PAX'ed Up and Ready to Go

Greetings fellow gamers!

I just got back from PAX Australia exhibiting Reign at the TGDA booth and it was absolutely amazing. Let me tell you a little about it.

I left on a 10 hour train trip Wednesday night from Sydney to arrive in Melbourne early Thursday morning. After wrestling sleep from the clutches of a small chair and an ever-shaking carriage, I wandered around Melbourne until the TGDA DevCon that night (an annual pre-pax gathering of the Aussie tabletop industry). Tabletop game designers, artists, publishers and distributors from around Australia discussed what the future was going to look like for the growing tabletop industry. There is definitely some cool things about to go on in the next year and if you are an Australian game designer and haven't joined us on Facebook already, you should, everyone there is extremely helpful.

Then on Friday the Pax-a-ning began. We started with 300 show bags and booth in the tabletop area.

Alex and Sam from the DiceHard Podcast setting up the TGDA booth

Alex and Sam from the DiceHard Podcast setting up the TGDA booth

My first demo was at 4pm so I had some time to kill and take in the sights, the computer and console lines were insanely long so I instead opted to go and play some board games. Some were early prototypes like Cast, a deck drafting, sword and shield swinging card game. Others were more complete such as Remarkable Rhymes of the Traveler's Times, a poetry based, family friendly, cards against humanity style game which is on on Kickstarter right now! These games are quality and it goes to show that Australian game designers are an extremely talented bunch.

Then came 4pm and it was my time to demo Reign. Instant praise. People were getting really into the spirit of the game and were enjoying the diplomacy, deceit and back-stabbery that was taking place. One player even betrayed another openly (admittedly by accident) but the imagery of him looking into the eyes of his friend as he poisoned their military's rations sent laughter around the table. I continued to demo Reign the whole convention.

Some people who were knights enough to take a picture with Reign

Some people who were knights enough to take a picture with Reign

A lot of the feedback for Reign came from fellow game designers and also graphics artists, some event cards now have a small wording change for that extra bit of clarity, and military cards are having their symbols increased in size to help those who are colour blind distinguish the card's house. The only rule change was increasing the bonus received by having a military card of your house (from +1 to +2), making your choice of house more meaningful in the Influence Phase (for a full rules rundown check out the rulebook posted in September's blog).

Nearing the end of the convention we still had almost 200 show bags to move so Wez (designer of Cogz, RAEZ) and I merchandised the booth a bit more and they started selling like hotcakes. I mean if a $5 show bags that came with two awesome games (Viewpoint and Ninjitzoo), a cool podcast (Dicehard) and an USB with tonnes of print and plays wasn't easy enough to sell, all the money is going to helping the Australian game design community. We ran out in a few hours.

Then it was sadly time to head home, exhausted but fulfilled. A big thanks to everyone who took the time to sit down and play a game of Reign at the convention and to all those who worked so hard getting PAX and the TGDA organized.

P.S. those inflatable balls in the waiting line are brutal, please use softer balls next year.

P.S. those inflatable balls in the waiting line are brutal, please use softer balls next year.