Wow, that was a lot of fun! We just got back from Columbus, Ohio and the Origins Game Fair and we had a blast. The show was huge and we met a ton of fans and made a bunch of new friends. Unfortunately, we didn’t come back with the Origins Award, but just being nominated and having such great exposure still feels like winning to us.The show started on Wednesday when the Exhibitors started loading in their booths and the lines of attendees waiting to register were ridiculously long, which is always a good sign. The Exhibition Halls were massive as you can see, and it’s hard to explain how cool it is to see 3 halls like this one eventually packed to the walls with gamers having fun.
We were nominated for an Origins Award in the Board Game category this year and while you hear it all the time, it really was an honor to be nominated. We’re proud of Castle Panic, and the response it’s gotten from gamers around the world, but to see us at the same table as the other nominees was a little mind blowing.
We had a special table reserved for us as a Nominee and that was where we spent a lot of time running demos of the game. Here’s a shot of our setup with our bookmarks, big bowl of free pins that we were giving away as well as the oh-so-tempting bowl of chocolate. If it’s wrong to bribe gamers to play your game with delicious treats then I don’t want to be right.
We ran demos non stop while we were at the convention and while some of them were with gamers that had heard about Castle Panic and were eager to try it out, many games where played with first timers that had never heard of us. We had our share of victories and more than a few defeats.
Here’s a particularly nasty example where the Goblin King brought out a lot of pain for us in the green arc.
We did end up losing this game, but ironically, not to this green rush. They snuck in from red while we were busy cleaning up this mess and managed to do a lot of damage to our towers. That combined with a few well placed Giant Boulders finally did us in.
Not that it mattered since everyone had a great time. There was cheering and hooting with every game we played. I signed a ton of copies for people, many of whom didn’t realize I was the designer until we had finished our game and I was answering questions with them.
After every game we reminded players to vote for their favorite games over at the Awards Table. Even though the voting was done in the Miniatures hall, which confused a lot of attendees, there were life-sized versions of the Callie statue that adorns the actual Origins Award to help you find the right spot.
Saturday was ridiculously busy and our friends at Adventure Retail were nice enough to invite me to demo our game right at their booth. This only added to the madness that was the Exhibitor Hall, but it was way too much fun. If you’re going to Comic Con or GenCon this year, be sure to buy your games from the fun gang at Adventure Retail. Where else can you get the famous Exact Change Dance?
Saturday night was time for us to attend the Origins Award Ceremony. Paul Tevis was the MC for the ceremony and did a fine job as did all the people at GAMA that put the event together. When the final category came up for Best Board Game of the Year we held our breath and crossed our fingers, but in the end the award went to Space Hulk. It isn’t too surprising, given how excited the entire gaming world has been about the re-release of this classic game.
Our congratulations to Games Workshop on their awesome game and we’re still over the moon about making it to the final nominations!
We made a ton of new friends and got to see a bunch of old ones as well. We have to give a special shout out to our friends Kris and Maureen over at Frenzy Universe who not only carry some sweet Steampunk garb and gear, but have great stories to tell as well. I also have to recommend the Tortilla Soup Burger over at Max & Erma’s right across from the Convention center, as well as anything on the menu at Sushi Rock which was fantastic.
Overall Origins was a fantastic time. A huge thank you goes out to all the folks at GAMA that worked so hard to put this show together and to all our fans that came by and told us how much they love our game. We wouldn’t be here without you and we hope to meet even more of you at GenCon in August!