As much as I would like to sit here and write-up a 1000 word post for each day of Gen Con (like I had planned before the storm fried my DSL modem) I know that the time has passed and people are on to the future instead of dwelling on the convention past. I figured I would take this time to discuss some of the games I demoed and some that I bought. A few of my Gen Con favorite moments and a few regrets that I have after it is finished. Before Gen Con arrived I had the biggest plans and highest hopes. I spent lots of time building up our Facebook page and put tweets out asking for interviews. I had a list made up and thought I was organized. I thought… As Thursday progressed I hit a few of the items on my TTDL but the event hall was mesmerizing. I found myself walking the isles over and over again seeing new wonders with every pass. I can’t explain my OCD with the event hall but in retrospect I did the same thing last year. My grand plans slipped through the cracks after finding out my home internet was out and it left me unable to access many notes and the ability to update this website.
Regardless I pressed on into Friday and started to really enjoy the progression of the Balloon Dragon and the Cardhalla pit that were growing with every moment. Unlike last year I knew there was more events and interests in the hallways upstairs but I wasn’t sure what all was really going on up there so I spent the majority of my time in the event hall and main hallway.
One thing happening upstairs was the play testing room and I really enjoyed seeing the independent game designers working out the kinks in their products. Actually one of GreymatterSplat’s relatives (brother-in-law I do believe) was there showing off the 3 games they designed for their game company LM Studios. I even got a t-shirt for sitting down and checking the games out. They have a page on Kickstarter right now and you all should go check it out and help an indie out with their goal. And ultimately the biggest thing about hanging out in the play test room was that it made a light bulb go off in my head and GreymatterSplat and myself came up with a wonderful idea that we will be sharing with the world soon enough.
You could really feel the atmosphere at Gen Con thickening up on Friday and the tournaments in the game hall really kicked into gear. The latter brackets started to narrow down and I have never in my life seen so many people playing Magic the Gathering (MTG) at once. It was really impressive and even more impressive was the finals are they had set up with high-end cameras on long armed booms to capture all the game play. I am a MTG player but my experience has been primarily online starting with it in Xbox Live then on to Wizards actual site. It is not a game for the poor nor is it for everyone but I love it. Interestingly enough they had an area set up with like 16 computers for online tournaments. I ALMOST signed up but I knew I would have a hard time taking time away from everything else going on if I actually made it out of the first round.
Other notable things about Friday was I met up with a couple of my long time Twitter followers from Tennessee. I guess they had seen my tweets about going to Gen Con and loaded up the car and headed up here on Thursday morning. Interesting enough @JunkMailCritter was dress up like Casey Jones from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and everyone kept calling her Jason (even me at first look.) Her and husband @HollywoodSlinky and @GreyMatterSplat and myself all headed out to lunch at the Noodle Company and enjoyed trading nerdy stories. It is funny how many different nerd categories there are and we all seen to have our specialties in different areas. One thing we all had in common was a love for Rocky Horror Picture Show and that seems to be a common things with everyone I meet. They were the 2nd and 3rd Twitter followers out of 6,000 I have met. 5,997 left to go.
Saturday at Gen Con was all out cosplay craziness. There was so many amazing things to look at that you couldn’t turn around without saying wow. I took 600 pictures in very little time since @GreyMatterSplat and I spent the morning waiting to try out D&D Next. @GreyMatterSplat had tried for two days to get into this game and finally we got in after waiting 2-3 hours in line. The organization of the play test was poor and I would have rather been handed a pre-made character and spent more time playing the game than spending 45 minutes poorly making a dude and 30 minutes rushing through the play. I am interested in trying it out with a group of friends when it hits the shelves.
Speaking of cosplay there was supposed to have been a costume contest and parade but I never saw either of these. This goes back to the lack of notification and signage of events I bitched about in an earlier post. I am sure these events took place but I never caught a glimpse of either of them. Regardless I didn’t need to see a winner because they were all winners in my book for having the guts to put the costume and makeup on and showing up! Also don’t forget to check out the galleries from Gen Con. They are FULL of these cosplayers that I am talking about along with some of the amazing vendor setups and hand painted miniatures.
Saturday was really an amazing day of wonders and sacrifices. It just so happened to be my sons 3rd birthday and I spent the majority of it at Gen Con (with mommies permission of course.) One thing I did do that made it a little better being absent on the big #3 was picking up a Hob Goblin hand crafted stuffed animal from the Goblin Road booth. I also picked up a set of horns because my mohawk didn’t make me stand out enough already. Hob Goblin was a huge hit with the boy and we named him Bob Goblin!
Sunday was a kicked back and much more relaxed day. I spent my time checking things out one last time and taking pictures of the amazing miniatures that were on display. Many of the miniatures were painted at the show part of different contests. Deuce showed up in full dress (a whole day late ) but it was all in fun. After the convention hall closed down we headed over to Hooters for a bit different kind of cosplay and hot wings. As we were sitting there I got a tweet about doing a recap podcast with 3 Married Geeks and Medium Bus up at the top floor of Circle Center Mall at Tilt video arcade. It was awesome doing a round table with those guys and we look forward to working with them again.
So after a 1,000 words in this post I have yet to talk about the games I demoed and what titles I picked up. I figured it is easiest to just do them in list form and link to their pages when I can.
Upper Deck - Marvel Super Hero Squad and I picked up 3 decks.
Upper Deck-Marvel Deck Building Game- couldn’t buy it since it isn’t available till November but I loved it. It was probably the best game I demoed at Gen Con and really clever with the game play. The learning curve for me was 3 turns and I ended up winning the game against 2 others that “forced” their way into the demo which ticked me off. This was a really fun game and unlike 99% of the other games out there this one is playable 1-6. Yup you can go at this card game solo style and have fun playing with yourself!
D&D Next- This was a play test so of course I couldn’t buy it. It was fun but I didn’t feel like we got enough time to really see the differences between this and D&D 4th. It was fun though!
Soda Pop Miniatures- Super Dungeon Explorer was cool and fun but it costed $99 which was WAY TO MUCH for a game I would have to beg others to play with me. It would take a couple of games to get others to understand how to play and the strategy. I met the creator of this game and he was passionate about his design but I just couldn’t drop that much money on a box that would sit on my self unplayed. And go figure t is 25% cheaper to buy from Amazon.
Magic the Gathering- I spent more money on this than some people make in a week.
I also tried out multiple other titles but these were the ones that stood out most to me. I could go on and on but as it is very few people will make it to the end of this post and it is time to start making plans for the next show.