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Suppose I have what I think is a great idea for a new Settlers expansion. (Like 5,000 other people, no doubt!)

What would be the most effective way to realize this possibility? Write to the makers and outline the idea? Pitch it like a novel manuscript?

Or do such things not get publicly sourced? If I want to play it, is my best bet just to make my own set for use by friends and family?

This question doesn't have to be about Settlers; it can be read as being about any game in the market. There are so many editions & flavours of all the most popular games, and I guess the core question is: Are they all generated internally or could a community member propose one?

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You may struggle to get a publisher to look at a submission idea for an established game. This is what Hans Im Gluck say about Carcassonne expansion submissions.

We are also interested in ideas for expansions. However, ideas for expansions are not always unique. Sometimes it happens that we get similar ideas multiple times and often the author of the game had similar ideas for an expansion.

We want to treat everybody who submits his ideas with respect. We have to mention, however, that you are not implicitly the author of a game idea if you have submitted an idea with a resembling title or resembling game mechanics. This is important for expansions and especially for Carcassonne.

Therefore we won't look at expansion ideas for Carcassonne anymore!

If you want to pitch a game to a publisher then pretty much every publisher website will have a contact page detailing how to contact them and what they are looking for. You will also find lots of useful info about game design and submitting to publishers on the Cardboard Edison website.

I myself followed a lot of the advice there, managed to secure my self a demo slot to publishers at last years virtual UKGE which had a positive outcome.

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