UKGE 2018 – Best Bits

UKGE was huge this year, and Chris and I were two incredibly busy people all weekend, it’s a wonder either of us had chance to talk to the other. In fact if we hadn’t perhaps we’d have seen everything, played more games, chatted with more developers, designers, dug into the playtesting tables to find some new nugget of talent among the up and coming game designers who find their break at events like UKGE, or refine their ideas to try again next year, and maybe we’d have squeezed in a few more seminars.

Perhaps we’d have found the fabled “Press Area” that we’re reliably told exists somewhere.

A Legion Of Faces

On my first day at the NEC I could barely move for familiar faces. It’s been about five years since my first convention and I apparently know enough people of a geeky disposition across the country that any and all congregation I attend I will inevitably find a friend. Honestly I’m still not sure how I made it through Nationals without stumbling across someone. A mere three minutes before encountering my first anime con friend (damn you Graham, is there no escape?) followed by three more in two hours, friends from home, people who knew GeekOut, and yes, just a handful of folks whom I intended to catch up with.

Shropshire and West-Midlands folk, take heed, I stumbled across your local source for cosplay provisions, Cosplay Forge, a Telford based group specialising in the raw materials every cosplayer needs to build… well anything. I had chance to look at one of their newer products, Foam Clay, which is for easy shaping and even for use in high-detail moulds. And while I was there… another familiar face, Cal from GeekOut Shrewsbury was there to lend a hand but ended up talking to me for about half an hour instead.

I’ve seen that minigun somewhere before too…

Things To See And Do

Since board gaming got bigger than food, music, and the flimsy concept of sovereign nations, it has gotten harder and harder to compete in the market, with a few major players soaking up the attention, and ever more beautiful displays from the smaller tables to draw in the punters.

Oh, and this gentleman here:

who unintentionally posed with the merchandise while talking to the prospective customer on his right (our left) very kindly asked me to accredit Games Quest. Well how could I refuse? And kudos on your patois sir.

Vikings And Orcs

Not having so many friends in the Viking camp this year, I didn’t attend so many of their events, but I did snap a few pictures of the set up. Last year there was a solitary orc warrior to antagonise the under-10s, clearly they overwhelmed him because I couldn’t help notice that he’d brought a couple of reinforcements this year.

Knightmare Live

I’m liking the live shows more and more, this year I got to see the stage-show version of an action-adventure TV show that I was too young to have seen to fully appreciate the nostalgia. Still funny though. I shan’t give away too much, suffice to say that the balloons went through something of a saga.

Congratulations Drew on successfully locating the goblet, turns out Drew is a warrior’s name. Congratulations too to Paul, Matt, and Quinton who managed to break the game by refusing to accept the help of an “apparently” innocent young bard. Commiserations to Becky, who, upon being told to prod everything in the room, was set upon by a goblin who smashed her over the head.

Alright, I still have a little more to unpack from the weekend, much of which requires work to be done. For now I leave you with my prized possession from UKGE: