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Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

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ACG
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I just thought of a crazy idea.

I'm working on a game with a bunch of word cards and letter cards. I needed to print my custom cards, grabbed the QuickCard (I believe that's what it's called) program for printing out cards. I noticed they allowed for pictures to be placed on the card. And then something occurred to me.

I have, by coincidence, gone on several road trips of the past few years and have a lot of digital pictures: probably 1000 or more. I figured I'd put them on the cards (Alligator for A, Oranges for O, and so forth). Some of the photographs are really nice.

Then I had a crazy idea. Take photographs where it is mathematically and logically possible (albeit EXTREMELY difficult in some cases) to determine where the photograph was taken from and give a monetary reward to the first person who is able to re-photograph all of the places shown in the cards. A proof of purchase would be required to submit an entry. I know where I've gone, and I can tell you already that it's going to take a LOT of work to track down all the sites. People would only be allowed to submit once, and submissions (including the proof of purchase) would not be returned.

People buying a game is one thing. But give people a chance to win $5,000 by buying a game is something else altogether...

Is this crazy? Is it legal? What do you think?

ACG

onew0rd
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Joined: 12/31/1969
best way to sell a board game

Not a bad idea. Just be careful. Make sure you make it in a way that it's impossible for you to lose money on the prize.

This made me jokingly ponder the greatest way to sell a board game. I came up with:

Have a commercial on primetime on weekdays on all channels that's also a 30 second Music Video and featurette featuring 50 cent rapping while Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, and 3 top female porn stars play my board game in bikinis and looking like they're having the time of their lives. Then it ends in them giving each other hot looks and backrubs.

Gamebot
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Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

This reminds me of the book "A Treasure's Trove" where there were clues hidden in the book to places around the country where treasure was hidden. They offered a million dollars in total, but it was spread out among a dozen or so trinkets.

ACG
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

I am figuring that it will take long enough for someone to win the prize that the game would get popular enough (if anything just for people trying to buy it to get the prize) for me to make up the $5,000 before I'd have to pay it out. Who knows, if it gets REALLY popular, I double it to $10,000 if I find I have the money for it by then :)

ACG

FateTriarrii
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Joined: 01/04/2009
Advertising

I think the problem is telling people. Unless you go around the internet posting it on every forum (which probably won't work anyway), or spending a good deal advertising, or calling random people, or running from coast to coast yelling, you might be in for an ordeal.

Otherwise, sounds like a great idea!

ACG
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Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

I'm also debating the idea of a progressive jackpot. In order to be eligible to win the prize, you fork over $5 or something like that. First person takes it all. That way, I'm guaranteed not to lose money.

ACG

ACG
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Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

Here are the current rules for the photograph scavenger hunt.
------------
THE SCAVENGER HUNT PROGRESSIVE JACKPOT CHALLENGE
At the time you purchase this game, the cashier or some other store representative will ask you if you want to pay a $10 entrance fee (extra) to join the Scavenger Hunt Challenge. Here is how the Challenge works.

You will find that the each letter card has a photograph on it (for instance, B is for Bridge, so the B card has a photograph of a bridge). The first person to find ALL of the scenes photographed and take their own, near-identical, photographs of them will win of the money contributed towards the entrance fees (minimum jackpot: $250).

If there is not enough information in the photograph to uniquely identify a photograph’s location, prove it. Otherwise, you will be expected to provide both the photograph and the name of the town the photograph was taken in, along with the receipt for the entrance fee.

In some cases, it may not be obvious at first where a photograph was taken. However, it is likely that in many of these cases another photograph was taken nearby, so if you know where the second photograph was taken, that knowledge may help determine where the first one was.

If a building was demolished or some other event occurred to make a duplicate photograph impossible, photograph what is left of the scene and write down the location.

Mail your photographs, entrance fee receipt, and location information to the game inventor:

He will respond with how many of the locations you got right (with proofs that a photograph’s location cannot be identified counting as a location). However, he will not tell you which are right and which are wrong. If you are the first to get all 38 right (don’t forget the scene with the line of hubcaps on the word cards!), he will send your winnings and end the Challenge.

