Two threads on BoardGameGeek caught my attention this week. One was started by me, so it's no surprise, the other was from someone in a similar boat, and the difference between the responses is amazing.
Thread One was me asking for advice from other self-publishers on how to publicise my game with a minimum of expenditure. I got several complimentary replies. They were thoughtful, helpful and had lots of good ideas. I was offered good luck and people offered to pimp the game in their locality in exchange for a free copy. I even had people send me emails with extended advice. You really get the feeling that BGG is a really friendly and welcoming community, out to help the little guys like me.
The other thread has since been deleted. Someone was asking people to invest in the production of a new game like Monopoly they had 'discovered'. It turns out with a little digging the 'discoverer' was the designer's wife. She made a bunch of mistakes in her assumptions:
- She assumed BGGers like Monopoly
- She assumed BGGers support large companies over small ones
- She misrepresented her association to the designer
And, as a result, she was throw to the wolves. Sure, some people made some good suggestions in the thread, but there was an awful lot of flaming and acrimony. It got ugly - which is why it probably got deleted by a moderator.
So there you have it. Think before you post to BGG. If you're going to do it, don't lie, or shill your game - ask for advice and help and you'll receive it in bucket-loads from the great community. Otherwise you risk the ire of the community, they're not stupid and don't appreciate being taken for a ride or manipulated - if you do that you will get a response - and things will get nasty.