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On 9/27/2016 at 4:00 AM, Beasts of Nurgle said:

Hey Scruby and Wells, Just coming to the end of the first podcast, loving the tone of it, highbrow in a good way! Would love to hear that Bret / Free Peoples discussion you guys had that you had to cut out!

Thanks, appreciate it! Some plans are in the works for additional eps like the Brets / Free Peoples. More soon!

Edited by scrubyandwells

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On 9/27/2016 at 9:58 PM, scrubyandwells said:

From @ObiJon02:

Big picture:

GW’s content and product are great — maybe the best in the world. Where they need to continue to funnel even more effort is into people.

So that’s my one wishlist item for this next year of AoS: focus on people.

“People" is a big umbrella, but here’s how I’d start to break that into smaller, manageable, and achievable chunks:

Build the cast of characters: More Community Highlights, Social Media Outreach; Promote your Catalysts from the Community

Every great story has a compelling cast of characters that you can follow, identify with, root for or rail against.  Look at how everything from Reality TV shows like Survivor and American Ninja Warrior to serial dramas like Game of Thrones are put together: the narrative is driven by characters, their interaction, their conflicts, their triumphs, their defeats.  

As you mentioned on the S&W show, this is such an incredibly unique community who have rallied around AoS.  Simply put, they are the biggest, relatively untapped resource that GW has at its disposal.  Look at the time and energy that so many members of the community put into this hobby: from the very well-known folks like Dan Heelan, Wayne Kemp, Russ Veal, Ben Curry, etc., who spend hours producing podcasts and organizing the independent tournament scene in the UK, to Eric 'StoneMonkGamer' of 'Mortal Realms' and Dave Witek of 'Garagehammer’ fame here in the US, to hobby heroes like Tyler Mengel and his Endless Desserts project, to folks of all degrees of notoriety on Twitter, Facebook, TGA, etc. GW needs to make even more of an effort to promote and feature these folks, and literally thousands of others: give them a voice, give them a face (…more on this in a second).

No question we’ve seen some great strides here both on the large-scale projects, by including Dan, Wayne, Russ, and Ben in on the General’s Handbook, and smaller scale with GW’s Facebook page pulling from artists’ work they admire on Twitter and FB, but this is really just the beginning. I mentioned giving people a voice and a face, and in some respects they need to do this quite literally! If you thumb through White Dwarf or Visions, many, many times you’ll see a byline or attribution to folks like Amy Snuggs or Ben Johnson for their amazingly-painted miniatures, but they’re never pictured alongside the amazing work they’ve produced and volunteered for GW to use in their magazines.  

This seems like such an obvious miss — if we’re really thinking about 10x’ing Warhammer, you need to get newcomers over the stigma of ‘playing with toy soldiers’.  Show the faces of the people who do ‘play with toy soldiers’ and how diverse a group it really is! White Dwarf and the newly rethought Warhammer TV are great avenues to do exactly this — make it a regular feature to interview and promote a range of hobby and tourney heroes from the community.

Huge kudos to GW for pushing more towards Warhammer TV, and building celebrity this way from their own team as well. Duncan! Need I say more? The Warhammer TV coverage at the Warlords was such an incredible win across the board: the community loved it, and to me, it really showed the potential of where this could go. Duncan’s painting videos are amazing, but Warhammer TV could evolve into so much more — Rob and Duncan’s player interviews really capture this idea of promoting members of the community directly. It needs to become more than a one-time thing.

What’s your origin story?: Recognize the history, GW Lore, and focus on the people who were there

Every great company has an origin story. Think of Steve Jobs and Woz founding Apple Computer in Steve’s garage (not far from me actually!). In looking through some of the investor docs on the GW site, the company has a lot to pull from — there’s such a rich history. They need to take the time to craft the narrative about where they came from, and how their origin shaped the values and direction that the company has taken, and looks to take in the future.

I’d love to know more about the ‘startup’ years of GW, and what the landscape of tabletop minis was at the beginning. How did they become the ‘giant’ they are today in the miniatures arena? What are the biggest struggles that the company has been through and how did they weather them? What were the biggest missteps, and how did they course correct? Creating this kind of lore and narrative about the company itself seems like another obvious thing to draw on.

