PDA

View Full Version : Is the internet cafe the digital card store?



Mokog
09-18-2013, 10:04 PM
I was giving the physically located tournament strategy some thought. It is possible for a collectables store to pool together money and host a tournament on tablets for Hex. The cost is not insurmountable but I would argue it is steep. You can buy 7 inch tablets for ~$100 but you would need 4-8 of them to host consistently. (Alternative is relying on customers to bring in the hardware but that limits the number of participants)

8 tablets ~ $800 If the store earns 50% cut from the pool a constructed tournament could earn $40 (8x$10) meaning the tablets must last 20 tournaments before the hardware is all paid for. For drafts you have 8*$7 *50% = $28 per draft for the store. That is over 28 draft tournaments to pay for the hardware.

A manager is not super likely to put his/her bottom line at risk because of the current hardware costs but an internet café already has the hardware. They already cater to the PC crowd. Hex seems to provide those businesses the ability to diversify their revenue and I bet many will jump on the chance.

The thought makes me want to open a comic book-internet café with a lounge and coffee bar. I would call it Digital Dice and the logo would be neon coffee mug with two D6 floating in the cup.

May be one day.
~Mokog

MoikPEI
09-18-2013, 10:17 PM
Situationally, tablets may be pretty common, so expecting the participant to bring one may not be too big a stretch. A landlord in town is offering free iPad Minis with leases. He handles a sprawl of student apartments across from the university here. I can see anywhere with a post-secondary institution being rife with tablets.

Dralon
09-18-2013, 11:11 PM
The local card shop in my area has LAN nights a couple of Saturday's a month, where people do bring their own computers in to play non-card games. I think it would be an easy thing to start with some people bringing their own machines at first. If interest grows, then stores can look into setting up some of the infrastructure eventually.

Reraver
09-18-2013, 11:29 PM
if we are talking about 8 man tournaments, you could get by fine with just 4 tablets honestly, the prelims would happen in 2 sets, but besides that it would be smooth sailing.

Cazychel
09-19-2013, 12:20 AM
Being the manager of a TCG store myself, I was very curious about Corys idea of bringing HEX into physical locations like card stores, conventions and the like and offering a revenue split. At the moment it does not really seem profitable, because hardly any store has the capacity to invest in tablets and/or PCs unless you can have multiple purposes or really high demand.
Additionally to the initial cost of purchasing tablets, you have to provide fast internet connections for at least 8 players (I'm no tech buff, I don't know how well WLan can handle multiple connections - I think it shouldn't be too big a problem. Question is, if that's true for 20 and more players, as well.)

The idea of a combined internet cafe/digital playground sounds really tough nowerdays, but the future might bring us to exactly such stores. Who knows.

I will at least look into it, when the time comes.

Xtopher
09-19-2013, 12:22 AM
He's talking about drafting. You'd need 8 tabs for that.

Cory_Jones
09-19-2013, 12:33 AM
The idea is really that the game store provides the wifi and the gamers bring the tablets

The store is the host and gives each player a code they can punch in that puts them in a draft together then the store gets some credit

This a pretty out there idea but I really like it, not a priority but something for down the line

Shadowelf
09-19-2013, 12:50 AM
My local game's store has at least 20 pcs and hosts all sort of tournaments and lan parties. As for tablets, i think that it is a bit too early for a game's store to invest on them, because unlike pcs, tablets are not so widely accessed/accepted and their technology can't match pcs atm. Also it is a product in constant and rapid development, just like pcs were the previous decade, and stocking them now, may not be the best business move, since their technology drastically changes on a yearly basis. But just like Cory said, i see it happening one day in the near future

cory and vendors/hobby retailers

http://www.twitch.tv/knightsoftheroundshow/b/430004874 check 0:52:00
http://www.thehexvault.com/blog/2013/08/31/dragoncon-2013-hextcg-pvp-design-panel/ check 0:48:00

keldrin
09-19-2013, 01:29 AM
Another thing, the cheapest tablets are the 7" tablets. The ability to read the text would get hinder I would imagine by having a smaller screen. This might not be a issue for people who regularly play Hex, and are familiar with many of the cards and their effects. But might not be the best interface for someones first play of the hex TCG.
Exposing potential new customers to Hex is likely the biggest benefit to Cryptozoic in supporting physical location tournaments.
I suppose, also taking the social aspect of the game into face to face would be a benefit to players who may miss the across the table play they used to get from traditional trading card games.

