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Author Topic: Still can't find people to play with in real life  (Read 3773 times)

Sailor Vulcan

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Still can't find people to play with in real life
« on: March 28, 2014, 11:35:16 PM »
I still can't find people to play Mage Wars with in real life. It's been extremely frustrating. I've successfully convinced very few people to demo it, and of those who did try it, they either liked it a lot but decided not to get into it, they got impatient with the length of the game after probably ten to twenty minutes or so, one of them didn't want to keep playing because of her conflict with her parents who were also participating in the demo, or in my sister's case, she liked it a lot, but lives too far away to play with me more than a couple times a year.

Most people won't even give the game a chance, and I've started to suspect for a long time now that only the geekiest of us ever want to learn a single new game after the moment we enter high school.

It was finally pointed out to me that these forums only have membership the size of a small town. In the next few years, what are the chances of Mage Wars becoming popular enough that the overall chances of actually finding people to play with in real life in a FLGS isn't ridiculously remote? How many other people are experiencing these same problems?

If what I've learned from my experiences in regards to demos and convincing people to try them are generally accurate and are not the result of freakish coincidence, AND if it's going to take more than a few years for Mage Wars to become sufficiently popular, then I need to find a hobby game that I can actually play in real life while I'm waiting. If that's the case, then I'll still play online and post on the forums, but it might not be as frequent once I find a good temporary substitute for mage wars. However, in order to make this decision, I need to know how how much Mage Wars popularity is likely to increase if at all within the near future.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for affordable strategy games that I can use as a decent outlet for my creativity and intellect, one which I can actually find people to play with in real life, that would be most appreciated.

Thank you!
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silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Still can't find people to play with in real life
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2014, 11:46:39 PM »
What city do you live in/near? I've had the exact opposite experience in Charlotte. Game is easy to demo and most everyone who's tried it has bought a copy and the expansions.

How do you generally go about demoing the game? Do you have previous experience demoing other ones?

How many gaming stores/organizations are in your area?

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aquestrion

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Re: Still can't find people to play with in real life
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2014, 02:58:07 AM »
Just keep trying, I had the same problems and I just bought more products so I could have players try before they buy, I also never encourage them to buy it because "I have everything you would need". Then if they truly love the game they will put their money into it.

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Still can't find people to play with in real life
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2014, 09:57:22 AM »

What city do you live in/near? I've had the exact opposite experience in Charlotte. Game is easy to demo and most everyone who's tried it has bought a copy and the expansions.

How do you generally go about demoing the game? Do you have previous experience demoing other ones?

How many gaming stores/organizations are in your area?

I don't want to disclose what city I live in online. I value my online privacy. However, I will say that it's a rather large city.

For the first few demos I followed the apprentice mode instruction manual for teaching the game. After that all the demos I did were done mostly from memory, only consulting the manual when I really needed to.

Maybe that's one of the problems–that I keep the instruction manual ready on my phone during demos? Maybe that makes people think I don't know the game well enough to teach it independently? However, that's just not true; the reason I still need the manual on hand is because I have ADHD and a communication-learning disability. If I lose my train of thought or people ask questions that I don't expect, I might sometimes need to quickly glance at the manual to get back on track. It happens a lot less now that I've done at least five or six demos (including the incomplete ones) and I'm more familiar with the social situation, expectations and procedure of demoing Mage Wars now. However, I still occasionally lose my train of thought, ramble my responses to questions I'm not expecting, and even miss nonverbal cues of confusion in the players. It hasn't happened much in my past couple demos though, but maybe once in a demo is enough to turn people away from the game by making them think it's too complicated?

Aside from Mage Wars, I don't have past experience demoing games, but I have worked as a volunteer presenter at an educational amusement park of sorts.