Similarly, for me personally coming to the hobby in the early 90’s around the age of 10-12, I remember riding my bike to the local comic book store to pick up White Dwarf along with my brothers. The first thing I would do is flip through the pages looking for the ‘Eavy Metal section, and in particular search for Mike McVey’s work. He was such a huge influence at the time. I came across an amazing interview that Mike posted to his twitter account recently, recalling some of the early days of his career at GW. They should absolutely be claiming folks like Mike McVey, Jes Goodwin, etc., and reference their broader successes to trace how far reaching GW's influence has grown from such humble beginnings. No doubt they’re looking this way with recognizing the legacy of John Blanche in WD, with Blachitsu, but there are so many more folks who were and are still involved.

Related — @Bishmeister1 runs one of my favorite recurring features on Twitter: #warhammerflashbackfriday.  You may have seen these posts already, but he’s scanned old early 90’s White Dwarfs, like this:

Post script - It doesn’t need to stop with the old masters though, back to “Building the Cast of Characters”, I would love to see the current crop of ‘Eavy Metal, Army Painters, and Model Designers get a little more name recognition for their work.  Same goes for the Black Library authors. I think Kenny Lull on Combat Phase Podcast may do more for the BL authors even than GW! Get Duncan or Rob to interview Josh Reynolds, or show us behind the scenes of making the incredible-sounding Realmgate Wars audiodramas.

Broader outreach geographically: US Events a la Warlords, traveling WHW show

I think the steps taken to promote the Warlords event at WHW were amazing, and showed what an appetite there is for live streaming these events. I would love to see something similar done here in the US. Given that GW is running the AOS tournament at the Las Vegas Open in coordination with Frontline Gaming, maybe we could see a similar setup. But there’s so much more territory to cover in the US, it really feels like some sort of traveling event or series of events in different parts of the country would be a better fit.

Along those lines, what would a visiting, traveling show from Warhammer World look like in the US? How could GW send some of the incredible dioramas or commission new dioramas just for the show that would be more appropriate to pack and send off for a pop-up installation around the country? I’m thinking here of some of the success that Disney has had with similar shows of either Star Wars/Lucasfilm or Pixar artwork in major museums like the MOMA in New York or the DeYoung in San Francisco. Talk about outreach to a different crowd! I’d love to see GW try something like this.

And the US isn’t the only major market that could use more attention — the Australian scene is definitely budding as well, with the guys at Heralds of War podcast reporting in on the local growth that they’ve seen. China and Japan also seem to be particularly underserved or under-represented in the general presence/chatter on Facebook and Twitter with regards to GW, AoS, etc.

Next gen Warhammer outreach: 

I think David Griffin and you covered this beautifully on the first episode of S&W, but I wanted to make sure you included it on the list. School clubs or some other kind of young leagues/tournaments are critical to creating the next generation of the hobby. Even in my response to you, and thinking back about so many people I’ve heard interviews on podcasts, a large portion were exposed to the hobby initially around 10-15, and came back to it many years later. We need to reach and provide opportunities for the next generation of Warhammer gamers, hobbyists, and creatives.

Mainstreaming - San Diego comic con, celebrity gamers

Final point, again like you mentioned, comics have found a way to become mainstream, and this has happened in a generation. Look at the rise in popularity of events like San Diego Comic Con, which has now become a highlight not only for geek culture, but for massively mainstream tentpole film rollouts from the major studios. How can GW tap into this? Maybe it’s as simple as getting into Comic Con or relying on other mainstream figures — celebrity Warhammer players — again to take away the stigma of "this is a fringe thing" to this is something that XYZ actor/musician/writer/et al. does.

@scrubyandwells I gotta say if this were my task I would get as many of these quality Cosplay folks from all over to come have a presence at these larger geek culture/mainstream events as a start.

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Hi guys, after a lot of organizing and back and forth, the AoS wish list article is live at BoLS:

Thanks so much for helping make it happen.

If there's enough interest, the hope is to do a follow-up article with more ideas, since there were more great ideas shared here and elsewhere. 

Edited by scrubyandwells
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