So I Guess I'm Going to Essen

September 05, 2016

essen Well, the plane ticket is purchased and the booth is paid for. It looks like I'm going to Essen Spiel this year. I really, really wanted to go last year, but my financial situation was very tight, and I just couldn't make it work. This year isn't much better - everything I have is going into printing and shipping as many copies of Gloomhaven as I can - but I figure I can sell enough pre-orders at the show to make it worth the expenditure. Now, of course, I've been apprehensive about doing another convention in a foreign country after the exhausting experience I had doing Gen Con in my own back yard, but I figure doing the pre-orders should make the whole thing much less stressful. The main source of stress at a convention is getting a physical product to the show and then making sure they are all in the right place and they all get sold. Removing the concept of a physical product gives me much less anxiety as I look forward to the convention. There is some anxiety, though, from a number of sources. First of all, as I said, I need to make it worth my while, so just the idea of having a target number of pre-sales to make causes a little stress, even if there's no physical product. What makes it especially weird is that the copies of Gloomhaven bound for Europe will already be on a boat when Essen rolls around, and normal pre-sales will already have stopped, since I can't change that number once the boat sets sail. That means I need to anticipate the number of pre-orders I am going to make at Essen beforehand and get that many extra copies onto the boat bound for the EU. It's almost like I do have product at the convention, it's just that the product is a month late. There's also the normal anxiety of traveling to a foreign country and having to figure out where you are going and what you are doing. Luckily, I've been to Germany before, but it has been a while. I used to speak German pretty well, actually, but now I could probably only communicate very basic ideas, and only if the person I'm talking to has a lot of patience. I'm hoping it will be good enough to navigate the transportation system and check into the apartment I'm renting. I guess I'm also hoping that people won't mind being taught Gloomhaven in English, because I certainly won't be able to do it any other way. Well, I guess that's not entirely true. I've been lucky enough to find a handful of fans who are regular Essen attendees and have been kind enough to help me out at the booth running demos. Maybe they'll be able to do German demos. I honestly don't know how big of a language barrier there is going to be over there. I remember my semester abroad in Heidelberg I spent about 90% of the time speaking English, but that was because I mainly hung out with other Americans. Don't judge me. In addition to the fans, I'm also flying my brother out to help with the booth, which is super-exciting for me. I haven't seen him in over a year, and I've been wanting to have him come out to a convention for a long time now. First it was supposed to be Essen last year, but then that fell through, then he was supposed to come help out at Gen Con last month, but unforeseen circumstances ruined that at the last minute. But this time! Spiel 2016! We're gonna make it happen! That is, as long as we can get some advanced final production copies of Gloomhaven in time for the show. That's pretty much the last hurdle. As long as the production stays on schedule, I'll be able to show people exactly what a massive, massive beast of a game Gloomhaven is, and I think it's going to grab a lot of people's attention.


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