26 April 2006

Annie Can Convince You to Do Anything

So Annie Rush and I were talking about GenCon, and one thing led to another, and now we may be running our own booth. Mo's trying to decide if she wants to join us or not and I'm racking my brains trying to think of other people who might potentially be interested, because we'd need 3-5 to make it work. Here's a (somewhat edited version) how we came upon this plan...


ME: and Mo still has no clue where she's selling her games.
she was just planning to backpack it, but i told her what you said.
AR: does she have forge-nections?
ME: about the Con people not liking that,
not really.
i mean, i'm sure people would love to have her, but i don't know if she'd feel comfortable
or if she's willing to put in 4 hours a day at the booth.
we really, really need our own booth next year.
AR: all of a sudden i wonder if it's too late to get a "storygames" booth.
ME: Andy's heavily into the Forge stuff.
and most other candidates are too: Jason Morningstar, Ben Lehman, Emily Care, Matt Wilson, etc.
so it's just you, me, and Mo.
AR: aah.
ME: and a booth is $1000.
AR: ah, dunno
Well, I easily make back my part, but I don't know if you two could
and there's the matter of manning it.
ME: i just have no idea what kind of product i'm going to move...
AR: If we want to go low key, cash only, everyone sell their own books, it'd be easy
ME: i don't know, it's weird. i don't want to be a salesman.
i want to be a bookstore.
AR: me, too.
ME: someone walks in, picks up my book, looks at it, decides it's cool, and buys it.
and asks questions if they can't find something.
AR: That is unusual at GC.
ME: a crafts booth.
a hot dog stand.
not a used car dealership.
AR: GenCon is a carnival.
or the circus.
ME: i feel like GenCon totally isn't my scene at all.
but it's something i should check out at least once.
and it's important for making and renewing connections.
AR: I've always been as an employee.
ME: i think we should play games at our booth too, if we decide to get one.
AR: which I don't get to do.
Honestly, I'd like to have a place to sit and put my feet up, invite others to talk and stuff.
maybe have posters to do the major pull for us, and not need to bother calling over people who aren't attracted by our ambiance.
ME: i feel like we could have a badass ambiance.
being artists and graphic designers and such.
AR: I was thinking velvet drapes, comfy seats, and a fake fire place
ME: fake fire!
AR: nods
like one of those silk ones in a paper-mache brick-facade setup. ;)
ME: heh.
i think we should make it as non-gamer as possible.
AR: "the story lounge"
ME: but still be cool and neat and artsy.
we could read stories aloud!
AR: lol!
ME: Story Time!
AR: and play games!
ME: yes!
fun time!
AR: yeah!
ME: and if people want to buy our books, that's cool.
AR: "I can't explain my game in 30 seconds, so I don't want to try and miss the point that will sell you. I'd rather discuss what you want out of your play-time, and direct you where you want to go"
our table will be attractive by not being a table.
ME: yes!
no table!
and we'll be glad to recommend OTHER PEOPLE'S GAMES.
or talk to you about games or whatever.
"man, I LOVE Exalted!"
AR: I don't know anything about most games.
ME: heh.
it's okay.
you can recommend good books!
and draw people yummy pictures!
AR: yeah. ^_^
hot shit, I want to do this.
ME: and Reagan can sign autographs, being a famous Flight author.
ME: speaking of, we should bring copies of Flight 3 to sell.
AR: yeah, he'll be our special guest.
ME: ha!
AR: if we could get a total of five people on board, it would be perfect
ME: yes.
i just emailed Mo.
Thomas may have a game ready, but he may not.
I'm trying to convince Shreyas to make little booklets of his short games.
AR: we'd all be responsible for our own product, and have product be secondary to networking.
ME: yeah.
making friends and getting attention for ourselves.
passing out business cards.
AR: and our friends. ;)
ME: trading email addresses.
AR: yeap!
ME: we could run a coffee shop!
well, without the coffee.
i guess that was the original idea behind the Brewing Company.
a different kind of approach.
ME: Thomas doubts we can afford our own booth.
