So yesterday was the final day of preparation where I finally declared myself done in preparing for the multi-day gaming event in Cardiff, DaffCon.
They say that being a good artist is knowing when to put your paintbrush down and walk away. Now I would never describe myself as a good artist, but that is it for me. My paintbrush has been put down and I am walking away, or should I say - packing away.
There's still a lot I would love to do, including applying more detail to my Red Claw and Exo-Suits, but I have to draw the line somewhere, and having models that are instead 'tabletop' (or depending on who you talk to, 'high-tabletop') is fine for now. I can always go back in the future and add more details, but for now, we're done.
It feels really strange saying that - done. I've been preparing for this, for months. Pretty much ever since DaffCon was announced.
Since day 1, DaffCon was a sort of 'soft launch' day for me. A series of days where with hope, a number that reaches double figures, will have a look at the game and try out the rules.
I remember a good number of years ago, the head developer of Cryptic games (responsible for such games as Champions Online and StarTrek Online) stated: "You're game is only as good as it's state at launch". This is a statement which has clung to me for years since. And it is very true. People judge your product based on first impressions, and most of the time that is made at launch.
If DaffCon is our great unveiling, and it is at this event where we will be ultimately judged, then it is at DaffCon we could either make it or break it.
If everyone who plays a demo, loves it, and tells two friends to do so, and then they tell two friends, who tell two friends, etc then before you know it you have a viral sensation which may flash in the pan, or may stick around.
If however everyone who plays it instead walks away feeling unenthused, then they tell two friends, who tell two friends, etc. Before you know it you have a massive black mark on your brand which is hard to come back from.
This is why everything has had to be top of the line. The book has to look great, it has to be visually appealing, it has to read well, it has to grab people. We need good looking business cards so that people are inclined to take them away, and remember that game they saw. We need to have terrain and models that draw people in, to ask "what's that game? The one using a mixture of Infinity, DeadZone, and TerrainClips?"
So far, I think we're pulling it off. But of course I would say that. The real test comes from those on the day. And it's terrifying.
But enough of that. Tomorrow's travelling day, where I'll be grabbing my stuff, train and tubing down to Victoria and then taking a coach to Wales. So time to say "see you later" to the family, and try to keep cool. Even if my tummy does feel like it wants to turn inside out and explode!
Until next time, stay safe and be excellent to each other!
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley