149 episodes

The Manaverse Podcast is a podcast created for you, the gamer with aspirations of building your own local game store (LGS), the entrepreneur running an LGS who wants to grow their business, and the player who wants a behind the scenes look into their favourite hobby. If you’re looking for inspiration, new ideas, and interesting perspectives then Tom Traplin has you covered. Learn the business of selling some of the best games in the world including Mtg, Warhammer, Warmachine, Dungeons and Dragons, board games and Euro games from some of the best retailers in the industry. Once a week, Tom talks with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the game industry and pulls out the strategies, tactics, and systems that make their businesses so effective. With a special focus on Magic: the Gathering, you will learn how to level up your LGS and build a better community with Tom Traplin and the Manaverse Podcast.

The Manaverse Podcast: Magic: the Gathering Business / Game Store Entrepreneurship / LGS Professionals Tom Traplin

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

The Manaverse Podcast is a podcast created for you, the gamer with aspirations of building your own local game store (LGS), the entrepreneur running an LGS who wants to grow their business, and the player who wants a behind the scenes look into their favourite hobby. If you’re looking for inspiration, new ideas, and interesting perspectives then Tom Traplin has you covered. Learn the business of selling some of the best games in the world including Mtg, Warhammer, Warmachine, Dungeons and Dragons, board games and Euro games from some of the best retailers in the industry. Once a week, Tom talks with some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the game industry and pulls out the strategies, tactics, and systems that make their businesses so effective. With a special focus on Magic: the Gathering, you will learn how to level up your LGS and build a better community with Tom Traplin and the Manaverse Podcast.

    MVP144: Michael Bahr on Selling Your Game Store

    MVP144: Michael Bahr on Selling Your Game Store

    Welcome to another episode of the Manaverse Podcast! My name is Tom Traplin and I am your host and this is the podcast where we talk about building successful friendly local game stores. Today, we’re talking with Michael Bahr, the mind behind the LGS Net Income newsletter and former owner of Desert Sky Games in Arizona. 
    Michael relatively recently sold DSG to another game store owner, and I say relatively because I’ve been sitting on this recording for way too long, but we dive into what it takes to build a game store into a sellable asset. The processes and systems that you need to have in place to create a business that not only functions without you, but also gives you the opportunity to potentially exit the business profitably and on your own terms. 
    It’s an excellent conversation, and if you want more of a backstage pass look into the operational side of a local game store I definitely recommend signing up for the LGSNI Substack. I’m a member and Michael’s insights into the crunchy, data driven aspects of the business are tremendously valuable. You can go to manaversesaga.com/lgsni to sign up. I’m not affiliated or anything with the newsletter, but I am a big fan, so check it out!
    Before we jump into the conversation, I’ve also got a fairly big announcement to make as well. 
    As of today, I am officially a co-founding member of the 2nd Hand Geek team! I’m coming on as the CMO for 2nd Hand Geek and together we are going to build a marketplace that truly supports the local game stores that are the heart of the hobbies we all love.
    If you haven’t heard of 2nd Hand Geek yet, check out my interview with Alan Blakeborough in episode 138, to find out more about what it’s all about. 
    I am very excited about the future of 2nd Hand Geek and how it will change the way hobbyists buy and sell online, while also giving back and supporting the local game stores that built up those communities of gamers that make everything possible in the first place.
    LinksLGS Net Income
    MVP138
    2ndHandGeek.com

    • 1 hr 11 min
    MVP143: Behind the Scenes of Altered TCG: A Conversation with Game Designer Marcus Kearsey

    MVP143: Behind the Scenes of Altered TCG: A Conversation with Game Designer Marcus Kearsey

