Early ((Far earlier than I’m usually willing to get out of bed.)) Tuesday morning, Clint and I get in the car and drive down to Indianapolis for GenCon Indy. This is the thirteenth year in a row we’ve done this, and we’ve pretty much got the road trip down to a science. I’m spending a fair bit of this weekend running around, making sure I’ve got everything I need for the trip in order, and I’m not leaving anything hanging at home.
I’m looking forward to the trip, though it’s a long drive. We’ve got a good pizza place ((Vince’s Pizza.)) to solve our normal first-night food issue ((We usually wind up hungry in Rochelle, IL, and are faced with chains like Pizza Hut and Burger King, which are not our first choices.)) in Rochelle, and Clint has discovered The Tamale Place in Indianapolis for us to try. Gotta say, it looks great.
And it’s my twelfth year doing booth weasel duties for Pagan Publishing and Dagon Industries. It’s always fun to spend time with Scott and Jarred, good friends that I only see once a year. There are a lot of folks that I count as friends but only see at GenCon, which is the primary reason I keep going.
The other big reason for going to GenCon is, of course, the games.
Things have changed over the years, though. It used to be that, if you were releasing a new game any time between, say, April and October, you tried to release it at GenCon. That made GenCon a wonderful place to see the best new products from various companies, a place to grab all the newest toys first.
It’s not like that any more. With changing distribution models – pre-orders, Kickstarter, PDF-only products, stuff like that – companies aren’t as tied to the GenCon release. Sure, it’s still nice to have new stuff out at GenCon, but it’s not the necessity it used to be. For myself, most of the really cool new things that I want and are going to be available at GenCon, I’ve already bought ((Though I may not have received them yet. I will, for example, be picking up my pre-orders of MHR Civil War and Night’s Black Agents at the Con.)). So, while I’ll still be wandering the exhibit hall, I’ll be looking for stuff I’ve never heard of that looks cool, rather than hitting up my favourite companies to see what they have that’s new ((‘Cause odds are I already know what’s new. And have bought it.)).
But there’s a different aspect to games that I’m going to get into more this year. I’m gonna try to play some. I generally don’t play games at GenCon, partially because I spend most of my time manning the booth and partially because I don’t seek out the games. This year, I want to make sure to hit up Games on Demand – they’re actually IN the convention centre this year, so easier to find – to try and play some of the games I’d like to run in the next few months. Specifically, I’m looking at trying out Technoir and Dungeon World, and maybe sitting in on another Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game. And I think I’m going to pack my Fiasco kit on the off chance I can swing a game or two of that.
So, that’s the plan. If you’re at GenCon, come stop by booth 715 and say hi. And if you’ve got a cool new game that you’re excited about, come tell me. I can’t come home empty-handed, right?