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View Full Version : Let's Talk About: Hex In Brick and Mortar (again)



RobHaven
03-05-2014, 07:11 AM
First and foremost, I'd like to pay homage to one of the greatest lines I've ever read (or will read) from a game designer:

I ripped open my second pack. It had a Force of Nature, now this was a card I could get behind! I immediately popped a thousand boners and bought 5 more packs.

The pack opening blog shows what appears to be a physical pack on the front page, and Cory talks about finding a store that sold the cards. I'd like to re-open the discussion regarding Hex's presence in the physical world. I know we talked about this before, but it's something that interests me and I want something interesting to read on these forums today. Let's go! Throw out some ideas, and let's make it make sense for Crypto to do.
If I get time later, I'll pull old s**t from the previous thread(s). For now, I'll just make an unbiased list of current ideas popping up in this thread and put down the ones I remember from last time.

I've been hounding my local card store (Top Deck in Collingswood, NJ - shameless shout out!!) about checking the game out. I recently bought another Slacker Backer, and first chance I get I'm going in there to jam it down the owner's throat.

PROS FOR HEX:
- reinforces "mmo" feel with live community ([X]day Night Hex and live tournaments played on laptops and tablets)
- can charge a small fee over the $2.00 to protect everyone's interests
- tablet + buying a booster code in a store + opening a pack with friends = awesome
- increased exposure
- increased reach (buying in-game currency with cash (ie: platinum card) for the credit card impaired)
- extra revenue sources (physical merch like t-shirts, figures, plush things, art prints, etc)

PROS FOR STORES:
- little (if any) overhead
- draws foot traffic
- opportunity to create a footprint in the Hex community via events and sponsorship

OTHER RELATED IDEAS:
- physical pack of iconic cards as a collector's item
- stores can sponsor competitive teams
- store vs store competitions
- package Mercs with plat cards to create incentives for established players and new players alike to come out
- could have store guilds (w/CZE approval) to allow for easier tourneys (store tourneys would just be guild tourneys)
- stores would get a cut of sales from purchases made using their guild's code

Norious
03-05-2014, 07:48 AM
I have no idea what kind of costs are involved for physical cards for one. The other thing is that the digital aspect of some of the cards functions works great, but makes real physical cards clunky.
Kaga of HexTCG Pro has a piece (http://hextcgpro.com/the-digital-impact/)regarding the digital direction of HEX with some good examples.

RobHaven
03-05-2014, 07:52 AM
Sorry, I should clarify: There wouldn't be physical cards in the pack. The pack would contain a keycode (like Pokemon or an item from WoW tcg) on the back of a single card. The code is then redeemed for a pack online.

mudkip
03-05-2014, 08:34 AM
I think when Hex comes to tablets, there's going to be a big desire for meet ups.

On the topic of physical boosters, I'd love the chance to buy a promotional, real booster that has all the iconic Set 1 cards. Just for a collector's item, sort of thing.

DuroNL
03-05-2014, 08:38 AM
So we would be getting a QR coded card, and if we scan it it will give us this awesome Pack opening cinematic and show us our cards?
I sure like the idea of something like this, heck you can even just print the art on a or some cards in the pack... but it does give the entire Hex universe a physical dimension... something i quite like...

Though a friend told me today "Physical is overrated" :P so not sure how many people would actually be interested in buying this in stores for obvious a higher price than just digital!

Thinking back of Magic, i like collecting physical stuff of the TCG... though i'm sure i can life with a digital collection, unlimited storage and all ;)... its still a nice idea open for debate, interested to read how others think about the subject... good topic start :D

RobHaven
03-05-2014, 09:05 AM
So we would be getting a QR coded card, and if we scan it it will give us this awesome Pack opening cinematic and show us our cards?
Honestly, I didn't even put 2 and 2 together. You're absolutely right, though, and I love it.


Though a friend told me today "Physical is overrated" :P so not sure how many people would actually be interested in buying this in stores for obvious a higher price than just digital!
Last time this was talked about, someone brought up the very valid point of not everyone has a credit card to use online. Some people don't want to, some people can't.

ossuary
03-05-2014, 09:06 AM
At the very least, we should have platinum cards that we pay cash for, so kids without credit cards can go to Gamestop or Wal-Mart and get Hex money. Above and beyond that, I'd love to see more hooks to support Hex taking place at your FLGS. In person tournaments, city to city competitions, promo packs, special events, physical merchandise (toys, t-shirts, stuffies, fake cards, etc.). Buy ALL the things! :)

RobHaven
03-05-2014, 09:09 AM
I forgot about the "plat cards" thing. Adding now.

