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Subject: How to get people to try my game? rss

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Brandon Wingert
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Hello everyone!

I created a social deduction / hidden role game called Red X: Facility 342. It took over a year to test play and to work out the bugs; then another year to get the artwork and printing done. It is a exciting game where your teammates can switch during each round and you wouldn't even know it. I have played Facility 342 with may people (some that didn't know I created it) and everyone really enjoys it.

I want to get Facility 342 into the board game community but the hardest part is getting the first few people to play it and share their experiences. I have been advertising on BoardGameGeek.com for 14 days now and I get about 50-60 people to my site every day but haven't sold a single one. There is a disconnect somewhere and I am not sure what that is. I am a high school biology teacher so hyping up a game isn't my fortay...

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the community interest in Facility 342?

Any suggestion on people who do YouTube videos or websites that talks about games?

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thank you
- Brandon
Red X Board Games
 
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Liam
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Joe H
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I am not an expert on this by any means but, if I were promoting a new game as a new designer and publisher I wouldn't expect people to come to me via an ad. I would be out pounding the pavement, giving as many demos as I could at local and regional Cons. That will generate excitement and word of mouth and, at the very least, useful feedback on your game and how to market it.

Best of luck.
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Paul DeStefano
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When I go to your BGG page for the game, I know NOTHING about the game.

All I see immediately is it requires 7-15 players, which means I will never play it. And that it has one rating - a 10 (you).

No rules, no pictures of the game, no actual description of how it plays.

Is it like werewolf - no actual components needed? Is there a map? Miniatures? Is this a card game?

There's no link to any sire that tells me any more about the game.

In the end, it takes far too much effort to figure out what this game even is, so I don't see how anyone CAN buy it.

There is no information about how the game plays on boardgamegeek.
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Francisco Gutierrez
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Yeah, your BGG page needs some improvement. I use BGG to get information about games, namely to read the pitch, check out the game, and read reviews.

You don't have any reviews or sessions. Not exactly your fault, but you can help fix the issue by reaching out to the many reviewers on this site. Many will, in exchange for a copy of the game, review it.

Your images suck. I'm not knocking the art style, but, at a glance, all six images look like the same image, just cropped or from a different angle. Seeing the box art from multiple angles doesn't get me excited about a game.

The description is too long given that it contains very little information. I think it's great that your game has backstory, that would be fun to read as a part of the Rulebook, but the game's description needs to describe the game. I know almost nothing about how the game plays or what type of game it is after reading description.

Finally, observe proper BGG etiquette. Recommending/ thumbing your own posts is lame. Similarly, some people, myself included, think that rating your own game is doubly so.
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Brandon Wingert
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Thanks for the advice Paul,

I uploaded a picture of the game components. Now I have to wait until BGG approves it.

I proposed an office link to my website months ago, I do not know why it does not show up. If you click on the "Propose Office Link" it takes you to a new page that has the link to the website. I will try to figure out what the problem it.

In the descriptions I have...
"Roles are assigned by passing out DNA Verification Cards at the start of the game. Players choose a Head Researcher and then get sent on a mission with one other player. Mission Rooms are isolated areas located in other parts of the house. Decided by a dice roll researchers may be infected by the alien they were unknowingly paired up with or the researchers could possibly return with a part to the machine needed to kill off the aliens. The aliens win if they can infect the entire research team; the researchers win if they can collect all the parts needed to build the purification device. Either way this exciting hidden role playing game will keep you guessing the entire time."
Does that not give you an idea of how the game is played? If not I can try to make it longer. I was advised by BGG to try to keep it short.

I also have a how to play video on the page.

I thought I had information on how to play the game but if you still do not know what the game is like then I am not sure what to do. Should I upload images of the instructions?

That is why I was wondering if there were people who do video review or something like that I can send my game to.

Thank you again for your advice Paul! Like I said in my original post, I do not know what I am doing.
 
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Brandon Wingert
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Hey Joe,
Thanks for the advice.

What cons do you suggest I go to?
 
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Dan Schlueter
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I'm going to have to agree with the BGG page being a huge part of this. I've been watching kick starters a lot lately and two currently active ones make this very evident. The Warriors: Turf War has a pre existing cult classic IP and a bunch of miniatures and it has just recently scrapped by its meager funding goal of 60,000. I was interested in it, but when i came to BGG to check out it's page it was practically barren. By contrast another game im interested in, Deep Madness, also has well sculpted miniatures and a horror theme. I checked out the BGG page for it and it has an early version of the rulebook, multiple pictures, and it was being well ised to create buzz before the Kickstarter. By contrast Deep Madness is well past its goal of 100,000 and has gone beyond 600,000. IF you want people to buy your game they have to know what they are getting.
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Brandon Wingert
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Hey Francisco,

I agree my page needs reviews. That is what I am trying to do.
I was hoping for some names of people who are known for doing video or written reviews.

I fixed the duplicated images. I now have 2 of the game box (Straight shot and an angled shot). The image of the female researcher with alien and one of the male researcher with alien.
I also just uploaded the back of the game box and by suggestion of another user I uploaded a picture of the components.

