Category Archives: Gaming Conventions

Reports for the road and news about upcoming or new gaming conventions

Total Con 2016; Five Things I Learned About Myself

Our trip to Total Con 2016

Total Con 2016 has come and gone. For us at Move Rate 20 Games, the last year was spent play testing, making demo copies and planning for this, the 30th year of Total Confusion and it all came together perfectly, though not without a few bumps along the way. But, I wanted to focus in the blog on what I learned about myself over the convention and the previous year in prepping for it.
Total Con 2016 With Move Rate 20 Games

Stuff I learned about myself at Total Con 2016

  1. I love to teach kids how to play games. When they are into it, you can’t get a better experience than explaining how a game is played to a young mind. They pick stuff up so fast and in doing so enjoy the game so much quicker because they grasp it within a few minutes. James (a.k.a. The Gamebreaker) and we came to the agreement that younger players don’t have and preconceived notions about what a game is or wondering if the mechanic is the same as another game they’ve played; they just want to play and have fun.
  2. Not every game is for everyone. This is a no brainer, but it get’s driven home every once in a while, when a person sits down to play and you can tell their just not jazzed about your game, or they don’t see the “tactics” or “how the mechanic works” and let you know they’re not impressed. I’ve learned to deal with that, not take things personally, listen to what their saying (since if you hear the same complaint enough, it may be part of a larger design issue). Most of all I’ve learned to move on, think on all the other folks who played and loved it.
  3. I use “italics” way too much. It’s a pretty big deal when an industry legend plays your game, and likes it. Frank Mentor sat down with us on Sunday morning and played Master of Spies. I was nervous, who wouldn’t be, this guy has been in the gaming industry since the 80’s, worked with and was friends with Gary Gygax. He said the game had a “solid mechanic” and his only “complaints” were about card design. He gave us lots of feedback on the graphic layout and pointed out that I use italics WAY too much on cards, making things more difficult to read. So now I need to put a picture of Frank near my computer with a text balloon saying “Stop using Italic fonts!”
  4. When in “Costume”, bring everything you’ll need to the table,
    Looking good in a Frock Coat
    Here I am all dress up at Bartholomew Vahn-Mott, merchant and Trader in the world of Eldinar.

    including water, snacks and a fan. I like to think I come to an event as prepared as possible, which paid off. Since we we in an interior suite at the hotel I brought a small desk fan so the room wouldn’t get stuffy. Well, Saturday was unusually warm and being in an undershirt, a “blousey” shirt, a frock coat, plus a sheep wool and leather mongol hat, I was a little sweaty. So I asked my lovely wife Naomi to run back to the room and grab our fan. It was a life saver and prevent the frock coat from needing to get dry cleaned.

  5. Your Goals can be reached. Three years ago we set a goal to have the game we were developing at the time (a.k.a. by its working title, Project Lightning Sword) ready to show our friends by Total Con 2015; which we did plus having an early version of Master of Spies to show as well. Our next goal was to be an exhibitor at Total Con 2016, have a Kickstarter ready to go and get Frank Mentzer to play test it. After a year’s worth of play-testing, networking and planning we managed to get all that stuff done. Our Kickstarter will launch in a couple days (Feb. 29th) and I believe we are as ready as we can be.

So there are the 5 things I learned about myself at Total Con 2016, now we begin to set our goals for Total Con 2017, which will probably have something to do with Project Lightning Sword getting a proper name and a Kickstarter next February.

Stephen P.
a.k.a. “The Creative”

Total Con 2016 Report By The Taskmaster

So another Total Con has come and gone!

Total Con 30 was great fun and a real success for MoveRate 20  Games (despite the fact that I missed a Constitution Check and had to leave early Sunday with a stomach bug!).

The demos for our upcoming game, Master of Spies, all went great and all feedback from players was positive as we head towards the Kickstarter on Leap Day!

Kickstarter project Master of Spies at Total Con 2016
Our exhibition table set up for Total Con 2016

I would also like to send out a personal set of thank you’s to the people who went above and beyond this past weekend:

Naomi Price: Thanks for giving us a hand all weekend at the demo table. Takes a special kind of person to put up with me all weekend! More mudslides anyone?!?!?

LB (a.k.a. Robert Lynch): Thanks for all the help at the Rivendell vendor Table.

The Team at “Thunder” Role Playing: Thanks for your time and patience in answering all our questions and we look forward to working with you guys in the near future.

Don Higgins: Thanks for agreeing to do that ‘last minute’ art job we threw your way!

And a special shout out to Mr. Frank Mentzer, who not only came to Massachusetts a day early to game with us, but also played Master of Spies with us. Your insight and wisdom is invaluable sir…..!

See you all for the Kickstarter launch on February 29th!

The Taskmaster

Ramping up for Kickstarter and February Conventions

I know we’re been quiet here on the Move Rate 20 blog, but between the holidays, gearing up for the next batch of gaming conventions and getting our Kickstarter for Master of Spies set up, there just hasn’t much time to blog, Sorry about that!


Anyway, we are planning for our Kickstarter to launch Feb. 29th with a modest goal of $6,000 dollars, you can see the preview here, please comment if you see anything that looks like it could be improved and please be constructive with any comments you make.

Kickstarter project game
Working on the Kickstarter project page.

Setting up the campaign is about what I expected, work-wise; but it can be time consuming to gather up all the info the need as well as set up Backer Levels and Stretch Goal ideas that won’t completely throw off the budget. Another issue is how do you get a frickin’ package to Canada without it costing a fortune? I hope we can come up with some sort of a solution because I don’t want to leave my brothers and sisters to the North out of this.

