August 26, 2012 / by Eric

The initial buildout projects are nearly complete thanks to the super human speed, efficiency and focus of Nick, Jensen and Dominic. And not a moment too soon with Wednesday’s big Lounge preview event just around the corner. An important note about Wednesday’s event – it does NOT require an invite and IS totally open to the public. The private, invite-only founders party advertised as part of our Kickstarter backer rewards will be happening in September when we’ll have all the pledge rewards ready to go – stay tuned.

Nick and Jensen do an amazing job on a tight timeline.

And just when we thought things were as busy as they could get, this upcoming week we triple the stakes! In addition to continuing to develop the lounge (upgrading the lighting, installing the sound system, establishing new vendor relationships, forwarding the licensing process, etc), we’ll be hosting FIVE special pre-opening PAX events (some open to the public, some not- stop by and ask if you’re not sure). AND we’ll be building and running our amazing Gamma Ray Games booth inside PAX itself (located in glorious room 305/306 this year- stop by and say hi!).

I will be bouncing between all three locations (store, lounge, PAX) from about 10:30am until around 10:30pm every day for the next 10 days or so, keeping everything moving and trying not to get in the way. If you have any questions feel free to flag me down or ask one of the team. Just know that if it’s me, both the question and the answer will need to be short and I’ll probably be walking or working while we talk. Heck, some of the last people that stopped by to chat with me wound up helping unload a trailer full of benches with a lawyer and a Pentecostal pastor. You just never what’s going to happen around here. Which is why, for the next ten days or so, I’m going to be around a LOT.

Eric and Dominic plot their cunning next move.

See you soon,

-Eric

August 15, 2012 / by Eric

I’ve promised to make the lounge development as transparent a process as possible so for those of you who don’t walk past the new lounge space as part of your daily commute, here’s a quick visual guide to what’s going on.

We’ve completed the floor treatment.

And the custom 4’ x 6’ tabletops.

Our native craftsmen, Nick and Jensen, are over on Vashon cutting all of the pieces for our custom countertops for assembly back here in 48 hours.

While Dominic and Andrew (no, not that one, the other one) finish and base the custom tops.

Behind the scenes, I’ve been meeting with the designers at Zone Four and Danial Webster about branding and clothing manufacturing and talking with J3 Concepts about the possibility of collaborating on our Wall of Awesome while new Store Manager Jake takes over for former Store Manager Dominic behind the counter as Dominic prepares for his move to San Diego.

Coming up, we’ll be collecting our table backers logo files and taking them over to Metrix for laser etching into the tops before their final coating, assembling our counters and benches, bringing in chairs and smaller tables, establishing food and beverage supply chains and acquiring all of the necessary permits for our upcoming events.

Questions? Post them here or just come by the shop or lounge anytime. We’re happy to talk with you and the chances are very good that one of us will be here. As long as you don’t mind that we’ll be working while we’re talking. After all, we’ve got a long ways to go and a short time to get there and we’re going to do what they say can’t be done.

See you soon,

-Eric

August 04, 2012 / by Eric

A startling expose by game store owner Eric Logan.

Tabletop gaming encompasses a surprisingly wide range of genres including (but certainly not limited to) European style boardgames, American style boardgames, party games, mystery games, cooperative semi-cooperative and one versus many games, classic games and ancient games, abstract games, train games, war games of numerous complexity levels each with their own devoted fanbase, simulations of various kinds from historical to fantasy, custom dice games, collectible miniature and collectible card games, roleplaying and story games. Each of these genres can be further divided into multiple sub-genres and some of these sub-genres, like Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering, are so large and popular that they’ve become full genres in their own rights with even further sub-genres unto themselves. Dungeons & Dragons alone, for example, has at least 6 different editions and multiple retro knock offs, all of which have their own unique audiences and Magic the Gathering has a number of different formats and rule sets each drawing a different type of player.

Every tabletop gamer, even the most well rounded (like all of our employees), has a bias towards a particular game or type of game; usually something from their past, some initial gateway game or genre that they will inevitably tend to compare other games to and gravitate back to even as they expand their gaming interests.

My personal bias is toward roleplaying games (commonly abbreviated as RPGs). I got started on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons with my dad when I was 8 years old

and have enjoyed exploring new roleplaying systems ever since. Though I’m familiar with and enjoy playing every type of game that we carry at Gamma Ray Games, my inclination is always toward the new small press RPGs.

And so it was that 2 weeks ago while I was rapidly putting together our Kickstarter page for a space that I knew was going to freely support all of the myriad types of tabletop gaming as well as some non tabletop activities like trivia nights, Barcraft and possibly a even a recently proposed rockband karaoke event, I reached out to the indie RPG community for pledge reward commitments first because I knew from our history of collaborating together for events like PAX, Emerald City Comic Con & GoPlayNW that they would respond quickly and be great to work with. And indeed they were.

But bias has consequences and while monitoring our kickstarter progress for the past couple of weeks I’ve discovered two. First, I’ve received a couple of emails from people who saw our kickstarter page and we’re worried that we intend to exclude/ignore their aspect of the hobby, to which I always respond with a clear and sincere “woops! my bad! we’re totally into your thing too,” because I know that the store and the lounge have been and will continue to be about the greater tabletop gaming community of which I and my personal biases are only one small part.

Second, and possibly more importantly from a Huttese perspective, it’s occurred to me that not having more non-rpg gaming options may have limited some peoples willingness to pledge and that, of course, is a barrier that we simply cannot have. In response I’ve just added the new completely-non-roleplaying-related “boardgame night with Jake Waltier” pledge level for you and your friends. And a… (cough) uh, couple of, uh, new RPG levels as well (cough).

Look, the new RPG rewards weren’t my fault, alright? The Gamer Viceroy came by demanding to know why he’d been snubbed out of the reward levels and, seriously now, you don’t want me to snub the viceroy do you? No, I didn’t think so. The man’s a legend in this town.

So there you have it. I love me some RPGs but you can love you some of whatever you want, and if that something happens to be some kind of tabletop gaming, it will always have a home at The Raygun Lounge.

I can’t wait to see you all there,

-Eric