Wednesday, 14 December 2005

GameCon-1 Blog: Day 2

Although GameCon-1 may have ended a week ago, the events that happened there are still fresh in my head. After judging the Settlers of Catan tournament on the first day of the convention, I was gearing up to judge the next tournament, Acquire, which is a thirty year old game (so I heard). Having studied science my whole life, Acquire is a business game which required skill and good business sense. But before the tournament started, it took me about an hour to find a parking space in MidValley. Still I arrived there early enough to try out new games, and when I said new games, it was really new.

In truth I never had this kind of experience before as most board games we play are all ready packed nicely for us to play. Anyhow I got a little bored after that and thats when I decided to walk around and try to snap some nifty shots of the area.

Now I really do wonder how many people actually play games for a living besides those professional computer gamers such as Jonathan Wendel and Sujoy Roy. How nice would it be to do all those things for a living. Their work would be their passion thus making it fun.

Soon the Acquire tournament was about to begin and I had to set the tournament place up. The previous location for the tournaments was located all the way back, hidden in some corner of the exhibition hall and after a short chat with Long and Edwin, we decided to bring it closer to the entrance where it would get better publicity. Its not easy trying to locate the DJ to make an announcement regarding the starting the of tournament while Music Canteen bands blasted our ears right outside of the exhibition hall.

The tournament began with 8 players, each of them seemed to know the game like the back of their hands. With a keen business sense and a hand that can pick the right tile, these players battled it out on the business battlegrounds trying to become the winner for the Acquire tournament where the grand prize was RM300.

After the tournament was over, I had quite a bit of free time allowing me to browse through the convention and try out the games available for the public to try out. I played a couple of games of Hamster Roll and Ticket to Ride which led me to get my own copy of Ticket to Ride. Up until now, I played 2 games with it, hoping to at least play about 50 games.

I think the highlight of the convention, well for kids mainly were the people who dressed up as your favourite Star Wars characters and other fantasy characters. If I am not wrong, it costs about RM10 for a picture with them with a full background image. Pretty worth it if you were a kid.

The final event was the prize giving ceremony for the tournament winners throughout the convention, not just board games alone but Warhammer, table top and painting competitions. Mr Tom Vassel was there to give out the prizes. Pictured below is the number 1 Settlers of Catan player in Malaysia and yes, she is a girl.

And the sum things up, I managed to see a local game developer trying to introduce his new game called QQChess or Quad Quest Chess to the gaming community. Its mainly a 4 player chess game with extra rules but the concept is very much like chinese chess. I can't say that its very creative but I believe its a start for the Malaysian community to try their hands and creating board games. Still we are far behind the Europeans but no matter what, Malaysia boleh!

But of course a career in creating board games doesn't exactly appeal to the Asian community. We definitely need a paradigm shift, sometime soon I guess.