UK GAMES EXPO 2016

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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  Aneurin on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 12:13

I'm starting to regret not picking up Camel up... did you see on the Meeple Corner stand it was reduced to £15 on the sunday! With a black camel promo. Out of interest how suitable is that for an 8 year old?

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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  paulyg on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 12:17

Aneurin wrote:I'm starting to regret not picking up Camel up... did you see on the Meeple Corner stand it was reduced to £15 on the sunday! With a black camel promo. Out of interest how suitable is that for an 8 year old?
Would be fine I think (and manufacturer suggestion is 8+). Rules are not complex - just betting and moving the camels really (and putting down hazards). If the betting is too complex then I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to simplify that or you could even make the betting public (less strategy but easier to understand) to begin with.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  Lizzy on Mon 06 Jun 2016, 23:21

And we managed it! The club represents the expo library for the second year running!

Take a look at @ThirstyMeeples's Tweet: https://twitter.com/ThirstyMeeples/status/739846912195596288?s=09

Superstars
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  Jamie on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 10:42

Aneurin wrote:I'm still feeling a little underwhelmed and burnt out by the expo. I don't know what I expected but I wasn't crazy about it

Same for me.

Generally, there were far too many people, and not enough space to play games; it was far too big, cramped and impersonal for my liking. In contrast, something like that roll with it event, was much better (more friendly and with more people mingling and mixing between groups etc).
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  Andy S on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 10:57

Jamie wrote:
Aneurin wrote:I'm still feeling a little underwhelmed and burnt out by the expo. I don't know what I expected but I wasn't crazy about it

Same for me.

Generally, there were far too many people, and not enough space to play games; it was far too big, cramped and impersonal for my liking. In contrast, something like that roll with it event, was much better (more friendly and with more people mingling and mixing between groups etc).

If I wasn't taking a game for testing, I would probably give the Friday a miss and just do the weekend. But as long as I have a game to test (and I'm 90% sure I will have one at that stage this time next year, whether it's Path to Panic or something else), the Expo is invaluable. At this point, I fully expect to be attending all 3 days next year. Did someone say they have definite dates for next year? I don't have my program with me to check.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  paulyg on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 11:02

Colonial Andy wrote:Did someone say they have definite dates for next year?  I don't have my program with me to check.
I didn't see anything in the programme, but they have next year's dates up on the press info bit of their site:
http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/press.php
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  paulyg on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 11:23

I was thinking about why I like the expo (because I do!) and I think a lot of it comes down to the atmosphere and community stuff. It's a great opportunity to hang out with SBGC people for longer and play games slightly differently than we would on a club night. Trying to learn the rules to a game that we hadn't even heard of 2 mins ago is a different kind of fun Smile And I think some of the ridiculous gaming we had on Saturday night (Knit Wit, Bucket King 3D and another game that I can't remember the name of but let's call it Paulyg Crushes All The Cities) wouldn't be quite the same on a normal club night. I laughed a lot. The context adds to it.

Plus I like the events, podcast recordings and chance to demo stuff.

I think my criticisms from this year were:
- Not enough open gaming space in the day. Well, actually, there was probably some free in the Hilton but then that's a pain because the library isn't there and you'd feel away from all the action. Much better open gaming in the evening though than previous years.
- There weren't any REALLY exciting stand-out games that I hadn't already played. I don't think this was so much the fault of the expo as much as just what happens to have come out and what I've had a chance to play.
- Staff at the hotel seemed a bit 'off' this year compared to previous years.

I thought the trade hall was WAY better this year. There was a lot more room for game demos (last year this was mostly limited to one cramped table at each stand) than previously and there just felt like there was more space. And more food options. I don't know why they didn't open up all that space on the right hand side (behind the ice cream place) that was completely empty. Would have been great for more open gaming but I guess they have to pay the NEC for tables or something.

The venue for the talks / events in the Hilton was much better than the two tiny rooms previously used. I didn't go to any of the talks in the NEC but I'm not convinced that the acoustics there were great. I think they're still figuring everything out - this year was essentially like the first year of a new con given the completely new venue and I'm sure things will get even better in 2017!
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  Lizzy on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 12:53

I love the expo and think it’s getting better every year. The bring and buy was great, for the amount of queuing I had to do, it was well worth the effort of selling everything. The trade hall was way better with more options for food and drink and so much space to move around. We were pushed for gaming space Saturday night, but we sorted it out eventually.

It was great to see so many of SBGC there; I think I played with almost everyone at least once over the weekend. It’s also great for me to see so many other people I know. I bumped into some other friends as well as people I know from the X-Wing and Netrunner communities. It’s nice for them all to be in the same place at once. Like a wedding or something.

I agree it would have been nice to see more games demoed that I actually wanted to play. It seemed to be either big publishers with a selection of mediocre games or random kickstarters. The library was also much the same as last year. I don’t understand why publishers don’t just give them a copy of their new games for people to try out.

