actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

GamingWe're the design team of the Dinosaur Island games, and we just raised 1,000,000 dollars on Kickstarter. AMA!

Apr 4th 2018 by CFMoss • 18 Questions • 76 Points

My short bio: Hello Reddit! My name is Christian Selmoni, Style and Heritage Director at Vacheron Constantin.

I know that the r/Watches subreddit is pretty active, so feel free to ask me anything!

My proof: https://imgur.com/arG4vTz

UPDATE : This session is now coming to an end, I had a lot of fun answering your questions. I will comeback next week and answer any questions I might have missed, thanks again for your enthusiasm! Christian

Q:

Thanks for the insight!

A:

What would you say to naysayers like myself who worry the Fiftysix line endangers the luxury status of such a storied heritage brand? Thank you for reaching out.


Q:

I don't know a ton about marketing, but from everything I've learned during this campaign, timing and presentation are key.

Fire in the Library looks great and is doing well for a game of that size and weight. I am a backer of it and I'm super excited to get to play it. I know everyone involved is very happy with it's performance, funding day 1 is a big deal.

These games are a bit different and one of the timing things is that everyone who picked up Dinosaur Island the first time loved it and was talking about it with all their friends. When their friends wanted to pick it up for themselves, it was sold out. So when it hit Kickstarter, everyone who missed it the first time didn't want that to happen again, so they backed it. Then everyone who enjoyed the game already could grab the expansion and the 2 player game and it all worked together to create a Kickstarter that everyone wanted to be apart of.

A:

Good question as well. The design of the Fiftysix collection is directly inherited from our Heritage (ref 6073) and the level of care that has been put into the development of this line has been the same as in any of our products. Just take a look at the finishing of the product to have an idea!


Q:

Appreciate the response. I wasn't aware Dinosaur island had been produced before the kickstarter in question.

A:

Really? Can I meet you if I come in Geneva... I am planning a trip to Geneva :)


Q:

Yeah, first time around it raised around 500k. So it had good marketing the first time around also.

A:

Sure! You can send me a DM on Instagram!


Q:

Hello! What's your favorite way to play Totally Liquid? Do you toss in all of the expansion modules? How drastically does that change the feel of the game?

A:

How many watches does Vacheron Constantin produce each year?


Q:

Out of all the modules, Blueprints are the one that will go into every new game I play. It's super easy when teaching new players and it adds a bit more thought to the Market phase throughout the game.

Everything blends really seamlessly together, so tossing everything in is just as fun as playing them separately. I do think that the Park Facilities and Executives make the most difference in gameplay. Everyone is still playing the same game, but I have my own mini game as well, that effects how I will build and operate my park.

A:

A little bit more than 20 000 watches, mostly masculine watches and assembled here in Geneva!


Q:

Why do you feel that the brilliant game designers you meet with weekly are the most important part of your game design process?

A:

In your opinion, what are the main challenges for Vacheron Constantin today ?


Q:

They are the building blocks of great game design. Not a single betrayer in the bunch.

A:

In my opinion, it would be maintaining a coherent stylistic signature across all of our collections while still keeping a very high level of execution in craftsmanship. Another important challenge is to maintain and transmit our know-how inherited from 263 years of non stop history!


Q:

I think a great growing point for myself (and I imagine Brian) was when we trimmed about 170 components from the game in one sitting. We just sat and tore things out. We converted tokens to tracks, we eliminated things we didn't think were crucial to the game. And then we played it, and it was way better.

For me, it really taught me that less is more, and it's more important in how you are getting people to feel the experience. It also switched me to starting to design with MVP (Minimal Viable Product) at first, and then layer things on top.

A:

I am an American with a passion for horology, and I have very little insight to the pathways of turning my passion into a career. I went to school for hospitality/event management, and I somehow want to inject those skills into a career within the watch industry. Any guidance/advice? Many thanks.


Q:

For me the biggest surprise was when they asked for playtesters for a super secret 2 player game and got over 1,000 submissions to try out Duelosaur and Totally Liquid.

We ended up narrowing it down to a reasonable amount of great playtesters who have grown both games into the amazing productions that are on kickstarter now, but it was still a shock to get that big of a response.

A:

In Switzerland, one of the most know reference would be the EHL (Ecole Hotêlière de Lausanne) : www.ehl.edu

There are a lot of people active in hospitality in the watchmaking business that are coming from that school, maybe you could have a look!

And by the way, Lausanne is quite a nice city!


Q:

Will Duelosaur and Totally Liquid see retail releases? Never played the game, and very happy to be backing for the Xtreme Base to get a chance to play, but FOMO is getting to me now (just not sure I can afford to go all in right now).

A:

what was your first 'real' watch? when did you get it?


Q:

Both Duelosaur and Totally Liquid will get retail releases, but they won't be the X-Treme editions you can get through Kickstarter.

So they will be out there in the wild, waiting for you to find them.

A:

My first real watch was from "Record watch company", it was a gift from my godfather when I was twelve of thirteen years old. It was a sporty watch with luminous hours indexes, I remember spending a lot of time looking at it in the dark the first night I got it!


Q:

Good afternoon everyone, and congratulations on passing the 1 million milestone! In preparation for the Totally Liquid expansion, do you know how big the new park extension boards are? Dinosaur Island tends to be a table hog, so I'm trying to plan the necessary space to accommodate the new player boards. Thank you!

A:

Can we expect to see simpler versions of 5000T/000P-B048 in the future? For example just chronograph and moonphase.


