I returned home yesterday from GenCon 2011: 5 days of hectic schedules, around 18-20 total hours of sleep, roughly one meal per day, seminars, meetings, and lots of handshakes. Got back into town, did dinner with cat-sitting friends, popped into a bar for a meet-up of local media creatives, and then hit my own bed for 8 hours of sleep. Oy.
The picture at left is an example of the proper care and feeding of game designers: a bottle of Puerto Rican rum, courtesy of Roberto Micheri of the Puerto Rico Roleplayers, with the photo courtesy of Daniel M. Perez.
For the first time ever at GenCon (and this was my 20th anniversary), I didn’t see the entire Exhibit Hall, as I was far too busy. Also didn’t get to meet up with a bunch of folks that I’d hope to see (and this includes folks that I only managed quick hellos with, rather than the preferred lengthier talk). The whole show felt a bit like running to catch up, all the time. Exhausting.
The high point of the show for me was, without a doubt, the number of Far West Kickstarter backers who introduced themselves, and shared their enthusiasm for the project. I can’t count the number of times that somebody asked me “Have we hit 25 yet? I want that map!” Putting real faces to the numbers that I get to see online really made the positivity surrounding the project all that more real to me, which was nearly overwhelming. A wonderful experience. I even got to meet our top backer, whom I’ll be flying to visit and run his group through a specially-created game — and I’m still a bit star-struck. I hope I didn’t embarrass myself too badly.
Also was pleased as hell at the reaction to our Buckaroo Banzai announcement — the 100+ promo cards that we brought to the show were snapped up, with varying degrees of squeeing, hell-yes-ing, and other exclamations of awesomeness. Laura suggested that the tagline for the game should be: “Buckaroo Banzai: Because it’s about damn time.” It appears that many others feel the same way.
Swag-wise, I came home with the following:
- A copy of the long-awaited illustrated novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes from Archaia, which I hadn’t expected to see (it apparently had been released at SDCC). As an old-school APES fan, I was on that like Taylor on Nova. (Get it? I slay me.) (And no, I haven’t seen RISE yet. Later this week.)
- The Fortune and Glory board game from Flying Frog, which was my main target going in to the show.
- A copy of the absolutely kick-ass Cosmic Patrol from Catalyst. This game features no GM, retro-finned Space Opera, and comes off like a combination of FATE and FIASCO, except delivered to you by Brian “Gordon’s ALIVE?” Blessed. I liked it so much, I bought the T-Shirt.
- Quickly purchased one of the 100 copies of Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple that flew off the IPR shelves, since I had missed the Kickstarter opportunity.
- I couldn’t spend the entire weekend selling copies and not grab a copy of the absolutely gorgeous One Ring RPG from my filthy English overlords, Cubicle 7. SO PRETTY. — and, as an aside: One Ring designer Francesco Nepitello is charming, funny, almost intimidatingly brilliant, with an amazing memory for detail (bringing up a brief meeting between us 15 years earlier, and citing design characteristics of one of my games from that time). On top of all that, he’s handsome and lives in Venice. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t like him so much, I’d have to hate him just on principle.
- In other C7 swag, got copies of Qin Bestiary and Mindjammer, to round out my collections.
- Got a signed copy of Dave Gross’ new wuxia-riffic Pathfinder novel, Master of Devils, which I was honored to see featured Yours Truly in the acknowledgements. You never know what will happen when you encourage somebody’s love of wuxia film!
- Finally managed to get a physical copy of Leverage to go along with my PDF. Was thrilled to hear of MWP’s acquisition of the MARVEL license, too.
- After lusting at it from afar, grabbed a copy of the ENnie Award Winning Bookhounds of London. Can’t wait to dive into it.
I’d love to go into more detail about the good memories of the show (Dinner at Fogo de Chao, the Kickstarter seminar, the ENnie Awards, etc.), but I’ve got about a thousand emails to catch up on, consulting gigs to return to, and, as ever, Adamant to run. So, I’ll leave it at this.