For two days at the CNE Gaming Garage, we ran demos and talked to hundreds of people as they came by to look at (and sometimes quick pic) the booth:
It has been several years (COVID) since I was running events at the CNE. Last time it was multiple tables of Dungeons & Dragons and we had some Demo Agents setup a great BattleTech spread. In those days the Gaming Garage was hidden in the back hall, under gloomy lights and dark ceilings. This year, it was in the middle of the Enercare Centre, taking up the majority of Hall B.
The thing I have always said about the CNE experience, as opposed to a traditional gaming convention, is that people have come to explore. They do not expect to sit down and actually play for more than a few minutes before seeing something else. It is under that expectation that had to drive the way we spoke to people. The single most important thing–other than the eye-catching setup and terrain (by Thunderhead Studio and Steel Warrior Studios)–was a box of Armored Combat that we opened to show people what they were getting with their $60 purchase. (It definitely confused a bunch of people when we said we were not selling them, just showcasing.)
During the first day, a young child (7 years-old) came by the booth to learn the game. He proceeded to decimate one of the team’s Marauder, knocking it over and detonating the side torso in an ammo explosion. The glee and sheer excitement in the child’s eyes as I told him he won was hilarious. He proceeded to trounce his sister in a second game. While the days were tiring and there is still risk of con-crud (or something more serious), I definitely miss seeing people’s faces as they play and enjoy what we spent time and effort setting up.
Until next time MechWarriors!