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GenCon Wrap-up

Sometime in between last year's GenCon and prior to preparations for this one, I wasn't certain I was going to come back… I'd had a good time and all, but it didn't quite seem worth the troubles I experienced. This time around was a stark difference… I had an unbelievably good time here this year.

I think the main contributions to this was: 1. knowing more people this time around, 2. being a little more familiar with the area, and 3. being in a much better rooming situation.

I met a ton of new people last year, and those relationships have significantly developed in the time since. Having excellent people to spend time with (especially those you don't get to see often) makes everything nicer. Being more familiar with a physical space, even one as large as the convention area of Indianapolis, improves comfort levels by a lot. And finally, this time I stayed with awesome roommates I already knew, had my own room key, slept in a bed, in a room that wasn't climate-controlled with the intent to freeze the con-funk out of the room. It really makes a difference!

In total, I ended up running seven games over the weekend: Two games of Bulldogs! two games of Hyperreality, Kingdom of Nothing, Shelter in Place, and Fiasco. I also finally caught a game of Night's Black Agents that had been hacked to do Assassin's Creed and a jeepform larp called “The Tribunal.” I'm still being encouraged to catch up with some of the big GenCon events like True Dungeon, but I'm not there for the spectacle. It's a reunion where friends catch up and spend quality, even if only for a half-hour over the course of five days.

I'm home now and am plotting how to fend off the post-con-blues. The plan so far is to make new things to share for next time we get together. I hope all my friends will do the same, because I'm excited as hell for the things you're all doing and I can't wait to hear all about them. Until then…

 

August 20, 2012   1 Comment

GenCon – Day 1

After a flight delay due to lack of a pilot, I arrived in Indy with just enough time to collect some character sheets and badge before finding a quick drink with my dear friend (and author of Leaving Mundania) Lizzie Stark and running a game of Bulldogs! that somehow started in a Tetsuashan strip club (and featured the drink called an “Urseminite Sunrise”). Crazy good times!

 

I then made my way over to the Games on Demand room where I watched the end of a DungeonWorld game that sounded like an awesome time. Then ended up at a local fratty/karaoke joint that was a dead ringer for a trashy Jersey bar (Bon Jovi on Karaoke anyone?) and the waitresses were dressed in various nerd costumes. Lizzie, Travis and I had some conversation with an Uhura and Lara Croft while sipping our bourbon, whiskey, and tequila respectively outside where thankfully we couldn't quite hear the horrendous karaoke vocalizations. Whew.

 

Now it's 2:00am and I'm headed off for the night, looking forward to a full day tomorrow, featuring at very least: Bulldogs, The Tribunal, Games on Demand, and a tour of the vendor floor. Sleep well (at some point) fellow con-goers!

 

August 17, 2012   Comments Off

Dexcon Update

I had a really great Dexcon this year, trying lots of new (and old) games, and for the first time ever selling real product! This year I also tried a really solid mix of types of games, rather than leaning heavily on a single style. I partly attribute that to my Wednesday through Sunday attendance which meant I had lots of time to check out games.

On Wednesday, I arrived fairly late – which meant mostly hanging out with other early arrivals, and attending Lizzie Stark's talk about her book Leaving Mundania, which is a title Brooklyn Indie Games will be carrying soon.

The total list of games I actively played/GMed/Observed is pretty big: Let the World Burn, Art of Power, Psi*Run, Kingdom of Nothing, The Upgrade, Hyperreality, Doughnuts & Dragons, Project Ninja Panda Taco, Ghost Pirates, Bulldogs! Larp.

My highlights specifically include “Art of Power,” which is a political intrigue game set in a matriarchal feudal society. This latter part by itself made the game particularly fascinating. I grabbed the character sheet with a sword figuring prominently in the character art and discovered that I had selected HonorĂ©te, the High Priestess to the Goddess of War. A few relationships and goals later, and we had our intrigue ready to go. I'm pretty confident that this was my favorite new game that I played this weekend, and I'm very much looking forward to the finished version. If you get a chance to play, take it.

Project Ninja Panda Taco has had a lot of the rough sections ironed out of it since I had last seen it. She has received a lot of very smart advice along the way which has helped shape it into the awesome game I watched. It's still in it's Kickstarter phase with about 10 days to go. Rumor has it there's a recruitment drive, and if you mention me when you pledge $30 for a book, there might be some very special bonuses. So definitely go do that. Project Ninja Panda Taco, on Kickstarter.

I felt like I was showing Ghost Pirates constantly. It's the first con where I've had real copies available, and I ran a two hour slot that ended up taking four hours. I feel really good about the showing, and definitely sold several copies. I'm very excited for the results of GenCon where Game Salute will have it available for the huge numbers of people that attend.

Hyperrealilty also showed well Saturday night. Details of the game are by no means fit for polite company, but I am happy to say that we all laughed incredibly hard for almost the entire four hour timeslot. It's still got some rough spots, but I am overall very happy with the way the system is developing. And Sunday morning, after a very long night and short nap, I caught up with the end of John Adamus' Writer's Workshop, where I ended up responding to questions as a “game professional.” It's true I suppose, I have created several games, published one so far, and am successfully building a business around something I love to do. It's been an adventure – beginning designing games, starting a podcast, creating a business, and then succeeding and being recognized as something of an authority in the area. As far as I'm concerned, I'm still learning here. I think most of us are. So if you want, come join us.

 

July 10, 2012   Comments Off