Loose Screw Board Games

We cover all subjects of selling games. Design is only one aspect of the product, our goal is to help others look at games as a marketable product based on solid examples and experience in the world of publishing/manufacturing.

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Publishing Diary: Whistleblower! Part 1

Royce Banuelos
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Aloha friends,

I've seen a lot of designer diaries and I love them. I wanted to take the concept and see if I could apply it to publishing decisions.

Whistleblower is a 2 player hidden movement game that Loose Screw Board Games will be publishing within the next month. As a new game publisher we're going to try multiple types of publishing and manufacturing, one of which will be a line of games manufactured through The Game Crafter. I've been an unabashed "fanboy" for The Game Crafter for years. Listening to JT Smith talk about his business gives me a lot of faith in the future of TGC and game manufacturing overall. My business partner and I are proud to utilize a company like TGC for a great line of games we've got planned out. These games will be amazing games that for one reason or another we feel will perform strongest on TGC. Whistleblower is great example of that.

Whistleblower started its journey 5 years ago when I was just getting into game design and learning about game publishing. At that time the concept was about looting during a riot. The Ferguson Riots were happening and I thought it would make for an interesting game design. As the game moved through play testing and development it eventually split off into a game called "Mall Cop." Designing and developing "Mall Cop" has lead to 2-4 additional game designs between me and my co-designer Mark Wisdom that either use hidden movement, bluffing or a compilation of the two...Whistleblower is one of those games.

We officially started development on Whistleblower right after GenCon 2019. I loved the theme and wanted a simple, VERY nuanced hidden movement game for 2 players only. There wasn't a hard deadline on the release for Whistleblower, it was in the queue with about 16 other titles. That all changed when the news started saying the word "whistleblower" about 2,000 times a day ha ha.

More on the development and publishing choices on Whistleblower next time.

What do you think about different themes in games? Also, what do you think about The Game Crafter?

Subscribe to this blog and let me know what you think.

Aloha,

Royce Anthony Banuelos
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Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:45 am
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Gaming Trends: Cancel Culture, Offensive Games, and Inclusiveness

Royce Banuelos
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Aloha friends,

We can all be offended...that's part of being a human and having an ego. We all see the world in a different way and as such we hold some concepts to a higher regard than others. Entertainment has always been offensive to someone. Creating ANY kind of art could be offensive to somebody. Offending people is not a new concept, in fact history teaches us that some societies were so easily offended that they would murder people for something like blasphemy or mocking a king or queen. Some societies still do this.

Thankfully in modern US we don't have to worry about that level of offensiveness. In today's society there is a polarizing concept called "cancel culture." The basic overview is that an entertainer says something offensive (generally racist, sexist, or phobic) and then a public outcry will see the entertainer lose out on projects (i.e. money). But...is this really a crazy concept? If I say something racist at work I can probably expect to be fired. If a person is applying for a job and the hiring manager finds out that the person is a white nationalist...they're likely not going to get the job.

In the entertainment industry the "cancel culture" will typically be discussed about a joke/comedian or a person's political beliefs. Within the board game industry there has been a noticeable push for inclusiveness, which also includes "cancel culture." Some well know game designers, artist, publishers, manufactures, and more have all been called out on social media for their offensive behavior/beliefs.

When a person gets called out for offensive behavior there are two responses. The first is to apologize for the behavior. The other is to defend the behavior. Generally speaking, trying to defend offensive behavior to those you have offended is a losing effort. Moreover, when defending your offensive behavior on social media you're likely to attract people who will "fight on your behalf" who will more than likely not do a good job of defending you.

No matter what your personal opinion is on a subject, the board gaming community by large is pushing for inclusiveness. Conventions like GenCon, Origins, Geekway, and more are taking a very hard line stance in favor for making MORE people comfortable and being welcoming to everyone. That means if someone is looking to work in the gaming industry it is in their BEST interest to work WITH the gaming community.

Strictly speaking dollars and cents, publishing successful board games means making products the audience wants. From a business perspective, inclusiveness is aimed at widening the audience so that more people will buy more games. By taking a stance AGAINST inclusiveness a person is taking a stance AGAINST growing an audience.

