Origins 2017 Roundup

I got back from Columbus (a tough destination for a Wolverine alumnus…) last week from the Origins Game Fair. Earlier in 2016, I set some ambitious goals for Origins with regards to ‘designs ready to pitch’. I didn’t hit every goal, but aiming for the ambitious targets ended up landing me in a good spot, further than I probably would have been without them.

Some highlights of this year’s Con:

First and foremost was meeting long-time blog reader become internet friend Conor McGoey and getting to play his debut game Summit — for sure the black sheep hit of Origins; every time I wandered by his table to get to the UnPub room, he was running another session with another crowd of engaged players. The production quality is top notch, the gameplay is great, and the whole thing has that je ne se quoi we’re all looking for as designers. The mountain is savage, without being disheartening, and the take-that is well tempered.

Really the people are what makes the Con… the other standout times were getting in some playtesting and design time with Josh Sprung, who I’m collaborating on with a project; ironically spending time with some Denver folks like Heather from Grand Gamer’s Guild and Edward from the Heavy Cardboard podcast, who it’s pretty silly I don’t see them more often in Colorado. And getting to circle back with friends I’ve made previous years, putting faces to names of contacts at publishers who I’ve emailed with. And meeting John Moller and the other folks who run UnPub. And meeting new designers and such. Best part.

And of course The Secret Cabal party — always one of my favorite parts of Origins. (Really bummed I missed out on attending their GenCon dinner from their Kickstarter… but excited for their GenCon meetup regardless), though I definitely overdid it :astonished:

I got a chance to see and in some cases, play, stuff I’ve heard about through other online friends on things they were involved with, like Trickster, The Fox in the Forest, and H.E.A.D. Hunters, as well as the Unknown Armies books in real life.

Getting Foxy in the Forest… but not foxy enough; I got rekt by the guy running the demo.

I played a few things, but not many. It was a pretty even split between prototypes and published games, but I got in a play of Honshu, watched a game of Century: Spice Road, tested an upcoming title by Rob Daviau, and played an upcoming release by Conor from Inside Up. Plus got to play The Fox in the Forest, World Championship Russian Roulette, and Stroop. I also got to try out Origin’s newest feature event “True Dungeon“, which I wrote about in detail on Andrea and my new travel blog.

Such a good event. Definitely worth the trip and the price of admission, aside from a few shortcomings, which become more apparent the closer and closer I become to “industry insider” — weird room booking issues, table mismanagement, and the disaster that passes for a scheduling book. Also, it was awesome to see the changes in the crowd; even since last year, it felt like there were a lot more variety of faces, rather than only ‘white dudes’ everywhere.

I know it’s an event that’s been around a while, but definitely go! Were you there? Let me know in the comments what your favorite thing was!