San Francisco, Part 2

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We’ve been really impressed with how many game stores there are in the Bay area. Games of Berkeley, D20 Games, the two Gamescape and Game Kastle locations, Gator Games, and more make for a really nice mix of stores all fairly close together. Recently, while talking with gamers at our events, we’ve been surprised by a lot of them saying that there aren’t a lot of game stores nearby. When we bring up these other stores, the reaction we get is something like, “Oh, but that’s in San Rafael.” I guess it’s all relative. When you come from Texas where you can drive for 5 hours just to be in another city, crossing a bridge to get to another game store seems like “just around the corner” to us! It’s funny how everyone sees things differently in different parts of the country.

 

No matter how long you think the drive is, this latest batch of store visits took us from Gator Games in San Mateo, to Game Kastle in Fremont, and to the Gamescape store in San Francisco.

Gator Games had an early start, so after breakfast we headed across the foggy toll bridge and set up our games at this fun, little game store in San Mateo. Garrett welcomed us in, where we took over their front tables and got busy showing off the goods. We pulled in some gamers who were actually there for another tournament and made them fall in love with The Wizard’s Tower. One young gamer asked Justin if he was Wil Wheaton, which Anne-Marie thought was funny and adorable. We taught our games to some of the employees and got to meet the owners, Jean and Lisa, who are great people! We broke for a late lunch with Garrett, which was really nice, and then got back to work making new fans. As the day went on, we had fans of Castle Panic show up just to get their game signed, and we were able to show them our other games as well. It all seemed to end too soon. We were tired but excited to have made new friends and come across such a neat store.

Sunday had us out at the Game Kastle store in Fremont, the sister store to the one we were at last week in Santa Clara. This visit got busy fast with Bloodsuckers battling and a fierce defense of The Wizard’s Tower. In the end, the monsters pulled off a victory, but that only made other players want to jump in and give it a try. Anne-Marie ran some players through the standard version of Bears!, and they had a great time. But when she showed them the alternate version, “I Don’t Have to Outrun the Bear, I Just Have to Outrun You,” things got crazy! Check out the video for just a taste of the hilarious scream-fest that turned out to be. Who would have thought you could break a sweat in a dice game?

Monday night was boardgame night at Gamescape in San Francisco. We’d barely gotten the pieces out when Anne-Marie was asked by an excited fan if she was setting up the expansion for Castle Panic. It turned out Delia was in town from Clinton Township, Michigan, and just happened to come by Gamescape to check it out that night. She’s a huge fan of Castle Panic and convinced her sister, Gina, to try out The Wizard’s Tower and Bears! with her. Delia, Gina, and Anne-Marie fought hard and got all of the Monsters out on the board but ended up losing the last tower to the Orc Warlord with just 1 point left. When Fireside can make it to Michigan, we’d love to visit Delia at her home store, Gamer’s Gauntlet. Delia says it’s huge!

Justin got a surprise visit from some students working on game design for a school project. They had a bunch of questions for him about creating pieces and balancing their game. Later on we met some newer gamers that were “curious about this Bear game” and the rest was history. After rolling some dice to survive the bear-pocalypse, Josh and Joanne jumped into their first game of Castle Panic along with Jay, who had seen our TableTop episode but had yet to try his hand at defending the castle in person. We signed some games and spent a good amount of time talking with Jay about game design, the industry, and gaming in general, and then it was time to go. We get a day of rest after this, and then it’s on to our last few stores in San Fran!


From San Francisco, Part 2, posted by Fireside Games on 7/31/2013 (31 items)

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