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How to market a game based on Chess?

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BLACKADDER
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Joined: 12/17/2009

My son has invented a new game played with normal chess pieces on a normal board. All his friends love it at chess club at school and we want to know the best way forward to market it? Does anybody have any good suggestions?

schmanthony
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Joined: 12/18/2008
Not marketable.

Perhaps others will elaborate, but I'm sorry to say that I sincerely believe this idea to be unmarketable - the same thing I would believe about any obvious chess variant. Perhaps the most compelling evidence is that there are thousands of chess variants in existence and not one of them sells.

mdiehr
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Joined: 07/24/2009
Unfortunately

Unfortunately the most marketable part of a chess variant is its association with chess, and people would rather play regular chess most of the time.

Markus Hagenauer
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Joined: 12/04/2009
Dificult, but not impossible

If it is not a chess variation, but an independent, interresting game, that can be played with the chess material, so you schold get away of the pieces. The game will only sell, if i does not look like chess.
Must the fields be in two colours? CanĀ“t the pices be animals of dwarfs, elves, ...
Find a theme for the game, so nobody thinks about chess, so it could work.

matthulgan
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Joined: 10/07/2008
Arimaa is a rare "success story"

If your son's game is a completely different game from chess AND it's GREAT it MIGHT have a shot.

One of my favorite games, Arimaa, can be played on a barely modified chessboard with a standard set of chess pieces. That said Arimaa is an incredibly rare design that had a very large online following for many years before a single set was sold.

Taavet
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Joined: 08/15/2008
How close to chess?

As stated previously how close to chess is it?

The farther away from chess the more marketable it will be.

For instance even if you use dwarves and bunnies instead of chess pieces I assume the chess moves are still being used. Anyone playing with dwarves and bunnies where all the pieces move like chess pieces is going to think...'I can just play this with my own chess set!'.

Having lots of money to market can make the difference however. Uno and Skipbo can both be played with a normal deck of cards but they still sell well independantly.

So there is a chance but it isn't going to be easy. We could probably give you some more specific help if we knew a little more about the game.

Good luck!

scifiantihero
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Joined: 07/08/2009
Arimaa

matthulgan wrote:
If your son's game is a completely different game from chess AND it's GREAT it MIGHT have a shot.

One of my favorite games, Arimaa, can be played on a barely modified chessboard with a standard set of chess pieces. That said Arimaa is an incredibly rare design that had a very large online following for many years before a single set was sold.

That game was designed with not being like chess in mind, though, wasn't it? (I.E, computers suck at the type of choices required to play)

matthulgan
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Joined: 10/07/2008
scifiantihero wrote:That game

scifiantihero wrote:
That game was designed with not being like chess in mind, though, wasn't it? (I.E, computers suck at the type of choices required to play)

Exactly. Chess and Arimaa are as similar as Poker is to Rummy. They use the same game set but accomplish completely different things.

Steve
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Joined: 07/29/2008
More Information Is Required.

BLACKADDER wrote:
My son has invented a new game played with normal chess pieces on a normal board. All his friends love it at chess club at school and we want to know the best way forward to market it? Does anybody have any good suggestions?

Not to discourage, but...

1). Most board games don't make a profit. That's the modern day reality of the marketplace. Furthermore, most board games that do produce a significant profit are social games such as Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly & the like.

2). "All his friends love it at chess club..." Do they like the game because the alternative is school work? Do they like the game because your son is popular amongst his peers? I don't ask these questions out of maliciousness: Independent play testing is absolutely crucial to eliminate these factors. Have someone completely independent from the game give the rules to similarly uninvolved people & then check their responses. What were the questions raised? How long did the games take? Was there a first-player (or second player) bias? Was there a single over-powering strategy? Does the game "stalemate" easily with players of equal talent?

3). There are, literally, a bajillion chess variants. Make certain that your son hasn't already "re-invented" a previously made variant.

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