Archive for the ‘MGC 2008’ Category

Midwest Gaming Classic ’08 photo gallery

Friday, April 25th, 2008

A month late, but I finally got the MGC ’08 photo gallery up in my blog. Check it out!

Decent amount of photos, that covers most of the MGC show from this year (in part thanks to Erica).

Enjoy!

Overview of the Underdog Chamber ’08

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

I finally got a little time to write, so I’m posting the summary for the Underdog Chamber 2008, which ran at the Midwest Gaming Classic on March 29th and 30th. I will cover each system that was on display, with a ranking of popularity and comments from myself.

Note: Ranks again are represented by the Green bars. Longer equals more popular, simple as that. Unlike last year though, the ranking are based on loose observation, as I got tired of being more attendant to what people were playing this year.

Unlike last year, I’m lumping the ranks into one, rather than ‘play’ vs. ‘casual’ interest. Not as detailed, but it took less time for me to observe this, and I was too busy this year to care otherwise.

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Summary of system rankings for the UC ’08:
Apple Macintosh LAN running Quake
Play
Atari 5200
Play
Gamecube
Play
Intellivision
Play
Odyssey2
Play
Vectrex
Play

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Play
Apple Macintosh LAN – For 2008, I had seven classic Macintosh computers running Quake, which celebrated its 11th year on the Mac (Quake was released for the Mac in 1997). As expected, the Quake LAN did remarkable well, and got lots of use during the entire show. There seemed to be a better mixture of people playing this year, as I didn’t get too many complaints about other players being too good at the game. We (Erica, Greg and myself) let the game play itself more this year, realizing that once it is running, people can just come in and out of the game, and that it restarts sessions on its own. There were a few more OS 9 crashes this year, and one full LAN crash, but besides those minor speed bumps, it went rather well. Only sad thing is that I’m not bringing Quake back for 2009! I want a different game for the next two years, possible still Hexen II (based off the Quake II game engine). Plus I will probably bump up the LAN to eight Macs next year!

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Play
Atari 5200 – This was the first year I had the Atari 5200 in the UC area. It did fairly well, but not as good as I expected. Part of the issue was people messing with the multi-cart, and partly due to the lack of good working controllers. This made what I had setup harder to deal with, as you basically needed two controllers to start and then play the games. I tried pushing trackball games, but most people were not interested in those. One guy on Sunday really got a kick out of 5200 Kaboom!, which seemed to be the highlight of his weekend (and I was more than happy providing the experience for him). I may bring back the 5200 for 2009, but only if I can get some JAMMA made for this system, with some help from Marty!

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Play
Gamecube– For once, I finally put a much more modern underdog system into the UC display. I got enough comments about why it was there, but those folks just don’t understand that the Gamecube is truly an underdog, like it or not. It was in third place during its time, and that is and underdog! I was fully planning on running a variety of games on the Gamecube, but I ended up running Burnout 2 all day Saturday, and FX Zero on Sunday, and this was more than enough for people coming into the Underdog area. The Cube was by far the favorite console system for 2008, and it will return again next year.

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Play
Intellivision – America’s first 16-bit video game system returned once again to the UC area for 2008. It received a good amount of play this year, but not as much as it did last year. People seemed put off by the numeric keypad and getting games started. I guess the people at the show where more new people this year than last, as that seemed to be the issue. I may pull this system out for a year, as I’ve had it in the UC show since 2006. Again, thanks for the Cuttle Cart 3 for letting people play whatever game they wanted to.

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Play
Odyssey2 – Unlike last year, the Odyssey2 did not receive the kind of attention I would have hoped for in 2008. Yes, it got some decent play time, but it sat idle a little too often. The one good thing this year was that there were at least 1/2 dozen people that sat down and wanted to talk about the Odyssey 2 in general, and this is a rare thing for this true underdog system from the late 70’s and early 80’s. This alone made it worth it to continue to bring my favorite underdog system to the show, as I will every year!

