Origins Game Fair 2018: Bee Lives on the Road

3 players working out their moves in a game of Bee Lives

Last weekend the Bee Lives: We Will Only Know Summer crew took the game to the Origins Game Fair.  This was our first big push of the game to the public and it was a great success!

The trip started off a bit different from planned.  Our designer, Matt Shoemaker (me), woke up on Tuesday morning and found that his dog, Liebe Kartoffel was having some issues with her back.  He had to change plans and fly with her to the rest of the Bee Lives game in Milwaukee with Liebe and drive out with them.

The drive was long, particularly through Chicago, but it gave us a chance to bring out the Giant Meeples we made for the convention.  Here the Giant Mite Meeple ponders if it can take on the Chicago skyline, followed by the Giant Bee Meeple getting excited at the Indianapolis skyline for when we make our return trip here for Gen Con in August.

Finally we made it to Columbus, Ohio and the Origins Game Fair!  It took a little over 8 hours, largely due to traffic and construction, but we were there!  Here, our graphic designer Helen and I, show off the Giant Meeples behind the giant Origins sign they had set out in front of the exhibit hall.  After this image, getting our badges, and grabbing some food it was off to my first interview!  I did a total of 4 interviews over the course of the convention, this first one with Cloak and Meeple.  You can watch it here.  It was great to meet the guys behind the show and start off the convention showing Bee Lives to people.  After the interview it was time for rest since the true first day of Origins was awaiting.

Thursday morning we began Origins with a little painting.  We always like to do some miniature painting at conventions when we can to help relax.  Vallejo paints and WizKids were offering 9 sessions of a beholder painting class, so the three of us in the Bee Lives crew each grabbed a Beholder and sat down.  We worked on these throughout the convention and were very happy when we were finished to having created a slightly different “Bee”holder for our efforts.

After the Thursday morning painting I had another interview, this time with Jambalaya Plays Games.  We had a great interview both talking about the game and running through an abbreviated 2 player demo of it for the show.  I can’t wait to see it up once it’s edited!  The rest of Thursday was spent in some business meetings about the game and perusing the exhibitor hall in order to get some more ideas for our own booth at Gen Con this coming August.

Friday was largely a day for playtests, though the day did begin with another interview!  This time with All the Bits.  I’m definitely looking forward to listening to their podcast on Origins when it comes out.  During the afternoon and evening we ran through multiple playtests of Bee Lives with people.  We were able to get a great amount of feedback on the new prototype version of the game we brought with us and were happy to see everyone enjoying themselves.  Here are just a few pictures of some of the playtesters from Thursday.


Saturday was our last big day of the con.  We started off with my final interview, this time with Board Game Geek!  I was able to run a quick introduction of the game that was broadcast live and will be edited and added to the BGG page for the game within the next couple of weeks.  I can’t wait to watch it!

Saturday evening was followed by more playtests and then we wrapped up with dinner and the Heavy Cardboard Meetup.  It was great to see everyone at Barley’s for the meetup and enjoy some good food before wrapping up the evening.

Sunday morning, as it tends to be at cons, was short.  We were tired and wanted to get a few demos in so we just enjoyed ourselves at the convention before starting the road trip back to Wisconsin.  Origins was a great time and I highly recommend it as a convention you attend in the future if you can make it.  Next up, over 4th of July weekend, we will be at Dice Tower Con in Orlando Florida.  After that we will be at Gen Con the first weekend of August where we will have our own booth, #3058.  I hope we can see several of you at these conventions, and if you’re excited about seeing the game at Gen Con be sure to like it on the BGG Gen Con preview page.  See you soon!