Gamers will have their first chance to get their hands on the premiere edition Monster Town at this year's Toy and Game Expo in Sydney, Australia on 5-6 July. 93 Made Games will also be showcasing its other games - Viewpoint and Viewpoint Reflections - as well as NinjitZoo, which is the first game from Indie designers Blue Room Games. These games will be exclusively available to the Toy and Game Expo attendees for special expo-only discount prices. Along with Mega Games and Natural 20 Games and Hobbies, the expo will also be the only locations where gamers will be able to purchase Monster Town prior to its official release in September 2014.
As per usual, 93 Made Games will be giving away plenty of merchandise to people who show up at our booth and purchase our games. And back by popular demand, 93 Made Games chocolates will be available - while stocks last - to anyone who comes by our booth to say hello.
We will be demonstrating all of our released games as would be expected but will also be demonstrating the latest prototype of Superstars Rugby League to those diehard league enthusiasts. Attendees will also get to throw rotten tomatoes at us during our 30 minute stint on the Spotlight Stage so please feel free to raid the vegie bin and hurl some produce our way or at least come by to say hello and play our games.
Last but by no means least, we want to meet with as many other independent Australian game designers and publishers as possible. The expo is a great place for doing this so if you have a game that you have designed and/or released then we want to know your story. Come by our booth or drop us an email so we can see how we can help build the Australian games industry together. 93 Made Games might even be able to assist in distributing your games throughout Australia and beyond.
The Toy and Game Expo is Australia's only public expo with the latest in toys and board games. Experience the fun in this family interactive heaven for ages from 4 through to adults based on a principle of See, Play, Own. Come along and SEE passionate high end users demonstrating their projects. PLAY with it yourself, and if it tickles your fancy take the opportunity to OWN it by visiting a retail booth.
If you are a gamer, game designer, artist, graphic designer, publisher, retailer or distributor then the Australian Games Expo - Australia's premier tabletop gaming exposition - is the unmissable event of the year. The 93 Made Games team (Sean, Anthony and Julia) recounts their wonderful weekend in Canberra at the 2010 expo and highlights why it is such a great event.
Friday - Setup and Boardgames Australia Awards
We arrived at site of expo - Exhibition Park In Canberra (EPIC) - just after 9am. Expo coordinator, Phil Davies of Mind Games Albury gave us a tour of the expo hall and a run down of each of the exhibitors. The 93 Made Games booth was conveniently positioned in between Even Toys & Games (Australian distributor) and Crown & Andrews (Australian publisher).
Our interior design extraordinaire, Julia, whipped us into action as we setup our booth in quick time. Afterwards, we took the opportunity to check out the neighbouring hall which was hosting CanCon - Canberra's yearly gaming convention. The hall had gaming tables clustered as far as the eye could see. We hadn't been to CanCon for a few years and it looked like participation had more than doubled since our last visit.
After spending some time talking to booth operators at the expo and CanCon, we got prepared for the Boardgames Australia (BGA) awards being held that night. The awards are held to recognise excellence in game design and are judged in accordance with a range of guidelines such as enjoyment, originality and replayability. This year's and previous winners of the awards are listed on the BGA website. The awards night gave us and other designers/publishers an opportunity to mix and mingle with various industry representatives including the BGA crew, Giles from Rio Grande (US publisher) and Naomi from Elementaurs (Australian designer/publisher). The free drinks and food were an added bonus.
Saturday - Visitors from UoW and Learn About Play Forum
Day one - fun, fun, fun. We demonstrated Viewpoint all day to people new to the game and existing fans of the game. We also had a special visit from Barry and Jason from the University of Wollongong Gaming Club. We revealed our latest prototypes of Show'n'Go, Gladitorus Millennia and Viewpoint Reflections to Barry and Jason who were so enthusiastic about them that they wanted copies for their club as soon as possible. We also made sure that Barry and Jason received their very own Viewpoint t-shirts so they could be the envy of their gaming club.
