I have developed a TCG and I'm hoping to meet with some developers at the convention in order to demonstrate my prototype.
If you are an interested developer or if you have any information concerning how to reach said developers, I'd much appreciate any assistance you could offer.
You should get in touch with them beforehand (starting now), and set up an appointment with them.
Game companies and developers are swamped with business at conventions like GenCon, and if you don't get on their radar early, you're not going to get their attention at the last minute.
You're going to have to do your homework, though. Figure out which specific developers you want to talk to, get their contact information from their company web site (or facebook, or linkedin, or wherever else), and make your pitch.
This may also be something for the First Exposure Playtest Hall and may require some sort of arrangement with Gen Con for this. Not entirely sure about it though.
Anyone know how to get in touch with said developers?
I've tried to contact several through email. Most end up getting me to the customer service email and so far that's been a dead end. (The few that have responded have told me that they don't take third party product ideas.)
I know some of these companies do have an developer come out to events like this. I'd assume there is some kind of sign up appointment sheet to meet with them. So far though, I've been unable to figure out where to go or who to talk to about getting on that sheet though.
If anyone has insight it would be much appreciated.
Most of the time you have to know who to know... Use your time at Gen Con to attend game publishing seminars and such. There you will get the chance to meet some industry insiders as well as some publishers.
Publishers are always getting pitched game ideas. Most don't want prototypes, they want completed games that are ready to sell. Some only want a specific type of game, and some only want to hear from established developers. Breaking into the game industry is not an easy task for new developers and it is not uncommon for people to be ignored when pitching their game. Publishers are in the business of getting the game on the shelves of stores. A busy publisher doesn't have time to do the work of developing the game as well as publishing it. Developers are the ones who write, test, design, layout games.
I would recommend going a self publishing route for your first game. Get a few copies out to some reviewers and other industry insiders and give them time to playtest it. Be prepared for the harsh (or good) criticism and build on it. Once you have a game out there, you will find publishers more apt to hear your next pitch.
For TCG, you should contact a local printer (companies like The Ink Basket also do this kind of work) and have a demo professionally made, or you can go through a company like Gamecrafter.com or Makeplayingcards.com where it may turn out to be more expensive unless you are prepared to order in bulk and getting your finished product may take longer to receive.
Kickstart it. For real.
Don't assume that any game company will have an appointment sheet for talking to developers. By the time they get to GenCon, people in game companies already know who they're going to be talking to, and when, and their schedules will be full.
Yeah... that's why I'm trying to get an appointment now before the con...
If my plan was to just show up and then hope to sign up, why would I be trying to get in touch with them now???
I thought about a kickstart program and if this were a board game, I'd probably do just that.
But with a TCG, there is just so much unique artwork that goes along with it.
I feel like the cost of the art make a kickstart pretty difficult. Unless you go with some kind of low quality art package, but if the art isn't immersive, then I almost feel like "what's the point?".