At the beginning of this year, when Obscure Reference Games officially formed, our first big decision was to attend a convention to present our prototype to the community. We decided on Origins Game Fair 2015, and we could not have picked a better event for our first major show. We spent the next 4 months building a working prototype, getting t-shirts, business cards, promotional materials, planning every detail of our trip, and attending smaller conventions (shout out to Strategicon!) to make sure we were prepared for the much larger show. We were not prepared.
Origins Game Fair 2015 was a wonderful and invigorating experience, and so much better than we could have imagined. The tabletop gaming community is a warm and welcoming bunch, evidenced by the support, praise, and encouragement of the droves of people that we spoke to over the course of the week.
We were lucky enough to be located next to the, where we became good friends with Derek Knutsen and Caleb Jensen, and got to learn all about the Universal Storytelling System that Derek designed. They were just about the best neighbors we could have asked for.
When I was able to take a short break and step out of the booth, I wandered Hall C in awe of all of the new games and displays. Being a huge tabletop gamer myself, I was pretty giddy to meet and mingle with so many of the publishers and designers that I admire. One such “Titan of gaming”, Mike Selinker, was kind enough to give us advice and to invite us onto his podcast.
However, the best part of the convention, by far, was meeting all of the attendees. During the 4 days of the fair, Christian, Marcus, Phillip, and I met and spoke to more people than I could possibly count. I talked about Overlords of Infamy so much that I could likely teach the game while fast asleep. But I loved every minute of it. There really is nothing quite like seeing a table of complete strangers immobilized by laughter while playing the game that you have poured your heart into creating for over a year.
My voice was shot by the end of the convention, and I felt about as sore as if I had run a marathon. But there really is no question in my mind that we will be returning for Origins 2016, and we’ll be bringing the final product of Overlords of Infamy and any other games we’ll have in the works at the time.
If you ever find yourself in a position to attend a gaming convention like this, I suggest you go. Origins 2015 was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.