Lessons from Gen Con 2013

Greetings, readers! Last week was Gen Con in Indianapolis, and I was very happy to be there for all five days. Yeah, Gen Con is basically the best FIVE days in gaming in 2013, especially with the fine folks at the Kentucky Fried Gamers guild running all kinds of games on Wednesday at the back room of the Ram.
Add another day there!

In fact, I learned a few things this year at Gen Con that I wanted to share with you all:

Wednesday games are great.

As mentioned previously, the KFG runs games at the Ram the day before the convention actually starts. These guys are great! I was privileged to run a game of Star Wars: Edge of the Empire (thanks to Teras at Geek Nation Tours!) with the KFG crew this year, and it was fantastic! Shout out to all my players—you guys made the game super fun.

Hotel Notes.

The Westin has the best bathrooms at the convention—always clean, never crowded. The Westin also has a well-hidden anime artist’s alley upstairs, if that’s your thing, and plenty of great events hosted in the very nice conference rooms. If I run a seminar, I always secretly hope it’s in the Westin.
The dealer’s room, slayer of schedules!
The Marriot (NOT the JW Marriot, the Marriot right across the street from the convention center) still is one of the best places to meet for breakfast. The buffet is a bit pricey (about 16$), but excellent in quality, and the room is quiet enough—unlike many other spots for breakfast in the area—to have a breakfast meeting or chat with friends.
The Embassy Suites are, IMHO, the height of luxury for Gen Con. The rooms are amazing, especially to bring people over to talk! There’s a free breakfast and bar as well, so I hear.

Better Meetings.

Unlike last year, Gen Con 2013 was a good year for meetings. Nearly every time I went to meet with someone in the gaming industry, things were completely professional and frank. I was very impressed with the people I spoke to this year from the gaming industry, and it really helped wash away the bad impressions I got in 2012.

Seminars and Workshops.

This year, I was part of three seminars on Professionalism in the Gaming Industry, How to RPG Freelance!, and Working with a Licensed Property. We had a pretty good turnout, especially considering some of the timeslots (Friday morning, for example!), and it was a pleasure to talk to so many excited gamers. I’m looking forward to doing more next year, or possibly turning some of these into workshops.

Accursed at Gen Con!

You can never have enough dice.
Thanks to my fellow scribes John Dunn and Jason Marker, we had some awesome Accursed t-shirts to wear around the show, plus tons of business cards and even a 16-page preview of the book (a work-in-progress). These things were all extremely well-received, and we left the convention with a huge confidence boost going into our Kickstarter launch later in September of this year.

Play More Games!

It was absolutely awesome to see FFG running demos of their RPGs this year. I sincerely wish that I had more time to get in some more games during the show, but I was so busy running around to meetings, checking out the dealer’s hall, and attending seminars that I missed out! Next year, I plan to make time for doing more games at the show, for certain.
That’s all for this week, folks, but be on the lookout for at least one more Gen Con-related post very soon as I dive into something that’s very important to me—a hard look at this year’s ENnie award nominations.

2 responses to “Lessons from Gen Con 2013

  1. I wish we had been able to hang out more. This was, by far, my most busy Gen Con ever!

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