Friday, August 08, 2014

Aquashere, Bomb Squad, and GenCon!


Last month we ran a Quickstarter project for Stefan Feld's new game: Aquasphere. It was very successful, with 1,464 backers pledging $70,506... that will definitely help Michael decide how many English copies of Aquasphere to bring to market. After helping to edit the rulebook [that link has the latest and greatest version of the rules, btw], I'm excited to get a final copy of the game to play! I like seeing all the anticipation and discussion on BoardGameGeek for this game, and I'm happy Ralph over at Hall Games gave TMG the opportunity to be involved with the project.


GenCon is next week, and I'm SUPER excited about that, but before I get into it let me just get this out there... our next Kickstarter project will launch after we return from GenCon, and it will be for the long awaited (by me) Bomb Squad!

Bomb Squad, by Dan Keltner and David Short, is a cooperative, real time game in which the players act as a team to program a bomb disposal robot to navigate a building, rescue hostages, and disarm bombs.

This game combines elements of my favorite examples of the cooperative genre: Hanabi and Escape: the Curse of the Temple, bringing them together is a way that is fun, exciting, and thematic.

I first played Bomb Squad at a Gamesmiths session in March 2013, and I knew right away that it was my kind of game. Since then I have played many games of Bomb Squad in order to test rules and missions. It has been fun helping Dan and David develop it into the next TMG title.


Last year, GenCon was amazing. We had a fantastic booth (see right), and we had a bunch of college kids helping to run demos of Dungeon Roll, Martian Dice, and other games.

We demoed Dungeon Roll a LOT...
The stack of little treasure chests you see on the left was eaten away almost entirely and then replaced each day.

I made a GIANT Dungeon Roll box which we filled with "treasure" (Dungeon Roll Hero Boosters), to give away to everyone who bought Dungeon Roll at the con. We even wrote "winner" on the back and gave away a few other games as prizes for added fun!

When we ran out of those, Michael used the prop as Dungeon Roll cosplay, wearing it around the dealer room :)

One unfortunate thing we noticed was that our bigger, longer games were not conducive to in-booth demos. They take too long, use up too much real estate, and in the vendor room people aren't really interested in sitting down to a 1-2 hour game. This is one of the big areas where GenCon differs from Essen, I've noticed. It's interesting to see some of the big foreign companies like Asmodee come to GenCon and run it like Essen - with large demo space with tables for teaching and playing full games.

For us that didn't work so well. We decided that the best way to run our booth was to demo the quick, small, inexpensive games, where a large portion of the quick demos turn into sales. We have an idea which we hope will make for a better outlet to demo and teach our bigger, longer games, and this year we're going to give it a shot...

TMG Demo Room at GenCon = Room #137

That's right, we've got our own Demo Room at GenCon in Indianapolis, Indiana from August 14 - 17! Across from the Vendor Hall, room #137 is ours. Those of you who subscribe to TMG's newsletter probably saw the announcement already, we're very excited to have an entire room of tables to display and demo some of the TMG catalog, as well as some upcoming New Hotness.

For those of you going to GenCon, come by room #137 and check out an upcoming TMG game, such as Gold West, Bomb Squad, or Aquasphere, at our New Hotness events (scheduled just about every odd numbered hour), or plan an old favorite such as Belfort, Ground Floor, or Eminent Domain at our TMG Catalog events (scheduled just about every even numbered hour).

Play To Win

The TMG Catalog games are all Play To Win, so every time you play one you earn 1 entry into a drawing to get that very copy of the game! So play early, play often, and maybe watch your soda - you might be taking the demo copy home with you ;)

Teach To Win

In fact, when it comes to teaching these games, we could really use your help! I'm afraid we may end up short-handed, so we've put together a new opportunity for those of you willing and able to teach these games... we're calling it Teach To Win - and it's pretty much what you'd expect: Every time you TEACH one of our games, you get a chance to win a brand, spanking new, in-shrink game! Increase your chances of winning, and help us out at the same time, by sharing the fun and enjoyment of playing games!

Prototypes of upcoming games

We will have some final art prototypes with us for Aquasphere, Gold West, and Bomb Squad, all coming soon. We'll also have non-final art prototypes of some games that are even further down the road, such as Chimera Station, Steam Works, and Eminent Domain: Exotica. Obviously the prototype games aren't Play To Win, since we haven't got any copies to give away yet, but I'd like to include the prototypes in Teach To Win somehow. Maybe you'll win your choice of game from our prize pool.

Actually, as Bomb Squad is about to go on Kickstarter, we WILL have some kind of promotion to encourage people to try it out... I'm not exactly sure what that'll be yet. But you should seriously come try it out no matter what, because it's a really fun game!

I look forward to seeing you at GenCon - come say "hi" in the TMG room (#137!), introduce yourself, and let me know you read my blog. I'd love to meet the people who enjoy reading my random thoughts!

Also, bonus point if you challenge me to a game of Quick Change! :)

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