Reflecting on One Year of Foulplay

One year ago, Foulplay officially became a business nearly a decade after its first inception. What first started as a college club between friends quickly morphed into a community of great people, and an idea spawned to one day bring these elements of camaraderie, carefully crafted games, and interactive event experiences to others by forming a business. Years of maybe's and what-if's later, our hard work and dreams became a reality. For our one year anniversary, we wanted to reflect a bit on what this exciting milestone means to us, and what we are looking forward to for the next year!

 

Maddy:

What was exciting when we first started approximately one year ago?

Exhibiting at GeekGirlCon [for our official launch] was simultaneously an exciting and terrifying experience! It is one thing to talk for years about how cool it would be to sell murder mystery games and quite another to actually do it. We oscillated wildly through that first year between “This is a smart idea and we are fully capable of doing this,” to “Who do we think we are kidding? This is a terrible idea!” Yet there was always the approaching deadline of GeekGirlCon to hold us accountable to create something and get it done. Not perfect, but done. Exhibiting at GeekGirlCon and having our visitors echo our most hopeful thoughts--that they were excited to play our games and appreciated our commitment to inclusive, creative storytelling--was validating after months of quiet work.

 

 What is exciting at this moment for the company?

I’m excited every day to discover and explore new ideas of what Foulplay could be. A couple of months ago, we would have never considered hosting and selling virtual murder mystery games, as we valued the in-person party experience and community building. We had to adapt to the times and that necessary pivot allowed us to open up our minds to new possibilities and create a remote experience that, in many ways, is even more inclusive and accessible to people all over the country. We’ve been able to meet people living in different states that we would have never met had it not been for this pivot, reaching new audiences and gaining more diverse feedback to improve our party experiences.

 

What are we excited about for the upcoming year?

Get ready for new games! Since setting up a business can be a big challenge, there was a lot of work to do before we could tell all the stories we wanted to tell. There were a lot of decisions to make in regards to brand, formatting, content, and style guides that can bog down the creative process and make each game incredibly time-intensive to create. Now that a lot of that work and decision-making is behind us, our game writing and storytelling can focus almost exclusively on the content, characters, and research, all of the fun, invigorating work! We have several new games coming out over the next couple of months and plans to create games for a variety of new audiences (there has been a lot of interest in a game for kids!), as well as opportunities to bring on new writers and editors, so stay tuned!

foulplay-business-pic           Co-founder Kristen with our official Business License!

Kristen:

What was exciting when we first started approximately one year ago?

Definitely the novelty of it, but also just the general excitement of being able to think about what it would mean to have our company and determining our values and structure piece by piece and building it together. We had always talked about turning our passion into a business, and so being able to do that and watch the pieces come together was really exciting. I think the result we have now is something to be proud of for many reasons, but really the best part was seeing it come together and have it be distinctly “us.” I do remember little moments of fear and some uncertainty that would creep in on occasion, wondering if we were making a huge mistake and who would ever buy our games. When we finally submitted the paperwork and moved forward as an official business last year, it kind of hit that we are up and running for real and it’s not just a dream sitting in the back of our minds, and then when we began to present our games to an actual audience, it was truly a surreal but incredible feeling.

 

What is exciting at this moment for the company?

It is truly a joy to be here a year later and to see everything that we have accomplished so far. To see people enjoying our games and see the community we have built--I am so thankful that we are still here, and I think right now the most exciting thing is just how much more we have to offer! After COVID hit, there was a scary moment of uncertainty as things began to change, and it forced us to ask some kind of tough and puzzling questions like, “How do we make this work?” and "Can we make this work?" But it just proved to me the value of what we have to offer and now we have this great, innovative way to share more of our games and content with people all over the country! We have so many more games and ideas that are in process and the possibilities seem endless now. It’s exciting that we’ve been here for a year and that we are only just beginning.

 

What are we excited about for the upcoming year?

I am incredibly excited to continue pushing forth more of our ideas and finding new creative ways to bring our content to people. We have always wanted to keep ourselves fresh and innovative, and I think the way things have been shaking out this year has really opened a huge door of opportunity in that regard.  We are in a moment now where we can really step up into this space of possibility, where there are almost no wrong answers in how we want to push things forward now that we are up and running and have a better idea of what it is that we are capable of, and that is an incredibly freeing and exciting feeling to move forward with.