Official JagFest '99 Report
By: Carl Forhan
I'm pleased to say that JagFest '99, held in Rochester, MN, was a wonderful success. I'm proud and very happy to have been those host for this year's 'fest, as I was able to supply a lot of things Jaguar and Lynx fans were looking for.
On the Lynx front, Ponx was a hit with several attendees (and thanks for those purchases! ;-) ), and I know every Lynx fan there had a blast doing comlynx Checkered Flag (5 people), Raiden (2 people), and other games like Slime World, Cal. Games, and Xenophobe.
We demoed some cool recent and upcoming games like SIMIS, Sokomania, and Hyperdrome (not sure if anyone actually fired up the latter).
On the much anticipated Jaguar front... many tournaments were held, and people definitely "showed their stuff" on games like Breakout 2000, Tempest 2000, and Zero 5 (all I can say is. "Wow, Clay"). NBA Jam rocked the house more than once, and other games like Ultra Vortek and Doom saw play time as well.
We hoped to do a functional Voice Modem demo, but time slipped away from us. Maybe next year, guys. :-) Lots of other rare hardware was on display -- Jag Stereo adapter, Alpine boards, weird controllers, a Lynx dev kit, and more.
Scott unfortunately could not get the latest Assassin demo to work. Native didn't work out, either.
Protector was I think a surprise hit. People expected a straight Defender clone, but really enjoyed the new enemies and powerups and overall gameplay.
BattleSphere was of course immensely popular, and the networking was very solid. Hats off to 4Play on this marvelous game that we all look forward to owning one day.
Skyhammer was the "special announcement" game presented by Songbird Productions at about 5-6pm during the event. All the Jaguar fans I spoke with were excited to see how well the game played, the solid frame rate, and the attractive graphics. Not to mention the intricate gameplay centering around a series of nonlinear missions. A second play mode is included in this game, called "Battle" mode, where you have to fight off wave after wave of enemies (maybe they should have named this mode 'Gauntlet' ;-) ). Very fun game, and enjoyed by all.
The most disappointing aspect of the event, as one might imagine, was what I'll call mediocre attendance. About 10 of the people on my online "attendees" list were no-shows, including Terance Williams, who we were all hoping could provide an update on Gorf 2000. Fred, Randy, Jason S., Robin, and more also didn't show up (or at least I didn't get to meet them if they did...) Sorry you guys couldn't make it, it would have been great to meet you. Raven Video Games did not make it down from the Twin Cities due to a co-worker calling in sick that day.
Having said all that, I am happy to announce that attendance was probably better than even JagFest attendees realize. I sold 45 tickets to the event (adult and child combined), and another 25 people that were friends, family, and fellow church-goers also showed up (at no cost to them) to either help out at the ticket table, see my crazy video game hobby in action, etc. :-) That brings our grand total to 70 PEOPLE for JagFest '99!
I know with a little more work and regional promotion, we could make it an even bigger event next year.
Thanks to everyone who helped make it a success, and especially to the folks who traveled the furthest -- Kevin and Katie, Clay and Michelle, Brian and his father, and everyone else!
Songbird Productions was pleased to be the official host of JagFest '99.