Saturday, January 5

Looking Forward to 2008

This is Reiver Games' third calendar year (I formed the company in July 2006), and I've been lucky enough that things have gone from strength to strength. In 2006 I decided to go for it, and released my first game design. Border Reivers did well, getting positive reviews and selling well. In 2007 I released the first Reiver game by another designer, Yehuda's It's Alive! It was launched at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham in June, where I also sold out of Border Reivers. The Expo was my first 'trade show'-style convention and it was a huge success, with my entire stock disappearing in 3.5 hours and I took a further thirty orders. By the end of the year I'd sold two hundred out of the three hundred run of It's Alive! So how do I hope to improve things in 2008?


So far I've concentrated on one game at a time, with the exception of those first 3.5 hours at the Expo. This year I don't want to spend any time without a game to sell, hopefully overlapping the runs a bit better so I have periods when I have two games available. I also hope to release two games this year, as opposed to one each of the two previous years. To achieve this I'm hoping to release a submission (as yet to be decided) and one of my own games (probably Jorvik). Releasing a submission will reduce the burden of development on me, and Jorvik is fairly easy to manufacture, being a simple card game. There is also the possibility of a professional run of It's Alive! assuming it sells out in a reasonable amount of time, and continues to be well-received. I'm thinking I'm going to stick to getting the boxes professionally manufactured even on the hand-made runs, as this provides a notable step-up in quality, and saves me about an hour per game construction time. These are goals that are a stretch, but you've got to set goals that are achievable, while being challenging or you'll never get anywhere.


In 2006 I went to two conventions: The Cast Are Dice and Psychocon. In 2007 I managed four: Beer & Pretzels, the Expo, The Cast Are Dice and MidCon. While this definitely introduced me to a larger audience I also started being more honest with myself about the cost of attending conventions. In 2006 I paid for all the food, hotels and travel myself, only charging the business for convention fees and commissions. Last year I started charging everything to the company, and keeping track of how much the trip cost me / made me as a whole. The Expo was a clear winner, with a huge take, and a healthy profit after paying for fuel, hotel for The Wife, Dave and I and the convention fees (a whopping £75). The others all made me money, but not a huge amount. As a result I'm considering attending fewer conventions this year not more. But the most exciting one is obviously Essen in Germany, which I would really like to attend this year. There's not much point unless I've got a lot of stock though. The Expo is a cert, Essen and TCAD are likely. Others are possible, but unlikely.


I'm also hoping to be able to make a pretty big announcement in a few months time - keep your eyes peeled!

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