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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Patch Products (May '08) as answered by Lisa Wuennemann
Q - What are Patch Products' greatest hits, and how would you describe your line of games overall?
A - Our greatest hits include Buzzword, a game where players are given a buzzword and clue to figure out the answer; What's Yours Like? a game where all the hilarious clues come from the player; Toss Up, a suspenseful dice game; Swap!, a fast-paced card game; and Jeff Foxworthy's You Might Be A Redneck If..., a game based on Foxworthy's famous redneck jokes.

Our games all have these attributes:
· Fun. Our games always have a fun factor.
· Family-friendly. Our games are designed to be played by families as well as a group of friends.
· Educational. People might learn something when they play our games. The best educational games are ones that teach without the players knowing that they are learning.
· Unique. Our games are different from other games in stores.

Q - Is there anything currently that you are looking for that is different than what you have done in the past?
A - We are always looking for games and puzzles that are fun and entertaining, something that's not currently on the market or a new twist on an old game. It also helps if the game appeals to a wide range of people.

Q - How many games do you or your company review in a year?
A - We receive about 500 game submissions a year.

Q - How many games does your company usually release in a year?
A - We introduce 5 to 10 new products in a year.

Q - Do you look at games by unknown inventors?
A - Some of our games are invented by our company's product development team, and others are submitted by professional game designers. But some of the games in our line have been invented by independent game inventors who have another full-time job and invent games on the side. For example, Roll-It Tic-Tac-Toe is a game we introduced in 2007 that was invented by a school teacher who uses games in his classroom to make learning fun for his students.

Q - For beginning inventors, what would be the ideal way to approach and submit game ideas to you?
A - We have a section on our website that inventors should check out. (see it here). We recommend that potential inventors read through the Toy Industry Association's Toy Inventor/Desiger Guide, which is posted on our Game Submissions page. The guide offers lots of helpful information about the industry and what it takes to develop an idea that will sell. It's also important to note that we accept game ideas only if the proper documentation is submitted which is also available on the Game Submissions page.

Q - How long does it take from the time you receive a submission to the time you say 'yes' or 'no'?
A - We usually decline a game within a couple of months. But if we are considering the game for our line, it might take six months for us to fully analyze it.

Q - Does it depend on the time of the year, and if 'yes', what times of the year are best to submit?
A - We accept submissions throughout the year, but submissions received from January through March get the best consideration.

Q - What is the most common mistake you see from inventors?
A - The most common mistake new game inventors make is to develop a game that is too complicated or takes too long to play. With today's busy lifestyles, people like games that can be played in a half-hour or less and they don't want to read through pages and pages of rules to learn how to play.

Q - If you were to give beginning inventors one bit of advice, what would it be?
A - Your game should be played dozens of times with family and friends until you feel it is the best you can present. It is very easy to tell when someone throws an idea on paper and has not play-tested it.


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