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Author Topic: Origins 2024 ––– JUNE 19-23 (Columbus, OH)  (Read 12854 times)

bayonetbrant

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Reply #60 on: July 10, 2024, 03:40:23 PM
BGW's wrap-up

https://boardgamewire.com/index.php/2024/07/10/origins-seals-record-post-covid-attendance-hopes-to-attract-back-larger-publishers-for-50th-anniversary-next-year/


and some reaction:

Quote
First, the statements from the publishers themselves underline what the fans have been saying for almost 15 years (you can find posts on BGG to that end going back to the '00s): People go to Origins Game Fair to play & they go to #GenCon to shop

The Phalanx of Holy GenCon Defenders™ will now descend on this thread with the predictability of a North Korean flashmob to start screeching "you can play thousands of games at GenCon, you dopes!" & while that is factually accurate, it also misses the point

It's not whether or not you *can* do both at either convention, it's about the underlying *reason* people go to one or the other. People go to GenCon with bulging wallets & plan to leave with bulging suitcases, & if they happen to play a game there, great

People go to #Origins with bulging event schedules & plan to leave with a ton of memories, game experiences they'd never get anywhere else, & maybe pick up a couple of games along the way, especially ones they got a chance to try in the game hall

GenCon has turned into the SDCC of the gaming world, where attendance is expected by every major entity because, well... because attendance is expected by every major entity

Origins is where companies, creators, & orgs go not out of obligation, but out of a desire to connect with the community in a way that you just mathematically CANNOT do with 70,000 lemmings chasing headlong off the "NÜ RELEASEZ!!" cliff
There's absolutely a place in the convention ecosphere for Origins, but it's NOT trying to out-GenCon GenCon


Second, bringing back the "big guns" like all the companies the Asmoborg has hoovered up over the past 10 years would definitely make the exhibit hall at Origins much more of a destination, but is that necessary?

The bigger loss in the Origins exHall isn't Asmodee, or WotC, it's the collection of successful-but-not-all-consuming companies that used to populate a whole lot of smaller spaces (10x20 or so) rather than the 40x60 islands that folks are pining for

Let WotC have GenCon, but bring back Ares, Green Ronin, Modiphius, Red Raven, GF9, Eagle-Gryphon, Atlas Games/Steve Jackson, Columbia, Privateer Press (or whoever bought them), Multi-Man Publishing, Gamelyn, Daily Magic, Yarro Studios, Blue Panther, and then beef them up with Tabletop Tycoon, Dark City Games, Loke Battlemats, Wehrlegig, Left Justified Studios, Kobold, Renegade, Fort Circle, Phalanx, Devir, & R Talsorian, & you've got a pretty solid exHall

Also noticeably absent this year were the previously-ubiquitous booths that were just retail stores (used, new, or both) that were NOT publishers, but selling stacks of games for other people. For years, there was a booth with pillars of Dominion boxes. Not this year.

Also lost were companies selling all manner of used, OOP, hard-to-find games. No one has ever effectively replaced Crazy Egor, Troll & Toad, or Excalibre on that front, and while the used-card booths / discount & close-out CCG booths don't hold wide appeal, adding 2-3 of those back into the hall would be noticeable

This year there was an over-abundance of artists, which are nice, but totally overwhelmed the back half of the hall – partly bc they all ignored booth height restrictions, & bc they (apparently) got DEEP discounts on their space. Also noticeable were all the booths with tchotchkes - 3d-printed table decor, mugs, oversized coins, stickers, & 3d-printed mugs with stickers filled with oversized coins. All nice 'secondary' booths, but not what a GAME con hall should be built around

Don't try to be a big-game hunter when you can feed your flock more sustainably on a bunch of mid-sized targets, bc then you're TOO dependent on/beholden to that one big fish to prop you up. Bring in a broad array of that middle class & go big on providing value for them (lower booth prices in exchange for sponsored events, for instance?) & focus on promoting to your audience how easy it is to connect with the ones that ARE there

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bayonetbrant

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Reply #61 on: July 10, 2024, 03:40:54 PM
here's a video wrap-up, that gets more than a few things wrong about the con, too


Quote
While there are some personal experiences in here that are valid, there's a whole bunch of factual inaccuracies that overall detract from their complaints, largely because thy don't seem to understand either the history, expectations, or audience

4:35 Totally missed wargaming, which was why Origins was founded!