Q:

I don't think surface area is going to be the real problem. The real problem is: can your table handle the weight of all those land dinos, baby dinos, water dinos, MEGA REX!, and goats at once?

A:

For us, the combination of a perpetual calendar and a chronograph is very important in our Maison's DNA and for this reason, we wouldn't consider "simplifying" it. It would rather see other combination of complications like a chronograph and a retrograde display since retrograde displays are a technical signature of Vacheron Constantin


Q:

Most likely. Once we wrap up this campaign, we'll start tinkering with the next one!

A:

What watches are you currently wearing?


Q:

A lot of the original ideas for Facilities are still there in the final game, they just changed and evolved during playtesting.

If I get to continue on with the next expansion as well, I'd love to explore the Plot Twists and all the fun ways you could have them effect your game(s).

A:

I was wearing my Overseas World Time when I started this session, but someone made me think about the Historiques Chronograph Cornes de Vache so I needed to strap it on my wrist!

https://imgur.com/a/3j2KU


Q:

i first heard about Dinosaur Island a few months ago and have been wanting to pick it up ever since, even without playing it. Once I saw you guys were doing a second Kickstarter, I backed everything! So, my question to you is, as somebody who has yet to ever play the game, what is the best advice you could give to a newbie in this game?

A:

First off, thank you for doing this Christian! This forward thinking approach to reach out to end customers is much appreciated.

As an Overseas owner and life long fan, how can I get my hands on that beautiful Montblanc Vacheron Constantin backpack??? 😇🙏


Q:

Let some people get eaten. It'll be fine.

A:

This backpack was created in 2016 when we did the relaunch of Overseas during SIHH, my advice would be to look on eBay but good luck with that!


Q:

This is bad advice! Protect your visitors!

A:

Hi Christian,

Awesome that you're taking the time to do this, and thank you for doing so!

I wanted to get your thoughts around VC's marketing efforts. For the launch of the FiftySix collection, the brand received some mixed reviews around the High Watchmaking Gentlemen's Club. My personal opinion isn't fully formed but I can see both sides. Influencers in today's world greatly enhance the reach of a brand and I understand the thinking behind VC wanting to implement that in the communication strategy. However, the delivery or perhaps the individuals chosen created some heated debate (never a bad thing though). This side I can see as well because historically, advertising in the watch industry was focused on themes such as "aspiration", "the family heirloom", and the sheer timelessness of a fine watch. The desire to own a fine timepiece is for a lot of people a once in a lifetime experience, and that seems to be missing from today's messaging in the watch industry.

Would love to get your thoughts on VC's marketing efforts and the consumer feedback, your overall take on watch/luxury marketing, and how your approach mind change in the future.

Additionally, I live in Toronto and the new boutique in Yorkdale is a work of art and the people there are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. Lastly, as a passionate marketer and fan of fine watches and watchmaking, would it be possible to reach out to you regarding a career in the field? Please let me know :)

Looking forward to your response!

Khurram


Q:

Don't listen to him, he's the betrayer.

A:

Hi Khurram and thanks for that question!

I totally understand the reasoning behind the question, my feeling is that as a three century old company, you cannot evolve in the way you are communicating without creating mixed feelings or opinions. As for the influencers that were involved in this small video, as surprising as some might think, they are actually collectors and true passionate about fine watchmaking, it was really fun collaborating with them.

Now this is probably less than 1% of the marketing activities we have and we're always looking to engage with a new audience.

As for you making a career in the watchmaking industry, I've already answered this question below, it depends above all on the field you are interested in.

Thanks a lot for the kind comments on the Yorkdale boutique staff, I will make sure to let them know!


Q:

Hi Christian,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!

Totally understand that it's a small chunk of your marketing efforts, and it's clear that VC is always trying to innovate on products and beyond.

I will certainly keep an eye out for open postings. Would it be alright to send you a DM on Instagram/connect on LinkedIn with you?

Cheers,

Khurram

A:

Sure!


Q:

What is your favorite watch in your personal collection?

What is your favorite non VC watch on the market right now?

A:

I have a strong appreciation for some Breguet watches and I'm a happy owner of Breguet La Tradition from 2005.

As for a non Vacheron Constantin watch on the market right now, I'm really interest by independent watchmakers and a big supporter of MB&F 's creations.


Q:

Breguet La Tradition

Honestly the most classy of any "skeleton" watches. It has so much restraint compared to what other people like Zenith do.

MB&F

The Aquapod is really something else. Awesome to see what watches could be without any preconceived notions of what they are.

A:

I see that we share similar tastes :)


Q:

What advice would you give to someone who wants to create their watch brand?

A:

The product (and its design) is maybe the most important aspect in my opinion. I would also consider exploring the new distribution channels such as ecommerce and above all a lot of passion and perseverance. Good luck and show us what you come up with!


Q:

Why would millennials invest in a VC watch, as opposed to other luxury watch brands? Is it because of the design?

A:

Millennials (and actually any potential customer) should "invest" in any watch that suits their taste :) But the Fiftysix wouldn't be a bad option obviously!


Q:

What is Vacheron Constantin's approach towards millennials?

A:

We just launched the new Fiftysix collection during last SIHH to address an audience of young connoisseurs including millenials! Do you like this collection?


Q:

Yes I discovered it on Vacheron Constantin's Facebook Messenger Chatbot. Very smart way to get a younger audience to see the latest from VC.

A:

Glad that you discovered our Chatbot, it was fun building it!


Q:

does VC produce watches exclusively made by hand until today?

A:

All of our watches are assembled, cased and adjusted by hand, we consider craftsmanship as a core value of the brand.