Category Archives: Conventions

GAMA Expo 2021 Goes Virtual and announces Friendly Local Game Store Day

With the uncertainty of 2021 still looming GAMA has announced that the 2021 GAMA Expo will be virtual. Originally scheduled for March 15-18 in Reno, Nevada, the physical convention is not being held due to the COVID pandemic.

Instead, GAMA will host a virtual program consisting of four days over two weeks culminating in Friendly Local Game Store Day.

The virtual show will consist of two EXPO days featuring the Exhibit Hall, Premier Presentations, and Game Nights on Tuesday, March 16 and 23 respectively. On Wednesday, March 17, GAMA will hold a Professional Development Day with specific educational tracks for retailers, publisher/manufacturers, and designers, plus a special e-commerce track for everyone.

The program will also feature a speed pitching opportunity for designers with publishers, scheduled meetings with distributors and facilitated group discussions on important topics facing the industry.

GAMA has also announced Friendly Local Game Store Day which will be held on Saturday, March 27. The goal is to drive consumers to GAMA retail stores to purchase products by publishers who are members of GAMA. There is something a bit odd about driving individuals to physical stores when the conference/convention has been canceled due to COVID. Stores could hold their own events online too if needed.

More info is coming and this is something we’ll be keeping our eyes on.

GAMA Expo 2021

Roll20 Announces Major Content Updates – Mobile App, New Games and More

At the fifth annual Roll20Con, Roll20 announced a virtual tabletop full of new content. Burn Bryte, Roll20’s original online TTRPG, has two new adventures (one is free!) available now, plus a new bestiary that expands on the imaginative Olaxis Galaxy. The Roll20 user interface is getting a navigation-friendly overhaul, and new scheduling updates will make it easier than ever to connect with other players. New games are inbound, like Alien, Warhammer Fantasy, Esper Genesis, Companion’s Tale, and more, along with updates and expansions for fan-favorites like D&D, CoC, Pathfinder, Starfinder, and more. 

Through Sunday (October 25), fans can grab exclusive Roll20Con giveaways and rewards, as Roll20 matches donations to Code2040 to help end racial discrimination in tech.

Service Updates
  • Mobile App – Roll20 Mobile is just on the horizon. The team is hard at work on Character Sheet integration and mobile dice rolls that can be sent directly to the VTT, with other updates and features coming down the line. A closed beta is coming soon! 
  • Roll20 Reserve – Launched in October, Roll20 Reserve is an entirely new reward feature that gives Pro subscribers curated Reserve items each month, like map packs, tokens, modules, and other fancy stuff.
    • Reserve items are free to Pro subscribers (exclusively) for one month, then available to all users for purchase in the Marketplace.
  • Grid View – New and improved interface, with more updates on the way! Almost 700 people voted on the user forums for better Page management and organization, and now it’s here.
  • Scheduling Updates – Coming soon. More easily connect with players and solve that eternal TTRPG problem, “so when are we playing?”

Game Updates

  • Burn Bryte – Three Roll20Con releases, available now:
    • FREE adventure, Trapped at the Edge
    • New Bestiary, Galactic Grimoire
    • New Adventure, After Midnight
  • Free League’s ALIEN (Starter Set and Destroyer of Worlds) – Coming 10/27/2020
  • Starfinder: Alien Archive 3 and 4 – Coming soon
  • Pathfinder Second Edition: Agents of Edgewatch – Just released
  • Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition will be backlog-complete on Roll20 by the end of 2020, with the addition of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, and Dungeon Master’s Guide
  • Kobold Press: Tome of Beasts 2 (OGL) – Available now
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition – Just released
  • Call of Cthulhu
    • Investigator Handbook – Coming 11/20/2020
    • Charactermancer – Just released
  • Renegade Entertainment’s Overlight and Wardlings – Coming Q1 2021
  • More titles coming soon to Roll20 from indie creators and publishers, including Esper Genesis (Alligator Alley Entertainment), Companions’ Tale (Sweet Potato Press), and many more.
Roll20Con Freebies
  • Code2040 donation rewards:
    • Lost Mine of Phandelver, Indoor Recess Theros, and Burn Bryte Burning Daylight token pack, The Phandelver Phive – available through Tiltify
  • Giveaways this weekend: 
    • Every Twitch event will be giving away something 
    • Daily giveaways on the Roll20 forums
    • Giveaways at certain donation milestones 
  • Roll20Con 2020 T-shirt – Proceeds benefit Code2040
  • Norse Foundry dice – An aircraft grade aluminium D20 sporting the Roll20 logo. 20% of all sales benefit Code2040.
New Live Shows 
  • Burn Bryte Season 2 (featuring After Midnight) – Coming soon
  • Indie Showcase Season 2 – Coming soon
  • Balikbayan: Returning Home (powered by the apocalypse) – Begins 10/28/2020

