My name is Peter C. Hayward. I'm a 28-year old Australian with blue hair, a blue beard, and a dream.
Well, a lot of dreams. The top dream on my list? To live in America.
Unfortunately, that's not easy - in order to live legally in the USA, I need to do one of three things.
- Win the Green Card Lottery. (Approximately a 5% chance of winning for Australians, which is ridiculously high compared to almost every other country.)
- Fall in love and get married.
- Become an Alien of Extraordinary Ability which yes, is as cool as it sounds.
I've done all I can towards the first, the second is not something I can control...and so my energy is going towards the third.
To become an Alien of Extraordinary Ability you have to prove yourself in your field. There are a number of ways you can do this, including: winning awards, being written up in major media, writing for trade journals, being invited to judge on panels, and of course, commercial success.
Thus, for at least the next few years, my primary focus is going to be designing, developing, and publishing board games, until I'm significant in the field.
Why board games?
- It's something I know I'm good at. I've been designing games as a hobby for almost four years now, and in the last 15 months or so it's really started to click. About a year ago I made a game called Dracula's Feast which has received an offer from every publisher I've pitched it to - more on that later.
That could have been a fluke, but as well as that people - even strangers - have started to actually enjoy playtesting my games. (And trust me: I've seen enough people not enjoying playtesting to know the difference.)
It's a field I have connections in. I'm good friends with the Greater Than Games team, which is an incredible resource for business advice, game design advice, and meeting people in the industry.
It's a field that I'm obsessed with. Maybe I could work my way into a similar position as a wardrobe designer or a barista, but this is something I've incidentally been working at for years and I love it (more accurately - I've been incidentally working at it for years because I love it).
Game design is the last thing on my mind before I go to bed at night, and I come up with new ideas in my dreams. Literally - that's how Village Pillage originated. (More on that later.)
I currently have one game signed to a publisher (Dracula's Feast, signed to Prettiest Princess Games), one game in development with a mind to publish (Hex Mex, co-designed with Christopher Badell of Greater Than Games - more on that later) and a handful of other projects on the go.
But getting games published through an established publisher takes time - finding the right fit and waiting for a gap in their schedule can take literally years (Hex Mex is currently slated to go to Kickstarter in 2017), and I have some designs that are ready to go, and so I've decided to become a publisher.
Over the past six months I've talked to people in the field, read dozens of business books, listened to every podcast and read every site about board games I could find, commissioned a logo for my company and begun preparing for my first release, Scuttle!. (More on that later.)
I want to get high-quality games out there, and I want to make a name for myself in an increasingly busy field. I want to win awards, get reviewed by prominent reviewers, get written up in trade journals and, of course, make money.
Let's do it.
Up next: Part 2: About Jellybean Games.