Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back from the game convention

I had a great time last week at BGG.con, an annual board game convention I've been going to for 3 years now. It's a ton of fun, and a great excuse to see my childhood friend Brian (who's now got a 2nd son!) and a lot of other friends from across the country. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here's a quick list off the top of my head of friends I only see a couple times a year, usually at these conventions (in no particular order). I'm sure I'll miss a bunch:

Brian, Edward, Aldie from Dallas
Peter and Julie from Seattle
Steph, Chris, Mike, Shannon, Lincoln, Nikki, Eric, Erin, and Aaron from L.A.
John from Tucson (yes, Tucson... he never leaves his home so I only see him in Dallas!)
Chris (ceej) from NorCal
Derk from New York
Winton from Prescott

And new friends who I've seen or met before but only barely:
Simon from DC
Justin from Ithaca
Zev from New York
Mischa from New Orleans
Judson from L.A.
Ravindra from North Carolina

And this ignores all the people I know online but seldom actually see:
Dan and Kelly from Texas,
Chester - who might be moving to Tucson
Gil and Morgan from New York

And I'm sure I've missed someone, if not several people.

At the convention I managed to play a lot of games, including the 4 new ones that were at the top of the list (of new games I really wanted to play). I even played some Guitar Hero 3 finally. Stephanie humored me with a Pro Face Off (Freebird on Hard of course). I did miserably (266k), and she's gotten even better(360k).

I also talked to a publisher about some of my games, and he took one of them home with him to test out. He said I could send the other 2 I was showing him as well. I met another publisher there, but never seemed to find the time to meet with him about my games. I asked if I could email him about them and of course he said "OK" to that. I guess I'll see what he says after reading about the games!

And finally, I made some real headway getting prototypes noticed/played at the convention - mine as well as other peoples' games. I had posted a sort of "sign up sheet" online beforehand to solicit interest, and I wanted to make a little sign so people would know where to look for that kind of thing. John Theys did me one better by making a decent sign, and then posting it all over the convention! It had my avatar on it so people would know who to look for...

I was surprised at how many people were actually interested in playing my games, and there was very positive feedback all around for the most part. I approached it more like demo-ing the games rather than playtesting and looking for feedback. I mean I would happily take feedback, but I didn't want to give the impression that these games are unfinished, just unpublished. I have several games that I think are really done except for whatever minor tweaks a publisher might request, and I think people would be more willing to play a game if they thought it wasn't still brand new and in need of work. I didn't think the interest level would be so high, I hope I didn't disppoint too badly when scheduled games didn't happen (that often is the case at these kinds of conventions)! next year the Unpublished Game portion of the con will be much better organized, if I have anything to say about it! Which... I probably do, as I'm the one who's doing all the spearheading of this stuff anyway :)

I'll be posting a long recounting of my trip, maybe broken up day by day, but that will take a while and I wanted to put up something about my fun trip before it was old news. It seems a lot more people are reading my blog now, so I hope it's a good read!

- Seth

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