Afterwards, Mike and I hung out for a bit before heading over to check out a game club in Western Auckland. There I met Damien, Chris Townley, and Dan Linder. The guys had rented a community center and set up 5 gaming tables. Warmahordes and Malifaux were the main events, but I was also privy to one of the most exciting games of X-Wing I've witnessed!
Afterwards, we headed to the Battlefront Office for a brief tour. The office is divided into 2 main sections. Upstairs is the design office where the majority of the work on the books and the website occurs. There is an open floor plan promoting collaboration, and a massive wall of reference material. Downstairs is the photo studio, warehouse, and playtesting area. Drawers upon drawers of studio models adorn the wall, and the 10 or so playtest tables are setup ready to go to and hit hard every Monday night.
Immediately, I am struck by a few things- the design office seems like a very creative place. The resources available at your fingertips and proximity to co-workers seems to excite a certain energy. As I type this on Monday morning, everyone seems genuinely excited and enthusiastic (After a good bit of ribbing Chris Townley for his mistakes with Darth Vader, that is). Likewise, the downstairs is well organized. The Battlefront team is in the process of cataloging all of their miniatures, and it was rather exciting to see all of the models I recognize from the books sitting out.
Immediately I am a bit struck by the open terrain boards in the playtesting areas. Through conversation, I've come to find that the Kiwis do approach terrain quite different than us Yanks (or at least the I-95 crew inspired tables), which is very interesting to me. I will expand on this thought later of course, but my initial impression was "wow, these playtesting tables are much lighter than I am used to".
|The design area|
Here's a photo dump from my first day. First up is the gaming I witnessed followed by some shots form around the BF studio. You may be interested in some of those.
|Hello, what have we here?|
|Phil's eccentric workstation|
|FoW Studio Masters|
|An Example of Italians|
|Doesn't this look particularly Asian?|
|Part of the warehouse|
|This just in...|