Understanding gender matters, microaggressions, representation, general inclusiveness, and more is a progression of society. It's the same rebellious spirit that pushed people to move away from church controlled societies, to move away from segregation, and for music groups to shout "fuck the police." Every one of those movements were highly offensive to a group of people but they always pushed society forward. As an individual you do not have to participate, but if the industry is pushing for this progress then it makes sense to not try and fight it.

The arguments over "cancel culture" are not about people being easily offended. It's about what pushes society forward vs what keeps it the same. If you ever feel like a victim of "cancel culture" take a look at your behavior and question if the art you are making is pushing society forward, backwards, or keeping it the same. Pushing the envelope is about pushing society forward, not about blatant offensive behavior. As an artist I can see a value in art being offensive for offensive sake. As a professional though I have to evaluate products as "is there an audience who will buy this" or not.

I encourage all artist to try and find their voice and their audience. Just keep in mind that your message might be picked up by an unintended audience and used in ways that you never meant for it to. Also continue to question your own beliefs, challenge your own work, and most importantly never be too afraid to say "I was wrong."

What do you think though? Have you noticed a shift in the gaming industry? Is "cancel culture" harmful to progress or helpful? I specifically ignored political overtones to try and spread a more open message that can be more interpretive that will hopefully lead to a bit more engaging conversation.

Aloha,

Royce Banuelos
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Loose Screw Board Games
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Tue Oct 8, 2019 7:04 am
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    Work Life Balance: 3 Jobs + family + gaming

    Royce Banuelos
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    Aloha friends,

    Currently I balance three different jobs. One is my main 9-5, second is my performance work in which I do balloon animals, caricatures, and soon magic shows, and my third job is Director of Loose Screw Board Games in which my business partner and I design/develop/market and build table top gaming experiences. We have 10-12 titles that we are currently building a business plan for and look forward to each release. Most of my free time is dedicated towards building Loose Screw Board Games.

    Now, I also have a child and a wife who also deserve time as a family and time away as a family. I need my time to myself, my wife needs time to herself, and my kiddo needs time as well. There's a lot to balance between any family dynamic as I'm sure everyone is uniquely aware of.

    How can anyone balance all of the above and still find time to have regular game nights as well? After all, part of being a publisher/designer/developer is playing games and networking with other gamers. The answer is painfully obvious...you can not.

    As much as I try to give my 100% attention to my current task/goals I simply can not. It means that sometimes I have 3 weeks worth of laundry to fold or a weeks worth of dishes to wash. It definitely means that sometimes my eating habits are awful and my body is screaming at me later for it too!

    It's quite terrible to admit as well but sometimes it means I'm mentally checked out when I'm spending time with my family. My mind will be thinking about a way to enhance a new juggling trick I want to learn or how to improve a game design or something different altogether. It means that sometimes I'll have a conversation with someone and completely forget everything we talked about a few hours later.

    Balance though is not about doing everything perfectly, unless of course you redefine the term perfect. Balance is about keeping everything moving forward. Pay attention to what aspects of life you want to move forward with and make sure nothing is falling behind. If something IS falling behind, turn the focus towards that and most importantly let other people in your life know it as well. It's also important to know that when something is continuously falling behind that it might be a good idea to stop the pursuit. Letting something go will always improve other aspects of your life.

    If you study game design you know that balancing a game is not about making sure the odds are mathematically zeroed out, each and every scenario is covered, and/or the weight of each action is exactly the same mathematically speaking. Great game design balance is that the game "feels" balanced. Players want to experience a game that "feels" balanced so that way the game mechanisms feel more natural and the game pieces feel like an extension of themselves. The same can be applied to work/life balance. Charting out specific time for every aspect of your life will feel cold and unnatural. If I tried to work out a new juggling routine while my mind was stuck on a game design...I would have a hard time moving forward on both the routine and the design. Following your feeling in life will feel more balanced than stressing on specific timing of everything.

    This all breaks down to doing things when you can and making sure the people in your life understand your focuses. Talk about your goals, what you're balancing, and what you're falling behind on. Evaluate all aspects in your life as either A: Moving forward or B: Falling behind. If an aspect keeps falling behind it's worth it to your balance to let it go.

