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31 October 2010

An Update and an Idea

Just chiming in to let you all know that I am still alive. In short, work has me on a very hectic and changing schedule, not to mention other intermittent interruptions (checkups concerning my diabetes, doctor appointments to help further mitigate it, meetings of the local board and card gamers meetup) which gives me very little time to actually playtest Pause for the time being. I still need to tweak out how investigations will work without turning too rules-heavy and slow - one of my main gripes with the World of Darkness rule set. Other than that, it seems that the rules for being within a Pause are starting to coalesce rather well.

Other than figuring out Pause, I have also been bouncing around ideas to open up an original game store in the long term. Well, I don't know if you could call it original, but it'd be different than most of the fare in the greater Baton Rouge area. The basic idea would be one part game store, one part cafe. Sure, many a game store sell snacks and drinks to their patrons, and sometimes even let them bring in outside food and drink. But instead, what about a game store that cooks their food on-site and sells it to their patrons?

Granted, the menu would most likely be limited to items such as sandwiches and wraps - self-contained items to minimize the risk of spills and other such unseemly damage to gaming materials. But instead of porking out on chips and chocolate and soda all day long during a gaming session, I'm sure that many gamers would actually like to have a fulfilling, substantial meal to go along with their adventure. Not to mention that I really do think that better food leads to a better state of mind in the first place, which would also in turn lead to a better experience for patrons. It's something I learned ever since I changed my diet upon my diagnosis back in June.

As for the store itself, I would like to offer a variety of products to the patrons. While there will be the mainstays of any gaming store - items such as Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer 40K, and Magic: the Gathering - I would like to appeal to a broader base. Stock up on games of all sorts, be they party, strategy, or Euro, as well as family favorites. And of course there would tournaments and the like to be held at the store during the month.

One thing I have also been considering is the idea of a rewards system for the patrons. I would like to make a system that rewards on three bases:
  • Items purchased: 1 point for each item over X price. This includes food items. Sometimes people only come in for components for this game or that. Dice, miniatures, paint, stuff like that. No need to undervalue these patrons.
  • Amount spent: 2 points for every X dollars spent. Of course, the regular patrons would be rewarded more for their continued business.
  • Event participation: 1 point for each event. More possible depending on event. Things like tournaments and featured game nights are designed to both bring in new patrons and keep current ones involved.
The points would of course be redeemable for rewards, most likely store credits or perhaps special deals to people who have a certain amount of points. It would take a good deal of time to implement and keep such records secure, not to mention the walls of legal that would be required to actually run such a system without being sued the pants off of, but I would like to see such implemented with the store.

Speaking of legal, establishing the business in the first place is most likely the largest obstacle of them all. Sure, I could get a business loan as seed money, sure I can get people to help me get the place off of the ground, but establishing the business is probably going to be the most difficult of all. Tax codes, contracts, legal protection, business law - all of these things I'm going to have to become familiar with before actually going forward with the idea. Hence why this is a long-term goal for me.

In any case, I ought to stop this wall of text here.

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