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Aspiring Designer Business Cards for Convention

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TwentyPercent
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Joined: 12/25/2012

Hey Folks

My friend and I who are working on a game (and have been for a couple years now) plan to publish it next year.

We figured it wouldn't hurt to start building contacts and meeting people at GenCon. One way to do so would be to give anyone interested a "business" card that has our contact information and a brief summary of our game, goals, and what we are seeking.

The PDF of our sample "amateur designer" card is attached.

What do you all think? Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance,
David

BenMora
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Hi TwentyPercent! I have some

Hi TwentyPercent!
I have some feedback after looking at your card.

1. You ARE a game designer! So claim it!
2. It looks a little boring of a card, to be honest. Do something colorful or bold or that somehow would stand out if pinned on a wall of cards.
3. Think outside the box. Here's what I did....
I am a game designer who just recently went to my very first game convention here in KC called "Kantcon". My game involves small tiles for which I happen to have finished the artwork. I used TheGameCrafter.com to produce larger/novelty size tiles with my info such as game name, twitter name, and website, on the back. People seemed to really like them and see them as more like things they'd want to keep as opposed to just a business card which will get thrown away. Is there something in your game that you can use as a takeaway to hand out to people? They can know they have a piece of art or a component that won't be available to Kickstarter backers or whatever channels you use.

Best of luck!

-Ben Mora
Mora Games

TwentyPercent
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Joined: 12/25/2012
Thanks Ben for the

Thanks Ben for the feedback.

I like your boldness "claim it!" Will do. Thanks!

Sometimes I need to be told it's boring, lol. I'll see what I can to spice it up.

Your idea to innovate the "business card" is a good one. My only problem is we have to order the cards by tomorrow to get them on time. That being said, maybe I can make it more personal while also addressing comment #2.

chris_mancini
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I agree your card could be

I agree your card could be much more interesting and inspiring...imagine if you were handed that card; would you be inspired to contact that person and work with them? You may not be an artist, but I'm sure with a little time you could create something far more impactful.

For instance it seems you're looking for partners on a specific game, so perhaps using some stock art to help bring the theme to life would work. There are some great game-specific art sites you could look into.

Maybe give the text the flavor of recruitment; you are the king looking for your elite group to help drive your game to victory! Make it a call to action, something that sounds exciting...something that will make people need to know more. Above all else, you need this card to get people to respond.

TwentyPercent
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Joined: 12/25/2012
Art sites?

Hey Chris

Thank you for the response; it's valuable insight too.

I'll look into the flavor of the card. Your idea of presenting it as a Call to Arms is a good idea.

Since I am a bit in a pinch, what art sites do you recommend? Can you point me to a few?

The game is fairly well developed, but we haven't done a lick of art yet. (Figured I didn't want to spend time/money on something that was going to change.)

I wouldn't mind paying a few bucks for simple/quick art.

Thanks again! I greatly appreciate the swift responses!

chris_mancini
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Here's a list that user Gabe
TwentyPercent
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Joined: 12/25/2012
Thanks Chris! Those are

Thanks Chris! Those are great sources.

Garage Gamer
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Hey David, First off, welcome

Hey David,

First off, welcome to the world of game design. While business cards are a great way to create contacts it is really all about making genuine connections with other designers. We are a pretty friendly bunch so that should be easy. Be interested in their games and in them and you will be networking in no time.

Now if your game is being released next year you will want to start getting visibility now. Get mailing lists (mailchimp is good) and social media accounts set up. If you can get a website too, doesn't have to be flashy just functional.

Hope this helps. If you need any specific info drop me a pm.

Roll For Surprise
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Business cards and conventions

Good advise on all of these!!! Have fun at Gen Con...

My advise would be to focus harder on collecting card and contact information from others and following up with emails and such. Rather than having them retain your card. I have seen people toss cards after a convention and go on their way. It is easier. But making those connections are important so you take on the burden of connecting with them... get their card.

Good luck

richdurham
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Put a bird on it

Or close - I suggest putting your face on it.

If I had to guess what the place of business cards is today, it's about remembering a person you met personally. In that case, I'd want the card to trigger:

  • Who you are: Hence a picture of you to help with name-to-face recognition.
  • Why I'd contact you: Keywords to remind them of your skillset. The design of the card can help in this, too. Like the suggestions above of using game-tiles as cards. Though don't get too fancy, as the 'cool card' might become the focus rather than the person it's about.
  • The context of our meeting: For this, I'd less worry about the style of the card, and more about what you do with it. I suggest carrying a pen or marker around with you as well, and writing "Great talking about Game X at Gencon with you!" or whatever on the card before you hand it over.