    This is just how I do it though! We're all different people and I'd love to know how you balance everything in life. What works best for me might not work best for you.

    Be sure to like the post and subscribe to the blog.

    Aloha,

    Royce Anthony Banuelos
    Director - Loose Screw Board Games
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    Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:37 am
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    Personal opinion: Remembering September 11, 2001

    Royce Banuelos
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    Aloha friends,

    I woke up today with a very vivid memory...as I'm sure many of us did. My very first thoughts this morning were reliving the exact moment in time when I saw the World Trade Center buildings clouded in smoke and of the commercial airplane disappearing into a burst of flames.

    It was...unforgettable. It was also very hard to digest and a very honest time. All of my teachers let their guard down. All of us students watched with very little to say and the news reported only what they saw 100% with no knowledge of what was going on. Even my 15 year old, immature, snarky attitude was turned off and I sat like a baked potato trying to understand what I was really seeing.

    It was hard to understand. It's still very hard to understand. After hearing so many opinions on the subject, reading a couple of books, articles, and watching some documentaries I'm going to be real honest...it's still very hard to understand what happened that day.

    I was in health class which was in a small, windowless, grey cement block room across from our gym. In any other school this would have been a storage room BUT for a high school in Houston, Tx it had to make do. Our teacher entered the room and turned on a TV and immediately asked us to watch what was happening. He explained very calmly that something serious has happened and that class would be different...the whole day would be different. My immediate thought was that the footage of the airplane hitting the building looked like a movie...like an effect. This was not meant to say that it was fake, but rather I had never experience a level of horrific realism up to that point in my life. Similar to when a humorous friend first cries in front of you. There's a level of disbelief in those moments.

    The rest of school was a blur...I vaguely remember my physics teacher attempting to hold a regular class. Then at lunch time my mother came by and picked me up early, right about an hour before school official closed down early due to so many students being picked up early. I remember thinking my Mom was ridiculous for picking me up early. Logically my 15 year old brain knew that there would be no attack on a highschool in Houston, so why would my mother worry? As an adult with my own kiddo now...I realize how wrong I was to think that.

    Of all things...I remember being at home, the TV on the news, and my brothers and I attempting to have a band practice in our garage. Our teenage hearts didn't have that level of empathy yet to understand why practice might not be a good idea. Soon after we started playing a couple of cops showed up and politely asked us not to play any more. Their look and tone was quite somber. We understood immediately...we were wrong.

    The September 11th attacks mean a lot of different things to different people. Trying to determine what "actually happened" will likely lead you down a series of different paths depending on what sources you deem reputable, which logic you choose to follow, and probably a little of your upbringing. Putting aside specifics, what actually happened was a moment of true horror. There were people who went to work that day with the same thoughts we all have going into work. People who feel the same way we all do when waking up in the morning. People who would look up and see the same sun we all do...and then had those moments taken away from them.

    I remember the feeling that day gave me. I remember how little time all of us do have on this planet and that no matter what, no tomorrow is ever promised. When I'm at work, at home, especially playing board games with friends...boy do I love it. I love every single moment. I love every time I get to see the sun. I love these moments for all the people who can no longer love these moments.

    And when I can no longer love those moments, I really hope other humans continue on loving those moments for me as well.

    Take a moment to subscribe and let me know what you think. What do you remember from 9/11/2001?

    Aloha,

    Royce Anthony Banuelos
    Director - Loose Screw Board Games
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    Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:56 am
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    Sales and marketing: STOP crowd sourcing graphic design questions!!!!

    Royce Banuelos
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    Aloha friends,

    I love seeing the work in progress for artwork in games, it's a great way to gauge initial reactions from your audience. Posting up initial art will gain both attention and detractors, the quicker you can branch off away from detractors the better time you will have growing an audience. Box art previews can also be exciting although I recommend pulling back from this practice as over exposure on your products box art can saturate your initial sales due to a potential cooled off excitement.

    BUT there is one aspect of your game that should totally be in-house, and that is your graphic design. If you do not have the finances to hire a graphic designer than I encourage you to steal from the games that are most like your game. There are two main reason why you do NOT want to crowd source your graphic design questions, these are highlighted below and in a future post I will highlight effective practices on stealing from other game designs graphic design.

