BrettSpiel is a blog about board game design, written by game designer Brett J. Gilbert.

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UK Games Expo 2011: In Pictures

In which, in lieu of an actual written report, I post an annotated album of some of the photos I took during my trip to the 5th UK Games Expo in Birmingham last weekend.

I had a thoroughly great time and met some thoroughly nice people and have since reflected that, amongst the abundance of enthusiasm, dedication, inspiration and sheer fun, there was one thing missing: ego. After all, boardgames — if they are about anything at all — are about other people.

UK Games Expo 2011: Perigon

Perigon: Will Sorrell, the game’s designer, with Mark Rivera. Mark and I had just finished our first game, although neither of us really knew what we were doing. Note that the board position is not how it ended; we’d been playing around with the pieces while discussing our strategies.

UK Games Expo 2011: Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica: Kevin observes as Mark, Steph, Michael, Chris and Sam consider the Human’s demise at the hands of the dastardly Cylons. A demise which was, in very large measure, my fault. I made a poor Admiral, and a worse President. A memorable experience!

UK Games Expo 2011: Treasure Fleets

Treasure Fleets: Isaac, Oliver and Brian of the Playtest crew consider their first game of my prototype, upstairs in the Playtest Zone. The Zone was a big success during the Expo, thanks to these guys, John Yanni, and organizer — and laminator extraordinaire — Rob Harris.

UK Games Expo 2011: Totemo

Totemo: Alan, Charlie and Tony from Surprised Stars Games were showing off their most-excellent game Totemo, along with Tony’s latest design Paperclip Railways: ‘The fast-moving railway game where the trains are stationery’. (He had ’em rolling in the aisles with that one.)

UK Games Expo 2011: Game Designers Panel

Game Designers Panel: Michael Fox hosted a fantastic seminar, with a panel positively bursting with game design talent, including, but not limited to, Martin Wallace, Alan Paull, John Yanni, Tony Boydell, half of the Lamont brothers and two-thirds of the Ragnar Brothers. And this is to say nothing of the game designers who were simply in the audience: Richard Breese and Lewis Pulsipher to name but two!

UK Games Expo 2011: Oracle Pathway

Oracle Pathway: Oliver, Isaac, Rob (excitedly) and John play my prototype in the hotel lobby, on what was quite literally the only free table we could find in the entire building!

UK Games Expo 2011: Junkyard Races

Junkyard Races: We did eventually find a recently vacated table large enough to play John’s latest game, a new edition of one of his oldest designs. It was all going very well for me until it abruptly stopped doing so (naming no names, but I’m pretty sure it was Rob what done me in). To quote Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.” Great fun!

UK Games Expo 2011: Circus Stars

Circus Stars: John and ebullient playtester Heather enjoy a game of my big-top themed prototype. Heather was at the Expo supporting Andy Hopwood and encouraged me to make the trip downstairs to try out Andy’s latest game…

UK Games Expo 2011: Zoom Zoom Kaboom

Zoom Zoom Kaboom: Heather (see above) took me and four other willing participants through the ins and outs of Andy Hopwood’s clever dice-based push-your-luck racing game. The reconfigurable wooden track was a lovely feature, as was the game’s cunning diceplay.

UK Games Expo 2011: Zoom Zoom Kaboom

Your Word: The last prototype of the Expo was Mark Ellis’ (pictured) and Shezan Hirjee’s entertaining card-based word game. Oliver, Rob and I enjoyed a round or two with the creator, and by the time we were done, the Expo itself was beginning to be packed up for another year, elegantly folding in on itself like a delicate origami sculpture. Or something.

David Brain said...

June 10, 2011 8:59 pm

I am so depressed I couldn't make it this year. Thanks for the report and pictures.

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