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Now it's enough!

At the start of the nineties, no fewer than three different publishers had assured Günter Cornett they would publish his game Schlangennest. He had even signed a contract with one of them. But in the long run there was no publication.

Convinced of the quality of Schlangennest, together with game designer Gerhard Schech he founded Bambus Spieleverlag (Bamboo Publishing) in 1995.

Bambus Spieleverlag

Bamboo was chosen because this plant is outwardly simple, but offers a wide variety of possible uses.

The Bambus Spieleverlag logo stands for good, original game ideas. In those days less importance was placed on colorful artwork ...

The tile laying game Schlangennest was first produced in 1995 in a small edition of just 500 copies. But the card game we published in the same year, Flaschenteufel, excited rather more attention.

Do you really want to see this graphic? There was a lot of praise, not just for the good, original game idea, but also for the successful conversion of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella, The Bottle Imp. But Günter Cornett received harsh criticism (link to german page) for his self-drawn artwork.

For the next publications, Le Jardin (1996) and Arabana-Ikibiti (1997), Sabine Mielke was asked to take up the graphical duties. They were produced in the copy shop and assembled at the exhibition stand. An unexpectedly high demand for Arabana-Ikibiti led to long lines at the Bambus-booth at Essen '97

Actually the time was ripe for a larger edition. But the search for a suitable larger publisher was difficult. In adddition, Gerhard Schech departed from the firm. At last Arabana-Ikibiti found a home with KOSMOS under the name Kahuna and was soon recognized by the Spiel des Jahres (German Game of the Year) Award.

Over the next few years, with the energetic assistance of friends and supporters, Bambus succeeded in publishing
- Twilight, an unusual card game by Wolfgang Werner
- Nanuuk! a family game of Inuit hunters (with informative supplement)
- Autoscooter, a tactical game for 2-8 players preciously realized in wood

In 1998, Christof Tisch, graphic designer for the Pöppel-Revue games magazine, took over responsibility for a more professional graphical presentation of the Bambus product line. But it took two years before in Volker Schäfer a suitable partner with the know how, commitment, some capital and new ideas could be brought in.

Such a Circus!

Carbon monoxide test devices are no doubt useful equipment. The mouthpieces work splendidly for game production, particularly as presented to Volker Schäfer for purposes of clowning around.

Thus the mouthpieces, re-designed as clowns, became the core element of a board game idea. So ein Zirkus (Welcome to the Circus) is not Volker Schäfer's first game, but is certainly his fastest. Exactly four months passed from idea to manufacture of the first small edition and thus this game was simultaneously the impetus for creation of the publishing house Spieleverlag Regenbogen (Rainbow Games).

Spieleverlag Regenbogen

Its colorful splendor stands for a large variety of games.

Together with the trading game Das Piratenschiff (The Pirate Ship, since sold out), So ein Zirkus was first presented at Essen in 1998. The hand made game was distributed in small numbers to some shops and via direct sales. Amazingly, happy players frequently ordered additional copies friends and relatives.

So ein Zirkus
Juggling clowns with multi-colored wooden balls in their bellies move over the game board. Here and there they cause a ball to fall into one of the point scoring holes. Can you still remember the color of the last ball in that clown?

Even with the support of his girlfriend, his game group and other game designers of the SAZ Game Designers Guild, directing a small publishing house alone became more labor-consuming and draining than originally intended. Initial loose and increasingly closer collaboration with Bambus Spieleverlag led to the birth of the idea of forming a joint publishing house. After the first discussions at Essen '99, it was finally solidified in the year 2000.

With So ein Zirkus, Bambus Spieleverlag inaugurates its Edition Regenbogen: games made especially for children, but also fun for adults who don't always want to ponder.
Edition Regenbogen

Designers as Publishers

To self-publish demands equal parts of idealism and business sense, playful creativity and a sense of the feasible, reliability and laissez-faire, the wish to perfect everything and the knowledge that not everything works on the first try ... It requires a lot of time, but can only be done as side activity.

Therefore we place a special value on sharing experiences and concrete cooperation with other publishers and designers:

We have been volunteering for several years in the SpieleAutorenZunft (SAZ, Game Designers Guild).

The Spieleautorenseite (Game Designers Site), maintained by Günter Cornett and Michael Schacht, offers useful information for game designers, e.g. for initiating contact with publishers. A mailing list makes direct discussion possible.

At the Spieleregal (Game Shelf), we have united with other small publishers to create a common catalog in order to improve our presence in the game shops. In connection with this catalog for common distribution there is also work to expand into English-speaking areas.

Where it will all end, we don't know.
We are not professionals, but:
Günter Cornett
Günter Cornett

b. 1960, lives in Berlin, active as game designer, web designer, semi-trailer truck driver


Bambus Spieleverlag
Volker Schaefer
Volker Schäfer

b. 1967, studies law, works at Hannover as booth builder, printer and delivery driver

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Bambus Spieleverlag Günter Cornett | Kopfstraße 43 | D-12053 Berlin 
Phone/Fax: +49-30-6121884 info@bambusspiele.de