This year’s UK Games Expo flew by in an absolute blur. In an attempt to report how it went for team Toon Hammer, I’ve been looking back through some of the snaps I took. So here’s our UKGE in pictures!
Pre the convention it was all about getting the prototype of Arkosa ready. Our new sci-fi themed board game was getting it’s first official outing and we wanted it looking as good as we could get it.
After a good amount of cutting, sticking and cursing we managed to cobble together a show worthy prototype.
First duty of the convention was the press preview. I can be a fairly socially anxious person so was grateful for chief of goblins, Dan Prowse, joining me for this years pre-show show. I thank anyone who came and chatted to us, 3 hours is a long time to sit and wait awkwardly for human interaction.
Arkosa seemed to leave a positive first impression and we booked a few demo slots and networked a few business cards.
This year we had the pleasure of sharing a stand with our good friend Phil Hazelton of Cards Of Fate. He was showcasing his Kickstarter hit: Forest of Fate – a storytelling adventure. We crammed a lot into our small stand space but managed to make it work.
On day 1 we demoed Arkosa to the nice chaps from the Giant Brain podcast, who managed to fit a full game into their 1 hour time slot. They blitzed through Arkosa’s four moon cycle and enjoyed it enough to earn us one of their recommended stickers. We stuck it proudly to our roll banner and it was a nice way to kick off the convention. Check out their little write up of the game here in their day 1 review.
I’m very lucky to have my amazing partner Mandy on the Toon Hammer team. She always kindly carts us to and from events and gets involved with the running of the stand. She took part in many demos and was only left stranded on Arkosa a handful of times.
On the Friday evening we did some of that networking stuff that people are always banging on about. It was brilliant to spend some IRL time with folks I’ve been chatting to on the interweb over the last few years. You’re all as lovely as your digital manifestations!
Day 2 was the busiest and hottest day of the convention. By this point, Arkosa demo slots were fully booked which really helped make things manageable. I’m now a big advocate of pre-booking. Knowing we could showcase the game all day to folks who liked the look of it really took some of the stress of running the stand away.
This UKGE we finally got to meet the legend that is Ann Jones (Cards or Die)! We full named her the entire weekend, sorry about that Ann! We’re so glad she enjoyed our new game as we know she’s a big advocate of those grotty Gobblin’ Goblins. As expected, she’s just as excellent in person as she is online. She gave Arkosa a little mention in her UKGE write up here.
Our second day of convention life also saw us demoing Arkosa to the lovely Northern Dice, who gave the game a wonderful write up in their blog post here.
Over the course of the weekend we ran a competition to win a bundle of sci-fi board games. Folks simply signed up to the Arkosa Kickstarter mailing list to enter. We figured if you like sci-fi games then you may be interested in ours, plus you could receive prizes, win win right? Turns out we reasoned correctly and had over a hundred entries into our little raffle. So naturally we crafted together a Box of Destiny (formerly Pinot Grigio).
The winner was drawn on the final day and turned out to be one of our previous demo-ers, Andrew! He said it was the icing on the cake for his convention.
It was a busy old convention but I still managed to find time to add a few more board games to my collection. Here’s my modest UKGE haul:
And that was UKGE! It was an absolute blast. Thanks to everyone who popped by our stand. See you next year!