With 6d6 Shootouts now on RPGNow.com, our attention turns to getting the game played as widely as possible.
Building A Community
To be successful, 6d6 Shootouts has to develop its own community of players. What makes a game like Magic The Gathering successful is not the game itself but the social interaction it brings. Clubs where likeminded people can gather and make friends as well as competitions where players can earn bragging rights and gain ‘war stories’ for later retelling.
This community is difficult to build, even for large companies. For small, e.g. one person companies, getting one club up and running is doable but expanding beyond that is almost impossible. There are only so many hours in a day, only so many games that can be run.
Cultures, Diseases and Games
How then does a small company encourage and spread a culture of playing?
Diseases and games (and all cultural ideas) have a lot in common in how they are spread. A disease’s vectors is how it gets transmitted from one person to another – an exchange of body fluids, airborne bacteria or parasites? A disease’s vector impacts on it how quickly it spreads and what sort of people it will infect.
The question for 6d6 Shootouts is what is its vector? How is it going to spread? Unlike a diseases, we get to choose the how and why but first we need to know our goals.
Firstly, shops and other financially motivated people need a monetary reason to promote game play. This has to be more than the product’s profit margin. All products offer a profit margin and many will be better than the one on 6d6 Shootouts. Also promoting game play takes more time than simply stocking shelves so the seller needs extra motivation.
Secondly, socially motivated people need to be given incentives to drag in friends and remain active in the hobby. These people get their satisfaction from being a part of a group, from showing off their skills and from being ‘important’ or a name within a wider social scene. 6d6 Shootouts needs to gives these people a place where that can be important, gain bragging rights and to make friends.
Thirdly, it must be scalable. The vector must work well for private individuals running their own evening of Shootout games, to university games clubs meeting during term-time and to stores running games all the time.
So how does 6d6 achieve this? That will be in Part 2.