Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Convention Updates - Part 3 ... Gen Con Intro and Day 1

Now let me state the fact the right now I'm not a big fan of Gen Con. The past few years have made whatever sheen it had fall to the wayside to be replaced by the large head of profit and corporatocracy. Last year in particular was bad because pretty much nothing was where it said it was going to be, and goodness help you if you had a game after the HQs closed. Then you had no idea if there was a change.

This year, something happened. There must have been something different, someone actually in charge but ... everything was where they said it was going to be. The way I got my badges was efficient and professionally handled, and we didn't have security every ten feet checking to make sure that we were paying customers. It was actually somewhat enjoyable this year, which is a big step up.

Now the main reason why I busted my butt to get there was for the simple fact that I had a Suitors game that had 25 people signed up. Seriously, 25 people. That was mind blowing. I had only had Cyberpunk games sell out on me. However, I'll get back to this later. Let me do a quick day by day run down of what happened on Jonathan's magical trip to Gen Con.

Day 1 - Wednesday.

First of all, I thought I was leaving Wednesday night at say around 23:00. Instead I found out a few days before that we were leaving Wednesday morning, at say around 4:00. Thankfully I was able to get the time off of work to do this, I do love my day job that pays the bills, and we ended up having a grand old time on the drive down. Nothing too spectacular there, other than the Catalyst Studio folk being awesome, and the inevitable border cross.

Crossing the border is always interesting, I've done it tons of times but it never actually gets any easier. We did our little coaching ahead of time (Remember to say SF con, they think gaming means gambling) and stopped at the Duty Free shop to buy some alcohol for those less fortunate souls south of the border.*

When we got to the actual customs officer we didn't get asked about the booze at all. Instead we were given the Canadian Pop Quiz, which I won by knowing that Calixa Lavallee wrote the Canadian National Anthem. I was also the only one in the car who knew it, which was amusing since I was told later that when they heard that question everyone thought that we were going to get pulled over.

We got to Indianapolis after much issues with the GPS we were using, it brought us through Detroit ... seriously, and I sat down and waited for the GM HQ booth to open to get my badge. Ran into a whole pile of people I knew, in particular the Slug Fest Crew, and got to watch a bunch of people try to get their badges through sheer force of will. Nothing too stupid, but when the guy with the "I'm in charge" badge asks you to fill out the form, you fill it out and thank them for not losing your badge.

Finally I made it to the hotel where the SFC were at and hung out there for a bit until Curt, from Smirk and Dagger Games, showed up with a great story. I'll let him tell it, poaching stories is ultimately bad form, but in the end it landed us a Penthouse in the Embassy. Pretty freakin' awesome.

Now I'm going to cut this up, so next update is day 2.

1. Note, I don't drink. However, being Canadian still gives me the right to make alcohol jokes.

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