Monday, April 20

Crowdsourcing / Market Research

It's been a good week. I've had my first Games Night for four weeks (and sadly last Games Night for another three due to work travel) and a few more good playtests of Zombology.

I'm now ready to call my first game that I hope to self-publish in my second innings as a board games publisher: It's Zombology.

Last week I made some changes to the scoring of Zombology, making it a true semi-co-op game along with tweaking the way the gurus work to make them more useful/interesting.

We played four games back-to-back at Newcastle Playtest. These guys have played it a lot. Over the last year and a half we've played it at the beginning of almost every session, often a couple of times. It's been through a lot of changes and incarnations, and people are still willing to play it, which is nice. This time the feedback seemed much more positive, Paul who usually doesn't enjoy it said he'd enjoyed it and finally 'got' this version and later Alex described it on twitter as "straight up 'published game'-level fun".

We played a few more games on Thursday, a couple of three player games at lunchtime, and then a couple of seven player games at the beginning of Games Night. DJ and Mal (both of whom have tens of plays of various versions under their respective belts) had good things to say: DJ said it was the best game of it he'd played and Mal (who had said the last version felt further from ready than the one before it) said: 'Don't make too many more changes, it's ready to publish'. Gav's feedback email was entirely positive too.

So I'm ready to start the process of publishing a game again. At least, almost ready. I've got my checklist to work through and there are a few other things I need to sort out, including getting a few playtest copies out to other groups. Before I do that, I need some help - which is where the title of this post comes in.

I need an exposition. A paragraph or so that explains the game and makes it sound so fantastic that your only option on reading it is to wire me vast sums of money to sate your powerful need to play this game immediately. Currently I have:

Unlikely cures vs. the zombie apocalypse
Zombitis is sweeping the globe: it's already killed millions and billions more are at risk. There's no government stockpiled vaccines and pharmaceutical companies have nothing. You and your peers are mankind's last hope. Just a couple of months ago they were ridiculing your 'advanced projects agency' for its crackpot ideas, now they're praying that it might just work. You've got eight weeks to try to cure the zombie plague, will you be heralded as one of the heroes of mankind, or will you back the wrong method and remain a crackpot to the end of your days? Work together to achieve a cure or try to trip up cures that you don't support. Time's running out... 

Which, let's be honest is weak. This is not my strong suit. So I'm appealing to you my loyal readership for some advice/improvements.

Also, I need six things that are unlikely to cure Zombitis. Currently I have:
  • Healing crystals
  • Vegan diet
  • Psychotherapy
  • Homeopathy
  • Reiki
  • Acupuncture
I like the first four, not so sure about Reiki and Acupuncture. I'm also considering Faith healing, Voodoo dolls and Electroshock therapy. What are your thoughts? Got any better ideas?


Hoopy said...

At risk of alienating some of your potential sales you could go for 'religion' as another cure?

Owain Bennett said...

Ear candling, chiropractic, reflexology, magnet therapy, aromatherapy... the list goes on. You could even have retail therapy.

Sam H said...

My top six are:

- Homeopathy
- Faith Healing
- Magnets!
- Vegan Diet
- Aromatherapy
- Healing Crystals

Looking forward to hopefully playing this at the next Newcastle Playtest!


Jackson Pope said...

Hiya Dave, Owain and Sam,

So far I'm liking Retail Therapy and Faith Healing as potential replacements - those are great :-)



MrShep said...

- Group therapy
- Counselling
- Care in the community
- A nice cup of tea
- Just ignore it and see if it goes away

Jackson Pope said...

Hiya John,

I think I've got group therapy and counselling covered by psychotherapy. Care in the community feels a bit too UK specific but Cup of tea has a nice ring to it.