: Jessica Hammer on Dread
Jessica Hammer's written up her ideas about marketing Dread to non-gamers: Making Horror, Selling Dread. Her analysis lines up really well with Eppy's, Bret's and my observations - I'm nodding along straight through.
We talked about quick to pick up packaged scenarios while we were at the con. Jess's additional idea of stand-up character cards is really great, for Dread in particular, because putting them on the table with the Jenga tower would communicate beautifully about the game. They'd say "this is Jenga, but it isn't just Jenga, but don't worry. It makes sense anyway."
Also, the 90/9/1 split she talks about? I'm going to incorporate that into my thinking starting right the heck now.
1. On 2012-04-14, Vincent wrote:
Here's a conversation that seems possible.
Congoer: Oh hey! Jenga!
Me: Take a pull!
Me: Yeah, of course, that's what we set it up for. Please do!
Up to this point, this conversation happened a bunch of times at the con. Here's the new part:
Me: Oh but before you pull, choose one of these. [pointing out the character stand ups] This one is trying to get her car started while the zombies are coming. This one is trying to find a hiding place in the basement while the slasher is kicking through the door at the top of the stairs. This one is trying to cross thin ice while ravenous giant mutant eels swirl around below her.
Congoer: Ha ha, I get it! I choose... the zombie one. So I pull now?
People often say "like 'How to Host a Murder'" and I never know what they mean. I see "How to Host a Murder" sets in people's houses - I think there was one in mine until last time we moved - but I've never heard of anyone playing them.
I bet a dollar that, like Monopoly, practically all of them are bought to be given as gifts, not bought to be played.
It was a big fad in my home town of Columbus, IN. People would plan these things months in advance and getting an invitation to one of the ritzier homes was a big deal. People would have the food catered and everything. In high school, I had a lot of friends who got to go with their parents. I was quite jealous. I never got an invite. I know of at least six that were big to-do's my senior year alone.
My parents bought HTHAM about 20 years ago, and I think they've played it twice. On both occasions, it was an event where they invited two couples over and everyone dressed up for nice dinner. Having two couples over for dinner is something my parents do semi-regularly, and HTHAM was a way to make it a special occasion.
There was a little bit of prep involved -- figuring out how to coordinate play with dinner, mostly -- but the game itself was vary undaunting. Mostly you just contribute what the prompts tell you you discover. How much you want to flesh it out and roleplay is up to you, but there's no authoring going on; the plot is fixed.
My mom doesn't enjoy being asked to make stuff up on the spot, but she does like the occasional bit of acting, imagining, or playing pretend. This game suits her pretty well.
My sister made some customized dinner invitations for the game. They're quite pretty.
My other experience with the game was my freshman year in college, where my classy senior friend (who also ran D&D for us) summoned a bunch of us to... dress up fancy, eat refined snacks, hang out, and occasionally say something dramatic in character. Those who had a yearning for class and culture in our extremely casual dorm seemed to really enjoy it, and our host loved presiding over the experience.
As for Jess's points, I assume that the only reason we haven't been selling booklet & stand sets for $10 all along is because it isn't economically feasible. I'll be curious to hear if Animal Crime says anything about this.
This (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenga#Rules) claims that the proportions need to be 15x5x3, and suggests 1.5 x 2.5 x 7.5 cm. My off-brand tower (bought for Dread!) says it's 3" x 7/8" x 5/8", which is pretty close to what wiki says.
Hm. That standard size is unfortunate; a table saw will be necessary (as opposed to merely useful) and there will be waste. I'll look some crap up, do some calculations, and put a detailed write-up public on my G+ so I can stop derailing.