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Gencon turns 50 this year.

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Posts

  • KetarKetar Lacks the basic intelligence required for pretty much everythingRegistered User regular
    JonBob wrote: »
    It was great meeting you today, @Ketar!

    Indeed, very nice meeting you. My Massive Darkness demo ran until 6:30, so I'll stop back tomorrow to make a purchase.

    Thanks again for the stroopwafels :D

    Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface - far beneath, in some cases - but I'm sure there's more to Ketar than meets the eye!
  • BucketmanBucketman Dyslexic Puppy Skraggle RockRegistered User regular
    I didn't get to go this year, but next year, next year the fiancee and I and our best friends are going to hit this up. I went a few years back and its a blast and I only live 2 hours away.

    I keep seeing photos and stuff from this year and I'm getting hella jealous

  • BucketmanBucketman Dyslexic Puppy Skraggle RockRegistered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Man. Cardhalla is much smaller this year than the last time I was here. You can really feel the absence of magic tournaments... And it also makes me wonder just how much useless paper lands are in landfills.

    Wait did magic move their tourneys from GenCon? I always thought that was a big draw (no pun intended)

  • WingedWeaselWingedWeasel Registered User regular
    edited August 20
    Bucketman wrote: »
    Athenor wrote: »
    Man. Cardhalla is much smaller this year than the last time I was here. You can really feel the absence of magic tournaments... And it also makes me wonder just how much useless paper lands are in landfills.

    Wait did magic move their tourneys from GenCon? I always thought that was a big draw (no pun intended)

    I know it was scaled back last year. I think wotc pulled their official presence then. Pastimes was/is there running events so I assume there are some tournaments, so it may just be quantity. Cardhalla has filled out some since friday

    WingedWeasel on
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    I had many magical and wonderful moments at Gen Con 50. There are just way too many games to play, and that's a good thing! I haven't been to Gen Con since 2012, so it was good to be back.

    Some memories, in no particular order:
    * The running of the bulls at the beginning. I have body cam footage of this!
    * They Might Be Giants concert was fantastic.
    * On one of the late shuttle buses back to the parking lot, our entire bus sang along to Bohemian Rhapsody.
    * Both True Dungeon runs were great this year! We had good groups, and the puzzles weren't too difficult for us (but we run True Dungeon often).
    * So much Shadowrun. Our first GM wasn't great, but the Shadowrun games improved as we went along. The final Shadowrun was "The Final Countdown" (they were playing "The Final Countdown" by Europe when we entered the room), which was the ending of a long multi-year Chicago campaign, culminating in an epic battle where nearly all of my party (including myself) died. Our two deckers lived to tell the tale, though, and they spread it far and wide.
    * I bought Century: Spice Road almost immediately after trying the demo.
    * Meeting an old friend from undergrad (I haven't seen her in 16 years!) and meeting forumers for the first time IRL.
    * I also participated in all three "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" events, which all were entertaining and full of laughs.
    * Completing my punch card for Greater Than Games and getting a bunch of Pinny Arcade pins and other promos.

    There are some other, more personal, memories that are mostly inside jokes with my friends. I had so little downtime during this entire trip. It felt like I was constantly playing games or walking to more games or riding a shuttle bus or being entertained in some way. I was running on 3-5 hours of sleep per day. I think I packed more fun into this Gen Con than any prior year.

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGen: Hahnsoo, FC: 4141-2384-3379
    WingedWeaselBursarPMAversRingoRonin356Elvenshae
  • AthenorAthenor Who needs lions when you have a battlecruiser? Registered User regular
    I had a good trip. :) Though Saturday I didn't touch the con once, as I was recovering AND my roommate lost her badge, so I loaned her mine so she could enjoy her last day.

    iLaXVZ7.png
    Steam & NNID - Athenor // 3DS: 3883-5283-0471
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    I'm blogging about my experiences purging my toy collection... read about it here!
  • WingedWeaselWingedWeasel Registered User regular
    Wife and I had a lot of fun as well. Picked up a bunch of stuff, tried a ton of games, met some new people. I know a lot of people who are ready to come home after a vacation but honestly it is just so much fun I don't feel that way.

