10 Questions

Each month in the Inventor Newsletter I ask 10 Questions of an established inventor or game company. The results are posted below and will be updated monthly.

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GameWright, (Jul '07) as answered by Jason Schneider
Q - What are Gamewright's greatest hits, and how would you describe your line of games overall?
A - We got our start back in 1994 with the game 'Slamwich', which remains one of our best-sellers. Joining it along the years have been over 60 games, including favorites 'Rat-a-Tat Cat', 'The Scrambled States of America Game', 'In a Pickle', 'Wig Out!', 'Loot', 'There's a Moose in the House' and 'Sleeping Queens'. It's hard to say exactly what defines the Gamewright line other than people tend to know one of our games when they play one. (How's that for avoiding the question?!)

Q - Is there anything currently that you are looking for that is different than what you have done in the past?
A - I think one critically overlooked area is "games for outer-space." I see a booming trend in space travel over the next few years, so I'm on the mad hunt for games that play well in zero-gravity environments. Take it from me - this is gonna be bigger than Sudoku. Oh, I'm also looking for great card, board, and party games.

Q - How many games do you or your company review in a year?
A - If only I were that organized to keep count.   If I had to take a stab, I'd say more than 100 but less than 1,000.

Q - How many games does your company usually release in a year?
A - That one's easier. Between 8 to 10.

Q - Do you look at games by unknown inventors?
A - All the time. 'Sleeping Queens', one of our best loved card games, was created by a 6 year-old girl whose mother simply sent in an email. This year, we released two games created by first time inventors - 'Toss Your Cookies' and 'The Curse of The Ruby Rhino'.

Q - For beginning inventors, what would be the ideal way to approach and submit game ideas to you?
A - I usually ask inventors to email me a written description of their games and include as much detail as they feel comfortable sharing.   If I find something that piques my interest, I'll request a prototype for testing.   I don't work with NDAs but, as I'm often heard saying, I'm a strong believer in karma and have no interest in ripping people off.

Q - How long does it take from the time you receive a submission to the time you say 'yes' or 'no'?
A - In the words of one astute inventor, "Too friggin' long." (I haven't forgotten about you, by the way...) Rarely, it's as quick as a month. More often it takes at least six months to a year.

Q - Does it depend on the time of the year, and if 'yes', what times of the year are best to submit?
A - I look at games all the time but typically I'm most receptive between March and June.

Q - What is the most common mistake you see from inventors?
A - I'd say that most inventors tend to under-test their games with audiences other than friends and family. It's wonderful when Aunt Sheila thinks your game is the cat's meow (especially if that's the name of your game), but unless she's willing to clone herself and cheerlead in front of every toy store, it's important to get most of your feedback from unbiased sources.

Q - If you were to give beginning inventors one bit of advice, what would it be?
A - Stop!   Don't!   Go Back! Ok, really it would be to think like a Zen master. Pour all of your energy into creating the best possible game, and then be willing to let go as if it were a sand castle at the beach.   Relish the journey along the path of invention as if it were the destination.


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