Founded in 2010, The Unpublished Games Network, called Unpub, is a growing community of game designers, publishers, players, retailers and artists working towards the creation of new and unique table top games that will keep people entertained for generations to come. The nucleus of this community is the Mid-Atlantic Region, but our reach and membership is steadily growing across the country.
We support the game design and development community by organizing events designed to help unpublished games and their designers receive public play-tests and feedback. These events are open to anyone who wishes to attend and play these games. Players are asked evaluate the games based on their tastes and provide constructive criticism in the form of verbal and written feedback.
Unpub is a low cost/no cost program that relies on participant support to grow. There is no fee to join, no fee to maintain, and no fee to participate at most events. All we ask of our participants is that they help the program to grow. It is through passionate support of the Unpub ideals that we have gotten this far, and with your support we will continue to grow further.
The attendance of Unpub 4 proved that the event has outgrown its roots in the home state of Delaware; therefore, a large move had to happen. With the amazing assistance of Unpub aide Stephanie Straw, Unpub is now in one of the best places imaginable, the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD.
Running 3 days, instead of the previous 2, Unpub 5 is growing to focus even more on helping designers get the absolute best versions of their games onto tables.
Friday, February 6 - Designer Day
This day we will hold seminars and classes directed to the designers. Seminars such as:
- Game/Protoype Graphic Design
- Publishers Panel
- KickStarter Panel
- Self-Publishers Panel
- Special Guest Q&A
This day will wrap with a Designer/Publisher dinner event, with free food and soft drinks, much like Unpub 4 did.
Saturday, February 7 - Playtesting
Saturday is the official start of playtesting festivities. Designers will showcase their games to the public from 10am-8pm. Here the designers will gain valuable feedback and get to mingle with their target audiences.
Playtesters filling out feedback forms will be entered into an hourly raffle to win board games and other prizes.
After 8pm on Saturday the venue will roll over to open gaming. Allowing everyone to 'take a break' from the prototype world and play whatever they see fit. This gives a chance for designers to play each others protos- or the newest game released.
Sunday, February 8 - Last Call
The last day of Unpub is also a bittersweet day, and this year will prove to be no different. Playtesting will begin at 10am but will end at 6pm to allow everyone to depart and head home, to face the reality of work and non-gaming responsibilities.
Many people know that Unpub has traditionally been funded, in part, by sales of tables at previous Unpub functions and sponsorships by various businesses or publishers. Unfortunately, while helpful, these were not enough to completely fund the event and the large majority of the expenses were paid from the personal pockets of those running it. By moving to a larger venue (The Baltimore Convention Center) that is also close in proximity to Baltimore, Washington DC and BWI International airport, Unpub will have the opportunity for more playtesters, designers and even more publisher participation. With a great location also comes the great responsibility of ensuring that the event venue is completely taken care of for our designers and playtesters.
In an attempt to help Unpub break even, the main goal is to fund Unpub 5 and to pay for the venue, but also to include a secondary goal to help fund Unpub appearances at major cons such as PAX, BGG Con, GenCon, GrandCon, and more. The main goal of Unpub is to ensure designers receive our support, but many of the invitations to these major cons were regretfully declined due to a lack of funds to send an Unpub representative or designer there. Unpub’s goal is to make sure our designers are at the forefront of these cons by ensuring the presence of the Unpub organization in order to run a smooth event.
The goal is of this campaign is to cover costs for the Unpub 5 venue, event insurance, marketing and materials. Each additional dollar contributed will help ensure Unpub can travel to conventions that have extended an official invitation.
"Unpub is, quite simply, indispensable to board game designers. Where else are you going to find a community of smart fellow designers, eager playtesters and publishers on the lookout for their next release? We have Unpub to thank for getting our first game publisher-ready and signed in a single weekend. If you're thinking about attending Unpub 5 and haven't yet decided, you're thinking too hard--it's worth it."
- Chris & Suzanne Zinsli (Cardboard Edison)
"As a game publisher, UnPub 4 was an excellent opportunity to meet an impressive array of game designers in a format where we had the time and opportunity to really connect over their games. UnPub is an outstanding opportunity for both game designers and game publishers."