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Play
Vectrex – I took the Vectrex out of the show last year, because it did not do well at all in 2006. This year was much different though, and the Vectrex received a good amount of attention from show goers. Many people were interesting in playing with this unique system, plus there where many fans of the old system. I even learned that the Vecflash is finally for sale on the net, a cartridge that allows you to download games into it, similar to Ssan’s multicart, but you put in it what you want (up to a certain limit). Plus it is menu driven, and doesn’t have to be turned off to switch games. I will probably have this at next years show, as soon as I can get ahold of one (currently out of stock). In all, a good year for the Vectrex in the UC ’08 showcase!

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That is is for my UC ’08 summary. The show was lots of work, but lots of fun as well. Thoughts of the 2009 show are already in my head, even before I’ve finished unpacking from the ’08 show!

And, as usual, a big THANK YOU to Erica and Greg for their help with running the Underdog Chamber. I could not do this without their help, simple as that!

Midwest Gaming Classic ’08 recap

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Unlike last year, I actually got to see more of the MGC ’08 show, thanks in part to the opening of the exhibit area one hour later than the rest of the show. That aside, the Underdog Chamber (even being downsized a bit from last year), did incredibly well. At times, it was doing so well, that we actually had some crowd control issues! But, as I’ve done for the last few years now, I will dispense my own opinion on the show and its various parts (and as always, these comments are my own, deal with them as you will).

Events:

Classic Gaming and Computing Museum – Marty and J.D. (and company) did a rather marvelous job for 2008. There were more systems up and running that I can ever recall for the MGC show, which I thought was just great. Plus it is always fun working along with Marty and J.D. anyway (they are some great guys). I also got to see some cool new (but actually old) stuff again, thanks to Marty.

Atari Jaguar Festival – Downsized from ’07, the Jaquar and Nuon systems where part of my area this year (or at least tagged onto it). It received a decent amount of attention, but I’ll have to admit that I think Jagfest should be eliminated from future shows. I’m not saying the Jaguar and Nuon systems show go away, but rather become part of the museum or even the Uderdog Chamber, as Jagfest just is not the draw that it once was (and I say this with some sadness).

Tom L’s area (which still needs a name – darnit), was again next to the UC area. Tom had expanded for 2008, with flat-screen LCD displays for all of his Nintendo systems. A very popular area of the exhibit hall, as it is every year. Tom also had his huge Lynx collection on display, along with Game Gear games as well.

DS WiFi Play Area – I have to admit that I did not get a chance to play in this area, so I really can’t comment on it. Sorry.

Mini Commodore Expo – This group from Chicago had a small display on Saturday only, but it was cool to see what they had. I really hope they expand more in future years, as the commodore systems have some great games.

TurboFest – A nice setup in the exhibit hall, showing off some of the NEC systems. However, much smaller than it was in 2007, which I found disappointing.

Underdog Chamber – As with last year, Quake did really good in 2008, even with a few extra system crashes (good old OS 9). The five console systems I had on display did rather well too, and I was rather surprised by the amount of attention that the Vectrex got this year (it was almost ignored back in 2006). I’ll be posting a recap of my area seperate from the MGC recap.

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As for the rest of the Midwest Gaming Classic, outside of the exhibit hall:

2008 marked the return of more arcade and pinball machines, which were setup rather well, and got lots of play time. I actually had some time to play this year, partly due to the area being open after hours for vendors and exhibitors (thanks Dan and Gary). First time I’ve had to play some good pinball in years, and it was a very fun experience.

As in prior years, I did not get a chance to see any of the speakers, which I always find a bit sad. Guess it is the price for running my own area. I did catch some snipets of some speakers, but not enough to make any comments on them.

I also did not see any of the tournaments that go on at the show. Maybe some day, but not for 2008 again. I heard that most of them where rather fun, and I did get a peak at the GH III tournament, which looked like lots of fun. Oh, and I did experience the Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament to a point, just because it was right next to my area, and actually caused a few problems for me (which were luckily resolved by Sunday evening).