Roll20’s 5th Annual Roll20Con Starts October 23

Roll20Con

Roll20 is gearing up for the fifth annual Roll20Con on Friday, October 23 through Sunday, October 25. It’s an event all about gaming for a cause – three days of streaming, to be exact. Roll20 is once again celebrating the online TTRPG (tabletop role playing game) community with panels, discussions, and plenty of gaming. The first RPG built from the ground-up for Roll20 by Roll20, Burn Bryte has some surprises to share, too.

In partnership with Code2040, an organization dedicated to ending racial disparity in the tech industry, Roll20 will be matching community donations up to $50k during this weekend-long event. Fans can learn more about Code2040 and donate through the Tiltify campaign.

Dimension20 is headlining Roll20Con 2020, with their comedic D&D showtime slated for Saturday at 6pm PST. Other spotlights include Rivals of Waterdeep, Honey & Dice, Critical Role, Pixel Circus, Burn Bryte streams with lead designer James Introcaso, big Roll20 Announcements for 2021 and more. The full schedule will be available soon.

Also new this year; demos from numerous publishers, featuring games – like D&D Adventurer’s League, Pathfinder, Starfinder, Call of Cthulhu, Outbreak, Altered Carbon, Kids on Bikes, Alice is Missing, Alien, Thirsty Sword Lesbians, Monster of the Week, Fate, and more – that showcase some of the new digital ways to play games online. While social distancing has forever impacted traditional “game nights”, new tools and innovations are helping connect players (and creators) in better ways than ever. 

Learn more about how Roll20 and Code2040 are bringing the industry together and gaming for good at Roll20Con 2020: https://roll20.net/con

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Comes to the Metaverse Virtual Convention

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. presents a spread of unique, virtual experiences at New York Comic Con and MCM’s Metaverse (NYCC x MCM Metaverse). Online attendees will find new activities and fan-favorite attractions at KONAMI’s Virtual Booth Page, celebrating different aspects of the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand. Duel fans are invited to watch an online panel with voice actors from the original animated series, visit the Virtual Token Booth, and compete in Yu-Gi-Oh! Remote Duel Extravaganza! tournaments. In addition, the digital retail counter will offer a stunning NYCC x MCM Metaverse Exclusive Game Mat featuring The Winged Dragon of Ra! Whether you’re a tournament player, a fan of the manga or the animated series, or you just want to see what’s new in Dueling, check out the KONAMI Virtual Booth Page from Thursday, October 8 to Sunday, October 11.

No Convention Badge is required to visit the KONAMI Virtual Booth Page. Activities and attractions will include…

