that game for Tabletop. If you are able to send a 3rd copy it may help us ensure as many people as possible can play the games, but 2 will be enough for consideration.
The role of TableTop Day has been and will always be a day to bring people together through tabletop gaming. We aim to create great experiences and introduce new games to people all over the world. TableTop Day 2016 has the chance to become our best one yet, but we can only accomplish this with your help.
We look forward to working with you now and into the next year!