Howdy! Alright, this post is super late, since the JoCo Cruise happened in March, but better late than never right?
As some of you may know, JoCo Cruise is the “Jonathan Coulton” cruise for games, writing, art, crafting, and all sorts of geekdom. When I went for the first time last year, thanks to good friends Geordan and Audrey telling me about it, all I knew about it was that it was a “board game cruise”. Board games for 7 days straight on a boat with unlimited food? YES PLEASE!
Little did I know, it was EVEN BETTER than that. The breadth of creativity and diversity on the ship was amazing, and the performers (even though I knew none of them at the time), were top tier. On the side, there was a lot of support for game designers and meetups where I got to chill and play games with one of the original designers of Munchkin!
Back then, it was just the start of Omicron Protocol, and we didn’t even have our 3D printed models yet, so I was just running around absorbing all the advice. This year, I went prepared. ;)
I scheduled 3 formal “Shadow Cruise” (think GM-ed events at conventions) events and also gave some ad hoc demos. Before the first one, I was anxious that no one would show up, since this is more of a “board game cruise” and I wasn’t sure how many miniatures gamers were out there. I knew that if I can get them to try the game, since it’s a crossover game (or “accessible minis game”, as someone called it), I could get them to like it.
I was surprised to have a completely full table in all 3 sessions and had to do a side event for a friend. That was WAY beyond my expectations! I even got a few game designers to come play and give me tons of great feedback (especially on the readability of our cards, and being colorblind-friendly. All-in-all, it was a smashing success for an unknown game!
Irregardless of Omicron Protocol, I’m definitely a fan of this cruise for a while, as I got to meet amazing people, play games non-stop, and go to some pretty cool places (British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, and Puerto Rico). Because of that, you might even see Omicron Protocol pop up at the “Gaming Zone” in San Juan when we release it!
Have you tried a board game cruise before? If not, do you want to join me on Joco 2020??? Let me know!