Wednesday 3 June 2015

UKGE 2015 After Action Report

Now that 1d20 levels of sleep have finally been recovered tis time to duly file an After Action Report for this year's UK Games Expo.

Travelling down on the Thursday proved to be rather...interesting since a crash on the A14 near Cambridge closed that road which meant the coach driver having to take a detour, also some forgotten roadwork signs on the A11 caused that road to bottleneck for no reason resulting in the coach being an hour and a half late when it finally got to Birmingham. Some confusion at New Street station meant we barely caught our train to Birmingham International, where upon arrival we discovered our hotel was on the other side of the airport...not exactly useful.

With the Hilton Hotel only a short walk away we opted to setup our stand to lighten our luggage and went for dinner at Frankie & Bennie's in the airport, probably our most expensive meal during the entire weekend. Luckily the airport had a customer service desk of a sort who very helpfully told us that there was a local bus service that ran past our hotel, one that not only ran regularly but also did so almost 24/7. Dash outside and caught one of these buses, which unusually only accepted exact fare but the driver couldn't have been more helpful and even dropped us right outside our hotel despite the bus stop being a short distance. So Thursday evening we finally got the chance to put our feet up after checking in and getting our room.

On Friday the trade hall didn't open to the general public until 2pm but the press had free range from about midday, during this quiet period I took the opportunity to grab some Savage Worlds loot in the form of the Horror Companion, Day After Ragnarok and the GM screen. Friday proved to be the quietest out of all three days, me and Tori only sold a couple of things but I suspect next year Friday may prove to be busier. By contrast Saturday was the best day for sales, the copies of the Savage Worlds Deluxe rulebook pretty much sold themselves and I also managed to sell the postcard prints, some copies of Alyeskan Tales and the Firewater & Ice adventure. Sunday was sort of between the previous two days with regards to how busy it was, which was reflected by sales. But compared to Diceni at the start of May I made four times as much money and Tori sold some of her harder to shift stock.

The Frozen Skies game I ran Saturday night was really good even if only half of the players who'd signed up actually turned up to play. The adventure went better this time round compared to when I ran it at the UEA Gamessoc 24 Hour earlier in the years, the tweaks I made certainly improved it. Was dead chuffed to find that one of the players had worked on the D20 RPG Etherscope and was intrigued by the Frozen Skies setting, certainly had alot of interest and wish I was in a position to release it now but oh well. Tori's artwork was a hit, a few people suggested that it would be brilliant for a couple of games whilst a lass from a game company told Tori to get in contact with them.

Met loads of awesome people, including Matt McElroy who's the Publishing Director of DriveThru. Also attended a couple of seminars, something that I didn't do last year. Also looking ahead to 2016 and making plans, stuff that I'd do differently or possible stock to have on hand such as more Savage Worlds products. My only complaint is a lack of communication from the organisers, we turned up at our stand just after 9:30am on the Saturday and found the trade hall already swarming with people which meant we might've lost out on some sales. Least we did get told that the tarde halls would be opening early on Sunday, though it would've been nice to have known that it was also the case on Saturday.

Wearing costumes seemed to work as it drew some interest, though next year we're going to be making certain that we double check where the hotel is before we book it. Considering running a few games to qualify for a free room at the Hilton, but nothing's set in stone just yet.

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In Other News

Following a suggestion from Matt McElroy, the Firewater & Ice adventure is now listed as Pay What You Want. So you can grab it as a freebie or give some money to help Utherwald produce more products.

Also, looking at the possibility of changing Utherwald to Iceni Press. Mainly to create a stronger tie to Norfolk (Iceni was the name of a tribe native to the area during Roman times), easier to pronounce and also so that it would appear higher up in a list.

Thoughts would be most welcomed.

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