Hey hey! Origins Game Fair 2017 wrapped up Sunday and I wanted to get some of my thoughts on the event written down before they slip away…
I was asked to demo at Origins 2017 for Tasty Minstrel Games through the Envoy Program (a demo program, be on the lookout for a Closer Look soon!) and my badge and hotel stay were covered by Envoy. In return I worked several shifts for TMG, demoing several of their smaller games to Origins attendees who came by the TMG booth.
In total I worked about 16 hours over the course of 3 days and it was awesome. I loved the TMG crew I worked with and feel like I learned and grew so much in a short period of time. I met so many incredible people including company owners and game designers and I made new friends and contacts.
I’ve already agreed to work for TMG again next year and have been asked by Gil Hova, the owner of Formal Ferret Games and someone I met at Origins, to work for his company at Dice Tower Con in Orlando in a few weeks. I met multiple personalities including Tom Vasel of the Dice Tower, Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games, members of the Boardgamegeek crew, Mike Zielinski of Counter Charge, and more.
This was my first time working a big convention and I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Communication with TMG was sparse before arriving and I wasn’t sure what would be expected of me. After arriving Wednesday I had some time to settle in and I went out for dinner at Marcella’s – which isn’t far from the convention center and has delicious Italian food, try it if you go to Origins. Thursday morning I went to the vendor hall an hour before it opened to the public to meet the TMG crew and prepare. I was given a tshirt and a couple of small games were explained to me so I could demo them. I do wish I would have had more time to familiarize myself with the games I was to demo, but things worked out just fine. The vendor hall opened at 10a and for the next several hours I demoed games like Okie Dokie (my favorite of all the games I demoed), Dairyman, and Zooscape. I got a 1 hour lunch break and had enough time to eat and wander around a bit. The convention stretched over multiple areas of the convention center and attached hotel and was quite a lot to take in. After my break I returned to finish my shift and when it was over I went back to my room to rest. Over the next 2 days I worked 10a – 2p and then combed through the amazing array of all things gaming. I collected promos, buttons, and ribbons, and bought souvenirs to take home. I played games, my favorite of which was giant-sized version of Hounded, a neat little two player and the only game I bought at the convention.
After hours people would congregate at the Big Bar on 2, which is the hotel bar at the attached hotel, to play games and chat. Here I met new friends, played lots of games, and drank some terrific mojitos. If you attend and are looking to meet new people, play some games, and don’t mind a bar environment, this is the place to be.
Overall my time commitment to TMG was the perfect blend of work and free time; I had just enough time to see and do everything I wanted to before leaving but worked enough hours to fulfill my commitment to TMG. I was given 8 small games and promised more would be mailed to me. I felt TMG was very generous and I had a near-hassle-free experience working with them. The people I worked with were energetic, fun, and outgoing and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them.
Origins was a great experience and I highly recommend it; even if you attend under different circumstances you will find the entire event to be fun, lively, and informative. Check out the North Market, a few blocks from the convention center, for excellent meals. Pack a small first aid kit – mine came in handy twice. Bring food, if you can. One of my roommates brought fresh fruit and another brought a water dispenser and those simple things ended up being extremely comforting. Be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone – I didn’t maintain my budget, diet, sleep schedule, or personal bubble. Be sure to play anything that catches your eye. Talk to strangers; there are so many good people at Origins and some of the most rewarding interactions I had stemmed from a simple hello. More information and future con dates here: http://originsgamefair.com/
Thanks for reading my review; I hope you enjoyed it! S