If elections were held for King and Queen of gaming and geek culture, I imagine Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day would be on the short list of nominees. In fact, it was seeing a headline that Felicia Day was going to be hosting IndieCade that got me wondering if perhaps I should enter my game. When I was actually at IndieCade and saw Felicia at the awards party, I was really hoping that she’d walk around during the Press/VIP time and play some of the games. It would have been a thrill for me to show her my game. But alas, I never saw her. No big deal, but it’s kind of become a secret unfulfilled goal that’s stuck in my head. Well, not really a goal, because there’s not much I can do about it, but an unfulfilled “cool thing that would be really neat if it happened”.
Every so often, I search for “Hidden in Plain Sight” on Google and Twitter to see if anyone is talking about it. The other day, I saw a post from someone named “Josie Kavadoy”, responding to someone else asking her what she was playing these days. She said “Hidden in Plain Sight”. Now I have no idea who Josie Kavadoy is, but I tweeted back asking what her favorite modes were, and if she had any feedback for me. She noted a technical issue with MS (nothing to do with the game), and then said that they mentioned the game in some video, and provided a link.
I figure maybe it was a little podcast or something, so I click the link. It’s the “The Guild Season Finale G+ Hangout”.
Holy shit. For those who don’t know, The Guild is Felicia Day’s web show thing (created and written and starring her) that has a pretty decent cult following. It’s an ensemble cast, and they do G+ Hangouts (live multiway video chats) where they shoot the shit about stuff. Anyways, they talk about what they’re playing, and one of the stars of the show, Sandeep Parikh, calls out over his shoulder “Josie, what are we playing these days?” and the woman behind him calls out “Hidden in Plain Sight and Dominion”. (Dominion is a tabletop card game, which is also a lot of fun).
So this random Josie turned out to be girlfriend(?) of a guy on the Guild.
In the Hangout, Sandeep then takes a minute or two to describe the game to the rest of the cast (including, of course, Felicia Day). I wondered if she’d recognize the title from IndieCade, but she didn’t. It’s a hard, awkward game to try to describe to other people, but they agreed it sounded neat, and the conversation moved on.
This morning, in response to Josie’s tweets, he said:
@jovsz @adamspragg we have @kpereira to thank for our new addiction to your game. 'tis genius
— Sandeep Parikh (@sandeepparikh) February 25, 2013
Pretty damn cool. But it’s also really made me think.
Why do I care if Ms. Day plays my game? In the end, I guess I don’t really know. She’s a big name, and I’m somewhat star-struck. If Twitter followers are any indication, I have about 250. Josie as 1000. Sandeep has 35K. She has 2 million.
The other dirty elephant in the room is that with that many followers, she has clout. A mere mention of the game on Twitter would lead to exposure and sales. And while that’s what every indie developer dreams of, it kind of sullies the waters for me. I don’t care that much about exposure and sales. I mean, I do, but I don’t. I care more about people liking the game and thinking it’s fun than anything else. And to that end, it doesn’t matter if it’s a big name like Felicia Day or Wil Wheaton, or a random guy from Scotland named Joe Dillon. Each opinion is worth the same to me.
So I guess in the end, I’ll do what I’ve done from the beginning. If the game is fun, it will market and sell itself. And if it’s not fun, and people don’t like it, then trying to spread the word won’t work anyways.