Category : Uncategorized
Event Dates: May 27th-30th
I decided to go to Gamex, a Strategicon event, after talking to a friend who offered an assistance in introducing me to folks out there. I did this when I was also preparing for LVL Up Expo and looking for any game exposure I could get before Phoenix Comicon. Fortunately, this experience was significantly more productive. I made plans to fly in and… well, that was all I had. I was going to show up and hope for the best. I hadn’t been to this show and the schedule was already set so I figured I would bring my games at attempt to promote them. I’d also fly in because I didn’t want to be exhausted by a 6-7 hour solo drive.
However, once I came back from LVL Up, I realized how challenging it would be to go it alone and simply sit trying to generate interest for the games. I got some last minute luck though because less than a week before go time, two of my GMs (Tim and Corey) and the girlfriend of one, offered to drive up to LA and help me out!!! I decided to keep my flight so I could be there the whole time, and they were going to meet me at the end of day one, and help out that Saturday and Sunday.
I flew in a few hours before the show begun, meandered around the area. The event itself reminded me of some of the first conventions I’d been to but a bit larger. Those events, like this one, had the hotel and convention all in the same space and focused on one main type of thing, such as gaming. I didn’t know anyone initially and my friend wasn’t available. I wasn’t entirely comfortable talking to people at first but got the hang of it. I met several game designers who were setting up their spaces. I would walk over and just chat with them.
That night, I was invited to a “game designer” VIP meet and greet. It was nice to be invited, and introduced to folks. I thought it was just slightly early for that because even though I know the games will be published, they have yet to be. In the hotel suite we were in I did get to see a few other game designers from Phoenix like the folks from Meeple Games. There were a few game developers, and I got to speak to people about their experiences giving their ideas to a game company or developing a game idea that had been established by a contracted party. It is usually not “have idea for game, go through the work of making and designing the game, market the game” all done by one person. I’m hoping I can work with others later on, but right now it seems to be a necessary evil where I’m at in the process.
The next two days my GMs came in and we were matching polos (I thought they were awesome). I made up some standing table signs; it wasn’t much but it was something. I hadn’t done any significant prep work for this event which I regretted somewhat after. I could have had items in sooner for it but my eyes were on the local show, Phoenix Comicon. Next time! However, we didn’t entirely need it. Tim Aldridge, one of the GMs brought people to the tables we had taken over during the event. Oh, about that, there was a section with a few other game designers and some extra tables. They didn’t mind us joining them, everything in the industry has been very cool and helpful. Anyway, so Tim got us people who were walking by to check out the games. It seems to be his GM superpower. He is also a solid GM to have. My other GM, Corey, also worked hard those two days and we introduced several people to the games. It felt like a huge success based on the feedback we got from the players. I did make a few notes on some light game modifications while I was there.
We were busy fairly nonstop Saturday and Sunday, until I had to leave Sunday around 6pm. I was meeting a friend who is working on a mobile app for Battle Gnomes. Because she lives in L.A. I felt I needed to take time to meet with her about the game in person. That’s an exciting proposition. Her fiancé works on them and they’re going to do that as a project. We also found an amazing place for crepes that were more like meals. Seriously, the size of my face. It was right across from a place that had Japanese fused American Burgers. Weird, but delicious. I liked both places so much I’ll link to them, if any readers (okay, I know, it will be a while before I get readers) are ever in L.A. Freaking amazing food.
Anyway, the next morning the group of us had breakfast at Denny’s, then my GMs took off to go sight-seeing. I was happy that they could have fun while helping me out. Sure I got their badges, but beyond that, they were really doing me a huge favor. They went and saw a lot of cool things. I stayed, interacted with a couple of people again, and met even more new people before leaving for my flight. I met one guy who had self-published a game with his brother but upon reflection would have considered going the Kickstarter route if he had it to do again. Still, he was doing pretty well with his game and is even going to GenCon. Not long after, I took off for the airport, several hours before my flight. I was exhausted. I just wanted to sleep in a chair waiting for my plane. I think not for lack of sleep as much as the amount of mental and emotional stimulation being around so many people.
That’s my review. I tried to not let it get out of control elaborate, still working on how to blog but practice makes perfect. Or something like that. Anyhow, I’m linking the various game companies and places that were just awesome. Very considerate and helpful, and those are the companies I think are best to support.
And with that, I made it home, having two days left to prepare for Phoenix Comicon. That was a wild ride, and a different post.
Helpful game companies: