Friday, August 5, 2011

Gen Con Day One Report

Day one was a whirlwind, but a lot of fun!  Our hotel is the closest we've been to the convention center, but still not quite as central as I'd like.  We have a skywalk, but it's actually faster to walk outside.  There is a Friday's in the hotel, which is nice--we can come right downstairs to get reasonably priced, good food.  We ate there twice yesterday because we were just too tired to walk all the way into town (that, and two of my roommates had imbibed a bit too much.). But both times we had cool wait staff, so that was nice.

Got into the Dealer's room an hour early due to my librarian/educator badge; that was cool, getting to walk around a bit without it being packed with people. The stampede into the room when the gates opened wasn't as impressive as I'd hoped--I always had this bizarre vision in my head of all the vendors yelling "HERE THEY COME!  TAKE COVER!" and diving behind their booths.  That didn't happen. 

The dealer's room is moved this year as well.  They have completed construction on the convention center, and it's literally about three times the size it was.  You can walk for blocks, just inside the convention center. The dealer's hall is now located in the new area. 

The lines this year for people to pick up badges and such are completely ridiculous. I've never, ever seen them this bad.  I can't even describe them if you haven't been here, but if you have, they stretch from the Will Call/Registration area all the way back past the old dealer's hall, and actually wrap around at the door. I'm not sure if Gen Con really screwed something up this year, or if it suddenly got that much bigger.  I'd like to hope it's the latter because if so that's a great sign for the industry.

So I walked around the dealer's hall, stopped and exchanged some chit chat with the guys at Troll Lord.  Steve wants an adventure module ready to go for Amazing Adventures as soon as the game is released, and a sourcebook soon thereafter. We discussed a steampunk sourcebook for it, as well as a potential crossover module that can be used with AA or C&C.  I also picked up the new Savage Worlds Deluxe edition and the new sourcebook for the Solomon Kane RPG.  There's some really cool stuff down there for Shadowrun as well, but I am trying to curtail my spending a bit this year.  In fact, I find myself very often picking up books that I intend to buy, then saying to myself, "You know, I don't really need this..." and putting it back down.  And while that's good for my finances, from an inner child standpoint, it sucks that I'm starting to think that way.

I also stopped by the DriveThru RPG booth, who are selling and repping Eden Studios' products this year, and said "hi" to Matt, who invited me to hang out at some point this weekend to do some book signings.  I'm more than happy to oblige.

So that was nice--made this con a bit more productive for me getting to talk business.  Then, at 2:00 we had the True Dungeon event.  My overall impression?  It was really neat as an experience, but I'm not sure it was $38, neat.  Jon, Taej, Rico and I did a podcast for Rico's Play Unplugged website in which we break down our expectations before the event, and our reactions after.  My guess is it'll probably be about a 20-minute podcast when it goes live sometime this morning.  If you are not familiar with Play Unplugged, you should definitely take time to check it out--it's a news and reviews site for all forms of traditional (read: non-computer) gaming.  Very up and coming, and very cool.  Yours truly will be writing some reviews for it in the coming months.

After the True Dungeon we headed back to the dealer's room; Rico and Taej did another circuit and I stopped by to say hey to the Trolls again.  After that it was back to the hotel room, where we did the follow-up podcast, drank some...drinks...and eventually headed to Friday's for a late supper.  Then it was off to bed.

And now, dear Indy, I'm prepping for Day 2!  More later.

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