Origins Game Fair ReCap

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What a way to start the summer! We returned to Origins Game Fair in Columbus, OH after a few years away and were greeted with warm smiles from eager gamers.

The quiet before the rush.

When the hall opened on Thursday morning there was a steady stream of attendees getting their first look around the hall and we even had a few beeline straight to make their Bears! Trail Mix’d purchase. This expansion to our fast-paced, dice-pairing game Bears! doesn’t officially release until June 24, but we had a stash of advance copies and people weren’t shy about snagging one of their very own.

We had a lot of interest in The Dark Titan expansion to Castle Panic and kept that demo table running regularly most of the weekend. There were many Castle Panic first-timers sitting down so they got to experience the true panic the expansion brings to the game. The ratio of wins to losses was pretty evenly matched and everyone seemed to actually enjoy the anxiety brought by the new Monsters and Agranok.

Edgar taught a 6-player group how to fend off Agranok in this Castle Panic and The Dark Titan demo.

There was a heightened interest in Dead Panic so we cracked open a copy for the second demo table and that one stayed full most of the weekend as well. We had a fantastic play through with a young gamer and her dad. She was a boss at taking out zombies with her chain saw and there were a lot of smiles in that apocalypse.

Our favorite zombie apocalypse survival team of the weekend.

The best thing about doing game conventions is all the familiar faces and the new friends we make, and this year’s Origins Game Fair was no exception. We want to thank everyone who came by the booth to say hi, pick up the latest promos, and take a copy of a game home with them.

New game promos included a 6th Level Agranok card for The Dark Titan and an Alarm Clock for Bears!

If you missed out on the 6th Level Agranok promo or the Bears! Alarm Clock, don’t worry, we’ll have them at other shows this year. Check out our Calendar for future appearances.

We hope to see many of you in July at GenCon in Indy. (We’ll have The Village Crone on the table there, as well as a special promo you’ll want to be sure to pick up.) We’ll be in booth #1949.

International TableTop Day – Part 2

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We had representatives on the ground at two additional events for International Table Top Day this year. We’re excited the growth of the company has provided us the additional staff so we can play games with more people in more locations on more occasions in the future.

The Flame Hat made its debut at The Malted Meeple for International TableTop Day. Pretty swank, huh?

First up, we started the day in Hudson, OH with Kris and Maureen on location at The Malted Meeple, a gaming cafe that offers a wide variety of snacks and beverages (craft beers and sodas, and hand-crafted milkshakes!) as well as an extensive game library. Kris debuted the Flame Hat in her intro video for the event. You can watch it in action below:

The Malted Meeple main gaming area.
This area was packed all day!

We got set up in an event space off the main room around 11 AM and there were already several gamers at other tables enjoying games. We were set up to handle demos of Castle Panic with The Dark Titan, as well as Dead Panic and Bears! Partway through the day they broke out a copy of Munchkin Panic to show a few gamers how they were different and get a couple more demos underway.

We were running multiple demos all day. Our tables were always full!

Aside from the event room we had copies of the games out at tables in the main room among the throngs of people who kept the staff at The Malted Meeple hopping all day with milkshake orders and lots of snack prep! There was rarely an empty table and the place stayed full well into the evening. Maureen even played a couple of raucous games of Bears! right at the bar!

A rare moment you could actually see the bar, they were so busy all day and even had to call in extra staff!

It was great fun to see our games making the rounds and meet some big fans who came out specifically for Castle Panic swag. We even got to see our Troll coasters all over the place with each drink order!

Image courtesy of The Malted Meeple.
Our Troll coasters in action!

Next up, a few hours later and entire time zone away, Edgar and Gabby were at Dragon’s Lair Comic & Fantasy in Austin, TX for their in-store event!

They ran several demos of Castle Panic with The Dark Titan as well as a few with Castle Panic and BOTH The Dark Titan and The Wizard’s Tower expansions! Edgar also ran some people through some exciting games of Bears! They ran out of space and time as the tables remained full all day, but managed to talk to a lot of people about the upcoming Bears! Trail Mix’d expansion to Bears! as well as the forthcoming The Village Crone, expected out this fall.

