Editor: I like getting free games with computer magazines. It'd be cool to get
something similar for RPGs, which is why I'm giving you carte blanc to rave
about your latest project.
Please summarize what GamePlay is. I know it's like a computer demo disk,
but for tabletop/pen-and-paper RPGs...
Demos have become required for the success of any software title in the
computer game industry. GamePlay parallels this model by getting hobby game
company product demos into the hands of thousands of consumers through
distributor and retailer partners. These free CDs are sent through
distribution as a standard SKU [Stock Keeping Unit, the unique ID that
all products are tracked by] for retailers to pre-order and have available
to their consumers.
GamePlay will contain a variety of free playable demo game materials;
quickstart rules, sample card games, tabletop games, mini-modules and much
more. GamePlay is not a magazine on disc, it is a hobby game demo CD where
consumers can grab fully playable game demos from hobby game companies ---
all for free!
Editor: RPGs are a low-technology form of entertainment, and evidence suggests
that net-based RPGers aren't the majority of the market. Can you
discuss the technological requirements with this-- is it useable by
The first GamePlay Demo CD only had a compatible interface for PC users.
Beginning with #2 (available March 2002), the CD will be HTML-based, thus
giving an equal experience to both PC and Mac users. Beyond this, the CD
has the capabilities to do whatever efforts the individual manufacturers
want to make.
Most companies submit PDF files, but Interactive Imagination,
for example, included an incredible Flash Demo on how to play Magi-Nation.
One board game company is creating a Quicktime movie to put on CD #2 to walk
consumers through a partial game and the rules.
Currently, many publishers
are baffled as to what to create on the CD because it is a new concept for
the marketplace, but since the first CD has come out, manufacturers are
asking questions about what they can do...and my response to them
is...whatever you can create!
Editor: Contrast this technological barrier with the people factor and getting
buy-in to the idea.
I don't think I fully understand the question, but I believe you are
asking about how the consumers play a role in the CD. I would hope that the
same thing that is commonplace in the computer game market occurs in the
hobby game market --- once one friend plays a demo of a computer game from a
demo disc, they both tell a friend about it and give the CD to them to try
it. Everyone loves free games!
In terms of getting buy-in, are you asking about advertisers buying into the
I would hope that manufacturers believe the delivery method
to be innovative and effective; something beyond a traditional print or
internet ad. Advertising is meant to draw a consumer in and no print ad can
accomplish this like getting a consumer to actually interact with a
Editor: Right now you are taking what companies send you, you mentioned PDFs are
most popular. What do you see as the the potentials of the medium?
Part of this goes back to what I mentioned above about the computer game
industry...No computer game company makes a game these days without a demo.
Demos are the lifeblood for the success or failure of a new product. Things
should be no different in the hobby game market. Hopefully, as each
manufacturer raises the bar in their way of advertising on the CD, the
innovations could constantly capture the minds of the consumer with the
In addition to this, since the CD is free, it essentially has the potential
to grow into something that reaches more consumers than any other
promotional vehicle in the marketplace. Because GamePlay is free, retailers
can consistently use it to promote the hobby and games risk-free to the
consumer. Very few people will turn away something for free, and if there
is a chance to draw in just one more game consumer, GamePlay will be the
best way to accomplish this.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Impressions Advertising & Marketing
(Copies of GamePlay may be requested at your local retailer, or you can
order a set from the above website for a nominal fee if you wish them sent direct.)