Lessons and Fun from Big Design

Whew, what a weekend.  I think I am karmatically screwed when it comes to air travel – nothing ever seems to go smoothly. First time I’ve ever heard an airline say they found a mechanical problem, but that they decided to ‘defer it’, then immediately back track and say oh no….we meant fix.  We fixed it.  Then proceed to put too much fuel on board, went over gross, and had to take passengers off to make up the difference.  I think I’m just going to start driving everywhere.  At least then I can pick the food and music for the trip.

Big Design was a blast, and who knew there were so many indie board game developers and publishers in the Dallas area (or at least in Texas). I certainly didn’t.  Lots of them have successfully completed Kickstarter campaigns and were totally willing to discuss details and processes, which was also awesome.  ‘Cause yeah….trying to figure out manufacturing and warehousing and fulfillment on your own is a rather daunting process.  It’s nice to talk to people who have actually done it, and at the same time, be completely humbled and in awe of what some of them have accomplished.

Big Design was also interesting in that it’s not a game-centered conference – the game track was new this year.  Instead it celebrates and explores design of all facets, from banking software UX to Pixar character creations.  Really cool grouping of people that typically don’t interact with each other on a day to day basis.

Most of them also brought some prototypes of new games out to play, which we all did all-day on Saturday….much to the concern of the convention host who wasn’t sure if we had moved ever that day.  We did.  To get beer and food. It also looks like the Grumpy Cat talk was filmed again, and might be posted somewhere – slides are totally the same as the previous one, but I ended with 5 min to spare this time, so  I suppose this version is a bit more efficient in areas.

EDIT:  Because I’m a tool I didn’t actually name any of the awesome people or the stuff they’re building.  I will now.

  • Jessica Nida of Harpy Games brought over Wrangled.  This is a delightful card game.  You should buy it
  • Brett Amundson and Patrick Keith demoed Counterblast, which will soon be coming to Kickstarter.  You should buy it.
  • Nik Mikros demoed Killer Queen Arcade.  This was awesome and you should buy it/support it.



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