[93 Made Games] What a Wonderful Weekend at the Australian Games Expo

Sean Andrew Carroll sean at 93made.com
Thu Jan 28 23:51:46 AEDT 2010

What a Wonderful Weekend at the Australian Games Expo 

(Thursday, 28 January 2010)

If you are a gamer, game designer, artist, graphic designer, publisher,
retailer or distributor then the Australian Games Expo
<http://www.austgamesexpo.com>  - Australia's premier tabletop gaming
exposition - is the unmissable event of the year.  The 93 Made Games team
(Sean, Anthony and Julia) recounts their wonderful weekend in Canberra at
the 2010 expo and highlights why it is such a great event.

Friday - Setup and Boardgames Australia Awards

We arrived at site of expo - Exhibition Park In Canberra (EPIC) - just after
9am.  Expo coordinator, Phil Davies of Mind <http://www.mindgamesalbury.com>
Games Albury gave us a tour of the expo hall and a run down of each of the
exhibitors.  The 93 Made Games booth was conveniently positioned in between
Even Toys <http://eventoysandgames.com.au>  & Games (Australian distributor)
and Crown  <http://www.crownandandrews.com> & Andrews (Australian

Our interior design extraordinaire, Julia, whipped us into action as we
setup our booth in quick time.  Afterwards, we took the opportunity to check
out the neighbouring hall which was hosting CanCon <http://www.cgs.asn.au>
- Canberra's yearly gaming convention.  The hall had gaming tables clustered
as far as the eye could see.  We hadn't been to CanCon for a few years and
it looked like participation had more than doubled since our last visit.

After spending some time talking to booth operators at the expo and CanCon,
we got prepared for the Boardgames <http://www.boardgamesaustralia.org.au>
Australia (BGA) awards being held that night.  The awards are held to
recognise excellence in game design and are judged in accordance with a
range of guidelines such as enjoyment, originality and replayability.  This
year's and previous winners of the awards are listed on the BGA website
<http://www.boardgamesaustralia.org.au> .  The awards night gave us and
other designers/publishers an opportunity to mix and mingle with various
industry representatives including the BGA crew, Giles from Rio Grande (US
publisher) and Naomi from Elementaurs (Australian designer/publisher).  The
free drinks and food were an added bonus.

Saturday - Visitors from UoW and Learn About Play Forum

Day one - fun, fun, fun.  We demonstrated Viewpoint
<http://www.93madegames.com.au/viewpoint.html>  all day to people new to the
game and existing fans of the game.  We also had a special visit from Barry
and Jason from the University <http://clubs.uow.edu.au/websites/guildgaming>
of Wollongong Gaming Club.  We revealed our latest prototypes of Show'n'Go
<http://www.93madegames.com.au/showngorlcg.html> , Gladitorus Millennia
<http://www.93madegames.com.au/gladitorus.html>  and Viewpoint Reflections
to Barry and Jason who were so enthusiastic about them that they wanted
copies for their club as soon as possible.  We also made sure that Barry and
Jason received their very own Viewpoint t-shirts so they could be the envy
of their gaming club.

Whilst Anthony and Sean continued to entertain the expo-goers and mingle
with other exhibitors, Julia participated in a 'Learn About Play' forum
convened by Melissa Rogerson from BGA.  The forum had four main sessions -
Learn Through Play (a presentation by Dr Wood <http://www.drwood.com>
Challenge Centre about lesson planning with games), The School Game Night (a
presentation on boardgaming nights for community-building and fundraising
for schools), Play Time (a hands-on session in which people got to play with
the games presented during the two previous sessions) and a Round-Table
Discussion (a discussion of the use of games in education).

Sunday - Protospiel and Viewpoint Tournament

Day two - games for me and you.  Demonstrations of Viewpoint continued as
Sean play-tested games at the Canberra Protospiel, which was organised by
Richard Vickery from BGA.  He discovered a space-based Euro/strategy game
and an NRL Trivia game; the latter of which he somehow managed to win.  He
also demonstrated Show'n'Go <http://www.93madegames.com.au/showngorlcg.html>
and received valuable feedback from his play-test group.  BGA plans to hold
Protospiels throughout 2010 and beyond.

Sean also sat in on a talk on 'designing games and getting them published'
by Craig Browne (inventor of Sorts for Kids - 2009 BGA Australian Game of
the Year).

Meanwhile, Anthony ran the CanCon Viewpoint tournament as a precursor to the
Viewpoint World Championships to be held in the second half of 2010.  More
qualification tournaments will be held around Australia and the world
including those at Good Games <http://www.goodgames.com.au>  stores up and
down the Eastern seaboard. Check out the Viewpoint
<http://www.93madegames.com.au/vp_leaderboard.html>  Leaderboard for a list
of those who will receive free entry into the world championships.  The
prize pool and international representatives will be revealed later in the

Monday - Chill Out Day and Pack Up

Day three - you can't do that with a Wii.  After two full-on days of
demonstrations, workshops and seminars, we got to play some of the games
from the other booths such as Elementaurs and Motus.  Pack up began at
around 2:30pm but not before the team and some fans got in a monster game of
Viewpoint in which two decks were used with the objective being to reach 200
points.  The dust settled after about 30 minutes with Shirley winning
(again!), Ed, Claudia and Julia close behind and Sean lagging well below 100
points.  Obviously, the game's designer needs to reassess his game play
strategies for larger games.

The car was abuzz with energy on the trip back to Sydney after such a
wonderful weekend where we got to meet so many nice people and play so many
enjoyable games.  To cap off the great weekend,  the 93 Made Games oztag
team <http://www.93madegames.com.au/article14.html>  scored its best result
of the season that night - a draw!

93 Made Games at the Australian Games Expo


2010 was the last year that the expo will be organised by Phil Davies.  Phil
started the expo in 2006 and it has been growing in attendance and stature
ever since.  The expo will be coordinated by Charles Bishop and Steve
Rohan-Jones of O2C Solutions <http://www.o2c.com.au>  in 2011.  Both Charles
and Steve were at this year's expo and gave us plenty of their time to
discuss how we think the expo can improve on its impressive roots.  93 Made
Games would like to thank Phil for all of his time and effort in building up
the expo and wish Charles and Steve all of the best for future expos.

 <http://www.viewpointgame.com.au/> vp_title2


Viewpoint is a fun-packed and easy to learn card game for 2 or more players
aged 7 and up. Be the first player to reach 100 points by looking into the
future, spying on other players and blindsiding your buddies!



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