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Value of attending consumer-oriented (board) game events

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SK_games's picture
Joined: 06/17/2022

As a game designer, have you found value in attending large events such as Origins Game Fair in the USA or SPIEL Essen in Germany? If yes, do you have any tips for getting the most out of it as a game designer? Thanks!

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
How things change over time...

A few years ago BEFORE COVID, I went to several LOCAL conferences near my home. They were Comic Cons and had a strong presence of local shop owners and some local designers that were trying to make games (or sell them).

But in the last few years AFTER COVID, that has shifted and now it's only about Game Pubs (bars which allow players to pick a game from their inventory and play a game...) who bring a bunch of games to those SAME conferences... But it's no longer about the LOCAL Game Community, but more about getting people to visit and play at the local Pub.

So the pulse of those LOCAL Comic Cons has changed over the years. The people who ran the events (Organizers) have also changed their own "philosophy" and don't necessarily do it for the LOCAL community but more their own self-interests...

I believe going to conferences is beneficial. One thing I will say ... Is that it's probably better to go to a LOCAL Comic Con than a Foreign Game Con because in the past it was a SMALL community. At Essen or Origins, EVERYONE is selling games or pitching their game concepts. There is a LOT of competition.

Whereas in the past, LOCAL conferences would only have a limited amount of participants and that meant better odds for LOCAL Game Designers or Game Stores. Since that is no longer the case. I honestly don't know what the better of the two is ATM.

But yes, going to conferences is good: you meet people, you are a part of a community and sometimes you learn something about what it takes to be successful.

Cheers and best of luck(?!) with your attendance at some of the CONS.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
One more comment

These Game Pubs although you would think that they are BENEFICIAL to the LOCAL Game Shops and Designers... They are really NOT! Why? Well aside from only having one (1) of each game which means they only buy a what people enjoy playing... They fork over very little in terms of INCOME for the LOCAL Game Shops and Designers.

What do I mean???

Well they charge like $5.00 a player to play a game.

They make that $20 (if it is 4-Players) and pay nothing to the people who made or designed the game. Moreover if you can play the game at a local Game Pub... Why would you BUY it YOURSELF (The Game in question)???

It's not like Radio or Music where you need to pay a ROYALTY to the performer of a song whenever it is played. No these local Game Pubs HARDLY support the LOCAL Game community and PROFIT from buying only one of a game...

And so I am very conflicted about LOCAL Game Pubs.

In one way they are good... Because they have a HUGE catalog of games. In another way they are BAD because they only purchase ONE (1) of a game which means that LOCAL Game Stores and Designer don't make income on multiple purchases by different individuals...

That's my 5 cents on the matter (in Canada we abolished the penny ...)


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