-RALPH ANDERSON (Eagle & Gryphon Games)
"The Unpub program is an amazing resource. I've learned more about game design and the board game industry through Unpub than I have anywhere else. I've made connections with fellow designers that I could not have made elsewhere. I can't even calculate how valuable Unpub has been to me. The Unpub 4 event was a surge of game design adrenaline straight into my heart. It was a no-brainer that I would be attending Unpub 5 and I'm ecstatic to support the Unpub program in any way I can."
-MATT WOLFE (Game Designer)
"Easily my favorite convention of the year."
-Bryan Fischer (Nevermore Games)
"For me, being part of the UnPub network has been like attending a design university with a co-op program. I entered as a freshman and I can proudly say I am now in the middle of my sophomore year, learning and growing every step of the way."
-BONNIE NEUBAUER (Game Designer)
$1 THANK YOU!
For as low as $1 you can help support the Unpub Network. Pledge any amount here, and know that everyone behind the scenes here will be incredibly grateful for your support.
$10 UNPUB SUPPORTER
The Unpub Supporters will have their name printed in the Unpub 5 program, as well as receive a copy of the program and the Unpub 5 Promo Pack.
$20 UNPUB DICE BAG
This level will get you the exclusive Unpub Dice Bag, handmade by Sam Browne. In addition to the bag you will also have your name printed in the Unpub 5 Program, and receive the Unpub 5 Promo Pack and Unpub 5 Program.
$25 UNPUB VIP PLAYTESTER
If you want to rub shoulders with the game designer, publishers, and our special guest, Richard Launius, this is the level for you. Come be our guest on Friday, the Designer Only Day, and partake in the discussions, game play, and the Designer Dinner. You will also have your name placed in the Unpub 5 Program and Unpub Website as a VIP Play tester. NOTE: This level does not give the backer a designer table.
$30 UNPUB CHEST SPONSOR
This level will get you an Unpub T-Shirt. In addition to the shirt you will also have your name printed in the Unpub 5 Program, and receive the Unpub 5 Promo Pack and Unpub 5 Program.
$50 UNPUB 5 DESIGNER TICKET
If you are a designer, and have a prototype to see heavily play tested, this is the level for you. This backer will receive a ticket for all 3 days (Designer Day Friday, Playtesting Saturday & Sunday) of the Unpub 5 event and a designer table for all 3 days. NOTE: Unpub limits 2 games per table (not simultaneously). There also must be at least 1 designer per table at all times. The designer ticket is 1 table at Unpub 5. Each ticket is good for up to 2 designers for the Friday Designer Day as well as the Designer Dinner.
$60 UNPUB 1 MEMORY BOX
The backers at this level will receive a copy of the first game published from an Unpub Event, VivaJava: The Coffee Game. VIvaJava will also come signed by the game's designer, TC Petty III. In addition you will also have your name printed in the Unpub 5 Program, and receive the Unpub 5 Promo Pack and Unpub 5 Program.
$80 UNPUB 2 MEMORY BOX
The backers at this level will receive a copy of games published since their appearance at Unpub 2, Mars Needs Mechanics and Compounded: Better Gaming Through Chemistry. Both games will also come signed by their designers. In addition you will also have your name printed in the Unpub 5 Program, and receive the Unpub 5 Promo Pack and Unpub 5 Program.
$100 UNPUB 3 MEMORY BOX
The backers at this level will receive a copy of games published since their appearance at Unpub 3, Tessen, Belle of the Ball, VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game, and Maximum Throwdown. All games will also come signed by their designers. In addition you will also have your name printed in the Unpub 5 Program, and receive the Unpub 5 Promo Pack and Unpub 5 Program.
$250 UNPUB VIP DESIGNER
The backers at this level will get a Designer Table at Unpub 5, as well as Designer Tables for Unpub 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10! In addition these 5 will also receive first pick at their table (VIP seating), an Unpub T-Shirt, a VIP emblem added to their profile and games on the Unpub website, as well as in the Unpub 5 program.
Risks and challenges
The confidence we have with Unpub 5 is that we have 4 other major Unpub events under our belt, not to mention the support of game printers, publishers, designers, and play testers. We are a tried and true event for those who love board games and want to put their mark on the industry
We need to raise funds primarily to supplement the venue, insurance, travel, and marketing costs. The challenge is to garner individual support (through Kickstarter) and sponsors to make Unpub 5 happen with little to no monetary loss to the individual event organizers.
There is always a risk in launching an event, but again we have done this 4 times before so we know how to organize and structure it. Once we have the financial back bone we can begin to make Unpub bigger and better year after year.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)