Saturday 10 June 2023

The UK Games Exp 2023

A week ago, I was in the thick of things at Day 2 of the UK Games Expo. It's an event that I look forward to all year and now that it's over for another year, I can't believe it's already been a week since I was at the NEC with my ACE Gamebooks.

ACE Gamebooks at the UK Games Expo.

Talking of which, the books were very well received. RONIN 47 proved popular, although some of my regular readers chose not to pick up a copy because it's science fiction rather than fantasy, and Alice's Nightmare in Wonderland did well, as it always does. On top of that, I sold out of NEVERLAND - Here Be Monsters!Beowulf Beastslayer, and Dracula: Curse of the Vampire (again).

A shield-maiden showing off her 'Hwaet' tattoo.

One of the things I love about the UK Games Expo is the number of friends I catch up with from all over the country, and all areas of my life. A couple of my university friends still live nearby and stopped by my stand to say hello, as did Twitch streamers Ken Boyter and Julian Sparrow. 

Richard, one of my best friends from university and a huge fan of board games.

Ken Boyter (EdraTales) and Julian Sparrow (Babel_17).

And then there are the usual suspects, such as Rene Batsford, Ed Fortune, Kev Abbotts, PJ Montgomery, Neil Roberts, Jamie Fry, George Mann, James Wallis, Justin-Lee Morrison, Jonathan Hicks, and all the Kickstarter backers who stop by and say hello. I also talked business with Holmgard Press and Aconyte Books, which was nice.

Olly Mc, a.k.a. the Storymaster, of The Storymaster's Tales.

Hanging out with a Terminator Space Marine, as you do.

The Aconyte Books stand, promoting the Marvel Multiverse Missions gamebooks.

A very impressive piece of Necron cosplay.

PJ Montgomery with an original copy of Spellbreaker, my first book, published 30 years ago this month.

The Lone Wolf Miniatures Game at the Holmgard Press stand.

Dr Peter Wright and the gang from Edge Hill University, where my ACE Gamebooks are on the game design course reading list.

On the Saturday night I went to the live readthrough of Sir Ian Livingstone's City of Thieves, during which Olly Mc guided John Robertson through Port Blacksand until he met a grisly end at the hands of Zanbar Bone. Wearing bunny ears. Zanbar Bone, not John Robertson.

Olly Mc and John Roberson at the City of Thieves live readthrough.

The victorious Zanbar Bone, plus fluffy, rainbow bunny ears. 

Another highlight was the Heorot RPG photoshoot with the reenactors of The Vikings UK, as was the 'Write Like a Pro' workshop I did with Darren Pearce on the Sunday morning.

Vikings reading a Viking RPG. How very meta...

Darren Pearce and Jonathan Green, your hosts for the 'Write Like a Pro' workshop.

However, a huge thank you must go to Scott Lewis and Claire Byard, who helped out on my stand again this year and kept me entertained on Saturday night, drinking cocktails and playtesting card games.

Scott and Claire.

Playtesting a certain Christmas-themed card game at around midnight.

If you've never been, you should check out the UK Games Expo because there is something there for everyone, no matter their age. And I hope to be there again next year, but I'm going to need to pull my finger out if I want to have another ACE Gamebook for sale at the event.

ACE Gamebooks at the UK Games Expo 2023.

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