This spring has been busier than most here at GaZima Games. We finally wrapped up our post-Toy Fair submissions and got several responses. As always, we continue to test-play and refine our games, and have come up with even better gameplay and more concepts in the time since Toy Fair and Toy Fest West. We have already received re-submission requests after companies saw the updated gameplay, and expect to be kept busy this summer getting those out.
We have partnered with an engineering firm that has created some really cool technology, and currently we are working to create gameplay. We are having a great time coming up with various game scenarios and testing out what works and what might be suited for a different type of game. Stay tuned for some awesome new games incorporating this new technology!
Next month, Greg Z. will be participating in an inventors panel here in San Diego in support of our friends at USAopoly. They are sponsoring Gam3rCon, a conference celebrating all things game-related, including video games, table games, game art, and more. Tickets are still on sale if you want to check it out – unlike many other game conferences, it is open to the public. We’ll post some pictures and video of the panel after it’s held. This will be a great opportunity to reach out to other inventors and provide insight into the game-making process to those who are unfamiliar.
Greg was also invited to contribute to the updated Toy and Game Inventors Handbook. In the upcoming edition, there will be a profile on Greg and GaZima Games. The profile is “interview-style” and they asked about the game-making process, inspiration for inventions, and advice for fellow inventors. He was happy to contribute and we’re all looking forward to its publication. We’ll be sure to keep everyone posted about when it will be coming out!
Finally, we are ramping up our social media presence this summer. If you haven’t yet, check out our Facebook page and Twitter feed. We have some contests and giveaways in the works, so be sure to connect with us there to stay updated on the latest activities!
The first quarter of 2012 has flown by! We started off the year finalizing games to show at the New York Toy Fair in early February. It was meant to be a less hectic trip than in past years, as we were intending to show only a few games. This would have given us the chance to be able to network with other game-industry peers, enjoy the seminars, parties, and other activities. However we came home with over 25 submission requests! We even met with several new companies. It was a very productive Toy Fair and we were happy to see lots of familiar faces and make some new friends.
Since then we have been working hard to get those game submissions out to all the companies that requested them. We’re almost finished and we’re really excited about some of the new ideas and technologies that have been developed. We have been collaborating with other game designers and engineering firms to come up with some really interesting projects. Hopefully we will be able to reveal all of the new stuff we’ve been working on soon!
In March we went to Toy Fest West in Long Beach. It was our first trip to this show, and we really enjoyed it. The Long Beach show was much less busy for us than the New York Toy Fair and we were able to take the time to network and see new products throughout the weekend. It was also nice to catch up with some of the toy companies that we missed in New York.
In the meantime, we are continuing to develop and test play several games for submission later this year. We are also planning many other shows and activities for the Spring and Summer. Be sure to contact us if you are a school, children’s charity, or military organization as we try to support these groups when we can. Check back with us soon for more news and updates.
Conferences, Trade Shows and Events were our focus for much of the fall. We participated in GenCon in Indianapolis over the summer, and it was amazing! It is billed as the “original, longest running, best attended, gaming convention in the world,” and they delivered, for sure! We even brought our life-sized Stomple game to play!
Greg Zima with Stomple fans
Also in August, Party Gras earned a “Major Fun” award in the Party and Family categories. Later in the year, it was named one of the “Top 10 for 2011!” We are really proud!
Next up was the Miramar Air Show at the end of September, which is a big event here in San Diego. We were able to show Stomple and Party Gras and connect with some local folks who may not already have known about us. It was a good time for us, and a big plus that it is held on a Marine Corps Air Base!
At the end of November, we headed out to Chicago for ChiTag, where Greg was nominated for a TAGIE award for “Excellence in Game Design.” It was an amazing experience and a great honor to be considered for this prestigious award.
Finally, in December, GaZima Games participated once again in the Marines’ Toys for Tots Program. We were able to give out about $10,000 worth of toys and games. We were even featured on the local NBC affiliate! We are proud of our continued affiliation with Toys for Tots and are looking forward to participating again next year!
