Many of you may have noticed that I was absent this past Saturday for one of our biggest sales of the year. This was not me playing a cruel joke on Ben and Kirsten. I was lucky enough to be invited as a speaker on a panel about 3D printing and tabletop gaming. “What in the world are you doing on such a panel?” was the question I received from more than a few friends and customers. I wasn’t quite sure at first, but Sara, the panel moderator, wanted to get a retailer’s perspective.
Well, the panel was amazing. Sara did a fantastic job of moderating, and I recommend you check out her blog (PvE Portland) for more of her great work. On the panel with me were David Perry, the creator of a 3D-printed electronic fiddle (check it in action here), Alex Dick, the designer of innovative 3D printing filaments (Proto Pasta), Arian Croft, a 3D printing enthusiast and game designer (Ill Gotten Games), and Jessica Goldsmith, the designer of a set of dice for the visually impaired (project here). The audience was massive, a few hundred people filled the seats. I had no idea how hot this burgeoning technology was, but gamers are into it. I got to sit next to one of Alex’s machines printing away at a bust of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy as we talked.
I feel like we all learned a lot through our discussion with each other and with the audience. I think everyone expected me to poo-poo the tech and talk about how bad it would be for retailer and publisher profit. But, in fact, I fought to stop using the term disruptive technology to describe 3D printing’s influence on the industry, and we came up with the term complementary technology instead. We’ll see a lot more use of the tech with gaming in the future, but the ability to customize or personalize your games will only help generate excitement for the gaming industry as a whole. Despite what Games Workshop thinks, the tech will probably not hurt their business anytime in the near future, unless folks want to wait weeks to produce inferior miniatures.
We’re going to try and schedule a 3D printing night at the shop, with Alex bringing a machine or two and printing some quick goodies while discussing the tech. We’ll also try and get David to talk with us and do some fiddling. And, of course, we’ll get them both into some games. Should be a unique evening. We’ll get Sara there as well to document the shindig and help up the geek factor! Oh, check out her sweet video of our silly little shop, you may just see someone you know.
As for new games, we’ve got two notable ones, Tragedy Looper, a cooperative time travelling crime-solving game brought over by Z-Man, and Doomtown Reloaded, a revised edition of a classic western meets magic tech card game. Technically, we can’t sell you Doomtown until Monday, but you can definitely come admire it. We won’t have the incredible premium set until next week though. There are a few other new games arriving, but they’ll actually be going straight to the sale table, so give that a gander if you swing by this weekend.
Finally, a few upcoming events of note. We’ll be hosting a puzzle swap on the evening of October 11, so grab a good quality puzzle that you’re done with and come trade it for another. There will also be mini-puzzle competitions and lots of swag provided by Pomegranate Puzzles. a few weeks after that will be our 4-year anniversary party on October 25. We’re still working on details, but 4 years is a big deal, so it will be a party. And, drum roll please, stay tuned for Last Saturday Metagaming at Cloud Cap. We’re going to bring back one Saturday night game night every month, with a twist. Again, details forthcoming.
Have a great weekend everyone.