The Vending area for the 2008 MGC show was rather good, even through I didn’t buy much. It was nice to see a more even selection of games and systems this year. There was a lack of homebrew sellers though, which I heard enough about in my own area. Hopefully Atariage or Packrat will return for 2009! Other than that, it was nice to see some familiar faces, along with new vendors as well. In all, it was fun walking through the area, and seeing all the cool gaming goodness!

I’m sure there are a few other things I’m passing over, like Team Fremont, but I normally don’t get a chance to see everything at these shows. Again, the price I pay for running a popular area of the show. In that regards, it was very cool that I ended up in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel paper, with the Underdog Chamber being listed as the 4th best thing to see at the show (thanks for Dan for pointing out this article). My brother-in-law Greg and myself ended up on the Channel 6 news Sunday night that weekend as well. Just some quick clips, but it is so cool to see myself on TV!

That is is for my short summary of the MGC ’08 show. I would have to say that this was definately the best year so far for this yearly show. Slightly better than 2007, I can only see the show getting better, inch-by-inch every year. And that is fine with me!

Now all I need to get around to in the UC recap and finally posting some pictures of the show (better later, than never).

MGC ’08 photo delay…

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Thought I post a quick note here, basically stating that I’m still behind on getting the photos for MGC ’08 up on the site. At this point, it may not be until the end of the month, as I don’t have the time to really put it together. Will try, but it will probably be later than sooner.

Sorry…

Midwest Gaming Classic ’08 is over…

Monday, March 31st, 2008

It was a rather busy Sunday at the show, much more than last year. Lots of fun, a little bit of trouble, but fun as a whole. As always, it was much quicker tearing everything down that setting up, and I got back home around 7:30 pm. The stuff is all in a pile, as I now have to switch to college homework, which will take most if not all of my time this week. Thus, there will be no pictures or recap of the show for at least a week or two. Sorry about that, but college comes first, and I’m behind at this point. Time to catch up…

More next week!

P.S. Just wanted to say a quick thanks to all those from MGC ’08: Dan, Gary, Mark, Tom, J.D., Marty, Max, Lance, and of course Erica and Greg (plus others to numerous to count here – and those whose names I forget)! The show would not be the same without you folks!
🙂

First day of MGC ’08 – busy, busy, busy!

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

The first day of the Midwest Gaming Classic for 2008 is over, with just Sunday to go now. It is a bit hard to gauge, but the UC area and the other areas around it seemed somewhat busier than last year. There were times when my area was so full of people, you could barely walk through without smacking into at least 4-6 people. Kept me on my toes most of the day, watching those who were not sure what they are doing (not very technical folks), and catching those that start messing with your setups like they own them.

On the brighter side though, the show was fun, and my area got lots of use. I won’t go into details today, as I’m rather tired, and would like to get some sleep. I’ll be posting a summary later this week, or more than likely, next week.

For now, I leave you with a shot of the few things I picked up at the show today: An Atari Flashback 2 (partly because I needed an Atari joystick at the last minute – and they only sold them in sets – at half the price of the Flashback, so I just bought the whole thing), a copy of Game Room magazine, Call of Duty 4 of the DS (used, but in very good shape, and for a good price), Pitchers Duel for the vectrex (an impulse buy), and the Classic 80’s Home Video Games – identification and price guide (decent book, but not totally what I expected).


Swag from March 29th at the MGC ’08 show
Swag from March 29th at the MGC '08 show

Friday setup, plus a few surprises!

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Lots of packing, and we were off to Oconomowoc (say that five times in a row – plus you have to live in Wisconsin to pronounce it properly), and to the Olympia Resort for the Midwest Gaming Classic 2008! It took around an hour or so to get all the TVs, monitors, consoles, computer, and everything else into a van and two cars. Thanks to Erica and Greg for helping out (it would be impossible without their help).

