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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Suggestions a Gamestore/Cafe rss

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Neil Wehneman
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Ron:

Welcome to BoardGameGeek! There's a lot more to the site than just a place to do some market research, so I hope you stick around with us.

As to your specific questions:

What would you like to see in the place itself?

One of the keys for me would be comfort while playing. You are going to need large tables, and a (safe) place to put hot beverages and/or food. Bear in mind that what is most comfortable to sit in to relax and talk for an hour is not necessarily going to be the best seating arrangement for playing a game for an hour to two hours.

You might have to decide "Am I a coffee shop that offers games, or a game shop that sells coffee?" when picking out your furniture, or at least be cognizant of this issue.

How much would you rent a game that say would cost $30 US dollars or more to purchase.

For a game that I'm interested in, and that would retail for $30 or more, I'd probably be willing to pay $5 to play it through once or twice (provided that I'd be given a credit of my rental fee if I chose to buy the game on the spot after playing it). I might be willing to go $9.95 on the absolute high-end for a game that's in the $80 - $100 range (i.e. Fantasy Flight big box game), but I would expect to get a free drink out of the deal to enjoy while playing.

If Tournaments are ran what and how would you like to see that work

I'm generally not a tournament player.

For Males 19 to 30 what kind of games would you like to see

You can look at my collection at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/landaras. Anything I have listed as "want in trade" is a game I'm interested in, and would probably pay $5 to try out.

Here are some other thoughts for you:

I often host gaming nights at my house, as I'm sure lots of people on this site do. The key question you have to answer if you want to attract me (and likely others) would be "why should I drive to this guy's coffee shop to play when I can have people over to my place where the drinks are cheaper?" What's your value add over a night at home with a few friends?

If the answer is "you can meet new people," then you need to be certain that there are people there when I arrive, who are interested in playing the kind of game I'm interested in. I'm generally not interested in playing Monopoly, Risk, or even gateways like Settlers of Catan that I've long since outgrown. I'm usually more willing to accommodate other's tastes when I'm at home, but if I'm driving out and paying money (to rent the game or get a drink), I have a slightly higher expectation.

Regardless, good luck, and keep us informed!

- Neil Wehneman
 
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Ron,

Awesome!

A few thoughts/questions:

1) Are you looking to the beverages for the majority of your profits? If that's true, I would load up on making great coffee. That will create regulars who come in to purchase from you regularly, not just to hangout and play games (guilty as charged).

2) You might want to imagine your demographic more. For instance, if you end up selling CCGs, you might attract lots of kids. But this could be a turn-off for the customer looking for a relaxing place to drink great coffee. On the other hand, I bet CCGs have a better profit margin than eurogames and could be decent secondary profit, but I dunno.

3) I think it would be good to tailor the tournaments to the crowd you envision. Maybe establish a weekly game night where you (or a volunteer) teaches a gateway game and then games are played for a couple of hours? At the end of that, you could sell copies of that game to the people who got a chance to play a bit or here your lesson / description. Maybe connect with the local gamer Meetup organizer?

Good Luck! That sounds like a great challenge, but an awful lot of fun!

Ross
 
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Craig Corlis
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As the leader of a game group that meets regularly at a local coffee shop, I wish you luck. I love the atmosphere and offerings at our spot. The owner doesnt sell games, though she does have a bookshelf full of "family games" that people are welcome to use.

Basically, pay attention to your furniture - make sure it's comfortable for gamers to sit in for hours and hours. Watch your lighting. I had to buy mini-lanterns for ours because it can be difficult to tell colored pieces apart in the dim lighting.

Think about an hourly or daily fee. We aren't charged one, we just buy food and drink to cover our using their facilities, but sometimes it may be easier to just have a fee included rather than expect everyone to tip more for sitting there for 6-8 hours.

Our shop offers not only coffee and lattes, but all sorts of food as well, from snacks and cookies to plates of pasta, sandwiches, etc.. I easily spend $20-$25 per night on myself while gaming, and that's from 5pm-2am. Hours are also important. Many games can take 2-3 hours, so in order to play more than just one game you'll need to offer hours that allow that.

CCGs can definitely impact your clientele. Many board gamers would not want to sit in the same area as a bunch of CCG's as they tend to be a bit louder than board games. If you can segregate areas for them, that might be better.

edit: As Ross said, get with your Meetup organizer. That's what I run my club through, and we bring 20-30 people into the local coffee shop regularly.
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ichaos wrote:
I think I am mostly wanting to attract 18 to 40ish crowds but will have some collectable card games but it wouldn't be a focus.


Just a tip... I think you should cater to 35 to 60ish crowd. They are the ones with the most cash and disposable income... 20 somethings are going to do the least they can to be there and do what they want.... hang... play, whatever.

As far as "renting" games. If you can provide a decent library and allow free play with purchase that would be the way to go. I would only pay to play if, as someone said, I get store credit for games or food/drink. There are plenty of places I can go play for free, and stop at a drivein first for a drink and snack to bring.

BOb
 
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Hey Ron,

Any thoughts about having a cafe as well as a clubroom? If you find the right space it could work well, but then you would be stuck having to keep an eye on that area, i.e., might want to check the maturity levels there some. But I know old chess clubs used to just have members who paid their dues so they had the privilege of hanging out in a comfortable space with their friends. It still works well for a club in my town. This might allow you to choose members carefully and get buy-in so they take just as good care of the games and furniture as you do.

I hope my thoughts aren't overbearing or too uninformed. This is the most interesting thread I have read here in a while as it's something I have imagined of doing someday if I am lucky.

SHHHHHHHHhhhhhhHHHHhhHHHH! Don't tell my wife!!ninja



Best,
Ross
 
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Erica Hart
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Buy meeples, marbles and dice to use for spare parts for when game parts go missing.

Make sure you have good TEAS as well. Not just "tea" but have *kinds* of tea... especially black tea, and green tea.

Last bit of advice... Open this place up near where I live in Ohio. lol, kidding, but this sounds like a place I would go!
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Craig Corlis
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I've never been a fan of the "CCGs on Friday night" or "RPG Night every Wednesday". it separates your clientele a bit but not in a positive way. You ideally want all of your customers feeling comfortable going in any night to drink/eat/play. I believe you're correct that atmosphere may go a long way towards that.

Offerings will also control it to some degree. Offering a lot of Tea, Lattes, Coffees, etc will draw in a different crowd than if you only offer soda and Cheetos. Combine atmosphere with Merchandise and you should have a decent amount of control.

I'm afraid I can't really offer much in the way of comments on your rental plans. I try to avoid renting videos even from a store, because I hate the hassle of returning them in a certain time and everything. That's why I use Netflix and Gamefly. I don't think I, personally, would rent board games from a brick and mortar store. I'd definitely go play them at a good cafe, though.
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Ralph T
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I'm curious where in California you plan to locate the store. Obviously what games you should stock depend on what neighborhood you end up. For example if you're in an area with a high number of Chinese, then Mah Jong is a no brainer. In fact you could just do Mah Jong and probably be okay.
 
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