How did Granite Game Summit come to be? Each organizer has a unique story to tell. How they got there. What their motivation was. Why they keep going. Read on to find out Kevin’s story.
The first convention I attended was Unity Games in Danvers, MA, in 2014. A great local convention with over 800 attendees where everyone brought their own games to form a shared library. It astonished me that the community would be so open. Sadly, Unity Games ended that year after 20 plus conventions. The event had grown bigger than its organizers wanted to maintain.
Soon after I started designing games and attended many of the larger conventions like GenCon, BGGCon, and PAX East. On my way back from the 2015 BGGCon I meet a fellow New Englander, Kimberly, heading home. We became Twitter friends and stayed in touch via that medium.
Two months later, after the madness that is GenCon registration, a conversation started between several people on Twitter about running conventions. One outcome of that thread was the three of us, Kimberly, Michael, and myself, met to talk about running a local convention. Little did I realize what was about to unfold in front of me.
The thought of bringing a Unity like event back to our area was invigorating. I also had a very selfish motive in starting a local event to test and show off my designs. I was in the midsts of starting up what I thought would be my longer term goal of becoming a publisher. I had to spread myself thin to launch a Kickstarter, finish game dev, and help organize what became Granite Game Summit.
I thought it would just help here and there, and focus on all the other things. The first Granite Game Summit ended up being a much more rewarding experience than expected and a lot more work. The three of us shared in pretty much all aspects of organizing. This made organizing feel more comfortable as we had each other to rely upon.
After our first event was over, I got back to work on my game. We ended up running a fall event that first year, and my game’s Kickstarter ran from that event till BGGCon. After some major hiccups with manufacturing and finally getting my game out, I realized publishing was not for me.
While publishing my game was rewarding and a great experience, I learned it would be my last time publishing a game. But this side convention thing, bringing together hundreds of people in a fun and open environment, was so much more than I originally thought it would be.
With the launching of two more events Stumptown Game Summit (in Portland, OR) and being able to restart Unity Games, the convention that started it all for me, as ReUnity Games, I see a future filled with joy in serving many communities. This is something fulfilling and exciting every time we run an event. I am so happy that simple Twitter thread took place. You never know when some obscure conversation will lead your life in a whole new direction.