Daily Content Submission Guidelines
Ever wanted to try your hand at game design? The Avalanche Press website is a great way to start. We run game variants, scenarios and short historical pieces every single day, and we’re always looking for new contributors.
I’m sure you have questions, so ask away.
First things first. What do I get out of it?
Exactly what we’ll trade for Daily Content depends on a lot of factors. We don’t have an exact schedule of, say, X amount of credit in trade for Y amount of words, because it’s not about word count or any one element. It depends on the work’s usefulness to our readers.
The best Daily Content is something thousands of gamers will download and use in their games, and which will therefore encourage return visits and further sales. Something like that is worth a hefty game in trade!
When you submit a piece for Daily Content, we’ll let you know whether or not we would like to use it and what we’ll offer in trade.
If I agree to let you publish my work, who owns the rights to it?
We do. By allowing us to use your work as Daily Content in exchange for Avalanche Press product you are conveying ownership and all rights to that property to Avalanche Press, Ltd. If we accept the work for publication we retain ownership and all rights, print, electronic and otherwise, including the right to modify it as we feel necessary.
How can I make sure you accept my submission?
Well, you can’t. Not really. We reserve the right to accept or decline any submission that comes our way for any reason or no reason at all.
But there are some ways you can maximize your chances.
Do your research. Most of our games are historical wargames, and we take the history seriously. We’re not offering a forum for rants and theories. Assume nothing. If a detail is hard to pin down, say so. If you find yourself starting a statement with “It’s obvious that ...” or “They must have ... ,” it’s a safe bet that you’re about to state a supposition, not a verifiable fact.
Cite your sources. We probably won’t include them in the final article, but showing your sources demonstrates that you did your research and helps us verify your conclusions and game recommendations. Warning: We do not consider Wikipedia a valid research resource. Use sources that have been professionally edited for accuracy.
Write it yourself. Copying the work of another writer is plagiarism. Attempting to trade away rights to property owned by someone else is fraud. Don’t try it.
Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Want to know what we like better than cleaning up sloppy writing? EVERYTHING. We take the time to edit every submission. If yours is poorly written, it’ll drift to the bottom of the pile.
Avoid jargon. Games are filled with acronyms and arcane abbreviations — especially wargames! Don't use them unless it would look even stranger not to use one. The same goes with military abbreviations for rank and unit. Just because you know what it means, don't assume everyone does.
Kill passive voice! Military historians, game designers and lawyers all love writing in passive voice. It allows for vagueness and sweeping, word-saving generalizations that gloss over gaps in research. But that vagueness makes prose impossible to enjoy. It makes eyes glaze over and minds drift away. Passive voice is insidious and evil. And if you don’t know what it is, you probably use it all the time. Look it up, before it’s too late!
Turn off autoformatting. Word processing programs such as Microsoft Word include a number of handy functions for formatting lists of bullet points, for setting the case of characters, for inserting space between paragraphs and all kinds of neat things. Don't use them. All that formatting disappears when we move the text from the Word document to the website, often leaving a confusing mess in its place.
What kind of content do you want?
The vast bulk of our Daily Content fits into just a few categories: Historical articles, game variants, game scenarios and strategy guides.
Historical articles discuss some specific element of a game in detail. They should be brief and tightly focused, never rambling. Pick a subject that intrigues and amuses you and show us why it does. Just make sure it relates clearly to one of our games.
Some of our favorite articles have been variants that offer alternate rules or a new way to play, from William Sariego’s variant game pieces for Red Vengeance and Defiant Russia to Mike Bennighof’s classic aptenodytic Tears of the Dragon expansion, “Tears of the Penguin.”
Game variants often include new game pieces or game map sections based on historical situations or organizations not covered in the original game. In most cases we handle the actual artwork; if the concept is good enough for Daily Content, it’s good enough for the full treatment. Your submission should include instructions on what new game pieces must be included, what game values they should sport and how they should look. Suggest only the minimum new pieces necessary for the variant to work. If a proposal is too ambitious it simply won’t get produced.
New scenarios make some of the easiest and most useful content. You’ve seen what the scenarios look like in your favorite game; follow that format. Include a short summary of the situation (a couple of paragraphs), details about the time and date of the action, what forces are involved, reinforcements, and so on.
Have you found the right ingredients to win as one side or another in a game or a particular scenario? Tell us about it! Most Daily Content strategy pieces include a summary of play to show that strategy at work. If possible go for about a 50-50 split — make half the work strategy and half game summary — and if it needs a longer example of play make sure it justifies all the extra writing. When in doubt, ask us first.
How do I submit Daily Content?
First, click here to contact us. Tell us what you have in mind. We’ll let you know what we think of the idea and tell you where to send the submission.
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