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Get Your Game On at GameStorm!

Posted March 23, 2011

Article by Ellen Klowden, with special thanks to GameStorm 2011 Hotel Liaison Debra Stansbury for providing the play-by-play in Kumoricon’s karaoke and gaming room at Oregon Asian Celebration.

GameStorm is a four-day con, starting on a Thursday: Thu-Sun, March 24-27—conveniently right during many schools’, colleges’ and universities’ Spring Break! And it’s at one of the 2011 Kumoricon hotels, the Hilton Vancouver Washington, so, a good opportunity to acquaint yourself with its layout (or refresh your memory from 2007) before we take it over Labor Day weekend. 🙂

Now in its 13th year, GameStorm is a project of OSFCI, the same 501(c)3 non-profit that runs OryCon. Like OryCon, GameStorm has a “sibling” relationship with Kumoricon, which is very reciprocal: GameStorm staff provide Kumoricon with Tabletop Gaming content and staff, while Kumoricon provides GameStorm with Console Gaming content and staff.

In addition to console and table-top gaming, GameStorm features board games, card-collecting games (CCGs), live action role-playing games (LARPs), and 3 “flavors” of role-playing games (RPGs):

  1. an area for general RPGs, from old favorites to new offerings;
  2. the official titles by Wizards of the Coast; and
  3. materials provided by Indie Hurricane.

Indie Hurricane are a group of folks who independently publish RPGs. They provide workshops for those who are actively developing tabletop RPGs. (Presently these workshops do not address those modeling new software-driven RPGs.)

In fact, part of what makes GameStorm so unique and valuable to the gaming community is its fully-realized specialty track for game producers: Game Lab. Game Lab welcomes designers of new board, card, and dice-based games to have their materials play-tested. Developers can receive critiques from their fellow developers and from game publishers, as well as from beta testers. Game Lab has its own Guest of Honor, workshops, one-on-one sessions with industry professionals, and more! Spaces are limited, and pre-registration is strongly encouraged. For more information on Game Lab, see GameStorm’s web site.

Miniatures have a vibrant role at GameStorm, as well. For its 3rd year, GameStorm is holding a Miniatures Contest. Pick up your miniature on Thursday or Friday, paint it over the weekend, and turn it in Sunday. There are prizes for top 3 showing best workmanship.

While one room will be open 24 hours, and LARPing tends to run later, most areas of GameStorm will be open 8am-midnight. Sunday will specifically feature some “family-oriented” games and would be the day most suitable for bringing younger kids.

Whether you’re there as part of Kumoricon’s crews, for feedback on games you’re developing, or to get your tourney fix, it’s sure to be a splendid time!