Now that ETX is over and we've settled back in, let's give a run down of our next steps with another Q&A-style post:
Where do you plan to showcase Congress: The Board Game next?
We're looking at any and all conventions and things coming up in the near future. Until we have complete confirmation one way or the other we won't announce anything as certain. However, we are planning as far out as January of next year.
Is there anywhere I can play the game in the meantime?
Yes, in the near future. We have a Facebook group dedicated to testing our games, and shortly we will be posting times and places we can host events. That is the most reliable way to see when and where you can play Congress: The Board Game. Join and follow for news.
What about the ETX giveaway?
It's coming along. We have drawn names for prizes but will be sending official announcements shortly. For now we only sent an informative thank-you message to all who saw us at ETX.
Did you like ETX? What was your experience there?
We're very grateful to ETX for giving us the opportunity to introduce ourselves to the world! It was our first convention and we learned a lot while we were there. ETX is a newer convention and still has a growing fanbase, so we never felt crowded or overworked. The staff was friendly and informal.
Special thanks to all the people who talked with us and tried our game! We appreciate any and all feedback and love to see what people think of our work, especially when it comes to notes on balancing the game. Hopefully we can see most of you again at the next event! We wouldn't say no to the next ETX either.
What did you learn from your experience at ETX?
There are the general, big-picture things, such as what it's like to be on the other side of a table at a convention. But it was the little things which surprised us most. A few humorous examples include:
Tape. If you're going to hang a banner at your booth, don't use the cheap double-sided tape. It looked great during the convention, but after it was over we found the tape was impossible to remove from the banners. Also, don't try to tape a banner to a backdrop of your booth - get something to properly tie things to a pipe. Since the drape in the back wasn't affixed to anything we had to take care the banner didn't come unstuck, something which happened a couple times during our setup process.
Also, invest in a dolly. We parked just across the street, but carrying all our equipment in by hand was more difficult than it needed to be.
Invest in backup materials, too. The tablecloth we had purchased did not actually fit the table we were given. Luckily ETX had extras and they were nice enough to let us borrow them. Still, it was a bit embarrassing at first to think we could have avoided that by buying a set in different sizes. (Everyone would like to take the time to say this one was 100% Mike's fault.)
In short, be prepared! We read up on conventions, especially post-mortems from folks who did things like Comic Con or PAX, so we were sure to avoid the worst pitfalls, but even so there's just some things you never learn until you do it once.
What's in store for your game in the near future?
Our biggest goal right now is to get the word out. We have our aforementioned Facebook testing group, but we need to be more present in the world and get more eyes on our material. It's something we struggle with considering we all three have other jobs that make it difficult to invest large blocks of time anywhere. That's not an excuse - that's a challenge!
After that it's a matter of getting it from a prototype to a mass-produced game you can purchase yourself. Essentially, everything in the game is finished. We can rebalance things and make small changes, but the big picture is there and we have completed art! So either we find a publishing route or we raise money to take care of the manufacturing ourselves. No matter which path we take we do not expect this to be completed by, say, the end of the summer.
I'd like to keep up on you guys. How can I do that?
First, that's very kind of you, thanks!
You can bookmark this website, for starters. Or, you can check out our social media pages. There should be buttons at the bottom of this log, but you can check links here too: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Finally, you can go to our contact page and join our mailing list. While we will certainly allow you to do all of those things, if you just do one or two of them you should get enough news.
Before we go, we at Weather Gage Workshop would like to take some extra time to thank a few people who have been a great help in getting this game as far as it has gotten.
Rachel Alm - our artist. We're very happy with her work and think the game looks fantastic now!
Sean Gilleran - extra design/editing. He's been a great help to us from the very start and much of his writing can be seen in our design and rulebook.
Ben King - ETX help and more. Ben helped us run the booth last weekend so everything could run smoothly while we were missing some other people.
We're very thankful for these friends and more! See you next time,
The Weather Gage Team