So we've had quite a bit of activity on the Google Group lately. It was pretty much started when Chester (boardgamegeek profile) found us and joined in. He is very fired up and excited about getting something like this (i.e., Mormon themed games) out for publishers and distributors to see and pick up. We talked on the phone last night for a little over an hour about the idea. It goes something like this:
A Co-op will be created (we'll call it something like Zion Game Designers International (ZGDI)). We will hook up with the LDS Booksellers Association (become a member) and start attending their annual convention (happens in August; we'll be shooting for the convention in 2010). At the conventions we will have a booth where members of ZGDI will display their games. Members will bring games that are 'Ready for the Box.' If it isn't ready to be sold, then that is just what it is - not ready to be sold. Those at the LDSBA are there to make plans for the entire next year - decisions will be made on what goes into what store and what publisher will buy what game. Prototypes don't need to be professional in appearance, but they need to be functional and the game needs to have all the bugs worked out and read to be sold. That's another part of where we come in as a group, we'll be vetting games and helping get them ready for the LDSBA. This will give us access to the publishers and distributors in the LDS world of books, and we hope to get them to adopt new game designs as well.
He explained it to be sort of like an Essen-type setup: a convention where designers come with hopes of hooking up with a publisher. We'll be there for publishers and distributors to see us and our games. The Co-op will give us a chance to save on costs (all costs split by those of us who are members of the Co-op) and also provide us a way of letting the publishers and distributors know that we will always have quality products for them to consider. In essence, as a Co-op we would put our "stamp of approval" on the games that the members bring to the LDSBA conventions.
We also hope to be able to showcase our games at the Gathering of Strangers (that will hopefully happen this summer here in Utah). We hope to be able to go there with some games ready for others to play. Then we can get LDS people's feedback on the games and have that for 'market research' to back up our pitches to the LDSBA.
Anyway, it's a lot to take in. It makes me very excited though. I hope we can get this all set up and ready to go. I'm especially excited that someone other than me is excited to give quality Mormon themed games to the world!
Thanks to Chester for this brilliant idea!!