So instead of making it down to Vegas by noonish on Sunday, I got bumped to a later flight and didn't arrive in my room until after midnight. The airline treated me well, though, and I got an upgrade to first class, enough meal vouchers to treat myself to a nice meal at Anthony's Seafood in the airport, and a voucher for a free future ticket.
Monday we didn't get our booth set up because tables and our graphics case had not yet been delivered to the booth, so we did what we could and then went out for a team bonding experience at The Gun Store
, where we shot an assortment of automatic and/or futuristic assault weapons. It wasn't quite as fun as the last time, when they let us swap weapons with each other so we each got to try a couple of different guns but I think the outing was still a success. I know I had fun blowing the head off a gold-chain-wearing "scumbag" (our clerk's description) with a weapon our chaperon described as "the gun that Israeli housewives take to market." That whole macho gun-nut thing is really not my scene and I chuckled that despite my commie-pinko leanings I was able to illicit a couple of "good job"s with my gun handling from our chaperon.
At the show itself Green Ronin made our Song of Ice and Fire announcement
, as well as the announcement that we're partnering with Firefly Games to do Faery's Tale Deluxe
. We also handed out a few advanced copies of our new Walk the Plank
card game, which I personally just love. All of these events were greeted with enthusiasm and interest from virtually everyone who stopped by to talk with us. Hoorah! I also got a peek at the development of the Hero Lab
interface for Green Ronin's products.
I sat on a panel that I agreed to participate in because I thought I was going to moderate. Instead, Steve Wieck from One Book Shelf
moderated and I was asked to speak a bit, though I think I really only spoke about GR things once, between Sean Patrick Fannon
's Project '77 (A Manifesto for the Game Industry, not to be confused with Project 77 the Irish hip hop outfit
or Project 77 the web designers
) and Luke Crane
's stories from the realm of those who self-identify as "indy" games publishers. When I did have a chance to speak, I thought it was more appropriate and helpful to the attending retailers to point them at Goodman Games brilliant Click-to-Brick Conversion
program. What can I say, I guess I'm just not self-serving enough to insist on bending the conversation to being about me me me
Overall I thought GTS 2007 was a clear success. People were happy (some deliriously so) with the hotel (both for accommodations and for hang-out spaces) and the convention center venue itself. I'm just personally glad to be done with the two and a half years of bitching and whining about the fucking Riviera and all the hyperbole about how it was dangerous to let your female employees walk the streets alone there blah blah blah. It's done, Bally's is superior (now that GAMA is not being held to an unrealistic room rate cap of $99/night and can actually contract with places of Bally's caliber) and even the union guys who worked the show were downright nice on the few occasions I had to deal with them. Overwhelmingly the gossip and speculation at the show revolved around WotC, while I'll comment on more in a separate blog post I think. Additionally there were distributor mergers and a couple more smaller or specific niche distributors who have gone out of business and absent retailers who either made the poor decision to attend Games Expo instead of GTS or just flat went out of business. The industry is "depressed" and WotC's current maneuvers (especially combined with their general policy of remaining closed mouthed about the changes that are ever more clearly on the horizon) is fueling interesting reactions, varying from cautious optimism to outright panic to full-blown paranoia.
I'm sure more events from the week will come to me in dribs and drabs now that I'm home and planted in front of a computer again. For now, I have a few thousand e-mails to catch up on and a family to reconnect with.
Labels: GAMA, game industry, GTS, Las Vegas