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Run a game at Pheno

We want to share your games!

Pheno is built on the amazing games our writers create and present. We are endlessly grateful for the time and effort they put in.

New Designers

Pheno welcomes and encourages new designers. There is even a shiny New Designer award. Here is the New Designer Policy

How to run a game at Pheno

Your brilliant Silver Age career as a game writer begins with just 8 simple steps…

  1. Have a brilliant idea. Or even just an idea worth working on. The Gernsback Continuum was not built in a day!
  2. Email us at info@pheno.org.au telling us you're interested in running a game or event of some species for Pheno. Verbal expressions of interest are okay to start with, but we require a working email address from you, and we can't guarantee we'll remember if we don't have something in writing from you (especially if you told us at Post-Con Drinkies!)
  3. In January or February, you'll receive an email from us asking for your game/event proposal. If you still want to offer your game for Pheno, reply with an outline of your game/event and any other details we request in the email.
  4. If your game/event is accepted for this year's convention, we'll send you a second email in March or so with all the details you need for writing your blurb. This email will also give you a blurb deadline in mid-May (or so). This is so we can update the website by July or so.

    For Ms Bean's thoughts on blurb writing: The Art and Science of Giving Good Blurb (49K doc)

    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 cannot meet the blurb deadline, tell us as soon as possible. If you tell us after the deadline passes, we cannot guarantee your game will run.

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

    We regard the playtesting of games as a good thing. We try to make it easy for you by helping to organise playtesting weekends in the months before Pheno. If possible, playtest your game before online registration opens (this means September or earlier) so that you can adjust your blurb if necessary. Also, we organisers typically don’t get to play your games at the Con so we like to get first dibs!

    In particular, Triptych writers and New Designers are encouraged to playtest their games with committee members, both because we have a lot of kind experience in such things, and because we probably won't get to play these (or any) games at the Con itself.

  6. After all the last-minute panic attacks and midnight writing/organising 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.