Hamsterprophecy: Prevision

It\’s All About Pen, Paper and People.

Gen Con AughtSeven

Posted by Nathan P. on August 24, 2007

I had a really good time at Gen Con. I’m also doing a lot of thinking as a result of it, which is always good.

I promised some pictures – unfortunately, I lost my stone-age digicam half-way through the con (which is good, cuz I need an excuse to get a new one, but is bad, cuz I had some great pics on there), and my cell phone pix aren’t apparentely ready to come through the intertubes yet. So, there will be some pictures, but not quite yet.

I started doing this by day, but my brain is mush and it all runs together anyway. So, in very rough chronological order, bullet points

  • I broke my (two-convention) streak, and didn’t meet anyone in the airport that I knew. Lame!
  • We need better logistics at the booth – not to blame anyone, cuz we’re all volunteers, but we did a lot of waiting when we could have been doing a lot of setting up. That said, the load in went smoothly, ‘specially cuz Bill and myself had Origins to train us on the equipment.
  • The Diana Jones Awards, while fun with the free drinks and the….attentive…wait staff, was a little underwhelming. Maybe cuz I didn’t care about any of the three things up for it, maybe cuz there was little AC and little loudspeakering, maybe cuz I was exhausted, but I really wanted to have more fun there. Oh well, maybe next year?
  • Seeing people is fantastic! You are all my friends that live in different places that I only see a couple days a year, but its totally worth it.
  • I particularly enjoyed spending time with people that I kinda knew, and developing those relationships more. Kevin, Jason, Steve, Eric, Brennan, Bill, Krista, Paul, Danielle, Clint, Matt, Justin, Gregor, Julia, Ron, and I’m sure there’s some I’m forgetting – thank you for spending time, meals and games with me. This isn’t to say I didn’t really enjoy gaming, chilling with, meeting or bullshitting with the rest of you people, I just don’t remember your names at the moment!
  • The dealers hall was much more manageable, probably a combination of me having experienced it before and it actually being a little less crowded this year. The Forge booth had plenty of space, and even with the increased electronic games presence, there was still a lot of unused space – like, the Segway challenge was in the dealers hall. Wierd!
  • Free loaves of bread from the mall food court. A Dro sandwich ensued.
  • Going to a sleazy underground bar with Kevin in pursuit of his spy game goal, and watching him win 100,000 in two hands of blackjack. I felt like a superspy, and I wasn’t even the one kidnapped. Unfortunately, we never did find the final clue, and Kevin failed to save the world.
  • Going way off the beaten path with Kevin and Jason and Eric to relax and eat and have a great chat. Indianapolis has some hella cool buildings, and the extra 15 minutes of walking were totally worth it to get out of the con zone.
  • Hatching secret plans & ideas for a booth next year.
  • The booth was rocking, but exhausting. I was doing double-duty as IPR rep and Forge booth participant, and even though they were in the same physical location, I really couldn’t muster the energy to do well by the booth. I didn’t end up running a single demo of carry (though others did, thanks Ron!). I did run Primitive (which got recorded by Canon Puncture) and a couple of InSpectres demos, all of which were fun. I like running demos for other peoples games way better than my own, I’ve come to realize.
  • Morning conversations with Krista, Brennan and Bill as we all got around and on the way to the dealers hall. These always put me in a good mood, and we had some really interesting talks in that hour or so every morning, not to mention some hilarious moments (f’rex, “Dude, I’ll punch you right in the sleep-hole”).
  • Getting lost EVERY NIGHT getting back to my hotel. I’m glad I had a map. My brain is not built for directions.
  • My hotel was neat! There was a train in it, and ghost people! I wanted to play Drifter’s Escape sitting between the train cars!
  • Playtested Darkpages twice. The first was an incredible lineup of players (I ran it for Jared and Jason, the authors; Thor, the editor; Dave Turner and Mike Mearls, who have been following the games development for awhile, as I understand it), and was an incredibly productive playtest, I thought. I can’t wait for the game to take a final shape. The second was much more abbreviated (with Kevin and Alexander), but demonstrated that the previous playtest had pointed the game in a good direction.
  • Played Roanoke. It was fun, but our story gamer brain damage got in the way. Kevin was hard on himself about not running it well; I think we had some expectation/execution dissonance in play that contributed, and I kinda went off in a weird direction with my character. Nevertheless, it was a good time for me, and I would play a game with those guys (Kevin, Clint, Jason, Eric, Matt Snyder) in a heartbeat.
  • Playtested Acts of Evil, kind of. Well, we did, but we didn’t get through too much of the game. But what we did get through….this game is awesome, in the most literal sense. No less than three times I sat back at the table, staring into space and going “Holy crap, Paul. That is BRILLIANT and disturbing.” – about game mechanics. Oh yes. Oh yes.
  • I am so incredibly glad that I stayed until Monday. Sunday evening dinner and gaming after the pressure of the BIG SHOW is off was really great, and I don’t want to ever miss it again if I don’t absolutely have too.
  • Ron and Jason and Julia and myself had an interesting conversation about our games. A subject for another time, but…there’s something interesting happening in game design, and while I’m not sure that it’s a big ol’ deal, there are some fascinating implications to some of these games that are happening right now.
  • I saw a lot of great costumes, and it’s really sad that I lost my camera for that reason alone.

So, in short, good times. Very good times.


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