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What we're looking for (2024) - a guide for board game designers

Updated: May 10

Updated 08 May 2024

What we're looking for (2024) - a guide for board game designers

This guide is intended to give board game designers an idea of what we're looking for from game submissions in 2024. Most of the time it's a case of "we'll know it when we see it" but we've tried to define what it is we're looking for here as best we can.

In 2024, we can now split the games we're looking for into two categories:

Games suitable for Kickstarter

  • Bigger box games (mostly)

  • A variety of components

  • Potential for deluxification & expansion (so we can offer a good value base game for retail release and a deluxe version for Kickstarter backers)

  • Euro games

Games not suitable for Kickstarter

  • Smaller box games (mostly)

  • Less variety in components.

  • Party games

  • Dexterity games

  • Small card games

Each of these categories is broken down into more detail below (click the arrow to expand or collapse each section) and we have included a section at the end of the blog that applies to all games we're looking for.

1. Games suitable for Kickstarter

Game Themes

For Kickstarter we publish very thematic games. Games that have a strong connection between theme and mechanism are best for us.

What we want

Most themes are fine by us, aside from something completely outlandish, but most of the games we launch on Kickstarter have semi-serious themes. We are particularly interested in:

  • Fantasy

  • History with a twist (Alternative history) (also Vikings, Ancient Egypt etc.)

  • Sci-Fi

What we don't want

Any theme that doesn't suit our publishing line. Any theme that doesn't reflect our values such as Historical colonialism or cultural appropriation (Empire building in a fantasy or sci-fi setting is ok)

Game Mechanisms

Our Kickstarter games usually have a blend of mechanisms, but are innovative in at least 1 or 2 ways. If your game is innovative, we want to hear about it!

What we want

Any mechanisms that are used in modern Euro-style games

  • Engine building

  • Multi-use cards

  • Worker Placement

  • Area Control*

  • Set Collection*

*not as the main mechanism of the game but ok as a supporting mechanism

Game Components

For Kickstarter, we like to publish games that have a variety of components. If a game is completely made up of cards, then it won't suit our line. However, on the other end of the spectrum, games that have too many components, or too many types of components, or too many expensive components (such as miniatures) won't work for us either. See our previously published games for an idea of what the "just right" level of variety and quantity are for Kickstarter.

Player Count

We are mostly looking for 1-4 player games.

All submissions MUST play at 2, 3, and 4 players, ideally with the potential to develop a solo mode. There is no maximum size for player count (for example the Pioneer Rails player count is only limited by the number of sheets in the box).

Game Size

Our previous idea was to be a publisher that creates "big games in small boxes" but now we are not so focussed on that and we just want to publish the best games. That said, we are still mostly looking for:

  • Small box games that are medium weight in complexity (like Isle of Trains: All Aboard, 'Tiny Epic' games, or 'Exit' games).

  • Medium box games that are medium-heavy weight in complexity (something like Solar Sphere, Bonfire, or The Taverns of Tiefenthal)

Although Solar Storm, Isle of Trains: All Aboard, and Pioneer Rails are all very different games, we'd consider them fitting into the 'Small box games' category.

Solar Sphere and Mutagen both fit into the 'Medium box games' category.

2. Games Not Suitable for Kickstarter

Game Themes

We are open to any theme for our second line of games, but again we don't really like anything completely outlandish.

Game Mechanisms

What we want

As described above, we are open to many types of games in a small box, especially games that are more appealing to gamers who are not 'hobby gamers'. For example:

  • Party games

  • Dexterity games

  • Small card games (trick taking, card shredding, etc.)

Game Components

As explained above, for these games we are looking for less variety in components. Our aim is to have a much cheaper manufacturing cost, and therefore MSRP for mass market games.

Player Count

We are mostly looking for higher player count games, so 3-8 players would be a good range but a minimum of either 2-4 or 3-6 players

Game Size

In the case of non-Kickstarter games, we are looking for something that is between the size of a deck of cards at the smallest and the size of a small box game (like Isle of Trains: All Aboard, 'Tiny Epic' games, or 'Exit' games) at the largest

Applicable to all games

Game Theme

Remember, we're open to retheming games and we always consider this when we get new game submissions. Even if your game isn't a perfect thematic fit, we might be able to think of a new theme that would suit it (and us) better.

Game Mechanisms

In the sections above we described what we want for our Kickstarter and non-Kickstarter games, but here are some things we don't want in any of our games

What we don't want

Games that have mechanisms that are either outdated, don't fit our publishing style, or we don't enjoy personally

  • Take That

  • Roll & Move

  • Abstract games

  • Trivia games

  • Social deduction / hidden identity games

  • Word games

  • Roll and Write or Flip and Write games

  • Dungeon Crawler games

Got a game that fits all of the above?

If you've got something that ticks all the boxes, submit your game through our Games Submission Page. We give feedback to all game submissions.

Other notes:

  • There is no cost to submitting your game to us.

  • There is no obligation for you to publish your game with us if you submit your game to us.

  • There is no obligation for us to publish your game if you submit your game to us.

  • The Dranda Games submissions process may include your game being played by a group of our trusted volunteers who volunteer to playtest game submissions and prototypes in development with us.

  • We will not share your game submission with anyone that is not part of the Dranda Games submissions process without your permission.

  • If your submissions is successful, and we choose to publish your game, we would do so on a simple % royalty rate basis of gross sales. We also give an advance on those royalties upon signing the contract. You will also be credited as the game designer in the rulebook and on the game box.

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