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! DUEL MONSTERS Voice Actor Reunion Panel: The original cast of Yu-Gi-Oh! DUEL MONSTERS reunites in this panel moderated by Sam Black! The cast will reminisce about their time on the show, working with one another, and even answer questions, fans like you, submitted online. Featured on Sunday, the panel is sure to provide some behind-the-scenes nostalgia.
  • Virtual Photo Booth:A staple of KONAMI’s convention offerings, make your very own personalized Yu-Gi-Oh! Token Cards as unique digital keepsakes! Choose from different card backgrounds, your favorite characters, or the 2020 NYCC logo, and share your creations on social media. (Limit 2 Tokens per person.) A limited number of attendees will even win a physical copy of their Token Card that will be shipped to them after the convention! Winners must have a shipping address in the United States or Canada.
  • Con Exclusive Game Mat: The digital retail counter is the only place you’ll find the NYCC x MCM Metaverse Exclusive Game Mat! The Winged Dragon of Ra is featured with its new variant artwork, as it appears in Legendary Duelists: Rage of Ra, available for $30 USD (plus sales tax and shipping) while supplies last! The purchasing website will go live on October 8th at 10:00 AM EST. All customers wishing to purchase the Exclusive Game Mat must have a shipping address in the United States or Canada.
The Winged Dragon of Ra Yu-Gi-Oh! NYCC Exclusive Mat
  • Exclusive Limited Edition Merchandise: The new Yu-Gi-Oh! e-commerce shop is your source for a curated collection of t-shirts, tumblers, phone cases and more, featuring fan-favorite characters and monsters. Choose the design you want and get it in the color and style of your choice, while supplies last. Customers must have a shipping address in the United States or Canada.
  • See New Yu-Gi-Oh! Products: Get the details on upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG releases and get a look at two new products, both unveiled for the first time ever at NYCC x MCM Metaverse!
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Remote Duel Extravaganza: Duelists can register to compete in Remote Duel Public Events for fun and prizes, from the comfort of your home! Duelists must have a shipping address in the United States or Canada.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Remote Duel Extravaganza will run from Thursday to Sunday and Duelists are invited to throw down in Speed Duel Constructed, Advanced Format Win-A-Mat, and Structure Deck: Sacred Beast sealed tournaments. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will each host an ATTACK OF THE GIANT CARD!! tournament as well, and Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links tournaments will be held across all four days of the convention. Check out the FAQ for more details, including registration fees and prize schedules.

Tournaments Will Be Offered During These Scheduled Hours:

Thursday, October 8: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Friday, October 9: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Saturday, October 10: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Sunday, October 11: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time

VRazeTheBar Presents a Virtual Gen Con Experience for Immersive Online Gaming

Gen Con Online

When Gen Con announced the cancellation of its beloved long-running annual gaming convention in Indianapolis, a team of long-time Gen Con professionals and entertainment tech specialists came together as VRazeTheBar, with the goal of creating a rich, immersive, interactive social experience for fans as part of Gen Con’s online events. Gen Con marks the debut for VRazeTheBar, the first of many other interactive, immersive online events designed to help people gather safely and have fun in the virtual world.

What VRazeTheBar is offering to Gen Con fans and other gamers is the ability to virtually go to Gen Con this year through a new world. VRazeTheBar selected the Linden Lab Enterprise/Education edition of Second Life as the ideal platform to create a virtual Gen Con experience. Second Life is the largest user-created 3D virtual gaming and social interaction world of its kind in the world. It provides the ideal space to create a virtual Gen Con experience for Second Life residents as well as Gen Con fans looking for more immersive play and social interaction.

Membership in Second Life is free, and users can select their own avatars and customize them in dizzying detail, ideal for fan-based events. Details are available on their website, for people new to Second Life there is a step-by-step guide. VRazeTheBar “emmisaries” will be available to help.

In VRazeTheBar’s virtual Gen Con experience, users will find many of the details that fans love: food trucks and the traditional Saturday night dance as well as a free official Gen Con virtual t-shirt. But more than anything else, it’s really about the games. The game masters have embraced the virtual platform to make some awesomely rich, detailed environments for interactive gameplay.

Details of the games, panels, and other events are available at the VRazeTheBar website, and registration is available Gen Con Online website, as well as registration for all events.

Free League Publishing Heads to Cyberspace with Gen Con Online

From the deep Nordic forests, Free League Publishing travels virtually to Gen Con Online this week with a host of games, news, and releases. Every day from July 28 to Aug 1, Free League will present a new release or announcement. Free League RPGs will also be available to play online, and the Free League YouTube channel will host actual plays of the new RPG Vaesen and recent hit games ALIEN and MÖRK BORG.

Due to the Corona pandemic, Gen Con Indy is sadly canceled this year. It’s replaced by Gen Con Online, a virtual convention featuring a slate of events and programming you can attend from the safety of your devices and in the comfort of your favorite quarantine sweatpants!

