How are your New Year's resolutions going? We don't really do them here. After all, if we wanted to fail at something we'd just table Eldritch Horror again. You know...fun, but so very hard to succeed! Resolutions or not though, it was a beautifully busy week at the store. We've laid in more new games, added much needed restock, and more. Jump in and check it all out!
Greetings, and welcome to our weekly newsletter! For our new readers, I'm Eric, and Wendy and I are the 'mom and pop' who run Stone Valley Games. We use this newsletter to discuss both local and world-wide gaming news of interest that popped up last week. At the bottom of the newsletter we show you our restock, new items, and preorders added to the store last week. This newsletter is our way to give our customers, either local or remote, some inside information so everyone feels like part of it all! Anyway, enough of an intro, let's get to the news!
In a continuation of a story that we've been discussing over the last several weeks, we have launched more functionality and customer support for the webstore.
You can now see that the 'Preorders' link in the webstore header has become 'Preorders +' as we've added the myriad of crowdfunded projects we're backing in the new category of 'Crowdfunded'. I may have missed one or two items, but the majority are out there.
Bottom Line Up Front, this addition provides our customers a place to see all the crowdfunded projects we have backed without them having to spend any money up front. Previously we would publish the crowdfunded items as they release into the webstore, but it didn't give anyone an idea of what's coming. In this way all the risk is on us if the projects don't materialize.
You may not be familiar with crowdfunding, but two popular sites are Kickstarter and Gamefound. At a high level, crowdfunding is a way for a company to present their idea for a game and ask for people to support their project. If enough people support the project, it gets funded, and the company goes ahead and develops / finalize the game and ultimately sends the game to the backers. That's the top level, but there are a lot of nuances involved.
On the good side, there are often exclusives for folks who back the project that don't come out in the retail version, and sometimes a game will not be in USA distribution and crowdfunding is the only way to get a game.
It's not all good news though. First, there is a possibility to pay for a game and never actually receive it. This has happened to us several times already. Second is the timeline. A game funded on Kickstarter today could very well release in three years. Who knows what their situation will be like three years from now?! Those are also the two primary reasons we don't carry crowdfunded games as preorders.
With this additional functionality we can show the games we have already backed as retailers so folks can see what's coming down the pipe. There's no buy button, but a learn more button. The concept is to allow customers to check things out without the jeopardy of paying for something they never receive or having to wait forever for something they paid for. That's because none of these crowdfunded games will be available to buy until we have them set up properly in store. This just gives everyone a good runway.
In the Public Service Announcement category, I wanted to discuss Vagrantsong, and a surprise! You may have already preordered it without knowing what's going on, but there is an available promotion for the game!
Remember to keep your receipt when you pick up Vagrantsong from now thru February 28th, 2022. If you send Wyrd Games an image or copy of your receipt they will send you a free bonus scenario (with new Skills and Junk) to add to your campaign along with an exclusive Skelly Man Pin!
You can check it all out and also submit your receipt on their website.
In our search for ways to present all of our crowdfunded items, we came across various tools for other things we've been wanting to incorporate.
Right now, the leading contender for the next update after Preorders + is going to be better bundling. Currently we have to develop a unique item that's made up of other items. Some examples include our Terraforming Mars bundle and Pathfinder 2E adventure collections.
There is so much overhead involved! Not only do we need to make a unique product, but we have to manually account for the difference between the individual items and the collected item. So, if I don't have them in the same place physically in the store to keep count, I might lose track.
The tool we're looking at will be able to bundle...anything So, we would be able to bundle games with the insert, or card sleeves - even both, and in that bundle things can be made adjustable so the customer can add or remove things as they want.
Benefits here are significant. The overhead counting will be automated, we will be able to develop specific sales for the bundle and being able to add things together without having to make another product is a huge time saver.
So, don't be surprised to see us talk about it again once we're close to finishing out the crowdfunding project.
BOARD GAMES ARE BETTER FOR YOUR BRAIN!
I don't know about you, but my ears perk up when I hear board games being mentioned in the news. Especially since it doesn't happen very often. However, a recent news report explained that people who play games, specifically card and board games, are more likely to retain their mental sharpness later in life. It's also interesting to note that non-digital games scored far better on memory and thinking tests in subjects well into their 70's than digital games.
This is one of those examples in science where you 'just know' a thing based completely on assumption and how you feel about a subject, and then to see the science behind it is very rewarding! The study isn't a flash in the pan either. In doing their due diligence, subjects were initially tested from age 11 and then up to 79. That's how to build a proper population!
After hearing about it in the news I did some web research and found a more detailed explanation at the Science Daily website, so hit this link if you want to check it out in greater detail.
Armed with this knowledge, if you have friends try to put down your board game hobby, or if you want to drop some info in your next gaming session, you have one more board game data point to share. This is a classic case of "use it or lose it!"
THE WRAP UP
Okay, enough news for this week! Below are the Restocks, New Items, and Preorders added to the shop last week. You can click on the item to learn more, and many of the products have review and gameplay videos so you can see the game in action. If you're visiting our page and you'd like to keep up with our giveaways, sales, new products, and articles like this one just create an account here. Once created you will be subscribed to our newsletter and become enrolled in our loyalty system, instantly earning 50 Stones that you can use on your very first order. A Stone? One Stone is equivalent to One Cent. That doesn't sound like much, but you earn 2 Stones for every dollar spent and 5 for each product review, so though it may seem small, those savings add up fast! Redeem your Stones upon checkout, and they can save you up to 10% off your cart total. Loyalty Matters!