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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The survey marches on

The survey I posted the other day has produced some interesting results, and I get more of them every day. And I want a hundred times what I've already gotten, so send yours in when you can.

Some have suggested new products, and in one case I have had the super-secret prototype laying on my desk for about a month. Some have suggested changes to some products, and some of these are actually practical. Some have suggested that we send demo copies of Federation Commander to stores. (We have those available if a store asks, but experience by many companies shows if you just send a retailer a demo game 80% of them will put a price tag on it and sell it, and won't use it as a demo. Heck, some of the retailers who ask for demo copies never intended to demo the games; they just wanted something they could sell for $20. There are retailers out there so desperate for cash that they constantly ask every publisher for demo copies and consider them a major profit center. Smart retailers use demos as demos to make even more money, but not every retailer is smart.) One survey suggested we list the web site on products (been doing that for years) and another suggested we combine the two web sites. (Can't do that. FC can't do what SFG does, and SFG can't do what FC does. SFG talks to veterans who know what they want and where to download it. FC talks to new customers who don't need to try to figure out hundreds of inventory items in their first year.)

We have had a few comments over the last year that the FedCom rulebooks should have color covers. The trick is, that would raise the retail price from $60 to $65. Is it worth it to you? I didn't think so. One suggested we emphasize Prime Directive more, and we will when we have a couple of new products (hopefully soon). One suggested that we emphasize on-line play and I don't know how to do more about that than we already do (banners, alerts, web site info, Captain's Log pages) but maybe we can think of a way. (or maybe you will suggest a way). Many have asked for Captain's Log (or Fed Commander) to be available by subscription, but we cannot figure out what benefit that would be to anyone (since we cannot give discounts or the stores will stop carrying out games). One guy suggested that Star Fleet Battle Force be reprinted with full color cards. It ALWAYS had full color cards. He just assumed that Star Fleet Battle Force was the old Star Fleet Missions card game in a new box (lots of people seemto assume this) and it's not even remotely the same game.

Some have suggested things we have been doing for years which we just never talked about. We do have a fire escape plan and a designated "meet and count heads" spot; we just never thought we needed to mention it. We do have a super-secret "what if Steve Cole dies" plan and a "what do we do when Steve Cole wants to retire in 20 years" plan, we just never had a reason to talk about it.

I am enjoying the survey results, both for the good new ideas and because it shows me we haven't done enough to explain what we're already doing.