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The Year Was 2019 (Part 3): On the Road Again

Updated: May 13, 2021

It’s Part 3, everybody! For those of you who didn’t read Parts 1 & 2, you can find those here: & For the rest of you, I’m not going to waste any more time! Smash cut to September 25th at the d20 Bar in Kettering!

This event was called “Pints and Preneurs”. It was a cool little event meant to highlight developers close to the Dayton area. I gotta say, obviously we’re closest to Cincinnati here in Hamilton, but we’re close enough to Dayton and Columbus where we are almost always invited to those events as well. Heck, we’ve gotten to the point where because not all of our team members are here in Hamilton, we do a handful of Louisville and Lexington events as well. It’s pretty neat. One of my favorite things about this Pints and Preneurs event was seeing the Galatune and Bellum teams again, so shortly after spending the weekend with them for Hamilton Games Festival!

There’s not too much to say about it. It was some of our favorite devs in our favorite bar showing off some great games! What more can you ask for?

Kabo, that’s what! See, the funny thing is that our next event right after P&P was also at d20 Bar, and contained a lot of the same people. Kabo’s a great event, not just because Griffin runs it, but because it’s all about giving back. Kabo may have started off as a traditional convention years ago, but it’s evolved into a one-day charity event with auctions and raffles for Extra Life Dayton (and as you may know, they’re one of our favorite charities). This year also featured a guest appearance by Jon St. John, voice of Duke Nukem (and Big the Cat). This year Kabo raised over $2,400 for Dayton Children’s Hospital! That’s just pure awesome!

Kabo is the place to be! (Stolen from the Kabo Events Facebook Page)

Now for the main event! Going all the way back to 2015, shortly after we rebranded the company, made some team changes, registered as an LLC, and picked up the studio space; Steve encouraged us to go to a little event called OGDE. At that time, we had only gone to a handful of events from 2005 to 2015 (mostly A&G Ohio… oof). It’s been an insane pleasure to watch OGDE grow into GDEX, the Midwest’s largest gaming expo (as opposed to convention, which is an entirely different… thing). This year was no exception, as GDEX was back, bigger and better than ever!

This was a first for us, however, since we didn’t have Adam this time around. Adam’s kind of the life’s blood of the events team; but we are happy that he got to go to his sister’s birthday party. This time it was me, Chris, and Griffin running the booth (well, Griffin part of the time; because he’s a big important boy and had a lot of meetings he had to attend to). We were also right next to the Galatune booth, which in all honesty, should be a requirement for every convention ever.

Ooh! This one’s a GIF!

For the last few months I’ve been having some pretty big anxiety (of course, a lot of that had to do with prepping for HGF). We’re getting dangerously close to being able to hand over our build of Collapsus to the publisher. Once it goes there, that’s it. We’re in full-on marketing mode. As with basically every indie ever, I’m super worried that our marketing plan just won’t be enough. Luckily for me, Max Krieger was at GDEX and he had just released his indie puzzle smash hit, CROSSNIQ+! I made it my mission to pick his brain.

Luckily for me, Max is an awesome dude; so we went up to North Market and just chatted about everything indie game marketing. It really put my mind at ease. It’s actually really funny; the sheer amount of little meetings that happen at North Market (Hot Chicken Takeover, specifically) and Late Night Slice are just crazy! A couple of our friends we met at WVGDE last year (not sure if they want to be named) also hung out with us at GDEX (HCT as well!), so we can kind of consider that our official daytime meeting spot.

So with much less anxiety, back at the booth we decided to also drag in our buddy Steven Zavala, creator of WaveCrash!!, so Max, Steven, and I could throw down at some Collapsus Battle Mode! When so many of your friends make puzzle games, how else should you hang out?

Ready to throw down!

Speaking of hanging out, Griffin rounded up a HUGE group of people to go swarm Shake Shack for some sort of chicken sandwich? Regardless of the reason, it was absolutely amazing! There’s always a mixer during GDEX, but as was the case at IndyPop, the real party is where we make it!

Walking to Shake Shack!

But honestly, the weekend just flew by. This was probably our most stressful GDEX because there were a lot of personal things going on behind the scenes; but we made it through it and it was another great year! Oh yeah, nearly forgot…

Chris and I accepting the award!

We won the Crowd Favorite Award! In previous years, we’ve won 2 other awards there, one of which was the AbleGamers Accessibility Award, and the other was an award from one of the media outlets there. Last year, we didn’t win anything, but we came in second place for Crowd Favorite! This year it was so awesome to win! So many of you have been so supportive, voting for us every chance you get, and we honestly couldn’t have done it without all of you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Oooooh! Shiny!

So that was it. GDEX was over again, and the next one would be WVGDE.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love these little university game expos. There are so many people who are there to learn the craft of game making. We go to so many events and it’s kind of a “sell, sell, sell” mentality on our side of the booth, which is fine. You do have to sell your game to pay the bills. It’d be nice if everything was “Patreon and fan autographs”, but it’s not. At these university events, you get to answer a lot of questions from people trying to get into the industry or improve their skills. It’s so nice.

If you remember last year, I ended up giving a handful of talks. One of the reasons I like giving talks is because for me, it just feels natural, I guess. This year, though, I didn’t give any. Steve actually did. His talk, “How to Build a Giant Robot”, was all about starting a brand from basically nothing and building it to something wonderful and formidable; at least, I think it was. I had access to his slides, but never managed to give them a read. I feel really bad about that. From all accounts, his talk was a huge success, though. When WVGDE posts the video, we’re going to be adding it to our playlist!

So yeah. It was really nice. This year and last they gave us a double-sized booth and we were pretty much always swamped! Other than that, over the weekend we went out to eat with the same friends I mentioned before from GDEX, got to stay in a cabin (very nice), and got to eat at the worst little hipster restaurant I’ve ever been to (they used a flooring sample instead of a breadboard).

Gotta love a packed booth!

WVGDE is already over and we already miss it.

Lastly, I will say this: We had planned on going to the Shawnee Games Expo, but had to drop out. I really hate when that sort of thing happens, and by all accounts (we had a lot of friends who went), the show was great! Hopefully next year nothing terrible happens, because we absolutely don’t want to miss out!

So what’s next? Well, we’re done with events for a while. The rest of November, all of December, and part of January are open. Our next event will likely be Ohayocon. We’re going to be spending this time working on Collapsus, some pre-production on future projects, and spending time with our families. So without events, next week’s blog post will be something completely different! Catch you soon!


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