To trust publisher or not to trust, that is a question! – the new blog post

„I think you should see this,” Chevee says. I’ve been waiting for these words for over five years. I’ve waited for them since he took on the responsibility of testing prototypes. He’s had dozens of meetings, examined countless prototypes, and each time, nothing managed to meet the high standards we set for them. I haven’t seen any of those games he played with my own eyes.

Until now.

„I think you should see this.” How beautifully it sounds.

Those were the times of Covid. Chevee met the designer online; they played a prototype on Table Top Simulator and recorded the entire gameplay. I received an mp4 file, watched it, and had to agree with Chevee. It looked very clever.

„Write to the designer that I want the print and play files. I want to test the prototype in person.”

I received the files, printed them out, and took them home for the weekend. I played with Merry. And then I played again.

When you have hundreds of games at home, you don’t usually play a mediocre prototype twice. Unless it’s not mediocre. Unless it’s as good as what you have on your shelves. Unless it’s fresh, intriguing, and gives you what you love in games – building an engine and scoring Victory Points left and right.

On Monday, I showed up at work with the prototype. I invited Grzesiek Polewka (CEO of Portal Games) and Marek Spychalski (marketing department) to my office. „We’re playing,” I said.

„What’s this?” Marek asked.

„For now, let’s just play. I’ll explain later.”

They played. They finished. They sit there intrigued. They don’t know what’s going on, whether I designed a new game over the weekend or what, where this prototype came from. What’s going on?! They look at me.

„Chevee met the designer at Gen Con. The guy is looking for a publisher,” I explained. „I think he found one, right?” I asked.

„I think he did,” they smiled. A fantastic project fell into our laps; the smiles won’t leave our faces.


Game fans sometimes complain that you can’t trust a publisher when they praise their own game because, after all, it’s in their interest; they want to sell it to us, they have something to gain, they’ll praise even the worst junk until they drop dead. You can’t trust a publisher, period.

However, game fans forget one simple fact – the origin, how the publisher got that game in the first place. The publisher praises it because they love the game. And why do they love it? Because they played the prototype, fell in love with it, believed in it, signed a publishing contract, invested tens of thousands of dollars in production, and are firmly convinced that they should be commemorated for bringing this game into the world.

I didn’t sign a contract to publish Imperial Miners at gunpoint. The designer didn’t pay me a hundred thousand dollars just to publish their game. We didn’t play Russian roulette to see what game we would publish this year.

We’re publishing Imperial Miners because we fell in love with it at first sight. We’re publishing it because we all believe in it. We’re publishing it because it’s a clever, fast, slick card game that you can play in 45 minutes, and those 45 minutes are filled to the max with combos, victory points, and card synergies.

We’re publishing it because, for the first time in history, Chevee said, „I think you should see this.” After rejecting dozens of other games, that must mean something.

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We are bookworms. Movie maniacs. Story addicts. We grew up reading Tolkien, Howard, Herbert, Dick, Lem… We were watching Willow, Blade Runner, Never Ending Story, Robin Hood…

And yet, we don’t write books… we don’t make movies. We don’t make those things, because we make games. We make games that tell stories.