Sunday, July 1, 2007

Jay Tummelson and "A Gathering of Strangers" - the Utah Game Convention

Our annual gaming convention in Salt Lake City, called "A Gathering of Strangers", was a tremendous success in its second year of existence. The Convention this year was sponsored by:

ICon - the Idaho Gaming Convention

Game Night Games

Out of the Box

and Rio Grande Games

This time around, we were specifically glad to have Mr. Jay Tummelson - owner of Rio Grande Games - visit us and spend some time demoing some of the new releases coming out from Rio Grande. The night before the event, Mr. Tummelson came to Game Night Games and spent some time with our local gamers. He demo-ed several upcoming new releases and brought some prototypes of potential games that might be coming soon. Here is Jay (far left side) with some of our regulars at Game Night playtesting one of his prototypes:

The Convention started the next morning and lasted until 10:00 that night. Here is Ryan McLelland, the main organizer of the event, at the check in table:

The convention was held at the Student Union Building on the campus of the University of Utah.

Greg, the manager of Game Night Games, helped at the games check-out booth early on. Here he is (far right) teaching Zooloretto:

One of the more popular games played at the convention was the new Ca$h 'n Gun$ game:

A wide variety of games saw the table during the day including: Axis and Allies, Arkham Horror, If Wishes Were Fishes, Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit, Notre Dame, Cosmic Encounter, The Princes of Florence, Puerto Rico, Zooloretto, Shadows Over Camelot, Wings of War, Can't Stop, Crokinole, Fairy Tale, and Through the Ages among others. For a complete listing, check out this list at BGG:

Also seeing the table were several prototypes from members of a local club of game designers called The Board Game Designers Guild which also helped sponsor the event and of which I am a member. Greg, pictured previously, is the primary organizer and founder of the club. Here is Steve (far right hand side), also a member of the club, playing one of his prototypes with some friends:

Here is myself (far left) also playing one of my prototypes with some friends:

Jay Tummelson, in addition to providing demos of upcoming games, was also willing to spend time with members of our game design club in providing feedback on many of our prototypes - which was greatly appreciated. Here is Jay with another member of our guild, Alf Seegart, discussing one of Alf's prototypes:

During the convention, Game Night Games had a table set up with games for sale. As usual, our selection was quite diverse including everything from simpler titles such as "Zooloretto" and "Bohnanza", to dexterity games such as "Pitch Car" and "Tumblin' Dice", to larger scale games such as "Roads and Boats" and "Antiquity". Behind the table is Tim - owner of Game Night Games:

During the convention there were several events of note. One of which was our charity drive to donate games that will be sent to the troops overseas. Phil Kilcrease, another member of the Board Game Designers Guild, was the organizer of the charity event.

We also had a raffle give-away for various games including titles such as "Incan Gold", "Taj Mahal", and "Canal Mania".

All in all the convention was a great success, not only because of all the wonderful people who came, but also specifically due to the presence of Jay Tummelson. He spent much of his time demo-ing games, answering questions, and just making sure that people were having a good time. Here is a picture of Jay and myself:

If anyone is interested in visiting our convention next year, feel free to check out the convention website for updates:

1 comment:

Danielle P said...

Hey Mike. Thanks for including pictures with your recap. Gives a better sense of the event. Sounds like it was a good time. Maybe I'll make it next year!