Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gen Con Recap Part 2 (with MARS NEEDS MECHANICS!)

Continued from Gen Con Recap Part One

After a full day of gaming and meeting people, it was time to get to work! On Saturday I scheduled 8 hours of game sessions at 3 different locations and my play time was limited... but I managed to squeeze in some fun.

Not as much fun as this guy though.

Click through the jump for more Gen Con madness, including Mars Needs Mechanics, The Game Crafter, and a super secret prototype from Tasty Minstrel Games.

Mars Needs Mechanics
I have wanted to play Mars Needs Mechanics for a while now, and missed my chance at the World Boardgaming Championships a few weeks ago. Luckily everywhere I went designer Ben Rosset was demoing the game. Either he has super powers, or he cloned himself... because someone was always playing this game. And I see why. The prototype board is beautiful, and the game is so quick to learn, and lots of fun. It's a steampunk styled game about sending engineers to Mars. In the game you will collect components (buy low!) and build mechanisms (sell high!). There is also a great little track that goes around the board, determining where the value of your components will go up, down, or stay the same. Manipulating that track was my favorite part of our session. Also, I played against Pikachu!

Look for Mars Needs Mechanics on Kickstarter. Coming August 31st from Nevermore Games.

Pixel Lincoln
More Pixel Lincoln sessions! I met more backers throughout the weekend and made some new fans. Everyone had great things to say about the game, including BoardGameGeek reviewer Daniel Cain (lastalchemist):

**Game of the Con - GenCon 2012**

What a fucking AWESOME game. If someone would have asked me if a side scrolling board game could be made, I would have told you that you were crazy, but the designer did it. Filled with all sorts of gaming goodness this game really packs a punch. I'm kicking myself for not jumping on the Kickstarter when I had the chance, because this is definitely a game I need ot have in my collection. A lighter deckbuilding game than Thunderstone, but it doesn't tread in the usual troupes that most every other deckbuilder does. It not only finds it's own path, but it's clearly that bath with Bearderang! If you want your deckbuilder to be mechanical and routine, you can have your Dominion. But if you want meat based weapons, 16 bit awesomeness, then pick up Pixel Lincoln.

The Game Crafter
I had a few hours scheduled at The Game Crafter's booth. If you don't already know, The Game Crafter is a print on demand board game service. The easiest way to describe it is CafePress for games. As a creator you can create games using their many, many components and buy just one copy for yourself, nor host it in their shop. As a gamer you can search through their massive catalog of games and find some great games that you won't be able to find in your local store.

My favorite thing about The Game Crafter is the community. Owner JT (seen below) is very active in their community, and also sets up regular game design contests on the site. My game Sandwich City won the Dec 2011 Resource Design contest, so I demoed it at their booth to much joy from all of the players. I gave a copy to one of them who told me since that it was the highlight of Gen Con for her, and that they've played it at least 10 times since. Awesome!

Super Secret Tasty Minstrel Games Project
Another highlight was meeting up with Michael Mindes of Tasty Minstrel Games. If you don't know Michael, he's the founder of the company and also the voice. He's very open about his methods and practices in releasing, marketing and creating games, which is a great asset to up and coming designers and publishers. If you are interested in the industry I would suggest checking out his site:

After my very first Steak n' Shake dinner we jumped into a secret prototype Tasty Minstrel Games project. I can't really say anything about it, but I can say that I played it again as soon as it was finished. The cards in the game had full art (which was REALLY cool), but no pictures were allowed. There was one that Michael had to create himself, which he had no problem with us photographing (see below).

While I can't say much about the game, I can say I'm excited for it. We tested a few tweaks and made suggestions, hoping to make it into the rulebook in the top tier of playtesters. 

My opponent in the game (and now in real life too) Michael Keller posted an exclusive image of this just a few seconds before mine hit the web. I decided to go all out TMZ and say mine was exclusive as well. It's on!
And here are a few quick images of my one full swoop around the exhibit hall... which could be a small, yet overpopulated town. Gen Con released the numbers this week. There was an "attendance record of 134,775, including more than 41,000 unique attendees". It was packed in there.

Mega sized Ticket To Ride

Ian Steadman, designer of Alchemy: The Magnum Opus
Two of the coolest costumes at the show.
I don't know anything about this game, but as I was passing by I could not resist taking a picture. 
Super Dungeon Explore! Some of the best miniatures out there.
More Super Dungeon Explore!

D&D has a huge presence this year.
Good luck getting anywhere near Greater Than Games booth. Sentinels of the Multiverse was sold out and the tables were jam packed at all times.
The new must-have Sentinels of the Multiverse deluxe edition. You can just buy the box if you already have the game.
Zombicide in action. See what you can do when you raise almost a million dollars on Kickstarter? You can buy a blue fez!
Don't mess with these guys.
And that was the end of Gen Con... or was it? Check back for the shocking conclusion in Part Three!

1 comment:

  1. Drizzt is rocking a serious codpiece there. This looks like awesome fun!*

    *these two sentences not related in any way.