This year has been crazy busy, and I honestly fell asleep with my laptop on my belly last night around 2130 when we returned from dinner. Though sometimes it seems possible; I was not actually able to write anything about games in my sleep! Further, as I had fallen asleep, I had no battery left when I awoke – and I had to charge up while making my morning rounds. So, to recap – Wednesday was setup day. I made a short post of the press event and spent most of the rest of the day in meetings and picking up games on my list. As we are trying to become slightly more Internet savvy; different OG members are trying to post on Twitter (@opinionatedgmrs) and Instagram (@opinionatedgamersblog) and/or Facebook. I’ll try to fully duplicate what has already been posted there; and frankly, I probably couldn’t remember those things which I posted on the fly. Also, thanks to the power of the Internet, I was able to quickly get an answer to my question about the shipping booth location (Hall 4, in the back) within a hour of posting. Woot! More on this later. I did have a nice meeting at the IELLO booth during the day. We talked a bit about the current games – mostly 8BitBox and Downforce. 8BitBox is an analog version of old school videogames – the base box comes with shared components that will be used in all the different modules, and then you get 3 game modules with the base set. Pixoid is very reminiscent of PacMan (but of course IP-safe). There is a clever team based game called Stadium which reminds you of Track and Field. There are also more modules in the pipeline, so this looks to be the start of a nice franchise. I did get to see a prototype of Double Rumble which will be a Street Fighter-ish module.
We also talked a little about Downforce; recently licensed from Restoration Games. They had a huge setup at their stand with stacks of tires and everything. This looks to be a budding partnership that will work well for both parties. I did ask about the possibility of an IELLO Fireball Island, and there is officially no comment. They’re starting with Downforce (and the expansion) and will go from there.
I was super excited to see that IELLO is going to do a version of Little Town Builders. The components here are only prototype and look much like the original – I was told that this will get the usual IELLO art treatment, so I look forward to the final version.
They are also doing a game called Legendary Forests which has a beautiful Japanese theme. This will be a game like Take it Easy where one person draws a tile and then all players find that tile and then try to make the best play with it.
Topa Topa is their foray into the world of Roll and Writes – it looks Tetris-like – but it appears quite easy to play. Time will tell how it differs from the others in the now crowded corner of this market.
I tried to volunteer a short shift at the BGG stand, but due to some customs issues, the BGG Store wasn’t available Wednesday or Thursday … All the stuff did arrive during the day, and it was ready to go by Friday morning, and it did cause a hellacious line of people waiting to spend their 5EUR to get a hard-to-come-by expansion or promo.
While at the BGG Booth, I did manage get in my one trade for the year. I found a great gamer in Sweden (Hi Ulf!) who was able to pick me up some Swedish candy that I love – and I was able to get him a copy of a Target exclusive game that he wanted. Win-win. The gaming community is great to be able to make something like this happen…
I made a number of trips back to the hotel on Thursday, and my guess is that I brought maybe 60 pounds home – not quite as much as Wednesday – but still enough to have the IKEA bags nearly separate my shoulders!
I managed a short break for lunch and had one of tasty bratwurst im brotchen that used to be my staple here. Now, there are more choices than the SnackPoint stands, but every year, I’m usually good for at least one!
While wandering around, I also ran into a group of Mormon elders who were on their Mission – and they just happened to be in Essen. I’m sure there are plenty of unpious here in the halls, but I must say that this is a dream draw for a Mission. Much better than many of the other places they could have gone!
BTW, I love hanging out with Jess. No idea how she manages all the travel and conventions, but she’s a ray of sunshine! And, I swear to you, she knows about every third person here. In our five minute catch up session, she must have gotten hugs from like a dozen people.
Had a dinner at a nice local Asian place which seems new, and I took advantage (again) of the German love of duck. Duck Kung Pao tonight followed by a trip to Morchens, the local awesome Eis shop.
On the way home, had to replenish the beverage situation at the hotel room, and we ran across an interesting set of bottles… I get American Ginger Ale (well, maybe) – but I have never seen Indian Tonic Water.
Once I got back home, time for the packing… As you have seen, I have too many boxes. I decided that I would work on my box home. I just started to fit stuff in the box as best as I could – as I have found that the best protection for game boxes is the pack things in so tight that they simply can’t move. The max weight for a DHL box is 30kg, so I had to get it close.
Friday morning, I took advantage of my early entrance to get in and find a hand truck to borrow – and then used it to get the box to the shipping stand. I ended up wasting 200gm as my box came in at 29.8kg. It turns out to be a little pricey, but it also saves my a lot of time as the rest of the games that I will get this week should fit nicely in my luggage without too many weight reduction shenanigans… and my jacket will probably weigh less than 10 pounds!
I’ll try to get to the rest of Friday later – I gotta get running to my lunch with Ravensburger!
Until your next appointment
The Gaming Doctor
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