Once at the Olympia, we unpacked everything and started to setup, but not before bumping into an excited Dan Loosen (one of the shows Co-founders). He just had to show me the local paper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which had an article about the show in it. The thing Dan was keen to point out, was an article that listed the top five things to check out at the show, and the Underdog Chamber made #4 on the list! Just too cool, plus they mentioned the Odyssey2 as well – probably the first time in over 25+ years! (Thanks Dan for pointing this out – I have a copy of the issue for my own keepsake!)
You can view the JS article here:

Back to setting up, it took us (Erica, Greg and myself) around six hours to get the Quake Mac LAN and five game consoles setup. Much better time that we’ve done in the past. In all, it worked out pretty good, even though it was a bit cramp for space (especially the Atari 5200 and Odyssey2, due to the system size and/or height). Nothing I couldn’t work around though, and I just hope people enjoy playing gaming in the UC area over the weekend. Next year I’ll be back to normal size again, and the Odyssey2 and bigger systems will have the bigger end tables for their use. I downsized somewhat from last year, due to a long period where I was unemployed and couldn’t afford to commit to too much. There are things I want to do, but they cost money, simple as that. I only recently started working again – thank God!

I managed to pick up a used Intellivision for my UC display, as I have too many broken systems. I needed one without joystick add-ons, as that was all I had working. Tomorrow morning, the Exhibit hall opens an hour after the selling hall in open, so I’ll have a chance to buy some things this year! This is one change they made for 2008, which is great, as a lot of good deals are gone in that first hour of the show. Not sure what I’ll buy, but I’m working again, so I have some money to spend. I’ll see what catches my eye. I do know that there is a new collector’s book out that I will probably buy. I’ll report back on anything I buy after the whole show is over, along with a recap of pictures taken during the show (that may take a bit of time though, as I’ve got a big college assignment due next week).

Later, I’m off to bed to get some much needed sleep…. Zzzz…


On the road again… – At the Olympia
On the road again... At the Olympia


Getting the UC area setup
Getting the UC area setup

Day before MGC ’08 (very early morning)

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Yup, I’m still up and almost done packing things up. Just finishing printing the ‘Open at 11 am’ signs for the UC area, as I want to shop the first hour. So, the UC area opens officially at 11 am on Saturday, even though the show opens at 10 am. Sunday I will run the UC with the regular hours. Main reason for this, is that a lot of good stuff sells in the first hour, and I’ve missed that ever year of the show. Not this year!

Back to work now. I should get to bed around 2 am or so, and be up around 9 am or so. Here’s to a good day of setting up, and fingers crosses that the table layout is the same as last year (which was perfect).

More later today (much later)…

Osiris II ready, packing up, and last minute things

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Finished my homework this morning, and spent part of the afternoon packing up some of the game consoles. Then I took a nap (yeah, I’m getting old, deal with it).

When I woke up, I finally got the last Mac setup and ready to go, which is a Blue & White named Osiris II (Matrix of course). This one took a bit longer, as I had to copy over a mouse driver, and install Quake. Some tweaking of some OS 9 setting, and all is ready to go.

Now I just need to do a bunch of last minute things, like redo the Quake instructions, along with pulling out the last of the TV sets. I also need to bring out some CRT monitors too, that I’m borrowing to the Museum (or where ever they are going to use them). Guess I’ll quickly test the CRTs with my iBook (yeah, some day I’ll get a Mac Book).

Little bit of snow outside. Not much, but I’m so sick of the crap, that even the dusting we got is too much. I want Spring, and now! Ack! Back to packing things up. Will hopefully make a posting late Friday, when I get back from setting up at the show.

Friday afternoon – Road Trip!


Osiris II ready at last – Packing things up
Osiris II ready at last Packing things up

More Paperwork ’08!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Yes! They changed the weather forecast for Friday morning. Still some snow, but much less than they were originally saying. Still supposed to rain on Sunday though, so the trip back may be a bit soggy.

As for work today, I finished up some more paperwork (so-to-speak). Mainly, I redid the display board for the entrance to the UC area. As for the main display in the back, I’ve decided to leave it as it was last year. I don’t feel like changing that bit. Maybe next year, when I expand back to fill the entire UC devoted area again (Jagfest is taking part of my space this year, but only this year)!

Off to do some homework, sleep, and get that last Mac running with Quake on it (order subject to change). Till then, only three days till the show (2 1/2 actually)! 🙂