Thursday, May 15, 2008

Report from GAMA 2008

Due to some technical difficulties, this report is being posted a bit later than I had planned on (GAMA took place several weeks ago). Nevertheless, here it is.

GAMA stands for Game Manufacturers Association. Every year, GAMA holds a convention in Las Vegas where various game retailers, publishers, manufacturers and distributors can get together, meet each other, and exchange ideas. You can visit their website at:

There were plenty of booths set up for the various game manufacturers and publishers:

A wide variety of companies was represented including CCG companies like Upper Deck:

Major board game companies like Fantasy Flight were there showing many of their new soon-to-be-released games:

The Steve Jackson Games booth was a lot of fun as well:

I was able to take a look at a life size "Orc-Be-Gone" while visiting the Steve Jackson booth:

Inbetween all of the workshops and meetings, we had the chance to eat in the dining hall where we also listened to presentations from new up and coming companies describing their new products:

Overall, the convention was a great experience and a good chance to meet many of the people you work with in this industry face-to-face. I had the opportunity to try some new games that people have self-published as well as play some of the games that are about to be released.

One thing that was pretty sad to me though was the fact that there were several people there at the convention who had taken the time and money to publish a game, bring it to the convention, set up a booth, and attempt to pitch it to people who are savy with respect to the industry and the game that they had designed was simply another Monopoly, roll-and-move, clone:

However, the convention was a great time and I learned quite a bit. I had the chance to meet with the guys from Mayfair, FRED Distribution, Fantasy Flight, Steve Jackson Games, Flying Frog Productions, Out of the Box, Educational Insights, Zev from Z-Man Games, Upper Deck, Wizards of the Coast, WizKids, as well as many other game publishers, manufacturers, and distributors.

Matt Leacock Discusses His Game "Pandemic"

Thanks to my friend Alf Seegart for pointing this video out to me.

In this clip, Matt Leacock discusses the overall process of designing his game. There's also lots of good information in this clip for game designing in general as he hits on some really excellent points to consider with respect to "fun" in a game, the prototyping process, issues with replayability, accessibility of a game, etc. Enjoy.