Lawlschool
03-05-2014, 09:28 AM
Sorry, I should clarify: There wouldn't be physical cards in the pack. The pack would contain a keycode (like Pokemon or an item from WoW tcg) on the back of a single card. The code is then redeemed for a pack online.

Why would we want this? The fun part of opening a pack is seeing what you get, but if you're just opening a pact to get a code to then go and enter it in the client to then see what you get, it sounds like a lot of unnecessary steps. Even with QR + Tablet you could still just buy the packs from the client and save yourself a few steps. Unless there's some added appeal in scanning a QR code, I'm still not sure I get the point.

Though I can kinda see the appeal of having it in a store as a way to reach people who might not otherwise have heard of the game, and the ability to use cash would be great for those without easy access to a credit card (though Plat Cards might work better than faux-boosters).

Something I think would be neat is if at events they gave away PvE "Promo-Packs" including maybe 3 or 5 physical cards that came with a redeemable code for each (or had a code that redeemed them all). This way you could preserve the excitement of "what did I get?" on opening the pack, and also have a way to encourage people to try out the game.

BossHoss
03-05-2014, 10:13 AM
I would love to see PvE mercenary "packs".

Ex. You buy a $25 plat card pack that contains 1 redeemable merc (like gencon). A $50 plat card pack would contain 3 redeemable mercs, etc.

I could see myself collecting the physical "mcdonalds hockey card sets" outside of the game also. It could be a small set of a dozen mercs per block or something. Something small but still physical to collect and providing a way for the non CC consumers to get more access.

DuroNL
03-05-2014, 10:43 AM
Honestly, I didn't even put 2 and 2 together. You're absolutely right, though, and I love it.


Last time this was talked about, someone brought up the very valid point of not everyone has a credit card to use online. Some people don't want to, some people can't.
Aha, Yes well that would be how i'd see it :D i'd love to QR-code atleast one awesome looking Art card and getting some items :P and yes i understand some people have no access to a credit card, would indeed be a good idea for those that have no means of paying online for digital items!



Something I think would be neat is if at events they gave away PvE "Promo-Packs" including maybe 3 or 5 physical cards that came with a redeemable code for each (or had a code that redeemed them all). This way you could preserve the excitement of "what did I get?" on opening the pack, and also have a way to encourage people to try out the game.

Agreed thinking it over again, and reading it, this does seem like a nice idea, atleast then you would have a physical reward along side some cool in game rewards... I'd love to see promo's like this, either on tournaments, events or in Stores...

Gwaer
03-05-2014, 12:16 PM
I've always been for something like this, and plat cards you can buy with cash, can be right next to the riot points, heck they could be the same thing. Plat card that is also a pack of cards, etc.

funktion
03-05-2014, 10:38 PM
I definitely like what you guys are getting at with the "gift card" type things coming with an added bonus.

On integrating the game into an FLGS... there are a lot of hiccups. At one point cory mentioned the idea of a pyramid scheme type thing (which everyone seemed to hate) but this might not be a terrible idea if you're trying to come up with ways for stores to want to promote Hex. There is potentially a bit of room for abuse here but it is just an initial draft of just a thought...

If people were able to tie their account to a store at which they play and the store got a kickback of everything spent in client by that account then maybe there might be incentive. Problem is that I don't ever see that kickback becoming enough where it makes financial sense for the store to hold events.

That's not the only way in which it is a hard sell. From your everyday person, why are you going to go to a store to play a digital game (I'm assuming we're talking about playing on tablets as that would make the most sense to me). If you're making the effort to go to a store to play don't you think that person would rather play a physical game?

This taking place is definitely something I would really like to see... but there are just so many hurdles that would need to be overcome before it could happen. Not to mention all the kinda oddball things which would happen infrequently but still be a problem (tablet runs out of batteries, the store loses it's wifi connection).

Leingod
03-06-2014, 01:55 AM
I don't know what retail markup is like for game cards, but if you did the same type of thing Aion does and include some bonus stuff (like a free pack or something) with purchase of a game card it could make people want to go to a store and buy them. I know NCSoft has had massive problems keeping up with Aion gamecard demand thanks to free enchantment stones + lineage code trading.

Otherwise ya, some percentage of digital pack sales coming from the ip/location of a card shop could be given back to that card shop. Would be especially nice for the card shop + lan cafe type places.

ossuary
03-06-2014, 05:24 AM
It's not going to be an ideal setup for EVERY gaming store, certainly, but there are going to be some for whom it's worth the time and effort to put together. In the right kind of city, with the right kind of audience / customers, an FLGS that holds Hex events could be of great benefit to both the store and CZE. With additional merchandise options available on-site, the store can make extra money that they might otherwise have gotten, and CZE gets advertising and floor space for pennies on the dollar for their normal tournament takes. And some gamers of the "I only play on X night when there are Y people with me" mentality will come out to the store once a week to pay and play tournaments that otherwise wouldn't spend a cent.