7:15 clearly had no idea about all the RPG events over in the hotels

19:00 paint-&-take has been in the exhibit hall for about 20 yrs

25:00 priority access to the exHall on THU AM: for yrs, there was a 9am media window & ex's were CLEARLY told to be ready for 9 on THU
This stopped for a few years in the 10's but when it came back was combined with premier access & was NEVER a secret re: 9am/THU to be ready

29:00 completely missed that GAMA Expo is the B2B event, which is where those retailer boxes are given out (see our coverage of Expo)
Also, claim "a lot" of companies left immediately - Who? Name names.

30:00 you NEVER got a copy of all the games as a retailer

44:00 Pride didn't always intersect with Origins
For sev yrs in the 00s, Origins overlapped 4th of July ('til '12?)
After that, started overlapping w/ Pride some years & ComFest on others

46:00 Booth costs have definitely gone way up & def hurts small co's
But blaming GAMA bc some co's don't have product on-hand?
Blaming players bc they aren't into your part of the gaming hobby?

47:00 Origins had done per-event pricing for many years, but shifted to all-in a few years ago, and there's plusses/minuses to both. But wanting a dirt-cheap vendor hall withOUT per-event pricing means doubling your or tripling your volunteer security/badge-checking teams.

53:00 in ~20 yrs, never once had a problem with a security

There's
– a ton of griping, bitching, and venting here, with almost no intent to offer any sort of plausible, workable solutions
– complaining about bad decisions OTHER vendors made as tho it's the cons fault
– a lack of historical knowledge about more than the last 3-5 yrs
all wrapped around a disapp'tment that a BIG general-purpose con doesn't cater to your niche of the overall hobby & blaming the attendees for not sharing the same love of it

FWIW, this year there was a BIG minis presence compared to the past 6-8 yrs

There's a LOT that Origins can do to be better - see our other threads on Twxter/BlueSky/FB about them - but at least half of these complaints poor expectation mgmt on the part of the speakers, or (intentional?) misrepresentations of Origins history, practice, or staffing

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bayonetbrant

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Reply #62 on: July 12, 2024, 10:26:10 AM
Origins 2024! Kriegsspiel!

Quote
The original Prussian Kriegsspiel – the foundation of wargaming – is an eye-opening event for those that've never experienced the maximum fog of war that accompanies a truly double-blind game.

https://wp.me/pae4WL-99N


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bayonetbrant

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Reply #63 on: July 15, 2024, 12:30:41 AM
Origins 2024! After Action Review

Quote
As we wrap up Origins 2024, let's take some time for a deep dive into the operations of the Wargame HQ and address some detailed performance info, overall suggestions, and lessons learned from this past year

https://wp.me/pae4WL-9a1


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Advocator (Scott)

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Reply #64 on: July 15, 2024, 07:49:18 PM
Having read the AAR, I had a thought. It may be a terrible one, but who knows.

You said, "What Origins needs to bring back are the collection of successful-but-not-all-consuming companies that used to populate a whole lot of smaller spaces (10×20 or so) rather than the giant 40×60 islands under ceiling-hung satellite-dish-sized signs. What Origins needed to fill out the vendor hall were any/all of7 Ares, Green Ronin, Modiphius, Red Raven, Gale Force 9, Eagle-Gryphon, Battlefront Minis, Atlas Games and their support for Steve Jackson Games, Columbia, Privateer Press (or whoever bought them), Multi-Man Publishing, Gamelyn Games, Daily Magic, Yarro Studios, Blue Panther (and everyone they represent), 1First Games, Tabletop Tycoon and their different imprints, Dark City Games, Loke Battlemats, Wehrlegig (though Drew & Cole were there supporting Leder Games), Left Justified Studios, Kobold Press, Renegade Game Studios, Fort Circle (in a booth, not just with us), Phalanx Games, Devir, and R Talsorian, and most of those companies were either (1) at Origins within the last 5 years, and/or (2) present at GAMA Expo within the last 2 years."

I would love to see more publishers show up. But I don't think those publishers can afford it, which is another point you made in the AAR.

So, instead of having them look into getting their own little area in the vendor hall, would it be possible to have them join together to get a larger war gaming focused booth? And instead of being a larger booth in the vendor hall, could that larger area be with ACD?

I know vendors used to setup in the gaming hall that we are in. I distinctly recall visiting Ares booth once right around where we were setup this year. Do they still let vendors in? If so, would it be more cost effective--and better exposure for both war gaming and the war gaming publishers--if ACD doubled its space and dedicated the new area to publishers who could run events/demos and sell their products? Recognizing that the companies you mentioned above are, obviously, in competition for each other. But ACD hosted a number of talks about where those companies were going in the future (sadly, not in time slots that fit my schedule), could that be expanded from talks to a table or two?  We're a niche corner of a niche hobby, the more light we shine--and ACD has turned itself into one of the brighter lights--in the corner, the more it grows the hobby, which helps us as gamers and all the companies you named above as publishers. Rising tides raise all ships and such.

