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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 35 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Re: Of the history of Crimson... err Cursed Empire!  (Read 3707 times)
leonidas300
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Posts: 39


« on: March 09, 2008, 11:38:07 AM »

Post 13: Launch and Promotion (sorry this has taken a long to come around)

This was both the most nerve racking experience and the most rewarding. I regularly stand up and present to large conferences through my day job, but standing on a trade stand launching your game is another kettle of fish altogether:

How is the game going to be received?

What are people going to think?

What criticism is going to be levelled at my labour of love?

And the list just goes on.

As I said in a previous post, the launch stock for Origins only arrived just in time before the masses came crashing through the doors. Then there is that scary moment as gamers rush past your stand to get their free mega plastic collectable monster thingy, and you just hope that some of them are going to trip up and crash into your stand or maybe even pause for a second to take in what your are promoting. This is pretty nerve racking stuff, especially the first few times. Then you just get used to it and it still remains just as nerve racking :)

This is an amazing experience and is truly the best place to learn how to get your game out into the hobby industry. Cursed Empire has been demoed at over 28 coventions over the last 5 years in France, UK, Germany and the US. You simply can't beat getting your creations in front of players and taking the time to stop and discuss your system and setting. Demos, if well balanced, get your game into gamers hands (see next post).

With only a limited budget for marketing and promotion, advertising in the press is in my opinion a big gamble. I have done this nevertheless when I felt that an opportunity was there and in fact in smaller press publications exposure can be good enough to recoup the cost of the ad and more. Sometimes a 200 USD back page in B&W for a magazine that only goes out to 3,000 gamers can be a better bet than some of the big boys going out to 60,000 gamers with ads at 1500 USD.

I found that part financing GM's cost is often a much more direct way of getting returns. You just need the right people out there to help in the promotion. An over enthusiastic fan who is more interested in showing newbies how much they know about the game is going to do a lot of damage and cannot compare with someone who has a passion to share something and open a game up to fellow gamers.

The Launch itself:

Timing the launch is everything. Choosing the moment to maximise exposure as well as ensure that the game will be ready is a crticla decision. Too many times (I'm sure there are many others of you out there) it is a last minute panic to get things finished, proofed, typeset and printed (oh yeah and delivered :) ). 

I found that by having a realistic but tough deadline is a good way to work. Well at least is seems to for me. In any case, once you have a good little following, then gamers will turn up to see what the next new thing is that you have. If they come to conventions and systematically see that you have nothing new, they will soon move on as there are many other shiny and great things out there to entice them.

I find that the key is reaching a critical mass of gamers who repeat buy. When you have this, you can pretty much budget and plan releases. This is tricky at the best of times. But in our experience, is the way to go.

Of course another place to help with a launch is the net. But this is the subject of another post as it is a totally new area with its own pitfalls etc.

On to post 14...
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Author and Creator of Cursed Empire FRPG
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