JagFest @ CGE 2003 Report

JagFest @ CGE 2003 Official Picture
Eric Nofsinger from High Voltage Software (Carl Forhan on left)
Vince and Jag from JV Games (Carl Forhan on right)

Songbird Report:

Wow, CGE came and went like a whirlwind for me this year. Of course, that's not really a surprise since I headed up the JagFest event at CGE and consequently I had MANY late nights in July and August preparing everything!

The floor was decked with a lot of familiar vendors as well as a few new ones. I never seem to have much time to visit other booths, but it's always nice to say to a bunch of the other vendors/homebrewers as they're setting up for the big launch on Saturday. There was a massive line outside the door Sat morning, and overall I'd say it felt like attendance was equivalent to last year. Were there actually more arcade games than ever on the floor? Sure looked like it!

Atari fans responded very favorably to the new Jaguar and Lynx products debuting at the show, with Painter being the runaway favorite of the lot. I got to meet Gordon Gibson (author of Painter) in person, who's a very friendly and down-to-earth sort of guy; I think he was pleased with the sales of his game, although he went a bit overboard in the "stuff the suitcase with extra Painter CDs" department! icon_wink.gif

Want to draw a small crowd to the booth? Pop in the JAG-ADS commercial archive CD, and watch people be drawn like moths to a flame. icon_smile.gif

The JagFest tournaments and events didn't go over quite as well as I'd hoped. We had one Jaguar running on a projector with about a 6'x6' screen and stereo sound, another Jaguar on a 27" TV, and a few Lynxes set up for solo or comlynxed play. I think we got about 20 participants in the Protector SE tournament, but the other tournaments did not fare so well. Still, it was neat to see Prot SE projetced on the wall near the Songbird booth all weekend -- I could just point and say "It's that game." icon_smile.gif Kevin Manne's design for the JagFest banner looked superb as well.

I think doing tournaments, especially on "niche" systems like the Lynx and Jag, may require some more brainstorming and promotion before I'd rush to do it all again. We gave away a bunch of Lynx/Jag stuff as prizes, and of course having more "mainstream" prizes (either in the classic or contemporary sense) could have attracted more players.

JV Games and High Voltage Software were both on hand to talk about their experience doing Jag games. It was a bit noisy where we had the informal talks in the JagFest corner, but otherwise these events were very well received with Jag fans. I'm extremely grateful to Vince, Jag, Eric, and Kerry for attending the show -- thanks, guys!

Scott Walters demoed Mad Bodies, and a number of Jag fans were impressed by this fast-paced game and look forward to its release. Scott and Glenn both brought a ton of cool Jag stuff to display in the case, and that always gets a lot of attention as well. Finally got to see the Jagdapter and a populated MPEG PCB!

The biggest surprise of the show was a special appearance by none other than Nolan Bushnell. I'm kicking myself because I didn't make time to meet him personally, but it's so cool that he came and spoke in the first place. This also had the side effect of clearing out more than half of the attendees during his ~2 hour talk. icon_wink.gif

The show wore me out as always, but it's fun to talk to the fans, sell some merchandise, play games, and look forward to things to come. Thanks to John, Sean, and Joe for once again hosting the best classic gaming event around!

Carl Forhan
Songbird Productions