GameFest 2017 took place two weekends ago and I am still in awe of how fun and awesome it was. GameFest takes place each year alongside StarFest, usually in the DTC Marriot. This year, Petrie’s Family Games really stepped up the bar on panels, board games, and RPG’s. Huge shout-out to them for making each year better than the last. How was it better? Well let me tell you!
Lukas Litzinger – Designing Destiny
One of the most awesome parts of the weekend was the main guest of GameFest, Lukas Litzinger’s panel around designing Star Wars: Destiny. For those of you who don’t know, Star Wars Destiny was talked about on Boxed Culture earlier here. Lukas is the head designer of the game and his panel covered why and how they made the decision around the game’s theme, mechanics, and general feel. It was an extremely enlightening panel. One of the most interesting parts was hearing Lukas talk about the unexpected combos that have evolved around cards when they were released into the wild. Also hearing him talk about how they decide on keyword abilities as opposed to just card abilities. It seems that the game is in an interesting state (if you can get a hold of it) and that the Spirit of Rebellion Release this week should prove to shake things up and give the game new life.
Tom Sheppard – Snowball Fight!
I also got to talk to Tom Sheppard, the head designer from Toresh Games in Colorado. Tom and his brother were there promoting their new game called Snowball Fight! This is a game where penguins are running around snow castles throwing snowballs at each other. It is a very simple, very awesome game that is a perfect filler. But the most amazing aspect of this game is how well the mechanics fit into other themes. On the Toresh table, we also saw all the other games he was designing. Food Fight, Wizards and Witches, Water Fight, and more were all there. These games use similar mechanics to Snowball Fight! but with subtle thematic changes. There is nothing better than having a game which mechanics are so well honed that they can be fit into other themes with very little changes, and still feel like those themes. Tom is very lucky to have a set of games with vast appeal and I wish him the best of luck in the future!
Sean Brown – Metras and Conclave of Gamers
Each year I get to GameFest I get to see a person I have been talking to for years now; Sean Brown from Mr. B Games (MBG). Our conversations are probably some of the most educational discussions about the game industry I am able to have. This year we talked about what happened with one of their recent Kickstarter Campaigns, Metras. Metras is a Euro game where you’re the head of a noble family seeking honor and renown. Euro games are a new venture for MBG, and with a new direction comes new challenges. Unfortunately, after a lack of initial response, the partner working with them decided to pull the plug. This is always unfortunate, but that didn’t get Sean down. In fact, he was already ready to talk to me about how he is teaming up with Conclave of Gamers this year. MBG is establishing Mr. B Con to run at the same time as Conclave of Gamers. If you have not heard of Conclave of Gamers you really should check it out. Get excited for this Labor Day and get ready to game!
I had a great time this year at Gamefest 2017. I got to meet exciting new people, see old friends, and I even got a brand new old game for my collection (Dark Tower). Thanks for reading my coverage of GameFest 2017. It truly was an amazing time, and if you are ever in Colorado when it happens again next year please stop by! See ya next time.