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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 journey towards being a game writer begins with just 6 simple steps…

  1. Have a brilliant idea. Or even just an idea worth working on. The Great Journey was not accomplished in a single day!
  2. Some time around April to May, the Writer Wrangler will call for game submissions, and you'll have at least a couple of weeks to respond to this. Generally there is a form to fill in for your contact details, basic idea etc, and there is a follow up after a month or two when you submit your game blurb for the website. This one also has a hard deadline.

    We like well written blurbs. For Ms Bean's thoughts on blurb writing: The Art and Science of Giving Good Blurb (49K doc)

    Please note we are strict about the deadline for blurbs. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.