NZGDC - Gets a #KiwiRPG Visit
The New Zealand Game Developers Association has a yearly conference where they get together to listen to expert speakers and find like minded creatives in their field. In 2022, one of those expert speakers was me.
I had the opportunity to speak as part of a Roleplay Games panel put together by #KiwiRPG . Alongside notable RPG game designers like Morgan Davie of A|State and various other rules light systems fame, Mike Sands of Monster of the Week fame, and fantasy actresses like Harriet Prebble; there was little old me representing Podcasters and Professional Dungeon Masters all over New Zealand.
My topic of choice to speak to was "Building Community" and it's a favorite topic of mine. Not just because meeting people and befriending them is my favorite thing ever, especially if we make friends over a game of D&D 5e. No because also building a community is pretty important if you are making a product. After all no product can ever be sold unless you have someone to sell it to and what better way to build your customer base than to meet them, talk to them and listen. You not only end up with some amazing feedback on how you can do better, but you've built a base of people who will trust and buy the things that you have to sell in the future.
Of course, most people know that part already, so what I was there to speak about was HOW to build your community. The places to go, the spaces online, the events to run, which ones are meaningful engagements and what is a time waste and people can feel the disingenuous nature. Also ... I focused a little on the why of it. Just in case people hadn't figured out that part. You never know. My collegues talked about game theory, design practices, design education, live play best practices and why we decided to work together under the title of #KiwiRPG when many would consider us competitors and how they could learn from that too.
New Zealand is a small fish in a large ocean and when you're facing down monster companies to get your spot, it pays to have more friends helping you get there. Also again, that's a precious resource of feedback, playtesting, and potential friends. I've made some incredible friendships that have changed my life and the direction of the hobby I love into what it is now. I did that just by reaching out a hand of support to those doing the same things as I am.
I chatted to some of the game developers that had come along to listen afterwards. many of them said they hadn't really known what they might hear when they turned up but that they had found a few golden nuggets in what we said to take home and consider. Which is all we were trying to do. If you attended, I hope you reach out and let me know if there was something there for you too! Thanks for coming.