Some of you may recall that we ran a Kickstarter for Ogre. One of our stretch goals was "throw a launch party." That happened October 19 and 20, 2013. We held it in the Ogre Logistics Facility, an ex-furniture store on the north side of Austin. We had fun.
Huge Box, Huge Building, Huge Win
This is the first convention-like event that SJ Games has ever run, but I really hope it will not be the last. It succeeded beyond my wildest dreams! The acknowledgements below are in no way complete, but I'll try:
• Distribution of supporter copies and swag went smoothly. Big thanks to Eric Dow, Brandon McClelland, and Bobby Barton. (Bobby works in our business office and doesn't get as many Cool Gaming Stuff mentions as some of the other guys. But Bobby is responsible for solving a lot of issues that you never hear about, because he solved them.)
• Registration went smoothly. This is not a guaranteed thing at small events run by beginners. Monica Stephens and Elisabeth Zakes, with tech assistance from Brandon (Brandon again!) made it happen.
• Everyone who came was mellow and fun to meet. (And I promise you, I have been to way too many conventions full of overentitled/thoughtless/crazy people. But not at this party. Wonderful.) Thank you, everyone! (And we got some GOOD playtesting done, and not just of upcoming Ogre releases.)
• We got to show off some great stuff. Ogre memorabilia 30+ years old came out of closets and files. There was an original playtest copy in the "museum," thanks to Kenneth Schultz. And an original Martian Metals Mark V mini, and a LOT of Richard Kerr's painted minis, and an Origin Systems Ogre game complete with radiation badge, and Ogre in Japanese, and so much more. Three cases worth. And the museum room soundtrack was Tom Smith's as-yet unreleased Ogre Suite. (As yet unreleased, because not completely done, but the party attendees got to hear it!)
• MIBs and volunteers from the membership stepped up and made LOTS of things run well. Some problems I'd worried about, such as "How will they get three copies of this heavy game to the car?" just weren't problems, thanks to planning (Dollies are GOOD) and volunteers. Particular thanks to Team Griego! And everyone thank Lené Griego for the many and excellent pictures, of which this is a small subset.
• Tech support was provided by Jimmie Bragdon, aided by Brandon (Brandon again)! We had a wifi hotspot, two webcasts from the site, and one from Daniel Jew in Singapore. (You can find those now on our YouTube channel.) There was a big monitor running Ogre videos and another one running the old Ogre computer game. Plus the music in the "museum."
• All the staff survived, and the very next day, the Ogre Logistics Facility was reconfigured from party site to shipping department, and supporter copies were being shipped. Keep up with our Kickstarter updates for more info.
Final huge acknowledgements go to Monica Stephens, who carried a big load of the party planning; to Eric Dow, who located the site for the Ogre Logistics Facility, got it ready for party use, and acted as floor manager for the whole show; and to Phil Reed, without whom there would not have been a game to distribute in the first place. And my thanks to everyone else on the SJ Games staff, because every single person helped in some way.