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Submission Guidelines

Thanks for con­si­de­ring Loo­kout as a poten­ti­al publi­shing part­ner for your game design! Plea­se review all of the infor­ma­ti­on below befo­re con­tac­ting us, as your design is more likely to be con­si­de­red if you fol­low them!

What is Lookout’s submission policy?

In gene­ral, we do not accept open sub­mis­si­ons of pro­to­ty­pes — pro­to­ty­pes that arri­ve unan­noun­ced from desi­gners we have had no pre­vious con­tact with. In gene­ral, the­se sub­mis­si­ons are likely to be dis­car­ded and not retur­ned. Open sub­mis­si­ons by e‑mail are accep­ta­ble to an extent—sending a sell sheet, a rule book and/​or some pho­tos of the pro­to­ty­pe wit­hout pri­or con­tact is fine. Other than that, plea­se do not send any unre­quested game mate­ri­als to us!

What does Lookout generally look for in game designs?

We are known for publi­shing medi­um- to hea­vy-weight euro games with inno­va­ti­ve mecha­nics and cap­ti­vat­ing the­mes. Fami­ly games at the Ken­ner­spiel level mark the lower bound of the spec­trum we will usual­ly con­si­der. Even though euro games have the bad repu­ta­ti­on of having “pas­ted-on” the­mes, we make sure that the the­me makes sen­se, hel­ping the play­er to under­stand why they are doing some­thing while play­ing the game. Pure­ly abs­tract designs with no emo­tio­nal con­nec­tion to the actions taken during the game do not work for us at all. On the other hand, con­tro­ver­si­al and poten­ti­al­ly offen­si­ve the­mes are not wel­co­me eit­her. We usual­ly refrain from games about poli­tics (inclu­ding war and slavery), reli­gi­on, and sex. Keep in mind we pro­du­ce our games in Ger­ma­ny and we avo­id out­sour­cing pro­duc­tion to Chi­na.

How does Lookout obtain new designs?

We work with desi­gners that we have past rela­ti­ons­hips with, and desi­gners recom­men­ded to us by our exis­ting net­work. In addi­ti­on, we actively look at designs at con­ven­ti­ons whe­re our pro­duc­tion staff is pre­sent by appoint­ment. This always inclu­des the Essen SPIEL fair. We also wel­co­me desi­gners at our biwee­kly play-tes­ting ses­si­ons in Ber­ne, Ger­ma­ny.

How do you contact Lookout about a design?

Our edi­tor is Grze­gorz Kobie­la (kobiela@​lookout-​spiele.​de). You can always sub­mit your design via e‑mail. We are much more likely to con­si­der a game from a desi­gner wil­ling to make the effort to meet us at a con­ven­ti­on or show, and we do sche­du­le mee­tings at shows to eva­lua­te as many designs as pos­si­ble. Our mee­ting sche­du­le is usual­ly full befo­re we arri­ve onsite for a show, so it is very unli­kely that we will meet with you at a show wit­hout a pre­vious appoint­ment. Once sche­du­led, plan on taking about 20–30 minu­tes to pre­sent your design.

How does a submission to Lookout work?

We pre­fer to start with a one-page syn­op­sis of your sub­mis­si­on: who you are, a bit about your game (2 para­graphs or so), and why you belie­ve Loo­kout would be an appro­pria­te fit to publish and mar­ket your game. Adding a rule book along­si­de your syn­op­sis is wel­co­me. If we are inte­rested in your design, we will then request a rule book (if you did not pro­vi­de one in the first place) and/​or a pro­to­ty­pe. We great­ly pre­fer recei­ving a phy­si­cal copy of your pro­to­ty­pe by mail, as it speeds up our eva­lua­ti­on pro­cess. If you sub­mit a phy­si­cal copy of your pro­to­ty­pe, it will be retur­ned to you after the eva­lua­ti­on is done unless we deci­de to publish the game or you sta­te in advan­ce that you do not need it back. Be awa­re that we may alter your pro­to­ty­pe during the eva­lua­ti­on pro­cess, e.g., cut or wri­te on pie­ces, adding or remo­ving com­pon­ents etc. Restric­ting us in doing so will great­ly decrea­se the likeli­hood of get­ting your design published with Loo­kout.

How long does the evaluation process take?

The eva­lua­ti­on pro­cess varies great­ly from pro­ject to pro­ject. Alt­hough we look at designs year-round, we have mul­ti­ple pro­duct eva­lua­ti­on mee­tings during the year whe­re we aggres­si­ve­ly review designs. Nor­mal­ly, a design will be eva­lua­ted during one or more of the­se ses­si­ons, so a 3–9 month eva­lua­ti­on pro­cess is typi­cal. Should a design’s eva­lua­ti­on exceed this time frame, we will con­tact the desi­gner and deter­mi­ne if both par­ties desi­re the pro­cess to con­ti­nue. In gene­ral, Loo­kout will not review games that are being con­si­de­red by other com­pa­nies. We put time and deve­lop­ment effort into our pro­to­ty­pes, with the under­stan­ding that should we be unab­le to publish a pro­duct, we will pro­vi­de our play-tes­ting infor­ma­ti­on to the desi­gner for use. The flip side of this is that we will not spend time on a design that we may not have the right to acqui­re.

Some Important Notes About Submissions

  • Lookout’s poli­cy is NOT to sign non-dis­clo­sure agree­ments to eva­lua­te designs. If you will requi­re us to sign an NDA, we will decli­ne to eva­lua­te your design. We do not sha­re designs out­si­de of com­pa­ny per­son­nel and com­pa­ny-coor­di­na­ted play­test groups, and any wider expo­sure is always with the per­mis­si­on of the desi­gner.
  • Loo­kout has a tra­di­ti­on of co-pro­du­cing games for other mar­kets in coope­ra­ti­on with inter­na­tio­nal publishers. Alt­hough we will con­ti­nue to con­si­der for­eign part­ners for our games (espe­ci­al­ly when a game will be signi­fi­cant­ly impro­ved for the world­wi­de mar­ket through mul­ti­ple com­pa­nies’ deve­lop­ment and play­test pro­ces­ses) and the occa­sio­nal co-publi­ca­ti­on, Loo­kout is focu­sing more on designs whe­re we hold exclu­si­ve world­wi­de licen­sing rights (inclu­ding elec­tro­nic rights).
  • Loo­kout pre­fers to be invol­ved with a game throughout its deve­lop­ment and pro­duc­tion. That said, we have been and will be open to acqui­re the Ger­man licen­se of suc­cess­ful games released out­si­de Ger­ma­ny. If you are loo­king into intro­du­cing your published game to the Ger­man mar­ket, we are hap­py to part­ner up!


Kickstarter Projects

Kick­star­ter is a very power­ful tool that desi­gners can use to self-publish designs. One of the per­cei­ved oppor­tu­nities is that a publisher will see the suc­cess of a Kick­star­ter and con­si­der it for wider dis­tri­bu­ti­on. Loo­kout has cer­tain­ly not ruled out doing a Kick­star­ter pro­ject of some kind in the future, and as part of our con­si­de­ra­ti­on, we have moni­to­red both the expe­ri­en­ces that Kick­star­ted cam­pai­gns expe­ri­ence, and the long-term suc­cess that the pro­jec­ts gene­ral­ly exhi­bit.