The Kingdom is Coming – The Back Rooms

Previously on The Kingdom is Coming: The internet Magic store Card Kingdom is moving their physical location from on side of Seattle to the other. They wanted me to talk about their new place, which I described as four separate parts. The first part was the main store area, the mini’s room, the RPG room and a CCG room.

This is part two of a four part series.

Editor’s Note: These pictures are a little older than the current state of the renovation. I forgot to bring my camera on our tour. With the next part (NEXT WEEK), new pictures.

http://wp.me/p5VSx-19e

What makes a room?

Four walls, a couple doors, some chairs and some tables.

How can something so little mean so much?

Card Kingdom wanted me to talk about their move for two reasons: 1) I was local and 2) I wasn’t heavily into the competitive crowd. Now, that might seem like a little awkward, because if you’re trying to promote something you want as big as names as possible. I don’t consider myself to be a household name in Magic; but after we talked some more, I began to see why they wanted me.

Card Kingdom doesn’t do a whole lot with the competitive scene. Sure, they promote Friday Night Magic and run release events at their current store, but they don’t have their own tournament series where they give out thousands of dollars to the winners. It’s not in their nature, not their business style.

They want to game. They want others to game.

Last time, I discussed how Card Kingdom has almost no permanent gaming space in their current location; they lack the floor space to keep tables out all the time for people to come off the street and sit and play with others. For FNMs, out come the foldable chairs and tables out of storage, only to go back when the night is done. Yes, the new gaming room for card players is nice, but to do all the things that Card Kingdom wants it’s just not enough space.

They added more two sets of rooms.

They’re just like any other room: four walls, a couple doors, some tables and chairs.

But they can mean so much.

The first room I present to you is the tournament room:

Under construction, obviously.

Space is everything. No more cramming together with seven other people on what should be a four top. Your elbows don’t have to be in someone’s ribs while the both of you practically share the same library. Thirty people at four tables doesn’t scream fun to me. With this added space, everyone can stretch out and concentrate on their game instead of their neighbors.

How much space?

How about if it can hold 50 people? Five-oh. Is that enough room for you?

It’s with this opportunity that Card Kingdom can run more and bigger events. Maybe not a 5k or anything, but how about a larger pre-release event? A tournament for a piece of the Power 9? A Commander get together hosted by me? Yes, I’m being serious. These ideas have been tossed around. This is the perfect timing for Card Kingdom to jump its customer base and cater towards the more tournament heavy crowd and leave the casual gamer behind.

But they won’t.

How do I know this? Because they wanted me to talk about their new store; not some Magic pro.

Card Kingdom has even lined up an events cordinator to help with eveything they’ve got going on. Including tournament AND casual Magic, to minis, and everything in between. Imagine the Tournament Room like a Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s where friends and family gather at a large table (sometimes multiple tables) to partake in something together. Some people like the turkey, others like mashed potatoes, even others like the buttered crescent rolls (that’s me). We come together because we enjoy spending time together.

Substitute the eating for gaming, and you’ve got the atmosphere that Card Kingdom wants to foster with this room and store (well, except for those awkward conversations with your uncle and having your grandfather fall asleep at the table. Just imagine a Norman Rockwell ideal version of Thanksgiving). It’s absurd to promise that everyone at the store will be a courteous player but when you create an environment where players can feel relaxed and at home, you promote a better atmosphere for gaming.

This is what Card Kingdom is looking to create. Even though I focus on Magic, the room can still function for many other games and tournaments as well. Dominion, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, whatever can all be held in that room. The area within the room is completely customizable. It can go from a large table to rows or tables to even small tables to accommodate for different games. They’re just not placing benches in there, just to get numbers up, but to give everyone enough space for you to game.

Oh, and the wall that separates the CCG room from the tournament room is movable, so you can include even more people in that area. They’ve got overflow for your overflow.

But what if you don’t want to game with 50 other people? What happens if you want to game/roleplay with your friends but your wife/girlfriend doesn’t want you at you place? Yeah, there’s the RPG room already in Card Kingdom, but sometimes your friends can get a little bit rowdy.

Where do you go?

How about your own private room?

The doors in the back lead to the Private Rooms

Don’t get these confused with champagne rooms; they’re nothing of the sort. If you want an area where you can be as loud and crazy as you want during gaming, this is the place. Two rooms, currently code named “Red Room” and “Green Room,” are put in the back corner of the store giving you privacy.  If you’re so inclined, the two rooms can even become one room by swinging up the garage door that separates the two.

But why would you need these rooms?

Maybe you want to throw a private party. Or, if you’re a local game company, you want to run demos with store patrons. You have a custom minis map that you want to share with your friends and you can reserve those rooms for as long as you want without anyone getting mad and you taking up the table. Or even an Alpha-Beta-Unlimited draft just for fun. You can run basically anything where you don’t want the outside ruining the gaming inside the four walls. And it gets even better when you find out you can order…

Oh, right; next time I can finally talk about that.

Marshall and Ryan, the two co-hosts of the awesome Magic Podcast Limited Resources, and I took a tour of their new place. Even though it’s still under construction, we were amazed at everything. Have you ever walked into a gaming store and been told, “That room, is just for minis. We’re going to be setting up tournaments in this room. Oh yeah, here are the private rooms you can rent.” Tours for card shops don’t take hours; you walk into a room, point at where the product is going to be and hopefully some tables and chairs where people can game every once in a while.

You don’t watch the hardwood floors being finished in the card store down the street. You don’t yell and hear an echo when you’re walking around a normal card store. You don’t see custom art for headboards being painted. Card Kingdom’s taking it way beyond 11.

The new Card Kingdom isn’t just a store, it’s a gaming center for players to come in and play. This isn’t just for card flippers; but for dice chuckers, fig clickers, puzzle heads and everyone in-between. More release events for all sorts of games. Classes on painting minis and building terrains. Get togethers for Commander. Friday Night Magic. Experience D&D for the first time. Learn how to play Ascension.

Card Kingdom wants to you to game how you game.

All they’re providing are the four walls, some doors, and plenty of tables and chairs. How are you going to take advantage of it?

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