keldrin
09-19-2013, 01:34 AM
My local game's store has at least 20 pcs and hosts all sort of tournaments and lan parties. As for tablets, i think that it is a bit too early for a game's store to invest on them, because unlike pcs, tablets are not so widely accessed/accepted and their technology can't match pcs atm. Also it is a product in constant and rapid development, just like pcs were the previous decade, and stocking them now, may not be the best business move, since their technology drastically changes on a yearly basis. But just like Cory said, i see it happening one day in the near future

cory and vendors/hobby retailers

http://www.twitch.tv/knightsoftheroundshow/b/430004874 check 0:52:00
http://www.thehexvault.com/blog/2013/08/31/dragoncon-2013-hextcg-pvp-design-panel/ check 0:48:00

Well, in response to your comment. Portable computer media is rapidly becoming more common. We are quickly moving towards most people having some kind of tablet or laptop in addition to a smart phone, because staying connected has become a big part of peoples lives.
Add to that, that I would expect closer to 90% of the target market for Hex already has some kind of tablet or laptop. I know a lot of people specifically backed Hex because they could play it using a tablet or Ipad. (I'm old fashioned still, I have a laptop)
Anyways, point being, the people that this game appeals to will probably already have the portable hardware to play.

Shadowelf
09-19-2013, 02:12 AM
Well, in response to your comment. Portable computer media is rapidly becoming more common. We are quickly moving towards most people having some kind of tablet or laptop in addition to a smart phone, because staying connected has become a big part of peoples lives.
Add to that, that I would expect closer to 90% of the target market for Hex already has some kind of tablet or laptop. I know a lot of people specifically backed Hex because they could play it using a tablet or Ipad. (I'm old fashioned still, I have a laptop)
Anyways, point being, the people that this game appeals to will probably already have the portable hardware to play.

Yeap; i too intend to buy a tablet specifically for playing hex. I also believe that portables are the future. But from a business standpoint, and due to the fact that you to invest in something to make you money, that means that you don't want to be changing tablets for at least the next 3-4 years (also as a retailer you will invest on tablets to play other games as well, possibly with higher requirements than hex's). This might not be possible, given the fact as i said above, tablets are in constant and rapid development atm. So if i was a hobby retailer i would have waited at least a couple of years, till development somewhat stablilizes, before investing on tablets.

Mokog
09-19-2013, 04:00 AM
My local game's store has at least 20 pcs and hosts all sort of tournaments and lan parties. As for tablets, i think that it is a bit too early for a game's store to invest on them, because unlike pcs, tablets are not so widely accessed/accepted and their technology can't match pcs atm. Also it is a product in constant and rapid development, just like pcs were the previous decade, and stocking them now, may not be the best business move, since their technology drastically changes on a yearly basis. But just like Cory said, i see it happening one day in the near future

cory and vendors/hobby retailers

http://www.twitch.tv/knightsoftheroundshow/b/430004874 check 0:52:00
http://www.thehexvault.com/blog/2013/08/31/dragoncon-2013-hextcg-pvp-design-panel/ check 0:48:00

I want to see y'alls hobby retailers. In Texas out side of Houston and Austin hobby stores have a hard time pulling in PCs and very rough times supporting non-mtg competitive tcgs. (From my observations) Maybe we can compile the best examples of hobby retailers and post them here so when our local shops eventually ask we can have the info on hand. Digital support? Sure here is a list of successful shops making a killing doing this thing exactly. You might be surprised how a little envy gets things done in retail.

