Sunday, September 8, 2013

Congress of Gamers & Breaking My Own Rule

Around this time last year, I took ZombieZone down to the Congress of Gamers in Rockville, MD. It was a collection/gathering of people playing games in a huge senior center about 3 hours from my house. There was some organized play, but I went for the Unpub Protozone. Basically, it's a room for designers to test out their projects with other designers and gamers. Definitely worth a 3 hour drive.

Now I went on a Sunday, which is against all of my convention rules. And although I wouldn't really call it a convention (as there was 1-2 vendors and it was generally a really quiet setting), the rule still applies.

My Cardinal Convention Rule: Avoid Sundays at all costs. Why? Basically, the spark is gone. By Sunday everyone is heading out, packing up, tired, broke, and done with it all. I even booked a 6AM Sunday flight out of Gen Con this year just to leave on the wave of Saturday night (which ended beautifully with a huge 20 person dinner at Buca Di Beppo. Sunday wasn't going to beat that). So yes, Sunday is a big no-no for me. 

I went to Congress of Gamers on a Sunday last year because my Saturday was booked solid, and it looks like it's going to be the same for me this year. Sunday wasn't bad though. Although it was quiet in there, it was a focused group of designers (as well as gamers) and I made a lot of progress with my intentions for ZombieZone, broke some of my blind testing fears and made a few new friends. Someone who played even went home and bought a copy that night, so I can't be too down about it. 

This year, following tradition I'll be going on Sunday again (September 29th). Saturday is jam-packed here and won't work out. I would almost skip the event altogether (See the above rule), but Darrell Louder called me out on the most recent State of Games podcast saying something like "I'm sure Tagmire will be at Congress of Gamers". I took this as a challenge. Not just to be there like Darrell said, but instead to be there with a brand new game to test out. 

I have a few things in the works that need serious nurturing and locking myself in to the event is a sure way to force myself to press forward. I will also be locking myself in a room to finish these games... 

And it's not like I've been doing nothing either. I've been knee-deep in Storyteller Cards as they just hit production, neck-deep in Pixel Lincoln as I'm finalizing the next expansions, and underwater with Pigpen pre-production prep with Island Officials. It's time to take a breather and work on my favorite part... designing games!

So here is what to possibly expect at Congress of Gamers from me:

-A game about getting a judge sick to win a court case.
-A dexterity based space battle micro game.
-A huge inverted dungeon crawler.
-A 60 second game of frantic survival.

One of these will make it there no matter how ugly it may be. I'll probably have some new Pixel Lincoln stuff on hand as well.

Hope to see you there! Don't have too much fun on Saturday without me, and try to save some of that Saturday buzz for when I get there bright and early Sunday morning. Yikes. 


Paul Owen said...

It was great to see you there, if only for a few hours. Thanks so much for playing "East India Company." Sorry I couldn't stay long enough to return the favor and play one of your games. I owe you a game at UnPub 4!

Jason Tagmire said...

Thanks Paul! We had a blast with East India Company. I should have a few fun things to try at Unpub 4. Looking forward to it!

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