Friday, April 28, 2006

Putting the IN in CLINCH

In just a few minutes I'll be talking by phone with the first of several our european partners regarding CLINCH, the CLout INternational CHallenge. As this is the first of these conversations, I really don't know what to expect. It is exciting though.

I have recieved a couple of e-mails in the last week from players outside North America. Just like most 'domestic' fans, they love the game and want to support it. Technically, Hidden City Games doesn't provide support outside of North America. While that's logistically convenient, it's not a good policy from a success/failure standpoint. The solution is a strong relationship with our partners' Organized Play managers, one where we can help each other help Clout fans.

CLINCH is a central tool to make that all happen.

That's the goal. Wish me luck!


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I Love Tournaments!

Throw them crazy chips, baby!

It is my quest to make tournaments something more than they currently are. In marketer-speak, a better "Experience". I've been working on this for nearly a year now and I'm not really any closer than I was when I started. Are game tournaments as good as they can be? Are they as fun as they can be? Clearly not. There's waiting, there's organizational goofs, there's venue issues, and, let's be honest, there are sometimes jerks you have to play against. Heck, some conventions don't even let you have snacks and drinks in the tournament area! Who's great idea is that?

Can all these issues be solved? Yes. Tournaments can be better. I'd like Clout tournaments to push the envelope in fun. How? Still working on it.

What I do like to see is people having fun with tournaments right now. Nothing says fun like smiling faces (or that twisted up face when you're really thinking!) Thanks to Doug Montey for these great pictures from Matt's Passtimes in Kearney, NE.

Those white chips are 'terrain' chips that Doug developed. You'd need to ask him (on the forums) for details, but in general they're thrown at the beginning of the game apply to everyone equally.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Convention Season Is Here

Just in case I haven't already covered this, Hidden City Games is hitting the road! Our current con list is as follows (from memory):

Wizard World - Philly
San Diego Comicon
Wizard World - Chicago*
GenCon Indy

(* No Adam at these. Sorry!)

While we're always looking for volunteers, really I just hope to meet some people.

GenCon Indy will be the Redbeard's Revenge launch. I'm really looking forward to this because I realized today that Defenders of Undersea launched and a hardly had a chance to leave my house during it. That's no good! I crave face to face feedback!


Sunday, April 16, 2006

E-Mail and Demos

I need to request people start contacting me via:

Forum PM's are great for forum related issues (trading, questions, ect.) but not so much for Venture Team or non-forum related customer service issues. My old comcast address is no longer being used for Clout business at all. Any messages sent to that address I'll forward to my HCG address.

The problem is I'm losing things. About once per week somebody tells me they requested playmats/demo kits/prize kits and I have no record of it. I need to streamline the system, and slimming down the number of contact points is something that has to be done, for my own sanity and to improve service.

Weekend report: Took Friday off and saw V for Vendetta with my wife, Jennifer. Loved it. It was exactly the sort of subversive stuff I really get into. Hugo Weaving's voice is amazing.

Saturday a ran demos at Norwescon (in Seatac, WA) for about 6 hours. The game room was waaaaaaaaay out of the way, and passer-by traffic was slim. Got at least two new people interested, but it's hard to say if they'll follow through by purchasing anything.

I'm trying to figure out what makes some conventions demo-effective and others not. I'd say my time spent at Norwescon wasn't quality time. I would have been better off at a store on a crowded day.

What makes a good demo is my current brain-boggler. Where should demos be held? Where are they least effective? What makes a good crowd for Clout? Call it my 'need to know'.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

New Squidoo

Click on Clout Merchants over there in the sidebar and be whisked away to the wonderland that is

This particular link takes you to a 'lens' or list of Clout-friendly merchants, including eBay, Ultra-Pro, and some poker supply sites recommended by Clout forum members. I created the lens, so if you think something should or shouldn't be there, I can change it in a snap. Squidoo's good that way. In case you didn't know, I'm a huge fan of squidoo, and encourage you create your own lenses there.


Monday, April 10, 2006

What's up?

I'm still filing off the sharp edges of the Venture Demo Team program. It's my number one priority right now, so expect me to be posting a lot about it.

The first demo kits have shipped. Anyone who was expecting a demo kit and hasn't seen it yet should request another one. Now that I'm shipping them USPS Priority, I can get them out the door faster, easier, cheaper, with quicker delivery. It's all good.

I ran out of playmats again, which means I need to order more from the warehouse. No big deal, though some of you will be getting your playmats this week and others will have to wait until next week. I don't know who is who yet, as I've delegated the playmat shipping duty. When I know, I'll let the affected party's know.

I believe I've got all the Venture reports and Info Gatherings marked down. As soon as VDT members confirm their info (which I should have requested at the outset), I'll post Venture Points here and on the forum. It's pretty modest right now. As soon as I have 20 members with points, I'll start the first Venture Auction, for a Mirage Projector.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

CLINCH Marvel Heroes (?)

How do you integrate a new, fully compatible game, into a tournament system designed around an existing game?

Make it modular.

I had a meeting with Paul and Peter today regarding how to handle Marvel organized play. I made it clear that there are a lot of players who don't like the idea of multiple genre Clout, at least not Marvel and Fantasy. Peter, in turn, made a great point about how allowing all versions of Clout into standard events will create larger turnouts and generally better events. I agree with that.

The plan (totally subject to change):

Set up a base CLINCH Kit. This kit will contain tournament rules, stack-list documents, plus prizes for the Clout Fantasy Base Set only. In addition, each kit will come with choice of:
Full Fantasy Module, which includes prizes supporting the latest Clout: Fantasy expansions
Marvel Heroes Module, which includes prizes supporting Marvel Heroes expansions.
'Deluxe' Module, which includes prizes for both (but costs a bit more*.)

In addition, there will be a Marvel Heroes Mini-Kit, with all Marvel prize support.

This is what we more or less decided upon. We've got lots of time to change our minds, but I think this will satisfy the most number of TO's/Players. I welcome comments!

*Costs for the kits haven't been decided upon, but it's likely they'll be at least $10. For the cost you'll be getting at least 8 playable promo chips, plus 8 CLINCH Prize Medallions. I'm hoping we can work out deals with our distributors so merchants who purchase X amount of product can get the kits as a no-cost promotional deal, at least one per month.