ossuary
09-19-2013, 04:20 AM
The way I see it, the players would bring their own tablets, and the store would provide the WiFi and codes like Cory said, but the store should also have 1-2 tablets on hand themselves to use as "loaners," in case they get walk-ins who are interested in participating (or someone just pulls a stupid and leaves their tablet at home). Those tablets could also be used to connect newly interested players up to the CZE store to purchase some supplies (and the local store would get a cut via their vendor code, as Cory himself has mentioned as something he'd like to do in the past).

jetah
09-19-2013, 05:33 AM
We had 1 net cafe but they've all closed down. I believe we have a few (less than 3) trading card shops around. Most people here have their own pc/laptop and internet so paying for such things at a store seems odd. With Starbucks and fast food companies having free wifi, any place could become a place to have matches or tournaments.

Putting the store aside, tournaments could be done via Skype, Twitch or any other video over IP. It isn't the same, I understand, but it is still doable. Haha, it would be awesome if HEX supported video, imagine doing something like facetime while playing a match!

I'm waiting on the ipad mini to have retina before I buy it. I thought about the full sized ipad but I already have 2 laptops. However, with HEX being supported on tablets, which size will be better? I'm also curious if we can move between the tablet/laptop and a PC/mac easily enough. ie in the middle of a game.

One problem about having loaner tablets is the ability to steal them.

Cory, thanks for posting. I see it was at 2am and I must say.. get some sleep (too late now however)!

mudkip
09-19-2013, 05:49 AM
Who doesnt have access to a tablet these days? I'm planning on playing the majority of Hex on my tablet.

I think the BYOD solution is very realistic.

ol4ever
09-19-2013, 05:59 AM
I think not only net cafe or lan houses should host tournaments
but also TCG/RPG physical stores could host it, and it would be great if we could buy digital cards in a physical store, like a gift code of 5 booster for $10

blakegrandon
09-19-2013, 06:00 AM
In Texas out side of Houston and Austin hobby stores have a hard time pulling in PCs and very rough times supporting non-mtg competitive tcgs.

There are a few in the Maryland/Virginia area that do well combining digital and physical merchandising.

I think part of how successful they are is based on population density and the amount of teenagers able to throw away money on LAN parties at a location. Rural areas are always going to have a LOT harder time supporting game stores just due to the lack of customer base.

I know there are also a few in California(can't remember the name of the small chain), and for a while I was envisioning a combination of a restaurant/game store/internet cafe where people could come and dine, rent board games, and during the slow times it could host tournaments.

The difficulty is that technology and food don't mix very well and the hardware degrades really really fast from what I've observed knowing internet cafe owners.

I grew up in a gaming store and while I'd love to see a gaming mecca of sorts combining physical with digital, they would have a very difficult time drawing large numbers due to the fact that you can get a gaming PC for cheap and with most of the games online it means that LAN play is kind of unnecessary...

I would much rather be in my controlled environment where I have my gaming desk, gaming mouses, multiple computers so I can multitask easier, better headphones, a better gaming chair, a stock of food to choose from, and the ability to watch tv at the same time.

Or I can go pay money to play on their hardware and for their food.

I will say I used to be against the idea of online D&D, until I actually tried it and it removed so many of the headaches of physically going to groups...


Who doesnt have access to a tablet these days? I'm planning on playing the majority of Hex on my tablet.

I think the BYOD solution is very realistic.


While I "could" get access to an Ipad or tablet while traveling for work or vacation, I have no practical use for a tablet in every day life.

When I'm at home I have a PC, when I'm at work I have a PC.

I find tablets rather impractical and less utilized than people claim, it has it's place in society but the majority of people really don't need or use the tablet as much as they claim. Plus I have the Note 2, which is like a mini tablet....

nicosharp
09-19-2013, 11:35 AM
Pretty safe to say this could easily happen at a Hobby Shop.

