Geekway to the West – Changes for 2018! Written by Marshall Jansen on March 28, 2018

Hey Geekway attendees! As we ramp up for Geekway 2018, we wanted to make clear a few changes for this year’s event.

Registration/Geekway HQ

Last year, registration was staged in two areas, the Ticket Window, to pick up your badge, as well as the Free Game area, to pick up your free games. This year we are doing away with the Ticket area, and instead the Free Game area from last year will be Geekway HQ. This is where you’ll pick up your badge, your free game, any pre-order goodies (Patron coins, T-shirts), and where you’ll put your door prize tab into the prize drum.

Geekway HQ will also be the place you can come with any questions or concerns. If a Staff member is not there, then the Geek Guides there can get in contact with someone.

Free Games

In previous years, Geekway partnered with Miniature Market and various game publishers to get bulk clearance games at incredibly cheap prices, and gave those away to our attendees. As we scaled up from 200 attendees to over 2000, this became more and more difficult… acquiring enough games, at low enough rates, and figuring out where to store them and how to sort them was becoming a nightmare, and was taking dozens of hours of labor. This year, and for the foreseeable future, all Geekway attendees will be getting¬† the same game, but instead of it being a clearance game or overstocked title, it will be a brand new game! Not only that, but it will be a game that was discovered at Geekway by Indie Boards and Cards through their annual Game Design Contest. This year the game is Adrienne Ezell’s Shogunate!¬†Next years game will be a game from the 2017 Geekway, and the winner of the 2018 Game Design contest can have their game published and the giveaway for 2020!

Play and Win

Another victim of scale, we can no longer do Play and Win drawings ‘live on stage’ and roll giant dice to see who wins. This year we’ve got plans for over 100 titles and over 700 copies of games to give away, in what we consider to be the signature ‘event’ of Geekway. To handle games at this scale, we’re working on a more automated and computerized solution. We are also trying to combat the perceptions of fraud and game hoarding that happens. To this end we’re making several key changes to Play and Win, based on feedback from out attendees. Our goal is to increase the fairness (both the perception and the reality!) as well as to make it easier for everyone to play games!

First: only official Play and Win and Geekway library copies are eligible for earning an entry into the Play and Win system. Personal copies cannot earn entries, as they are not barcoded – this means they can’t be put into the system. While this limits the number of copies of games that are available for Play and Win, it’s the only way to make sure all plays are tracked in our system.

Second: each group can only earn one entry per checkout. Once a game has been checked out, play it once and return it. I know that some groups like to play lots of times before turning a game in, and you still can – but if you do, you will only get one entry. This is to encourage people to return games, instead of sitting on them all day.

Third: Do not ‘hold onto’ games to play later, and don’t check out multiple games to sit on and play in order. One game, per group, and then turn it in. If Play and Win games are not being played, Geekway staff will collect them and return them. Game hoarding is by far the largest complaint we have, and we want everyone to have equal chances at playing games. Games sitting on top of tables will be returned. Games ‘hidden’ from us (under tables etc) will earn a warning and potential disqualification from winning any Play and Win games. Games that are checked out for an excessive amount of time are tracked in the system as well. Please try to get games back within a reasonable play time!

Fourth: Each individual Geekway attendee can win a maximum of one game from Play and Win. With 700 games and 3000 attendees, that means just under 25% of attendees will be taking a game home!

Fifth: Not really a change, but something that needs to be made clear. Play and Win winners will be announced as soon as we can do so on Sunday morning, and at some point (which will be announced at the con), games that have not been claimed will be given away in some fashion (and that method will not involve turning in game bits). If you cannot be at Geekway on Sunday, give your badge to a friend! Showing a badge is what is required to win a game, you do NOT need to be present.


Other than official Geekway events (and a few key others, thanks Jay!), all event signups will be handled by the attendees running the event. We will have an events board near HQ that will have signup sheets with events, including times and locations.

Fancy Gaming

Unlike past years, this year’s Fancy Gaming involves a cash bar. We are limiting Fancy Gaming to 21 and up, and there will be alcohol served.

Geek Guides

This year, Geek Guides will receive (in addition to exclusive prize drawings, t-shirts, and other potential perks) a $10 gift card to the Geekway Merch booth. This is a new thing for us, so we’d like some feedback from our Geek Guides. We’ll try to have some nice things for all of you, so please let us know your thoughts!

Geekway is soon!

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  • Joe Hamerly says:

    This is my first year and first large convention. I am really looking forward to all of it including being a geek guide.

  • Todd Thomas says:

    Excellent changes all around. These should make this year’s convention even more awesome.

    Any idea roughly when on Sunday the Play & Win drawing will take place? Our crew has to travel a long ways home, so being on the road ASAP would be really appreciated.

    Will there be official social media channel(s) used? If so, what are they?

    Will the Play & Win list be posted on the BGG site again? Any ETA on that?

    Thanks for the answers and hard work!

  • Tim says:

    The free games is terrible for us as many of us attending are from the same household. But other than that, glad to be going again.

    • While we understand that this means families and groups all get the same game, we are excited that we are now giving away brand new games discovered at Geekway, instead of deep-clearance closeouts.

      Also, the deep clearance closeouts were becoming more and more difficult to source at the numbers required. The logistics of us storing and shipping 3000+ random games was simply becoming unworkable.

  • John Hinkle says:

    If we purchased three badges in one transaction can one person pickup all three badges and games at once?

    • TO pick up a badge you need either the eventbrite confirmation for it, or an ID with the name on the badge. As long as you have one of those, you can pick up multiple badges. You will have to pick up all applicable swag at the same time, as well.