Friday, 6 April 2018

Old and New Boardgames

I felt thirsty. For the last hour I had been talking non-stop, as we were having the final livestream for Darwinning!’s Kickstarter campaign. During the two campaign weeks we made livestreams from 5 different countries. In the end, we got 101 backers and managed to successfully fund the game. Big thanks to all backers!

I gave a small piece of paper to a bartender. In the paper there was text ”bon boisson” and I got a small plastic cup of wine. We were in Switzerland and the organisers of Ludesco had provided us a nice pile of ”bon boisson” papers. In Finland you couldn’t have had an event for the whole family with alcohol drinks. At least you couldn’t walk around with your wine mug and minors (or alcohol drinkers) would have had to be segregated behind a fence... 

Yet, during the Ludesco weekend I didn’t see any drunken persons. Even if there was beer and wine available all the time. In Finland that wouldn’t have been possible, either.

Donkey Alarm

Ludesco was a well organized gaming event with tournaments, game library and prototype presentations, held in La Chaux de Fonds. We had a named contact person, Nils, whom I had met earlier in other conventions. He is half Swedish, so I was able to use my Swedish skills when solving issues. It felt really weird: to be in French speaking part of Switzerland and ”prata svenska” with a local.

We had also two our team members, Andrea and Sebastien, with us. They helped with all the other locals, who didn’t speak any Swedish or English. We accommodated them in our caravan at a camping place close by. (I have told you, it is a BIG caravan!) La Cibourg was a small camping area with a fairy tale style decorations. We didn’t need any alarm clock because the owners donkey woke everybody up at 9 when demanding breakfast.

During the weekend it started to snow, again. Not so special when you are high in the mountains, but still something that was not in the forecasts. I seems the clouds just keep following us – let’s see if the pattern continues through out the year.

Gaming from Generation to the Next

After Ludesco we drove to Germany to Ratinger Spieletage. Another whole family gaming event. Actually it felt like a whole town gaming event! So many people in different ages kept walking by and stopped to play Darwinning, Perdition’s Mouth and Black Hat.

This time we didn’t have any German speaking team members to help us. Luckily most of the people understood English. We offered, of course, also Finnish guidance, more or less as a joke. I guess we were rather surprised when one father told his kids would prefer that! We found out that Ratingen has quite large Finnish speaking community and even a school where Finnish is taught as one subject. Nokia had a factory there earlier, so many Finns moved to live there.

On our way towards East, to our warehouse, we stopped for a history lesson. Saalburg used to be on the north border of the imperium of Rome. This rebuilt fortress provides a lot of information of Rome’s history and has a small museum with surprisingly many artefacts. In the museum we saw an ancient Roman board game. Even the ancient Romans knew how to best spend their spare time!

Pit-Stop and New Records

At the warehouse waited a parcel from Finland...
We went to our warehouse in Leipzig to change winter clothes to summer clothes and winter tires to summer tires. We had booked a time for tire change at a caravan service – two weeks in advance. But when we arrived, the obviously-too-stressed-out-worker announced they have no time for us. He told that in German, but the message was clearly understandable. Customers service point of view felt still a bit neglected, though.

We had to get the tires changed because we were heading south and usage of winter tires was no longer allowed. So we kindly asked for a jack – and got one. Have you ever changed tires to a 2,5 tons caravan? Well, luckily Timo had had some experience when the tire went of... We spent 2,5 hours on a parking lot in a sunshine, sweating. It was not as fast as in Formula 1 races, but damn it, we made it!

In Portugal the Happy Shops guys, Frank and Sven, kindly asked us for a visit. Their company premises are in Merseburg, close to Leipzig. I immediately fell in love with the meeple shaped garden lamps in their yard! We had a nice couple of days with business and board games. About the business I can tell you that we have now a SpieleSchmiede campaign for the German version of Hideout expansion to Perdition’s Mouth! And about the board games I can tell that they lost to an eleven year old. Three times.

It felt good to meet same people again. When the scenery keeps changing all the time, a little repetition of the old and known is only good.

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