Few different scenarios could be played out in my mind:

#1 - Hobby shop pays a small fee to CZE to host an in-game draft tournament for their shop
Hobby shop provides packs and prize distribution in-game, and charges players $ outside of the game.

#2 - Hobby shop does not pay CZE any money, and hosts their own private in-game tournament (draft or other)
Hobby shop provides packs and prize distribution in-game, and charges players $ outside of the game.

#3 - Hobby shop does not pay CZE, Players pay CZE, enter Hobbyshop code. CZE provides packs/prizes, and EA cards, and kicks back profit to Hobby shop.

#4 - Hobby shop pays CZE a yearly retailer membership fee. Get exclusive EAs, Packs and other swag to host tournaments with and extended tournament hosting functionality. Can charge players what-ever they want for entry fees.

To me - #4 sounds the coolest, but requires some work on CZE's part. #1 seems the most realistic. #2 seems the easiest for the hobby shop, and #3 is the most integrated for CZE, but not the most ideal solution for the hobby shop.

The beauty of subsidizing the cost of packs and prizes for the hobby shop is that it gives them an easy way to profit while supporting the game. The ugly reality is that abuse of this system will be much more challenging to track.

*In all scenarios, I see the players bringing their own tablets - For security issues, I'd recommend against having multiple players logging into store-owned tablets. - Given this type of scenario is probably a few months, or a year off, it is safe to assume tablets will be more mainstream, and more affordable.

keldrin
09-19-2013, 11:59 AM
Wow. Security issues. Hadn't really thought much about that, but yeah, I guess I really wouldn't want to log into a computer that didn't belong to me, that I wasn't very familiar with it's security software and history, with my hex account.
I mean yeah, I have a nice investment monetarily in it already. However, I get a few hundred hours of game play, not to mention additional cash into the account, and losing it could be really rough.
Not so much worried about the hobby shops trying to rob me, as I would be some other customer having access to the store tablets, and adding something like a key logger.
This really kinda goes back to me wanting a physical dongle to get into my account. I would way pay for that kind of protection.

keldrin
09-19-2013, 12:07 PM
Deleted via Stok3d

This is the tradition of every physical card game out there. It would give a way to get the shops back in the loop to help promote hex and give greater exposure to the game. Add to that, going via the internet, you loose the whole look of horror in your opponents eyes when you pull off some devastating combo.
Last, and certainly not least. People in other countries are already complaining about how people living outside of the USA get no access to any cryptozoic convention exclusives. If they can get retail store support for tournaments going, this could mean broader access to exclusives across the world. You get cryptozoic certified tournament organizers, you might even see support added to international conventions, and even some of the smaller cons.
They may or may not offer any exclusives via the retailer outlets. But, maybe con support for something like this would see the addition of exclusives.

Niedar
09-19-2013, 12:36 PM
This isn't a physical card game and physical shops are not necessary for the health of the game. Hex doesn't need shops to promote it, and money shouldn't be spent on subsidizing their business. Spend the money on making Hex a better game or better yet provide more prize support.

nicosharp
09-19-2013, 12:50 PM
This isn't a physical card game and physical shops are not necessary for the health of the game. Hex doesn't need shops to promote it, and money shouldn't be spent on subsidizing their business. Spend the money on making Hex a better game or better yet provide more prize support.

You have a good point about spending money to make Hex a better game. But social interaction does make it a better game. To the point above, this game being digital doesn't mean anything in excess is spent when product is given away or subsidized. (Not saying that would happen anyway)

Companies want to promote local retailers in anyway they can. Yes, retailers are a middle-man; but they also are a champion for a companies product, even if 100% digital. Visibility is huge in a niche market. Especially in a market where the user segment is a smaller piece of the pie due to the lack of a physical product.