I agree that the description is long but I am having a hard time fixing it. The majority of the description is how to play the game (last two paragraphs). More reasons I would like someone other people to review my game.

Thanks for point out the BGG etiquette. I am a science teacher by trade so these etiquette's are new to me. I used BGG to get reviews and learn about new games but the blogging part of this is new to me. I removed the my thumbing and rating my own game. I was just hoping that it would get the ball rolling. Didn't know people found it lame.

Thanks again Francisco, let me know if you have any more advice.
 
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Nik Macmillan
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Nerdfatha wrote:
I'm going to have to agree with the BGG page being a huge part of this. I've been watching kick starters a lot lately and two currently active ones make this very evident. The Warriors: Turf War has a pre existing cult classic IP and a bunch of miniatures and it has just recently scrapped by its meager funding goal of 60,000. I was interested in it, but when i came to BGG to check out it's page it was practically barren. By contrast another game im interested in, Deep Madness, also has well sculpted miniatures and a horror theme. I checked out the BGG page for it and it has an early version of the rulebook, multiple pictures, and it was being well ised to create buzz before the Kickstarter. By contrast Deep Madness is well past its goal of 100,000 and has gone beyond 600,000. IF you want people to buy your game they have to know what they are getting.


Also great advice. I couldn't agree more.
 
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Reed Dawley
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I can't help with publicity, but I picked up a copy on Amazon for support I rarely get even 7 people together but with the holidays coming up you never know. I'm willing to give it a go if I can.
 
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Brandon Wingert
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Thank you for picking up a copy Reed.
Your copy went out today
After you have a chance to play it would you please let me know what you think?

I am sure you will enjoy it!

- Brandon
 
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Reed Dawley
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Sure will.
 
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Matt Lee
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Hopefully these thoughts will help, but from my perspective:

I've never heard of the game prior to this, so there was no advanced promotion of the title anywhere, such as the BGG news blog here or other news blogs announcing the game was coming/is now for sale. With thousands of games made every year, advance promotion helps to at least make your game visible to prospective buyers.

Not doing con demos hurts this as well, since even prototype playtesting at cons or sessions where BGGers might go and then post afterwards would have helped. It wasn't explicit, but it sounds like you only had limited blind playtests done, which means the exposure has been way too small to make an impact before you printed the game. That combination and not having your game visible at cons like Pax, Origins, Gen Con, NY Toy Fair, etc doesn't help.

Advertising here doesn't really register with me since I've usually planned out games I want based on the upcoming games news blogs and what has been announced at the big cons, and Patrons have the option to turn off ads as well.

Looking at the BGG game page, I'm admittedly not impressed. The description feels a lot like the back of the box advertising hype, so it feels wordy and indirect. What I can see sounds a lot like a combination of The Resistance and Salem 1692, which is appealing, but then the bit about the die roll throws a wrench into things and the grammar there frankly grated on my nerves a bit and makes it sound far more random than strategic.

Taking a deeper look at the rules, it's all text with little to no artwork, card, or component images to break up the text. While not necessary, it looks and feels boring and more of a prototype or playtest ruleset than a boxed and printed rulebook. The information for number of missions, for example, is buried in the rulebook and from what I can see, is not printed anyplace to refer to during play like on the player cards, separate turn order reference cards, or the back of the rulebook. Same with what the symbols on the dice mean.

Worse: The info on your website has absolutely no information other than the box art, brief marketing blurb, price, and a video (which I rarely ever view), so nothing appealing or even descriptive that makes me want to investigate or buy the game.

Altogether, I get a very "okay" feeling, so nothing I'd run out to check out, only a feeling that I might look at it if other people are playing already and nothing else nearby is interesting. Nothing that leaves an impression.

As for reviews, have you reached out to reviewers to see if anyone is open for submissions? Note that they may or may not ever get to it (most have a lot of games to go through as it is), but getting a couple to actually review the game will help,and would probably have done more for getting notice for your game than the advertising did here without any other promotion.
 
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Aaron Yoder
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There's a lot of social deduction games out there. What makes yours different? What makes your game special? Why do you enjoy it?

These are things that should be answered on your BGG page. I can't help but think that I already have a social deduction game I like; why pick up this one?
 
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I recommend asking The Dice Tower. They seem like they should be able to get enough people together to try your game and a few of them enjoy some party games. Also, they have a channel on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/thedicetower) which would be great for getting the word out to the general public. For information on how to submit a game for review, see their Dice Tower FAQ.
 
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Also, to give you some perspective on other games in the same genre you are competing with, check out the page for The Resistance. It should help illustrate what a lot of people are talking about here.
 
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Reed Dawley
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I liked the Rulebook on the games webpage, looks like an army manual, which I have a bunch of. Even like the faux coffee stain. I don't know if I'll get to try it anytime soon, but it looks interesting at the very least and I don't have many social deduction games.
 
