I had the pleasure of going to Gen Con this year.
Edit: Something is going wrong with the images so I have pulled them and I will republish with the pictures once I know what is going wrong.
Edit: Images fixed
I was volunteering at the tNook booth but I managed to escape the booth and spend a good deal of time and money on the exhibition floor.
Some of my favorite places to visit:
The IPR (Indie Press Revolution) booth. I purchased both Spirit of the Century and The Burning Wheel. I got to speak with Greg Porter about EABA and I got to meet Ben Seth Ezra and ton of others.
I also got to meet a young lady named Julia. Julia Bond Ellingboe write a new game called "Steal Away Jordan". Based on slaves and slavery it is a well written and well done book from all I have been able to see. It might be a bit scary to actually play the game but discovering some of the scarier bits of a life of slavery might not be a bad thing for a middle aged white Canadian. I never got to play the game with Julia as I had hoped to but I hope that this one is a big success for her and that she keeps writing new games.
I also got to meet Rob Donoghue, Fred Hicks, and Lenny Balsera and each of them offered to run a demo of "Spirit of the Century" with me. My biggest regret of the Con was not playing with them. Maybe next year. Each were really great and were good enough to sign my new hard cover. Lenny even asked me to bear his children.
I also got to meet Luke Crane he was demoing Burning Wheel and I got to watch a demo and got to talk to him a bit about the game. He also signed my burning wheel.
I seemed to visit the IPR booth everyday except Sunday. Sunday was the UDE volenteer meeting - more on that in another post.
I also spent some time watching a demo of Fudge by Ann Dupuis. Ann has done more for FUDGE over the years than maybe any other publisher.
I also got to see a lot of pretty cool new toys. UDE had the next raid and expansion set on display. One of the biggest surprises is that the booster packs will go from 15 to 19 cards with the Legion expansion. The UDE booth had a quest challenge with 8 questions and if you were one of the top 50 to complete 5 of the 8 questions you got a Fires of Outland playmat. Since tNook had 5 of the 8 answers in the WoW card database so it was pretty easy for me to complete the quests.
UDE also has BIG plans for VS with the release of a Galactus deck that is designed to be battled like a raid deck in WoW. I am learning to play VS just so I can play against the Galactus decks.
Wizkids had a bunch of really cool things on display including the Halo Action Clix Scarab vehicle. They had the Fin Fang Foom again for sale and it is a really nice looking giant size piece. I can't wait to take a team against him to see if we can tame the dragon.
Blizzard had the new expansion available for people to try and it was almost always packed to the rafters in the Blizzard booth. I got to watch for a bit but did not get to play. They also had Starcraft II and it looks completely awesome. I wish my PC was even close to playing that game.
One surprise was a game called the continuum. I took a quick look at it but later on Sunday both myself and Troy went and got to play in a demo. It looks really cool. It is not a splashy game but the tactics and strategy of the game will keep me interested. I spent close to a half hour playing the demo and it was a lot of fun. I didn't know it at the time but the guy stepping me through the demo was the CEO of the company.
I think some of the most fun came in the tNook booth. After I had purchased Spirit of the Century I put it out on the table and several people stopped to talk about the game or ask about it. Especially after it had won an Ennie award. We got to meet a lot of really great people. Some people would stop by a second or third time to ask more questions or because they had an idea about something else. Now I am in contact with some of those same people as I build new tNooks, which is totally cool - more on that in another post too.
To cap off the weekend I me a young man named Alex at the Indianapolis airport. He had gotten several loot bags at Gen Con and each bag contained a World of Warcraft starter deck. Along with Troy I was able to teach him the basics of the game and coach him in a game against Troy. I hope Alex keeps playing and had as much fun as I did.
The Con really sparked in me a new desire to roleplay on a regular basis again so I hope to have an online game of Spirit of the Century or Burning Wheel up and running in the near future as time allows.