Feb 3, 2006

The Birth of Programmer: Battle for Bandwidth

Sitting here waiting for the publisher to reject Battle Stations reminds me of the not-so-long-ago story of my initial attempts at becoming published. At Origins 2005 I had a breakthrough with Programmer: Battle for Bandwidth (wow, I am really bad at naming things), which would be the first game I would ever submit to a publisher. From my convention report:
After the game, I talked to Andy a bit about a problem I'm having with a game I'm designing (or trying to, anyway). In three minutes he came up with a solution to the problem that's stalled me for three or four months now. I was flabbergasted. He's apparently a natural at this. Meanwhile, my game will never be published, no matter how long I try, even with his solution and a few tips on showing it to publishers. It's a shame, too, I like this game so much more than my misguided past attempts at a sci-fi RTS CCG and a sci-fi wargame. This one is exciting mechanically to me. I've never heard of anything like it; Andy said he hadn't either and would like to try it. Yet, even if he helps me perfect it I know I've got no chance: no publisher has ever heard of me, I have no money to invest of my own, and the universe would never be that nice to me to give me a chance to design games for a living.
I obviously have become more delusional since then. Anyway, shortly after Origins I began intensive playtesting of this game. After tweaking some rules and adding/changing/removing some of the cards it seemed to be good and I couldn't identify any specific problems that needed to be addressed. That's when I began the submissions process.

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