Monthly Archives: May 2016

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Going out and promoting

Category : Uncategorized

The last few weeks have been an interesting, and important, learning experience for me.

My intention has been to go to various events and, potentially with other GMs, show people how to play the game(s). Run a game for them. Right now, Battle Gnomes is the star of Branum Games until the Kickstarter goes through. Which, by the way, has been postponed so that I can do more marketing. Also, there are other plans of promoting I’m also engaged in, but that one has been a big one recently.

It’s also been awful being a GM. Just awful. I love meeting new people and chatting with them, but I happen to not be confident as a GM. I don’t feel like I explain my game as great when staring at 5 new faces. For years in gaming I organized the people running games, their locations, their benefits, and so on. When I played games, I let people who enjoy running games, run them. I always knew some people have a knack for it but did not know that it would be SO challenging for me. Talking about my own game too, I get shy and nervous. I thought I would be great at it since I can socialize pretty well but it’s not the same thing and nerves get involved when it’s something that matters so much.

So now I’ve decided to recruit GMs from all areas to do this thing for me. To go to shows an introduce people to the games. I’ll also get my games in convention game libraries. As the game designer, I’ve been wearing a lot of hats but I have to recognize when something just doesn’t come easy to me, or when I should pass it off to someone more qualified. I have fun ideas for this GM plan. I can provide swag of course, and games. I want to create a “team” of people. I have 5 other people as GMs over at Phoenix Comicon, and after that event I can look into  this option more heavily. I’m excited about fleshing out the details of having such a team of people. I think people will want 1.) swag 2.) games and most especially 3.) to be with a promising company from the ground up as it grows.

So lately I’ve been trying local, grassroots promotion and running games but have learned I should leave the running of games to those who are good at it. I still need to delegate better rather than doing things myself I’m not as good at. That’s where things are at the moment.


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LVL Up Expo – Las Vegas

Category : Uncategorized

May 14th-15th, Cashman Center, Las Vegas

 

LVL Up is a Las Vegas gaming convention but I was in such a rush to go to cons for exposure for the original Kickstarter date (now postponed). I thought it would be good to go to, the website said there were card games and it was within driving distance. I went out there for a two-day trip with a friend, who is not actually part of the support team so is not really familiar with the games. Anyway, I showed up to an event in a large building. It had arcade games, an exhibitor area, a stage, and a large selection of tables filled mostly of CCG (Collectible Card Games) players. Honestly, for the right person, it was great. There were shows and video games, and it was just a neat event. I faced certain challenges, however, since I went with the goal of introducing Battle Gnomes to other people. I found an area in that section to put my game but everyone around me came with a specific CCG in mind to play. Magic the Gathering, Pokémon, and some new ones I hadn’t seen before. It was rough, and I was very uncomfortable. That about sums up that experience.

I did manage to go and see a friend in the city that night. On the way back to the hotel I checked the Phoenix Comicon fan page, and it’s a good thing I did! A guy posted about a bar he was at IN LAS VEGAS (not for the convention, just coincidentally). It was the Millennium Fandom Bar, a bar for people interested in things like Star Wars, conventions, gaming. So I decided to look it up, and it was right around the corner from my hotel! As random as it was, I decided to go check it out. The friend came with. We walked the two blocks to get there, and had a great time. Met a couple of people and chatted about the games. I got more interest there than at LVL Up, which was great. I think because they weren’t looking for their specific game tournaments but were just sociable. Also, it was just fun. The owner is a nice guy.

Day 2 wasn’t much better for my success at the event; gamers were generally looking for their specific tournaments. I decided to chalk it all up to a learning experience and left the event early, around 2pm. They were moving tables out of the way for a show so it was a good time to go. What I learned was I need to do better research on events I go to. I was so determined to get it out there, but that was a bad avenue to go down. Not the right group. Also, I am not great at promoting my game. Rather, I was rather shy about it instead of “hey, want to try a new game?” loudly so it was noticeable. The friend was better at that, and helped with pictures. However, next time I do a thing I need someone to promote the game(s) if possible, and someone who is familiar with the product. I am not as effective at doing all the things at once. I was glad for the experience because 1.) the Millenium Fandom Bar was awesome, if anyone goes to Las Vegas I’ll recommend it and 2.) I figured out better planning for things in the future and it wasn’t a large expenditure. I’d be really upset if this happened at an event further away where a lot money was sunk into it. I just have to be careful moving forward.

Also, if you’re interested, feel free to check out either the LVL Up event or the Bar:

Millenium Fandom Bar: http://millenniumfandombar.com/

LVL Up Expo: http://lvlupexpo.com/

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First podcast and progress

Category : Uncategorized

Been a long two week since I posted something!

I’m trying to keep up on the blog, but it’s hard to do when much of my progress is “Oh, I made that a stronger rule” or “that feedback was great, changing this piece of the puzzle.” Also, delays. Everything about this process takes longer than I want it to and that is so nerve wracking. I recognize that it’s to be expected, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do my best to stay on this self-imposed track.

So, I was on a podcast earlier this week with Circuit 42. The moderator, Ian, is a real nice guy who loves fandom of all kinds. I’ve talked to him before and I always enjoy talking to him regarding gaming. Still, I get nervous talking about myself or my products. It’s something I have to work on, but his friendly demeanor made me feel comfortable. I’m an outgoing person but once it comes to talking about something that I’ve done, I sound pretty clumsy to myself. It was still pretty exciting because it was the best way to start the promotion of my game, outside of social media, because it was with someone who is pretty laid back, and familiar to me.

The Kickstarter is a month away and the game is done. Unfortunately, I don’t have the copies here yet. I went from getting them on May 4th to May 13th and that is scary. If I want reviews, I’ll have to overnight these to reviewers and hope a few are sympathetic (or bored) enough to do the reviews in that 3 week period. I want reviews, I enjoy my game, locals enjoy my game, and I believe reviewers will too. They also have audiences that I don’t have. I’ve gone down every route so far to really legitimize my work – taking it seriously as a game designer and business owner. Having external feedback is one crucial way of saying “I’m not afraid of what people thing because I believe in what I have, and you should too.” Well, that and of course they have their own audiences that I’d like to reach.

So that’s where I am. Waiting on final(ish) game copies, reaching out to reviewers, maintaining the promotion aspect, and something we didn’t discuss here is working on Kickstarter and convention items. I’ll save the latter for a different blog. Wish me luck!


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