Well, another March another GAMA Trade Show. For those of you not steeped in game industry doings, GTS is the only real trade show of the business and it’s held over four days in Vegas each March. This year’s show, which I returned from late Friday night, was interesting. Thanks to UPS and the Riviera’s business center, we had trouble getting our graphics case delivered in a timely fashion. The result was that we had no booth graphics of any kind for fully half the show. Arrgggggh. That was quite frustrating. Luckily, we did have advanced copies of things like Blue Rose and the Advanced Player’s Manual to show off, so it wasn’t as bad as it might have been.
Probably the most exciting thing for me was the debut of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, the game I’ve been working on for the past year. Monday night I finally got to hold a copy of the finished game in my hands. It’s really only at that point that you start to feel like all your effort has resulted in something tangible. Simon and Kate from Black Industries were over from Nottingham and they displayed to the book to eager retailers and distributors. The response was fantastic. I lost track of the number of people who said to me, “WFRP looks great and we’re going to sell a lot of it!” The official launch date isn’t until March 29, but getting the book in front of people and seeing their reaction was quite gratifying. On Tuesday Plundered Vaults and the Character Pack, which are shipping at the same time, also showed up and we got to check those out as well. Only a few more days until the worldwide release…
The new facilities for GTS at the Riviera were hit and miss. The actual convention facility was great and much better suited to the show’s current size than the Orleans (the show’s previous host casino). However, everything else about the Riv was poor. The hotel part is badly laid out and hard to navigate, the restaurant options are limited at best, and crucially there isn’t a central bar or suchlike for easy meetings and hanging out. For me, the show facilities trump the amenities, since we’re really there for the trade show. Nonetheless, I did find myself missing things about the Orleans, like the Alligator Bar and their oyster bar. On the upside, the hospitality suite was bigger and better this year and had coffee that was actually pretty decent.
I did not have as much time as I would have liked to check out new games, but in my browsing I didn’t see anything that knocked my socks off. I must say I am well and truly sick of collectible games and licenses based on soulless corporate properties. I increasingly wish that stuff would just fuck off to the mass market and leave the hobby market alone.
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