Saturday, 5 July 2008

Halftime at Gencon

So it's halfway through Gencon and I have to say that the con is exceeding my expectations in almost every way. The gaming has been great, but the best thing has been the response to the Indie Games Explosion. When internet pre-registrations closed (the Monday morning before the con) we had 47 places left from our 90 places available. At that point I thought we would have a lot of flexibility, and perhaps half-full sessions that we could use to run games that were more focused on a smaller number of characters. The reality, after just one day, is that we have had every table of every session full. Even overflowing at least once. I couldn't have expected it. Over and above this, I heard yesterday that all our sessions for today (Saturday) are full already, and that we might be offering one final session on Sunday. It's not in the programme right now, but at this stage anything seems possible.

This is largely due to the great work by Peter Ball. He looks tired, but he is still happy and works hard to make it all happen. I'm glad he's involved in this because he's supportive, helpful and friendly. Great work, Peter.

To close, I'm going to give a very quick summary of what I've been up to so far.

Thursday
- Met Nathan Russell in person for the first time. And from that point, I met a bunch of people from the Newcastle gaming scene, and frequenters of Imbercorvus.
- Bought some Campaign Coins. Wow. These things are great. They have good heft and are already in use for my Don't Rest Your Head games.
- Played a demo of Heroclix, and was soundly beaten by my friend Mat. 3-0. Ack! He's a great tactical player who didn't even use one of his minis.
- Played a game (or part of a game) of Cleopatra. This looks like an interesting strategy game and it has some great supporting plasticware for game pieces.
- Hosted (was MC of...) the Steal This Trick seminar, with Robin Laws, Nathan Russell and Michael Wenman. This was a great seminar, with about 30-40 people.
- Had dinner with Robin Laws. He's a great guy with interesting things to say on a wide range of topics. My only regret was the "Vietnamese" restaurant we chose wasn't all that Vietnamese. Ah well.

Friday
- First session of the IGE: I played Spirit of the Century with a great group. That adds 6 to my count of new people to game with. Some of these guys had played SOTC before, and most were from Brisbane. If I can find my notes from the game, I'll add their names.
- Second session of the IGE: 80% of the group demanded Don't Rest Your Head. So that's what we played. I don't feel that it was my best game, but the last hour of game play was pretty good, and I especially like the epilogues that the players created to close off the session. Fantastic.
- Played Grey Ranks with Peter Adkison, Robin Laws and Luke (no surname, just like Prince and Madonna). This was shakey at first, but after the first round of learning, the second and third rounds were fantastic. I hadn't played it before, but now I want to play it again. I also have to say that Robin is a great gamer, showing great rhythm between silence and speaking, between plot development and plot resolution. I learnt a lot. Thanks Robin!

And now... time to embrace Saturday at Gencon. See you there.
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