Monday, August 31, 2009

Fan Expo 2009

Fan Expo used to be the con that we did because it was in downtown Toronto. It wasn't really a con you did because it offered anything in particular that was useful. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit. The first year I went it was great and then for the next 3 it was progressively worse and worse. It wasn't a case of if something would go horribly wrong but when it would go horribly wrong.

This year was different. This year there was stuff that went wrong but it wasn't that big a deal actually. It allowed me to relax and have a good time and this year it was possible to have a good time with games at Fan Expo. I've written about last year here and that wasn't pretty, but that was last year. Let me tell you about this year.

First of all there was a lot more organization when it came to the games that were being played. There were actual slots and actual events that were being run on time and full of people. That was a first, usually you just sat down because no one had an idea of what the hell was going. It wasn't a good thing no matter what anyone told you. You couldn't plan anything because you had to keep checking the room to see if something was being played. If you're in Toronto, I most heartily suggest joining TAG because they're an awesome group of people who can get things organized and done. They've got lots of people playing games with lots of meet ups so that you can get to know people and hang out. Seriously good times.

Secondly the big SNAFU that happened this year was that only the LARP I submitted got listed. Really I thought that was a good thing becaues I had made the conscious choice taht I wasn't going to do much at the con. This just reinforced it. I didn't get angry, I just saw it as a chance to unwind and it was an opportunity I couldn't afford to squander. It meant that I got to hang out more with Jess, Malcolm and Pieter. I did some panels, which I'll get into later, and I actually got to play some Battletech. This never, ever happens to me and it was fun. Infantry for the win.

Third, the panels were pretty fun. The first one on Friday had too many people, it was me, Jess, Malcolm, Pieter, Jason and ... and ... one of the guys from Polymancer. I'd like to remember their names but I tend to lump them all together for some reason in my head. I think it was Andrew, but I'm not 100% sure of that. Anyway, it was an okay panel but there certainly were too many people. Especially for a writing panel because writing is just one of those things that we all can talk about and have talked about at length. Since all of us could talk about it at length we did and it ended up being a lot of talking over each other.

The second panel I ended up doing was the "How to publish your own RPG" panel. It was supposed to be Malcolm, Polymancer and I doing the panel but there was a schedule bug which said that the panel was at 12:00 but also at 4:00. We did it at 4:00 because that's when the room was available. Malcolm was expecting it to be at 12:00 so he checked in with his family to make sure that he could go, and if he couldn't he just wouldn't show. He said goodbye and didn't show. Which was fine because there was at least me and someone else. Then there was the fact that Polymancer packed up and left by 3:00 pm. That meant the panel was just me.


It was though, strangely enough. We started out on the right foot where I was pretty sure no one had a clue who I was and that was fine and I think we had a good time. There were no videogame questions. I got to throw in a couple of references to gender and race issues which was nice. Someone recorded it and asked if it was okay to throw it up on Youtube. I didn't see why not so we'll see if and when that gets up there.

Anyway, good con all around. Small things could have been better but those are little things that are going to be in any show.

Good con, good times and now let's get back to work.


echobunny said...

This was my first FanExpo and I had a great time. Sara McMillen deserves almost all the love for the organization this year. Obviously, Justin had to take the chance and let her do things her way (and so on). I think it worked out fabulously and I look forward to continuing on the road to awesome gaming at cons. And our own local-grown gaming convention...

Jonathan said...

Sara does deserve lots of lurve.

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