  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Get over yourself. Registered User regular
    edited August 20
    My wallet......

    And i only brought like 4 things

    Casually Hardcore on
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    WingedWeasel
  • Dr. Phibbs McAtheyDr. Phibbs McAthey Registered User regular
    Back from the con! Had an alright haul, ended up picking up the standalone Dead of Winter expansion, Coriolis, and Tales from the Loop (they showed up unexpectedly on Saturday), along with a pickle Rick pin and some Tales from the Loop dice. Its hard to believe that's all I brought back, with as much money as we ended up spending. Saturday night as I grew frustrated waiting on friends to acknowledge me as I waited on them for the evening's plans, I abandoned them to do my own thing for the first time all weekend and got into a Tales from the Loop game that ended up being a BLAST. What a great system and setting. The GM and the rest of the group got along great and quickly developed a rapport and our own in-jokes over our fictional 13 year old characters. Highlight of the con for me.

    Hahnsoo1italianranmaElvenshae
  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    I picked up Coriolis too! Along with Dragonfire and the Robotech mini skirmish game.

    飛べねぇ豚はただの豚だ。
  • Ronin356Ronin356 Nowhere MORegistered User regular
    Missed Saturday and Sunday, overall a good experience.

    Got most of my white wolf books signed by the original creators.

    Loved the They might be Giants concert.

    Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time.
    Georgia O'Keeffe
    Be sure to like my Comic Book "Last Words" on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Last-Words-The-Comic-Book/458405034287767
    and Magenta the Witchgirl!: http://www.drunkduck.com/Magenta_the_Witchgirl/



  • mr_michmr_mich Registered User regular
    Turns out I'm a giant fucking fanboy and my con highlights were meeting certain "celebrities". I met Dave Lewis from Hawk Wargames (Drop* commander) and he was a real treat, although he seemed almost overwhelmed to meet so many fans...figured he'd be used to it by now. I met Vlaada Chvatil and got a game signed, he seemed genuinely surprised that anyone wanted to meet him, nevermind get his signature. I also met Carlos from Corvus Belli and got an Aristeia demo from him with a buddy of mine...Carlos is every bit as majestic in real life as he is in the videos and went so far as to apologize for giving me a demo when I told him it was my first GenCon and told me to go experience things. We bought a fuck ton of art, just because there's so many talented artists there and we wanted to support them and bring home the beautiful things they'd made.

    Lots of True Dungeon runs were had, not sure it's my jam. We hardly played any games but that's ok, I think next year we have a feel for what we want to do and see and will have a solid gameplan.

    TheColonelRonin356Elvenshaeitalianranma
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    and the Robotech mini skirmish game.

    ... as something of a scholar of how that has all transpired, um, I hope you're not expecting there to ever be anything else available for that product line.

    It has had a, err, tumultuous development cycle for the last 4 years.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Get over yourself. Registered User regular
    I had a blast. It's my first Con if this sort and now I'm seriously thinking about going to pax south.

    steam_sig.png
  • KetarKetar Lacks the basic intelligence required for pretty much everythingRegistered User regular
    I had a blast. It's my first Con if this sort and now I'm seriously thinking about going to pax south.

    I love PAX South. I went the last two years and already booked everything for this coming January. I have a blast hanging out with people from the forums and playing board games during the day and a mix of drinking activities and games in the evenings.

    BUT, you need to keep in mind that it is only comparable to Gen Con at a base level. It is much, much smaller. There are only a small fraction of the number of exhibitors, and they generally won't be debuting anything new or giving away or selling special con promos. The only organized gaming is a number of tournaments each day for board games and various consoles, and they can only be signed up for on site, day of on a first come first served basis. Tournaments often have prizes in the way of promo cards/pieces/whatever for the winner and maybe second place, but pretty much never something for all participants like a lot of games at Gen Con run by the publishers do. All other board gaming is just folks bringing their own to play, or checking things out from the board game free play library. It's possible to find games to join here and there if you're wandering solo, but not easy. Expo Hall hours are similar to Gen Con, but the open areas for gaming and hanging out close no later than midnight each day. There are a good number of panels to attend, but far less in the way of evening activities.