Good luck! And are you coming to the BGDF live design showdown at GenCon? Prizes! Celebrity Judges! Free stuff!

TwentyPercent
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Joined: 12/25/2012
Wow! Much advice! Very thanks!

Thanks everyone for the advice; it does not go unnoticed. A friend referred me to Fiverr, and I quickly got these designed ($5 for logo and $5 for the card itself). I don't have the time to do anything else with them before I need them made (we are on a 3-day vacation this weekend). But I would appreciate any feedback you all have on them. (My wife quickly told me the colors are kinda bright and don't match the "theme" of the game, high fantasy, but I was going for something that is bright and pops out.) These aren't final and are only for GenCon cards and WashingCon.

Garage Gamer wrote:
While business cards are a great way to create contacts it is really all about making genuine connections with other designers. We are a pretty friendly bunch so that should be easy. Be interested in their games and in them and you will be networking in no time.

Now if your game is being released next year you will want to start getting visibility now. Get mailing lists (mailchimp is good) and social media accounts set up. If you can get a website too, doesn't have to be flashy just functional.

Good advice. I plan on making genuine connections. I'm volunteering for Z-Man Games and will spend a bunch of time in the Exhibit Hall just talking with people and building some connections. I'm working on the visibility now; these cards are the first step. My next goal is to start a blog website geared towards advice for new/amateur designers (while showcasing my game in development, of course).

What mailing lists are worth joining? This is something I don't know much about.

Roll for Surprise wrote:
My advise would be to focus harder on collecting card and contact information from others and following up with emails and such. Rather than having them retain your card. I have seen people toss cards after a convention and go on their way. It is easier. But making those connections are important so you take on the burden of connecting with them... get their card.

I appreciate the feedback and agree. I do want to give my cards out, but I know part of that is to show I'm dedicated and to give them a brief view of who I am and my goals. You are right; I will make sure to get as many cards as I can and follow up. I'd rather do the followup legwork than make them (b/c, as you said, they probably won't).

richdurham wrote:
Good luck! And are you coming to the BGDF live design showdown at GenCon? Prizes! Celebrity Judges! Free stuff!

I didn't know about it, but I will DEFINITELY look into this. I am volunteering for four 4-hour shifts with Z-Man Games, and have a couple other events I'm doing, but if I can fit it in, I will. No doubt.

keirion
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Hey Travis! It sounds like

Hey Travis!

It sounds like you and I are at a a similar place with our games going into GenCon, and handling the event very similarly (I'm volunteering with Greater Than Games).

I actually debated back and forth with business cards and decided I wanted to hold off because I don't feel like my game is quite in a state to show off in that manner just yet, but I definitely came really close to getting some printed (still could at officemax if I suddenly changed my mind).

Anyway, if you were interested I'd love to meet up at the con and chat about our experiences and woes of being new game designers, even if I don't have a business card to give you!

-Alex

TwentyPercent
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Joined: 12/25/2012
Of course!

Hey Alex

Oops, that's the very quick concept my friend Travis worked up. There's a post yesterday with the business card I had designed at Fiverr that we are taking (which I recommend, especially for quick, dirty, and cheap).

If you have any inclination to take business cards, I recommend it. The King's Legion (my game) isn't at a state where I'm showing it off to publishers or reviewers yet, but my theory is you can never be too early to meeting people and building relationships. (What's the worst thing that could happen? A relationship isn't built and they forget my name and face? No harm, no foul.)

How far along is your game? Do you plan to self-publish or take it to publishers?

I'd love to meet up and haven't had the chance to talk to many other designers in person. Maybe we can help each other out; if anything provide some accountability. I've got you down at Table 2123 and will stop by. I'm at Z-Man Games, Table 1429. I'll be demoing Merchant & Marauders: Broadsides.

Cheers!
David

keirion
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Hey David! Oops! That's what

Hey David!

Oops! That's what I get for posting that at 1 in the morning. Sorry about the name mess-up. :)

That sounds like a very solid way of handling it. Networking and getting yourself out there is definitely important for both finding a publisher and crowdfunding (not that I'm in an expert's position to actually say that of my own experience).

My game (Rumors of Chaos) is in a late alpha stage where the mechanics are working well and most of the content is created and I'm about 90% done with preliminary (ie will need a lot more work before it's final) graphic design. I'm definitely planning on going the self-publishing kickstarter route because of creative control.

Are you bringing the not review ready version of King's Legion with you? I'd love to see what you've done so far. I'm in the same boat as you with not having really interacted with other designers much in person. I'll send you a pm with more contact info, and we'll make it happen!

Alex

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