Glasgow Games Festival 2016 – A Dave Visit

So this was supposed to be an interview with Nick from Glasgow Games Festival but Dave failed this podcast…

So to try and make up for that failure I figured it was only right that I did a review of the event and try to cover some of the things Nick and I discussed in the interview-that-never-recorded-properly.  Plus do a bit of a retrospective on my attendance at the event itself.

Some history.  GGF started in 2014 so this was the third time the event ran.  Inspired by board games events and organised by board game enthusiasts the day felt very relaxed and very friendly.

From the chat with Nick the event came out of the sorts of “wouldn’t it be great” discussions that most people have but rarely take on the challenge themselves.  Having attended previous events like DiceCon East / West and Edinburgh Unplugged, Nick and his mates decided to establish GGF.

In 2014 the event was hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University who also sponsored the event with some funding.  The University itself is known for it’s Game Design course.  150-200 attendees turned up that first year.

In 2015 it moved to the Royal Concert Hall which for those who don’t know is as much an exhibition space as it is a concert venue.  Glasgow Caledonian University continued their support for this event and they had almost 300 attendees over the day.

By Saturday 26th November 2016,GGF is standing on it’s own two feet and looking to establish itself as a board game event and again it was at the Royal Concert Hall although this time taking up more space.  The split room arrangement wasn’t ideal but it didn’t detract from the event itself.

With a games library supplied mostly by the organisers, representation from Esdevium Games demo team (the UK’s primary distributor of hobby board games), a few indie publishers and of course some retailer presence gave the event a great family and new & veteran geek friendly vibe.  They also had a great team of helpers on the day, lots of helpers, who worked their way round the various tables to make sure everyone was having fun and helping people to learn games they’d either just bought or were trying out from the library.  This added hugely to the event and it’s friendly atmosphere.

The day itself ran from 10am to 10pm but my fellow attendees and I could only stay til 4pm.  In that time though we played some games, bought some games (obviously), chatted to fellow gamers and had a really relaxed day of gaming.  What more could you want?

In future years Nick said that they’d like to get GGF to be a weekend event but with 2016 being their first year running without any financial backing they want to see how the number stack up first before going for that.  Seems eminently sensible to me!

I’d like to thank Nick for taking time out from the day and apologise for failing with the recording.  Next year I won’t fail this podcast!

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