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Get the word out about game?

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NativeTexan
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Many of you likely know my saga. Back in 2009 I self-published the second deck builder, inspired by Dominion. I was the first post-Dominion game to hit the market (May 2009). By September I had inked a deal with Rio Grande. 3.5 years later they have finally published it. http://www.riograndegames.com/games.html?id=384

Arctic Scavengers is now available both online and at FLGS. The trouble is that quite a few people are saying that the time has passed and too many deck builders have already come out and saturated the market. However, I truly believe that the game still offers some compelling interaction and a deeply integrated theme that other deck builders have not managed to provide.

Any suggestions on how to breathe new life into this and get people to seriously give it a chance?

Thanks in advance.

silasmolino
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Contest!

Create a contest on Board Game Geek.
Market it at shows.
Do whatever you can to get into onto the Hotness at BGG! I always read through the top 25.

I read the synopsis but have not yet looked at anything else (no time). But it sounds awesome.

Good luck.

GrimFinger
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NativeTexan wrote:Many of you

NativeTexan wrote:
Many of you likely know my saga. Back in 2009 I self-published the second deck builder, inspired by Dominion. I was the first post-Dominion game to hit the market (May 2009). By September I had inked a deal with Rio Grande. 3.5 years later they have finally published it. http://www.riograndegames.com/games.html?id=384

Arctic Scavengers is now available both online and at FLGS. The trouble is that quite a few people are saying that the time has passed and too many deck builders have already come out and saturated the market. However, I truly believe that the game still offers some compelling interaction and a deeply integrated theme that other deck builders have not managed to provide.

Any suggestions on how to breathe new life into this and get people to seriously give it a chance?

Thanks in advance.

I took a look at the page on the Rio Grande Games website that you provided for Arctic Scavengers. They don't really seem to do very much to tempt prospective buyers to take the plunge and buy the game.

They have a small image posted, one that is really little more than a large thumbnail image. So, any chance at visual stimulation is pretty much shot to Hell with that approach.

A larger, similar image adorns the cover of the online-downloadable PDF version of the rulebook for the game. Having the rulebook downloadable is a plus, but the cover art for the rulebook wouldn't make me want to buy the game.

I haven't played the actual game, and I have only skimmed through the PDF copy of the rules, so I have no idea how fun that the game is or isn't, to play.

Having a note displayed on the page for the game that tells the prospective customer that there is an error in the rules probably won't help to actually sell the game, but it is helpful to prospective buyers. All things considered, though, that wouldn't make me shy away from purchasing the game, if that were the only negative consideration.

There are no handy links on that page on the Rio Grande Games site to reviews by people who have played the game. Knowing what others who have actually bought and played the game think about it might help nudge me into buying it, provided that I am tempted to buy it. Rio Grande Games page on their site for it, though, isn't geared towards actually tempting people, in my considered opinion.

And that, to me, is a BIG problem.

As a prospective customer, I would want to see large images of the box top, bottom, and sides. It all goes back to tempting me.

There are no pictures of anyone playing the game and having fun with it. I think that it might be helpful, if there were, preferably more than one group of peoiple playing it.

The "FIND THIS GAME AT A STORE NEAR YOU!" button was something that I decided to try. Entering the search criteria on the next page that opened proved to be pointless. Several attempts to find the game near me all produced no results. If I were otherwise on the fence about buying the game, that alone would persuade me to close the Rio Grande Games website out on my web browser. Handy links to several different online sites that carry the game would be better. If it was only available on the Rio Grande Games website, then I would simply opt to not bother with buying it.

There's no link to the game on that Rio Grande Games page that leads site visitors interested in your game to the Board Game Geek website's entry for the game in question.

Looking at the Board Game Geek entry for the game, it has 111 comments, as of the time that I post this comment here on the BGDF site. Numerous of the comments listed there would not be helpful to increasing sales of the game, but the absence of comments from those who have tried it is even worse, from my perspective as a potential customer looking for a new game to buy.

Also on the Board Game Geek website entry for the game, there's a Ratings Breakdown Graph. Of the 173 people who rated the game, only 32 of them rated it a 5 or less. As a visual representation, the graph indicates that most who tried it seem to have liked it. Only 10 of the 173 seemed to have loved the game enough to rate it either a 9 or a 10 out of 10.

In a nutshell, if a company wants me to buy a game, any game, then common sense dictates that they should market in a manner that highlights and emphasizes the game's positives. The Rio Grande Games page for the game is, by and large, worthless to me, as a prospective buyer. Their page exudes absolutely zero excitement about the game. If you want me - or others - to buy the game, then boring us to death with marketing minimalism in a bland way is the exact opposite of what the game needs.