That said, I agree with Paul that I love playing completely random games I’ve never heard of. It’s a different kind of fun. It can even be fun to play a crap game and figure out ways of fixing it. Saturday night was great, even Paulygy Crushes All The Cities Wink I think we were all just a bit giddy on games by that point.

And that’s the thing; it’s just great to spend a weekend doing something that you love with other people who love it too. Everyone there just loved games and you could feel it in the atmosphere. It makes me happy just being in a room full of people all playing games and having fun.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  SamVS on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 13:03

Paulygy Crushes All The Cities was just the worst.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  DaveB on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 13:03

I thought the show lost a little something moving from the hotel to the NEC, but I also feel quite strongly that they had no choice in the matter - it was crazy busy last year and they had to find more room.

I know from experience that these sort of shows are bastard hard work to put on (I used to be involved in arranging a trade show for my previous employer) and the one thing that is always true - you never stop learning. I guarantee the organizers have a list as long as my arm of things they want to tweak and improve for next the next go-around. Many you'll probably have noticed and I would imagine quite a lot you had not.

The only thing that really bothered me was the PA - it was painfully loud on the Sunday (not to mention completely incomprehensible). I also felt that the Seminar area in the NEC was badly placed and would have done better being a room in the Hilton.

Paul mentioned that there wasn't enough open gaming space - personally I thought this situation was much improved on last year where there simply wasn't any to be found - between the tournaments and whatnot finding space to play during the day was just impossible.

I really enjoyed myself - can't wait for next year Smile
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  psychomansam on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 13:22

I could have been more impressed. Lack of freebies, questionable layout being a couple of issues. I suspect moving the big (dice tower) podcast etc area with non-functional sound system to a better venue would be a big improvement and would allow for more gaming room in the main hall. There were good things too and got some good purchases. It's hard for me to judge as I was only there for a day and spent the whole weekend off my face on prescription narcotics. Not sure I want to commit to a full (expensive) weekend next year though.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  Andy S on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 13:32

Thanks, Paulyg, for pointing out the dates. I'd scanned their site and somehow overlooked them.

Dave B - I'm glad it wasn't just me who couldn't understand the PA announcements. Every single one of them was garbled to me. Watching the Dice Tower podcast, they had to stop while something was announced, and Sam Healey seemed to make a joke in response to whatever was being said - people in the audience laughed, but I had no idea what the setup was, so the punchline was lost on me. SUSD had the right idea doing their podcast in a room at the Hilton. I didn't get a chance to see them, but I'm sure it was much easier to hear than the Dice Tower's. Doing any sort of presentation in that corner of the hall, with its dreadfully inadequate "soundproofing", was absurd, but I suspect that's one of the first things they'll change for next year.

I agree with Liz that the atmosphere was nice; the hobby does seem to draw an abnormal proportion of nice people in comparison to some others (video games, I'm looking at you).

I would've liked to spend more time with SBGCers - a few of you I saw for about 5 seconds - because I agree with Paul that it's a different kind of experience gaming with people in that environment than on Tuesday evenings. But I'm afraid I was too often focussed on Path to Panic. Anyway, I'm glad it sounds like most people had a good time. I, too, am already looking forward to next year.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  paulyg on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 13:49

Sam wrote:Paulygy Crushes All The Cities was just the worst.
I'm pleased to announced that Paulyg Crushes All The Cities will be the headline sponsor for paulygcon 2016. Very Happy
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  paulyg on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 13:53

psychomansam wrote:I could have been more impressed. Lack of freebies, questionable layout being a couple of issues. I suspect moving the big (dice tower) podcast etc area with non-functional sound system to a better venue would be a big improvement and would allow for more gaming room in the main hall. There were good things too and got some good purchases. It's hard for me to judge as I was only there for a day and spent the whole weekend off my face on prescription narcotics. Not sure I want to commit to a full (expensive) weekend next year though.
Yes, there were definitely fewer freebies than last year. Not sure if that's a trend or just how stuff worked out. I managed to get a single promo card and a bag.

Agree that podcast area was in a weird spot. I'm sure they can do a better job with soundproofing and acoustics than that. We went to a pet show in Hall 1 last year and the stage areas were much better than at UKGE so I'm sure they'll improve it. As for more gaming room in the main hall... they had a pretty huge chunk of the hall unused (perhaps as much as a third of it?). It was all the bit beyond where the bring n buy was. I don't know if they'd have to pay more for that space, or for more tables and chairs or whatever, but for some reason they decided not to use it.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  DaveB on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 13:56

paulyg wrote:Yes, there were definitely fewer freebies than last year. Not sure if that's a trend or just how stuff worked out. I managed to get a single promo card and a bag.

The prices were also a bit sharper in the trade area I thought - while there were definitely bargains to be had (Rebellion for £55 was particularly tempting) the average prices were not so great as they've been in the past.

There were some great deals to be had on the Sunday though!
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  paulyg on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 13:59

DaveB wrote:
paulyg wrote:Yes, there were definitely fewer freebies than last year. Not sure if that's a trend or just how stuff worked out. I managed to get a single promo card and a bag.