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James Clarke
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Brandon Wingert
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Matt,

Thank you for the information you gave me.
As I stated before this is my first game and I am a science teacher so all that great advice you gave was just things I didn't think about. Live and learn.

Your observation of my game being a cross between The Resistance and Salem, while unintentionally, is spot on. The dice roll is necessary, this is how an alien can try to infect a researcher and succeed or fail in their attempt. This is the only way that I could come up with that allows a "Chance" to be infected or not. It throws an element of "chance" into the game. Failed infection attempts is what makes the game interesting.

I like your advice about going to a con. I am not looking to get rich off my game, if I break even I would be happy. So I think I would/should go to a con, what one would you suggest?

I wish I knew more about how these blogs work, I e-mailed BGG for suggestions and I didn't really get any. I guess they just expect people to know how blogs work. I am slowly catching on.

I understand your comments about my website. I added a photo of what comes in the box, please let me know what other images you think would be helpful.

I came up with some new text...
"Researchers try to cleanse Facility 342 of an alien threat as aliens secretly try to infect the other players. Facility 342 starts off with two of the players infected, and during game play anything can happen. In private missions, researchers can build a device to save themselves, or aliens can try to increase their numbers by infecting other players. Who do you trust after a failed infection attempt? It can be hard to tell. Trust the wrong people and find yourself alone with an alien. Trusted players one round may not be the same person the next. Get out of your seat and spend time alone with another player because in Facility 342 loyalties are constantly changing!"
Does this test help explain the game a little better?

I am trying to contact "Dice Tower", Drive-Thru Review", Man vs. "Meeple" and "Undead Viking" to send them a copy of my game to review.

Thanks again Matt for your advice and your time. Every bit of advice helps me get on the right path!
 
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Reed Dawley
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For Cons see what is close to you and how far you are willing to travel. Just look up board game conventions and the closest city.

I found this while trying to google for myself: /wiki/page/Game_Conventions
 
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RedXCommander wrote:
I wish I knew more about how these blogs work, I e-mailed BGG for suggestions and I didn't really get any. I guess they just expect people to know how blogs work. I am slowly catching on.

This here is one of the forums, not a blog. You can tell by label above the title, "BoardGameGeek » Forums » Introduction » New User Questions". Formatting information is available in the Wiki entry Forum Formatting as well as in pinned messages in New User Questions and BGG Help and How-To forums.

BGG Blogs are different, and explained in the Wiki entry, Blogs.
 
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Brandon Wingert
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Hello Aaron,

Great question.
What makes Facility 342 different from what is out there?
I created my game for a couple reasons.

First was because of the number of players current social deduction games can have. We found ourselves with 10-15 players (5-7 couple) quite often. The Resistance cannot be played with that many people. We could play Werewolf but I do not like how you eliminate players.

Second I wanted to add a new element to the social deduction game. Players loyalty can change during game play in Facility 342. What better scenario than body snatchers.

Lastly I wanted a social deduction game that had a role playing feel to it. In my game you have to physically leave the game table to go on a mission with another player. This allows things to happen in private that can affect the whole game. This also allows players to talk in private about their plans and they can use this time to figure out what is going on, or trick players without the interruptions of other players.

After you asking this question it made me realize what my description is missing.
I am adding this question to my page.

Thank you Aaron.
 
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Brandon Wingert
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Thank you Ryalyn,

I went to Dice Towers website a while ago but I couldn't find any contact information. That link was just what I needed. I contacted Dice Tower to see if they will accept a copy of my game.

Also, I am a scientist, I guess I need a lot of help wording things better, I really felt my text explained the game well. But apparently I failed at that. I am going to talk with one of the English teacher tomorrow to help we reword things. A few of us teachers have played Facility 342 a few times so they know how to play it and could word things better for me.

Thank you again Ryalyn, that was a huge help getting me to the right people.
 
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Timothy Young
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One word of caution- and this is just my two cents, so do with it what you will. Before sending your game off to the big name reviewers make absolutely certain that your game is the best game it can possibly be. Run it through the ringer via blind play testing. If you don't know what that means, it means give it to a group that knows nothing about the game and ask them to play it without helping them in any way whatsoever. Then hey their feedback after they're through. Do this many, many times with people who have no vested interest in the game. This kind of play testing will get you invaluable feedback. Not being able to rely on you to help them understand how the game works these playtesters will quickly find problems in the rulebook that you may not have noticed. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a reviewer complain about a poorly written rulebook I could buy myself a few new games.

But my main point is this- once you send your game off to a few of the big reviewers you're turning your fate over to them. Theyes are heavily influential in this hobby. Sure, there are plenty of independent thinkers in this hobby, and I'm confident on our two of those will pipe up after my post wanting to point out that Dice Tower et al don't have as much influence as some people like to think. But the fact of the matter is that they are influential and it would be a shame if you were to send them what could have been an otherwise we'll received game that ended up getting panned due to a rules misunderstanding or an easily changed game mechanic. And believe me, they won't have any qualms about taking your game if it doesn't impress them. So take the time now to do everything you can to make sure it does impress them.
 
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