The other big game that I was excited to show publishers was Akrotiri – our new tile laying strategy game. I had emailed Zev from Z-Man games before the convention to set up a meeting to show him and he responded that he’d be interested in seeing the game sometime during the convention.
The convention is a big opportunity for publishers to get their games in front of the biggest die hard gamers out there – and die hard gamers are like big megaphones when it comes to liking (or disliking) a game. So a good review or word of mouth from someone at BGG.con leads to more sales. So this meant that publishers spent most of their time showcasing their games to players – throughout the entire day. This makes it hard for designers to get some of their time.
This was a big change for me as the only convention I had been to before was GAMA in Las Vegas. GAMA is where publishers show their games to retailers. Since it’s not as focused on playing games as much, I had a lot of time with each publisher. At BGG.con however I had almost no time.
I did manage to get Zev’s attention for 5 minutes – enough to show him Akrotiri. While I was setting up the game I handed him our Sales Sheet so he’d get the general idea. I quickly set up enough of the game and walked through the concepts of how the game works. I gave him an overview of all the interesting aspects of the game in less than 5 minutes. He expressed interest in it and said he’d either like to take it back with him or try to play it at some time during the convention.
As it turned out, he just didn’t have another free minute at the convention, so on Sunday I gave him the Akrotiri prototype for him to take back and playtest. I hope it doesn’t get lost or misplaced in the shuffle of bringing everything back – but at least it’s with him. We’ll follow up in a couple weeks with a friendly email!
Before giving it to Zev though, I did manage to play a full 2 player game with Seth Jaffee. I intended to only play a few rounds so he’d understand the concept – but we ended up playing the entire game (always a good sign). Seth managed to win the game as I was 1 action point away from finding my Gateway to Atlantis – which would have given me the lead! Seth seemed to like it and had some minor comments and suggestions that would make the 2 player game a bit better. He’d like to see how a 3-5 player game would play (as it would be a bit more competitive and faster paced than a 2 player game). If Zev passes on the game then I think we’ll send it to Seth to take a closer look.
The other game big game brought with me was Lost for Words. I showed this to Seth as well and while we were playing we started to draw a tiny crowd of people. Two of the people stayed and commented that they really liked the game. I let them play the game and they confirmed that they really loved the game. This is like gold when random people say this in front of a publisher. Unfortunately Tasty Minstrel isn’t interested in this kind of a game. I didn’t get a chance to show any other publisher this game but I am feeling good about its prospects!
I didn’t have a chance to show Junkyard or RuneMasters to anyone either. As I said, this was a pretty challenging convention to get a publisher’s attention for long enough. Not only that but there weren’t that many publishers present. I know, excuses – but I feel good about getting Akrotiri into Zev’s hands.
All in all – looks like we have a few more pokers in the fire for our future. One game published, the second coming next spring and the third sometime next year. The fourth and fifth? We’ll keep making great games and sending our games out to publishers!