Whilst Anthony and Sean continued to entertain the expo-goers and mingle with other exhibitors, Julia participated in a 'Learn About Play' forum convened by Melissa Rogerson from BGA. The forum had four main sessions - Learn Through Play (a presentation by Dr Wood Challenge Centre about lesson planning with games), The School Game Night (a presentation on boardgaming nights for community-building and fundraising for schools), Play Time (a hands-on session in which people got to play with the games presented during the two previous sessions) and a Round-Table Discussion (a discussion of the use of games in education).
Sunday - Protospiel and Viewpoint Tournament
Day two - games for me and you. Demonstrations of Viewpoint continued as Sean play-tested games at the Canberra Protospiel, which was organised by Richard Vickery from BGA. He discovered a space-based Euro/strategy game and an NRL Trivia game; the latter of which he somehow managed to win. He also demonstrated Show'n'Go and received valuable feedback from his play-test group. BGA plans to hold Protospiels throughout 2010 and beyond.
Sean also sat in on a talk on 'designing games and getting them published' by Craig Browne (inventor of Sorts for Kids - 2009 BGA Australian Game of the Year).
Meanwhile, Anthony ran the CanCon Viewpoint tournament as a precursor to the Viewpoint World Championships to be held in the second half of 2010. More qualification tournaments will be held around Australia and the world including those at Good Games stores up and down the Eastern seaboard. Check out the Viewpoint Leaderboard for a list of those who will receive free entry into the world championships. The prize pool and international representatives will be revealed later in the year.
Monday - Chill Out Day and Pack Up
Day three - you can't do that with a Wii. After two full-on days of demonstrations, workshops and seminars, we got to play some of the games from the other booths such as Elementaurs and Motus. Pack up began at around 2:30pm but not before the team and some fans got in a monster game of Viewpoint in which two decks were used with the objective being to reach 200 points. The dust settled after about 30 minutes with Shirley winning (again!), Ed, Claudia and Julia close behind and Sean lagging well below 100 points. Obviously, the game's designer needs to reassess his game play strategies for larger games.
The car was abuzz with energy on the trip back to Sydney after such a wonderful weekend where we got to meet so many nice people and play so many enjoyable games. To cap off the great weekend, the 93 Made Games oztag team scored its best result of the season that night - a draw!
2010 was the last year that the expo will be organised by Phil Davies. Phil started the expo in 2006 and it has been growing in attendance and stature ever since. The expo will be coordinated by Charles Bishop and Steve Rohan-Jones of O2C Solutions in 2011. Both Charles and Steve were at this year's expo and gave us plenty of their time to discuss how we think the expo can improve on its impressive roots. 93 Made Games would like to thank Phil for all of his time and effort in building up the expo and wish Charles and Steve all of the best for future expos.
In a first for Australia's Premier Collectables Show, 93 Made Games exhibited its Australian-designed card games Viewpoint and Show'n'Go.
Australia's Premier Collectables Show is a fantastic opportunity for people to view and purchase a range of collectables from different eras. At each show, attendees can find a wide range of vintage, retro and modern collectables, such as trading cards, sports memorabilia, action figures, die-cast vehicles, toys, sci-fi figurines, gadgets and now... Australian-designed card games.
93 Made Games spoke with the show's organiser, Sonny Sen, about collaborating with games stores around the country to host games conventions and tournaments together with the collectables shows. This type of venture will benefit attendees, who will receive a richer and more varied experience, and exhibitors, who will have more people browsing through their merchandise.
Sonny also plans to continue hosting special guests at the collectables shows. The show's first ever special guest was Australian Rugby League icon Laurie Daley, whom 93 Made Games spoke with back in October 2008. Other special guests have included AFL identities - Anthony Rock and James Manson - and Rugby League legends - Wayne Pearce, Ben Elias and Paul Sironen.
Australia's Premier Collectables Show is held throughout Victoria and New South Wales. To find out when the next show is on at a venue near you go to http://www.cshow.com.au/.
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