Gaming store?

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Gaming store?

Postby tachus » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:03 pm

So I've been having this idea floating around in my mind for a bit now... Now I'm curious to see what all of you think too. When I retire from the Navy (keep in mind we are talking about a decade from now) I am thinking about opening up a game store. Location is still up in the air a bit since alot could change in a decade.

But what all would you like to see available in your dream game store? Any specific type of merchandise? A dedicated gaming area(TT or LAN)? Snack bar or full out diner style kitchen?
"Oderint Dum Metuant" - Emperor Caligula

"Experience is not what happens to a man; It is what a man does with what happens to him." - Aldous Huxley

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Re: Gaming store?

Postby Murdling » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:59 pm

Wifi. Couches. A kitchen. Maybe a game console or two set up to just casually use. Tabletop for the merchandise but the wifi and such would allow for more.
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Re: Gaming store?

Postby Rosemadder » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:38 am

import snacks from japan *LOL* the manga anime crowd would love a lifetime supply of wierd things they see in their books.

I know one gamer in OKC who carried around fish and tackle boxes with him-- the HUGE kind-- and it was alllll fulll of candy. He was not a tiny guy himself. He carried his own stash and a cooler for sugary cold drinks. Supplying the sugar/salt fix is not a bad idea.

Gaming tables, and painting locations. I love painting miniatures. rent a spot/supplies. ceramics places do this now as a national chain business.
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Re: Gaming store?

Postby Rosemadder » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:39 am

yeah. its not just gaming, its multi-media entertainment now.
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Re: Gaming store?

Postby Nightwolf » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:10 pm

It's gotta have Magic: the Gatheringgggg! Childhood fave, right there. I personally would be a fan of having tables set out for drafts, tournaments, etc. Strictly as a business suggestion, I'd recommend selling at least a few of the latest boosters/starting decks, even if the shop turns out to be more directed at a PC/vid console-based gaming audience because Magic players are lurking everywhere.

As for my dream game store, I'd say it would be one that regularly welcomes new players to old games--an environment that makes it easy for someone bored or curious of almost any age to pick up Magic, D&D, console games, or whatever strikes your fancy. Since I'm a personal fan of Magic, I'll use it as an example. For me, starting decks did exactly what they said on the tin. After getting my butt handed to me when I played against an experienced friend, building decks out of old junk cards became a thing. The local shop in town actually buys/sells boxes of 1k cards (all random old commons) for a couple of bucks, which I think is a great idea because experienced drafters always want to get rid of their 50+ copies of the same card anyway. The next step is typically drafting, which is a great way to sell tons of boosters at a time and a relatively inexpensive and fun way for casual players to compete on an even playing field. Finally, the option of tournaments is great because it keeps the most veteran players engaged and coming back, which is important for the environment of the shop.

When I was starting, I was lucky enough to have a friend gift me a box of his old unwanted common Magic cards and get me started on the game. Had it not been for the friend, it would have rocked if the shop owner had just asked me a few questions to gauge my ability, and make some suggestions to help me find stuff suitable for my level. Of course it doesn't have to be a trading card gaming shop, but the philosophy of connecting to players at all levels still largely applies in my book.

Last but not least: location, location, location! Loud and busy runs the risk of driving curious introverts away, but too rural of a spot makes it difficult for many players to use the shop as their central base for gaming. A good solution I've seen is having a nice open area for people to walk in and shop for gaming stuff, but stairs in the back that lead to a more private gaming room for tabletop, cards, etc.


EDIT:
Ooh. Snack bar! (A diner just seems hard to maintain, but any food is good!)
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Re: Gaming store?

Postby tachus » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:33 am

let me add some extra thoughts of mine to the mix to help then...

I picture the store mainly as a TT type store, focus on things like D&D, PF, M:tG and so on... Variety of Miniatures available, as well as tables for use, possibly even separate rooms for rent for large gaming groups that want more privacy...

Been toying with the idea of adding elements of a internet cafe type, with the wifi and all, or even set up gaming consoles or computers preloaded with specific games... But I also dont want that to be the main focus of the store either...

As for food, debating between snacks and a cooler with cans/bottles or something that could do simple stuff like fries, chicken strips and all... nothing overly fancy, though i know that opens a whole new area of laws for food service and all too...

a few other thoughts for merchandise that come to mind were things like comics and other collectable merchandise... alot of that would depend on how much size is actually available in the store though...
"Oderint Dum Metuant" - Emperor Caligula

"Experience is not what happens to a man; It is what a man does with what happens to him." - Aldous Huxley

PCs: Sambiir TaKorc-Wands, Vairc Delvaux, Kell Ironclaw, Zander Stormwave
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Re: Gaming store?

Postby sayari » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:16 pm

Hey Tachus, I worked at a gaming store for the previous 6 months. It was a totally epic experience, and I loved it, I learned a lot of the things that work, so if you want more details on any of the bellow issues, feel free to hit me up :)

Unless you can afford to do this exclusively because it's fun, I suggest you approach it with a solid business mentality. There's a shitton of work to be done, and while it's done for a loverly goal, you're gonna be working your butt off, along with your staff, so it's a good idea to have a plan.

Also, get good partners.
Wizards of the Coast for example, is a badass partner, but you need to work your way up with them. Our store managed to make it to "advanced store" in less than a year, which is an incredible achievement, and they largely did it with the dedicated staff, and super friendly attitude we welcomed players with. We did a lot of MtG events for beginners, and this helped out with getting our 100 player base. Also, after a while, people preferred our store over others, and that's how we got the 32 players attending one event thing :) Now that we're an advanced store, we get a darned lot of support from them for DnD events too, and we plan on growing the local rp community a lot with the onset of 5th edition :)

Welcome casual gamers - DiXiT and Activity IMO, should be encouraged, because they make casual gamers unwind, and having them in your store may encourage them to try out other games later :)

Location is super important, but the number one thing to look after is noise-management. On a busy night, it's INSANELY tiring to hang out in a loud room, not just for you, but also for your customers. If you can get a location that's more like a collection of smaller rooms, or that has some paravans for noise management, DO IT, it'll be a blessing.
Also consider a space where people can hang out outside during the summer. it's darned hot and tiring to be inside during the summer, but it can be quite enjoyable to play junglespeed around a round plastic table in a garden.

I can talk about this a lot lol :) But I think the important ideas are already out there. Like I said, feel free to buzz me with questions, if you have any :)
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Re: Gaming store?

Postby tachus » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:02 pm

Thanks for the tips sayari... and thanks to everyone else as well...

like i said this is an idea that i'm planning to have for after i retire from the navy, so i will (or at least should) be getting a decent enough retirement check still to live off of... and its more something for me to keep myself busy with as well...

i like all these ideas people are tossing out and it really helps me to figure out what would be the best plan of action for later on, so that i can at least look into getting a decent footing from the get go...
"Oderint Dum Metuant" - Emperor Caligula

"Experience is not what happens to a man; It is what a man does with what happens to him." - Aldous Huxley

PCs: Sambiir TaKorc-Wands, Vairc Delvaux, Kell Ironclaw, Zander Stormwave
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