GenCon Post-Mortem

Gen Con

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I have a lot to cover (even though it’ll be bullet points), BUT FIRST I want to point out two relevant podcast episodes were launched while I was at GenCon:

The Basics of the Game talked about City of the Sand, the Mind’s Eye Theatre: The Requiem SAS.

I was also on the Saturday, 5pm episode of This Just In From GenCon!.

There are some other podcast interviews I did at GenCon, which I will post as soon as I know they’re up, but there’s over half an hour of audio for your listening pleasure.

So, Eddy, how was GenCon?

  • It was insane. Previous years I had a chance to work the booth and walk the floor for at least a couple days. This time, I had two panels, three podcast interviews (and two that I ended up being on even though I wasn’t directly part of the podcast), two "Play With A WW Writer" tabletop games (using New Wave Requiem), helped out with Storytelling two LARP sessions, one award ceremony, two meetings, two business dinners, five business parties and one business lunch (which I completely forgot about). With the exception of Saturday, I wasn’t at the booth for more than an hour, and I wasn’t able to walk the sales floor for more than two hours overall.
  • It was humbling. Previously, I’ve offered to do signings and the like for books, and the response has always been kind of an "oh, okay." Since I joined White Wolf, people seemed excited to talk to me, but more because I work for White Wolf rather than any particular interest in me specifically. This time, I had a lot of people who were wanting to talk to me specifically. Peers and fans both wanted to talk to me about things I’m associated with, thank me for specific projects that I worked on or wanted to discuss business opportunities that I would particularly be interested in. I finally feel like I’ve arrived.
  • It was friendly. Like every year, I go into GenCon full of a year of Internet rage and vitriol, which slanted my view of the fanbase. And like every year, I was blown away at how awesome and amazing our fanbase really is. I can’t count the number of times people came up to thank someone at the booth for our hard work, or a fan patiently worked with us when things went wrong, or a customer was excited to listen to our sales pitch about Geist. One particular situation sticks in my mind: a woman came up to the booth with her two kids. She is an avid Vampire fan, and wanted to look into a game that she could run for her kids. They decided on Scion, and asked politely if I could sign the Scion Companion. I was so blown away to find someone actively wanting to pass on the hobby of tabletop gaming to the next generation that I made sure to get as many of the people in the booth who worked on Scion to sign the booth as I could.
  • It was too long. By Sunday, I was exhausted, but I still had a whole day to go. I slept like a rock last night when I got home, and I’m still tired today. I’m not sure if it’s the pace, the hectic schedule or just me getting old (or a combination), but it wiped me out.
  • It was too short. There were a lot of people I just didn’t get a chance to talk to (and one that I even scheduled a meeting to talk to, but it ended up not happening, much to my regret). This happens every year, and every year it frustrates me.
  • It was inspiring. While I barely got a chance to look at some of the hot new releases like Eclipse Phase, it was great to see so many people returning for this GenCon, despite a tough economy and GenCon’s rocky financial issues. The RPG "press" of podcasts and bloggers just gets bigger and more professional each year. The ENnie awards showed a slate of amazing games that were released last year. Things just seemed more optomistic overall, and it was amazing to be able to touch a small part of that.
  • It was fun. I had a blast.

Each year is better than the last. I’m looking forward to 2010.

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