Funny Things

Saturday, June 11, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Baby, I've Been Burned Before

For the last couple weeks, I have opened up the floor to you as readers and asked you to talk about the good and the bad at the varied FLGS’ around the blogsphere. I wanted to get a real grasp on what you value and what irks you off, so that I don’t miss the mark when talking about what’s important for a FLGS.

I noticed something pretty striking in the comments for both articles. I noticed that the negative comments, complaints and criticisms outnumbered the positive comments and praise by a margin of 2 to 1. Apparently, you guys have been burned.

That says something really important to me as a business owner. That tells me that while I may do a large number of things right, my customers don’t notice or remember those nearly as much as they remember the things I do wrong.

You guys know what you want, and you have very long memories. Each one of that shared about a horror story or problem area knew exactly what, where, when, how and who made that experience bad. You know why it was bad for you- and maybe even know why it happened the way it did. Most of you relayed that you have quit going to your local store over the incidents in question. In short, you guys are a walking firing squad, just one bad visit to the local dice slinger’s spot away from dropping me (the general me, a FLGS) as your source for goodies over the internet.

Knowing that my customer base actively remembers and relates bad experiences in a disproportionately higher rate than positive ones puts an onus on me to get it right the first time- and let me tell you, that’s a lot of pressure. Scary pressure.

I’m not complaining; I love what I do. However, the knowledge that I’m essentially constantly interviewing for my job as your hobby provider can get downright terrifying. In addition, each of you is different, and knowing how to give each of you at least a touch of what you like is a balancing act that can be hard to manage.

From families to old timers, to college kids to the young professional; the hardcore hobbyist to the dyed in the wool roleplayer, the Magic players and the board gamers- finding a place for everyone is a challenge. It’s one I willingly take on, and even enjoy. Finding a place for everyone is going to involve some balance, and some choices that the customer might not like.

I might decide that there just isn’t a place for X game or crowd. It might be temporary, or it might be permanent. I might hire someone that knows a little about a lot, instead of a lot about a little. I might get new snacks that you don’t like, or I might change the bathroom towels to save on costs. You never know what it is that a customer might find upsetting, and you have to keep trying to improve.

I’ll be talking about improvements nxt week- specifically; terrain, and what has worked and what hasn’t. Hope to see you then…

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Weekly Top X- Random Goodness

Hey guys & gals of the internet! It's Friday, and that means it's Top X Time. Usually Brent and Lauby ham it up, bring on some hilarity and showcase some awesome blog linkage for you.

Lauby is out of town and Brent is uh--- where IS Brent?


Dang. I like letting Brent look good when I do all the wo-- I mean, when we collaborate for Top X. Doesn't matter, the Net waits for no one, and I have a list of great stuff for ya to check out.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: Road to Nowhere

Well perhaps these posts are all going to get song titles for names now.... who knows?  Shit, possibly one day I'll even break out of the 80s so you kids have some idea what the hell I'm talking about.

Now listen up folks, today I'm going to be bringing you the newest installment covering the gaming table I'm building and this one's an original.  I may ramble a little bit about missteps I made along the way or speak to how I would improve the process in the future, but pay attention and you're going to learn how to make some fantastic, relatively cheap, and really fucking durable dirt roads.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

User Content Wednesday: No Pants Friday: Net Lizsts

Hey everybody!  It's dethtron here, filling in for Lauby while he's off dealing with a family emergency (everybody wish him well).  In honor of Lauby not being here to find somebody else' work to share with you, I've decided to do something that's never been done before and re-post an older article of his from Laubersheimer Industries.  "No Pants Friday: Net Lizsts" comes from a series that has sadly gone away, but such is life.  Anyway, this is a fun little article, not only because it is a nice, sensible article in which I am obliquely involved, but because if you look hard enough, you'll find another reference to breakfast food. 

Ahhhhh, the sweet smell of the same Franz Liszt joke Dethtron and I keep using that nobody seems to care about....

For those of you fleeing the latest Friday Night Internet Fight, here's some good news - the  refugee camp that is No Pants Friday has plenty of room for you.  So lets begin the orientation and begin your re-adjustment to real life so you can reclaim your place as a productive(ish) member of society.  I may have to let the Surgeon General know about this FNIF stuff and what it's doing to the populace, she* may need to get some warning label's ready.

The start of the process begins.... NOW!

I'm more than willing to help rehabilitate you, but nothing is free.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Freedom of Choice or the Lack Thereof...

As a player who enjoys the competitive side of the hobby, I've been somewhat disappointed with the changes to the Throne of Skulls format that we recently experienced in the UK (everybody else also got the same 'new' format as well I believe). Don't worry, this isn't an article from a year ago that I forgot to post...I have a currently relevant point ;-)

The general attitude in certain areas of Games Workshop seems to be that we should all enjoy the rich written background of the hobby combined with a load of pretty models as the primary focus of our 'fun' with the whole 'kick your opponents teeth down his throat' aspect being a distant last. This would be fine if this 'background' was consistent and the 'power level' of the respective codices was also of a similar level of consistency.

Unfortunately this is not the case...

Monday, June 6, 2011

New Member Monday -

Hello and howdy!  Honestly, I'm having a hard time keeping the intro topical WITHOUT being depressing.  Seems everything newsworthy is kinda shitty of late.  Well, everything except the Good News of the House of Paincakes.  Rejoice friends, its another:

New Member Monday

Scratchbuilt 40K
Keywords: 40k, scratch build, modeling... that actually pretty much covers it.  Huh.

Casual Bryssling of a Ruthless Mind
Keywords:  40k, Britishness, Scottishness, Casual Battle, Being Bad at Tennis, Blancmanges, Planet Skyron in the Galazy of Andromeda

The Dice Abide (the other one)
Keywords: Warmachine, D20 System, Vampire, Beer, Rants, Menswear, etc.): Games
Workshop, Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40k, Warmachine

Prometheus at War 
Keywords: 40K, tactics, modelling, Grey Knights, SM, and Tau, general battle-concepts.

Lorin Alpha
Keywords: Warhammer 40k, Fire Angels, Space Marines, Painting, Complaining, Campaigning.

And now, a winning essay.  Today's insight comes courtesy of Chris Seadon from Lorin Alpha:

"I am not writing 500 words.. not unless you pay me."

Good show, old bean!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] What Makes a FLGS terrible?

Last week, I asked questions about what you want out of a game store, and why those things were important. I got some very good answers and a lot of material to consider. As a store owner, listening to other people's opinion is a very important part of the job. It's knowing how to cull the wheat from the chaff that's a tougher aspect, and one I work at every day.
So now that I have some insight on what you feel is important for the success of a store, why noHide allt ask about the things that make a store fail?

So many of the things that "go wrong" seem obvious at the outset- but without talking about or asking for opinions on them, it is pretty tough to figure out what NOT to do.

So, let it rip- what things make a store suck?

I want to hear it all- from the truly essential pieces, to the tiny stuff that just drives you nuts. No matter what thing it is that a store does to make it fail, please feel free to share.

Overpricing? Snooty staff? Dirty floors? Kids who run amok? Bad (or non-existent) refund/return policy? No play space? Badly enforced rules (ie- not at all, irregularly, or with favoritism)?

These are just some of the offenses I want to hear about- and I'd love to hear WHY they upset you so much. I'll be glad to take a good look at the replies and see if there are any common themes, and what might be done about them.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!