Doing the Geek Apocalypse Podcast is pretty amazing and last may I got the opportunity to go to uk games expo in birmingham which was literally like walking in lego land for board game fans like myself. I had the biggest nerdgasm walking around getting to see all the toys available to play and get to share my passion with other like minded people who were just as enthuasistic. That’s what’s so great about being a geek or nerd, you can be open about what you love and find people that share the same passions, fears and insecurities as you do. but the biggest thing is that it is ok to be who you are, as long as your the normal things we want people to be, kind , honest, grateful etc
Anyway I digress! I met several great people and interviewed people for episode 15 and 16 of uk games expo and top of my list was Mr Andrew Hackard. I wanted on here to explain that the reason for this was because of two things, munchkin and tabletop. I played munchkin for the first time something like 10 years ago and it was one of those pillows of geekiness that shifted me from pretending to be someone else, but focus on being who I actually was, a geek that was afraid of being one, like several other people I knew. Also, Andrew was on tabletop, the show by wil wheaton and felicia day that finally kicked me up the arse to say, ‘look you like this, why are you ignoring this?’ so I started going to board game clubs and explored making it a hobby that I loved.
Andrew was super nice that day, I sat through his seminar and was gracious in giving me time to talk to him before it on the podcast. but what meant a lot to me, was later that day. I had came on my own to that convention for financial reasons, and was waiting for my train, and Andrew came over to me and I spent the whole time talking to me till I left, about half an hour, and it was so nice of him to do that. I said at the time that board game guys are really the nicest people I have met and they generally are!
so fast forward to this week, and Andrew agreed to do a full podcast with me! we talk meeting at uk games expo, working for Steve Jackson, Andrews experience being on the great board game web series Tabletop, his friendship with Wil Wheaton and thoughts on Geek and Sundry! We also talk the Munchkin franchise, conventions, new upcoming games such as ogre and its upcoming expansion, as well as upcoming games Munchkin Adventure Time and the remake of car wars! and really everything else board games related! super fun podcast and a real interesting guest!
we recommend you have a look at www.sjgames.com to find more info on everything Steve Jackson games is up to! You can also follow Andrew on twitter @RedPenOfDoom !
you can find the podcast here at http://www.geekapocalypse.com/shows or on itunes here https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/geek-apocalypse/id626098673?mt=2 or simply search for geek apocalypse!
So where was I? (always wanted to say that!) staying at jaszmines was fun and I really need to thank her for walking me back to the train station! those who read part one and the red dwarf blog will know that my sense of direction is somewhat….missing. even with a map I can get lost, thats how bad i am. Anyway,I had agreed the day before to interview Andrew Hackard at 10.30 and I just made it! as in, i was late, again classic Steven never seems to disappoint!
What needs to be known is, I was super excited to meet him and theres was a few reasons why! In regards to games, my first discovery of the wide variety of games was playing munchkin around 10 years ago! it was basically my infection vector into board games that now are a fun part of my life, because board games have created new friendships as well as maintained ones I’ve had for years. So I owe Steve Jackson Games a lot for that because They made a fantastic game that Andrew maintains to this day! Also, as we discussed in the podcast that andrew knows Wil Wheaton and has done for years and appeared on his board game show Tabletop which is awesome. So in a weird way, he is the catalyst to two things that influenced me to be involved in board games that I’m so happy I am a part of. Muchkin being the game that got me interested and tabletop for reinvigorating me to play games again. I played regularly at university and I owe tabletop for getting me re involved into board games after I left. I also owe wil for inpsiring me again to write by saying in an interview ‘no one told you you couldn’t and write what makes you laugh’ that made me realise I really wasn’t trying hard enough! if you haven’t seen tabletop heres the episode Andrew was in!
I then sat in the major publishers seminar which was awesome, Sitting listening to mark, Andrew etc talk to about the gaming industry. A funny thing happened that they nicknamed me the guy with the beautiful hair which could only happen at a gaming convention that I am regarded as cool. but i enjoyed it all the same! I asked them if other industries can learn from how helpful you guys are to each other, which Larry Roznai from mayfair games replied by saying ‘They would like to, but they wont’. Larry actually goes into detail about the board game industry and mayfairs position on the Geek Apocalypse podcast ,he was so unbelievably nice about it and gave me more than enough time to talk to him! which really was the case for everyone I met at uk expo! Seriously, no bribes involved they were super nice!
