Tuesday 29 November 2011

So I pitched my first game...and it's not Where's My Lugagge?

Good day gentle readers,

So last night I pitched my first boardgame design...and it surprisingly enough it was not for my family game Where's My Luggage?

It was for the game I meantioned in my previous post: the Vaccine game...or as it is now called: The CDC: Biosafety Level 4! (at least for now...)

So I had posted about this blog on the Geek (BoardGameGeek for those of you who are not in the know...)


I got alot of postive response, including from Steve Carey who designed We Must Tell the Emperor, and from Alan Emrich, the owner of Victory Point Games.

So they suggested I pitch my idea to them...so I did!

Here is roughly the text of my email:

Hi Nathan,

Alan Emrich told me to shoot you an email regarding a game idea I'd like to pitch to Victory Point Games. After he found out that Steve Carey said I was on to something, then Alan said "heck yes we're interested in it!"

I am a first-time game designer and I would like a chance to "show my stuff." I read the articles that Alan pointed me to, so here is my game idea pitch... :: takes a deep breath ::

1.      Contact information
John Gibson

2.      Games Working Title
The CDC: Biosafety Level 4
3.      Game’s High Concept
•         Manual Boardgame with cards and cardboard markers
•         A Turn Based Reflective game with a structured sequence of play
•         A Solitaire game of a CDC Biosafety Level 4 lab vs a virus
•         Abstract/Simulation/Strategy
•         Contemporary
Scope: 10 weeks in a CDC Biosafety Level 4 lab trying to find a cure for a virus
Scale: Tactical – creating a vaccine protein by protein in order to destroy the virus
Perspective: First person

4.      One-Sentence Marketing Description
“With the world on the brink of virulent catastrophe, the scientists of the CDC BIOSAFETY LEVEL 4 Lab have 10 weeks to create a vaccine to combat an ever mutating virus or risk the survival of humanity itself. ”

5.      The game’s Hook
Biosafety Level 4 is a solitaire boardgame that pits the player against an ever mutating virus. They must create a vaccine to destroy the virus within 10 weeks, but they have limited resources and funding. The more successful they are at decoding the virus’s genetic structure, the more funding they can secure to combat it.

6.      Word’s-eye-view of the game
“In Biosafety Level 4, the player must use their limited resources to find a cure for a deadly virus ravaging the outside world. They must unlock its genetic code, finding proteins that they can use to create antibodies to bind to its antigens, thus destroying it. Each turn the virus mutates unpredictably, while the player buys and uses lab equipment that will aid in unravelling its code. Funding is limited so resource allocation can be challenging, but with each success will come more funding. Will the men and women of the Biosafety Level 4 Lab create a vaccine to save humanity before time runs out? ”

7.      Back of the box style listing of the games key features
•         11” x 17” color game board with virus play area, vaccine creation area, funding track and a 10 week turn track
•         25 antigens markers: the building blocks of the virus
•         50 antibody proteins: join these in different combinations to bind to the antigens and thus destroy them
•         20 Viral Mutation Cards that add more antigens to the virus or change existing antigens
•         16 Lab Equipment Cards that can be purchase to aid in combating the virus
•         1 die used to determine the success or failure key research points
So that's my pitch. I hope it has piqued your interest. I look forward to your response.

With great appreciation,
John "That Cowboy Guy" Gibson

So there you have it. My first game idea pitch...I hope it goes over well. I will post about it one way or the other.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Your game sounds pretty cool and I'm anxious to see it played in person. How is the progress going on it so far? Glad to see you really going for it and posting it on BoarGameGeek.com. Good luck!

    Kind regards,

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Luis.

      I never did get a reply back from Victory Point Games, which is very disappointing. I haven’t done anything with it since December. I still think it’s a good game, but I think it could use more play testing before I would consider the self-publishing route.