Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Gen Con - My Itinerary (The Thursday)

So almost 2 weeks ago (really?!) I posted about the Wednesday at Gen Con.  It's now 3 weeks til we fly out to Gen Con and my excitement level increases on a daily basis.

Unfortunately it also means that I'm working harder and thus having less time to create content for the blog.

With that in mind I'm only going to commit to post a few more posts before we head off and those will be prioritised as itinerary posts with anything else (e.g. my buy list) being a bonus.

So, after having survived the Wednesday we get to the Thursday.

The day starts off a bit weird.  Having a press pass means I get into the trade hall a whole hour earlier than non-press attendees.  This is one of the key perks of getting a press pass (as well as attending all of the cool stuff on the Wednesday).

So my first scheduled "event" is the trade hall at 9am.
Having looked at the floor plan for the trade hall I'm convinced I could spend the entire convention in there and not see everything.  I expect to do a separate post on what my must haves are from that exploration of the trade hall but other than con exclusives for games I already own it's more than likely t-shirts from Offworld Designs.

But we don't want to hear about your shopping list Dave, we want to know were you'll be so we can stalk you!

Hmmm.  Ok then.  The trade hall experience takes me right up to 1pm where I attend...

Key To Con Games - This is a seminar / workshop primarily focussed on how to run games at conventions.  That's of interest to me but I also want to look at it from the con organiser perspective and understand more about why a GM chooses to run at a particular convention.

The Psychology Of Gaming - I've been interested in Psychology for a long long time.  Not so much from an academic perspective but very much from a layman point of view.  This seminar will look at profiling (to a certain extent) of what makes a gamer.  There are various interests involved in this but right not the primary one is how this can be used to expand the gaming community by tapping into the psyche of those potential gamers.

Battletech : Alpha Strike - Rampage! - As per my previous posts on Battletech I have a real interest in playing this version as much as I can.  With this being a 16 player event I fully expect it to be awesome!

Dark Dungeons : World Premier - Ok so if you don't know anything about Dark Dungeons then go to THIS WEBSITE before you continue.  Done?  Trust you've come away from that without any emotional scarring and still feeling of sound mind.  Ok to continue?  Good.  So this film is not making fun or light of the source material but I fully expect it to be an interesting and entertaining experience...  I'll leave it at that...

Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns Documentary - Probably the first event that I'm not convinced I'll actually take part in.  I'm a huge fan of the book which was what attracted me to the event but I might take the opportunity to do something else depending on how the Thursday goes.

Defiance in Phlan - It's D&D!  This is an optional event for me (it's at 11pm) and I have another slot for this on the Friday.  I could easily play this twice but again as with the Frank Miller event I could also skip this and do something else.  The event is not fully booked (44 spaces currently) so I know I'm not causing any serious ramifications if it stays like that.

That's another pretty jam packed day full of awesome gaming goodness and cerebral content (for future blog posts more likely).  There is the option to continue playing through the night (specifically in things like Magic: The Gathering Booster Drafts at 3am if I wanted but I suspect I'll be in need of sleep!

So that's Wednesday and Thursday done. What's next? Well Friday of course (which should hopefully be in the next couple of days!).

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Gen Con - My Itinerary (The Wednesday)

Not that I'm encouraging any would be stalkers or anything but...

With Gen Con less than 5 weeks away (how did that happen?!!??) the event booking system has gone into lock down with respect to returning tickets so my itinerary is pretty much as done as it can be.

So, what exciting geekery will I be partaking in whilst at Gen Con Indy 2014?  Lots.

We arrive on the Tuesday early evening in Indianapolis which gives us time to settle into our apartment (a mere 3 blocks away from the convention) and have a wander around the area and getting ready for the days that follow.

The Wednesday is essentially a warm up day for the main event but because I have been granted a press pass (?!?!) I will be attending a number of the Trade events on the Wednesday.

Trade events?  Yep, trade events.  These are primarily focussed on retailers and industry professionals of various forms.  Press passers can attend these events too and I've jumped at the chance to do so.

A number of the events I'm going to on the Wednesday are focussed on community building and such like.  This is obviously a tip of the hat to what we're doing at East Neuk Tabletop Games but it's also a passion of mine in general so I'm hoping to learn lots of new things that will aid me in promoting the hobby as a whole.
Some of the events are Retailer focussed.  This is partly curiosity with my ex-retailer hat on but is also because I know a lot of what will be shared with the Retailer community will easily translate into community building in general.

So my Wednesday Itinerary looks something like this.

Every School Should Have a Games Club - Something that doesn't really seem to translate that well in the UK with the exception of some of the outreach that companies like Games Workshop and the Gaming Community Network have done over the years.  I'm keen to understand how that differs in the USA and how translatable that is to the UK.

Libraries, Students, and Games - Similar to the school seminar I presume and again the library system is very different between the UK and the USA.  Who knows maybe I'll be able to encourage my brother into doing something like this at the library he works at...

Grow Your Business through Marketing and Community Involvement - Retailer focussed seminar by Wizards Of The Coast.  Needless to say I'm very interested in how WotC pitch this especially as I attending WotC retailer presentations when I had KoA.

DOOMTOWN: Reloaded - Alderac's glorious new (old) card game being promoted to Retailers to help them build a community and market for the game.  Same thoughts as with the WotC one above.

Using Games to Build Community - This one should be self explanatory but it's actually Retailer focussed.  I think the key learning here will be about how they cover outreach in general as a lot of that should be transferable to clubs and similar groups.

Gen Con Kick Off Show with "Food Trucks, Beer Garden, Five Year Mission" - Ok so this isn't really an event in the sense it's not really scheduled.  Food trucks are an alien concept to me other than the "ice cream van" and the "greasy spoon van" but apparently the food trucks at Gen Con are amazing so I look forward to experiencing that.  The Beer Garden should have the official Sun King Brewery beer of Gen Con called "The Froth Of Khan!".  It would be rude not to try it...

Diana Jones Award Show - An oddity of an event but one that I've followed for a number of years.  Last year it was won by Wil Wheaton and the Tabletop team (mostly notably Boyan Radakovich).  Thanks to the amazing Matt Forbeck I'm on the press list for the event so expect some form of coverage of that!!!  Evil Hat will be getting my vote purely for their production of the Atomic Robo RPG.

So yeah, that's pretty jam packed really.  Plenty to see and do and hopefully plenty to reflect upon and create content for the blog too.

That's Wednesday, what about the other days...  Well that's coming in the next post(s).