I've had to admit in the last couple of weeks that Reiver Games is still a long way from that point and that I need to bring in some money way before Reiver Games reaches that point. So I need to take some form of gainful employment and run Reiver Games in the background. I've really enjoyed running Reiver Games and I want to continue to do so.
What stood out on the Geeklist was the goodwill of several of the commenters. Several people were disappointed that it hadn't worked out for me, several offered their sympathy.
A couple of guys who had visited my stand at Essen felt bad for not buying a copy of Sumeria, despite it not being their sort of game! While that sentiment is nice, I don't want to do well because people feel sorry for me, or because they want me to live my dream. I want people to buy my games of course. But I want them to buy my games because they think the game will provide enough enjoyment to make it worth the cost. I want them to be bought and played until they fall apart, not sit on a collector's shelf as another unplayed game in their collection.
What also stood out was the comment by my friend and playtester Paul:
I'll keep supporting you and sending good wishes your way whatever shape Reiver Games takes - I still believe that if anyone can make it in this industry it's you! And I promise, in public, that I will purchase at least one copy of every Reiver Games publication to do my part to keep you in biccies! Maybe others could do the same ?!? If your next project is the one we've playtested then I AM OFFICIALLY VERY EXCITED!!!! It is an awesome game of much awsomeness! With extra awesome on the side! It will be perfect present material for friends (both gamers and non I think) and has been enjoyed by all the York fraternity who have tried it so far. Good luck! Don't give up!
Paul's pledge is incredibly generous. It's in no small part due to his generosity, his compulsive collecting of games and his friendship and wish for me to succeed. But I like to think it's also because we have a similar taste in games and he figures anything I publish will be to his tastes. Paul is a True Fan.
With 3,000 true fans I'd have sold out of all my games. But that's one in every 2,200,000 people in the world population. Considering most of the world population will never hear of me or my company, and of the proportion that might have a slight chance of stumbling across me most have no interest in board games it's a pretty tall order.
What I need to work out is how to reach those potential true fans and convert them. The games I like are pretty popular - there must be more people out there who would like It's Alive!, Carpe Astra and Sumeria if they played them. How do I get the games in front of them?