We've collected some neat stories in the last year as we worked to bring Norsaga to Kickstarter. This is one of them, and time permitting I'd like to cover some others, so it's optimistically named #1.
As soon as we decided to take Norsaga to Gen Con 2014, my brother and I knew Kickstarter was a possibility. Everything I read in my research, and all the advice we got at Gen Con, was that you need to make people excited about your project before it ever becomes tangible. That's not an easy thing to do. Getting people to lay hands on our prototype at the convention was great, but there were 6 months between then and our Kickstarter launch during which we had to look for ways to spread awareness of the game.
I live in a relatively out-of-the-way area of Maryland but we're still fortunate to have a few local game stores. So my roommate and I packed up a prototype back in November and swung by their weekly game night. The 4 regulars seemed a little leery of us crashing in and delaying their plans to play Munchkin Loot Letter, but they let us demo Norsaga for them. It was a quick intro game (no advanced cards), and by the end they were enjoying themselves. We headed out and hoped maybe they'd remember us.
Fast forward 4 months. The day before launching the Kickstarter, I was scouring Google for any mention of our game and a new set of keywords pointed me toward a podcast I'd never heard of. Norsaga was one of the tags for that episode, but nary another mention on the page. So I hit play.
Sure enough, about a minute in and the host starts talking about random dudes showing up and forcing him and his group to play Norsaga. I listened to it twice, trying to figure out which of our prototypes might have slipped into the wild and been demoed to him, before I realized it was myself and my roommate he was talking about. There was no mention that the podcast was based in Maryland, or mention of the store's name, or anything else, but it was definitely that incident.
I wouldn't have tried to guess the odds that one of the 4 people who demoed in November would have their own gaming podcast and that we'd make that much of an impression, but it was really cool. I dropped by their game night again tonight to demo it to the same gentleman and share this story with him.