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Subject: To Demo or not to Demo rss

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Raymond Serra
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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What do people think of games being demonstrated at conventions?

Do designers find it helpful/useful and effective for improving the game or increasing their lists?

Do con goers actually like seeing/playing developing games at conventions or are they just another booth where you smile and keep walking?

I tried finding this question on the BGG forums but came up short.

I'm fairly new to all this and am currently designing a deck builder. Was wondering if I should give the demo table a go or not.
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Mike Vande Ven Jr.
United States
Verona
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As an attendee, demos are half the reason I attend. I had a long list of games for this most recent Gen Con that I was interested in. With few exceptions, I stopped and watched some of the game, or demoed it personally, before buying. Website reviews are great, but actually experiencing the game is a whole different level.

Note that it does go both ways. I will sometimes do the demo, and I must have the game. Other times it will be meh. But I would say the demo is more apt to bring me in than turn me away.
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Ryan Stapleton
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I really enjoy doing Demo's to see if I want to buy a game.

I have bought/sold/traded so many games at this point that I really ONLY want ones that will actually hit my table. Sadly that number is a small number anymore as they have to be different than what I already have and be playable with my wife for the most part.

This now comes down to a personal preference on what do you want out of your convention experience. Do you want to try new things and gain a larger exposure to the hobby? This is an easy way to do that.

I am not a designer in anyway but am a consumer so I would expect designers would want to know what people are saying about their game. I would suspect its a bell curve of useful comments though as some people just hate everything and some love everything where a majority is in the middle to some degree.

As I hinted above I am a hard sell anymore and I just totally enjoy playing the game to see if its really a fit for me. To get to the booth it has to be something that I have find interesting and well has "table presence".

Really do what you want as an attendee the convention will be what you make it and you will get out of it what you put in.

Enjoy gaming and the hobby and your convention experiences!


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Rich Shipley
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Game demos at convention exhibit booths are usually for completed games that can be bought there. If you are surrounded by those, you might get the "smile and keep walking" treatment.

Some conventions have specific areas for designers to show games under development. People going there are looking to play the games and let designers know what they think. I attend one, UnPub, where that is all there is. They also run rooms at other conventions.
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Eric Engelmann
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RNSukerra wrote:
What do people think of games being demonstrated at conventions?

Do designers find it helpful/useful and effective for improving the game or increasing their lists?

Do con goers actually like seeing/playing developing games at conventions or are they just another booth where you smile and keep walking?

I tried finding this question on the BGG forums but came up short.

I'm fairly new to all this and am currently designing a deck builder. Was wondering if I should give the demo table a go or not.

Demo and playtesting is a feature at all of my cons. Some attendees are thrilled to get a chance to play an unpublished game with an actual designer. Game designers get a chance to see how actual newbs deal with their creations, and get to do a great deal of shop talk with other designers (typically ten at my small, weekend cons).
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Ryan E.

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The local cons I attend are smaller so the demos are local designers, no big names. I might do one a con if I've got some free time. It's fun n to learn a game from the designer, and often they'll talk about how different parts of it were developed if you ask questions.
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KB Shimmyo
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As a con-goer, I can say it's definitely not a "smile and keep walking" thing for me, especially if the designer is the one demoing it. Though even so, if I don't think the game is one that I'm interested in, I won't want to hang around for a full game - so having a quick spiel for that situation is good too. e.g. at Origins I was drawn into a game of BarBEARian Battleground and found it much more fun than expected, thanks to a skilled and charismatic booth staff member (not the designer).

I'm especially interested in checking out unreleased games I've heard about. Obviously the demo copy may still be a late-stage prototype, but I still want to see it.

So far, the cases where I've been put off of demos center around the demoer being someone who doesn't know the game all that well - e.g. the game is set up incorrectly - or the demoer is clearly unenthusiastic about the game or just not very good at communicating typical game concepts.
 
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Morten Blaabjerg
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Would love to hear more about the "demo area" at Essen. Is there a space where designers may demo their games to interested players?

I definitely would love as a designer på spend time there networking and playing other designer's games, as well as demoing my own games, in between the meetings I have at SPIEL.

I am coming to SPIEL this year for the first time, and would be very interested in learning more about how things work around there :-)
 
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