Jon Vandergriff is ironically enough the exceedingly polite, friendly creator of the game Anger Management. He was also a writer and producer on “Home Improvement” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”. He waited until after the interview to reveal his TV credits, but then again this was at the GAMA Trade Show, so talking about games seemed pretty appropriate.
Anger Management and Flip Your Chip
CG: So I’m here with Jon Vandergriff and so far GAMA Trade Show has exceeded your expectations.
JV: Yeah, I didn’t know how many retailers that did party games to expect at this show and I have a general family party game. In the first two hours [of exhibiting], I’ve already talkedd to 5 or 6 people that not only do family games, but they’re really interested in this game because it appeals to a wide range, it’s 8 and up and a lot of people can play and it’s a very personalized game.
CG: And you’re an exhibitor this year .
JV: I am an exhibitor this year.
CG: And this is also your first year?
JV: This is my first year at GAMA. This is also my first year with this game. I’m still in the prototype stage and I expect to have my inventory at the end of May or beginning of June.
CG: And who’s releasing the other game?
JV: Endless Games. They are a well-established mid-major games publisher. That came is called Anger Management and they did a great job of selling it at Toy Fair and it will make its debut nationally at Barnes & Noble starting in June.
CG: Which is very exciting for you.
JV: You think? Very exciting, yeah. They did a great job selling that game. They’re a company, one of their partners was responsible for bringing Trivial Pursuit into the United States and he also discovered Pictionary, so they really know what they’re doing and they have a lot of pull in the business. I’m excited about what they’re doing with my game.
Expectations Exceeded by GAMA Trade Show
CG: You had maybe some concerns, because you’re more of a social party game creator about where you would fit in at the show-
JV: Exactly. My perception of the show is that it’s heavily tilted towards role-playing, fantasy, collectible cards, and there is a lot of it here and certainly the big players are here and they are doing a lot of the demos and stuff for the buyers. The show itself though has been everything and more than I expected. I think the seminars have been fantastic. I’m here to learn about the business as well as to exhibit my game. And my expectations were that if I could show my game to a few people and gauge the interest and, you know, get some more leads that would be great. As I said, in the first two hours I’ve already exceeded that.
CG: Which of the seminars has been especially interesting to you?
JV: Well one of the things that’s relatively new to me and I think it’s new to a lot people are these QR codes and I had made the decision to put a QR code on my box, my packaging without reallyknowing what it was. There was a seminar on QR codes here. I now know what it’s about. I know how to use it. I’m actually going to be able to make a change to my packaging before I print that allows me to use that QR code even better.
CG: And do you have a third game on the way? Been playing around with some ideas?
JV: Well, I already have ideas for a follow-up to Flip Your Chip, if this succeeds. I’ve got some spin-off ideas and I’m in the early stages of a brand new game that I’m still gluing card together and making my little homemade board. I haven’t shown it to anyone and I haven’t even exposed the idea. It’s a fifty-fifty. I don’t know about that one.
CG: Great. Well, thank you!