Demonstrating the Game
Gears, Dice, and Cards
Taken by eloquence and wisdom, the Explorer decides to accept a seat at the table. Now comes the next stage in transforming that spark of interest into Force Lighting: Demonstrating the Game. Like the Hook from Part 1, the demo must balance conveyance and comprehension. There is an art to providing enough information that the Explorer does not feel lost, but not too much as to fluster. The most effective methods for individual Organizers will vary. However the following tools and techniques will help locate these best practices.
After the pitch “lands,” and Explorers express an interest, they should be invited to spectate the ongoing game or the Organizer should start a new one for exhibition. Win conditions, card types, and play areas for each side should be explained in more detail prior to the game. Care should still be taken not to overload the Explorer with information. The components should be discussed individually, leaving their interactions to be explained during the course of play. A set of extra cards of each type should be kept on hand with the demo decks to assist in conveying their differences. Organizers should inform their opponent that everything should be narrated once someone begins observing. The pre-game component explanation should be practiced with a friend until it is efficient and flows well. This discipline is conveyed as confidence and enthusiasm, both of which carry an Explorer long strides toward becoming a Destineer.
Be the Opponent for each Explorer’s First Game
Explorers are invited to try a game after the spectator game finishes or after fifteen minutes, whichever comes first. They should have a general idea of the game’s flow and be able to navigate a one with some help at either of these time points. The Explorer should be offered a choice of the demo decks and the Organizer then plays with the other. These should be Finn/Rey and Kylo/Troopers and designed to be roughly equal in power and highlight different elements of the game. They should both rely on dealing damage as the primary win condition. Decks focused on combo and control require a finer understanding of gameplay elements. These specific Characters are chosen because they are the characters in the Starters, allowing the new Destineer to bring directly related experience to their very first investment. The following is an example of a set teaching decks:
Starship Graveyard, Jakku
Frozen Wastes, Starkiller Base
Add the following card sets to spice things up, but only when an equal amount of both cards in an individual set are acquired:
Point them towards Victory
Simply draw stuff, put it into play, and homicide the way to victory. This first game is an instructional one, so it should be played with the Explorer’s hand open. They should be given enough mulligans until a decent set of cards appear and advice offered on available decisions with a very brief as to why for each one. Explanations should be kept simple so as not to overload the Explorer. Last step is to guide them to victory. This may seem ancillary or trite, however it actually helps. Invite to to play another game without any help right afterwards and almost everyone will take that offer. The more games played by Explorers, the greater chance they become Destineers.
“Dopamine acts to reinforce behaviors that make someone feel good and is strongly associated with the reward center of the brain. This can be applied to a demonstrated game (an initially neutral stimulus) by presenting an element of achievement (guiding the Explorer to victory in this first game) which begins conditioning said game into a positive stimulus and, therefore, something to be repeated. To reconsolidate: guide the Explorers to win in their first game, as it will increase the chances they will want to play again. You are not giving them the win, but helping their first steps in a long journey of victories.” -Daniel Fackelman
Schedules may yield Explorers with insufficient time to observe or participate in a game. Should this be the case, simply offer to explain the basics of the cards and win conditions. If even this is inconvenient, then invite that person to the next Destiny night and thank them for their time.
Explorers should be given a Card before they Leave
This does wonders for several reasons. Hey look, bullet points!
- Something physical taken home will remind Explorers every time they see it about that really cool game that dead sexy Organizer showed them.
- “What’s that, you say? Free stuff? Why yes, Mr. Dopamine, I concur that this is moving in a positive direction.”
- The second token of camaraderie from the Local Destiny community.
Each Explorer should be thanked for their time with a handshake and this freebie. The go-to cards are commons with either iconic names or art. The local community will very likely give the Organizer extras if politely requested. If the community happens to be swimming in alt-arts, then those would mean a just a touch more. A list of some good ones are as follows:
A Request for the Playgroup
The members of the local Destiny scene should be asked that the organization of events and demonstrations be respected. To put it blatantly, “Please do not help unless requested” should be conveyed. Unsolicited non-Organizer or non-venue staff participation in management, demonstration, and rulings is potentially disruptive and additional explanations may present the game as overwhelming. While enthusiasm for growing the community is wonderful, it should be kept out of the Organizer’s interactions with Explorers unless otherwise requested.
May The Force be with You
The elements contained in Step 2 are what cement Explorers as new Destineers. This plus Step 1 are all the practices needed to grow a few folks rolling Kylo into a thriving and diverse community. Please provide observations, success stories, and lessons learned from un-success stories in the comments below and on the forums. Now that a local community bustles with players, how does the Organizer maintain it? Those answers are flying down the trench in two weeks with the final lesson “Part 3: Event Organization.” Learn how to keep the Star Wars: Destiny scene a defining part of the local gaming culture. Thanks for reading, good luck, and have fun.