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Subject: Corocon! rss

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Pierre Rebstock
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Auckland
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Come on people! Spill!
How was it?
Yearly event?
Still recovering?

... gutted I couldn't attend...
 
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Brad Thompson
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Was cold.
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J Holmes
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Is this something to do with Coronation Street?
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Louise McCully
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Well I had a great time, a non-gaming buddy came up with me to the Coromandel for a bit of a girls weekend. So Friday night I didn't play any games, and kind of arrived a bit late to be bothered anyway.

Saturday was game day for whilst my friend took her Mustang up north (shocking people by driving it on gravel roads!!).

I played 3 prototypes and one published game, and the rest of the time was spent talking to people. For me that is a day well spent, good balance of people and games.

First prototype was very early in it's development and unfortunately for me it was inspired and directly related to a LARP. I am not a Larper, nor a role player, I was sooooooo not the target audience. Also size 8 font for the game board didn't help at all (he listened to that feedback meeple).

The second prototype I played, again I don't think I was the target audience. Really enjoyed the post-discussion and the feedback we gave. Enjoyed hearing everyones views, giving our opinions (lets face it everyone enjoys that!) and making small suggestions regarding our experiences.

Third prototype played was one of Martin's I hadn't tried. I will admit as soon as I heard area control as the main mechanic I thought bugger... but I will give it a go anyway because playtesting is the whole point to the weekend. It had two scoring rounds, my first was aweful, my score was half of the highest, kind of missed some key strategic points in the rules. I figured out my plan and by the time of my second scoring I had killed a dragon (first time it's happened while Martin's been testing it) and got informed I should feel smug about my score. So since I've been given permission for smugness, I lay it out in all it's glory (since I also won, though we did have to cut it short due to it being pumpkin-time). This is a game I would buy, and I'm looking forward to playing it again.

Brad is right, it was cold. Glad I took my fingerless gloves I use for driving. Yummy catering. Good conversation. Beautiful location. Loved the fact that EVERYONE in Coromandel town knew the CoroCon Convention was being held. Would definitely do it again.

Sunday, there was no gaming for me. Instead my friend and I took 7 hours to slowly meander our way back to Auckland, stopping off at Art Galleries, beaches and what ever took our fancy.

edit: Forgot to add on Saturday there was an interesting Game Design talk from Martin. It was structured and organic at the same time. Sorry you missed it.
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Brad Thompson
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j_holmes wrote:
Is this something to do with Coronation Street?
CoroCon = Boardgame convention run by Martin Wallace in the Coromandel with a focus on game design and testing prototypes.
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David Hunt
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Angie and I drove up to the Coromandel after work on Friday. We arrived at about 10pm at the Wallace's house, which they had left unlocked for us. (To give you an impression of just how much they're loving it over here, the house they're in hasn't been locked for 18 years! Compare that to living in Manchester...!)

They arrived home shortly after we started unpacking, and I went with Martin to check out the venue and help lock up once the die hards were finished gaming.

Saturday was the main day with the biggest turnout. Martin put on a talk for prospective designers and was quick to point out that it's not a fast track to wealth. He's been designing games for 20 years and is only now clearing his debts, and two-time SdJ winner Alan Moon was going to go back to waiting tables before Ticket To Ride was published.

He also offered to provide input on prospective designs and act as a go-between for publishers that he has a relationship with. He made sure to playtest every prototype over the weekend, which was no mean feat.



As you can see from the above photo, the weather was awesome. The venue itself was cold in the mornings, so some gaming was done outside where it was warmer. And the sunsets were epic!



Also on offer was shared meals. I really, really liked this idea. It worked with the number of people in attendance, (approximately 20-25), and lunches and the Saturday dinner were eaten around one block of tables. I thought it added a lot to the shared experience factor of the weekend.



The Wallaces were extraordinary hosts, so as a very small form of gratitude, I packed several of the component bags that people had ordered. They were selling cubes, discs, dice, trains, and so on.



There were so many components in the garage! I took a quick video of a portion of them for fun and posted it here.

We really enjoyed ourselves. Angie was able to experience enforced idleness amidst pregnancy when Caitlin was sleeping during the day, and I got to play a mixture of prototypes and published games. (Even better, I got to go to a board game event and do almost no work! Bliss!)

It was great to see familiar faces and the Wallaces did a fantastic job with running their first ever event. I hope that Martin's honest - and, at times, brutally so - feedback was helpful to those with design aspirations, and that it enables them to enhance their ideas towards making something more marketable. I know one game in particular caught his eye so hopefully we'll see it published sooner or later!
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David Hunt
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j_holmes wrote:
Is this something to do with Coronation Street?
I didn't like the name when I first heard it, but then the way it hints at Coronation Street for a gaming event on the Coromandel put on by an English couple recently moved to New Zealand just seemed to fit!
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Phillip Wood
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Really enjoyed the weekend. 15 or so of us had dinner with the Wallaces on Friday night before we all headed over to the venue to get some gaming in.

Saturday involved Martin testing as many of other peled prototypes as possible. I managed to get some favourable comments along side some not so favourable comments. Mainly involving simplifying everything.

