Language Translations by Third Parties?

I’ve a question that’s more business than visual or game design related!

I’ve had my game Hexingtide into public playtesting for most of this year. Playtesting is still going on, and I’m looking at having the game in a completed state in 2023.

I’m in the US. An editor for a German indie TTRPG publisher (and freelancer himself) has approached me about translating the game into Deutsch after playtesting it with friends.

Knowing that I may pitch the finished game to publishers, I’m not sure how to respond!

Am I getting WAY ahead of myself worrying about future publishing contracts that may or may not happen?

I want people to enjoy the game, and if there’s interest in Germany, should I let them move ahead - even with an “unofficial” translation of the current playtest rules?

Or would that hamper any future conversations with publishers?


I don‘t think it would hamper sales, it would hopefully generate some excitement. Here in Germany, roleplayers like printed books and extravagant layouts. Everyone who enjoys the game will buy the final version. German publishers also do occasionally pick up „free“ products.

That said, I understand your reluctance, it‘s so hard to let go, especially a not-quite-finished product. Also, the German indie RPG market is quite small.

I’ve avoided working with publishers (though I’m enthusiastic about printing partnerships). My general instinct is that a few publishers may balk at that, but most are looking to pick up games that already have hype and a following, so getting into more hands to more tables in more places may actually be a plus for a lot of folks. If you’ve got an eye on specific publishers, it wouldn’t hurt to reach out and see if they’d still look at a proposal/game/book that’s already been translated while in playtesting.