Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Game Library

Just a reminder that we have a very well stocked game library that you can borrow from to play here or rent to take home and play for a week (except for Cards Against Humanity, that you can only rent for a weekend). We just added copies of the Legend of Zelda Chess set, Fallout Yahtzee and Arkham Horror to the library bringing us to well over 200 titles for you.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Influencing People

This week's ICV2 column looks at the 6 principles of persuasion, which we use to influence others. A key factor is social proof, evidence that other people think the same way that we do. This is why when a game or comic gets "hot" everyone wants one (and prices go up).

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Importance of Packaging

I had the opportunity to try a game designer’s newish card games earlier this year The games played smoothly and in general, I liked the card art. However, I opted not to bring them in for one simple reason:  the only packaging was a strip of plastic shrinkwrapped around them holding the cards in place. No box, no clamshell, nothing, so I passed on it.  If you want to sell any product (with the possible exception of live animals), you need packaging.

Packaging serves two basic purposes: functional and promotional.  The functional purposes of packaging are to allow the customer to transport it, protect its contents and give needed information about them.

Consider consumer products. Could you transport liquid laundry detergent or toothpaste home from the store if it did not come in a bottle or tube? This is the first function of the package, to hold the contents together conveniently. While carrying home an RPG like 13th Age or FATE is relatively easy (though try getting one home without that handy binding), imagine taking home a board game like Settlers of Catan or Zombies! without the box. Pieces and cards all over the place!

The second thing the package does is protect the contents. Even something as simple as a deck of Once Upon a Time cards needs a package. If you just put them out on the shelf, they will get dirty, shelfworn, even torn. The box, or clamshell, or case, protects them from normal damage.
The third functional thing the package does is provide information about the contents. In the case of toothpaste, the customer wants to know how many ounces, is this tartar control or whitening formula, does it contain fluoride? Consumer protection laws for consumable items require a list of ingredients as well. You find that information on the package. Though ingredients are not necessary, in the case of a game, the customer wants some basic information: how many people can play, what ages are suitable, how long should a typical game take, what is inside the package?  This last is important because the customer typically cannot open the box to see the contents and stores may not want to open it if they do not have a shrinkwrap machine (If a store does not have a shrinkwrapping machine and the customer decides not to buy, the opened game is now worth less in the eyes of the next customer).

In terms of promotion, packaging can do two main things: make your product stand out on the shelf and sell it to the customer. Steve Jackson Games is a prime example of using packaging to make its products stand out, purely though box size. As I mentioned in previous columns, I used to think SJG was wrong for packaging Munckin in such a large box. Time proved me wrong and over the years, SJG has moved away from the small tuck boxes in which it packaged Chez Geek and Illuminati. Today, those games, and others, come in boxes the size of the Munchkin box, the easier to stand out on the shelf.

The packaging also should sell the product to the consumer. Tell them why they should buy it, why they are going to have fun playing it, how play works. While the FLGS probably has someone who can tell the customer about the product, if a game makes it to the shelf of a Target or B&N, no staffer there will work to sell it.  The poor game package is on its own. Bland doesn’t attract attention, bright and attention getting does.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chemistry Fluxx

Looney Labs released Math Fluxx a couple of weeks ago, now here comes Chemistry Fluxx. Fun and educational at the same time.

Pre-release Playmants

We ordered playmats for the upcoming Magic and Pokemon Pre-releases from Nested Egg Games. They arrived today and we are pretty happy with the results. If you play in all 4 of the Magic pre-releases this weekend, you get the Magic playmat for free. If you prepay for the Pokemon pre-release by April 26, you get the Pokemon playmat for free.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Green Ronin Contest

This week's ICV2 rolling for Initiative column looks at Green Ronin's contest looking for a female writer for their new Lost Citadel RPG

Monday, April 10, 2017

Fireside Games

This week's ICV2 column looks at why a store should stock Fireside Games' product line.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Redesigned Game Areas

Caroline and Brian spent several hours on Thursday re laying out the Munchkin and Twilight Creations sections of the store. Very nice job, don't you think?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Blast from the Past from Goodman Games

Under license/ agreement from/with WOTC, Goodman Games will rerelease a number of classic first edition D&D/AD&D materials, both in the original format and updated for 5th edition play. This comes on the heels of the announced oversized reprint of the first 14 or so issues of the Judges' Guild Journal along with 3 early Judges' Guild adventures:  Tegel Manor, Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor and one other that I do not recall.  Price point on the JGJ reprint is $100. It was supposed to hit shelves later this month but due to some printing problems went back to the printer

Monday, April 3, 2017

Gloomhaven Pricing

This week's ICV2 column looks at the pricing on Gloomhaven.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

This Week from Games Workshop

According to Games Workshop, this is what we can expect this week:

This week we release Shadow War Armageddon, a standalone skirmish game set in the labyrinthine levels of a hive world.  Also this week, worshipers of the Blood God get a whole new Battletome: Blades of Khorne, as well as Warscroll Cards.  Finally Black Library author David Annandale weaves a tale of titanic destruction in Warlord: Fury of the God Machine.