Origins Game Fair 2011: Day 1

Just like a game of Lords of Vegas, the day started out slowly, but drew to a lively finish. After missing an exit and turning our 7+ hour drive into an 8+ hour drive, my buddy Shawn and I arrived at our hotel, grabbed our gear and headed over to the big show. After some registration hiccups, we ambled over to the open gaming area, threw open the door… and saw that it was pretty darn dead at 3:30.

So we walked across the street to Barley’s Brewing, had a beer and some brats, and looked over the encyclopedia-thick booklet of events for the next four days. We soon decided that those days would be decidedly less dead.

The Origins Boardroom - home away from home.

After the brews, the day got a bit busier. We met Marc Specter – friend of Dice Hate Me and fan of Clever Mojo Games – and then settled into the Boardroom so that I could teach Shawn the ropes of mine and Monkey238’s game prototype. He caught on quickly, and really liked it, giving great feedback that we hope to incorporate into the playtesting rounds.

The current Lord of Vegas

Marc soon joined us for another round of the prototype, and promptly beat us both. He loved it, and swore it wasn’t because he won.

With some productive playtesting under our belts, it was Lords of Vegas time. It was Shawn’s first experience with the Origins Awards nominee, and we promptly raced to a very close finish – with Shawn winning because of a dice-off with yours truly. My nom de plume lived up to its reputation.

Next up was relocation to the open gaming area, where we picked up with Marc once again, playing Hey, Waiter! until David MacKenzie finished setting up the Clever Mojo Games booth. Hey, Waiter! proved to be a nifty little card game with some interesting mechanics, and I had been wanting to give it a try since the designer diary on BoardGameGeek.


Hey, waiter, there's some cheese in this photo

David MacKenzie arrived on the scene just as we were wrapping up Hey, Waiter! and Marc broke out Time’s Up: Title Recall, much to the chagrin of David. One hilarious hour later we learned some interesting facts, such as: In Cold Blood was not written by Jerry Bledsoe, Watership Down has nothing to do with boats, and “Hell Dwarves” is definitely not a song by John Denver. For anyone who has not tried Time’s Up: Title Recall, I highly recommend it for your next party.

The open gaming area closes up shop around 1 a.m., but we weren’t quite done just yet. We grabbed our Subway buckets of Coke and headed down to the food court where David test drove our prototype with Shawn and me. David won. He really liked it. I think we may have to keep up this trend of first-timers winning, at least until this thing is ready to go into production!

Day 1 may be behind us, but the show has just begun. Tomorrow morning heralds the opening of the exhibitor’s hall, which means lots more photos of lots more goodies, a chance to meet and chat with Cristina Ramos of Moosetache Games, Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games, and spend some time with David MacKenzie, hopefully playtesting some of the newest prototypes he’s brought along. Tomorrow night, we meet up with Philip duBarry for a chat about Kingdom of Solomon and a rousing game of Revolution! And there’s more to come on Friday and Saturday, such as a chat with Randall Bills of Catalyst Game Labs about Leviathans, and a chance to get some sneak peeks at upcoming Mayfair releases. So keep a close eye on Dice Hate Me – there’s a whole lotta gaming going on.


This. Car Wars. Saturday morning. Heck yeah.

Related posts:

  1. Tequila Sunrise over Clever Mojo Games
  2. The Pros and Cons of Cons: 2011 Edition
  3. New Stack City
  4. The Year of Awesome
  5. Game of the Year Giveaway!
6 Responses to “Origins Game Fair 2011: Day 1”
  1. Monkey238 says:

    Does Shawn just win *everything*? πŸ˜€

  2. dicehateme says:

    Pretty much – but I shall have my revenge!!! πŸ˜€

  3. Ian Noble says:

    Thanks for the recap! I’m sure it will pickup as you get closer to the weekend, so get your sleep while you can. πŸ˜‰

  4. tomg says:

    Thanks for the update. I’m so jealous. I’m glad you are getting some good playtesting in and that it is gettting good response. Any changes from the playtesting?
    I can’t wait to see your Leviathans and Clever Mojo coverage. That Jivecat game, Wow!

  5. Sounds like you guys are having a blast! Love the reporting. Keep it up!

  6. Michael B. Cook says:

    Thanks for the update of day 1 at Origins. It is fun to live vicariously through your gaming exploits until August comes along for my visit to Gencon. I’d so rather be gaming right now….

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