Thursday, June 14, 2012

Looking for a publisher for new edition of Britannia

After sales of 16,000 the FFG version of Britannia has sold out (though it's still available in some stores, FFG has no more).  I've received a notification from FFG that the contract is terminated.  So I can immediately begin looking for another publisher for a revised edition.

This will include three new versions of the game and a slightly-revised version of the current game published by FFG.  The idea is to offer games that will answer all of the major objections to the current version of Brit, and include the current version, so that the package will be suitable for a larger audience.  (The objections: too long, too scripted, too much chance; and occasionally, not sufficiently realistic in one respect or another.)

One new version is a much shorter game, played on a simpler map on the second side of the board.  There are two candidates for this version.  One of these uses battle cards instead of dice.  The other is very reduced (eight nations), and uses dice, but the method reduces the effects of chance. 

There is also a simpler and shorter version using the same map and sides (colors), so it is an alternative when there's not time to play the current version but players want something much like the original.  It also uses the less-random dice method.

The "Epic" version is more detailed and "historical" than the current version of Brit, and adds Ireland to the existing map.  The rules are not more complex, but there are more nations within the standard 16 turns, so it is a longer game.  The colors are quite different, so there is a new set of strategies to explore.

Obviously the short versions will have broader appeal than the Epic version.  But the Epic version will be "more historical" than the current version.

All of these versions exist and have been played by people other than myself, but are not sufficiently playtested.

Any suggestions as to publisher are welcome.


x said...

Wow...that looks really nice (checking it out on Amazon).

There's a lot of ways to approach this and marketing is your best weapon. You've got the product three different ways to sunrise so the hard part is covered.

First I would ask if you are getting paid on units still being sold on Amazon? I just did a look up and they have it at a great price point especially for people on the Prime program. If you are still receiving compensation push it like crazy. If not use it as a marketing tool to get people interested in the next edition(s). Do a price discount on the new by them showing that they bought the one from Amazon (receipt-no personal info just the buy and date) when they purchase the new one. $5 USD off, etc.

Another idea is crowd sourcing. I'm not certain where you live but Kickstarter and others are on fire right now and it looks like you know your way around the block on this subject so you could pick a printer of your choice to bring it out already pre-sold (That Steve Jackson/Ogre thing was crazy - - I mean wow, he ask for $20k and got nearly a million dollars).

Edition wise I would go with the best looking simplest version upfront and offer an extended rule book (and possibly more components) for sale to those who would like to pay a little more for a deeper experience. This approach keeps your cost low with the ability to enhance after market sales.

And don't forget the mobile market. Android is on fire right now too (Elder Sign:Omens has done very well in the mobile market) and offer dev tools and market space to sell it. The tools are designed for ease of use and free of charge.

There are many opportunities right now (being a long time sales and marketing turned designer/indie publisher person I have studied a LOT of material recently :)

If you want to push the sales at Amazon I will mention you on my blogs / pdf zines and what you are working on or just whatever plan you go with let me know and I'll definitely help out.

I'm an old grog - '74 - 9 years old and a brother in the military bringing games home from the PX got me hooked (he wouldn't play Decline of the Third Reich with me after I beat him...I was 11 :)

Lewis Pulsipher said...

Though FFG has sold all of their stock, many retailers still have copies, and that's what you see on Amazon. I am paid in accordance with when FFG sells, so I've been paid for all those copies that are still in stores.

Crowdsourcing requires me to become a businessman, a publisher, and I don't think I want to try that, but we'll see. Thanks for the link to the Ogre ks.

I've had someone talking about an electronic version of Brit for four years, but nothing's come of it. FFG talked about an iPhone version but gave it up.

I think it's too big (and long) for smartphones, though who knows about the simplest version of the game. Perhaps I'll conduct a survey about interest. Most Android/ios games sink without a trace.

Two of these versions were originally designed to be expansions, but FFG was not interested.