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Travis Worthington
United States
California
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2010 Releases ........................................ The Resistance, Haggis & Triumvirate ..................................... Now accepting submissions for 2011 releases ........................................ www.IndieBoardsandCards.com
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I often get approached by conventions for prize package support - and in general I say no to straight give away programs. I just don't like the idea of giving a random person a game that they may or may not be interested in. I don't really like sponsoring game libraries either.

But I love the concept that Geekway of the West has been doing for years - "Play to Win". Its like a game library, in that the games are available to check out over the course of the convention, but instead of the library going home with the organizer the games are given to those that checked them out and played them at the con.

So if your convention is willing to put in the extra effort to support this, please post here and I'll contact you to find out more about your convention, the number of attendees and get information needed to send free games.
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Stephen Buonocore
United States
Somerset
New Jersey
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I second Travis' sentiments here completely.

The "Play to Win" model is a fabulous model. Each person who plays a game that is part of the "Play To Win" games during the Con gets a chance to win the games at the end of the con. They signup to play, play the game, and on the last day of the con, the games are given away to a lucky winner.

This is a win-win for Publishers and Con organizers. We look forward to supporting this model for other Cons in the future.

Thanks,
Stephen M. Buonocore
Stronghold Games LLC
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Chris Darden
United States
Lake Saint Louis
Missouri
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I was just roaming through Geekbuddy posts and found this thread. Imagine my surprise to see this. Wow, this is great praise from two awesome publishers. We love this feature of our con as well, and I think it's the best of both worlds: All of our attendees get to play the latest and greatest games, and then a lucky few get to walk home with those games!

I always love watching the stampede of people to Game Nite (our vendor at the con) on Sunday after we give away all of the games. People wait anxiously to see if they've won, and if they didn't win, they run on over to pick up a few of their con favorites that they got to try out.

I also need to mention that Geekway would not have grown as it has without the great support of these and other publishers. It's awesome to see companies invested in the growth of the hobby. Thank you!

If any con organizers out there want to talk about how we run Play and Win, just send me a message and I'll be happy to talk it through with you.
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Benjamin Kanelos
United States
Ohio
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Hello Travis and Stephen -

My name is Benjamin Kanelos and I'm the 'Game Groups and Indie Gaming Coordinator' of AnCon in Hudson Ohio.

I'm a senior volunteer with MSTB gaming, who recently purchased this convention. AnCon is entering its 5th year and looking to draw nearly 500 attendees. With the recent change of ownership, we're looking to develop the AnCon brand and distinguish the convention as a platform for indie games. As such, I was directed to this thread, being that you may offer convention support through a 'play-to-win' program.

We would love to establish a 'play-to-win' program in tandem with our gaming library. If you are interested, please contact me directly ben@mstbgaming.com

I hope to hear from you in the future.
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Bill
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I think that this is an amazing idea! I'm in charge of the board games department at animaritime.org. I'd love to participate in this program and will be sending the proposal to all other companies that we contact to see if they might be interested in the same.

You can contact me at bill at animaritime dot org and I'd be happy to discuss details with you.
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Russ Rupe
United States
Franklin
Tennessee
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I'll chime in since I'm both a small publisher and a small convention organizer.

As a publisher, when asked for prize support, I will visit the con's website. If it has one that is not a pile of crap (i.e. showing some level of effort, organization, and dedication) then I tend to say yes to prize support if the convention can give me a reasonable assurance that my game will get played in a busy room of attendees. How they give it away afterwards doesn't matter a lot to me. What matters to me is that it hits the table in a crowded room and does not sit in shrink on a prize table for the whole weekend.

As 1 of 3 organizers for Tennessee Game Days (Rick started it and still is totally the man), I'll say that we tried Play to Win a few years back and liked it. Though, we had some issues with the way we implemented it. While thinking up ideas to remedy those issues (one was that we felt like we were lifting a cool idea from our friends at Geekway and should come up with something "our own"), we stumbled upon the idea of a Tour of Gaming Destinations (TGD TGD sounded like "our own" enough).

In short, gamers join an experienced Tour Guide who leads them through a roster of 2-4 games with a similar broad theme (co-op, deck building, dice, space, trains, area control, total conquest, etc.). When you complete a game, you get a literal stamp on your passport (which doubles as your con badge and program), and you get a digital stamp in our computer which acts as a ball in the hopper for door prizes. Every attendee gets 1 stamp per day, but Touring attendees get that plus 1 per Tour game (2 for really long games), increasing their odds greatly that their name will get drawn.

Each publisher can submit 1 game that we will guarantee gets put in a Tour; the rest of their donations are put on the prize table or the silent charity auction for the food bank (their choice). So, if a publisher sends us some uh...dusty titles, they'll be put to good use but not necessarily featured in a Tour. If they send several strong titles, we may put them all in a Tour.

