I thought this expo had a great vibe throughout, some of that may have been due to the anticipation of reveals, announcements, etc. where last year there was no significant news at all. The game room was much better than last year, but some of the EM games that would normally would be in the vendor all where there, so not sure if there were real more games than last year or not, but guessing there were. Two years ago there were certainly more pins. I thought the mix of games in the game room, not that I spent a ton of time in there, was excellent, just a wide range of games from different eras and several titles I had never seen before. I can see how someone is only about DMD Games would find it lacking, but I think most attendees love the variety of games. Although not sure we needed two 'Ravens'
It did seem much quieter than in the past few years. I was not there last year on Saturday, but this year Saturday seemed much, much, much quieter than two years ago, when walking around the vendor hall was difficult. Saturday night during banquet, vendor hall was pretty quiet, which was a little surprising given the 'keep the halls open during banquet' campaign for so long. I did have a steady flow of folks playing Casino and it allowed for some quality conversations with people. Of coarse all the cool and fun people were there Saturday night. Friday night was also quiet, due to the Stern event, but, just made it easier to get time on machines.
It was great that the wait to play Dialed In was short, rarely was there more than one 'group' waiting in line behind a given machine, just great for JJP to have so many machines there. Fun theme and game, lousy title, but in the scheme of things, who cares. Never got to play Alien, line was way too long and it was also off during banquet and it was also down for a little bit. Looked nice, but it did not blow my socks off. But I suspect Alien fans will be happy with it.
B66 machines looked nice, not much else I can really say about them at this point.
Dominoes looked really nice, not a complex machine by any means, and that is probably a good think for their primary buyer, a Dominoes franchise owner. I think Dominoes and Spooky did a great job in putting together a machine for that audience.
P3 continues to move towards production. Machines and games are starting to look pretty polished and the price tag is no longer looking as crazy as it did a few years ago, especially with there now being multiple games on it. Since I was next to their booth, it was interesting watching them assemble a new machine from parts in a relatively short amount of time. Clearly the modular nature of it has huge benefits.
P-roc booth was rocking, as usual. Buffy continues to look and play great, seeing two side by side was pretty cool. Total Annihilation shows you can create an old school 80s style game and ramp it up with great lights, sound and music. Doom looks amazing and I look forward to seeing it get fully working and coded. Eric's new Ironman HD project is impressive, especially considering he has only been working on it for a month or two.
I think the Fast guys trying to bring Brooks and Dunn to life at expo was an interesting concept, and something I had talked about with others in the past. Not sure why anyone would want to bring that game to life, but to each his own -- heck, Dunn and Bradstreet could be a better theme. Seems like it still has a long way to go with it, but clearly they are making progress. Nightmare before Christmas did not change much from the past, other than the display stuff, which is certainly progressing nicely. When I saw some video clips of the new video stuff I was concerned that some of the text would be too small to see, but with the large screen it has, they look good. Hopefully Mark will get some cabinet and playfield art and ramps done for next year, game has lots of potential. Not sure I saw any other functioning home-brew games in the FAST booth, but there may have been, anytime I stopped by those guys were not there or busy working on stuff. Seemed they had Brian, Jan and others just coding away a good chunk of the time, which I believe was for Brooks and Dunn.
Overall an excellent expo, a little quiet, but with create content and people. Plenty of opportunity to make it better, but that may have to wait until it gets some new leadership, and hopefully that happens before it is too late.