FAQ Submitting Designs


Submitting a Design for Consideration

You have a game design. You want to be rich. You might as well have a lottery ticket or want to be a professional ball player. That is, your expectations are mathematically possible, but practically ridiculous.

You want to submit your design to us for evaluation? Sure. We’ll take a look at it. That said, please note the following considerations:

  • Your game design probably sucks. Heck, the percentage of published games that aren’t very good is probably in the low 90s. Some of those are ours. Get over yourself. We evaluate several games a year. We pass on almost all of them.
  • We don’t want anything derivative. We’re only looking for something that is original. We don’t want d20 product. We don’t want a game that is a new face on an existing system, regardless of how new that face is. Show me an innovative core mechanic combined with an “in-thing” or untouched subject matter, and we will talk.
  • We don’t chase product that requires licensing. Licensing is expensive. Even if we’re interested, we won’t challenge our cash flow with that sort of commitment.
  • Terms we like: Family game, Multi-player game, Solitaire game, Miniature game, Role-Playing game
  • You’re not going to get rich. Our going rate for a design depends on its size. We can cut a flat check or make a royalty arrangement, but the likelihood that one product will make you wealthy is remote. What does the money look like? Typically, a royalty arrangement might look like 2%-3% of the gross per copy sold. So if we print and sell 1,000 copies of an item at $40 each, that adds up to $1,200 at most.
  • We’re not going to steal your design. It’s not worth it. If you have something we can sell, we’ll pay you. Talent is rare. If you have some, we wouldn’t think of burning a bridge between us in order to save a few hundred bucks. No one wants a lawsuit or bad blood. It’s bad for business.
  • I will have the final word as to whether we will buy your design. I am mean, abrasive, and hostile. I do not suffer fools, and cannot be intimidated or pushed around. Bring your thickest skin.

If you navigated that minefield, what we need is to see a complete, playable prototype. The artwork and formatting don’t matter. If you want it back, send us return postage in the same package, and we’ll be happy to send it all back after picking it over for a few weeks.

Send it to:

One Small Step Submissions
26444 Via Roble
Mission Viejo, California 92691

Perhaps you’re still left wondering why anyone would do this as a vocation when faced with such big challenges. There are a lot of answers. For some folks, it’s their art — designing scratches an itch that otherwise never goes away. In rare cases, a game design strikes a chord with an audience and sells a bazillion copies. More commonly, using the Hollywood strategy of the sequel works economically. That is, one earns a small amount of money with each of many products.

Expansion sets, second (and subsequent) editions, and other mechanisms that turn one product into many are lucrative. When working expanded materials for an existing product, the amount of effort is reduced become many of the design questions have already been answered.

You’re reading this because you have passion in what you’ve created. If it’s a good product, put it in a box and send it to us.

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