Newsletter 14th September 2011

Our irregular newsletters about game launches and other important changes!

Newsletter 14th September 2011

Postby mo » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:11 am

Invitations

Did you know that you can use our website to send invitations to your party guests? To be honest, the system has been pretty basic up till now, so most people prefer to send their own invitations, by email or by regular post. But we are in the process of making some improvements, and we want your help to make our invitation system better and more useful. You can create a set of invitations by starting off a party page here: http://www.freeformgames.com/send_invitations.php

First of all, we've added a set of links to the individual invitations that guests receive, allowing them to easily download the game newspaper, the printable invitation document, and our general 'playing a murder mystery game' explanation of how our games work.

We've also added an RSVP facility – this lets each of your guests leave a message for you, to let you know if they're coming or not, etc. You can see all the responses on your party details page.

But we have another, bigger change that we're thinking about, and this is where we need your help with some feedback. At the moment, in our system, you have to assign each of your guests to their characters as you invite them. But we're thinking that maybe you should be able to just invite people to the party in a general way, and then only assign them to characters at a later stage, once you know whether everyone's coming or not. It will make the process more complicated, but more flexible for hosts. What do you think about that? – would you use it? Do please let us know your thoughts at [url=mailto:info@freeformgames.com]info@freeformgames.com[/url].

Another suggestion is that it would be good if players could download their full character details from their invitation page. That would save the host having to email/post the stuff out individually. Would you like to see that feature added? Is there anything else that you think would be useful to add? [url=mailto:info@freeformgames.com]info@freeformgames.com[/url].

And finally, we've been thinking about creating a general login for customers, where you could get copies of your games, view your party pages, send feedback, and manage everything else to do with your murder mysteries using just a username and password of your choice. It would be entirely voluntary, ie. people could still buy games and do everything else without registering – but it would make life a bit easier for repeat customers, and for us to eg. make special offers to them. Would that be useful to you? – or do you think it sounds unnecessary? What else would you like to see included? [url=mailto:info@freeformgames.com]info@freeformgames.com[/url].

T-shirts

If you're in our Facebook group, you'll have already seen that we've got some t-shirts made, and there are even pictures of us on the site wearing them: http://www.freeformgames.com/whoweare.php

If you'd like to get a shirt yourself, you can buy them at http://www.cafepress.co.uk/freeformgames.562353614, priced at 15 pounds / 20 USD / 16.50 Euro / etc. Please do say if you'd like a different colour, style, or whatever!

We will probably design some shirts or other things using something more interesting than just our logo – eg. some of the murderous illustrations from the games. Let us know if you have any requests…

Halloween!

Halloween is one of the biggest times of the year for murder mystery parties, and we have a terrific game – Halloween Lies – that was specially designed for the season.

But of course you can easily theme most of our other games for Halloween parties, too.

Curse of the Pharaoh, with its mummies and strange Egyptian magic, is a natural fit for a smaller Halloween party. Either of our pirate games, A Dead Man's Chest and Davy Jones' Locker, or the exotic <a href=http://www.freeformgames.com/game_details.php?48>Arabian Nights[/url], would make for a fantastic costume theme.

But even the games with quite conventional settings, such as All at Sea or Dazzled to Death, can be given a Halloween theme. You just need to tell your guests that the evening of the murder happens to coincide with Halloween in the game. So rather than the Libertania's crew and passengers, or the Evington-Browne family and their guests, wearing normal uniforms, evening gowns, etc, instead they should all be in Halloween party costumes.

We've got a special page on our website that talks about Halloween murder mystery parties – see it here: http://www.freeformgames.com/halloween.php

Your stories

Michael Keeney posted on our Facebook page about the invitations that he'd sent out for a Curse of the Pharaoh party, and we thought they sounded absolutely amazing:

"For us, the invitation is the start of the party. For Curse of the Pharaoh, we put stamps on small sarcophagi and mailed one out to each guest with their character pack inside. Not a sarcophagus in a cardboard box in the mail, but the sarcophagus WAS the mailing container, so that when they opened their mailbox, there was a small Egyptian coffin there. The sides were covered with hieroglyphs. Since many of our guests were couples, there two different styles (which we dubbed the Sarcophaguys and the Sarcophagirls as we were making them). That way each guest feels like they are special &ndash; because, of course, they are.
The wooden boxes are available at places like Joanne Fabrics, Michael's and other craft stores. We painted them gold, put on all the ornamentation and gave everything a patina. We also made sure to seal each sarcophagus closed so that they'd have to do a little excavating to discover their personal treasure. Inside was their character pack. Part of our guests' character pack was a full newspaper. We included not only the articles provided by Freeform Games, but several additional articles, display ads and even The Classifieds. All the extras were the genuine article, (Sorry, had to.) with the news content being articles pulled from actual 1894 newspapers, and the classifieds being from the English-language paper in Cairo. We did allow ourselves some fun in creating the display advertising: Cairo Cab, Amenhotep Heating &amp; Air (Your Mummy will keep you warm during the cold Saharan nights. The epitome of Luxor-y!). At some point you have to embrace the silly! Afterwards it was fun to pick up those newspapers and see all the notes and highlighting our guests had done to glean every bit of information they could out of them &ndash; including our extra articles and the classified ads!"


And you can see a photo of one of the sacrophagi, and a copy of the newspaper, at the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... amp;type=1

Do please send in your own stories, we love hearing from you!:
http://www.freeformgames.com/stories.php
mo
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