The Gathering of Friends
Every year I attend the Gathering of Friends. It's an invitation only board game convention started by Alan Moon, designer of Ticket to Ride and a million other games. I get to play games and talk to designers from all over the world, and I get to try out prototypes of new games coming out soon. My favorite by far was Path of Civilization. A civilization building game starting from the stone age and working up to modern times. Plays in about two hours. Just about all the gameplay is simultaneous, with a really clever tiebreaking system in case two people want to buy the same card at the same time. Expect this on our shelves around October / November time.
The other prototype game I fell in love with is a cooperative version of Texas Hold 'Em. This is a fairly simple idea that grabbed me like no other coop game ever has, and it's been living rent free in my head for the last week. Now I'm at the GAMA trade show, where again I get to see all the awesome new games coming soon! Look for me to spend another ridiculous amount of money on dice, but also stay tuned for any other products I get super excited about!