Random Inc will present, a Phenomenon Labs production...

Writing for Pheno 2010


Writing a game for Phenomenon should be fun. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to write brilliant games, but to make our lives as easy as possible as well, we need you to follow this process:

1. Have a brilliant idea.

2. Send us an email telling us you're interested in writing for Pheno. You can email us at . Verbal expressions of interest are okay to start with, but we will still need a working email address from you, and we can't guarantee we'll remember if we don't have something in writing from you.

3. In December, you will receive an email from us asking for game proposals. If you still want to write your game for Pheno, reply with an outline of your game and any other details we request in the email.

4. If your game is accepted for that years' convention, we will send you a second email in late December or early January with all the details you need for writing your blurb. This email will also give you a blurb deadline in mid-January. This is so we can try to get our website updated in time for the Australia Day long weekend (Arcanacon in Melbourne and Cancon in Canberra).

Please note we are strict about deadlines for steps 3 and 4. Missing them makes us miss other deadlines, which is bad for the other designers and makes us organisers cranky. If you miss the blurb deadline, we may have to drop your game. Pheno maintains a reserve list of designers whose game proposals arrived late or who sent blurbs outside of the normal process, and if you miss the blurb deadline, your game will be dropped and another will be chosen from the reserve list. If for some reason you cannot physically meet the blurb deadline, tell us as soon as possible. Telling us after the deadline passes removes all guarantees that your game will run. -ed.

5. As the months fly by (cue pages falling off a desk calendar), we will send you cheerful reminder emails about when the website goes up, when booklets are printed and when the playtesting weekends are held.

Playtesting is a good thing and we try to make it easy for you (and us — we don't typically get to play your games at the Con, so we like to get first dibs!) We try to hold a playtesting weekend or two in the months before Pheno so you can try out your games with enough time to fix up the bits that don't quite work. The Triptych writers are required to playtest their games early and often with members of the Pheno committee (unless the designer happens to be interstate, in which case local playtesters are fine). New Designers are also encouraged to playtest their games with committee members, and we promise to be gentle. -ed.

6. After all the last-minute panic attacks and midnight writing sessions, you run your game at Pheno. Marvel at the GM gifts we bribe you with, drink your free coffee/tea/chocolate in the relative safety of the GM lounge, and enjoy the delivered lunch and dinner orders.

7. Having run the game, talked yourself hoarse, and given out the trophies, sit back at post-con drinkies and bask in the adulation of your players. And drink the beer they buy you. Orgs will also buy you beer, but this is merely shameless bribery.

8. Once sufficiently tipsy and with your ego freshly polished, write your next game blurb on a beer coaster and hand it the writer wrangler, who will pat you kindly on the head and explain the process again. Go to step 1.