As the summer days were coming to an end, there was one more European open air festival to visit. One that I have never been to before and only heard about in the year proceeding. The Brussels Game Festival, that took place on the 24/25 of August in the Cinquantenaire Park in the capital of Belgium.
A section of the park was taken up by this free event, as joggers jogged by and mothers took their children and dogs for walks, gamers were gaming. Tents were set up in lines, publishers installed their games and the smell of fried chips filled the air. The weekend was a warm, yet windy one. A little sprinkling of rain made people duck in the cover of stand. But apart from that, a wonderfully calm vibe filled the tree covered area.
I was there on a purely observant level, not to play but to chat with publishers and friends about the festival and newness coming from their companies. So I'd thought I would document the event by walking around the stands and showing you a glimpse of what it was like. In the video below, you may see some Kickstarter projects that are coming, new games you never heard of, old games that have different publishers (as not all American games reach these shores) and you may see some beer too. Beer is an important part of the gaming culture in Belgium. It may be 10am, but you can crush your thrust with a fresh fruity flavoured beer...or a strong coffee.
There were lots of interesting things to see, although not as many new game release announced. With Essen just around the corner, editors were saving those releases for then. But there were a handful of stands demoing upcoming KS projects that were starting in October. From Badass Force, Zombie Social Club and After The End. Games to look out for.
This is an event that I will be attending next year. Not as busy as Paris est Ludique, but calm and dream like. Especially as I got to have a sweet weekend with my wife and taste a little bit of a different culture. Now I have wet my feet, that next time will have more news from me.
I was invited to Gen Con by the generous chaps at Monolith. To demonstrate Mythic Battles: Pantheon where Greek God wage war on each other. Batman: Gotham City Chronicles, re-enacting the greatest moment from the na-nah na-nah na-nah na-nah Batman comic books. And also present their next big Kickstarter, Claustrophobia 1643.
Our team of four were kept on our toes from dusk till dawn as the booth filled up. Which is great because it would make the longest day fly by. Players seem to really enjoy their experience and gave positive feedback.
For more info and images from the show, check out the video below...
Apart from spending the trading days with a great team of guys (David, Ken and Matt...a real pleasure...let's do it again) I got to have wonderful evening wondering in the city heat, looking for somewhere to play. And there were plenty of places to play. All hotels were hot shot places to find whole areas designated to playing games.
Board Game Geek hosted a large room in one of them. Everywhere I looked, there was someone I knew. Lance Myxter, Joel Eddy, Rodney Smith and a bucket load of others (sorry if I forgot you). Played a few game with the shiny Keith Collins and attentive Forest Bower and the golden voice charmer Anthony Racano .
We played games like Gizmos, Dinousaur Tea Party and I presented an up and coming game, Badass Force.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. But I will always look on the bright side of life as this was a great big convention that holds many memory's. Opening the door of new games to gamers and meeting strangers, fans and people I respect, is something that will stay with. As well as rest in this matrix.
more storys from gen con here...
Hello chaps and chapette,
How lucky I am to be invited to the wonders that are known as Gen Con, in Indiana?
The big side of the gaming world is having it's annual event and I will be there, all four days with Monolith. Once again, I will be helping out in the booth (2830), showing people how to play Batman: Gotham City Chronicles and Mythic Battles: Pantheon. On top of that, I will be demoing the next big game in the pipe-works, Claustrophobia 1643.
This is the perfect opportunity to catch my podcasting buddy, Burky. And we will record a show together, face to face for the first time ever...excited!!! Plus get some manly hugs from Lance Myxter, Paul Grogan, the BGG gang and many more of my friends.
So while I am away, you may not see a lot of new videos pop up. I do have some uploaded and ready to go but am waiting for the "OK" from those publishers. So look out for new videos soon and some inside info on Monoliths new game.
Ciao for now, and I hope to see you there.
The sun is shining.
The heat is comfortable.
The wind blows genitally. Then a little more forceful, making cards fly off tables and frantic gamers scramble after them. Only to return to the table with a giggle on their lips and the game continues.
Yes, we are outdoors at a weekend festival called Paris est Ludique. Not "Gay Paris" but "Playful Paris." Where publishers from all over France come to demo their new game, classic big sellers and games for the future. First time and famous designers show up to to get reactions from their prototypes and maybe their signature on a contract. Also Belgium publishers get in on the act and somewhere, hidden away there is even an English one too.
But that is not what you see as you walk around the Pelouse De Reuilly. It's all the smiling faces from the thousand guests that are walking around. From the demonstrates, content to retell the story of why their detective is addicted to cigarettes or why it's important to save the animals in the zoo. Even from the security personnel, who are amazed to see some many gentle people having fun together. And these smiles reflect in the environment all around.
This is not the first time that I have been here and felt this ambiance. PeL (Paris est Ludique) is my local big event, where I get to catch up with friends and contacts that I have made over the years. It is the second best event that I attend every year, after Essen (nothing will beat that). And I enjoy every minute of the wondering and babbling that takes place there. It's family friendly exterior entices thousands of parent to sit down and have fun with their kids.
With it's outdoor events, gaming tournaments, there were also the awards for the editor and authors of games. So much going on but all well organised. A lager event that is getting larger and large. In fact, this years ticket sales were 7,000 more than the year precede. A total of 20,000...(your gonna need a bigger boat!)
So I played as much as I could, so I could show you what is new and coming to our hobby. And maybe a be of that smiling has been captured on video and rubs off onto you. Roll on PeL 2019... =)
Overviews and interviews from Pel
There was a time where you had to wait to see a review of a game before you even knew it existed. Not no more. For years, I watched Board Game Geek stream from the big events in the States, just so I could see the latest games. Even at the Essen Spiel, until I was actually there.
Twitch is another channel all to itself. And I thought about dabbling in doing live videos of game play, rules explanations and blogs. While keeping my Youtube channel full of fully produced content.
Obviously, it's early days yet.
I have starter tinkering with the components and idea of doing this, to try and broaden my viewing audience. Also the chance to pump out a little more, ad-lib content that will keep me up to date. As you know, I spend a great amount of time playing a game before I start a camera rolling. Giving you a rounded view of a game that has been played many times and not just a first impression, as many other reviewers do. Maybe I'll keep twitch as a "First Impression" channel for games that I have just that second played!
One thing that is evident is, if I live stream a play-through of a game with friends, if will probably be in French. All of my gaming buddy speak a little English and a lot of slang, so maybe it will be a little more adult.
I will give a try and see how it lands.
What do you think about a Twitch channel?