BLOG: One fan at the time

Ignacy has some thoughts on flying. And games, that too.

It’s Sunday morning. I am at Pax Unplugged, it’s the last day of the con, I will be leaving convention center and heading to the airport in two or three hours. At some point, a guy comes, shakes my hand and says he was at my seminar on Friday evening and liked it a lot. He then decided to come to my Game Designer seminar, on Saturday and he liked it a lot too, although he knows no shit about game design and has no plans whatsoever to design a game. After the seminar, he came to our booth and bought Alien Artifacts.

It’s Sunday morning. The guy stands in front of me and says that this weekend he discovered Portal Games, and he immediately became a fan of the company. He liked seminars, he liked Alien Artifacts, he did some research in the hotel and watch my vlog and found my blog, and now, Sunday morning he just came to shake my hand and says ‘Good job, mate’

I smile. I fly back home now.


I hate travels. I am afraid of flying and on top of that, I don’t do well with jet lag. When I have to travel, I am a terrible person and all my employees and family members try to have zero interaction with me a day or two before I leave. I am the worst version of myself. I should be put in a cage for these two days. I really hate traveling.

And yet, this year I visited Cannes Game Fair, then Gama Trade Show, then Gathering of Friends in Niagara, then Gathering of Friends in Etouvry. I flew to Atlanta, visited three different states in 5 days and then drove to Dice Tower con. I flew back home to Poland and then, two weeks later I flew back to US for Gen con. I flew back to Poland and almost immediately flew to Denmark. Then went to Essen and then flew back to US again for Pax Unplugged.

Now I am back in Poland. For a few days. Next week I fly to UK.


There is no ROI for meeting people. There is no way you can calculate if it’s worth flying all over the world and meeting with fans and running demos of your prototype. No way I can measure if seminar for 40 people was less valuable than seminar for 100 people. No way to measure if flying to Italy makes sense and flying to Vegas was far too expensive and had low ROI. No way I can check if the chance to run demos 4 days long at Dice Tower was worth 2k USD for flight tickets. You never know.

Yesterday I got information that the first orders for Alien Artifacts are pretty awesome and again we have a very strong opening for our new game.

It’s not because I ran thousands of ads on FB or BGG.
It’s not because I had Star Wars IP.
It’s not because it’s a new game from Eric Lang or Bruno Cathalha.

It’s because I ran demos of the game all year long, I shook many hands, I did a ton of test games, I ran weekly vlog, I ran many seminars, I tried to give something interesting and valuable all year long. Now, it paid off.

I say it, because you can do it too. You can work hard and have a success without Star Wars IP, without Mr. Lang’s name on the box, without all those magical keys to success that big companies have.

There is one key that always works – it’s one fan at the time.

It’s that simple.

Original text from BTTS Blog at BGG Forums:


We are bookworms. Movie maniacs. Story addicts. We grew up reading Tolkien, Howard, Herbert, Dick, Lem… We were watching Willow, Blade Runner, Never Ending Story, Robin Hood…

And yet, we don’t write books… we don’t make movies. We don’t make those things, because we make games. We make games that tell stories.