Two weeks ago I was in Columbus, Ohio, for Origins, one of the three biggest board gaming conventions in the USA. I was pretty excited about going because not only would I get to spend some time just being a regular board game geek, but I was scheduled for three cool activities during Retail Day: moderating a panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence for game designers, doing a Power Point presentation on Annapurna, and hosting a demo table where I also gave out copies of the game to retailers.
First however, I had a heart pounding adventure at the airport in Philadelphia. I arrived in plenty of time for my flight, but then spent four hours with the other passengers watching our plane have its butt checked during the worst doctor's appointment ever because instead of putting the disemboweled plane back together and having us board, we were all told the flight was cancelled.
I managed to get an EARLY flight the next morning, but FROM NEWARK!!! not Philly! (Thanks for driving me up there, Mom.) I got to my panel on AI art in the nick of time. Turnout was low but the event was announced rather late.
After the AI session I went back into high anxiety mode because none of the convention staff could find the shipment of my games - and I needed them for my next presentation.
But soon they were found and I got them set them up.
(I tried to set them up like a mountain, it kinda worked.)
Then I was off to my Power Point presentation on how awesome Annapurna is. I hadn't done a PP since college, but I soon got the hang of it again.
The most fun part of the slide show were the images of cats and yetis I got to sneak in.
Then it was Retailer Demo Night! Many hours of playing my game with people. One person who stopped by to play was fellow designer Emily Willis of Small Furry Games. She had some excellent advertising advice on the back of her shirt. ( Namely that you should advertise on the back of your shirt! lol)
That evening I also made some time to head over to Unpub- the place where game designers can get feedback from gamers about games they have in development. I play tested a game I've just started to design called 'Rock Hound", and yes it uses real rocks! I got some great feedback. Then I started play testing other people's games, and soon it was after midnight. It was worth it because I won a coupon for cookies, and well cookies!
Day Two at Origins. The next day I had a 'healthy breakfast' (see right) before heading to Bridge Distribution’s booth where I demo'd Annapurna all day. Super busy and got quite a few sales for a Thursday.
Day Three at Origins.
I was at the Free Play Area all day!
The person taking the photo on the right had actually played Annapurna a few years ago! It's always awesome to run into people who have played before. They brought their friends to play, which is even more awesome!
I demo'd for two days and played with a lot of cool people. The folks at Bridge said they sold a lot of copies of Annapurna so it was worth it.
Origins had an area set up for LARPing (Live Action Role Playing). I used to be a part of a south Jersey LARPing group, so even though I didn't have a costume I joined in some of the fighting. I got beat up by people because I was out of practice. (Don't worry about anyone getting hurt - the swords are well padded.) I hung out with them afterward. The wizard (in the red shirt) even tested my rock game.
Games were going on past one in the morning almost every night..... I was going to bed.
Origins Day 5 The last day I met some people from Japanime Games and GAMA. We all went out for tacos and ice cream. Afterward I showed them my game, with the new playmats of course.
And then... I got to watch this insanity - a game based on Alice in Wonderland.
We attempted to parse rules that had been translated to English… ish.
“To win, get stamp.“ Lot’s of laughs.
And look at this porcelain tea set - it's so tiny and cute! There were many squees of admiration from all!
You stack the plates and cups to cast votes (I think) but that resulted in plates on top of cups and tea pots and lots of tiny clatters as tiny things fell.
So Origins was great. I got to demo my game to a ton of people and helped Bridge, my distributor, sell some copies. I met a lot of cool people, and can’t wait to see them, and all my climbers, at our next convention. World Board Gaming Championships! It's being held end of July and they are down to ticket sales at the doors only. We'll be hosting a tournament there.
Thanks for reading and as always, keep on climbing!