Photographs and entrance fee receipts will not be returned. A player may enter as many times as he wishes, though he must keep in mind that he will need to acquire one entrance fee receipt each time he wants to enter.

People who know the game inventor are not eligible for the prize.

Good luck!

P.S. Brookline, MA is a suburb of Boston. This may or may not help in determining where to search.

akacamper
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

Only Problem you might run into is someone with good maybe not even great Photo-chopping ability.

If they have the picture they can add stuff in the backgrounds make the picture wider by cutting part out and pasteing the to the sides of the picture. Many things can be done to the picture to make it look real.

I have a friends with a picture of her living room. She is in the picture 3 times and it looks like it was a normal everyday picture.

Stainer
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

It sounds like a wacky idea and that's about it. I don't think it'll ever fly though. Who would want to travel around spending their money trying to photograph the pictures from your game? It just doesn't sound appealing. If I were you I'd direct that 5000 dollars or so to actual marketing of your game. These gimiks only work if you have a huge prize. Like 1 million dollars. Then you'd get on TV and have news stations all over you. But $5000?? That's nothing. And then the idea to have people pay to enter?? that's even worse!! nobody is going to pay to join a competition where they have to spend more money to find the places in the game. On top of that, the places should at least be semi-popular places so everyday people can actually find them. If they are not famous or semi-famous places then people will simply disregard the idea and possibly the game.

just my 2 cents. I know it sounds harse, but that the way I see it. Hope it helps!

rb

ACG
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Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

You have a legitimate concern. However, I think I may have figured out how to get around it.

The places photographed on the cards are going to get something big out of the game -- LOTS of advertisement, which will come in quite handy if the players are going to spend time figuring out where they are! You've got this nice looking garden on the G card, and at some point the player figures out where the garden is. Obviously, he'll want to go there!

My dream is as follows: get the places shown on the cards to put some of the money they would have spent on advertising in the pot. That would virtually GUARANTEE a huge pot -- to the point where the players don't have to pay to join!

Everyone wins:

1. I win, because my game becomes popular and I get at least a little bit of money.

2. The places on the cards win, because they get increased business.

3. The players win, because they don't have to pay to join and therefore are automatically entered when they buy the game (though actually searching for the objects will be pricey)

What I would really like is for National Geographic or something like that to donate money for it or something like that (now THAT's an idea -- put the scavenger hunt rules in an issue of National Geographic and tell them to go to their nearest game store and buy the cards...)

ACG

NetWolf
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

Depending on how the game itself is played, I would say that this side contest is going to detract from the game itself. At least that is my first concern.

Second, is the fact that there are 26 pics that have to be taken/found by those entering the contest. Right off the bat they are paying an entry fee and then they are paying travel expenses. If you are in the US (Which you easily may not be) the cost of travel keeps increasing.

As it is, I see the only people playing this would be the people who have extra money to throw around, or impulse purchasers. Anyone who actually sits down and weighs the options of Cost to Play (Including travel) vs. Payoff will probably end up not only ignoring the contest, but also your game.

If you still want to run a contest in this manner, I suggest choosing 3-5 of your photos and then offering $500 each for the person who finds the spot in which your took the original. To offset the cost, increase the sales price of the card game by $1.

sss3d
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Use contest with monetary reward to promote sale of game?

Reading this post prompted me to register a new account at this website.

It's incredible the number of positive criticism there is! :)

I was just thinking, and it could be that I'm missing the point, but if you are going to be taking pictures of unknown places in the US, how would anyone be able to find those places? If I'm right, it would be really really really difficult. And on top of that, you are going to need to find.... 36(?) pictures!

It's a task, that even groups of people make take years to find.

Even if the pictures were bound to only one state, $5000 wouldn't be enough money to motivate anyone to begin a length near-impossible search!

I agree with Netwolf, this scavenger hunt would really distract people from the actual game, and people may not even care about the actual game anymore.

Though ACG, you have very good ideas. :)
If you are still thinking about this project, you would need to figure out how to make it not be near impossible.
Otherwise, invest your time in actual game designing!

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