The content of this post is completely colored by the fact I just spilled spagetti sauce down the front of my shirt...my NICE SHIRT! BAH!
After a year of running convention tournaments, you'd think I'd be better at it. I mean, I do fine, but it's rough when you realize you aren't doing it at the same level as the other companies around you. I'll wager Clout players had as much if not more fun than anyone else, but the attendance numbers don't lie. It was a small-ish show with small tournaments. Why?
First, Gen Con SoCal is a small-ish convention. It feels like it wants to be huge (I think because its format copies the huge Gen Con Indy, as it should) but it's not huge. Thursday, in particular, was dead dead dead. To be fair, Saturday had it going on.
Second, I have been long been confusing casual with minimalist. I have intentionally kept the complexity and logistics of running Clout convention events to a minimum. The computers and loudspeakers and podiums and over-the-top decor of the other companies are not only expensive, but, I felt, a distraction from the fun of the game. Those things are a good choice for *their* games, sure. Not what I wanted for Clout. This was sort of a mistake. Sort of. Clout needs DIFFERENT tools, decor, communication tools, etc. to succeed at conventions. What it needs exactly, I'm not sure of yet. If I could swing it, there'd be sofas and round coffee tables surrounding the tournament tables, and large magnetic boards keeping track of points and standings for all to see. And a ICEE machine. Ooh yeah, that'd be perfect. All Con tournaments should come with refreshments. It's stupid that they don't. Could you imagine filling out your Pizza order along with your stack registration so it'd be delivered between round 3 and 4? We'd just charge and extra couple of bucks for the tournament to pay for it. Yeah.
Lastly (and this is going to sound bitter, because I am a little.) all the publishers seemed to get creamed by Upper Deck's World of Warcraft TCG. I just want to say for the record: I DON'T GET IT. It's so been done. Fantasy TCG, big prizes, nice licence. Nothing out of the ordinary at all. I don't see the appeal. Don't get me wrong, the game's fine. Paul says they followed the WoW model for MMRPGs and built a TCG that didn't have anything wrong with it. Perfected the existing TCG model, as it were. That flies in the face of my "innovate or die" worldview, so I'm ticked that it's working so well for them. I *think* WoW TCG is a product with a short lifespan, because it has brought nothing new to the table. As soon as somebody does innovate in a way that registers with gamers, they'll move on. Even so, I'd kill to have buzz like they've got. If nobody does innovate soon, it follows they'll have a good long run with it. If so, good for them! (grumble grumble.)
Anyway, it's good to be back home. I'm catching up with e-mail as I often must do following conventions and holidays (particularly when they butt up against eachother!)
Until next time,