    Main reason number one: YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGN HAS ZERO INFLUENCE ON A PERSONS BUYING DECISIONS. No body is buying your game because of the graphic design choices, NO BODY. Not even graphic designers. That's not the point of graphic design. Good graphic design is not a "WOW" moment. Solid graphic design is meant to go unnoticed. Whenever you are sharing ANY information about your game you should be taking that moment to promote it. I don't give a fuck if this is a game idea, a stage 2 prototype, a game funded on Kickstarter, or the 10th billion copy Hasbro is selling of Monopoly; if you are posting ANY media about your game you should be focused on promoting it. And any questions about graphic design or suggestions on graphic design do NOTHING to promote your game.

    Main reason number two: The graphic design needed for your game will be determined by the users of the product. If a person has NOT played your product, they DO NOT know how the information should best be presented. Graphic designers are good as taking a product, using the product, and then enhancing that product by making it more user friendly. Anyone giving their graphic design opinion on your product without using your product is simply guessing. This is why you need a graphic designer who can actively use your product. If you are hiring a graphic designer, it will benefit you to have them actually play your game...otherwise you are paying for someone to layout your art assets which can be a mixed bag approach.

    There are some "general guidelines" when it comes to graphic design and paying someone to implement those guidelines can be helpful but if you are serious about your product and making it as user friendly as possible then you definitely should hire a graphic designer who will use your product. If you are the game designer then you should be actively working on the graphic design during play testing as well, the difference between good graphic design in a prototype and bad graphic design will have an impact on your play testing.

    What do you think? Is there any benefit from crowd sourcing graphic design?

    Take a moment to subscribe and let me know what you think. What games have good graphic design that you enjoy? I really like the way Ticket to Ride balances its thematic art and its functional graphic design. Sons of Anarchy is also quite effective in its showcase of graphic design.

    Aloha,

    Royce Anthony Banuelos
    Director - Loose Screw Board Games
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    Wed Sep 4, 2019 3:47 am
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    Sales and marketing - How Hollywood script writers are like game designers

    Royce Banuelos
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    Aloha friends,

    I was listening to a podcast that featured Brian Lynch who is a Hollywood writer most know for writing children's material. The host was another Hollywood writer (director) Kevin Smith and the conversation centered around Lynch's story and writing in general. My big takeaway from the conversation was how much work goes into writing a script with the bulk of the work never being seen. Much like game design, most of the prototypes pitched never become published games. Although there are some stark differences.

    Major difference number 1: Hollywood is a MUCH bigger entertainment industry than the game/toy industry so the financial side is significantly higher. When a script gets bought, or "optioned", the writer will get paid even if the script never goes into production. There is also a registry for scripts that's purpose is to protect the creative work. In tabletop game design and even some toy design, the designer will generally not be compensated upfront for a game design. The worse part of this is that there is no registry to help protect game designers and their creative efforts. The general feeling is that "the industry is so small that no one is going to steal your game design" but it does happen. I've heard from multiple game designers (some established names and some unpublished) that this does in fact happen. As a game designer I wish we did have more of a representation to protect our creative works.

    Major difference number 2: The script is only one part of a very large creative process that includes hundreds if not thousands of creatives. The right script has to be in line with the right production company, the right director, the right producers, the right actors, and so much more. In tabletop games, the right game design will generally have to be approved by only a handful of people if not a single source. This does make it significantly easier to have published game designs verses a produced script. Even at the larger game publishers, the decision makers are generally much smaller than Hollywood. It takes so much more people to make a movie than to make a game/toy that it's quicker to make creative decisions. Based on the cost, it's also less risky to publish a game that fails than a Hollywood movie that fails.

    Outside of the differences the creative process is very much the same. A great script will be passed around at different studios, the writer will hear positive affirmations on the script and from the studio, possible timelines may be outlined, and ultimately the script may get passed on. A game design can be similar as well with multiple publishers interested, taking a look at it conducting play test, positive affirmations and possible timelines outlined, and ultimately the game design is passed on. As a writer/game designer the process can absolutely be frustrating. If you're in the industry long enough you'll get to know game designers and their multiple games that are great but just haven't been picked up for one reason or another. Sort of a blacklist of game design.