Every extra eyeball helps, plus CZE has plenty of other physical products that they and the store can push at the same time; those partnerships are beneficial to both sides, with a little give and take. At the absolute worst, it can go down as a marketing expense, and at best, it's lucrative for both parties.

RobHaven
03-06-2014, 07:30 AM
Funktion, I think the questions you're asking about player incentive are answered with: Community. It's all about personal, tangible (if you will) interaction. I don't want to just play in the tournament, I want to hang out with the people I'm playing against. I'd love to be able to go to a card store and PUG in person instead of PUGing with a few anons. (My buddy and I already have plans to do something similar, so I can attest there's interest for at least two players out there.) Plus it offers myriad communication/coordination opportunities that using only a chat client can't compete with.

The real question - the biggest roadblock I see - is about the financial incentive for Crypto to go for it. Would they really see enough income (in terms of money they would not see if they stay exclusively digital) to justify the investment?

funktion
03-06-2014, 09:02 PM
Crypto wouldn't be losing out on much money at all. If the store just got a % of the in-game sales CZE is still gaining customers that they wouldn't have otherwise.

I do think you might be overrating the physical draw you mention. I hope you aren't though, maybe I'm just being a pessimist though that people wanting to play physically are already going to be incentivized to play a physical card game rather than Hex when they go to a store that offers both.

One thing that is a plus on the store's end is that it is easier on payroll. They don't have to pay a judge (I realize many card shops don't but there is still a burden here regardless) to stick around for the tournament since all the rules are handled client side. Any operational issues that come up could be handled by regular staff.

The initial investment for 2-3 dozen tablets is definitely very significant though. This is when you have to start asking yourself, why would a retailer rather hold a live Hex event as opposed to an MTG one? With MTG or any other card game all that they have to do is buy a box of packs from the distributor and then resell them, they are immediately making profit (which is essentially what's happening with a draft event). Additionally they can cherry pick the cards which were just opened by the drafters so that they can flip them on the local or online singles market. With Hex on the other hand the don't get to recoup their initial costs (the cost of the booster box in the other cases) until they've done so many drafts that they cover the price of the tablets. They haven't even started making profit until then.

I'm playing devil's advocate to some extent but I also see it as just being a realist. I would really like to see how this could be feasible for anyone.

mudkip
03-06-2014, 09:10 PM
The initial investment for 2-3 dozen tablets is definitely very significant though.

I expect people to bring their own tablet, that's the only way I see it working.

The nerd is a germaphobic and possessive creature - or at least I am. The thought of using a tablet that some other slob has used kind of grosses me out. I'd rather use my own hardware, which I know has my greasy-finger marks and hidden porn, not someone elses.

RobHaven
03-07-2014, 06:06 AM
I expect people to bring their own tablet, that's the only way I see it working.
I agree with this. So much so, in fact, that I never even considered the possibility of a store buying their own tablets to use. This would have to be a BYO tablet/laptop kind of thing for sure.


I'd rather use my own hardware, which I know has my greasy-finger marks and hidden porn, not someone elses.
aaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahaha
so good
A+++

Freebird_Falcon
03-07-2014, 08:51 AM
Perhaps each physical store could create a store guild, and after whatever qualifier was needed by CZE, their guild would have an in-game storefront with packs purchaseable (or just a purchase code you enter like a coupon code) which would credit a % to the store.

In-store tournaments would be guild tournaments, which would help organize everyone into the same event without having to worry about other online players inadvertently filling spots.

Because store tournaments are guild tournaments, you could still have participants who choose to stay home rather than come in, since communicating tournament times would theoretically be easy to do in-game. (and the idea that you could be in a legit tournament with some players present and some not, seems kinda cool. It would allow local players to still participate in local events even while out of town on business or whatever) And if everyone has to bring their own tablet/laptop, the store is only sacrificing space. Start Hex nights out on one of the slower nights and it doesn't seem like there's much to lose!

RobHaven
03-07-2014, 09:06 AM
I'm trying to keep the OP updated. If I missed something, misrepresented something, or otherwise dropped the ball, please let me know. Some things are consolidated; if your idea is similar to (or fits into) another, I probably just rolled them together.

I also welcome suggestions on organization and/or categorization.