When we draw a name for prizes, that attendee chooses from all the games on the prize table. That way they aren't constrained to winning a game they played but maybe didn't like. And if they liked a game a lot, they don't try to game the system (play it over and over to get more balls in the hopper). Like I said, our implementation wasn't the best.

In conclusion, Play to Win is great. Tours are great. Other stuff is great if it gets my game on the gaming table, not just the prize table.
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Rob Cook
United States
Quincy
Illinois
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Hello,

I am helping to organize Quincon 27. In the past, we have written game publishers to donate games for us to sell in our auction. The proceeds benefiting the local Children's Library. Last year, we started a lending library of games to keep and let people borrow and play whenever we get together.

We would love to try Play To Win this year. Let me know what information you would need to get us started.

Thanks!

p.s. our website is at grgg.org
 
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Mark Smalley
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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I have LOVED the "play to win" format since my first exposure to it at Tennessee Game Days. As a player, the format gave me enough incentive to try a game that was available for PTW as opposed to strictly going for that with which I was already familiar. Essentially, I gave the PTW games priority over those that were just in the library.

I'm assisting Don Campagna, the Analog Gaming director for GeekMediaExpo, with organizing the board gaming for the convention. www.geekmediaexpo.com
Our plan is to showcase a "play to win" table and we would love present games from Indie Boards and Cards.
 
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Caitlin Drake
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I am helping organize MidSouthCon, and we are planning on setting up a Play to Win table as one of the gaming section's main features. It was one of my favorite parts of Geekway last year, and I can't wait to bring it here. We'd love to have support from Indie Boards & Cards and Stronghold Games.
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Phil Mingo
United States
West Palm Beach
Florida
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I am chiming in more than 2 years later... Hope you guys are still interested in this. Our little con is just getting started!

We are way down here in South Florida where there have not been any board-game-exclusive cons ...until now. FlaMinGoCon launched last month on Jan 24 in West Palm Beach, and was a nice little success. We had 90 gamers in attendance. Not bad for very little promotion and a church hall.

We are aiming for 120-130 gamers in April. We are planning to do 3 one-day mini-cons rather than one big annual con.

We had heard of the Play To Win thing but it was kind of last minute and anyway, we didn't feel like asking for donations of games to an untested event. The organizers donated four unused games, and we used the Play to Win model to see if we knew how to do it. And we thought it worked out well. RoboRally and The Resistance (two of our PTW offerings) were two of the most popular games at the event.

Now we know we've got a good thing happening here, and buzz about our cons is growing. People are thrilled they don't have to wait a year to the next one, and it keeps us all fulfilled until the next Dice Tower in June...

Here's our website: www.flamingocon.org

Thanks!

Our email is on the website, or we can be found on FB: https://www.facebook.com/flamingocon


 
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Paul K.
United States
Portland
Oregon
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This is a really cool thread that I just now found

I'm a regular attendee/boardgame GM at GameStorm in the Portland, OR / Vancouver, WA area. Last year was the first year I know of that they did Play-to-Win, I believe it was sponsored by Z-Man primarily (since Zev was one of the Guests of Honor). I'm not on the planning committee, but if you're still offering I could definitely put you in touch with them.
 
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Bethany Creaser
United States
Derby Line
Vermont
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I am the treasurer of Green Mountain Gamers in Vermont and we started a Play ton Win section last year at our yearly, larger gaming event. It went over very well and we are continuing it this year and hopefully for years to come.

Our yearly larger event is the Mega Meltdown, held on March 14th. This year will be the Mega Meltdown's third year. We are in the early stages of a gaming convention so we are still building attendance. This year, we are estimating attendance to be 100 people. We hope this grows with each year. For info about the Mega Meltdown, please visit - http://www.greenmountaingamers.com/green-mountain-game-days/...

I am interested in having more games for our Play to Win Section. Currently, we are receiving donations and are awaiting some more to arrive. Please feel free to email me at myersbethany@hotmail.com. We'd love to have more games

Also, you may want to look at a great list that Jamey Stegmaier has compiled for Play to Win conventions - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13ZJ2vVvv2LFGlkw9vJTV...
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Derek Gard

Fort Wayne
Indiana
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This idea is dumb
Honestly I think this is a pretty ignorant way to promote your games. Your basically getting the same group of people, who already like your game, to play it over and over again. On top of that it's time consuming to track the plays and do multiple raffles for specific games.

My recommendation would be to start some kind of ambassador program. Ask the folks who are requesting free copies of your games to get the game to the table and teach it a certain number of times. I would be more than willing to pimp your game if I knew I got a free t-shirt or promo or the latest expansion or something. The game itself should stay in the convention library or be put in a charity auction (if there are already multiple copies of said game). Why raffle off the game you are sending for them to not have a copy for it next year? They are just gonna come back and ask for it again.

I would probably require them to mention you in a tweet with a picture of the game being played at the con.
 
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