My first full day at the Gathering started later than I wanted, due to a 6 hour plane delay…boo. But once I got there, it felt very familiar and instantly comfortable! I found Alan Moon and showed him my World of Games map.What’s that, you ask? Well, at the end of each Gathering, there is a prize ceremony. It’s the only time everyone is together and focused. Everyone who won any contest or tournament during the week gets to pick from the prize table.Then everyone else is who didn’t win a tournament – but did bring a prize to contribute to the table – gets to pick from the prize table.
Pretty much everyone participates and you can see the prize table growing throughout the week as more and more people arrive. 95% of all the prizes are games (with 10%-20% being hard to find and out of print games), but some people create something artistic for the prize table.This year there was game- themed jewellery, ties, coasters and my map!
I created a map of the world and populated it with images of board games.The neat idea I had was to use games that had the name of a place in the title of the game – and place a somewhat recognizable image from that game on the map where that place was. I was pretty happy with it! I got it printed onto cloth that was about 6 yards wide as I thought it would be interesting to use it as a table cloth.We got permission from the hotel to hang it directly on the wall so that everyone could see it throughout the entire event. Super cool! Peter Eggert of Eggertspiele ended up winning the map – which is also cool!
Anyway – enough about the prizes and the map – let’s get into talking about the pitches to publishers! This year was very different than last year for a couple reasons:
1) My house was broken into a couple months ago, and I lost all my computers and back-up hard drives with all my files. I had another back-up but it was over a year old so I didn’t have very current files. Since I spent the greater part of the last two months packing the rest of my stuff, moving and re-acquiring things through insurance, I didn’t have enough time to properly make sales sheets! What?! I know, it’s insane. I feel like we really pioneered the sales sheets for game designers (I have no idea if we did, but it was our own original idea to do sales sheets before we ever saw anyone else doing it). It definitely felt awkward pitching without sales sheets this year. For sure we’re going back to sales sheets after this!
2) I felt like the Gathering was so much more informal of an event that a designer can easily walk up to any publisher (who are easily identifiable due to their blue name badges!) and ask them if they’re looking at designs while they’re here. 100% of them said they were. So I didn’t set up any meetings in advance with any publisher. I wouldn’t recommend this if this was your first year attending the Gathering though. I knew almost all the publishers I was pitching to, so that made it a lot easier for me.
So no sales sheets and no set-up interviews.Yikes. Fortunately, everything went awesome-rific! On day 1 I pitched to Filosofia/Z-Man, Asmodee and Repos. I’ll review the details in the next post!