Monday, August 20, 2007

Gen Con Indy 2007 Final Thoughts

  • Paranoia Trek rocked as always. If there's only one named-group-that-isn't* whose events you consider playing, make that group Evil Fleet Productions.

  • In general, the games I got to play were a lot of fun. It was nice being primarily a player this year.

  • Sunday gaming rocks once again! Screw Badge Points, I have happy gamers!**

  • The Collectibles auction was fun. If you're not doing anything else on Friday night, come by and see the rarest and/or most interesting items that are appearing in the Auction.***

  • The Omni hasn't let us down yet, and after being one of The 200 we were glad to be there.

  • We brought our food in boxes this time, which worked out very well when packing up all of the stuff we bought in the Dealer's Room.

  • The misprinted tickets and last minute event rearrangements combined with the spread out events was a killer. Some examples:
    • None of us ever found where the OotS games that were supposed to still be happening were.

    • One of us was sent between multiple booths and rooms all over the convention center trying to find the Killer Bunnies tournament and then trying to get his money back, most of the time getting no actual help from the volunteers or temps. Note that many of these people had working laptops and he's holding an actual event ticket for said tournament.

    • Later on another buddy had to wander between a couple rooms before someone suggested yet another room which happened to be the right one. Again, people with laptops and actual event ticket.

    • We found the Errata board to be less than helpful close to an event time since it takes quite a long time to cycle to your event number and it still uses dates instead of Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday. Could this be supplemented with kiosks where we can look up our events?

    I know not all of the changes are under Gen Con LLC's control, but the customer service issues afterwards are, and not getting any help is what was truly frustrating. It was enough that on the ride home we (almost?) wished they would go back to having the registration system crash on us and onsite working OK for those who preregistered instead, like previous years.

  • It'd be a good idea to post a volunteer or kiosk in the Union Station Conference Center as well as in the hotel. If the guy from Goodman Games wasn't there I would have had no clue where to go for help other than back to the ICC.

  • That Star Trek game sure sounded fun. :(

  • With the coming of the new GM tracking/reward system, will this year's GMs be penalized for doing the best we could to run our events where we were told they were supposed to be? If our players were split between locations, if we were placed by the local HQ in one place then our players were sent to another, if we had to pick up and move our events partway through a slot due to event rearrangement, will we take the fall when tickets were turned in "No GM"?

  • Is there an official way for an independent GM to coordinate with those who run the loosely-assigned areas (Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures) so that I can be sure that all of my events in a continuous block of time use the same tables? Sunday's just not busy enough to where I should have to pack up and move twice to run three two-hour events in the half-empty board game room, but that's apparently how they had me scheduled.

  • How much did the open gaming area on the third floor of the Hyatt get used for open gaming, and how much did the area GMs take it over for their ticketed events and/or the HQ "schedule" events on it throughout the weekend? I guess here it's the thought that counts.

  • I don't think I'll eat a ham sandwich for at least a week. I need a wider variety of lunch/dinner food.

Last But Not Least

Despite the scattered, rearranged events, I had a lot of fun at this year's Gen Con Indy. I played in some fun events, ran some fun events, I learned a lot about my playing and GMing limits, and I think next year I'll have the right balance of GMing vs. playing vs. money spending/other time.

But for now, I'm glad I'm home and that I'm not going to think about conventions for a while. Wait...Con of the North event submissions are due in a couple weeks.

A gamer's work is never done. Sigh.


* In terms of how you're classified by Gen Con LLC, there's a big difference between being an "official" Gaming Group and an independent GM who just put a name into the Organization box when purchasing a badge. You can tell Group GMs because they have a badge with Gamemaster printed onto it seperate from their name, bar code, etc. is not a Gaming Group; it's just me and my friends.

** Re: Seto Kaiba in Episode 1 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. Also a reference to this year's changes in how you earn back your badge money as an independent GM.

*** Did anyone buy the car?

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