We've been so very busy with working on Story Realms, traveling to game conventions (like Gencon and now Pax Prime), and now launching the Kickstarter project for Story Realms that we haven't been blogging near as much as we'd like to. So tonight I'm just going to put up some photos from the day and say whatever comes to mind while it's still fresh.
So here's a quick look at the first day of Pax, with some late night rambling commentary!
|Tabletop Signage for Story Realms Demos|
We're here at the Penny Arcade Expo with our publisher Game Salute to show off the latest and greatest in games, including our own upcoming game, Story Realms. The art director for Story Realms, Dann May, made this awesome tabletop stand poster which I absolutely love for a couple reasons. First off, it makes our games easy to find! At Gencon, we didn't have anything on the table to indicate which games were happening where, at it seemed like people were always ending up int he worng place and having to move around. With this guy on the table, there's no question that an adventure in Storm Hollow is about to happen! Secondly, this is one of my favorite pieces of art for the game so far. It conveys so much about our world... here's this big scary giant who can reach in and rip the ROOF right off a cottage and snatch away an unsuspecting person, but at the same time he's kinda silly looking. Scary and silly, with a goofy nose and a menacing snarl. That's a tough combo to pull off, but it's just right for a storybook villain. In folk and fairy tales, the villain need to have a touch of something scary to them since they often serve as cautionary tales, and are creatures worth talking about for generations. However, when you tell a bedtime story to a kid, the last thing you want to do is to REALLY scare them, so this villain is a little silly too. His name is Blunderbore, and he's a got a big nose... but that's not all. His nose is SO big he can fold right up into it and disappear into the shadows. I personally think that's kind of a cool trick, and when you explain a villain doing something so preposterous as folding up into his nose, you can't help but get a smile from an eager young listener... but disappearing into nowhere and stepping through shadows, that some serious scare there... it's the back and forth of bright colors and exaggerated features, with the concepts behind it that makes Blunderbore into a great villain in my opinion. And the name.....Blunderbore.... names say a lot about a character. Is this guy blundering around, or is he boring right through the walls to grab up his target. Who knows, and that's the fun. The other thing I really like about this image is that it looks like he is reaching right out towards....me! I love the way the characters in the game art invite the players to step right into the world with them. Dann has done a fantastic job of using hands and perspective to really drive home the idea that YOU are part of the adventure. Combined with the callout "Storm Hollow needs you" I feel like this call to adventure is a great sign to have at our table!
|Me standing next to the first Story Realms banner... wow!|
When we started designing Story Realms, I never expected that I would be traveling around to game conventions and seeing the characters and world I helped create decorating a booth! I can't explain how cooll it was to see for the first time, a banner taller than me full of these ideas we just thought up in my game room. Very surreal. This is my Hollywood moment folks, my own personal red carpet :)
|Erik and Jonathan (writers for GeekDad) catching up with Julian and Randy|
One phenominon I had heard about time and time again from game conventions was this concept of Con BFF's... people you meet at a con and just click with, end up pal'ing around together playing games, then don't see again until the next con. The first convention of any size I've ever went to was Gamestorm back in March of this year, and while there we met a couple of really cool guys who we chatted and played games with. Running into Erik and Jonathan again was really cool, and made me feel like I "knew" some people in a giant crowded room full of strangers. It was a good feeling, and I'm happy about the budding friendships I've been picking up at the conventions we've been traveling to. Really, meeting people is one of the best parts, whether it's being able to connect with social media buddies from twitter or sharing rides with a fellow game designer working your booth, its been really cool to get to know some other gamers outside my normal circle and one of the things I'm starting to look forward to the most at upcoming events.
|Best part of demoing Story realms, watching people really ENJOY a game I helped create|
It's getting late and I should sleep, so I'll wrap up with my aboslute best thing about going to game conventions... getting to watch people learn to play and really get into the experience of Story Realms. Every single time we sit down to demo the game I have a moment of anxiety... what if they don't like it?? What if the game somehow ISN'T as funa s we think it is. Time and time again I've sweated through those first couple minutes of a demo only to find myself laughing along with the players as someone comes up with a really creative use for an everyday item, or attempts some grandious stunt that is over the top fun. One of the things I'm most proud of in Story Realms is the way it brings together groups of people laughing and sharing a story, it's such a simple but meaningful thing, and for me the absolute highlight of my convention going experience.
Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts as I scroll through some pictures from the today I'll be back tomorrow with a whole new batch of stories to tell as I take my 6 year old daughter Katie to a game convention for the first time- that's right PAX, Katie's in the house!! This should be awesome, I have no idea what to expect, but it sounds like an adventure!
***By the way, as I mentioned above... we launched the Kickstarter campaign for Story Realms this morning! We're trying to turn our dream into a reality, and we need your help! Please take a moment to check out our Kickstarter page, and if you'e so inspired pledge with us, share with your friends, or give us a shout-out on whatever social media networks you're a part of. We can't do this without you! Thanks!!!!!***