Monday, July 28, 2014

GenCon - First Time Going

This summer myself and my oldest friend are making the trip to Indy to go to GenCon. We've got our badges, our hotel reservation, and just confirmed the car rental for what we're going to drive down. I'm looking forward to it - though it's scary realizing it's less than 3 weeks away from today - but I've never been before. Heck, I haven't been to a convention since I went to a small local con here when I was like 16 years old, and that is some time ago.

So, any tips? Things I should definitely make time for? Things I should definitely avoid? The living dungeon thing seemed neat, but the more I read about it the less it seems worth the price of admission or the wait. I've signed up for some lecture/seminar/panel things (mostly writing related, but go figure I'd be interested in storytelling ;)) and sadly couldn't register for any of my first choices of games but I figure that's nothing a double handful of generic tickets can't solve, or just wandering around and being like "umm, wanna game?"

I'm not sure how keen I'm going to be on meeting folks sadly. Nothing personal, I just am already going to be strained/stressed from the crowds that adding deliberately meeting internet folks might make me a bit nuts. Still, if there are fun events going on I'd hate to miss it. So any advice is welcome.

I will be taking pictures and post my thoughts/roundup after the fact though. I couldn't not do that. :)


  1. Nice! Looking forward to your coverage of the event. GenCon is something of the Mecca of RPGs for me, and living all the way in the Philippines makes it near impossible for me to go.

    Because of that I tend to live vicariously through the experiences of people that do manage to go. Hope you have fun over there! Will be watching with interest.

  2. Never been & looking forward to your "first timers" coverage! I encourage you to go all out on the blog, maybe a 1-2 week series of blog posts on your experience.

    One experienced gamer/blogger/writer/publisher, Phil Vecchione, in the past has created a special Google+ Circle (group), has friends/readers opt-in & posts for them regularly from Cons. Just one idea.

    There are many approaches, but I like having my Cons pretty planned out, even if that means "wander vending hall". I'll typically take a block of time and assign it multiple possibilities - "For Saturday morning, first, try to get into xyz game in foyer. If that doesn't work, try to crash this game in room 123. Finally, if that doesn't work text Pete to see if he's heard of anything being planned in Open Gaming & in the meantime check out the beta game section in the venders hall.". Otherwise, I find many times there's too much going on for me to make the best decisions in real time. Of course, at any given time if something comes up that I feel I can't say no to, then fair enough. But by planning multiple possibilities, I then have something to evaluate new ideas against.

    One man's thoughts - good luck & can't wait to hear the reports....

  3. Have a great time!

    My advice for GenCon travelers is here:

  4. Thanks for the link, Sean.

    Out of curiosity, how hot is it in the convention center? Like would one be comfortable in jeans or would you recommend shorts?

    I'm figuring a full fresh set of clothes for each day +2-3 spare sets just in case should be light enough, especially since the only other stuff I plan on bringing is a phone, camera, and some food/water.