We’re also in the process of getting review sample together, admittedly we let this slip through the cracks, but I’m busily working on it!

Indie tabletop gaming
Putting the demo deck, rules, chits and contact card together after the big(?) snow storm of 2016.

February Cons & Networking Events!

So here’s a list of where we will be over the month of February to spread the word of our little game and demo it to the public.

Feb. 5th & 6th Captain Con at the Crown Plaza in Warwick, RI
We will be there demoing Master of Spies Friday night 6p to 10p and Saturday from 2p to 6p.

Feb. 9th Board Game Night at 745 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA
A monthly networking/Boardgame night for professional looking for fun and to connect, info here.

Feb. 19th, 20th & 21st Total Con at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield MA
We will have an expo table set up to demo the game and we’ll be there with our friends from Wyrmwood and Rivendell Books & Games.

We are also hoping to get to a few demos at local gaming stores in over the next several weeks as well.

We Take Our Card Game On The Road!

game convention
We will be at table U4 demo’ing our card game “Master of Spies”

As we steadily head into fall, we are getting ready to launch our Master of Spies Demo tour. First stop is Boston Festival of Independent Games on Sept. 12th from 10am to 5pm at the Johnson Athletic Center on the M.I.T. campus in Boston. We will be at table U4! Get your passes here!
As we confirm more stops, we will share them here and to our email list. We will be visiting several local gaming stores, small cons in New England and possible visits in NYC!

We’re also asking you all to take part in a fun, community building game we are calling “Where in the World is Oger?” Our dwarven mascot/intern has been demanding a vacation, which we can’t afford to send him on, so the next best thing is to put him in your vacation pictures. You can download his picture by right clicking and choosing “save as”, then either put him in your photos digitally, or print him out, color him in and take a photo with him in an interesting location, in the style of “Flat Stanley”.
Right-click out picture of Oger the Dwarf and put him in your vacation picture, emnail them to info@MoveRate20,con and We'll put them together in a montage of the Travels of Oger.
Right-click on the picture of Oger the Dwarf and put him in your vacation picture, email them to info@MoveRate20,con and we’ll put them together in a montage of the Travels of Oger.
We promise to share every picture we get through our email on the webpage and our Facebook page and if we get a great response we will create a video montage of the pictures. Here are some examples our Beloved Taskmaster, Steve R., had created for inspiration.
Oger the traveling dwarf
Oger visiting the Liberty Bell
Oger the Traveling Dwarf
Oger with Lord Vader
Oger the traveling Dwarf
Oger at Epcot Center
Oger the Traveling Dwarf
Oger on a hike.
-Steve P.

Our Beloved Taskmaster Explains Our Summer Silence

So, you may be asking, “Where have we been?!?! Here it is the third week of August and you have not heard a peep out of me or the guys!”

Connecticut Comic Con
Our Beloved Taskmaster hanging out with comic con royalty.

Well…I won’t speak for the others, but I know that I have been on a much needed summer vacation. I packed up the car, jumped on I-95 South, and headed into the wilds of coastal Connecticut with the family.
(I’ve been working on the Demo cards for Master of Spies -Mr. P)

Move Rate 20 Games
The Groton Naval Base

While there, we traveled the Thames River, visited an old Revolutionary Fort, stopped at the Groton Naval Base to visit the museum there, and finally visited the Connecticut Comic Con at Mohegan Sun.

But don’t worry, I was always mindful of what we have going on here at MR20. I even talked to an artist or two at the Con to see if they would be interested in doing some work for us.

Summer Day Trips to Conneticut

Now that summer is starting to wind down, be sure to stop back here for more frequent updates!


The TM

The Future of The Local Gaming Store Hang-out?

There’s a lot of talk about the impact of on-line retailers and the “death” of the local gaming store. There are even some closed minded curmudgeons (mind you I’m a curmudgeon myself so this is not light criticism) who think board and card games are on their way out due to the electronic alternatives.  I’d have to be a fool not to recognized that the terrain is changing, or to not see that we’re in a transitional period. It’s a fact, in this day and age we have more stuff to fill up our spare time than any other time in history. Just look at my Netflix queue, my unpainted miniatures, underplayed games and unfinished game concepts if you need proof.

The Fate of the Local Gaming Store

The Uncommons NYCThe fact is, as with all retailers in the age of Amazon, that the local gaming store needs to adapt. 20 years ago there were only a handful of places you could get obscure games,  specialized imports or rare small print run indie Human Occupied LandfillRPGs (anyone remember HoL?) So today’s game store owners need to adapt to compete against the discounted prices and vast inventory of the online retailers, The way most have done so is to create a community of gamers and given them a place to meet and play together. I came across one such place during my travels in New York City wandering around Manhattan. The place is called buy or rent gamesThe Uncommons“, a coffee shop and local game store where you can buy or rent games to play with friends and strangers. It was doing a fair amount of business for a 4th of July Saturday  afternoon. The selection of games to rent was impressive, the ones to buy admirable (about half the shelf space of the rental games), but I’m sure they would bring in any thing you wanted special order. It had the feeling of a mini-convention, where people came to try new games of meet new players.

The Uncommons NYC

There is many local gaming stores that have done similar things, putting large war-gaming tables with exquisite model terrain to bring in the war-gamer crowd.

We’ve based our company out of shared space with Rivendell Books & Games in Rehoboth, MA where the owner has a open gaming nights twice a month as well as the usual Friday Night Magic and Star Realms tournaments.

Do you have a favorite gaming space or combo-gaming and social outlet? Please comment and let us know. Also please like and share our posts to really help getting the conversation going!

-Mr. P