As i said in part one of this blog, It sucked that I didnt have enough time to play more games throughout the expo, as after the seminar I spent the time interviewing for my podcast (which ofcourse i love so I’m not complaining!). I got some unbelievably brilliant guests though, after Andrew Hackard i spoke to Chris birch who I had been to his kickstarter seminar and gave me so much advice in regards to setting one up and was such a nice guy! his act of cthulhu stuff sounds great and a highly recommend you check his stuff out! Him and Angus who knew each other were incredibly nice ot me so it was great that they let me talk to them and again, really friendly and approachable! I then got a chance to speak to Petr Mormak who makes one of Newcastle Gamers (my board game club) favourite games Galaxy Trucker, and being from czech republic it was really fun geting his perspective on loads of different subjects! what amuses me is that really this podcast became a battle of the accents have a geordie host, an american and czech on the show! but if that doesnt show the influence worldwide that games has then I don’t know what does! I then talked to the governor Mr Mayfair himself Larry Roznei who was a pleasure to talk to with his years of experience and being a ceo of such a huge gaming company!
I then finally got the chance to play a game, i got asked to play a large version of the game ticket to ride! which is an awesome game so it gave me the opportunity to relax and kind of sit and absorb the event for the first time! and I really enjoyed it! although as I said in part one I continued my role of the nearly man by coming in second. damn randoms! I highly recommend though that if they are any families wanting a game to play that something like ticket to ride would be awesome! but it was fun playing with giant pieces and was a good way to end the event for me, as I really wanted to see if I could absorb the event before I left and I finally felt i did that. Uk expo was just a brilliant experience and i would totally do it again next year if i got the chance to do it because, these are my people! 🙂
I have to end the blog on the best part of the convention for me, and I know he will hate this if he does see this as I said it to him at the time, but Andrew Hackard made the expo for me. It wasn’t that I was a fan and that I loved the game he was a part
of, but I had half an hour to wait before my train and he sat with me and talked to me about loads of different things and signed my Munchkin apocalypse box. And that was so awesome! he didn’t have to do any of it and he gave me far more than I ever expected so huge thanks to him for making my day! I then left the expo, went to catch my train and the only thing I could think of, is watching tabletop to help me pass the time!
So I got home at 12 midnight on Sunday around 40 hours after I left, my back was hurting, I had barely slept, I smelled of convention and I had a multitude of editing to do! so would I change any of it?
not a chance! :):) heres to next year!
you can find Geek Apocalypse podcast part 1 and now part 2 online at http://www.geekapocalypse.com/shows as well as itunes!
also I did an interview about Geek Apocalypse on our youtube channel, part one is online now:
I really do love board games so much. and no I don’t mean monopoly or anything like that, the inner industry, the amount of choice and diversity, its made me happy beyond measure every since I played Munchkin that was my infection vecture some 10 years ago! its a great way to meet people, to maintain and create friendships, and it would come as no surprise to hear I was so excited to go to uk expo 2013 this year! I was again doing my embarrassing nerd dance! (only my friend viv has been privileged to see it!) I will learn to control it at some point, but hey exciting times so i should get a pass right?
for those who don’t know about uk expo, it is a board game/RPG convention that is held every year in Birmingham England and for the first time this year at the NEC Hilton metropole which is awesome! I found out that the reason they upgraded was largely the superb support that The guys that run it got from Mayfair games and other sponsors of the event, which underlines how great the pioneers of this industry are. From the outset, everyone was professional, approachable and the scale of what they achieved was fantastic! Excluding the fantastic independant designers and gamers that attended, they had such great companies like Mayfair games, Steve Jackson games, Fantasy Flight, Czech games, AEG etc who make or publish in my opinion some of the best games around. But also what I loved and do love about conventions, is the opportunity it creates for self publishers or designers to showcase their game. I talked to on the podcast and just by walking around chatting some great independant guys telling me that they would go to this convention every year and this year they are coming with a publisher for their game. It really is brilliant to hear that ultimately if you want something to happen enough and have the idea it can be achieved.
