INFORMATION FOR DEBUT DESIGNERS
Information and advice for attending the UKGE with your First Game or a Prototype Game
Are you a game designer that has a new game design in your head or even in physical form?
Thinking about attending UKGE but not sure how to proceed?
You have a few options now.
A) VISIT UKGE AND DO YOUR RESEARCH.
If your game idea is at a very basic stage and you are not sure how to proceed or if you are very new to the world of games and want to find out more about other games, about publishers etc then consider just coming as a visitor to UKGE. Try out game designs by the companies present, chat to designers. Use the visit as research.
To Follow Route A just buy an entrance ticket and turn up.
B)GET THE GAME ONTO THE PLAYTEST TABLES
The cheapest approach is to get the game a slot on the Playtest tables. These are free to use tables (you just need an entry ticket) but you book a slot via the organisation, Playtest, who run the tables.
You can read about it here:
Basically you get the game on the table in the playtest zone. Many folk who attend UKGE are happy to try new designs and give helpful comments. This approach is good for early designs.
Be aware that Playtest tables are in great demand and your game will probably only get a single play through. You cannot use the Playtest tables if you are selling the game.
To Follow Route B, read the Playtest Page and contact Playtest. Then buy an entrance ticket and turn up.
C)HIRE A STARTER STAND
You hire a 2m x2m starter stand for £110+VAT. Add a table – say 4ft x 2ft and 4 chairs for an additional circa £20 (Or bring your own). If you have a slightly larger budget get the larger 3m x2m starter stands for £165+VAT and with a will you can accommodate two demo tables their in. This way you get 3 whole days of potential playtest and feedback. With many games that could mean dozens of games get played and you could have lots of feedback. In addition you can sell games from Trade Stands. Note that Starter stands are placed at the discretion of the organisers in standard space (never in Superior).
D)HIRE A FULL SIZED STAND.
Finally you go the whole hog and take a full size Trade stand. These can be of almost any size, shape and configuration and cost from £45 per sqm. So let's say you had 5m x 4m that would cost £900+VAT. Clearly a stand of that size would allow you the space to fit in a number of demo tables, a sales area etc.
To follow Route C or D you must become an exhibitor. Read the Exhibitors Start Here Page to begin.
E) ENTER THE WYVERN'S LAIR
The aim of the UKGE Wyvern’s Lair is to put the applicants together in the same room with individuals who make, publish and distribute games. We do not Guarantee that this will lead to any games actually being made but out there somewhere might just be a hit game waiting to be discovered.
Maybe it is yours.
How to make the most of UKGE as a New Exhibitor
The Trade Hall at UKGE can seem rather intimidating. There are 150+ exhibitors with stands from 4sqm up to 200 sqm. There are a great many amazing games out there. In order to make the most of UKGE you have to stand out and attract in the gamers to try your game.
1. Make the game as good as it can possibly look. Even in the case of a prototype a bit of extra effort can pay dividends. So pay a local printer to print the game board in high resolution. Consider higher quality components etc. many publishers will have special demo versions such as giant versions etc.
2. The whole stand is part of your display. Consider pull up banners, coming in costume etc. At the very least get some branded T Shirts to promote the games company.
3.Help the visitor find out more. Make sure you have flyers about the game, business cards to give out. Consider placing an advert in the UKGE programme.
4. Take along playtest feedback forms for people who play the game to fill in and give you feedback.
5. Don't forget the Press Preview.
6. Consider an Entry into the Wyvern's Lair if you have an unpublished game.
7. Tell us your news and we will tell our customers
You might care to read a blog post I once wrote on the subject of designing and publishing a game: