In the vast gulf of time since the last blog post, we’ve checked two board game events off our to-do list!
The first was Dragonmeet last November, a major London convention with a role-playing focus but which is nevertheless board game friendly. We were joined by an extra pair of hands in Jim from Laserlout Studios who brought his expert demoing skills to the table. He helped us to deploy a new shorter version of the game for demoing which allows people to get a taste of Circulari in 20 minutes or so without having to sit down for a full game. The new demo experience was well received and helped to get more people to give the game a go.
The event itself was busy as always and plenty of people came to look at our stand. We even had enough space to run 2 demos at once when the demand presented itself. Much like buses, when demoing sometimes you’re idle and sometimes everyone turns up as once.
Next up was FBG Con just last month in February, a new convention based in Stevenage run by review blogger The Friendly Boardgamer. It was a small event to test the waters, but it went well and they’re already planning larger premises for next year. We ran a few demos and in between them I play-tested the latest solo rules for Circulari. While I’m not normally a big solo player, this variant seems to have improved a lot over my earlier attempt and I was enjoying trying to beat my own high score.
We’ve learnt a lot as we’ve attended more events and run more demos. One of the things you get a lot of practice in doing is explaining the rules to people. It’s interesting because when you’re designing a game it can be hard to imagine what that will be like and sometimes I worried it would be too complicated to get across (apart from the times I worried it would be too simple to be fun). There are somethings you can only find out when you make contact with the real world and I’m pleased to say that actually people seem to pick up Circulari very easily and go on to have fun.
Another vital thing that we’ve learnt since our first convention is how hard it can be to read people’s hand written e-mail addresses. That’s why, starting with these events, we’ve replaced our mailing list sign up clipboard with an Android tablet!