Rio Grande Games copied and pasted the 3 paragraphs from the rulebook's Story section. The image son display are small in size, and are of only two of the cards. There are photos posted on the Board Game Geek site's page for the game that generate far more interest from me, than the crap effort on the part of Rio Grande Games to convey any sort of visual impact.

I did a Google search, just now, for "arctic scavengers deck building game." I checked out numerous other sites that mentioned, reviewed, or made the game available for ordering. None of them did a worse job of promoting the game than the Rio Grande Games page does, as far as I am concerned.

Rio Grande Games took a generic approach to promoting the game, on that page link on their website that you provided. You sought input, and this is mine, for whatever it may be worth, if anything.

questccg
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Good job Grim...

Well I tend to agree with GrimFinger on this one:

-The presentation of the product on the Rio Grande website is not very appealing. Neither are the two card images they link to at the bottom of the webpage.

I think you could do better by hiring a website design company to design a web site that is more impressive.

I looked over the rulebook - but I find that more than 12 pages is quite a bit of reading... This may be good - your game may have a lot of depth, or it could be bad because gamers may not want to follow a game with more than 12 pages of rules.

But, to your credit, maybe just being in the Rio Grande catalog is an honor in itself. But I looked at other card game and the presentation is similar... So it's not just your game... IT'S WORST: it's ALL the games. For being a publisher with such a large game catalog, they could make more presentable sites for their product. That's just my opinion - but I think GrimFinger would agree with me...

Conclusion: I would invest in my own website for the game... Can you do that? Would Rio Grande allow you to create a website for the game???

Update: I searched for the game and found it at: http://www.driftwoodgames.com/games/scavengers/

But the site is also just a static web page ... I would have added some custom artwork for the website.

NativeTexan
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Great feedback

Thanks so much for the feedback. Yeah, Rio Grande has a pretty relaxed approach to marketing. The basic thrust of it is that if the game is good enough, it will sell itself. If it NEEDS marketing, then why bother? Naturally, I'm not interested in leaving my game up to the winds of fate. So I want to do anything that I can to promote it. I will certainly take the advice provided and elaborate the page I have for it at Driftwood Games (my label). Additionally, I have taken the suggestion to heart about posting images of the new stuff. So I will start to get those posted to the Geek. I am hosting a game night at my house this Friday. I'll be sure and take pictures then as well.

Also, copies have gone out to prominent reviewers. I'll post those once they are available.

Thanks for the suggestions!

NativeTexan
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Updated Page

OK. Great suggestions so far. I have updated the page with several things:

1) Links to online retailers that currently carry the game
2) Link to downloadable rules
3) Links to people that reviewed the first edition back in 2009 (I'll post 2013 reviews of the 2nd edition once available)
4) Then this weekend I will take and post some pictures of people playing the game.

http://www.driftwoodgames.com/games/scavengers/

Keep the ideas coming. I can't change Rio's page, but I can certainly improve my own!

questccg
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Need some fancy artwork

NativeTexan wrote:
http://www.driftwoodgames.com/games/scavengers/

Keep the ideas coming. I can't change Rio's page, but I can certainly improve my own!

I notice you had an artist that did the artwork for your game. Could you contact him to create either a background image (that goes in the background of you website) or top graphic?

Something *custom* along the lines of "Arctic Scavengers". Maybe a scene of a Junkyard, with some people searching through it. This is just an idea... I'm sure you can come up with others.

Something like that could display the game better.

NativeTexan
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Artist to create custom background

Custom background. That's very clever...

NativeTexan
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More visuals

OK. I have added an image scroller that showcases a bunch of the cards. I have also reached out to the artist about doing a background. Thanks!

GrimFinger
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NativeTexan wrote:OK. Great

NativeTexan wrote:
OK. Great suggestions so far. I have updated the page with several things:

1) Links to online retailers that currently carry the game
2) Link to downloadable rules
3) Links to people that reviewed the first edition back in 2009 (I'll post 2013 reviews of the 2nd edition once available)
4) Then this weekend I will take and post some pictures of people playing the game.

http://www.driftwoodgames.com/games/scavengers/

Keep the ideas coming. I can't change Rio's page, but I can certainly improve my own!

NativeTexan wrote:
OK. I have added an image scroller that showcases a bunch of the cards. I have also reached out to the artist about doing a background. Thanks!

