Seen and heard at GAMA Trade Show 2008

Since I’m borrowing a machine yet again – man, I need a laptop – I’ll give you a quick braindump of things seen and heard at the GAMA Trade Show ’08 this year. I’ll post more when I can sit down longer, and we’ll discuss everything in detail next time we record an Audio Report episode.

Many of the show’s exhibitors and attendees missed the show schedule addendum, which explained room costs had been negotiated lower for next year (yay!) by agreeing to hold both 2009 and 2010 starting on and during the week immediately following Easter Sunday (What?!?). Nearly everyone I spoke with thought the move was beyond a bad idea – doesn’t anyone remember the final nail in Gen Con UK’s coffin a couple years ago? Reportedly, GAMA is now rapidly backpedaling on this announcement.

Now on to the games:

  • James Ernest and Mike Selinker have their fingerprints all over the show this year. Steve Jackson Games is bringing out Lord of the Fries: Third Edition, a boxed version which has a minor rules tweak and a new menu. Paizo Publishing was showing off a new version of Falling featuring the popular goblins from Pathfinder products. Paizo also plans a card game called Yetisburg, a comedic historical-ish design for two players by Mike Selinker and Joshua Frost, and yes, it has yetis wearing Civil War uniforms. Duncan Toys is working on finalizing Warball, another Selinker design. Not the game you played during PE in grade school, it’s a cross between Marbles and a CCG, with metal miniatures cast inside certain rare marbles. There’s at least two other Ernest and/or Selinker titles I’m forgetting, too.
  • Yes, Upper Deck’s World of Warcraft CMG looks outstanding. Especially the dragon. My players had better watch their backs, as I’ll be springing some of these goodies on them eventually.
  • Looney Labs will have Monty Python Fluxx this fall. Yes, it will use Creeper cards – including a lot of spam. Done deal.
  • Twilight Creations, the Zombies!!! folks, will bring us Humans!!! in July. The game will be playable alone or in combination with Zombies!!, which should be sweet.
  • Steve Jackson Games should have the Munchkin boardgame ready by Origins. Though I’m not a Munchkin fan, I’m cautiously optimistic.
  • Privateer Press’ Monsterpocalypse looks great, nearly ready for its fall release – two big monster figures and their powered-up versions, multiple buildings and support units, all in each collectible one player starter for $29.99. Kinda wish they were two player starters, but the game’s enjoyable enough that I might buy in anyway.
  • Fantasy Flight, quite possibly the show’s MVP, was showing off all sorts of lovely figures from Dust Tactics, while giving away starter sets of the Mutant Chronicles CMG – frighteningly gorgeous figures. Amidst other announcements, the company has plans for both a Battlestar Galactica boardgame and a Gears of War boardgame. The Anima RPG is finally due out this summer, after being delayed again to catch up with Spain, which just released the game’s second edition. As predicted, Talisman: Fourth Edition will be designed to receive expansion sets, which may not be a bad thing – after all, the game’s best version, Talisman: Second Edition, had plenty of expansion sets.
  • This fall, Flying Frog Productions will release A Touch of Evil, a boardgame with the same style as Last Night on Earth, that can be played competitively or cooperatively. An original CD soundtrack will come with the game, and the supernatural beast is randomly determined each session.
  • Yes, Valley Games had a pre-production version of Titan. Production value on this one is great, and will have some added reference charts to speed gameplay.
  • Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd has scheduled three books each for Serenity and Battlestar Galactica. Serenity Adventures comes in June, followed in August by Six Shooters & Spaceships, and the Big Damn Heroes Handbook in September. BSG fans will get Colonial Military in September, Ships of the Fleet in November, and Battlestar Galactica Adventures in January ’09. A new Tom Wham boardgame, Dragon Lairds, arrives next month, and the Demon Hunters RPG, based on the film by Dead Gentlemen Productions, will ship any day now.
  • D&D 4e is here. But since we all knew it would be, even Wizards of the Coast doesn’t seem to be making a big production out of it. Odd, that.

I’ll get more posted when I can, though at this rate, it may have to wait until after the trip home.


  1. FFG had the starters, and have had them sitting in their warehouse for a while now. The boosters “went wrong” and they are having them redone and are awaiting those. No word on when it will come out…I have a starter, and the minis are indeed pretty nice. Since it runs off the decent/doom engine, play won’t be anything too surprising if you know those games.

  2. Yetisburg?

    *little bit of web sleuthing*

    Coolest. Premise. EVAR!

    And they have little Civil War hats!

  3. The MC starter is very nice. I’ve got my copy setup on the table in my office and plan to play this weekend. I’m happy with the minis and the game (from reading the rules) looks like it should play quickly.

  4. Our ubiquity was the FIRST thing you noticed about the show? I’m touched.

    Anyway, we had nine games debut at GTS. The complete list was:
    *Lord of the Fries: Third Edition (James/SJG)
    *Yetisburg (me & Josh Frost/Paizo)
    *Falling: The Goblin Edition (James/Paizo
    *Warball (Trish Bell, Richard Levy, Brian Tinsman, Teeuwynn Woodruff & me/Duncan Toys)
    *Top Ten: The Bill of Rights (Teeuwynn, Dan Tibbles & me/Bucephalus)
    *Top Ten: The Ten Commandments (Teeuwynn, Dan Tibbles & me/Bucephalus)
    *Michelangelo (James & me/Bucephalus)
    *Attack! Deluxe (Sean Brown & me/Eagle Games)
    *Link 26 (James & me/MindWare)
    This doesn’t include Harrow and Key Largo, which came out from Paizo in February. So I guess they made their convention debut at GTS too.

    By the way, where were you, and how come I didn’t see you?


  5. Hi Mike,

    Nine games? Man, you guys are prolific this year.

    Mike Selinker said:
    By the way, where were you, and how come I didn’t see you?

    I was roaming the exhibit halls, and saw you a couple times. But I am stealth, the Ogre-ninja, and you did not see me. 😉

    Actually, I think each time I caught sight of you, either I was already talking with someone, or you were. I’ll make sure to say hello next time our paths nearly cross.

  6. Are you the only guys reporting from the convention?

    I have not seen any other news anywhere else.

  7. Is anyone still working on RPGs, or are they passe? Besides 4e, Serenity, and BSG what were the big RPG things in progress?

  8. White Wolf is working away on Hunter: The Vigil for a Gen Con release, but I didn’t see any previews at the show. Meanwhile, WW’s other lines are going strong – Dogs of War for World of Darkness, some Exalted setting books (and an Exalted boardgame, Legacy of the Unconquered Sun, in June), Scion: Ragnarok this summer, among other RPG goodies. Mongoose is about to hit with Traveller any day now. I’d say the big RPGs on the horizon are both of Green Ronin’s George R.R. Martin licensed games, the new system A Song of Ice and Fire and Wild Cards, a campaign setting for Mutants & Masterminds.

    I’m at work right now, but I’ll get another post up on some other things I saw, soon as I can.

  9. Not that I heard, no. Chris’ comment above is basically what I’ve heard since the show:

    Chris said:
    FFG had the starters, and have had them sitting in their warehouse for a while now. The boosters “went wrong” and they are having them redone and are awaiting those. No word on when it will come out…

  10. “Steve Jackson Games should have the Munchkin boardgame ready by Origins. Though I’m not a Munchkin fan, I’m cautiously optimistic.”

    Thanks, I hope we suprise you a bit.

    Slight correction, but this may be my fault,(I got a little loopy by the end of the show) I can’t be sure I didn’t say something wrong.

    We plan to have the game for sale at GenCon, and will be running demos at Origins, hopefully with a factory proof.

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