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Thinking Out Loud

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

GenCon Quick Hits >> Highlights & Lowlights

I'll post more as I collect my thoughts and find time to unpack everything... And eventually I'll post my full list of swag and haul from the 'Con (25 or so new games, all said and done). But here is a smattering of highlights -- and sadly, lowlights.

GenCon 2006 Highlights:

- Got to spend some time with Valerie Putnam, Scott Tepper, Steve Zamborsky, Brian Yu, Simon Hunt, Chad Ellis (Your Move Games), Mike Zebrowski (FFG), Greg Benage (FFG), Jeff Siadek (Gorilla Games), Zev Shlasinger (Z-Man), Rick Thornquist, Ray Peterson, Mike & Christy Pennisi and Jay Tummelson (RGG) over the course of the weekend, as well as a dozen or so St. Louis gamers that made the trip

- I got to talk with Ron Edwards (Sorcerer RPG) and Jared Sorenson (InSpectres, High Octane) and some other members of the Forge community to talk about indie RPG design. A great bunch of guys, and I'm very interested in pursuing publishing my two own indie RPGs. Sadly, I missed the Indie RPG design forum they were moderating, as I had a scheduled tournament slot at the same time.

- I had submitted a boardgame prototype to Z-Man Games a few months ago. We met at the con, and the president of the company told me that with a few tweaks, Forbidden City (the name of my prototype) is a game he'd definitely be interested in publishing -- he was very, very impressed with the end game and the novelty of many of the mechanics and scoring

- I picked up a great new RPG called Hollow Earth Exploration, a pulp adventure / "lands of the lost" sort of thing set in the 1920-30s. Excellent production quality, a premise that I've always enjoyed, and some great, great mechanics. I was very impressed with the product, and am looking forward to more by the company. I especially like their "Ubiquity Dice Pool" approach.

- Thursday night I went out for dinner with Eric (forgot his last name!), the designer of Pizza Box Football -- his booth was back-to-back with the Goodman Games booth, so we talked quite a bit over the course of the Con. Very nice guy, we talked about game design and sports games all weekend long. They virtually sold out of their entire stock they brought with 'em, which was great to hear.

- 10-12 people recognized me by the large "karate chop" Ynnen avatar name badge I made. Most of them invariably were "Oh, you're the guy who writes those Geeklists" but one was "You're the guy who dissed Ticket to Ride" or somesuch.

GenCon 2006 Lowlights:

- I slept through the movie premier for the Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising movie I wrote the module-adaptation of. It was scheduled for 8 PM, so I set my alarm clock for 7:30 so I'd wake up in time. But I set it for 7:30 AM!! Missed the whole damn thing.

- One of Goodman Games' judges had to cancel his trip to GenCon on Tuesday, so we had to juggle time slots to accomodate -- meaning I ran 1 extra slot and had more booth time than expected.

- I did not get to play a single full game over the entire weekend. I did play 1/4 of one game (essentially one round) of Take Stock, which Simon Hunt (the designer) was demoing.

- I did not get one of the swag bags. As an exhibitor, you usually get one of these bags filled with all the freebies, catalogs and cool promo items. I completely forgot about it until Saturday, by which time they were completely out.

- I met Dom Crapuchettes, who is rail-thin, curly haired and looks a bit like a librarian. We had planned on getting together for lunch and to talk about Wits & Wagers, as he disagrees with several of my observations and opinions about the game. Sadly, our schedules didn't sync up to go out and grab a bite, but we did talk for a bit at the booth he was sharing with a vendor.

- This will sadly be the last year that the Tiger Lady makes an appearance at GenCon -- for the last 5 years, she's dressed up in a black leather bikini and otherwise full body tiger paint, ears and tail. She will be missed.


  • I wasn't there, but I'm glad that you were able to talk to Ron and Jared. They know that of which they speak.

    Jared was involved in another seminar which was recorded. You can find the three MP3s here. Check them out.

    By Blogger Seth Ben-Ezra, at 10:50 AM  

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