October 18th, 2005

Cubicle 7

Essen Review (Sort of...)

Even despite last weeks cold I had a very enjoyable time at the Essen Games Fair. Lots of good food, lots of meeting up with old friends from around the world and making a few new ones to boot, oh and lots of games to look at (and play) too.

And play I did this year. I usually end up rushing around from meeting to meeting and trying to check out each stand to make sure I'm aware of what's coming out, where the 'buzz' is, and how I can get copies for the shop. Well I did all of that this year (plus some dinky Cubicle 7 stuff to boot) AND still managed to have a handful of games! How I managed it I'm not entirely sure, but I'm glad I did.

The games I played were "King of History" by a Korean company (which I then brought for further testing), 'Shear Panic' by Fragor Games (A Scottish companY) which was absolutely fabulous and had actually sold out by the time the show open its doors on the first day due to preorders and the popularity of it. I have my name down for when it's reprinted - excellent little sheep game :p Zombiaki - a Polish two-player zombies card game which I'm hoping to produce in English, A Neuroshima (Polish RPG) tactical board game which was very good fun, Wench: The Card Game (by Eagle Games) and a couple of other games. I also came back with a couple of bags of games (samples, promos as well as a few purchases) which I'll no doubt start inflicting my games group with in the coming weeks (need to find rules translations for a few too).

Meet up with several LJers (most notably anyeone mrwarfrog and muskrat_john). Got roped into a podcast with John K as we were chilling out both having our 'lunch' at about 6pm (John had just done a marathon signing session). Why is it that microphones are always thrust in front of you when you keep coughing, sneezing and have a gravelly voice? I also almost got interviewed on German TV but ran away as I didn't have a clue what they were trying to ask me (obviously in German).

Also managed to bump into a couple of old Nightfallers. Chippy was at the show signing art and I bumped into Chaz Elliott at a party on Friday night with his wife. Also at said party was Pete Adkison who was at the show launching his company's new game 'CLOUT: Fantasy'. It's a collectible poker-chip battle game where you are trying to flip your chips to protect your pieces whilst trying to attack your opponents. I haven't actually played it as yet so don't know how it plays. John K and myself suggested that Peter produced some promotional CLOUT Frisbees for GenCon SoCal as it's in California. I'm not sure he took the suggest all that seriously though (which is a shame as I'd love to own a frisbee with daver2323's artwork on it!). I also met one of the designers of the Pokemon games at the party (he couldn't speak much English though) and a collegue of his who has been working on a very cool looking Pokemon Collectible Miniatures game due out in Europe/Australia next Easter (he could speak much better English and has invited me out for drinks if I go to Tokyo - yay!). There were tons of industry folk at the party and fun was had by all! It was also Gille's (from Millennium - a French Distributor and publisher) 40th birthday celebration so it was doubly good to see a healthy turn out to help him celebrate.

It was also during the party (Friday night about 10.30) that my full hearing decided to return. A combination of cold and flying had killed my ears which was annoying to say the least when you're at a show with 150,000 other people trying to do business when English is not the natural language for about 85% of the people you're talking to. Glad it finally returned but I was back on a plane again the neext day! (My ears survived second time round). Anyway, had a great show and am seriously considering doing Nuremburg in February as well as GTS in Vegas and GenCon Indy next year as I really do miss the people I only get to see on the Show circuit. Oh, and next year I will try to do Lucca as I have invites from various Italians and it sounds like a damn fine event.
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