There are about five local game stores in my city, I think. I've only been to one of them because the bus routes to the others take an unreasonable amount of time. Then again, now that I think of it, the store I went to did have Mage Wars products in stock, so someone must have already demoed there before me. Hmmm...
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DrunkenSaint

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Re: Still can't find people to play with in real life
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2014, 12:09:55 PM »
I live in a small town and had a little trouble finding people to play with to start with. mf flgs options were prty sad. i used meet up and craigs list to find people most of whom had never heard of the game. but i showed it to around a dozen and about half of them went out and bought it! now i have at least a game a week often more like 3-4.

some of the people that responded i didn't even pull mage wars out for as it was clearly not a good fit, it does take some time to learn and some commitment to play well.

that said I got better at demos as i played too. i usually set up a few what if examples that show off some of the trickery and nuances. if possible i teach two people at once, and i just sit nearby and walk em both through it. that way im not clearly holding back, and two people get to split up the silly mistakes and questions, i think it makes em more comfortable for sure. depending on the players general game exp, i often re-make the spellbook with only 40 or so spell points for the first game too, gives them less options to get stuck on. and lastly My first few games against a new player are all about giving examples of plays and not about winning at all.

Hope this helps! the main thing is just keep trying! and have some other games for back ups just in caseyou meet a new gamer! that way you can ease them into the hobby!

silverclawgrizzly

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Re: Still can't find people to play with in real life
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2014, 11:33:02 PM »
I've run demos for a number of games over the years and these are a few tips I can offer:

It's not an issue that you keep the manual nearby, though I would suggest keeping an actual physical manual and not just one on your phone. That was new players can look through it as well easily.

Always do your best to lose a demo game. Drunken Saint is right on the money there. Nobody is going to buy some new game they just got their teeth kicked in playing.

When running a demo keep things at a steady but relaxed pace if that makes sense. Explain things in a casual and friendly manner but try to stay on topic. Enthusiasm for the game can and will be contagious so remain upbeat and positive.

NEVER ever get arrogant or smug during a demo. You might as well stay home if you can't remain approachable. We all must remember that we were all(and probably in many ways still are) newbs.

You mention bus routes so I'm going to guess that's your main source of transportation. That's obviously a big block for social activities in general but it's not impossible to get around. The main thing you want to do is if you're going to run a demo or set up a Mage Wars event at the one store you go to then advertise it like your life depended on it. Bring snacks, get on social media, and get the store involved in promoting the event as well. In order to get the store involved you'll need to get them to care one way or the other so I suggest becoming a regular and valuable customer otherwise they won't know you from anyone else, so get them invested.

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Zuberi

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Re: Still can't find people to play with in real life
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2014, 09:24:19 AM »
I agree with everything silverclawgrizzly said except for the part about playing to lose. I don't think that is a good philosophy for several reasons. First, I think it is actually a selling point of the game that the better player can expect to win. This is a game of skill and should be advertised as such. Besides that, I think you are doing your opponent a disservice if you make sub-optimal plays on purpose. It cheapens their win, and it prevents them from learning as much from you as they could have. We learn more from loses than from wins, naturally, by realizing our mistakes and where we are weak at. We also learn more from watching good players making good plays than from bad players making bad plays (or good players making bad plays as the case may be).

The best way to demo the game is with 2 noobs playing each other and you serving to referee and help both of them. That obviously can't always be the case however, so when you do play yourself against a new comer, you should still play to win but you should be very transparent in what you are doing and share information more freely. Tell them not only what you are doing but also why you are doing it. Such as "My creature is very low on life, so this enchant I am putting on them right now is probably something to protect them. It could be a block or even a reverse attack (and those do this...)."

I don't think most people expect to win a game they've never played before.

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Re: Still can't find people to play with in real life
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2014, 09:35:25 AM »
Here are a couple of ideas for you to consider.

Since you live in or near a large metro area try searching for existing boardgaming groups that meet weekly or monthly. These groups are often open to new members and you can meet other gamers who may enjoy 2-player games like Mage Wars. You can then schedule a time to teach the game with those who have an interest.

Agree with the suggestion above to bring hardcopy of the Teaching Manual. I would bring extra copies so you can leave one with players. Having a tangible handout for players can make a difference to some people as it helps them reflect back on their experience at a future date.

Many boardgamers use the online forums and meetup tools to locate each other and arrange a place to meet. Since your privacy preferences are to meet people face to face rather than online, it is much harder to find players outside of specific events or locations. Perhaps this limitation is reducing the chance to meet others since your search is focused on limited locations and times. For example, Boardgamegeek.com has forums for players seeking players by region and state. You can try posting there if you are comfortable to find others in your area facing the same situation as you.

Participate in boardgaming conventions - local or national.  They often have open gaming areas where you can search in person for other players even when Mage Wars is not on the tournament list.

Good luck.
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