Over 5000 miles, over 20 hours on the road, over a week away from home and the office, all to make it to The Dice Tower con and play Imperial Miners with a few people.
Doesn’t make sense, right? Well, let’s look at it realistically. Let’s assume I go crazy with demos, spending the whole day playing, constantly looking for people interested in the game—I’ll probably do about 6 presentations in eight hours. If I’m lucky, each demo will have four players. With some good luck, I might get to play with around twenty people in Imperial Miners each day.
Flying across the ocean, traveling 5000 miles just for that? Doesn’t make sense.
And yet, I’m going.
And yet, I’m going because historically, always, and I mean always, the demos of my games at conventions have been worth every trip. Even though traveling 5000 miles to showcase a game to a few people sounds like madness, I know that each of those individuals is crucial for Imperial Miners and its success.
Some of these people have accounts on BoardGameGeek (BGG) and will rate Imperial Miners in the BGG ranking, which is incredibly helpful, especially in the early stages of promoting the game.
Some of these people use Twitter and will post about playing and being thrilled, and that information will reach hundreds of their followers.
Some of these people will jump on Facebook, take a selfie with the game box, and write that they played and had a great time.
Some of these people won’t be camera shy and will say a few nice words about the gameplay on camera—I’ll have my marketing team put together a nice video from that, which we’ll publish on our YouTube channel.
Some of these people may run a blog, a vlog, or have a podcast or a TikTok account, and in an instant, they’ll expose Imperial Miners to hundreds of their fans.
Some of these people…
We live in the age of social media, an era where one person with internet access can create a wave of positive or negative buzz, a time when one fan can cover all the game groups on Facebook and reach thousands of players with their post. We live in a time when one person can make a difference.
Playing my games has always proven to be the best and most effective form of game promotion—going out to the fans, giving them the game to play, and watching how much fun they have. As word spreads slowly, game after game, demo after demo, that the new Portal game is good, interesting, worth a try. In the era of social media, when that one word can turn viral, when one gameplay report can take over the entire board gaming Facebook, these demos make even more sense. Play, play, and play more, and wait for the buzz about the game to spread.
Of course, for all of this to succeed, I need a damn good game in my backpack; otherwise, the whole plan is pointless.
Luckily, that’s one thing I’m not worried about. Imperial Miners is a damn cool card game. Keep an eye out for the buzz about it.