The Grand-Con Report

This is quickly going to break down into a list of games I bought, but I do have some actual stuff to say first. I went to a 9am panel called “Publishing the Game” with Boyan Radakovich (The Game Smith, producer of TableTop), Christopher Badell (Greater Than Games), Colby Dauch (Plaid Hat Games), Frank DiLorenzo (R&R Games), and Uwe Eickert (Academy Games), which was super informative.

The big take away, for me, is that being a publisher involves a ton of work that isn’t designing games, especially if you’re doing everything, or most things, by yourself, which I kind of expect will be my position at first. This has given me some things to think of, like, first and foremost, whether I want to be a publisher or “just” a designer. If I can find people to help me, that can mitigate some of the insane, not-design workload. I enjoy graphic design, so I’m happy to lay out my own game, even if I won’t be doing the art itself, and I like social media so the press side of things might not be too bad. The actual, you know, business stuff, like sales and dealing with distributors and marketing and such, that I’m not too keen on. I do have a friend with an MBA, but I can’t possibly pay him to work for me unless I’m crazy successful right off the bat.

So this is a lot to think about, and with my current schedule (what with the thesis and all) I have pretty much no time to think about it, so for now I’m not going to, I’m just going to play-test GMEB when I get the chance and worry about this stuff in 2014, when I might have the time.

Speaking of GMEB, I didn’t get a chance to playtest it, but admittedly, I was pretty distracted by Sentinels of the Multiverse, and Grand-Con was pretty crowded. It was very busy (which is good) but there wasn’t quite enough space (which was less good), but the plan for next year is to expand it significantly, and hopefully they’ll find a larger space. I didn’t get to talk to Boyan after his panel, which is a bummer, but I did get to chat with Uwe and Chris, which was great, although it did hit my wallet.

Academy Games makes historical board games, so you can imagine that interests me. They mostly do war-games, which as a gamer I enjoy, but as a historian has never really been in my wheelhouse, I’ve always been much more focused on social society and such things. But, they do have a forthcoming game called Freedom – The Underground Railroad, a co-operative game where the players are abolitionists helping slaves escape to Canada, which I pre-ordered in a heartbeat. They also have a pretty open submissions policy, which I may take advantage of in the future, since historical games are a thing I would really, really like to make.

Greater Than Games makes an amazing cooperative superhero card game called Sentinels of the Multiverse. While chatting with Chris after the panel, I said the game sounded like exactly what I wanted in life, and he directed me to the demo space (conveniently located right next to us) so I played a game. Then I bought everything they had at the con (except the big vinyl playmat, and the two out-of-print expansions) and played six more games at the demo table. Suffice to say, Sentinels is pretty much my favorite game right now, it’s fast, and fun, and it has a ton of theme (all things I like in my games).

In addition to all this, I also picked up Pandemic, King of Tokyo (and the first expansion), Munchkin, Forbidden Island, and Level 7 [Escape]. It was very “productive” in a consumer sense, which I’m okay with.

I also discovered the Building the Game podcast, which I plan to start listening to ASAP.


Grand-Con and UnPub

So this Saturday (the 21st) I’ll be in Grand Rapids, MI attending Grand-Con. As you may have read in this post, I had intended to go to the UnPub event there, but there won’t actually be an UnPub event this year.

UnPub is in the process of changing hands, and there was some miscommunication during the process. There won’t actually be an UnPub event, although there should be one next year. This means that I won’t have the table space I was expecting, as there won’t officially be anywhere for me to playtest GMEB.

Since I already bought a pass, I’ll be there all day on Saturday, there are panels (at 9am and 5pm) that I’d like to attend, and I’ll have my playtest copy of GMEB along with me, and I’ll be trying to get the word out about the game. It’s still early in the playtest, and I won’t be doing a Kickstarter till sometime next year, but I had hoped to use the con as a way to get more people involved in the playtest. I can still do that, it just won’t be as easy, since there won’t be people coming to me, I’ll have to seek them out.

That being said, if anybody reading this will be at Grand-Con on Saturday, send me an email, tweet at me, or comment on the Facebook, and let me know if you’d like to play a game.

On the plus side, this gives me more time to check out vendors and exhibitors.

GMEB playtest version 3.0 is ready!

I’m filing this under the GMEB category for obvious reasons, but under blog as well because I need to write this post, and I’m pretty swamped right now with academic stuff, so I don’t have time to write two posts.

Anyway, the third draft of Giant Monsters, Exciting Battle! is ready for playtesting! It took me forever, not because this draft was particularly difficult (it only took a few hours of actual work) but because of the aforementioned being swamped with academic stuff.

I’ve totally overhauled the card costs, and rewritten the text on most cards, cutting a few rules that weren’t really helping anything, and clarifying others. The kaiju should be more balanced now, and the city deck should move a little faster.

Everyone who has signed up for the playtest so far will have the new packet by the time this post goes up, and as usual if you’re interested in receiving a playtest packet, you can join the mailing list over on the GMEB page.

If any of you are planning on attending Grand-Con in Grand Rapids, MI the weekend of September 20th, I’ll be at the UnPub event there on Friday and Saturday, demoing the game and getting feedback. I don’t have much in the way of details about the event yet, but I’ll post them when I do. I did make a nice new version of the playtest deck for my own use, with each kaiju deck, and the city deck, having its own color of sleeve, so there’s no chance for confusing cards!

I’m pretty excited about this new draft, especially because I haven’t played my own game in while now because I didn’t really want to show off that previous draft after I decided to make a new one.