I played lots of prototypes and published games of the course of the weekend including a study in emerald and a handful of stars by Martin.

All in all - a successful weekend.
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Porus Reign
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Tauranga
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Corocon was always going to be more than the average convention. It was the opportunity to transform from caterpillar to butterfly. What went into the Coromandal that weekend was NOT going to leave the same. What happens to dreams when they become reality? Corocon held all the answers.
In my mind there was no point in arriving at Corocon without something to show; The idea of fledging designers all coming together in spirit and locking minds to create and discover and grow, our own Solvay Conference if you will, luckily for me I had a 2015 Spiel de Jahres nomination germinating in my mind... all I needed was Corocon to release it. - And, let me tell you this is no joke. I've listen to Game Design Round Table et al and I know the first game is always rubbish, but this is not my first game, there have been many incarnation and mock-ups but none like this...
So time was spent sources materials, creating the player mats, scripting the card decks...
At Friday's dinner a fellow designer paraphrased Martin's comments on a design he'd previously presented, to, "He (Martin) said I could keep the theme." We laughed in encouragement and I felt for him.
The next day fate looked upon me and said, "Now."
My prototype players were of extraordinary caliber, Martin of course the most prestigious. I began.

The pitch was engaging, everyone seemed to nod at the appropriate moments. Anticipation to get going and have a look at the cards and see how it all played built nicely. I have to say that I was pleased as the questions people asked allowed me to reveal layer upon layer of extraordinary subtly and nuance. The game slowly blossomed into its full plethora of options, riches and wonder. There was a few minor interruptions and as I explained things on the fly a couple of things needed tweaking...

And then Martin said he was ready to give some feedback. We were two turns in. Had he managed to see the genius already?
The next few minutes were akin to receiving a school report... married with that moment when you realize that the other person is breaking up with you...mixed with a little weightlessness... and that feeling of falling backwards in a dream. I can't honestly tell you what the man said in those few seconds. All I could do was take it as manly and as good naturedly as I could; and pray that my eyes didn't water.
We played another guys game next... but I couldn't quite get the rules. All I kept on thinking was..."did he say I could keep the theme?"
I think he did.

Corocon changed me. I'm still working out how. But I'll say this, "See you all there next year!"
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David Hunt
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PierreNZ wrote:
Come on people! Spill!
How was it?
Yearly event?
Still recovering?

... gutted I couldn't attend...
How come you couldn't make it, Pierre? I saw your name badge there. All is well, I hope?
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Pierre Rebstock
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seriouslyboard wrote:
PierreNZ wrote:
Come on people! Spill!
How was it?
Yearly event?
Still recovering?

... gutted I couldn't attend...
How come you couldn't make it, Pierre? I saw your name badge there. All is well, I hope?
Finances... went a bit too crazy on Kickstarter recently, among other things (house insurance, etc)
Also started a new job in February and didn't get the time to improve/tweak my various prototypes. This real life thing is really getting in the way. robot
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Pierre Rebstock
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Porus Reign wrote:
Had he managed to see the genius already?
Usually takes a while to see your genius, Sean
Quote:
I can't honestly tell you what the man said in those few seconds. All I could do was take it as manly and as good naturedly as I could; and pray that my eyes didn't water.
did they? It's always one thing to ask for "brutal honesty" and quite another to actually get it. I keep saying we all should make more time for playtesting but I'm generally the first one to bail
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Brad Thompson
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I had 3 new prototypes ready to go for CoroCon. In my haste managed to leave all the game boards for one of them behind. Great start to the weekend. At least I still had 2 playable.

Travelled over on Friday with Glenn and Antonia arriving after 6pm, but in time to be apart of the Friday dinner. We then went to the venue and tried Mr K's prototype followed by a game of Innovation.

On Saturday I arrived early and grabbed bags and bags of wooden bits Treefrog were selling to use in prototypes. Started the days gaming off by playing Glenn's prototype. Was everyones first time playing it, but I had a bit of an edge by being familiar with the game mechanics and theme.

Then we had a nice shared lunch followed by Martins game designer talk. Very informative. I don't suppose anyone recorded it or took notes? Was nice to have my game Tit for Tat that has been picked up by Schilmil Games name dropped.

In the afternoon Nathan, Martin, Glenn, Antonia and I tried Nathan's prototype followed by one of my Prototypes. I got pretty positive feedback, just need to add a twist to avoid people unjustly drawing comparisons between my game and The Resistance. Might also mess with the structure a bit. Then we all played one of Martin's new prototypes.

Had a shared dinner followed by another game of Glenn's Prototype this time with Martin playing. Then finished off the evening with a game of Primordial Soup.

On Sunday morning bought more wooden bits (can never have too much wooden money!) then got Carl de Visser and a few others to try out another of my prototypes. This prototype, the first of which to have no cards in it, got positive feedback and mostly just needs a bit of balancing.

We then finished off the morning with a game of 7 Wonders before hitting the road back to Auckland.

Had a great time. Next year I think those of us in Auckland should charter a boat over!

Edit: Sorry to those who wanted to learn Terra Mystica and Suburbia! Ran out of time.
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Nathan Grange
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New Plymouth
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I can't help but be reminded of vultures picking over a carcass...

