GAMA Trade Show and Tucson

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We were in three different states last week, and while it’s all a bit of a blur, it’s a really fun blur! On Monday, we left California and headed into Nevada. The dramatic scenery changes are matched only by the elevation changes. Lush green landscapes give way to high desert and dramatic mountain ranges—all amazing.

We arrived in Las Vegas, and made our way through flashing lights and dazzling signs to our hotel. We were still pretty exhausted from our last week in California, so a nice warm bed was the perfect end to our travels.

Tuesday, we headed to the GAMA Trade Show to take part in one of the game industry’s largest events. We made our way past giant slot machines and flashing lights to attend seminars and even give an impromptu interview with our buddy Tom Vasel. Look for that to come out soon. This year was one of the best shows ever. The seminars were really interesting, including discussions on the role of women in the industry and the choice between domestic manufacturing versus overseas production and the assorted costs and benefits of the two. I have to give a huge thanks to Larry Roznai, the head of Mayfair Games, for his willingness to share his knowledge and info at these sessions.  And also for just being a fun guy to hang around with. We wrapped up the night with a really great dinner with our good friend Phil Reed from Steve Jackson Games, which you may be hearing more about in the future. It’s funny how even though we live in the same town, we’re both so busy we tend to see each other at conventions almost as much as we do outside of our jobs!

Wednesday was the first day that the Exhibitor Hall was open, so that meant we had to get our booth setup and ready. The doors opened at 1:00, and we were swamped as retailers filled the show floor. Some old friends came by, but we also got to meet a lot of new faces and spread the word about Castle Panic and all of our games. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of interest in Dead Panic, and many happy faces when we explained that it should be coming out in August!

Wednesday night is game night at GAMA, and that means open tables and drink tickets once the hall closes! We ran lots of people through The Wizard’s Tower and Bears! and made even more friends as the night went on.

Thursday was another busy day in the Exhibitor Hall, where we also spoke with several foreign publishers, and if we can get contracts worked out, you may be seeing some fun foreign language versions of our games across the oceans! When the hall closed on Thursday, we were done, so we packed up our booth and headed out to a great dinner with some industry friends and then off to bed. We had a busy day ahead of us.

Friday, we hit the road early and put Vegas in our rear-view mirror as we headed for Arizona. Many hours later, we arrived at Tucson. After a few phone calls and last-minute changes, we ended up attending Con-Nichiwa, Tucson’s largest anime convention, which just happened to be starting that night! We were able to get a table in their gaming room and fire up some demo games pretty quick. We played well into the night. The Wizard’s Tower was especially popular and even came down to an epic finish in one game, with the Dragon as the last monster on the board finishing off the last tower. It was quite dramatic.

“And this is the monster that will make fun of you when you die.”

Saturday, we headed to the Tucson Mall to run demos at a store called Game Daze, which is a local chain of really neat game stores. You can get everything there from puzzles and classic games, to the latest hobby releases in one place. Manager Ben and his staff had us all set up and ready to go, and even gave us a sweet spot right up in the front of the store, where we could show off our games. It didn’t take long for a crowd to gather around Castle Panic and many towers were smashed and orcs slayed. We even had some fans drop by to get their game signed and helped Game Daze sell out of every copy they had, so we’d say it was a good day.

That wrapped up our appearances for that week, which left us some time to rest up and get ready for our next events. This Saturday, we’re doing two appearances. The first at the RinCon Pre Convention Fundraiser at 10:00, and then the big one will be at Amazing Discoveries at 4pm as part of International TableTop Day! We’re a little bit excited about that one.


From From California to GAMA to Tucson!, posted by Fireside Games on 3/26/2013 (15 items)

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