Niedar
09-19-2013, 12:56 PM
Retailers are almost completely worthless for a digital game like this, I just plain do not agree. There is no reason for CZE to do anything much in the way of supporting them. By far the majority of Hex players will never step foot in a retail shop to play Hex. The entire point of Hex is to get away from that.

nicosharp
09-19-2013, 01:07 PM
As a company, I could see CZE agreeing with you. Regardless, due to there being no physical card game, players will look to 3rd party markets (especially 'professional' players) to turn a profit. Even without any direct support from CZE, 3rd party markets, and retailers will be a piece of the puzzle as they fight to make a living off the changing landscape of tabletop gaming/TCGs.

You can either 100% ignore it, or support aspects of it in some form.

ossuary
09-19-2013, 03:51 PM
Actually, Cory Jones very adamantly DISAGREES with Niedar's sentiments, which is a good thing. He's made a number of statements (including in this thread!) talking about how he would like to support gaming / hobby stores, and how the roots of TCGs are important, and a good way to bring the community together.

Re: the security thing, it's a valid concern, but (for now at least) tablet OSes are not capable of running multiple programs simultaneously (any running program is put into a suspended state when it is not in the foreground), so there is no real monitoring software that could capture clicks and keypresses from another program.

Mokog
09-19-2013, 07:06 PM
Hobby shops have been very good for CZE and Hex changes part of their business model. Bringing the hobby store into Hex is generally good for the company and an additional outlet for players. What about when our guilds do a big meet and greet? Some of the early guilds have over 100 members all over the world. I can see a big local shop wanting to take advantage of that if they have the set up for it. Think about the venders that could be at Hex Con and the convention floor itself. We have not yet seen the rise if the digital vendor but they will rise.

I think the standard retail shops are at a disadvantage when compared to shops integrating digital gaming. What will a big hobby retailer like Star City Games do with Hex? Will the big box stores touch the game? Does Game Stop start to carry starter deck cards on their digital games rack next to the Microsoft bucks?

Part of my thinking is that hobby stores may have to begin to include electronic games or start facing the problems of book stores. I got a lot of questions but I know one thing.

I was promised a start date for alpha tomorrow and I better get it!

Niedar
09-19-2013, 07:46 PM
Book stores go out of business for a reason, it is because they are useless when you can just order your book on amazon or even better digitally order and download your ebook to your kindle. Just like a retail store is useless when talking about Hex.

Aradon
09-19-2013, 07:52 PM
If I could play Hex with people at my local store face-to-face, I would go to that store to play with them. I don't think I'm alone in this, since I could play MtG at any friend's house, but instead we all head to the LGS to play. The social interaction in person adds enough to the game that I would call it a non-trivial aspect.

So, I don't think that a LGS is useless when it comes to being a location at which Hex can be played.

Niedar
09-19-2013, 07:54 PM
You are a minority, just like people who like to go to bookstores are a minority and why bookstores are closing up shop.

Aradon
09-19-2013, 07:59 PM
So your argument then is that "Any feature that appeals to less than a majority of the userbase should not be funded/supported?"

jetah
09-19-2013, 09:17 PM
Seems majority of the thread is in favor of any hobby shop offering local HEX tournaments. I'd be happy to visit one to get some noob help. First time joining any TCG, so if I could visit a place where other HEX players could help, would help me.

Advertising has many avenues. One of those avenues is in a hobby shop. HEX supports the hobby shops and the hobby shops will support HEX. I'll agree that with digital TCG's entering the market why have hobby shops at all. Maybe some people won't buy cards over the internet, they'd prefer to enter a store and buy physical codes for packs. If CZE put preference to those shops vs big chain stores (or even online GTC shops) it'd help both.

As far as exclusives, I'd assume that sleeves could be the cheapest. Each country (or region like North America, Europe, Asia) could get exclusive sleeves for winning/participation in a local hobby shop tournament. It would be rather hard for CZE to make cards/sleeves for each shop (which would be awesome but hard) so I figured something more broad would be better fitting.


Way in the future! HEXCon!
We could have hobby shop sponsorship too. When local tournaments start to get bigger, each hobby shop could have x players that are sponsored to head to county/state tournaments. After weeding out the best of the best, we could have the sweetest 16 play at HEXCon. I could see the winning team getting a hobby shop exclusive designed sleeve as a reward along with w/e rewards.

