Very busy day of new games, meeting old friends, playtesting games, having meetings, etc. I’ve played more games than usual this year – but interestingly, I can’t talk about any of them because they are all unpublished prototypes that will hopefully see the light of day in the next year or so. Eric Martin and I have already written a bit about Time Stories (See his BGG blog for more details). Today, I played yet another cooperative game which was a blast. Perhaps my views on cooperative games are changing?!
I’m pretty neutral on the new hall layout – it definitely feels bigger, the aisles are wider. All the reports say that the total square footage is more, but I wonder if rented square feet is more due to the wide aisles. The old layout was very cramped, especially halls 4, 5, and 9. Everything here is nicely spaced. I honestly can’t get a good feel for whether or not it’s crowded or not since I don’t have any other experience to compare it too. Everywhere I look, I’m surrounded by gamers, but it’s not the same Tokyo subway sensation trudging through the tight halls of Hall 9 in past years. Many of the companies that I have talked to say that business is brisk, but certainly not the “best day evar” either. The other interesting aspect of the wider halls is that there wasn’t the same sensation of lines everywhere that you usually get on Thusrday. There were always people at Lookout, for instance, but it didn’t clog up the whole pathway, so it wasn’t as obtrusive. Also, there were plenty of designer/artist signings (Piero, Antoine Bauza, Marie Cardouat, etc) – and the lines for this also seemed shorter, or at least more controlled.
The only downside, for me, is that the new hall layout has added about 800m onto my walk each way to the Messe. There is no shortcut into the hall now, and while it’s no big deal in the morning – walking back to the hotel with two IKEA bags stuffed full of games… it’s about enough to separate both shoulders! Thursday’s total is 25,500 steps = 12 or 13 miles. Lots of walking inside the halls as usual, so only about an extra 3,000 steps from the 3 trips back and forth to the halls today.
All of the vendors appear to still be in the Messe, though in different locations. Sadly, the Bratwurst at the Snackpoint is more expensive, now a precious 2,60EUR instead of 2,50.
Nice “surprise” retirement party for Mike Gray. Lots of folks on hand to celebrate his long service to the industry, most recently with Hasbro.
(He’s the guy who doesn’t look like Dr Knizia)
Not much time to write more today. Thursday (and Friday) are for meetings, picking up games, etc. I’ll do more later in the weekend. I also have to figure out what’s wrong with my camera so I can post pictures up.
Time to start the first test pack to see if I even have any more space to bring games home.