GenCon 2013 - There and Back Again

Last weekend I went to Gen Con in Indianapolis. It's one of the largest gaming conventions in North America. This year just over 49,000 people attended.

I had a really good weekend hanging with my friends and playing games. Our group all joined in together for a Flash Duel tournament. Unfortunately, we were the only people who were interested in playing it, so it was a very small tournament. We probably should have just skipped it, and played on our own. At least I got to get some people to play it who have never tried it before.

After Flash Duel, Joe and I played some Star Trek Attack Wing Mega Battles. It's a version of the new Star Trek Attack Wing with giant sized pieces. It plays very similar to Star Wars X-Wing (which I love) except there can be more than 2 sides. It ended with me running the Enterprise-D with almost nothing left, Joe running a Klingon ship with almost nothing left chasing each other around while a guy we didn't know played a Romulan ship that just picked us off. I think Joe's ship blew up before mine, but I honestly don't remember.

Saturday our group got together and played a game of Deadlands Reloaded. It was run by "Evil Mike" who is one of the official demo team people for Pinnacle Entertainment. He did a very good job of running the adventure. I've played enough Savage Worlds now to know how to play, so I didn't learn anything, but it was a fun time. 

Saturday night, Joe, Kris and I were able to get into Games on Demand to play a game of Atomic Robo run by Mike Olson who is writing the game. The game runs on the FATE system, which I've had a hard time understanding how to play until now. I would say that this was my favorite play experience of the weekend. It was a way cool game made even cooler with the creator running it, and the FATE project manager playing with us.

I did spend quite a bit of time wandering the expo hall throwing money at people. I picked up Star Trek Attack Wing (regular sized) with the Khan con exclusive. I nabbed a copy of Fate Accelerated Edition and Dread (which is an RPG played with Jenga) from the Indie Games Revolution booth. I already had FAE in PDF format, but I really wanted the physical copy, and it's only $5! I've heard about Dread quite a bit in the past, and I'm planning to play a game of it for Halloween. At the Indie Game Developer Network booth, I picked up Dungeon World, about which I've heard a lot of positive buzz. In the artist alley I was drawn(haha) to Meg Lyman, an artist who does fun little octopus art. I couldn't resist her coffee bean octopus. I also got more dice, because, you know, more dice!

There were lots of amazing costumes around as usual. Ones that stand out in my mind were the My Little Mandalorians and the Steampunk Ghostbusters. But, I don't think anything can beat this:

Okay, Now to talk about my game. I ran 7 play-test sessions and 1 quick demo of Tablets & Titans. I had nothing but positive comments and feedback. I knew that I was creating a good game, but I didn't know that it would go over as well as it did. I frequently heard people saying "This is awesome" while playing. I also had a few people use their phones to back the project while sitting at the table. There was some constructive feedback that mostly told me that I need to finish the things that I plan on doing, or gave me some good ideas for new features. I am going to attempt to have the game finished and ready to launch at Gen Con 2014 (which fits the timeline that I've outlined on the kickstarter.) I'll either have a booth of my own there, or join in another booth.

I was able to do some good networking while I was there. Spent a bit of time hanging with Adam "Ferrel" Trzonkowski and the rest of the Epic Slant crew. I showed them my game, unfortunately, we didn't get a chance for them to show me their game, Havok & Hijinks. I also talked to people about joining the IGDN, which I've now sent my application off to. I also had Kenneth Hite try to talk me into going to Metatopia. A pretty amazing moment in itself (He's a pretty big deal).

Now I'm home and I need to get back to coding away.