    Just like script writing, game design is not just about designing great games. The right game design has to be right for the publisher. A fantastic, dense, Euro game might be a 10/10 but Hasbro will never publish a game like that. The important thing to remember with both script writing and game design is to never stop working. A great script is not guaranteed to get produced and some writers' best works are never going to be seen outside of their circle of friends, the same is true for game design as well.

    What do you think? Should there be a registry for game design? What are some good writing podcast you can suggest?

    Take a moment to subscribe to this blog and let me know what you think.

    Aloha,

    Royce Anthony Banuelos
    Director - Loose Screw Board Games
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    Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:28 pm
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    Sales and marketing: Reach MORE publishers by doing LESS conventions.

    Royce Banuelos
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    Aloha friends,

    In the entertainment industry one of the barriers to entry is industry specific shows. For tabletop games this means big conventions like GenCon, Origins, BGG Con, Geekway to the West, and more where cost can be really high for a new designer/artist. I'm a BIG believer in person to person interactions in which people introduce themselves and ask questions, and getting face time when they can.

    Personally I attend 1-2 conventions a year and I do this by saving where I can and sticking strictly to business when I'm at a convention. There are MORE shows I COULD attend but I choose not to in favor of spending time with my family. With that being said I know a lot of designers/artist who attend 5+ conventions a year and send out email after email, signing up for speed dating events, and sitting in UnPub rooms all waiting for a chance to pitch. For some people this works out great and if you can afford it, this is a sound strategy for getting involved in the industry.

    This is not for everyone though and the "BIG" secret to reaching out to MORE publishers by doing LESS work is simply working on your marketing materials.

    Tabletop games are more competitive today than ever before and the WANT for new, great games is very high especially as the demand for hits keeps creeping up. Publishers WANT to give new designers chances and they WANT to find great, fresh perspectives as quickly as possible. Your goal as a designer/artist is to WOW a publishers as quickly as possible. Theme is becoming more and more important as is development on the designer's end as publishers are seeing more and more polished games at every convention.

    When reaching out to publishers always start local and small then work your way out. Small, new publishers are hungry to be competitive and are striving to be established as quickly as possible. Reach out to small new publishers and treat it as if you were reaching out to a major publisher. Go to social media and support them as well, calling them out by name and about how you've got a great game you're designing with them in mind. This will boost both your signal and theirs. Reaching out to someone locally (as local as possible) will also increase your odds of being heard/seen because if they are interested you can always meet up locally outside of a con.

    Email is a good place to get lost in the shuffle. Shuffling through emails is a CHORE for publishers and you never know when your message may get ignored or placed in the wrong folder location. The majority of tabletop publishers are small operations with only a few people running the show. Your emails are competing with other designers/artist, manufacturers, spam, promotional items, newsletters, distribution information, friendly emails, and so much more.

    Get involved in the online community! Offer support and ask questions, this digital face time can actually go a long way. Post pictures and videos of your current game designs and see what kind of reactions you get. Focus on taking the BEST possible pictures of your game as well. When asked about your game NEVER focus on the game mechanisms being used, always reinforce your theme.

    For example:
    User asks: "What's this game?"

    Bad answer: "This a prototype for my deck building, hidden movement game that I've been working on for 5 months. It's come a long way!"

    Better answer: "This is Halls of Arrgabah, a decaying world where players are the last of the death wizards fighting to save the light of Arrgabah. Players use their hand of cards to project apparitions, cast spells, drain life, and learn new spells in order to protect their holy palace of Arrgabah."

    People can always ask follow up questions if they're interested in game mechanisms, play time, development time, and more specifics like that BUT you'll want to lead with your strongest pitch. You NEVER know who will read your comment. Treat every online interaction with your game like it's a pitch.

    Always "put over" other, local-smaller designers online as well. "Put over" is a pro wrestling term that basically means, "make them look good." This is for the same reasons that you would for the smaller, local publishers. Making other designers look good can also make you look good as well.

