Help me pitch sales?

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Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2010, 11:46:06 AM »
I'm finding myself looking all squinty-eyed at "ApW is like Firefly". I see it more as "The crew from Firefly could be totally be an Operator and his gang in ApW." Many games of ApW will be stationary, with a hardholder. Some will be moving, with a gang of some sort.

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2010, 12:04:38 PM »
Firefly + Band of Brothers + The Road Warrior + Debbie Does Dallas.
"I don't care what Wilson says." -- some slanderous bastard on the internet

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2010, 12:22:24 PM »
AW brings me thoughts of:

The Road Warrior + Mad Max + The Road by Cormac McCarthy + The Blood of Heroes

However, if we accent world psychic maelstrom a little bit more (and generally supernatural phenomena), I would point also movies by John Carpenter, like "The Thing", "Prince of Darkness" or "In the Mouth of Madness". They have certainly some impact on my AW sessions.

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2010, 04:35:09 AM »
Let me second replacing the Firefly reference with Deadwood. To me, it plays exactly like PA Deadwood.

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2010, 03:46:05 PM »
I'm not sure the 'hollywood high concept elevator pitch' of 'it's like X with Y!' is the best way to approach this as you're selling to a prospective audience, not a prospective producer.

So that said, look at it like any other product:

1) What's the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) on AW? What makes AW different (and better!) than other RPGs, and specifically other RPGs with a post apocalyptic setting? What can you do with AW that you can't do with any other game? As a player, how's the AW experience unique and only available via AW?

2) Define the target market. In terms of their preferences, what elements does AW share with stuff they already like? This could be media (books, movies, TV shows etc..) other apocalyptic themed RPGs, an interest in indie games, or games authored by Vince Baker, whatever. Just map the connections.

Answer those two questions and you should have the elements to highlight to promote sales/interest when someone asks you about the game.

For me, I see: The game has an 'R Rating'.  It's by Vince Baker, author of Kill Puppies For Satan, Dogs in the Vineyard, In A Wicked Age, and Poison'd...   The playbooks definitely qualify as unique packaging, and totally remind me of the little pamphlets certain religious groups distributed at one time, specifically the Chic Tracts.  Mechanically, it reminds me a bit of 'Go' - it's simple to learn how to play, but actually playing reveals a complexity and depth that keeps things interesting.  ("The further you 'go', the deeper it gets.)

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2010, 04:59:37 PM »
I would just say things like:

- It's about awful people in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a makeshift family that sometimes fuck each other and sometimes fuck each other over.

- It's about people who are hot, sharp, hard, cool, and weird.

- Hey, this is hands-down one of the best games ever made. You should check it out.

- Or, for a certain crowd, this game is important. Make note of it.

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2010, 09:22:20 PM »

- Hey, this is hands-down one of the best games ever made. You should check it out.

- Or, for a certain crowd, this game is important. Make note of it.

Hey Jonathan, probably do it in a different thread, but please expand!

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2010, 02:05:10 PM »
Hans, it's probably too early to really talk with any authority about the significance of AW, and I don't want to just sound like I'm inflating Vx's ego, but I would point at things like:

  • the explicit way that AW tells players when to engage the mechanics (the "When X happens" part of how moves are structured, which derives from the players making assessments about the shared fiction),
  • the explicit way that AW tells the MC when and how to assert narrative authority, though MC moves, and also attempts to explicitly transmit attitudes and approaches through describing basic principles ("barf forth apocalyptica," etc.),
  • the "object oriented" nature of how moves are designed, which makes them super robust for hacking,
  • the way the basic structure of most die-rolling moves (10+, 7-9, 6 or less) builds on Otherkind Dice,
  • the awesomeness of the various moves that don't require rolls, bits of structured freeform for the players (along with the MC's principles and MC moves, which are totally structured freeform; indeed, you could make a freeform version of AW pretty easily), and
  • overall, the way in which the explicitness of the various components of AW (player moves, MC moves, core principles, etc.) provide a language for talking about how to play and GM games, a pretty robust language that we can share.  For example, if I'm writing a AW hack and change some of the core principles, I can make it explicit how I want people to approach the game, instead of trying to imply it through paragraphs of GM advice.  I still need to explain my new principles in detail, of course, but the fact that I have to boil them down to pithy phrases means I have to be very explicit about them.

If I had to boil this down to a core principle, I would say that AW really embraces transparency in game design.  Which is really cool and important.

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2010, 02:17:47 PM »
Forgot one more aspect of transparency:

  • the way the MC is actively encouraged -- and more importantly, shown how -- to create custom moves; AW really embraces the GM's role in engaging with the mechanics as a designer as well as an interpreter.

That's pretty significant, I think.

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2010, 09:44:25 PM »
Mal is EXACTLY an operator. Book is a Hocus. Obviously, things have drifted with the setting. But those character types work well together, on the archetypal level.

Inara's a Skinner, Simon's an Angel, Jayne is a Gunlugger, Zoe's a Battlebabe/Gunlugger, Wash is a Driver, Kaylee is a Savvyhead, and River's a Brainer.

Mal's almost a Hardholder, only his hardhold is the Serenity.  Operator is probably a better fit, all around.

I should point out here that the first time I read the Skinner description I thought, "Oh, like Inara."  :)

*

Chris

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Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2010, 07:22:51 AM »
Yeah, but as Nathanial has pointed out elsewhere, the drift here is substantial. While it's clear that FF served as inspiration, it's actually hard to make certain FF characters in AW. Kaylee for instance. AW's heavy focus on psychic weirdness changes the thrust of a lot of the characters.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2010, 09:01:18 AM »
Doesn't at some point Kaylee say something about machines talking to her or something... That's weird.

Maybe I'm just remembering that wrong.

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2010, 09:17:45 AM »
No, you're right.  She frequently talks about Serenity as though it's a living thing that "tells her what's wrong."  She's not as weird as most AW savvyheads probably are but she's definitely got the move "things speak."

Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2010, 11:29:19 PM »
Just as a completely random datapoint, saying "its like Firefly" as your first introduction to me would result in me smiling pleasantly and walking away.

Vincent,

Can you tell me what you love about AW? What makes you burn when you think about what its like to play the game?

Now, can you say it in under a minute? In two tweet posts?

If what makes you hot is that its like Firefly, sure, say that and fuck me for walking away. If its something else, that's what you need to say.

*

Bret

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Re: Help me pitch sales?
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2010, 12:17:22 PM »
I don't get why you would reference Firefly at all when pitching this game. It's way more dark, more brutal, more apocalypsy and less sci-fi. I mean, I see what you're saying but no.

Just be like, "Its about being a biker and riding across the ash wastes with your gang or or its about being a psychic who taps into the ghost-nightmares of everyone who died during a nuclear firestorm or its about RULING BARTERTOWN."
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