Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Batman Fluxx Coming

Next Week from Looney Labs:

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We're very excited to announce that Batman™ Fluxx will be in stores August 7! With art in the style of The New Batman Adventures, Batman™ Fluxx introduces the Caped Crusader (and his Rogue's Gallery of villains) to the ever-changing card game of Fluxx. To celebrate Batman's adventures in the Fluxx universe, you'll be able to get a limited edition Batman™ Fluxx coin and Two-Face Flip card in the August issue of Game Trade Magazine, which will be available for FREE at GenCon (while supplies last)!
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We're back at GenCon this year, and can’t wait to play our newest games with everyone! Come see us in Booth 1401 and pick up pre-release copies of Adventure Time Fluxx and Batman™ Fluxx!

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It's Looney Labs Day at Foam Brain Games! If you're in the Troy, New York area be sure to come meet Andy and play some games with him!

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Are you going to PAX Prime and interested in game design? Be sure to hit Andy's panel at PAX Dev, How To Design a Game with Andy Looney!
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Whether you are a casual player of Looney Labs games or a dedicated Game Tech, our fan club is the place for news and special insider programs from Looney Labs!
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We can never get enough of Just Desserts, the super fun game of serving sweets! Delicious-looking illustrations and easy gameplay will keep you and your guests coming back for more! Perfect excuse for a dessert party gaming night!
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Q: When can we get our hot little hands on the awesome new batman fluxx, adventure time fluxx, and fluxx dice??
A: Official release dates are Batman Fluxx on August 7, Adventure Time Fluxx on August 21, and Fluxx Dice on September 4, but you're in luck, because they are all available for pre-order RIGHT NOW! Head to our webstore, fill up your cart, and you'll get these exciting new releases as soon as they're available! But remember, if you order them all in one order, the shipment will be held until the latest applicable release date!

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Moon Rabbit Toys is a super cool toy store in Santa Fe, New Mexico that also carries awesome games like Fluxx and Looney Pyramids! It's the perfect place to pick up a fun gift, so be sure to check it out if you're in Santa Fe! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Make Game Events a Sub-Category on FaceBook

A big problem for game stores with social media has always been classification. Sites like Facebook, Google+ and Yelp do not have a category for “Tabletop Game Store” or most of the time even “Game Store”. The closest we generally get is “Video Game Store” or “Hobby Store” or “Book Store”. It’s enough to make a store feel unwanted and unloved. Give the amount of searching that is done by people looking for a game store on places like Google, Yelp and Facebook, not having such a category makes it that much harder for potential customers to find us.

 The “ comic book store” classification does help those stores that carry both games and comic books, but quite a large number of game stores specialize in that area to the exclusion of the other and the ones that don’t care comics would do themselves no favors by listing themselves in that category, only to have to put off customers who come in looking for comics. Same problem with using the “video game store” category. It is fair to say that there are a lot more video game stores than there are tabletop game stores (though probably far fewer as more video gaming moves to mobile platforms) but listing a store in the video game category would just disappoint customers coming in looking for video games.

Game stores have a similar problem when it comes to categorizing store events. Facebook offers a very powerful tool for stores to promote in-store events with its “Events” section on a store’s business page. However, none of the categories in the event section work particularly well for a Pathfinder Society session, a Yu Gi Oh Sneak Peek, a Pokemon league, a Warmachine tournament or even a scheduled Friday Night Magic. Stores could probably fit in the categories of “Entertainment” or “Interest”, but once there, the choices for Entertainment are Comedy, Concert, Dance Performance, Nightlife or Theater, while under Interest they are Conference and Meetup, none of will really applies well to the tournaments that most stores create as events in Facebook.

When he learned a few weeks ago that Facebook planned to revise how the website handled the Event category in its software, Pat Fuge of Gnome Games decided now would be a good time to try to get  “Tabletop Games” added as a choice in the options offered so he sent out the following email, reprinted in part below:

We all want people to play games together.  Telling people about the Tabletop Game Events that are being played is an important part of bringing people together at the table; and Facebook is one of the best social media tools to do this.  But currently there is no option for us to do this.  We can have an event that is a festival, a dance competition or a sports event - but nothing resembles a simple tabletop game event.
I am asking for your help today. Like and share www.facebook.com/TabletopisanEvent and if you so desire, put a pic of you playing your favorite game on the page as well. Use the hashtag ‪#‎tabletopisanevent and tag Facebook too to help increase the exposure.

