Interested in publishing a game with Evil Hat? Awesome, here’s what we’re looking for:
- System. We’re primarily focusing on games that are Powered by the Apocalypse, Forged in the Dark, or Powered by Fate.*
- Format. Games intended for print as books (rather than card, board, or digital only products) that are (or will be) 40,000 words or longer.
- Development Status. The game should be complete or near-complete and be thoroughly playtested in its current form. We recommend that you reach out to us before running a crowdfunding campaign.
- Text. Game manuscript in plain text/word/google-doc format (not in layout).
- Setting. Setting/genre that would fit in Evil Hat product lines.
- Ongoing Development. A willingness to work with us on all aspects of the game as we go through the editing, layout, proofing, art direction, and indexing to get it ready for print.
- Marketing. A partner in marketing the game along-side us by playing it online, at conventions, with local groups and generally building the excitement that comes from play.
*This doesn’t rule out original-system games, but we want to be up-front about where our focus is. Notably we do not publish 5E material and have no plans to enter that market space. If that’s a central feature of your pitch, we encourage you to seek out one of the many other publishers who serve that market.
Services we provide as a publisher:
- Finishing. We have in-house talent to do editing, layout, art, proofing, indexing, etc.
- Project Management. We’ll work with you as well as all the staff assigned to the project to complete the game and make sure it meets our standard of production quality (which is pretty darn high).
- Public Playtesting. If applicable, we’ll help you run a public playtest including creating the application form, review process, disclosure pledges, and feedback forms.
- Marketing. This is co-operative aspect. Evil Hat will use our marketing engine but the most ardent fans will always come from you.
- Crowdfunding. If we think the game is well suited to a Kickstarter campaign, we will work with you to run one at a time that works with our overall promotional schedule.
- Manufacturing. Developing the print specifications, getting quotes, proofs, and working with the printer to complete the book.
- Fulfillment. Delivery to wholesale, direct vendors like IPR, and backers/pre-order customers, along with the customer service and ongoing inventory supply management needed.
- Virtual TableTop (VTT) Development. Developing character sheets, art packs, and modules for Roll20.
Evil Hat is collectively and individually:
- Pro choice and pro body autonomy.
- Pro gun control
- Pro masking & vaccination
- Pro LGBTQ+ and BIPOC rights, equality, and justice
These are causes that we publicly support and give money to. Our values are important to us, and we’re sure yours are important to you. If those don’t align with your beliefs, we are probably not a good fit for you as a publisher.
How to send in pitch?
There’s no one way to write a pitch but here are a few things we suggestion when sending a submission:
- A short description of your game (one paragraph or less) that explains what your game is about, who the players will play, and the actions they will take. Example: Blades in the Dark is a tabletop role-playing game about a crew of daring scoundrels seeking their fortunes on the haunted streets of an industrial-fantasy city.
- The audience you have in mind for your game (and any audience you already have if you’ve been running it publicly). Example: Target Market: Fans of stories with criminal heroes like Peaky Blinders, John Wick, and the books of Steven Brust. Fans of heist and caper RPGs like Fiasco, Shadowrun, and Leverage. Fans of dark, fully realized industrial fantasy settings.
- If it is not clear from the game description, a short note about the game setting and tone.
- Any mechanics that we should know about (either existing systems that you’re working with, or new mechanics you have created).
- Indication of your current progress in development (current word count, number of playtests run, etc).
- A version of your manuscript, either your entire draft or a quick start guide that covers the essential components to get started playing.
If you’re interested in working with us and meet the criteria above please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens next?
After we receive your pitch, we’ll respond to you within 90 days to either decline the offer or ask for more information. If you do not hear from us within 90 days, please feel free to follow up!