    I know I said that email is good way to get lost in the shuffle but ultimately it's going to be the preferred way to contact most publishers. Schedule your follow up emails for about once a month unless the publisher states otherwise. Never pester a publisher who has turned down your pitch, accept their response and thank them for their time and consideration. Being nice and enthusiastic really goes a long way. Pictures, videos, and PDF's are all great to show a publisher WITH their consent. NEVER send over an email featuring videos, pictures, PDF's without first being asked to do so. You can always offer to send over material but NEVER lead with material like that.

    Last but not least - SHOW, SHOW, SHOW, and SHOW. Your game is a toy, it is a product, the rules/design is significantly LESS important when you are pitching the game. They are INCREDIBLY important when playing the game but your pitch should be all about the showing! Use as little words as possible to show off your product. This is where online engagement will be a great way to judge what is working and what is not working. Look at your likes, comments, and all interactions with the game. Lean towards the ones that get more likes and comments.

    Take a moment to subscribe to this blog and let me know what you think. Give a shout out to a smaller publisher and let them know you love them!

    Big S/O to Elf Creek Games, Flying Leap Games, and Spielcraft Games y'all are so fucking awesome!

    Aloha,

    Royce Anthony Banuelos
    Director - Loose Screw Board Games
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    Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:44 am
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    Geekway to the West - How I f#cked up events in 2019

    Royce Banuelos
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    Aloha,

    Last year I was very excited and honored to be selected as a new board member for Geekway to the West. My role was to help coordinate events along with other tid-bits here and there. When I was selected I knew two things going into it:

    1: I'm going to fail on SO many levels as events coordinator.
    2: I'm going to have a bunch of fun.

    So how much did I fuck up? Well...

    Overall I needed to communicate better with people running events on how they should conduct themselves especially when they should show up to their event space to set up and how best to ask attendees to move out of an event space.
    Although I am not responsible for running their event, it is still going to be recognized as a "Geekway" event and I should have prepared attendees running events better for that.

    Matching room sizes to event attendance was a clustermuck. Multiple events were too little people in too big of a space or too many people in too little of a space.

    My rules, charge, and promotion for the Geekway Craft Fair were all horrible.

    I turned down some events that could have been great experiences for Geekway attendees because I feared backlash from vendors. After speaking to vendors all of these fears were completely unwarranted.

    I held back on ideas/concepts that would have been great because I was afraid to overstep my boundaries as a new board member.

    I overbooked myself and was spread WAY too thin, this was especially felt with my family who hardly got to see me and unfortunately when they did see me I was heavily distracted. This one sucks the most.


    So what did I do right???

    Fancy Gaming was very well received and it made me very proud to read so many positive comments about the event.

    I was able to boost the energy levels of attendees waiting in line and hopefully engaged with attendees on a level that made them feel welcomed. Which will be my biggest focus in 2020.



    Reflecting on 2019 and rolling into 2020:

    I was prepared to fail in 2019 and I did so, 2020 will be about making adjustments. I'm not going to talk about these adjustments at this time BUT just know that at Geekway to the West 2020 I will have a dedicated focus to more attendee engagement and interaction on my part. We'll likely cut back on the total number of events but the events that are present will add more value to what is already the best 4 days of gaming each year. I'm still very honored to be a part of the Geekway board and I'm so proud to work with so many wonderful gamers.

    Take a moment to subscribe to the blog and let me know some of your favorite events at gaming conventions.

    Aloha,
    Royce Anthony Banuelos
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    Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:42 am
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    Sales and marketing: Why you're still buying mediocre games part 1

    Royce Banuelos
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    Aloha,

    Just so I'm clear, I still buy mediocre games as well. My latest game purchases have been...Traders of Osaka, Tower of Madness, Pandemic The Cure, and Visitor in Blackwood Grove...all of which are mediocre games. While I was at GenCon I stood in the epicenter of mediocre games. Most of my game designs are mediocre games and most of the publishers I have spoken to are making...mediocre games.

    So what gives? Why is this the case and why isn't there more "greatness" being made? The answer to that is all about business and how the entertainment industry works overall.

    When someone is achieving greatness there is no timeline, no deadline, and most of all...no expectations. So in an attempt to achieve greatness if a person shits-the-bed it makes no difference at all since their goal is still the same. In business there are timelines, deadlines, and...expectations. If a business shits-the-bed it means real world hardships, life long regrets, and rough emotions.