    In this episode of the Manaverse Podcast, I interview Marcus Kearsey, a game designer for the Altered TCG team. We discuss the unique aspects of Altered TCG, including its non-combat focus, digital integration, and innovative deck-building mechanics. Kearsey shares his journey into game design, the challenges and rewards of developing a new TCG, and how player feedback shapes the game. They delve into the game's lore, art, and future plans, including organized play and competitive aspects. The episode offers a deep dive into the creative process behind Altered TCG.
    Questions:What initially inspired the concept of Altered, and how has it evolved from its original idea?
    Can you share insights into the creative process behind the game's unique blend of lore and visual design, especially with influences from Miyazaki and Dixit-like illustrations?
    What challenges did you face in creating a balanced yet engaging gameplay experience in Altered?
    Could you elaborate on how the game’s unique rarity system and algorithmically generated cards impact both gameplay and player strategy?
    How did you approach the lore creation for the six factions in Altered? What inspired their distinct characteristics and stories?
    Can you delve into the process of integrating the game's lore with its mechanics and card design?
    What does a typical day look like for you as a game designer on Altered?
    How do you balance creativity with the technical aspects of game design?
    In what ways has player feedback shaped the development of Altered?
    What future expansions or developments can players look forward to in the Altered universe?
    How do you envision the growth of Altered in the competitive TCG scene?
    What have been some of the most challenging aspects of developing Altered, and how did you overcome them?
    Can you share a particularly rewarding moment or milestone in the game’s journey so far?
    What advice would you give to someone aspiring to enter the field of game design, especially in the TCG genre?
    How has working on Altered influenced your personal views on game design and storytelling?
    If you could go back to the beginning of the Altered project, is there anything you would do differently?
    Check out the Altered TCG Kickstarter campaign!
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/equinox-studio/altered-tcg
    Book a 30 minute strategy session with us to get your game store digital marketing plan created for free. It's yours to keep either way so you have nothing to lose. Go to https://manaversesaga.com/mma to book your call and start off 2024 strong.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    MVP142: The Deck Box - Josh Pyle-Carter on 10 Years of Building Halifax's Premier Local Game Store

    MVP142: The Deck Box - Josh Pyle-Carter on 10 Years of Building Halifax's Premier Local Game Store

    Welcome to another exciting episode of our podcast! Today, we dive deep into the world of gaming retail with Joshua Pyle-Carter from The Deck Box. Joshua shares his incredible journey of building a successful gaming store from scratch. We explore how The Deck Box has created a community-centric environment, offering a personalized client service that goes beyond just selling products.
    You'll hear about the innovative strategies in inventory management, pricing, and staff empowerment that have contributed to the store's success. Joshua also sheds light on the future plans for The Deck Box, including balancing online and in-store sales and maintaining a profitable margin to support community events.
    This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in gaming retail, community building, or just loves a good success story. Tune in for insights and inspiration from a gaming retail expert!
    Linkshttps://www.thedeckboxhalifax.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/DeckBoxHalifax
    https://www.instagram.com/thedeckboxhalifax/

    • 2 hrs 5 min
    MVP142: Part 4 - The Deck Box: Pros and Cons of Online Card Sales, and How To Win With a Local First Approach

    MVP142: Part 4 - The Deck Box: Pros and Cons of Online Card Sales, and How To Win With a Local First Approach

    In Part 4 of my interview, Joshua Pyle-Carter digs into the future plans for The Deck Box, with their 10-year anniversary quickly approaching this summer.
    Josh talks about the balance between online and in-store sales, stressing that each requires a vastly different approach and business model, and why he favours the local first approach for his community.
    Book a 30 minute strategy session with us to get your game store digital marketing plan created for free. It's yours to keep either way so you have nothing to lose. Go to https://manaversesaga.com/mma to book your call and start off 2024 strong.

    • 36 min
    MVP142: Part 3 - Innovative Inventory and Pricing Strategies in Games Retail - Learn from The Deck Box

    MVP142: Part 3 - Innovative Inventory and Pricing Strategies in Games Retail - Learn from The Deck Box

    This is Part 3 of my interview with Joshua Pyle-Carter from The Deck Box, Halifax's Premier local games store. We delve into inventory management, pricing strategies, and how Josh empowers his staff to make good decisions without requiring his input as the owner.
    Joshua talks about balancing pricing for different card rarities, adapting to market changes, and setting prices appropriate for the local market, and why he doesn't use platforms like TCGPlayer to set his prices.
    This one is real crunchy if you're curious about the back end operations of how a local-first game store really functions and cultivates a profitable TCG ecosystem of local customers.
    Book a 30 minute strategy session with us to get your game store digital marketing plan created for free. It's yours to keep either way so you have nothing to lose. Go to https://manaversesaga.com/mma to book your call and start off 2024 strong.

    • 34 min
    MVP142: Part 2 - Unlocking Retail Success With Personalized Client Service - Insights from The Deck Box

    MVP142: Part 2 - Unlocking Retail Success With Personalized Client Service - Insights from The Deck Box

    This is Part 2 of my interview with Joshua Pyle-Carter from The Deck Box where we focus on personalized client service as a key factor in his success. Understanding individual customer preferences, especially in complex games like Magic: The Gathering, is crucial and so is guiding customers based on their interests and experience levels, rather than pushing sales. He discusses the benefits of carrying a wide range of products to meet diverse needs and the significance of building trust with customers through genuine recommendations and attentive service.
    Book a 30 minute strategy session with us to get your game store digital marketing plan created for free. It's yours to keep either way so you have nothing to lose. Go to https://manaversesaga.com/mma to book your call and start off 2024 strong.

    • 26 min

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A solid resource for aspiring and experienced game store owners.

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