Other than the birth of my first born child (I’m probably not having kids) or my best friend’s wedding (they aren’t really into the whole marriage thing), there are very few things that would make me fly 800 miles, drive for another 500 in the middle of the night, and remain awake and socially active for another 12 hours. I did that for Rap Godz: The Board Game. I’m probably crazy and that’s totally ok with me. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Our first convention.
In less than a year, we turned the idea of making a hip hop board game into a absolutely real thing that is just about ready for production. This past weekend we attended GaMExpo, our first convention as a company, with our latest game prototype of Rap Godz. This was really the test. For the first time we were showing our game to people outside of our social circles in New Orleans and Durham. We somewhat hesitantly scheduled 6 playtest sessions over the course of the weekend, without having any idea what the board game convention experience was like. It ended up being such a fantastic experience. We had no idea how friendly, helpful, and passionate everyone was going to be there. We left with so much energy and momentum to move us forward. It’s not possible to thank Vince Guzman, CEO of GaMExpo, enough for being such an amazing host…but we definitely tried!
Our first booth.
In the 10 hours between my flight landing and when we hit the road, all of our ideas for the Board Game Brothas booth had to be organized, assembled, and packed into a baby blue Mustang GT. Of course in those ten hours we threw some ideas in the trash, got some new ideas, and had to bring those ideas to life. I created a couple quick flyers on Canva, sorted through a ridiculous amount of concept artwork, and cut and pasted the most interesting art on poster-board that was freshly acquired at Office Depot (ugh!). While I was doing that, my talented brother and co-founder was busy spray painting our logo onto a fabric backdrop and illustrating a brand new box art concept that we could frame and have on the show floor. Somehow it all got done and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
Our first playtest (in the wild!).
It was approaching 7pm, which was the scheduled time for our first playtest on Friday night. We hadn’t seen much too action at the booth through most of the day on Friday. Just after 7pm we setup the game and the two of us sat down, completely prepared to play the game without anyone else. It would have been anti-climactic, but we were both too exhausted at that point to care. As we were starting up, our new friend, convention booth neighbor, and owner of the local game store, Childs’ Play (I see what you did there), Sarah Childs decided to join us. That first game was a great one. Sarah, a self proclaimed playtest addict, learned the game quickly and gave some fantastic feedback that will definitely make it’s way into the final product. What we were not expecting was that someone else would come by near the end of that game and want to join us for another! The second game turned out to be way more epic than the first, with every one of us within striking distance of winning (Final Scores: 91, 91, 94, 96). We left the hotel that night with so much energy and excitement after seeing how much fun the game could be and how well the latest prototype played.
Our first game but not our last.
We are ready to move this game forward. Next for us is to finalize the art and design and start talking to game production companies to figure out what the final version will take to create. There could be a Kickstarter in our future, but first we are taking Rap Godz to Philadelphia, PA for PAX Unplugged!!! This will another great opportunity to get some feedback outside of our hometowns. At least for me, I feel like I have a much better understanding of what it takes to make a board game and I’m already getting ideas about what Board Game Brothas will create next!