SMASH 2017 Wrap-Up and Thank You!

First of all, and most importantly… thank you!

We just got back from a full weekend, with our friends at Ex-Manus, at Smash 2017 at the Rosehill race-course, where we sold art, bookmarks, phone danglers, fandom junk and of course, we sold a bunch of our original games!

We did pleasantly well, we are happy with our turnout, but that’s just numbers, that’s going to happen any time we take our stuff to a suitably large presence of people (I hope). But what SMASH and its attendees brought us was a little slice of our own history as creators and makers.

See, the thing is, yesterday, I got talk with people who had bought our games.

And kept them.

And played them.

And came back to see the new games we made.

We got to talk to people who liked our games and used variant rules. We got to talk to people who hadn’t seen our catalogue for a year and didn’t know we’d made so many more games. We got to talk to people who liked this game but wanted it to be more that and so we showed them our newer, different games. We also got to launch Cafe Romantica at the event and it will be getting an online launch soon, too, and watch as people revelled in its indulgent Pretty Boys Doing Things Excellently joy.

Our first game, Middleware, is a game I love. I am proud of Middleware. I will always be proud of Middleware. But it has always been a point of guilt for me: Middleware is expensive, because we have to ship it to Australia to sell it. Simply put, if we don’t charge as much as we do for it, we don’t make any money on it at all, and it’s too big to be a print-and-play game, it needs too much shuffling. When the time came to launch a $30 game like it – Cafe Romantica – I was genuinely anxious, fearful that it would be too expensive and nobody would buy it and I’d get laughed at and someone would pour paint over me or something like that. I have anxieties, it’s a thing.

Except, Cafe Romantica sold really well, and people liked it. They saw what it was, they saw how it worked, they talked, they listened, and overwhelmingly, people went well I have to have that. We made a thing, and people wanted it, and they liked it, and they bought it, and it sounds so basic but it was really validating. It was really heartwarming. I got to see people take a thing that we had poured our work into – particularly Fox, who just absolutely did a blinder on Cafe Romantica, – and then walked away with it and it made them happy.

So again: Thank you.

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