    Every game publisher has two main goals (and if they don't they are doing something wrong): 1: To make money off what they publish, enough so that they can continue to publish games and 2: To publish games that are as great as they can be within a reasonable amount of time in order to make money off of it.

    The bottom line from a business POV is that the mediocre games will sell enough for the business to continue publishing games. Waiting for greatness out of EVERY title is an unrealistic goal for a business.

    So why do we, the consumers keep buying mediocre games? This has less to do with game design and much more to do with consumerism as a whole. New products are designed to evoke an emotional response from consumers. What's really being sold on the floors of conventions like GenCon is positive buying decision feelings.

    If a product can push past any negative buying decision feelings then it is doing it's job to separate the consumer from their money. Consumers WANT to spend their money; however, consumers WANT to feel GOOD about spending their money. Each new game has potential. The mind of a consumer matches that potential to their previous "positive buying decisions" and in that moment is where the sale lives or dies.

    As long as I still feel positive about the hobby, I'm still hooked on the positive buying decisions I've made in the hobby which makes future purchases all that much easier to make.

    I have more to talk about on the subject of mediocre games but to keep it simple I'll end it here and pick up on a part two at a later time.

    Take a moment to subscribe to this blog and let me know what you think. What have been your latest mediocre game purchases? What are some of your favorites?

    Aloha,
    Royce Anthony Banuelos
    Director - Loose Screw Board Games
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    3 Comments
    Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:00 am
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    Logos and Title: Why you're wrong about the new BGG logo...so wrong.

    Royce Banuelos
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    Aloha,

    After GenCon 2019 I went to one of my favorite websites, (behind Minature Market) Board Game Geek and noticed there was an overhaul of the website along with the new logo and color scheme.

    I had 2 immediate thought:
    1: "Wow! It's about time"
    2: "This looks great."

    The only issue I could see is that the logo and colors reminded me of Gatorade, so an outsider might confuse the two.

    Shortly after I noticed a lot of people online that were upset at the new look and logo. This was very confusing to me. Multiple post by graphic designers and artist as well who seemed to all agree that the logo was bad and the direction is awful.

    These people are wrong, on multiple levels. I'll start with the basics and then move on from there.

    THE BASICS:
    So all companies/brands ultimately want to move their company/brand into a single symbol association. It's quicker to identify, opens up better design options for multiple types of media, and creates a "calling card" for it's fans. The most American example of this is McDonalds. Seeing the giant M in the sky is a calling card to their fans. The symbol is so well established that we no longer see an M, we see "McDonalds." There's a bunch of examples (just think about flags in general) so I won't go into that for this blog as we all "get" the idea.
    Companies/brands ideally want to first establish their name so that people know what to call them, then just their initials so that it's easier to communicate, and then finally a symbol. In the case of Board Game Geek, the initials were so wide spread in use that they jumped right to the symbol phase.

    So good on them.

    BEYOND THE BASICS:
    I love this industry and quite frankly want it to grow. I am a HUGE supporter of evangelizing the industry and I notice multiple current missteps that are going on across the industry. GenCon is doing a lot to help fight this and now BGG joins the cause. I DO NOT want a skinny, blonde haired, white male with glasses to be the representative of board gaming. Board Game Geek IS the internet home for board gaming. When the previous logo was the first logo that greets a user it does NOT help the industry grow.

    With the new logo it both pays tribute to the old logo while also lending itself to interpretation. Anyone can now psychologically "claim ownership" of the logo. It's a face but it's also chunky and rigid at the same time giving it a tactile look...very much like a piece from a board game. To accomplish both these needs is incredible design. I don't want to go into more detail, it's a great logo and is a great move forward for both BGG and board game representation as a whole.

    In less than a year, all gamers will see the logo and immediately think "board game geek." There will be no question. You'll see someone else with the logo and make an immediate connection. This is a big step away from "the nerdy hobby that nerds play" and into "this is cool." I very much appreciate the new logo.

    Take a moment to subscribe and let me know what you think about my assessment. What am I missing and how does the new logo make you feel?

    Aloha,

    Royce Anthony Banuelos
    Director - Loose Screw Board Games
    Twitter Facebook
    11 Comments
    Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:19 am
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