Image courtesy of Dragon’s Lair Austin
Edgar giving the Castle Panic + The Dark Titan + The Wizard’s Tower demo

Dragon’s Lair is an awesome store and they planned a big event with several game companies represented and lots of open gaming happening. The staff there was very accommodating and supportive and the event attendees were great fun. There were even a few people who survived The Dark Titan! It was a long day full of fun, Castle destruction, and awesome people.

We look forward to future events at Dragon’s Lair and hope to see more of the Austin gaming community out at events like this. Thanks to the folks at Dragon’s Lair and The Malted Meeple for helping us have such a successful International TableTop Day!

Kris & Maureen will be back at The Malted Meeple later in the month as we are in their Publisher Spotlight this month. So if you are local in Ohio and missed TableTop Day you get a second chance at the fun. Check our calendar and watch our Facebook for information on the next visit.

You’ll be seeing more of Edgar as well as he heads up our new volunteer corps, The Torch Program. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Fireside Games, we are currently actively recruiting for the Austin area as well as for GenCon 2015. Contact us for more details.

International TableTop Day – Part 1

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Anne-Marie and Justin took a whirlwind trip to LA to attend the flagship TableTop Day event at Geek & Sundry’s secret Headquarters in Burbank. The day started off early with people lining up to get in. The “secret” headquarters weren’t so secret with giant, inflatable G&S logos everywhere, so it was pretty easy to find.

Justin and Anne-Marie got there early and were able to see the place while it was still empty. Geek & Sundry has a pretty sweet soundstage to work with!

Since we were sponsors of TableTop Day, we were given a VIP table where we could show off The Dark Titan. We had help this year from local game gurus, Eric Burgess and Devi Hughes. These two were awesome, running demos and keeping players entertained all day long. We couldn’t have done the event without them! Plus Eric brought famous strawberry donuts from The Donut Man, which of course Justin had to try.

 

Before long, the doors were open and gamers came flooding in! Tables were filled and many games began. People were excited to try The Dark Titan, but a lot of the people that came by the table hadn’t played Castle Panic yet at all. They soon realized they were getting a special treat when the designer of the game taught them how to play!

Devi gets some players started on a game of Castle Panic with The Dark Titan.

Felica Day kicked things off with a quick speech and was there all day playing games with people and shaking hands. Geek & Sundry had a library where players could check out games, as well as a merchandise booth where you could get a drink or pick up some sweet G&S swag!

While Eric and Devi taught some demos, Justin and Anne-Marie went out into the crowd to visit with fans and take in the whole event. We found some Bears! players, and Anne-Marie was able to teach the game to them, but she didn’t get the highest score that game!

There was a photo op with a couch and cutout of Felica Day that got a lot of attention that day as well as a Loser’s Couch. Here our buddy Patrick from Crash Games poses with a group of players that were defeated.

 

It was a great time with a great feel to it. Justin took this panorama shot standing in the middle of the soundstage, which kind of gives you a little bit of the feel of the whole thing.

Click to enlarge

 

The event was so large, they had to extend it out of the soundstage and into a tented area in the parking lot. And it was NEVER empty.

We also encountered a group of Munchkin players diving into the world of Munchkin Panic, so we stopped to talk with them. Once they realized they were talking with the designer of the game, they wanted to get their photo taken with Anne-Marie. It was a lot of fun to meet fans of our games at this event, since so many of them are new to gaming they are very passionate and very excited to meet the creators in person.

 

There were also 3 food trucks at the event providing Hawaiian shaved ice, Japanese-style hotdogs and gourmet grilled cheese. The lines may have been long, but it was worth it.

 

Later in the afternoon, Wil Wheaton arrived and thanked everyone for coming. It’s fun to see how drawn to him people are, and he really does make a great ambassador for gaming. He was running a live stream on Twitch that should be available shortly, and we’ll let you know once we have access to that.

We ran a bunch more demos and made a lot of players happy. Even if Agranok did crush their towers, players still left with smiles on their faces.

 

Eventually though, 6:00 rolled around, and it was time to close down the event. Wil and Felicia gave a very nice closing speech reminding everyone that this hobby brings us all together like nothing else and also pointing out that this year TableTop Day was celebrated on every continent on the planet, including Antarctica! It was really great to be a part of something so big, and we hope everyone had a blast playing games with old friends and new ones. Thanks to everyone that helped organize an event, or just joined one to make it more fun!