    I really do enjoy PAX South but it has more to do with spending time with friends and just hanging out than the offerings of the convention itself.

    Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface - far beneath, in some cases - but I'm sure there's more to Ketar than meets the eye!
  • WingedWeaselWingedWeasel Registered User regular
    I'm curious how pax unplugged will turn out. It's a few months away, but to my knowledge there still aren't any events revealed.

  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    and the Robotech mini skirmish game.

    ... as something of a scholar of how that has all transpired, um, I hope you're not expecting there to ever be anything else available for that product line.

    It has had a, err, tumultuous development cycle for the last 4 years.

    Oh? Do tell. To be honest I never watched Robotech. I'm Macross only through and through. I bought it mostly as a bit of a novelty, but one of my best friends loves all things Robotech so I'm going to paint the models and give her the the set.

    飛べねぇ豚はただの豚だ。
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Oh? Do tell. To be honest I never watched Robotech. I'm Macross only through and through. I bought it mostly as a bit of a novelty, but one of my best friends loves all things Robotech so I'm going to paint the models and give her the the set.

    Ohhhh...

    So, see, the Kickstarter was run back in early 2013, raising a crapload of cash (~1.5 million) on statements indicating that most of the heavy lifting was being done by another company (Ninja Division), and that Palladium Books was just helping a little. They were so confident that the day after the project funded they declared that not only would it deliver by the end of the year, but maybe even a month or two earlier than anticipated!

    In early 2014 they admitted that they needed more time, and split the project into two waves. The backers began to see test pieces indicating that the miniatures were not built like they expected, but were essentially very small versions of larger models (we're talking 16-20+ pieces for some figures that are 1.25-1.5 inches tall). This caused... some consternation. But they were making progress, and in late 2014/early 2015, the 'first wave' delivered, and the rest was due by the end of the year.

    And then in 2016.

    And then in 2017.

    Spoiler; it won't be delivering in 2017.

    According to Ninja Division, they finished the work they were contracted to do and handed off all the renders in late 2014 or 2015 (it has been so long the exact particulars can get fuzzy without digging into actual research again), and Palladium has been "getting quotes" in one form or another for 3 years.

    They won't give refunds (pro-rated for partial delivery or even just for add ons that have not been released), rarely provide any semblance of substantial information. For a game nearly 3 years old, there has not been a retail release for any other piece, and the only new items added have been limited edition convention exclusives (that they eventually made open to the backers long after we'd asked for them, and now anyone can buy from the remaining stock at their web shop with a hefty price tag plus shipping) and conventional units that were supposed to be made in conjunction with another company (GHQ, I think?) but that deal fell through quietly shortly after it was broached.

    It's a dead end, the project remains an anchor around Palladium's neck, and realistically will probably be one for years to come. There's a new guy spouting the old statements (lies, in retrospect) and claiming he's trying to get things back on track, but he has been at it for months and we're still at 'getting quotes', so his statements are being taken with lethal doses of salt.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • AthenorAthenor Who needs lions when you have a battlecruiser? Registered User regular
    So this isn't the same as the minis game I saw on sale at Gencon?

    iLaXVZ7.png
    Steam & NNID - Athenor // 3DS: 3883-5283-0471
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    I'm blogging about my experiences purging my toy collection... read about it here!
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    They were so confident that the day after the project funded they declared that not only would it deliver by the end of the year, but maybe even a month or two earlier than anticipated!

    bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Get over yourself. Registered User regular
    My friend jumped on the kickstarter and he pretty much said that the game sucks.

    steam_sig.png
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited August 22
    Athenor wrote: »
    So this isn't the same as the minis game I saw on sale at Gencon?

    3w1di2zlf4wu.jpg or something like it?

    If so, that's the one.

    If there's another Robotech minis game for sale at Gencon, I'm sure a number of pissed off backers would be fascinated to hear all about it.

    What were the contents of the box you picked up?
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Yeah, that wasn't a good sign. Things went fairly steady/quiet until they abruptly began to fall apart in early 2014.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • AthenorAthenor Who needs lions when you have a battlecruiser? Registered User regular
    No, I won't touch anything Harmony Gold with a 10-foot pole (I'm too big a fan of FASA/HareBrained/Catalyst for that).

