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The Faces of Origins

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The Faces of Origins
Before we get into the nitty gritty of all the awesome games I played at Origins I thought a quick primer of who is who would be nice. This way instead of constantly re-explaining who people are I can link back to this post. This list isn’t a complete list of all of the people I met and gamed with it’s just the list of those that I regularly saw.

Darrell Louder @GetLouder
IMG_2596Darrell, the designer of Compounded and co-designer of Angry Dice, was my cohort for the whole trip. We carpooled the way there and shared a hotel room. Other than a snoring problem, he’s a great guy and even after being stuck together for nearly 24/7 for over a week I still count him a friend. That says a lot!

TC Petty III @PuppyShogun
IMG_1872TC, the designer of VivaJava & VivaJava Dice, was our other co-adventurer for the trip. Darrell and I picked him up in Pennsylvania and the three of us somehow squished into Darrell’s small car. I had seen TC at Unpub 3 last winter and I had spoken to him a few times online, but last week was my first real chance at getting to know him. It turns out he’s a chill guy and nothing like the character he plays in his Kickstarter videos. Plus he’s lots of fun to have around and is one of the best people I’ve met when it comes to teaching new games.

Jason Kotarski @jasonkotarski
IMG_2679Out of everyone I interacted with last week I was probably the weirdest person, however if I had to pick a second weirdest it would be Jason, the designer of Heartland Hauling. What’s key to note about Jason is that 99% of the time he has a huge grin on his face and if he’s not laughing then he’s busy telling a story that makes others laugh. Jason rounded out our hotel room so between late night conversations and pillow fights it was pretty crazy in room 1016 of the Hyatt.

Chris Kirkman @dicehateme
IMG_3627Chris, the head of Dice Hate Me Games, was not what I expected, but a total cool guy to get to know. In fact with games I spent more time gaming with him and Shawn Purtell than I did with my roommates. The one thing to keep in mind with Chris is that he’s a meta gamer. If a game has any kind of social interaction he’ll do everything within his power to move other players around like cheese filled pawns. Because I was on to Chris I think I messed up his mojo ’cause from what I can remember, other than Time’s Up, he didn’t win a single game all week!

Shawn Purtell @ShawnPurtell
IMG_2695Shawn, the co-designer of Angry Dice, and his lovely wife Jackie were one of the most surprising people I got to meet while at Origins. They were that couple who made me think, “Oh Lisa and I could totally have a couple night and game with them.” Although intimidating at first, Shawn turned out to be nothing but a big laid back softy. For example on the final day of the convention he was supposed to head home but the valet locked his keys in the car. Instead of ranting or raving or being pissed he kind of shrugged and played it cool. It was seriously impressive.

Dan Patriss @GeekJockBlog
IMG_2420Dan, from the Geek All-Star Podcast, was Shawn & Chris’ roommate. Like the rest of the Dice Hate Me crew, he worked the booth, though on Sunday he switched things up and demoed games for Stronghold Games. Out of everyone, Dan was the geekiest, and I mean that in a good way. I could actually mention a random comic book character and he’d know what I was talking about.

Eric Leath @GamesAndGrub & Chris Copac @Copax
ericchrisOne night we left the boardroom and headed up stairs to play Time’s Up. When we did both Eric and Chris came with us. It turns out they are both gamers from Ohio and within the past year or so had become fans/friends/groupies of Dice Hate Me. Eric was super cool because he was giving me locations to photography around Columbus. Chris was cool because he was like a nice marshmallow who was so nervous about offending people or upsetting anyone.

Tiffany The Socially Inept Gamer @tibahn & Jeff Bourbeau @Not_Jeff
tifjeffWhile the Dice Hate Me crew were busy building paper-craft style pirate ships Tiffany and Jeff just showed up. I don’t know how it happened. One second I was sitting at my half of the table rolling my eyes at the pirate ships and the next they were seated with drinks. From that point on I couldn’t get rid of either. On the plus side it was actually really great because when my peeps were busy working the booth and being a slave to THE MAN I actually had new friends I could game with.

Chris Zinsli @CardboardEdison
IMG_3167So Chris and I go wayyyyyyyy back to Unpub 3 last winter. He is the co-designer of Tessen, (amongst other games) one of my all time favorite games. So I was super excited when one night a group of 15 of us were out to dinner and I looked across the table to see him there. Not only did he spill the beans by showing me the new changes to Tessen, but he also introduced me to a super fun game called Gentleman and Ladies where I played a lady and had to pick-out the perfect outfit. It was awesome.

Jason Tagmire @jtagmire
IMG_3600Jason has a cool factor that simply surrounds him. Everyone seemed to know him and he kind of just did his own thing. I only got to play one game with Jason, his new sure-to-be-hit Maximum Throwdown, but I bumped into him a bunch. I also got to meet his lovely wife. Like Shawn and Jackie, Jason and Carolyn were another couple who made me think, “Oh man these guys would be fun to hangout with.”

Matt Riddle & Ben Pinchback of Fleet
I only got to play one game with Ben & Matt, and it was very epic, which I’ll go into more detail in a later post, but even so they seemed to always be around. So even though we weren’t gaming together they always ended up next to us playing another game while we played ours. I think out of everyone I met they were the two I wish I had gotten to know better.

Patrick Nickell @Crash_Games
IMG_2417Patrick was a staple of the con. You would blink and he would just be there cracking inappropriate jokes. Lots and lots of inappropriate jokes! That being said what I really liked about Patrick is how he talked to normal people. When demoing a game or trying to talk about his company, he became really friendly and welcoming. Having worked tons and tons of comic book conventions I can say that how Patrick handled people was skillfully and smart.

Chris Badell @GTGamesLLC
IMG_1868Sooooo Sentinels of the Multiverse is my all time favorite game and because of that it was totally cool to meet Chris Badell co-creator of it. He was like the coolest guy there and he would randomly leave his booth and come over to Crash Games or Dice Hate me. It would’ve been nice to talk to him outside of the Exhibitor Hall but whenever I did see him he had a pack of like five or six followers so I never wanted to go over and say hi.

Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games
Stephen was right next to Dice Hate Me and so we ended up helping him set-up and breakdown at the start and end of the con. We also bumped into him several nights in a row at the hotel bar and he’s just one of those people that’s full of life. He’s smiling, telling stories, cracking jokes, and is fun to be around.

Tom Vassel @thedicetower
IMG_3471I don’t know how or why but there was like a three day span (wed-fri) where every time I turned around Tom Vassel was there. Then he was gone as if he magically evaporated. In all of our non-interactions I actually did get to speak to him twice. Once about a game called Xanadu where he walked over to ask what we thought about it and another time just because he came over to talk to the guys I was with.

Colby Dauch @PlaidHatGames & Isaac Vega @IsaacVegaDesign
colbyI only just recently started listening to the Plaid Hat Podcast so I wasn’t geeked out, but I will say the person I was with totally got flushed at seeing both Colby and Isaac.

Kevin Sorbo
IMG_2958True fact. Kevin Sorbo is old and tall.

Richard Launius
I heard more people talking about Richard Launius than anyone else at the convention. I never saw him. Well I don’t know what he looks like so maybe I did see him and didn’t realize, but either way he was the talk of the town. Everyone knew Richard Launius and everyone claimed he was their all time favorite designer. I knew multiple people who wanted to get things signed by him. So if there was an officially rock star style celebrity that was at Origins it would have been him.