*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 19, 2017, 03:47:55 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 160 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: GenCon 2004 newbie questions  (Read 1878 times)
Steve Samson
Member

Posts: 28


« on: February 29, 2004, 09:51:05 PM »

I've never been to GenCon, but I'd like to make the trip this year. I went to DunDraCon once a few years back, but that's my only experience with gaming conventions. I have several questions...

1. What is the best way for an unknown designer to promote/sell their first published effort at a big convention? Is a spot in the Forge booth and good marketing materials/demos the best way to get started? Can I just show up at the booth with a box of games and some handouts and dazzle everyone or do I need a better plan than that? :)

2. As a related question, what is the best way to promote my game on RPG.net and other gaming websites? Is it important that I get some web-press before GenCon, or does the order (con/web, web/con) not make a difference?

3. While I am new to gaming conventions, I've attended and demo'd at a dozen or so computer conventions. Can anyone who has experienced both computer cons and game cons fill me in on the major differences from a booth/floor setup, demo style, and attendee mentality standpoint?

4. In general, for a rules-light RPG (figure maybe 80 pages) , how long should I plan for playtesting and printing? I'm planning on having an initial playtest draft ready for my group by mid-March, but I'll need other folks to test it as well before I can consider stamping it as "ready". Is this years con season too ambitious? If I miss the cons, does that mean waiting until next year to publish or is web-only promotion/sales viable?

5. Obviously, I'll want some means of selling my game over the internet in place before GenCon. What is involved in a PayPal/Forge Bookshelf system such as the one I used to purchase InSpectres? (Great game by the way, Jared. Great concept, great implementation, great presentation!)

6. Exluding travel to and from GenCon, how much should I budget for (con fees, hotel, meals, and other expenses (and what might those be))?

As this will be my first published game (heck, it'll pretty much be my first finished game) and my first convention, I am not expecting to set the gaming world on fire. However, I am reasonably confident that it'll be a good game with a polished, professional appearance. My goals for attending GenCon 2004 are to learn about the RPG industry, make a good impression on some folks in that industry, put some faces to the names that I'm getting to know here at The Forge, and hopefully sell enough games to cover my GenCon expenses. Does that sound reasonable?

Steve
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2004, 07:57:48 AM »

Hi Steve,

All of that sounds very reasonable. Here are some of my answers to your specific questions, but I hasten to add this is just "fellow publisher's views" and that you should cross-reference it with others' views to arrive at your own conclusions.

Quote
1. What is the best way for an unknown designer to promote/sell their first published effort at a big convention? Is a spot in the Forge booth and good marketing materials/demos the best way to get started? Can I just show up at the booth with a box of games and some handouts and dazzle everyone or do I need a better plan than that? :)


Clearly it's a little self-serving for me to advise anyone that the Forge booth is a better way to go than getting your own booth. I think it's fair to say that it's cheaper and that you'll see a lot more traffic, as well as a lot of good chances for mutual support. A box of games, handouts, and enthusiasm seems to be a winning combination there so far.

On the other hand, some folks think that having their own booth carries a certain amount of obvious commitment which itself is a selling-point.

Quote
2. As a related question, what is the best way to promote my game on RPG.net and other gaming websites? Is it important that I get some web-press before GenCon, or does the order (con/web, web/con) not make a difference?


I'm not sure the order makes a whole lot of difference. I've seen it work both ways, and when it comes down to reality, one's own energy levels and enthusiasm about each mode of promotion seem to be the deciding factors. As far as the best way is concerned, check out some threads in this forum about that; I provided a bunch of links in a recent thread, in fact, so they should be easy to find.

Quote
3. While I am new to gaming conventions, I've attended and demo'd at a dozen or so computer conventions. Can anyone who has experienced both computer cons and game cons fill me in on the major differences from a booth/floor setup, demo style, and attendee mentality standpoint?


Anyone?

Quote
4. In general, for a rules-light RPG (figure maybe 80 pages) , how long should I plan for playtesting and printing? I'm planning on having an initial playtest draft ready for my group by mid-March, but I'll need other folks to test it as well before I can consider stamping it as "ready". Is this years con season too ambitious? If I miss the cons, does that mean waiting until next year to publish or is web-only promotion/sales viable?


I don't think either "rules-light" or (more accurately) a small-sized RPG implies less work for playtesting and printing. If anything, I think it requires more attention and care than a big ol' like-everyone-does 300 page game.

As far as planning for the upcoming con, I suggest that getting it as ready as you can for that purpose is possible. You can decide a month before GenCon whether you'll be selling a cool printed game or distributing free copies of ashcans (this is an important and useful concept) as promotion for the soon-to-arrive game. Either way is still good business.

Quote
5. Obviously, I'll want some means of selling my game over the internet in place before GenCon. What is involved in a PayPal/Forge Bookshelf system such as the one I used to purchase InSpectres? (Great game by the way, Jared. Great concept, great implementation, great presentation!)


Talk to Clinton about this. A lot of people seem to have questions about this recently, so maybe a new thread ought to get started.

Quote
6. Exluding travel to and from GenCon, how much should I budget for (con fees, hotel, meals, and other expenses (and what might those be))?


H'mm ... well, the con fee is about $60, depending on details. Hotel accomodations can be pricey, figure maybe $500 total although I assume you'll be splitting it with at least one other person. And they vary, too, so that's a very squishy round figure. Meals? Everyone always spends more than they expect on food - I like to think I don't spend more than $30 or so a day on it, but it's usually at least twice that and even more, especially if I treat a fellow designer or two once in a while. Other expenses? Well, games, of course. I always plan on at least $200 in purchases. And drinks, including soft drinks, beer, etc, at bars in the evenings and for gatherings at hotel rooms. All that adds up fast.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Steve Samson
Member

Posts: 28


« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2004, 10:55:28 PM »

Thanks for the info, Ron! It's very helpful. I'll look forward to being part of the Forge booth and seeing you and everyone else at GenCon! :)
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!