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How soon to start market research.

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TargetBoy
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Joined: 08/13/2008

I am considering trying to publish a microgame, and I a wondering how early in the process I should start researching my market.

I have a concept, prototype board and rules, and an outline of the rest of the product. Should I start trying to measure the interest now, or wait until I have a finished product before I start showing it around.

I figure, if the concept is bad, I should find out now. On the other hand, a lame sounding concept can become a great game.

Thanks for your help.

Mike DeSanto
mdesanto@enter.net
www.enter.net/~mdesanto

jkopena
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Joined: 12/31/1969
How soon to start market research.

Hey Mike!

This is Joe from PAGE Center City. Fancy meeting you here :) Is this game something new that you're working on?

(for everyone else: Mike and I are members of basically different chapters of a gaming club in Philadelphia. Mike's got a couple neat games, and some stuff carried by MicroTactix, a reasonably well-known miniatures oriented PDF-type publisher)

TargetBoy
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Joined: 08/13/2008
About the game

It is a new game, an expansion on "Postcard from the Revolution" (www.enter.net/~mdesanto/Games-Right-PftR.htm). The series will be called "Conflict in a Nutshell" and I am currently working on three books to cover the Thrity Years War.

Each product will have 1) a 12 or 16 page booklet (5.5x8.5) a letter size board and a counter sheet. The book contains 6 or 10 pages of history about the conflict being covered, 2 pages of rules and a 1 page scenario. Plus necessaries like a cover and title page.

The game itsself is a beginner complexity hex-and-counter war game. Play time is about 30 minutes. Cost will be $4 or $5 for PDF and $8 or $10 for POD or in a store (if it ever makes it to any).

Here is my quandry. This is an introductory game. It can be used to introduce history buffs to war games, or war gamers to history, or kids to both. The target audience is kids in the junior high age range, their parents, their teachers or all of the above.

So, what I need to figure out is: is the target audience interested in the product? To figure that out, should I start asking around now, or wait until I have a completed book to demonstrate with?

Mike DeSanto
mdesanto@enter.net
www.enter.net/~mdesanto

Hegemon
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Joined: 12/31/1969
How soon to start market research.

My goodness, that's a frightfully clever idea and package you have there with your "Postcards!" My compliments. While I'd personally enjoy some 30 Years War battles myself, you may want to stick with some more American battles (Am Rev, ACW, WW2) if you want to grab a student's interest (at least initially).

TargetBoy
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Joined: 08/13/2008
Why choose TYW?

Yea, I'm thinking the same thing myself. I chose the Thirty Years War because a friend who is a history teacher has a class on European history from 1500 to 2000. The TYW is the most pivotal conflict in the first 400 years of that time.

After all the research I have done, I'm going to finish the TYW books. I may shelve them and start selling with the American Revolution, though.

TargetBoy
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Joined: 08/13/2008
Back to the original question.

Getting mack to my original question, should I start checking for a market now or should I hold off until I have a finished product?

Hegemon
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Joined: 12/31/1969
How soon to start market research.

For true DTP created wargames, my friends in the DTP side of things tell me that selling 500 copies would be considerely a wildy successful game, 250 is more typical over 2 years or so, and the clunkers sell 100. However, they are producing physical games for sale and distribution whereas you are envisioning both that and a download strategy.

I would say a market pre-exists for DTP wargames (within the parameters above) so once you're ready, go over to Consimworld consimworld.com and let people know you're in business and work from that. Tactical marketing tip: I'd have all three pieces of your 30 Years War ready to go on day one. You'll get sales of all three from the buffs and you can offer some sort of discount if "you buy all three' to the more non-committal.

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