:-P

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Pierre Rebstock
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All those beanies it's like Santa's special little helpers getting busy packing for Xmas. Shame we don't have a mid-winter BGG Secret Santa meeple
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Nathan Grange
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Yeah - only in this case they're packing presents for themselves... :-D
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Reiver & Orthia
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Hamilton East
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We were dead keen and enthusiastic - and then, illness in the family. We dared not be so far from the main centres.
Ah well, next time we hope! There will be a next time, right? Right?
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David Hunt
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Reivthia wrote:
We were dead keen and enthusiastic - and then, illness in the family. We dared not be so far from the main centres.
Ah well, next time we hope! There will be a next time, right? Right?
I'm sure there will, although it may not be in the Coromandel.

Dun dun DUN...!

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Dean Adam
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Ummm David, whats your gerbil doing before its caught it the act? Im not sure dun dun DUN is the right soundtrack!

seriouslyboard wrote:
Reivthia wrote:
We were dead keen and enthusiastic - and then, illness in the family. We dared not be so far from the main centres.
Ah well, next time we hope! There will be a next time, right? Right?
I'm sure there will, although it may not be in the Coromandel.

Dun dun DUN...!

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David Hunt
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moonglow wrote:
Ummm David, whats your gerbil doing before its caught it the act? Im not sure dun dun DUN is the right soundtrack!

seriouslyboard wrote:
Reivthia wrote:
We were dead keen and enthusiastic - and then, illness in the family. We dared not be so far from the main centres.
Ah well, next time we hope! There will be a next time, right? Right?
I'm sure there will, although it may not be in the Coromandel.

Dun dun DUN...!

Would you prefer bow chicka wow wow?

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Toby Falconer
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Brilliant weekend and just the thing us prospective designers needed. Martin was extremely generous - making an effort to play every attendees game, some great reality-checking advice/discussion and a very warm (though chilly) environment for us all to share and learn in.

I didn't get to play as many of other people's prototypes as I would have liked to, but did (greedily?) get three of mine played:

'Zombie House' - is in a but of a funny place in between versions so the play, while useful, mainly reinforced the overhaul I am already in the process of. Had some nice combinations of moves played, which is the heart of the game, so I will be refocussing and rebooting!

Bilgewater Buccaneers - hadn't played this for ages but it was good to bring it out and refamiliarise myself with where I want to go with it. Looking forward to a new version with stripped-out text and more fluidity. Martin valiantly stepped into the game half way through and rubbished it nicely

At the Bottom of the Garden - big success for me as I got two plays of this in, on Saturday night and again Sunday morning. Great game on Saturday night, seemed to hold it's own and got some really useful feedback/comments from Carl and Gordon. Was glad to be able to nicely suprise the players who may not normally choose to play a game about catching fairies! Sunday morning game was with Martin who gave it big thumbs up, and with a few very few minor tweaks, thought it would sell well Again, had some good discussions with Martin re: publishing opportunities and thoughts on moving forward.

Great food all weekend - both Martin and Julia were great hosts and there was a real effort to create a solidarity to the group - bringing people together for meals and discussions. I really appreciated this as it is easy/natural for gamers to shy away fro mthe bigger picture and just focus on the game at hand.

Having the supplies (boxes, cards, components) on hand for sale was brilliant and a great resource for us all - again, very generous.

Another highlight was the 'shortcut' Kanuka and I found on Sunday morning from the cabins. When he had mentioned the day before we could just cross the fields and jump the creek I thought that would be much more fun thanjust waltzing down the road. Little did I know that the 'creek' consisted of both a deep drainage ditch and a rocky river and that the 'fields' included multiple barbed-wire and electric-fence obstacles we had to maneuver bag-laden. But it sure woke us up and gave us the momentum for a full day's gaming...

So yeah, I thought it was a very successful weekend, especially being the first of its kind and generally a freeform affair. I think it was a great start for bringing together NZ designers but that we should keep up the momentum. I feel there are many more discussions to be held as there are unique obstacles facing us here at the bottom of the world so far away from the board game masses!

So which begs he question where to from here
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David Hunt
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Nestalawe wrote:
At the Bottom of the Garden - big success for me as I got two plays of this in, on Saturday night and again Sunday morning. Great game on Saturday night, seemed to hold it's own and got some really useful feedback/comments from Carl and Gordon. Was glad to be able to nicely suprise the players who may not normally choose to play a game about catching fairies! Sunday morning game was with Martin who gave it big thumbs up, and with a few very few minor tweaks, thought it would sell well
We need to talk about my cut for naming rights... whistle
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J Holmes
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Quick question:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Martin Wallace is a judge in "New Zealand's Next Top Boardgame" (ok the contest may not actually be called that), is there going to be any issues with presenting a prototype at Corocon and then entering the game at the NZ Game Awards a year or two later?

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Katherine Boag
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I imagine if he submits a game one year that he will not be asked to judge. The NZGA do not have a regular panel of judges for the award that I am aware of.
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J Holmes
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Sorry I meant if an attendee demonstrated one of their prototypes at Corocon, not MW himself.
 
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