The past few months have been busy ones for us, as we have been promoting and showing products, doing community outreach projects, and participating in trade shows and conferences.
First, we are proud to announce that our newest game, Party Gras, was released in May. We’re really excited about it – it’s a great party game for a group! You can learn more about it here.
We made a visit to Walker Elementary School for Read Across America Week, which was an awesome experience for us and for the students. We also went to Garrison Elementary School for their School Fair, and had a lot of fun demonstrating games for the kids. We did the same at the San Pasqual Elementary School Fair and it was a tremendous experience. The students and their families had a great time and so did we.
Playing Stomple at Garrison Elementary School Fair
We also made a couple trips back up to LA, first for the Gamex Convention in May and then for the Spin Master Inventors Day. It really inspired us creatively to be able to see and hear about new games and concepts, and to contribute our own ideas.
Stomple has also had a busy few months, and we are proud to say that Stomple earned multiple awards and nominations as diverse as a Mensa endorsement to the National Parenting Seal! It also picked up the Parents’ Choice, Major Fun, and Creative Child Awards! We are so proud of Stomple’s continued success!
So we know we’re not the greatest at keeping our blog up to date. So here’s a quick review of 2010 to catch everyone up. We attended several events, which included: the New York, Long Beach, and Chicago Toy Fairs.
We also had the unique opportunity of attending Inventor Forums with both Mattel and Spin Master. The team got to check out new products not yet available to the public, and received the companies’ wish lists for the following year.
Besides inventing, we spent some time on grass roots promotion of our games and community outreach through school visits in the San Diego area and in Michigan. We also participated in Barnes and Noble game nights, the Marine Corps Air Show, and Toys for Tots.
For our Toys for Tots campaign we were interviewed by San Diego NBC morning news and San Diego CW 6 News. Through help and support from USAopoly and Spin Master, and over 1000 Facebook fans, GaZima Games was able to donate over $5000 worth of games and toys to the Toys for Tots program.
Stomple was officially released to the public by Spin Master!
Ratuki, licensed to USAOPOLY, had great sales in 2010. Ratuki was sub-licensed to Hasbro in December and had its very own commercial on national television.
Check out the commercial (and the outtakes for a good laugh): [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elW9PZvPCfU&NR=1]
That’s it for 2010! Stay tuned for our 2011 blog… hopefully we’ll get it out before 2012!
On the Gaming Front
The last six weeks have been a whirlwind. Being invited to Mattel for Inventor’s Day was a tremendous honor and experience. We were able to see the inner workings of the toy and game giant as well as network with 140 inventors to discuss our games and future ideas. Since then, we have had meetings with both Mattel and Spin Master to present our games. We have also been very busy promoting our speed card game Ratuki. Since the beginning of December, we have hosted three game nights at local Barnes & Noble stores, exhibited at the Children’s Christmas Carnival on Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, and shared our games with a local philanthropic game playing group. We post our events on GaZima Games facebook so if you want to stay connected or attend an event feel free to friend us!
In the community
Since our last posting, we made a donation to the Occupational Therapy department at Camp Pendleton Hospital to support the Wounded Warrior program. Our games Ratuki, Gobsmacked, and Zip made a tremendous impression on the staff. We are thrilled that our games are helping our brave service men and women.
GaZima Games coached a ten and eleven year-old youth soccer team, the Devil Dogs, through an undefeated season from October to December. We had an amazing time passing our soccer knowledge on to the kids and watching them develop as individual players and as a team. We even won the league canned food drive!!
Gobsmacked™, won the Creative Child 2009 Game of the Year Award and the prestigious National Parenting Seal for 2010.
Ratuki™, manufactured by USAopoly was released exclusively in Barnes & Nobles and was one of their top sellers for the holiday season.
Rate ItTM, our newest family party game, has just been released in Barnes & Noble. We are very excited to see it on store shelves.
We look forward to the 2010 and all it has to hold. And, as always, we appreciate everyone’s support and feedback from playing our games with friends and family.