Monday, April 27, 2009

What's GTS, El Willy?

Glad you asked, man!

GTS is Gama Trade Show, a game industry convention that is a mix of seminars and exhibitors that spans four days in Las Vegas. Basically, game companies set-up their product lines in booths and attendees (mostly retail store owners looking to see game offerings from said companies) wander about and look at all the cool stuff. GameWick Games does not have a booth; with a single product (called WEGS 101 Old Skool for those of you who don't know) and no distribution, there's really no point in me shelling out all that cash (yet). This is the same reason I'm not even a member of GAMA (the Game Manufacturer's Association). I attend in my professional capacity as GameWick's Chief Gaming Officer and network the best I can with fellow CGOs and the ilk. Between industry seminars and exhibit hall introductions, I keep busy during the daylight hours in Vegas. The more time I spend at the con, the less time I have for the tables.

A win/win situation in my book.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Casino ala Kubrick

This is the second year that the GTS (Gama Trade Show) was held at Ballys, which has the strangest entry portal of all casinos. Like something out of Kubrick's 2001, this neon swirled entrance tube sucks people up from the Strip and eventually deposits them inside the belly of the casino. The first leg of the journey is via conveyor belt that ends abruptly at an escalator up. The second leg is via said escalator, up and over the main hotel and casino entrance (driveway/valet) to a sales pitch arena where you are effronted with the oft said lure line "Are you folks in town tonight and looking to see a free show?". Navigating this trap, you find another escalator down and into the casino lobby. The three-part journey takes about five minutes as the conveyor moves just slow enough to make you wish you walked.

Most folks don't realize that there are gardens to the left and right of the entrance tube with a secret sidewalk that leads directly to the front of the casino itself. The catch is that you have to walk the entire way (gasp!) instead of being mechanically casino-herded. The walk through the Bally gardens passes like warp drive compared to the conveyor belt attraction. The gardens themselves are a bizzarre shamble of poorly manicured hedge animals (think Kubrick's The Shining gardens that have gone to pot). There's just enough left of the plant to discern that it is in an animal shape; the only reason you are drawn to this conclusion is that there has to be some purpose to the chicken wire wrapped around the plant itself. I think Ballys had much grander hopes for the gardens, but as almost everyone uses the futuristic (for the 1970s) tube, no one ever sees these little topiary beasts. I saw plenty of them each day as I bypassed the tube.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Land of Showgirls & Buffets

Well, I'm back from Las Vegas and happily return with some cash in my wallet. It is not my cash though, that disappeared somewhere past 1am last Saturday at a craps table at the Imperial Palace. No, the money that is in my wallet is my wife's, who managed to stay comfortably ahead of the house edge via her penny slots (disastrous when a table player has to concede victory to a slots player)! But I wasn't out there for the gambling or the craps or the pool or the drinks... I was there for the GAMA Trade Show (Game Manufacturers Association), the fine folks that bring the world the Origins Game Fair in Columbus. And I have a ton of restrospective posts coming all based on this strange Wegziotic adventure in paradise!

Monday, April 13, 2009

NDE & Taxes

Two things that can't be avoided in life, and thankfully, I'm only dealing with the latter of the two. Once a year, just about this time, I get to revisit all my prior year expenses for the game company and get it all down on the tax form. It's almost as much fun as rolling the dread NDE. Can't wait to get filed and back to the game table!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March Madness!

March was a hectic month and I was scattered all over the place on the WEGS map. The early part of the month I was wrapping up the summer convention schedule and also began work on the next Minion of the Month, The Blind Dead. The Prof and I went back and forth on the skills in a mad attempt to make these bloodsuckers worthy of zombie-dom, and it took a full month to get 'em out the door. Mid-month was Wittcon, a good, little con hosted by the Wittenberg University Role Playing Guild where I ran games and gave a brief seminar on game publishing (appropriately entitled Dice Included). The trip to WU ended on a high note as the Platinum Warlock and crew took me to an awesome gaming store in Fairborn (Ohio) Bookery Fantasty. The store is now a WEGS retailer! On top of all this, I've been focused on the content for House Rules! and trying to get the first pass done; at this point I find myself with at least two chapters to go before the first read-thru.

April is going to be another mad month!