Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3. Anybody out there? Not yet. I get it. I haven't posted here in a while so any momentum I had going with SEO a few months ago has gone back to zero.

Good news is that after several mishaps and unforeseen delays, I'm finally printing the second prototype box for the new Millennium board game, so here it is in all it's glory, for whatever this is worth, just for kicks and giggles. I've decided to give this cover a bit of sepia-tone instead of full black and white. I think it works and most likely this will be the box cover that goes into production.

This time around I'm happy to say this current version of the game is playable on all levels from start to finish so I'll be play-testing the heck out of it and fine-tuning anything that needs tweaking. The new launch date is September 11, 2020 so I hope I can stick to that and meet that deadline this time around.

Blah, blah, blah. nobody cares. In fact, all the pretty packaging doesn't mean a thing unless the game is totally playable and engages gamers on a deep level. Superficial game concepts will never cut it so you need something meaningful beyond all the great artwork.

Sure, you need amazing artwork as click-bait, so to speak. But once gamers get a hold of your game and play it out in real life and in real time, you'll need a stronger hook to keep them engaged and interested until the game ends.

And in case you're wondering, the box cover must tell a story. Most games don't because they leave most of the game imagery to the player's imagination and that's a good thing but a better idea is to tell a story with your cover art so you can not only attract potential buyers but also engage them with a storyline at first glance.

Your marketing needs to be worked into
 your stories so you can
use stories to market your books

In this case, I've featured an Android, Andrea, holding a gun (central protagonist) front and center with her dog Apollo beside her, smack dab in the middle of traffic--a scene set in the 1930's. Yes there's a story in there somewhere and it's deep, wide, and long. How long? Well, that's the real hook. There's an entire novel (300 pages featured on the front of the box) about Andrea and this fascinating cast of characters.

I'm about half way done writing the novel, which in fact will also be released as 3 separate short stories that tie in all the game activity with scenes from where the apocalypse first struck in Austin, Texas.

Here's a behind the scenes preview: 

Around the middle of book 2 (Epic Apocalypse) Andrea and Maria are stuck with their stolen Tesla pickup, now running low on power in Jacksonville, Florida after fleeing from Austin weeks ago. So they're deep into their adventurous trip north to New York City along with everything that happened since, which is documented in book 1 (Edge of The Apocalypse).

I'm slowly but surely working my way into book 3 (Beyond The Apocalypse). This is where things take an unexpected turn (again) and the girls are blind-sided with another life-altering dilemma. You gotta love it folks! I'm having a blast putting this down and can't wait to finish it and present it to fans of apocalyptic stories. This is the core audience, by-the-way, but I'm weaving in a bunch of sub-plots that have mass appeal.

I know, I'm a long way from promoting this new series but it helps to be inspired along the way. Otherwise, what's the point in living at all? Your marketing needs to be worked into your stories so you can use stories to market your books. That's something to keep in mind as you write. In fact, movie trailers are designed around specific throw-away scenes so think about that while you're writing your next book because it works both ways.

Millennium is alive and well!

Okay, I didn't plan to write such a long, short post but you get the idea. Millennium is alive and well and coming to a store online soon enough so it's an exciting time all around. I really look forward to playing this game in person with several different players to see how they respond to it overall.

I have a feeling they're going to love it and get hooked. And that's the beginning recipe for going viral. Everything must click so that everyone engages and gets excited at the same time and for the same reasons. That's how things are shared and word-of-mouth turns into a flashpoint that fires up the masses and therefore boosts sales in the long-run. Those initial sales also help potential positive reviews, which in turn starts conversations and begins to convert curious shoppers. There's a lesson in here somewhere but I digress.

Check out the game and if you're a curious reviewer, let me know and I'll send you a free game box in exchange for an honest review on Youtube or your game blog.

Your comments or feedback are welcome!

See the Millennium Game on the Developer Website