The Ruined Blog

Tabletop Gaming Live

Tabletop Gaming Live 2019

Our first ever exhibition took place last month at Tabletop Gaming Live. Now in its second year, Tabletop Gaming Live takes place at Alexandra Palace in north London and for the span of a weekend turns the Great Hall into a microcosm of the board game industry. Aside from the giant areas given over to Asmodee subsidiaries, lots of independent designer-publishers were in attendance such as Wren Games, Naylor Games, Stuff by Bez, and of course ourselves!

Collage of photos from Tabletop Gaming Live 2019

The stand came together on Friday in just four hours of carefully affixing velcro hooks to the backdrop and trying, failing, and ultimately succeeding to roll it onto the 2.4 metre high felted shell. While on reflection the shell walls did make the stand feel a little enclosed and hard to spot, many people commented that it looked very professional. Still, the lure of easy to use roll up banners will be hard to resist in the future.

I was fairly nervous as the show opened on Saturday morning, but fortunately the requisite Circulari marketing patter soon came to me. I saw a lot of different people visit the stand over the course of the show and we’re grateful to everyone who showed an interest in Circulari. Interactions ranged from a quick explanation of the game’s key points to the many delightful people who sat down for a full game. Despite forgetting to more often that I would have liked, I also got lots of people to put down their e-mail addresses for our newsletter.

One of things I found difficult was judging what kind of experience a given person was hoping to have and crucially the amount time they wanted to spend having it. It would great to have a more compressed but still playable demo experience for expos. It was also difficult to manage the manpower requirements of both attending to casual interest from show goers and running demos. A bigger stand with more people to run it and delineated areas for different activities would help with all of the above and is definitely something we have planned for the future.

All in the all, we had a great time exhibiting at the show, but it was also a fantastic learning opportunity. We have a long list of things to improve upon and can’t want to get started on it. We’re booked in already to exhibit at Dragonmeet 2019 and AireCon 2020, and hopefully will also be appearing at the UK Games Expo in 2020 too.

Going to HandyCon

Handy Cross Roundabout

HandyCon is biannual board game convention which focuses on playing games as opposed to accumulating them. It was originally held in High Wycombe and takes its name from the Handy Cross roundabout on the edge of town. Tragically however, news of its existence took a long time to filter into our Wycombe-based headquarters, and by the time it reached us they had skipped town for the sunny uplands of Maidenhead.

Despite this setback, we are pleased to announce that we’ll be sailing down the A404 this coming weekend for HandyCon 6, HandyCon August 2019, or whatever you wish to call it. Not to mention, we will be seizing on yet another opportunity to playtest Circulari! We have another couple of gameplay tweaks to test and we’d love to have your feedback.

Playtesting at HandyCon works a little differently to other events we’ve been to. At a typical Playtest UK event for example, designers have relatively short slots and there are a lot of volunteers to help funnel players into games and keep occupancy high. I’m told that HandyCon, on the other hand, is a more leisurely experience. Table slots are nice and long, but the getting people interested in playing is subject to fate.

Come and help fate smile on us, Circulari will be on the table:

  • All day on Friday the 9th the August
  • From 3pm on Saturday the 10th of August

at HandyCon 6 this weekend.

New Logo Revealed

New Ruined Sky Games Logo

Lots of things have been going on here Ruined Sky Games headquarters lately: the first playtests of Circulari’s solo rules variant, our attempts to use a cutter-plotter to make prototype components, and work on validating game balance using a computer simulation. Clearly we’ve got a got a lot of blogging to catch up on, but this post is dedicated to just one thing – our new logo!

Old Ruined Sky Games Logo
The old logo dates back 7 years.

I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s much more attractive than its predecessor. It incorporates the company name in an attractive font, so you can tell who it belongs to at a glance, and comes in range of different arrangments suited for every ocassion. It even looks fetching atop the Circulari black hole graphic as pictured above.

All that remains is to update everything. From favicons to social media accounts the old logo has wound up in lots of places. Got to catch ‘em all!