Texas Frightmare Weekend, or How We Learned To Feel A Convention Attendees Pain.

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Last weekend Anne-Marie and I got the chance to attend the Texas Frightmare Weekend (TXFW) up in Dallas. It’s an annual convention dedicated to horror and sci-fi and really lets fans dig into their favorite monster movies by meeting the actors, directors, and special effects stars that make the stuff they love. Continue reading Texas Frightmare Weekend, or How We Learned To Feel A Convention Attendees Pain.

T.A.B.L.E. Was a Blast!

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Last weekend had us up in Dallas for the first ever Tabletop and Boardgame Learning Expo. The expo was created as a way to expose non-gamers to all the fun that our hobby has to offer. We saw lots of new faces and a few old friends as we played demos with hundreds of other gamers. Continue reading T.A.B.L.E. Was a Blast!

Card Kingdom and the End of WXSW

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Last Thursday we made our way into Seattle one last time and arrived at Card Kingdom for the final store visit of our West by Southwest tour. We started the tour back in February and have travelled through 20 states visiting game stores, meeting fans, and generally having a blast. After all that time, and all those miles it all comes to an end on a chilly Seattle afternoon at what is probably the biggest game store in Seattle.

Card Kingdom used to be known for their collectible card game selection, but they have expanded to cover board games, miniatures, and more. They also added on a great dining and food area called Café Mox, which allows gamers to nosh on all sorts of tasty treats and beverages as they conquer the universe or slay dragons.

We grabbed a tasty dinner at the café and then settled into what turned out to be a very quiet night. That actually worked out great because we were able to spend a lot of time with one of Justin’s old college buddies and a bunch of extended family. It was really nice getting to show the games to some friends and family while we reconnected and made for a very warm, fun way to end our last demo.

 We said goodbye and packed up our stuff for the last time. It was a bit of a relief to be done, but bittersweet to think that our big adventure was coming to an end. The store visits may have ended but the travelling wasn’t quite over. We woke up early the next morning and Anne-Marie dropped Justin off at the airport so he could fly out to attend the Alliance Open House in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Anne-Marie headed out to make the long drive back from Seattle to Austin. We’ll have a few more videos and a wrap up post soon, but for now we’re going to take a break, catch up on some sleep, and get ready for our next big adventure.


From Card Kingdom and the End of WXSW, posted by Fireside Games on 10/07/2013 (14 items)

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Gamma Ray, Blue Highway, and Uncle’s Games

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The last few days saw the Fireside Games van traveling all over the Seattle area. We hit 3 stores in 3 days and got a chance to check out some of the best-known places in Puget Sound.

Thursday night, we were at Gamma Ray Games in Capitol Hill. More precisely, we were in the brand-new Raygun Lounge, just up the hill from the store itself. The lounge is a cool space that has tons of tables, a bunch of demo games available, and a bar. They also sell some very tasty sandwiches! We ran some local gamers through Dead Panic, showed them how to run away from bears, and then got some rest for our next event.

Blue Highway Games in Queen Anne is a really neat store, with its wood details and suspended kites. This was actually our second visit here, the first being back in 2011, so it was fun to get back again. We had fans come out just to get a peek at Dead Panic, and we made sure to show them the best ways to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Saturday night started with a huge downpour in typical Seattle fashion, but that didn’t stop us from making it out to Uncle’s Games in Bellevue. Uncle’s is a chain that started in Spokane and has grown and spread to include 4 stores throughout Washington State. Zach and the crew at Uncle’s took good care of us and let us take over a bunch of tables to set up our games. We fought off orcs, ran from bears, and had a ton of people taking a stand against the undead. We stayed late into the night and had a great time with everyone.

Our next store visit will be the second to last for the tour! We’ll be at Wishes Games in the Everett mall from 3 to 9.


From Gamma Ray, Blue Highway, and Uncle’s Games, posted by Fireside Games on 9/30/2013 (8 items)

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Red Castle Games

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Located in Portland, Red Castle Games is one of the newer stores in the area. They’ve only been around for about 3 years, but they are quickly gaining a great reputation. We got our first look at the store for ourselves last Saturday. Tasty snacks, free wi-fi, and lots of table space make Red Castle a great spot to hang out! We ran demos and got to introduce Candy and Andrew from the store to all our games. Justin even got a chance to play in a cutthroat 4-player game of Bloodsuckers, so it turned out to be a pretty great visit!


