On 2012-03-22, Julia wrote:
Bret, I'm not really describing a type of tribalism, though I see how what I said could be interpreted that way. You see a diversity of people at a game convention, at an anime convention. They're all there because they all like this particular thing: games or anime. What they look like and what their social-economic status isn't really relevant. My comments and questions were more directed at the problems of selling at a convention:
—You have much less time to make your pitch to people who are completely unfamiliar with your product. You have more time to make your pitch online, beforehand. So you court your potential customer before you see her in person.
—Based on the experiences that you and Vincent have shared, it sounded like you were, by a few people, viewed as outsiders. Now you're both saying that wasn't the case. Okay, cool. I'm a little confused, but cool.
Vincent: If you're there just to sell to people making impulse purchases (like $5 DVDs), making a relationship with that customer base beforehand is probably a waste of time. The price is more important. And if your intention is to just sell to horror fans who attend horror cons, then yes, you don't need to do anything other than show up at horror cons. Going to a con is just one of the in-roads. If you participated in discussions on the Forge before you went to GenCon, then you made in-roads with the community that the Forge serves (as being a big part of the community, for certain), and so of course it was a little easier for you to sell your games at GenCon. I recall getting similar advice before I went to GenCon to try to sell my game. I was pretty much a non-gamer outsider not just to the "indie rpg" community, but the rpg community as a whole. It definitely worked for me.
The gist of these past few blog posts seemed to be asking how do market your horror game to horror fans. One way, as I see it, is to show your love of horror and build a relationship with other horror fans outside of the microcosm of a horror convention. There seemed to be a broader question, too: How do you sell rpgs to non-gamers? Not pursuing the potential relationship you can have with non-gamers around things you both enjoy seems both counterintuitive and self-segregating.