Building Better Board games Together

Origins 2012: Unpub Report

We did it friends and supporters. We showed up at Origins and made a unified space for unpublished games and designers to present and play-test their games. We met a lot of fantastic people and played a lot of fantastic games over the three days we opened our area.

Here’s a brief recap of what you might have played in Hall D if you found the Blue Noodle.

First off the numbers:

  • More than 36 games different unpublished and soon to be published games hit the tables.
  • 9 publishing companies officially participated.
  • around 100 people sat down and played at least 1 unpublished or soon to be published game.
  • Our area was open for 26 hours over three days.

The games (not all games will be listed at the current time):

From Publishers:

Dice Hate Me Games present several of their upcoming games in our Unpub Area after exhibit hall hours. We were one of the few places at Origins where you could get a play of VivaJava: The Coffee Game, Take the Bait and Compounded!

Clever Mojo Games presented several upcoming titles including Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge, Forge, Flummox, and the highly anticipated Princes of the Dragon Throne. Their booth in the exhibit hall presented their current titles, but Unpub was the place to go for their future titles!

Titans of Industry, the soon to be released title from Gozer Games hit the table twice with designer Brian Lewis at the helm. One of those plays involved the secret six player expansion for the game.

Mars Needs Mechanics, Benjamin Rosset’s game that has been part of our program for almost a year, was presented by the designer and supported by it’s publisher Nevermore Games. Nevermore also tested another game in their potential catalog gaining feedback. Some lucky players had a chance to help decide the course of a new game. Exciting!

Rise was presented in it’s Giant/Texas sized format. Crash Games, the makers of Rise also presented The Legend of the Lost Dutchman which is up on Kickstarter right now!

Diamond K ¬†Games, the publisher of Dragon Valley, presented their new prototype for Meager Kingdom to great success. I’m not sure if CW pulled out any of his other prototypes, things got busy some nights.

The designers of Fleet, coming soon from Eagle Gryphon Games presented that title and something new they were working on which I believe is called Space Vikings.

Slugfest games brought over and played a new prototype with us. You may know Slugfest as the makers of Red Dragon Inn. I enjoy some of their other titles, and this new game was no exception. I’m not sure I’m cleared to tell you the title yet, but I really liked it (the game was one of the few I actually got to play.)

We even hosted an unofficial play of Tammany Hall which is up on Kickstarter and being reprinted by Pandasaurus games. Pandasaurus will also soon be publishing Meteor which came from a designer in the Unpub Program.

Jason Tagmire brought out Pixel Lincoln:The Deckbuilding game. This one is coming from Island Officials and will be hitting Kickstarter on Tuesday. We’re in discussions to do a live play!

A Kickstarter success Oh My God, There’s an Axe in My Head! is coming out soon from Game Company 3. Designer and publisher Dave Fooden stopped by for a while and played this soon to be published game with several players.

I feel like I’m missing a publisher, so forgive me if it’s you. I’ll give you some props later for trying your game out with us.

Now… on to the real meat and potatoes, the designers without publishers:

Dave Baty tried out his game Capital. An economy and investing game that garnered favorable reviews from some published designers.

Bill Baldwin had his reverse Deck Builder on the table. I’ll be in touch with Bill because I didn’t get the name to share it. He’d been getting out to publishers all weekend.

We also saw Spirit Island (or was it Island Spirits?) from D. Eric Reuss. This medium weight cooperative euro saw a lot of plays all weekend as he also presented in the board room.

Despite the number of times I asked and he said his name, John David (something that starts with and F,) presented his game Colony 13, a semi-cooperative space colony invasion game. It had some interesting mechanics and I’m looking forward to watching this one develop. Jon has something coming out very soon which I’ll update you on when I can.

TC Petty III presented Rock Babies, which has been in the program for a few months now.

Weston Stapleton’s Tabgha hit the table for three plays while it continues to develop.

A guy named Ethan came by to visit with publishers and pitch his abstract game (which I didn’t get the name of.)

Aaron Winkler got several plays of States After the Fall, his game with Mike Swiryn. I’ve been hearing about that one since WBC and I”m glad I had a chance to see it in action.

Benjamin Rosset, who presented Mars Needs Mechanics, had two or three other games hit the table including  Game Designer.

Brian Lewis, designer of Titans of Industry presented Fast Food Dice and Space Mining…and I think another game or two over the course of the weekend. Fast Food Dice had a lot of fans and I’d look for that one to find a publisher soon.

Jason Tagmire, the mind behind Pixel Lincoln also brought Sandwich City which I’m not sure saw any play…but it was there. His focus was Pixel Lincoln.

Shawn Purtell premiered his first game design and that’s all I can say about that.

A game about trucking was presented to a potential publisher in our area. The rest of that news is secret.

Awesome Possum, a neat little game from the designer of Princes of the Dragon Throne was also presented in the Unpub area.

While I don’t like zombie games, Chevee Dodd (designer of Scallywags coming soon from Gamewright Games) presented his fun little zombie card game “Project: Dead End,” which I did like. Played fast and furious…not at all like other zombie slogs with lots of dice. Nice work!

Again, I know for a fact I’m forgetting some games and designers. If you played in the area and I’ve forgotten you, drop me a line. I’ll rectify that situation as soon as I can.

We played games Thursday, Friday night and Saturday in Hall D, behind the Steve Jackson Games tables. We had an awesome time at Origins 2012 and learned a lot of lessons. We hope to find a way to be part of the event next year.

I’ll be communicating with designers and publishers who participated in the Unpub events at Origins and getting their official listings up in the near future. Please stop back by for more information on these great games!

We have some video to post and will be doing that very soon!


Author: Darrell Louder

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