Seattle to Austin in 3 Minutes

Since we don’t have teleporters to zap us around the country yet, we still have to make do with road trips. Luckily for you, we also have time-lapse video! After we wrapped up the West by Southwest Tour, we still had to drive home. Anne-Marie finished up the tour by driving home from Seattle, Washington, to Austin, Texas, in 3 days. There was some beautiful scenery along the way, and you can see it all zip by in this high-speed video.

Ruffles Crispy Fries and Idaho Spud Review

Anne-Marie takes over the snack reviews for “What Will Justin Eat Next?” as we wrap up the West by Southwest Tour. This time she tries out Ruffles newest French fry impersonators and an Idaho candy that has nothing to do with potatoes, despite its name.

Card Kingdom and the End of WXSW

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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Wishes Toys, Books & Games

Our second to last store visit of the tour was to Wishes in the Everett Mall. Wishes is a fun store that features a wide variety of merchandise. Just like their name says, they feature a lot of toys and a great selection of books, graphic and otherwise!

The game section is great, which isn’t surprising when you realize the store is run by Lauren Coleman, who also runs Catalyst Game Labs. We had a great time comparing notes, sharing industry insights, and talking about favorite T.V. shows with Lauren. We even filmed a short interview with him, which you can check out below.

Gamma Ray, Blue Highway, and Uncle’s Games

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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WXSW Heads to Seattle For the Final Leg!

Today we head off to Seattle to begin the final leg of the West by Southwest Tour. These will be the last store visits before we head back to Austin, so if you want to catch us, this is the time!

Sunday, September 22nd (TOMORROW!)
Games Plus – 1pm-6pm
http://gamespluswa.net/
1805 Main Street
Lake Stevens, WA 98258

Thursday, September 26th
Gama Ray Games at The Raygun Lounge – 5pm-11pm
www.gamaraygamestore.com
501 E. Pine Street
Seattle, WA, 98122

Friday, September 27th
Blue Highway Games – 7pm-11pm
www.bluehighwaygames.com
2203 Queen Anne Avenue North
Seattle, WA, 98109

Saturday, September 28th
Uncle’s Games, Puzzles, and More – 6pm-12pm
www.unclesgames.com
Crossroads Mall15600 NE 8th StSuite K10
Bellevue, WA, 98008

Monday, September 30th
Wishes – 3pm-9pm
https://www.facebook.com/wishestoysbooksgames
Everett Mall1402 SE Everett Mall Way, #355
Everett, WA, 98208

Thursday, October 3rd
Cafe Mox/Card Kingdom – 6:30pm-10pm
www.cafemox.com
5105 Leary Avenue Northwest
Seattle, WA, 98107

Red Castle Games

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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Tennessee to Oregon. Ready? GO!

Want to see how we got from Tennessee to Oregon? Want to see it in 3:02? We thought you might.

Follow along as we hit Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon.


From The Drive From Tennessee to Oregon, posted by Fireside Games on 9/17/2013 (10 items)

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DragonCon 2013!

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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