New Goal #1: Marketing materials will be ready to send to publishers by 9/15. I'm on vacation for the next couple weeks or I would have set this goal for 9/1.
Getting a game in shape to pitch to publishers is only the first step. Working on the publisher side of things for years I've had the opportunity to see what publishers really look for in a development partner, even for small casual games.
While having a completed game in hand is a good start it is only a start. Making the game look appealing is the next step. That means highlighting the features of the game along with where it would fit in a publishers portfolio. Some competitive analysis also goes a long way. Then there's the studio pitch as well.
Even if a game appears done the reality is that the publisher will still need a bunch of work done. It might just be simple stuff like plugging in their copy protection framework or splash screens but they need to know that you can deliver the changes they need in the time frame they want. They also want to know your future beyond that. Publishers WANT to find great developers that they can work with for years to come. There are so many crappy studios out there that when you start working with someone good you want them to be a long term partner. Being able to show them that you are that studio will help things along.
New Goal #2: I will have made initial contact with at least 3 publishers by 10/1.
Even the best games and the best studios need to work the crowd to find the right partner to work with. As a new studio I am going to need to talk to a bunch of publishers before I get any kind of bite. I know this is going to be a long and slow process. This goal is only meant to represent getting in touch with the right people at 3 publishers and getting my phone number to show up on their desk. Email contact is only the start. Anyone looking to publish should get used to making phone calls on a regular basis.