Gen Con Indy 2008
- Con of the North (Saint Paul): 2008
- JonCon (Minneapolis): April 4-6, 2008
- Forge Midwest (Madison): April 11-13, 2008
- Gen Con Indy (Indianapolis, IN): August 14-17, 2008
- Gamer's Reunion (Rochester, MN): September 19-21, 2008
Gen Con Indy 2008
The big one! Other Court Games at the Forge Booth.
Gen Con Aftermath
Got back in at 10:15pm last night. Phew! What a blast! Got a bunch of pictures, some video (which I'll edit together later), and a lot of things I'm all pumped up about and want to do. Met some Forge people I hadn't known, and gotten to know everyone a hell of a lot better. I got to spend my week with some of the best game designers around.
Left about 7:15am on Wed morning, and started in on the trip. Stopped in Tomah for food and coffee.
Truckstop in Tomah. Hmmmmmm.
Onwards! Rolled straight past Madison and into Illinois, pushing hard through fog, mist, and rain. I went *way* around Chicago ('cause I was worried about traffic, and navigating through all the construction and whatnot without someone next to me with a map). Gassed up, I think, in Rockford, stopped in Bloomington (IL), then blew east into Indiana, and Indianapolis.
I arrived around 5:30 (our time, 6:30 local... stupid Indiana), and called in to the booth folks. They were done setting up already, so it made more sense for me to go in with my product on Thurs morning. Meanwhile, a lot of folks were gonna go to Jillian's for the Diana Jones awards. Okay... finished moving into the hotel room.
So, not knowing the city, I decided to cab in to the Convention center. I got my badge, then wandered around downtown. I made it to the Embassy Suites, and got to meet James, an old, old friend of Mark IV's... pretty much a brother from another mother sort of thing. Then I went out into the city and wandered until I found Jillian's. Now, Jillian's is a three level establishment, with a bar/dining area 1st floor, a video game spot on 2nd floor, and bowling and pool tables on 3rd floor. I more-or-less ended up crashing the awards ceremony, and ran into some old faces from Minneapolis. Eventually found some fellow Forge-ites, and did the meet-and-greet.
Brian Wood (Hyperion Games)
Luke Crane (Burning Wheel)
I met and talked for about an hour with Justin Bow, who is over at Green Fairy Games. Fae Noir is a better known game of theirs, and Candycreeps was a new release this year. I kept running into Justin throughout the run, even outside of the booth.
Went back to the Embassy Suites and found James, and chatted until, I dunno, 1:30 am or so. Got back to the hotel and asleep around 2:30.
6 am Thursday morning came too early. I decided I was going to drive in to the city, and lucked out with an open parking ramp spot directly across from the Convention center.
Driving through the 'Hood
Did I mention how bloody early in the morning this was?
Rolled through the Convention center at about 7:00 and helped get everything arranged for opening the booth. The Convention hall opened extra-early on Thursday (for Press), hence my hellish wakeup time. Sean Patrick Fannon and Steve Wieck (both of OneBookShelf, who sell my PDF's) came by and said hello, and dropped off all of the discount cards and free PDF codes I had requested.
Unpacking boxes of product
Jason Morningstar arranging things
James Brown (2nd from left) and Fred Hicks (sitting)
I got over my newbie jitters and got into some demos, and realized that my demo was just plain going to be a struggle. It was too long, too complicated, that sort of thing. I really needed to shorten it up. In the meantime, I demoed a lot of Forge games and figured out how they worked, what went into a good demo, and tried to get a handle on what I needed to do. Went to lunch with Laa-Bot at a nearby Subway, then back to the booth. By the time the convention hall closed, I was exhausted. I went back to the hotel and crashed for 3 hours, missing Fantasy Flight's debut of the Midnight Chronicles (sorry MarkIV!).
The Booth in action
Another cool cat I want to make sure to mention is Tim Koppang, of TCK Roleplaying. I'd met him back at Forge Midwest, and just think he's a cool guy. He had Hero's Banner along for the Con.