because we'd have to sell 100 copies total to break even, and that's not counting hotels and stuff.
AR: lol, no!
ME: but i don't mind paying some money to have a good time and sell games, especially if it's a better time than i would have otherwise had.
AR: yeah
100 games at 10 each
previous years, I've made a grand.
ME: well, you're Annie fucking Rush.
you're a rockstar.
AR: \m/
ME: i don't know, i think if i have copies of Push, KKKKK, and Seadog Tuxedo, that we can move a fair number.
but i'm not a cute girl.
so i may not sell as many as you.
AR: again, if we can booth for $225 each (approximate and considering we only get 2 badges with the booth), I'm really not worried.
ME: i've already bought a badge.
being dumb.
but i'm sure i can give it to someone.
AR: or upgrade it
ME: yeah.
okay, definitely something to consider.
AR: yeah. Some of this hinges on who else we can get on board, though.
ME: yes.
because we couldn't accept "maybes"
AR: yeah, and I wouldn't want to open it up to just anyone.
ME: since we'd probably need to book it soon.
AR: nods
AR: see, now I can't wait till GenCon again
ME: heh.
especially if we rock out at it.
we just gotta figure out how to do something that we'll be proud of and really enjoy doing.
AR: yeah. figure out what'll be worth it to us.
Just forwarded you an email from Mo.
She wants to know if she can sell masks at our booth.
we'll hang them as decoration
ME: that's what i said.
AR: and sell them
I want to start a little email list or something to get to know these people for the story lounge
ME: sounds good.
AR: GenCommune
ME: yes!
AR: rubs hands manaically
ME: of you, me, and Mo, you're the only GenCon vet.
AR: yeah, but you're the ringleader
ME: me?
AR: the hub of us all
ME: getting a booth was your idea.
AR: oh. okay.
I'll take credit. :>
ME: yes.
you're the rock star.
AR: so're you!
ME: we are "Annie Rush & Her Amazing Friends!"
AR: dawww
AR: The two things I didn't like were the inability to sit down, and the constant pushing out on the crowd
ME: yes.
but we don't want people just taking up space in our lounge.
so we need some way to filter the crowd.
AR: maybe some kind of schedule of events
AR: Or if you sit down, we'll try to engage you in conversation, and if that makes you uncomfortable, well, we were here first.
ME: right.
AR: anti-booth?
ME: right.
we need a sign that says "this is not a booth"
AR: "and these are the people who don't run it"
ME: yes.
AR: "unemployed designer hall of fame" wall
ME: heh.
AR: I'd like to have some information about our purpose that people can access without needing to be social.
ME: yes.
"we are rockstars"
AR: lol
ME: "who also write games"
AR: "and tell stories"
ME: we should have "masks" in the name.
ME: we could be "the mask shop" from MirrorMask!


Anonymous Thomas Robertson said...


You know I think you're brilliant, and Mo's brilliant, and Annie's brilliant. That's a great place to start.

However, I recommend you do the con straight first, maybe even at the Forge booth. Get a feel for the exhibit hall, and give yourself serious time to prepare (the four months between now and the con are way short, and you've got stuff aside from booth prep to do).

That's just me saying, "Hey, go to the con first, and then figure out how to make the con rock next year". You do that, and I'm all over jumping in with you then :)


9:53 AM  
Blogger DevP said...

Let's just watch and learn in '06, and afterwards consider '07.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Adam Dray said...

Fuck that. Go be a rock star. What's the worst that can happen? You waste some time, hang around with people you like, and lose some money.

This is a cool idea. Rock stars don't pussy foot around and wait till next year. =)

2:24 PM  
Blogger Paul Tevis said...

As someone with no stake in all of this, I have to agree with Thomas. GenCon's a crazy scene, and I'd recommended experiencing it once before figuring out how to work it.

3:09 PM  
Blogger xenopulse said...

Fuck it. Charge in, have a ball, make it an experience to remember.

Wish I could be there. Hopefully next year.

- Christian

10:38 PM  

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