Playtesting, and what then?

So i’ve been working on Fall of the Red Planet for a bit over a year now. I’m getting pretty close to having an actual, ‘full’ playtest version, and it feels great! The thing is though, i have no idea where to go from there, if anywhere. I’d honestly never planned to get this far.

I don’t have money to hire folks for art, editing, etc… I don’t really know folks to help out with any of this stuff, and i wouldn’t ask without being able to compensate them anyway. I have no clout, no network, no support system other than the few groups i’m playing with.

On top of all this, of course i’m not in america either, and definitely do not have cash for cons.

So what do i do? where do i go from here? If i did want to work with the ‘big boys’ at evil hat, possibly publish a ‘real’ book, should i even try, or am i better off leaving this as a project for myself?

There is a pinned thread on how to get involved with Evil Hat, and what their requirements are here:

They don’t say that you need art, layout, or formal editing, and they can help with that.

If you just want to put it out there and do what you can to market it without art, etc., you can publish it to or other places, and use twitter to try to contact other people you know have done FitD games to try to get the word out. Making a network these days involves trying to get in touch with people and making friends online.

There’s definitely a financial barrier to entry if you can’t get picked up by a publisher, but it’s still free to polish it as best as you can and post it around the internet.

I’m one or two steps behind you in the process, so I’m just speaking from what I’ve read and seen.


I’ve been playtesting for years, but still not quite satisfied with it, so I’m not at your stage yet. I’ve seen some good opportunities on Twitter though, with streamers looking for something to play. Getting it in front of as many people as possible seems like a great way to start building attention for a Kickstarter, or to show a publisher there is demand.
I’ve also bought quite a few games directly on Itch, from people linking them here in the forum or on discord. So that can be a good way to get sales right away.

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Whether you want to try or not is a question only you can answer! This is not a big hobby and trying to create and publish a game is hard, lonely, and expensive. If you think doing all that work is going to be personally fulfilling and satisfying, then go for it.

I can only speak as someone who is self-publishing a game and selling it on Obviously it is a labor- and capital-intensive process. If you aren’t willing to pay out-of-pocket for expenses, then you can raise some money by selling on Itch, but honestly, probably not that much. Games are cheap and labor is expensive.

How much work can you do yourself? Are you willing to learn how to lay out and produce a PDF? Affinity Publisher is out now and costs a lot less than InDesign. Can you do your own graphic design? There are a lot of cheap alternatives to Photoshop. Etc.

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I’ve self published a couple of times - using kickstarter to raise the money for art and editing etc. I’ve spent a little money up front to get some initial art (e.g. cover art) ready beforehand. But before you can run a kickstarter you have to get people interested and get information out about the game (easier said than done, I know for sure!). I’m also outside America and I think that makes it quite a bit harder to find playtesters. there are online communities (like The Gauntlet) and you can get involved in online play there, get to know people and then suggest running your own playtests there. That could be a big help.

If you are running games for local groups, have you considered putting up a website (even a free wordpress one) and using that to discuss you game and post stories of your adventures?

Having said that, Evil Hat are interested in people doing FitD stuff (as someone has already mentioned, you can see their post at the top of this forum). So that might be the best avenue to investigate first.