Finally, you mentioned getting bigger and better signage. My local library has a maker space where you can do vinyl prints for next to cost (it might even be cost). I'm happy to get more info on that if your local library's don't have  that option.




bayonetbrant

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Reply #65 on: July 15, 2024, 08:26:40 PM
Having read the AAR, I had a thought. It may be a terrible one, but who knows.

Like we've ever said "no" to a terrible idea or something  :ROFL:


You said, "What Origins needs to bring back are the collection of successful-but-not-all-consuming companies that used to populate a whole lot of smaller spaces (10×20 or so) rather than the giant 40×60 islands under ceiling-hung satellite-dish-sized signs. What Origins needed to fill out the vendor hall were any/all of7 Ares, Green Ronin, Modiphius, Red Raven, Gale Force 9, Eagle-Gryphon, Battlefront Minis, Atlas Games and their support for Steve Jackson Games, Columbia, Privateer Press (or whoever bought them), Multi-Man Publishing, Gamelyn Games, Daily Magic, Yarro Studios, Blue Panther (and everyone they represent), 1First Games, Tabletop Tycoon and their different imprints, Dark City Games, Loke Battlemats, Wehrlegig (though Drew & Cole were there supporting Leder Games), Left Justified Studios, Kobold Press, Renegade Game Studios, Fort Circle (in a booth, not just with us), Phalanx Games, Devir, and R Talsorian, and most of those companies were either (1) at Origins within the last 5 years, and/or (2) present at GAMA Expo within the last 2 years."

I would love to see more publishers show up. But I don't think those publishers can afford it, which is another point you made in the AAR.

Well, that's apparently a point of discussion w/ Origins


So, instead of having them look into getting their own little area in the vendor hall, would it be possible to have them join together to get a larger war gaming focused booth? And instead of being a larger booth in the vendor hall, could that larger area be with ACD?

Maybe.  Not directly, but perhaps several of them 'uniting' to support a retail org like an Enterprise Games would get them around the weird booth-sharing rules at Origins

But yes, there are discussions afoot to that end


I know vendors used to setup in the gaming hall that we are in. I distinctly recall visiting Ares booth once right around where we were setup this year. Do they still let vendors in? If so, would it be more cost effective--and better exposure for both war gaming and the war gaming publishers--if ACD doubled its space and dedicated the new area to publishers who could run events/demos and sell their products? Recognizing that the companies you mentioned above are, obviously, in competition for each other.

There were a bunch of vendors up at the front of the gaming hall - Warlord, Catalyst, Mantic, and Queen, among them.  Downside is you've got to stay open longer than in the exHall.  Upside is you get to stay open longer than in the exHall.


But ACD hosted a number of talks about where those companies were going in the future (sadly, not in time slots that fit my schedule), could that be expanded from talks to a table or two?  We're a niche corner of a niche hobby, the more light we shine--and ACD has turned itself into one of the brighter lights--in the corner, the more it grows the hobby, which helps us as gamers and all the companies you named above as publishers. Rising tides raise all ships and such.

I wouldn't expect those company updates to move to game hall floor, for a variety of reasons - chief among them that we're looking to stream/broadcast them next year if we can.  But those would be very hard to do on the game hall floor if there's more than 6 people attending, and we're hoping to hit double-digit attendees for each next year.


`Finally, you mentioned getting bigger and better signage. My local library has a maker space where you can do vinyl prints for next to cost (it might even be cost). I'm happy to get more info on that if your local library's don't have  that option.

We have some options we're looking into, but that's a great option to know about, and check into locally here!  Thanks for the idea :)

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Advocator (Scott)

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Reply #66 on: July 15, 2024, 08:47:11 PM

I wouldn't expect those company updates to move to game hall floor, for a variety of reasons - chief among them that we're looking to stream/broadcast them next year if we can.  But those would be very hard to do on the game hall floor if there's more than 6 people attending, and we're hoping to hit double-digit attendees for each next year.


Oh, I wasn't thinking to hold those talks in the hall. Too noisy. I just thought having more and more companies demoing and selling with ACD turns ACD truly into the Wargaming HQ.



bayonetbrant

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Reply #67 on: July 15, 2024, 09:47:47 PM
Oh, I wasn't thinking to hold those talks in the hall. Too noisy. I just thought having more and more companies demoing and selling with ACD turns ACD truly into the Wargaming HQ.

Definitely working on that

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bayonetbrant

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Reply #68 on: July 16, 2024, 09:28:35 PM
we talked about Origins on the Chit Show tonight


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