Free League’s main release at Gen Con this year is Vaesen –  Nordic Horror Roleplaying, presenting a dark Gothic setting steeped in folklore and the old myths of Scandinavia. Here is the full schedule of Free League Gen Con activities as of now. More might be added later:

  • July 28: Official release day of Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying, the next major game line from Free League Publishing.
  • July 29: Release announcement about Destroyer of Worlds, the upcoming new Cinematic scenario for the official ALIEN RPG.
  • July 30: Official release day of Crypt of the Mellified Mage module for the Forbidden Lands RPG, winner of four ENnie Awards 2019.
  • July 30, 9 pm EDT: Actual Play of The Shadow King’s Lost Heir for the MÖRK BORG RPG on the official Free League YouTube channel.
  • July 31: Kickstarter announcement and content reveal for the upcoming new edition of the classic Twilight: 2000 RPG.
  • July 31, 9 pm EDT: Actual Play of The Dance of Dreams for the new Vaesen RPG on the official Free League YouTube channel.
  • Aug 1: 3 pm EDT: Actual Play of Hope’s Last Rest for the ALIEN RPG on the official Free League YouTube channel.

Deadline for Tabletop Entries in Serious Game Award Program Extended to July 15

Due to the interruption in work-life caused by COVID-19, the deadline for tabletop game entries in the 2020 International Serious Play Awards program has been extended to July 15, 2020.

The Tabletop category recognizes outstanding card and board games designed for education, corporate training, government/military, healthcare/medical staff or patient games as well as exemplary table top games for museums and other non-profits. An “other” category is offered for novel entries.

Judges provide comment. Award winners will be given a free registration to the next Serious Play Conference at the University of Florida campus in Orlando, FL. and invited to display their game on Game Night.

To submit a game, use the following link.

Gen Con Online Registration has Begun

While the details are still up in the air, registration for Gen Con Online has begun. While Gen Con has been canceled, Gen Con Online will take place July 30 through August 2.

The virtual convention is something new and will feature four days of streaming shows, remote gaming, community interaction, exhibitors, and more. All from the comfort of your own couch.

The best part… the convention registration is free!

Gen Con Online

GAMA and Origins Sees a Revolt Over Black Lives Matter Silence

GAMA

GAMA, the Game Manufacturers Association is a non-profit trade organization focused on the hobby games industry. It’s open to more than manufacturers including media/communication, retailers, hobbyists, publishers, and distributors. And, in full disclosure, we’re a member. The organization is also behind Origins Game Fair and has been focused on a pivot to an online event this year.

Today, numerous individuals have stepped down from GAMA, Origins, and Origins TV over the lack of support from the organization for Black Lives Matter and speaking against the systemic issues plaguing society today. It shouldn’t have taken this action for the organization to even consider doing so.

Beyond one the one Tweet below, the organization has been silent over the issue. And even then, the Tweet is more focused on “bringing people together during times of crisis.”

The organization did offer space to be “Seen and heard” on their platform but this is something the organization should be doing in general and it doesn’t address issues minority members are facing, both within and out of the industry, and isn’t addressing how the industry can work to diversify itself bringing in a wide range of voices, creativity, and points of view.

The organization as a whole has been seeing a bit of an upheaval in recent weeks as the latest board election looms. A push for greater diversity on the board is being pushed by members who have been trying to raise awareness of the positions and find nominees to help fill spots.

We’ll see how the organization responds but this is a pivotal moment for the future of the organization and Origins as a whole.

NOVA Open 2020 is Officially Cancelled

NOVA Open

NOVA Open has announced that the 2020 convention is canceled due to COVID-19. The convention had been hoping this wouldn’t be the case. The decision was made to protect the attendees, staff, volunteers, and the community at large.

The convention will see repercussions and has said that full refunds for all would “end the NOVA Open permanently.” They are giving attendees options as to how to handle this.

Store items and SuperNOVA and DwarfNOVA have been canceled. You can contribute existing purchases to the NOVA Open, get a full refund, a partial refund, transfer credit to use for 2021, or donate to the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation to benefit Doctors Without Borders. The convention is also asking for donations to continue into 2021. The deadline to choose an option is July 10, 2020. If no decision is made, funds will be contributed to support the NOVA Open.

The below video explains what the expenses for the show are.

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