Those against Hobby Shops
Well the game is already setup to be completely online. So you'll lose nothing by just staying home HEXing it up.

keldrin
09-19-2013, 10:08 PM
Book stores go out of business for a reason, it is because they are useless when you can just order your book on amazon or even better digitally order and download your ebook to your kindle. Just like a retail store is useless when talking about Hex.
The maybe conventions are useless as well. Maybe hex con is a huge mistake. Perhaps displaying hex at gencon was a waste of time.
I don't agree with any of that. The greater exposure that hex has, in multiple venues, the more people know about and the more people will play this game.
I would love to play hex in a physical location able to directly look at and interact with people I'm playing against. Doing this, helps cross the only advantages that the physical card games have. And that is real, in person, social and competitive game play.

keldrin
09-19-2013, 10:13 PM
. As far as exclusives, I'd assume that sleeves could be the cheapest. Each country (or region like North America, Europe, Asia) could get exclusive sleeves for winning/participation in a local hobby shop tournament. It would be rather hard for CZE to make cards/sleeves for each shop (which would be awesome but hard) so I figured something more broad would be better fitting.
Exclusives.. well in my mind, the exclusives would be across the board, for everyone, for that month. Essentially, this is the hex phyical game support exclusive. Now go to your local hex supporting game shop or convention and play for them!
This should make exclusives more doable. And make the world population happier about having a chance at the physical location exclusives.

Gaver
09-20-2013, 09:51 AM
I could easily see a LGS actually selling HEX products in the storefront. These could be in the form of codes (printed on cardboard to take up shelf space) which unlock starter decks or boosters, or even set up a tablet/phone that allows generation of the codes. Boosters sold this way will either have to be slightly cheaper or have a special "Game store" chest in them. This allows them to be used for drafting but still be special unlike primals. The LGS would of course get a cut of all sales this way (I mean its nearly 100% profit for cyptozioic anyway) and there may be some restriction on the packs (trade wise).

Broddr
09-20-2013, 10:01 AM
Another thing this post is missing is yes, the hardware must last X amount of time(which wouldn't be hard for the hardware) but also when people go to the store to draft/turny they will want junk food. and while their in there drafting and what not they see the latest set of X game (and buys a booster). So much stems off of it being able to be played in a store would mean more and more profit for the store. So the investment is smaller and smaller over time... just my opinion.

nicosharp
09-20-2013, 10:17 AM
deleted by Stok3d

The word 'exclusive' does not have to mean 'only for those people playing at a hobbyshop'

Here is an idea - and will most likely be CZE's approach (It has been spoken of in interviews) - Exclusives are set to a time schedule, or event, but are accessible anywhere in the game at that time. People can randomly open these exclusives in treasure chests populated during these time schedules, or can be awarded them as prizes from CZE or participating 'partners'.

Giving a retailer the option for a 'Monthly V.I.P. program' is no different than giving players an option for a 'Monthly V.I.P. program' CZE would just change the requirements for entry, and adjust the costs and payouts in turn.

ossuary
09-20-2013, 11:00 AM
Thank goodness nobody on the internet is ever negative or close-minded.

nicosharp
09-20-2013, 11:05 AM
Thank goodness nobody on the internet is ever negative or close-minded.
I guess the prequalifier was not needed

sukebe
09-21-2013, 12:37 AM
I really like the way nicosharp explained it and I hope that is the way they do it.

I know many people (myself included) who would be happy to stop by a game shop every now and then to play tournaments and pick up a promo or two while meeting fellow Hex players.

I find Niedars posts in this thread to be insulting, close-minded and rude and have added him/her to my ignore list (which I hate doing).

Thankfully most people in this thread are much more open minded and well spoken. It makes me glad that I agree with them :) I would not mind hearing some rationally written criticism to it though as it isnt good to hear only one side on anything (even if is the side I currently agree with).