Rio Grande Games must be updating their website, as their page for your game looks different, now, compared to when I last visited it a couple of days ago. They don't really seem to be addressing the shortcomings on the pages for individual games, though.

The Driftwood Games page that you have for the game is better than the Rio Grande Games' page for Arctic Scavengers. If I may suggest, though, you might want to consider looking at various different game sites, and modify your own site to enhance the aesthetic appeal.

The Sample Cards image scroller that you added is a nice touch.

The links to several different online retailers that carry your game is a plus, also. That helps to make it quicker and easier to sell your games. I don't recall, off the top of my head, if that was there before. Regardless, it is helpful. I would suggest that you add more retailers that carry it, to help convey the impression that it is widely carried - and by extension, widely played.

In that pale blue box just below the image scroller, I like the links to various reviews. You might consider looking through those reviews, and pulling out some colorful or complimentary statements made by reviewers about the game, and highlight those on your page. That way, for those who visit your page, but who do not bother to read the reviews, they still get hit with the best lines from those reviews, the high points if you will. Perhaps have an option to read the full review, but I would think that you would definitely want to showcase the most positive statements about the game.

I would suggest moving the Board Game Geek entry link on your site over to that pale blue box to the right.

You could also troll the Internet, looking for players who have questions about your game and its rules, and make a handy list of questions and answers available in PDF format. Then, anytime that you come across a new question, anywhere online, just add it to the list and update the PDF file with a new version.

I'm not a fan of the artwork used for the game, or for the rulebook cover. But, of course, art is subject, and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The title is Arctic Scavengers, and yet, you make zero use of any photograph of actual arctic terrain. You could use real photos of the real arctic to help set the mood on your game's page on your website. Whether you overlay such photos with the text of the game's title or not is a choice you would have to make, depending on each respective image, I suppose, or upon how you inter-splice such images in with your game's existing art images.

The Acknowledgements for the game's designer and artist have no links to info on the same. You might want to remedy that.

NativeTexan
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Great ideas

Once again, great ideas. Thank you so much.

OK. The links to retailers is new, as you observed. I have added a couple more. I will add more as I become aware of them.

I have reworked the banner so that it shows a more prominent and immersive logo. I have also added backgrounds to the various sections, borrowing arctic artwork from the game. I have moved the reviews section to the top of the page and I have positioned the BGG link to the middle of the page.

I like the idea of adding reviewer highlights. I will add that in on my next pass. I am also going to link the acknowledgements to some sort of bio section once that text is made available.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. They are excellent. Any brilliant ideas on promoting the game beyond my site??

GrimFinger
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NativeTexan wrote:Once again,

NativeTexan wrote:
Once again, great ideas. Thank you so much.

OK. The links to retailers is new, as you observed. I have added a couple more. I will add more as I become aware of them.

I have reworked the banner so that it shows a more prominent and immersive logo. I have also added backgrounds to the various sections, borrowing arctic artwork from the game. I have moved the reviews section to the top of the page and I have positioned the BGG link to the middle of the page.

I like the idea of adding reviewer highlights. I will add that in on my next pass. I am also going to link the acknowledgements to some sort of bio section once that text is made available.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. They are excellent. Any brilliant ideas on promoting the game beyond my site??

I dislike the background images behind the text boxes. That is visually bothersome. Specifically, I am referring to the following two image files:

http://www.driftwoodgames.com/games/scavengers/images/Scavenger_BG.gif

http://www.driftwoodgames.com/games/scavengers/images/Junk_BG.gif

Information-wise, your site is looking better, now. It's more informative. Visually, I like it less than the last visit to it. The wide white screen and the light colored background images play visual havoc with my eyes. The end effect is that my eyes want to click the page off.

That header image I don't like. It's a fairly light colored image, also, which only adds to the visual problems. Plus, the text on it is small, relative to the image size.

Plus, when I go to load the page in my web browser, the image scroller that you previously added isn't even visible. It's the best image aspect on the page, and my eyes are suffering from so much glare (from everything being light-colored-oriented) that I need to go and rest my eyes, just from browsing your page.

Two thumbs down on what you did with images, since your last change.

GrimFinger
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NativeTexan wrote:Once again,

NativeTexan wrote:
Once again, great ideas. Thank you so much.

OK. The links to retailers is new, as you observed. I have added a couple more. I will add more as I become aware of them.

I have reworked the banner so that it shows a more prominent and immersive logo. I have also added backgrounds to the various sections, borrowing arctic artwork from the game. I have moved the reviews section to the top of the page and I have positioned the BGG link to the middle of the page.