Anyway back to the beginning! after getting a train at 6.30 am in order to get to Birmingham on time (that’s commitment!) I arrived early in new street which was good as the expo started at 9.00! p.s heres a video of me at the train station at 6 in the morning in Newcastle!
anyway I found as usual my sense of direction lacking…for starters i was in manchester! (just kidding) but I was lucky enough to bump into Adam who was going to uk expo on the train! thanks Adam for helping and thank you uk expo for making very cool tags so I can recognise them otherwise …i may never of found it! so once i got into the event, the scale of it just blew me away. You know in family guy when lois griffin has that episode where she spends the time just jaw droppingly excited at everything? well that was me. I spent the first hour just wandering around completely in awe of the amount of people and above all friendly people that were attending the expo. The one slight disadvantage when going as media is you have so much to do and the time just disappears! I barely had time during trade hours to play any games at all! But if you were just attending the event as a fan, especially if your as big of a geek as me, it was literally paradise city! like the guns and roses song but i didn’t want to be taken home! (no seriously I would of stayed). just so much choice, and with tables around to try and play test games it really is a great place to encourage people( especially families) to simply try games! because they really are awesome!
so I got to my reserved table and introduced myself to Chris Bowler, who has given me the opportunity to join the UK gaming media pod cast network which I’m excited about! Really nice guy, I actually did some presenting for them which will end up on youtube in the next few days so please do look out for it-shameless plug! 🙂 the first thing I did though at the expo is attend the seminar about kickstarter, which I was so pleased I managed to because I wanted to be able to get advice as i plan on using kickstarter for a web series we want to make! some great advice from some great game makers such as Angus Abranston and Chris Birch who both have had successes in that particular field so really good advisors! Angus has provisionally agreed to be on the podcast next week so please stay tuned on our site if you would like to hear more! or follow us on mr twitter land! @geek_apocalypse!
so after the trading area closed I went and found some friends and played a number of games,such as cloud nine and personally my favourite new game Augustus! I was considering not bringing this part up on the blog but i thought to myself, Why don’t I underline how much of a nearly man I am in terms of winning games! I came second in every single game I played during the event including day 2 which will get to tommorrow, but the damn dice rolls! we played death angel I think where its cooperative and I just had to not roll a one! and I did! twice! Really is harsh! but in seriousness, I had a great time! I really wanted to have more time to play games and in reality, as most of the guys I met throughout the weekend, its not about what games you paly and how you do, its simply that your playing it! but regardless of that, im still gutted 😛
so i ended the day by staying at jaszimes house that lived on the other edge of Birmingham! but this is the time where underline how stupid i am! (yes some will say i do that on many occasions) . The idea was that i got a train back to Birmingham new street and meet her at 11.30. what I didn’t realise was that the shopping centre that i went through during the day is attached to the arena and is then closed at a certain time…basically…before i thought. so it went from a simple 10 minute walk to having to go round the arena which is at least 5 times as long not taking a train! The genius that I am as well is I forgot to charge my phone so I couldn’t ring to explain the situation. so when occasionally get people saying to me I’m organised and clever, spend a decent amount of time with me, I’m far too easygoing that i never think too far ahead! i want to thank jaszmine for her patience and hospitality, she was brilliant and fun and it was nice chatting to her for all the brief time I had with her (which was my fault) you are welcome in Newcastle anytime!:) (picture is paper rock scissors bang by dave cousins! great game!)
the first day was great, as I said earlier my inquisitive brain sometimes really couldn’t handle the amount of games that was there, and if I could of spoken to everyone then I would have done! but I got to speak to Mark Wooten from AEG games, dave cousins from north and souths games, oliver sibthorpe the co creator of cube quest, lorraine finney from cognosis games, tom forfork from dog eared games on day one, and they were all fantastic! As I said earlier if I got the opportunity to talk to everyone I would have done but they were simply not enough time or indeed patience for that to be achieved! you can find part one of the podcast by the way online now at www.geekapocalypse.com/shows or on itunes! and part two will be online tommorrow!
next blog uk expo part 2! 🙂