    I just saw boxes for it around the Palladium booth. I thought it was more blue.

    iLaXVZ7.png
    Steam & NNID - Athenor // 3DS: 3883-5283-0471
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    I'm blogging about my experiences purging my toy collection... read about it here!
  • WingedWeaselWingedWeasel Registered User regular
    Anyone have super secret tech for getting a downtown hotel for next year? I know everyone wants one, but are they always sold out instantly or was this just because of the 50th?

  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    I'll open it up this weekend and post some pictures.

    Though, if you want to swap stories about delayed RPG products, let me tell you about a little game called Exalted...

    飛べねぇ豚はただの豚だ。
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Get over yourself. Registered User regular
    My group got lucky with the lotto. I suppose you can book a room now, but that'll be really expensive.

    steam_sig.png
  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    I'll open it up this weekend and post some pictures.

    Though, if you want to swap stories about delayed RPG products, let me tell you about a little game called Exalted...

    Or Wraith 20th Anniversary Edition

    MrVyngaard
  • KetarKetar Lacks the basic intelligence required for pretty much everythingRegistered User regular
    Anyone have super secret tech for getting a downtown hotel for next year? I know everyone wants one, but are they always sold out instantly or was this just because of the 50th?

    You need to get lucky with the housing lotto. Or book off-block at a ridiculous rate. The downtown hotels will always book very quickly.

    Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface - far beneath, in some cases - but I'm sure there's more to Ketar than meets the eye!
    antherem
  • AthenorAthenor Who needs lions when you have a battlecruiser? Registered User regular
    Yeah. I was very lucky that my number came up in the lotto early, so I was able to hop on a downtown hotel fairly decently. But going outside the lotto, like, now, is the only way to guarantee something. And the hotels know this.

    iLaXVZ7.png
    Steam & NNID - Athenor // 3DS: 3883-5283-0471
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    I'm blogging about my experiences purging my toy collection... read about it here!
  • JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    You can also secure downtown housing by running events or volunteering. However, this ends up being a huge chunk of your convention experience, and while your hotel will be downtown and paid for, you'll be sharing a room with three others. Some of my friends do this, but it has never appealed to me.

    This year I got a hotel in the burbs and drove in each morning. With the Gate Ten parking pass, it was not too stressful to get in, but it did cut into my time due to a half hour drive and then a half mile walk or a wait for a shuttle.

    jswidget.php?username=JonBob&numitems=10&header=1&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=right&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Airbnb pal

    Ten of us staying in one place 20 mins from the centre. Cost less than a downtown hotel for four. Much less. And we were next to the cultural district too!

  • AthenorAthenor Who needs lions when you have a battlecruiser? Registered User regular
    I'm way too old to share a single place with 10 other people. Even 5 in a single hotel room was pushing it.

    iLaXVZ7.png
    Steam & NNID - Athenor // 3DS: 3883-5283-0471
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    I'm blogging about my experiences purging my toy collection... read about it here!
    Magic PinkantheremCasually Hardcore
  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Get over yourself. Registered User regular
    5 in a room? Hell next year I'm thinking about staying a bit further away and having a room to myself.

    steam_sig.png
  • KetarKetar Lacks the basic intelligence required for pretty much everythingRegistered User regular
    It would be nice to be downtown, but I'm ok with how my hotel worked out. I think my lottery slot was about 3 hours after housing opened, so I knew I wouldn't get anything great. But I booked the Country Inn and Suites for $115 a night and split the room with one friend, and while it was an airport hotel it was about 4 miles closer than the airport hotel I ended up in last year, so only a 15 minute drive. Gate Ten parking is super cheap and convenient enough, and I was able to buy a decent number of games and still spend less than I did last year. That hotel was the cheapest I saw in the block housing, and it was great. Our room was smaller than my room last year but perfectly comfortable, very clean, and more than adequate as a place to sleep each night.

    Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface - far beneath, in some cases - but I'm sure there's more to Ketar than meets the eye!
  • WingedWeaselWingedWeasel Registered User regular
    I recall after gencon 2016 someone suggested we try to just book right away but apparently the hotels knew it was coming. They told my wife they just wouldn't book during that weekend. Dunno which ones she tried or how many but it was unfortunate.

    We have been just renting a car and staying 15-20 minutes outside of Indy but it'd be nice to be closer. As long as the place is clean/safe I don't care where we stay. It's just a room with a bed, we are going to be in the convention center almost the entire time. Been pretty lucky with parking but the rental car is an added cost/inconvenience that I'd like to ditch as well.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited August 23
    Athenor wrote: »
    I'm way too old to share a single place with 10 other people. Even 5 in a single hotel room was pushing it.

    I'm just saying that airbnb is much cheaper than you think

    Like, if four people had got the house we were in, everyone would have had their own bedroom and you'd have shared a bathroom with one other person. Big living room and spare bedroom too. We were two to a room, except for me and two others in the biggest bedroom, and that ended up more a proper laugh more than anything haha

    It's worth checking out. You might be able to get, like, a flat for two or three people

    Solar on
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Regarding housing; my first adventure was in 2015, and they had a new hotel portal they were testing out. It was a clusterfuck. My time countdown was 6 minutes! :-D

    Except when it ran out, I got an error page. The same error page I had for something like 6 hours. :-/

    And anyone who didn't have a ticket to put them in the portal queue could just buy tickets and then jump right into the hotel selection screen, meaning that those who followed the system as it was laid out were those that were most fucked over by it. Latecomers snapped up all of downtown with ease at the time, so to say I was a bit miffed would be putting it lightly. My group of 4 ended up with a reasonably nice space about a half hour away when all was said and done, and it was fairly affordable at that, however it meant that since we only had one vehicle, we were all kind of stuck going in so the earliest person could hit an event, and staying until the last person was ready to go. Due to this I missed half of the Concert Against Humanity that year because half time was somewhere around 10pm and I knew my friends wouldn't want to be sitting around for another 2+ hours for it to finish and to get back to the hotel. Not to mention, we picked up some fairly hefty items, and lugging those around all day didn't exactly enhance the experience across those hours.

    This year I stayed with 2 other guys, and we were lucky enough to snap up a room that was in a hotel maybe 1 block from the convention center, which was perfect. Hell, a little further wouldn't have been a huge issue, but being able to hike back between events and drop stuff off, chill in the room, and grab a drink from the water/pop we'd picked up at a local CVS rather than pay like $5 for a drink was all a wonderful benefit. Being able to wake up maybe an hour before an event was scheduled, grab a shower, and then hike over there with time to spare (no complimentary breakfast, so I'd usually just snag some fruit from the Starbucks downstairs, as the mini-fridge was pretty tightly packed) was a substantial upgrade to the experience for me.

    That isn't to say that one can't have a good time while further out, clearly thousands of attendees manage it every year. But given the rather minimal cost difference (especially when accounting for gas and parking and whatnot) plus the Quality of Life improvements, if you can stay within a few blocks, it's pretty great.

    So, to answer the question of how to make that happen, obviously there's no easy way to do it, but staying as a group and everyone making a point of getting into the hotel queue helps a lot. Part of it is a numbers game, and having 3 or 4+ people all ready to go when it opens up helps substantially. Plan things out well in advance! Take a look at the hotels listed, and sort out days beforehand where you're looking to get to minimize time assessing that when someone's time does pop up. Like a week before the queue opened, my friends and I had already prioritized like two dozen locations based on cost, distance from the ICC, and amenities (free wifi vs paid, complimentary breakfast or not, etc).

    Obviously there's no way to guarantee tens of thousands of attendees their perfect spot when there are only enough rooms within the downtown core to house a fraction of them, but off hand, that's the recommendation I'd make.

    I might end up working a booth next year, depending on whether or not I'm willing to give up so much of the con experience in order to have most of the costs removed, but if my original group of friends is willing to go that's the plan I'll be using; everyone who wants to go snags tickets, be ready when the portal goes up, have a plan for where we're staying early.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
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