I like the idea of adding reviewer highlights. I will add that in on my next pass. I am also going to link the acknowledgements to some sort of bio section once that text is made available.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. They are excellent. Any brilliant ideas on promoting the game beyond my site??

I think that the reviewer highlights looks good.

I still dislike the image backgrounds for the various sections. Have you considered just using a background image around the outer edges, and just use different shades of solid colors for the backgrounds behind the various text blocks?

Have you considered using borders, either around the header image at the top, or around the various blocks on the page, or both? I would suggest that a 2 pixel wide black border would benefit the visual categorization of the page.

The BGG link is NOT in the middle of the page. It's at the bottom.

I like the way that you have it divided into North American retailers and Global retailers.

GrimFinger
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NativeTexan wrote:Once again,

NativeTexan wrote:
Once again, great ideas. Thank you so much.

OK. The links to retailers is new, as you observed. I have added a couple more. I will add more as I become aware of them.

I have reworked the banner so that it shows a more prominent and immersive logo. I have also added backgrounds to the various sections, borrowing arctic artwork from the game. I have moved the reviews section to the top of the page and I have positioned the BGG link to the middle of the page.

I like the idea of adding reviewer highlights. I will add that in on my next pass. I am also going to link the acknowledgements to some sort of bio section once that text is made available.

Thanks for all of the suggestions. They are excellent. Any brilliant ideas on promoting the game beyond my site??

I think that the reviewer highlights looks good.

I still dislike the image backgrounds for the various sections. Have you considered just using a background image around the outer edges, and just use different shades of solid colors for the backgrounds behind the various text blocks?

Have you considered using borders, either around the header image at the top, or around the various blocks on the page, or both? I would suggest that a 2 pixel wide black border would benefit the visual categorization of the page.

The BGG link is NOT in the middle of the page. It's at the bottom.

I like the way that you have it divided into North American retailers and Global retailers.

GrimFinger
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I sat and listened through

I sat and listened through the entire tutorial video, "Introduction to Arctic Scavengers," that you've added. It's a decent narration, and is certainly helpful in helping others to better comprehend how to play the game. It's not done in such a way to make me want to actually buy and play the game, though. For the basic purpose of explanating the game, it certainly passes muster, I think.

Some place called The WarStore carries it:

http://www.thewarstore.com/product69887.html

As dopes Time Well Spoent Games:

http://www.timewellspentgames.com/html/gamepage.php?id=4710

Amazon.Com has it listed here:

http://www.amazon.com/Rio-Grande-Games-Arctic-Scavengers/dp/B00BZ4PQ36

It's been a couple of weeks, since you posted here about Arctic Scavengers. If you want it to drop off of people's radar, then let discussion of it die - not just here, but elsewhere, as well.

If nothing else, talk about future possible expansions for it.

For Canadians, Starlit Citadel carries it:

http://www.starlitcitadel.com/games/arctic-scavengers.html

You could provide a section for Player Created Variants/Variant Rules, such as this one:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/963998/a-friendlier-variant

A fairly recent review/commentary about the game can be found here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/964410/really-rather-terrific

Boardgame Warriors has it:

http://www.boardgamewarriors.com/products/arctic-scavengers

Over in the Heroscapers forum is a mention of it:

http://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=26356

Espace Jeux has it (along with a nice image of one of the cards):

http://www.espacejeux.tv/?p=6414

Espiritjeu.Com has it:

http://www.espritjeu.com/jeu-de-societe/arctic-scavengers.html

As does MeepleMart:

http://www.meeplemart.com/products/arctic-scavengers-1

Then there's the Java Zone:

http://discountgamespuzzles.com/Arctic-Scavengers-RIO447.htm

Brookehurst Hobbies:

http://www.brookhursthobbies.com/Product-Detail.cfm?P=655132004473&N=10

Purple Pawn:

http://www.purplepawn.com/2009/05/arctic-scavengers-card-game/

Toys on Fire:

http://www.toysonfire.ca/arctic-scavengers-deck-building-game.html

GermanGames.Com:

http://www.germangames.com/strategy/bluffing/arctic-scavengers.html

You do know that there's a new Drake's Flame review up for it, don't you? It was dated today's date:

http://drakesflames.blogspot.com/2013/04/deckbuilding-game-review-arctic...

Hope that helps.

rgbiv
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Driftwood Games?

Kyle - you aren't from Driftwood, Texas are you? Fellow Salt Lick connoisseur here. DSHS class of '01.

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