Origins Report: 2007 Wrapup

Ninjas and a Chicken

I’ve arrived home safely from Origins (no thanks to a drunk driver killing several and delaying traffic for hours.) Here’s some general thoughts about the whole thing.

  • The Origins awards went very smoothly, even with a little bit of technical difficulties to start the event off. Tabulating all the winners and plugging them into a presentation in the span of under 2 hours couldn’t have been an easy task, so kudos for that.
  • The system of letting attendees vote means that the winners are usually those who have enough fans to mobilize. I don’t see this as a bad thing, but I think it’s important to look at the context when looking at the awards.
  • It was nice to meet the Fellowship of the Dice guys in person have conducting an online interview. They were super-friendly, and fun to talk to about gaming movies. Just don’t go up to them and ask “Have you guys heard of The Gamers?”
  • Along those lines, I was surprised at how many people knew me in person from just connecting with them on Myspace or Facebook. Some even said they preferred to receive interview requests via Myspace.
  • I’m always impressed by the International Icehouse Tournament. It’s very cool that there’s a game with a die-hard following enough to have sufficient participants, a tournament staff, prizes, and what I think is the coolest thing in a game ever: people bring their own pieces. The idea of having a game where everyone can bring their own customized set to play with just strikes me as an awesome concept. Congrats also to Timothy Hunt who completed the first “trifecta” win in years: finalist, Cooler than Ice, and winner. It was his first year playing.
  • I had brought a trunk full of boardgames to sell so I didn’t have to take them when I moved and to raise some money for the trip. Though I didn’t end up selling to them, I wanted to thank for being super helpful in getting it sold. These are the guys who always have the crazy deals on RPG books that didn’t sell so well, and I try to patronize them every year. They’re also just completely focused on customer service.
  • That said, if you have a lot of boardgames to sell and want to get a good price (especially if you have some rare ones), Troll & Toad’s booth is the way to go, and came through for me.
  • Wits & Wagers is a huge hit. The Northstar guys sold through their entire stock of it right at the end of the show, but were able to tell people to buy it at their local Target. Look for new editions in other mass market sellers as well.
  • I didn’t end up getting in to play TerrorWerks (and as a result, ended up bringing home a bunch of generic tokens home with me unspent.) Both times I went to try to play it was full up for the foreseeable future. If I had more time and forethought, it sounded like the events were not filled completely on every slot and I could have preregistered for them. Which means the experience was pretty popular, but not yet at True Dungeon levels.
  • I’m not sure I understood the point of having a Mayfair booth with demos, a Mayfair area with demos, and the Board Room for boardgames. Evidently I wasn’t the only one, and I heard stories of people wanting to play a Mayfair game, showing up to one of the three potential areas, and being sent elsewhere.
  • Everything in the exhibit hall seemed cut back (except for the huge foam weapon fights area in the back, complete with bleachers.) WizKids was considerably smaller, and despite being touted as having returned to Origins, Wizards of the Coast had no booth yet again. As a result, I had a hard time finding some Wizards products that I would have bought at the show.
  • Paizo continues to put out really innovative RPG accessories, and were well-presented enough and with helpful staff to let me know what everything was. There were other booths with RPG accessories I would have bought, but I had trouble discerning them from everything else. Also, I think it’s a really good idea that Paizo shares space with Looney Labs, Dead Gentlemen Productions, and Cheapass (though there were no Cheapass demos there- but Stonehenge was being demoed.)
  • Somehow, I managed not to play any new games.
  • You can check out all the photos I took (including the ones that didn’t turn out well) over at Flickr.
About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, their three dogs, and two cats.


  1. Hey! It was great meeting you, too! Thanks for the plug. But just for the record, it’s not “Have you heard of ‘The Gamers?'” that gets a bit annoying, it’s “Are you the same guys who did ‘The Gamers?'” or “So, it’s just like ‘The Gamers?'”

    The Dead Gentlemen are great, don’t get me wrong. “The Gamers” is in many ways the first of its kind. And “Dorkness Rising” is a really fun movie and well worth the wait, but “Fellowship of the Dice” is totally different. Same subject matter, yeah, but a completely different take and style. And there’s plenty of room for that! This little sub-genre of film is just getting started.

    Anywhoo… thanks again for everything. We’ll see you around…

    Tom Hietter
    Executive Producer
    “Fellowship of the Dice”


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