The prices were also a bit sharper in the trade area I thought - while there were definitely bargains to be had (Rebellion for £55 was particularly tempting) the average prices were not so great as they've been in the past.

There were some great deals to be had on the Sunday though!
Perhaps the move to the NEC has meant an increase in the price for the stands. I think the best deals were probably via negotiating if you were buying several things from one place or from the smaller stands with smaller selection (the cheap guy from last year was back and again had some good deals). I guess the likes of Leisure Games, Travelling Man, etc. have actual physical stores so there's not much impetus for them to clear stock on the Sunday. I bet there were some good bargains on the reverse auction too though I couldn't be bothered to wait around for more than a couple of minutes to see what would pop up.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  DaveB on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 14:00

paulyg wrote:
Perhaps the move to the NEC has meant an increase in the price for the stands. I think the best deals were probably via negotiating if you were buying several things from one place or from the smaller stands with smaller selection (the cheap guy from last year was back and again had some good deals). I guess the likes of Leisure Games, Travelling Man, etc. have actual physical stores so there's not much impetus for them to clear stock on the Sunday. I bet there were some good bargains on the reverse auction too though I couldn't be bothered to wait around for more than a couple of minutes to see what would pop up.

I think you're right on all counts there (well apart from the reverse auction, I didn't go near that so have no idea Smile )
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  Jamie on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 14:02

DaveB wrote:The prices were also a bit sharper in the trade area I thought - while there were definitely bargains to be had (Rebellion for £55 was particularly tempting) the average prices were not so great as they've been in the past.

From what I could tell, most games were priced at, or very close to RRP. I ended up getting that Escape the Aliens game, for around £21 on amazon (incl. P&P), which would have cost me £29.99 at the show.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  Lizzy on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 14:14

You could get deals if you asked, even single games. Gameslore were selling Lanterns for £22.50, but they sold it to me for £20.
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  psychomansam on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 14:25

I was involved in purchasing Exodus: Proxima Centauri for £30 from a publisher stand, and Exodus: Edge of Extinction from MeeplesCorner for £24. That saved a lot of money on the best prices available on internet (~£75) and of course on rrp (£90).

Conversely, Artipia games were selling Stellar Conflict for £15, yet they'll happily ship it to you from yonder nordic lands for just shy of a tenner via their website!
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  PaulC on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 15:59

No point in me rehashing everyone else's feedback, I generally agree with you all.
Apparently the organisers did try to sort out the PA, but the NEC wouldn't send an engineer to sort it during the day. As DaveB said, they'll learn. I expect the seminars will be held in the hotel next year and more free gaming space in the trade hall.

I failed at getting bargains, every time I asked I was turned down - I guess they just didn't like me! Sad
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  DaveB on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 16:16

PaulC wrote:I failed at getting bargains, every time I asked I was turned down - I guess they just didn't like me!    Sad

Only one I got I didn't ask for Smile (Sheriff of Nottingham (£21) and 7 Wonders: Duel (£17) for £35
Given I was happy to pay £25 for Android: Mainframe finding that had been dropped to £20 on the Sunday was a nice little surprise too Smile
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  paulyg on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 13:23

For those of you not on the UKGE mailing list, they sent out a post show press release today. I won't repeat the whole thing because it's really long but I thought the attendance figures were quite impressive!

UK Games Expo wrote:UK Games Expo - held this last weekend in the National Exhibition Centre and NEC Hilton Hotel, Birmingham - can confirm record breaking attendance at what was its 10th anniversary convention. Richard Denning and Tony Hymas (directors of UKGE) are able to confirm:

• Attendance figures of 25149 (86% up)
• Unique attendees of 12636 (41% up)
(Each attendee counts as a unique but if they come for more than one day they count as 2 or 3 attendances.)

The breakdown by day was as follows:
Friday 6922
Saturday 10504
Sunday 7723

Asked about what he felt about the attendance Tony said "When you consider that in the first event 10 years back we had just 800 folk, the growth has been extraordinary. In the Hobby Games Industry UKGE is the largest event in the UK, 2nd in Europe and battling for 3rd or 4th place worldwide. We have truly arrived in the Big League of Hobby Games Conventions. This year some of the biggest companies told us we were firmly established as a must attend convention."
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  JohnH on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 18:13

Well, I enjoyed this wedding I was at, and my girlfriend's dad is going to buy King of Tokyo because he enjoyed it so much. I don't need the expo... Sad (until next year, then I'll rub it in your faces)
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  Lizzy on Thu 18 Aug 2016, 21:59

Finally booked a room for next year. Going Thursday to Sunday again and got breakfast for the first time!

I'm excited already Very Happy
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Re: UK GAMES EXPO 2016

Post  paulyg on Sat 20 Aug 2016, 21:37

Lizzy wrote:Finally booked a room for next year. Going Thursday to Sunday again and got breakfast for the first time!

I'm excited already Very Happy
Hoorah! Can't remember if I said in the thread above but I'm also doing Thursday to Sunday.
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