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How to Demo Your Game

One of my favorite things things that the Board Game Geek team does is broadcast live demos of recent or upcoming games at game fairs. So with Convention Season getting into full swing with Origins this week I wanted to provide a useful tool for all those fine folks who will be in front of the camera presenting their upcoming games.

Sometimes it seems like some people just don’t know how to demo their games. I recently witnessed a representative from a board game company telling someone about a recent release and it seemed like the guy had no clue how to talk about the game.

Using that as inspiration for this article, I present to you today the Demo Diamond! This handy guide walks you through your demo so that you can bring the relevant information to the viewer and so that you don’t waste time where you shouldn’t.

Demo Diamond

Demo Diamond

Demo Diamond Explanation

Introduction – 15-30 seconds

You should always introduce yourself or be introduced. The BoardGameGeek team always does this really well.

But this is also the time to introduce the game and tell us when it will be available.

Stats – 30 seconds

Briefly cover the player count, the playing time, the ages, and the weight of the game. This helps people know right away if this might be a game for them or their gaming group.

Also mention the type of game that it is. People want to know if it is a family game or a strategy game or a filler game or a war game or whatever.

Prime Time – 3 to 5 Minutes

This is where you can really make your game shine. We want to know all about the game. So tell us the theme, the objectives, how to play, how a turn or round works, show off the components (this can be a really big selling point!), and basically teach the game with just enough information to pique our interest.

We don’t want all the nitty gritty stuff. Hit the high points. Talk about the things that make it special. Make us want to learn more.

Since this is a demo, keep it brief. We don’t want rambling talk or jumping from one thing to the next. Focus on being coherent and flowing through the game. Try to have a stream of thought where you work through the details in a linear way:

Theme > Objective > How you win > How you play > How it ends

Stats Refresher – 15 seconds

Once you’ve worked through the gameplay it’s time to remind people about the stats again. So tell us the player count, the ages, and the play time.

Wrap-Up – 15 seconds

Time to be done. Remind us again what the game is and when it will be available. And it would be great to thank us for watching!

Horizontal Rule

I hope that this article can help you as you’re demoing your game! Let me know if you have other ways of doing it or if you think the Demo Diamond should be tweaked or modified.

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