The Fantasy Flight Games party was that night. I woke up from my "nap" and got back into town, and had a nice, enjoyable evening. Laa-Bot and DJ Fenris were the DJ's for their own company party, so it kinda felt like a night back home.
Friday was a rough day. We had a later starting time, so I got a *little* more sleep the night before, but it was still only in the 5-hour range.
Laura (???) Edwards and Jason Morningstar
My demo was still in rough shape, and I fell back to just talking to people about the game, instead of using the demo. I discovered, however, that I was a pretty good roper, so I became one of the booth face-men. Ate lunch at some kind of diner place, then back into the booth. We were really only expected to spend about half our time "working," but I decided I was just going to be as close to ever-present at the Booth as I could. Had a good conversation with one of the fellows from the Brilliant Gameologists podcast, who picked up Factions and said they'd make a mention of it. Hopefully saying nice things? He warned me that they can be brutal, so I may be in for a beat down.
Went out to eat with Ron Edwards, his wife Laura (?? AAAaah I forgot her name!), and James Brown of Blank Shield Press. Stopped off at the Edwards' hotel first, which was once a train depot... it had an actual display of train cars inside. Pretty cool.
Then off to food. It was a more upscale-ish steak place... my splurge night. Good conversation was had. Then I was off to the Embassy Suites for their open gaming tables. And there I got into a game of 3:16. This game is hugely fun. It's super simple (2 stats, anyone?) and is a funny run through Aliens, Paranoia, and Starship Troopers kind of vibes. Great con/party game. This took me into the wee hours.
3:16 Character sheet
John Harper, running our 3:16 game
Alexander Newman and Matt ?
Saturday morning came, and hit me in the head with something large and heavy. Quite tired. Got to the booth, and asked for help re-writing my demo. People came out of the woodwork to help me. Seriously, very supportive. I worked things, then hit a wall and I needed to sleep. So I drove back to the hotel, napped for an hour, then rolled back in with a fresh wind and a way to actually make the demo work. I pounded out the rest of the day and felt like I made real progress.
Brian Shomburg and Laa-Bot, at Fantasy Flight Games booth
Saturday night was dinner with Laa-Bot. We went to the Rock Bottom Brewery, which is fantastic. We wandered about town a bit.
Then we went to the White Wolf party, at the club Ice downtown. It was... well, it was okay. Really hot and sweaty, and a lot of (and I mean a LOT of) amateur clubbers. But the people watching was fun, and we ran into James (with wife Kira), and got to spend more time with them.
James and Kira
Todd (DJ Fenris) and John ?
Sunday was more relaxed. The Convention Hall closed early that day, and it wasn't so much demo-running day as it was networking day. I met a game store owner from Montreal, and chatted up the new IPR products (and a bit of my own, of course). And that was that.
Booth tear-down occurred. It went pretty smoothly, really. Said goodbyes to some folks, then went to find something to eat.
Justin Bow (left, white shirt), Tim Koppang, Laura ??? Edwards, Carl Klutzke ???, and Josh Roby (Sons of Liberty).
Went back over to Embassy Suites and ran into James and Kira again. Played a few rounds of a card game called Race for the Galaxy. Then I got in one more round of 3:16 before everyone started crashing out. Said more goodbyes... headed off to my hotel for an honest-to-god 8 hours of sleep.
Laa-Bot decided to be my co-pilot for the ride home, leaving about 11:30 am. We plunged up closer to Chicago on our return trip, and just barely dodged both downtown and rush hour.
Got some foods and coffee in Des Plains, IL, at a "Travel Oasis."
Shot back up through Madison, then made the easy hustle west across at-last familiar territory.
Rest stop in Wisconsin
We are where?
My trusty VW Jetta, racking up the miles
Nice scenery on the way home
Dropped Laa-Bot off at her car and made it home about 10:15pm. Unloaded the car, then collapsed to sleep in my own bed again.