For the past 7 years September was a month of fear. Month of bad tension. Month of sleepless nights. Month before Essen. Month before the most important 4 days in the year.
We had very stressful events back then. First copy of Stronghold I ever saw? Essen 2009. It arrived to Essen right in time, day before fair. I had no chance to see it before fair. Pret-a-Porter? Arrived to Essen 9 AM Thursday, an hour before fair was open for public. I was never before terrified like that Thursday. First box of Robinson Crusoe I ever had in my hands? Once again – Essen.
It was all on the knife edge. One small mistake and Essen was ruined for me.
Last year we made a huge step forward. We printed all games few weeks before Essen. Everything was prepared in advance…
However… ‘Will the game be ready?’ is not the only question that puts you awake in the night before the Essen fair. There is couple more questions. Will people like the game? Will be any interest in the game? Will gamers buy our game? Will we be able to compete with all those big fishes and sell the game to many gamers? What the reviews will be like? What gamers will say?
Every year there is a few hundreds games published at Essen.
Every year there is tens of great games published at Essen.
Will my game be one of those tens?
You wait for the Essen like for the execution. Days pass and all you see are announcements from other companies. Man, they have gorgeous cover. Man, they have cool bits. Man, they have a huge hype. Man, another Feld game…
You wait. You can’t sleep.
This year September does not suck. It’s sunny, warm and beautiful. Imperial Settlers was released at Gen Con. I had all those panic symptoms in July and August. I couldn’t sleep in the summer. I was terrified in summer. I was bundle of nerves in summer.
Now it is all gone.
It’s the first Essen I will visit with pure smile and fun. Total chill out. The game is released. The game have great feedback. I am ready to celebrate Essen. 4 days of games feast.