As Fuge pointed out in another section of his email, doing this will not cure cancer, fix the economy or anything like that. If it Facebook makes this change though, it will make it a little easier for people to find other people with which to play games and that is certainly worth a smidgen of effort.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Upcoming FFG Releases

Hey, Kids, look at what is coming up in the next few months from Fantasy Flight Games:

New Releases:

ADN28 Android Netrunner LCG: The Universe of Tomorrow
BT08 Battlelore: Terrors of the Mists 
BT09 Battlelore: Heralds of Dreadfall
MEC41 Lord of the Rings LCG: Across the Ettenmoors
SWC21 Star Wars LCG: Jump to Lightspeed

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Games You Can't Go Wrong With

Here are a list of 27 games that people enjoy playing year after year. Most of them have appeared on Tabletop, but not all.If you are looking for your next game to play, and haven't played all of the games on this list, give one of them a try.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New for the DC Deckbuilding Game

Coming this Fall:

Cryptozoic Entertainment Releases DC Comics™ Deck Building Game: Teen Titans and Crossover Pack #2: Arrow: The Television Series 
The newest standalone release within the DC Deck-Building game line, the Teen Titans Edition is fully compatible with all previous releases. Cards include Raven, Beast Boy, Wonder Girl, Red Robin and more. The new focus of the set revolves around Ongoing abilities: these cards stay in play until they are needed. Every time an Ongoing card is put into play, it provides an extra card to utilize on a future turn.
  • Number of Players: 2-5
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Playing Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Retail Price: $40
  • Compatible with previous DC Deck-Building games
  • Card combos, strategy, fan-favorite heroes and villains all work together to create a unique deck-building experience
  • Engaging card art from the DC Comics universe
The DC Comics Deck-building Game Crossover Pack #2: Arrow: The Television Series adds furthecustomization to the game. This series offers the first appearance of character images taken from the hit television series from Warner Bros. Television and The CW, Arrow. Also featured are favorite characters from the show, including The Arrow, Diggle and Felicity. Retail price $10.
Both DC Comics Deck Building Games are now available for purchase at retail stores. The DC Comics Deck-Building Game Crossover Pack #1: JSA will be back in stock in late July. Retail price $10.
Copyright © 2015 Cryptozoic Entertainment, All rights reserved.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Pricing Pre-releases: Looking at the Numbers

A number of stores will discount pre-release events in the hopes of drawing more players. Short term, this sort of promotion benefits players because they can play more cheaply than otherwise and it benefits the store because it puts more people in seats and puts a healthy chunk of case in the till in a short period of time, so it’s all good, right? Not really, not for the players long term and certainly not for the store.  Here’s why:

As I have mentioned in previous columns, the dirty little secret of retailing is that stores have to sell stuff for more than we pay for it. Unfortunately, though, as mentioned last week, WOTC is a wonderful company that does many things that help both retailers and players, one thing they don’t do (and nor does any other gaming company) is give up our products for free.  The store had to pay for all those Magic Origins pre-release packs players spend last weekend cracking, either when they arrived through COD, credit card, bank transfer, etc. or within 30 days if the store has terms with the supplier. This means the store needs a chunk of cash quickly and a tried and true method of doing so is cutting prices. However, more cash now means less cash later. Let’s look at some numbers

The Magic Origins pre-release packs cost the store approximately $14 each, give or take some change. A store, desiring to put a lot of butts in seats, decides to charge $20 for each space in the prerelease and gets 50 people to show up,  generating $1000. That’s a nice chunk of change. However, remember those packs aren’t free. The store pays $700 for them meaning it has $300 left. Still not bad. 

Now, let’s take a look at store number 2. Store #2 charges $25 per tournament and only gets 25 people, generating $625 in proceeds from the event. Store #2 pays $330 for its packs, since it gets them for approximately $14 per pack as well, leaving a profit for the event of $295. 

Store #1 owes its supplier $700 for the pre-release packs it used. Store #2 only owes its supplier $330. Store #1 put a lot more work into its tournament in terms of judging, seating, tracking results. Anyone who has ever run a large Magic or other TCG tournament can testify to how much work goes into it, but for all the extra work, Store #1 only generated a total of $5 more in profit from the event than did Store #2. If three more players had shown up at Store #2, it would have generated $328 in profits, making about 10% in profit on the event with a third less players.

Why is this important to the store and the players over the long term? Because, unless you have deep pocketed investors willing to take a loss over a long period of time (See Amazon) or have an incredibly efficient operation (see Wal-mart), profits are what keeps the store open, whether they are profits coming from regular day in and day out sales or from special events like a pre-release. Long term, without sufficient profits, a store cannot remain open and its customers will have to find someplace else to shop and play.