From Red Castle Games, posted by Fireside Games on 9/18/2013 (7 items)

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DragonCon 2013!

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It’s been a week since DragonCon in Atlanta, and we’re still looking back and grinning. This was our first time at the show, and we really weren’t sure what to expect. Oh sure, we’ve heard about the great costumes and how big the show is, but it’s always different to experience something like this in person. What is DragonCon? That’s a good question. I had a hard time explaining it to the woman behind the counter at our hotel because it isn’t one thing. It’s a convention for fans of TV and movies, fantasy and sci-fi, pop culture, and general weirdness. There is gaming, cosplay, shopping, autograph signings, and everything geeky under the sun. As Anne-Marie said to another vendor, “It’s like ComicCon before there was a ComicCon.”

The preparations started for us on Thursday, when we drove into downtown Atlanta and began the less-than-glamorous task of waiting for our load-in time so we could start setting up. Many hours later, we were finally carrying all our boxes and cases into our booth. Then we began the real work of turning an empty 10 foot by 10 foot booth into a cool space to show off cool games.

Before…
After!

We finished our setup and headed out to meet with our fulfillment partners for dinner. Our games are warehoused and shipped out of Atlanta, and it’s always great to see the gang and talk a little business while we’re in town.

Friday was the first day of the show, and it got busy quick! Right away we noticed a big difference between DragonCon and Gen Con in the way attendees view games. At Gen Con, players are there for games, and they want to sit down and play a game to really experience it. At DragonCon, attendees have a lot of interests, and there is so much to see they don’t have time for full games. They wanted a quick overview and made up their minds right then. It was a lot of fun getting to show our games to non-gamers, but we quickly realized we hadn’t brought nearly enough Castle Panic! To make matters worse, our reprint arrived later than expected, and we weren’t be able to get any more from our warehouse. Curses!

That night after grabbing some dinner, we hit the costume contest. A huge auditorium filled with eager onlookers as competitors took to the stage to show off their creations. The award categories are based on how experienced the creators are, and they are judged by a panel of professional costumers. While they were all pretty cool, my favorite had to be the full-body Skeksis Chamberlain, and since it won Best In Show, I wasn’t alone.

Image copyright @itp_atl

Saturday, we drove past the streets where the famous parade takes place. It was completely packed! We’re talking 4 or 5 people deep! Sadly, the parade starts at the same time that the vendor hall opens, so we couldn’t make it out there. Maybe next year. Once the crowd came in, we were surrounded by people asking about Bears!, Bloodsuckers, and Dead Panic. We had flown a few copies of Dead Panic out for Gen Con, but we sold through those in a day. All we had left at this point was our demo copy, which was great to give people a taste of the game, but it left a lot of folks sad that they couldn’t go home with their own copy right there. We were sad too.

We thought the crowds would start to die down on Sunday or Monday, but we were wrong. It stayed packed all weekend. We were always busy at our booth, explaining games, giving quick overviews, and handing out catalogs and swag to fans. The convention is actually spread out over 5 hotels with the vendor area taking over 4 sections of the AmericasMart building, so it’s pretty big. We barely even had the chance to leave our booth. The farthest we made it was to the bathrooms, but that just proves how great the show was.

Sunday night, we had a fun dinner with our friends from Adventure Retail, Steve Jackson Games, and Ken Hite. Monday was another blur of demos and crazy, cool costumes, and then the show was over. We packed up our booth, loaded the van, and said goodbye to DragonCon. We’ve already purchased a booth for next year, so we’ll be back! You can check out some of the cool costumes and get a taste of the convention in our photos and video below.

We left Atlanta to meet some friends in the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, for a short, but much needed mini-vacation. Our next stop will be the Portland, Oregon, area this Thursday, so stay tuned as we get back into the West by Southwest tour!


From DragonCon 2013!, posted by Fireside Games on 9/11/2013 (13 items)

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San Fran to Indy in Photos

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You may have already seen our time-lapse video of our drive from California to Indianapolis, but here are some fun stills we shot along the way. Check out some gorgeous landscapes, wide open spaces, and one very unlucky dragonfly.


From From San Francisco to Indianapolis, posted by Fireside Games on 8/22/2013 (11 items)

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