Boardgames Australia ran a very successful event for game designers at the LFG convention in Sydney. Thanks to all the designers, publishers and other participants, many who had travelled from inter-state.
This was the first time the event ran over two days.
On day one, the 19 designers played their games with other designers and experts and received detailed feedback on possible improvements. Martin Wallace, designer of Steam, Ankh-Morpork and Runebound, spoke in the lunch break on his design philosophy and how to get started in the industry.
On day two, the designers “pitched” their game to the group. This provided everyone the opportunity for a quick look at all the other games, as well as the opportunity to get feedback on how to fine-tune the pitch. Then a panel of Australian Publishers: Alistair Kearney and Allen Chang from Rule & Make, Kim Brebach from Goodgames publishing, and David Harding from Grail Games, answered questions on current developments in the game industry.
The publishers then heard quick pitches from participants, and took information away from several who had games well-suited to their product lines. The day finished with a game jam: full details are here, but essentially pairs of designers who had never worked together had two hours with a great mix of components to come up with a playable game on the theme of the Rum Rebellion.
We plan to be back bigger and better next year. We had some very positive feedback, as well as some ideas to make the event run even better.