GenCon 2011 Day 1: Afternoon

I’m all set at the Marriott Downtown across the street from GenCon now. My wife is here (yay!). Life is good.

I went to the convention center around 11:30 and saw that the Will Call line was now OUT THE DOOR. Absolutely ridiculous. I’m guessing from talking to people in line that it was about three hours’ wait altogether. Sheesh, #WillCallFail indeed.

I then made my way to the exhibitor hall. Wow! This place is gigantic. I made my way through two of the rows in about an hour, including a stop to purchase my first set of GameScience dice (which I actually don’t like much due to the plastic nubs that need to be sanded off).

I played a demo of a dice game called Bears, which is similar to Zombie Dice in feel, but you’re campers who have to avoid getting eaten by bears. Not bad, though I’m not personally a fan of games where you’re literally trying to grab items before other players can grab them

I played a demo of a card game called Quack in the Box, which is similar in feel to the computer game Theme Hospital. Players are doctors who are trying to get the most possible money out of their patients by doing lots of expensive treatments without killing TOO many patients (killing a few is okay, though). It’s a creative premise.

I also did what ended up as a media interview (if you count this blog as a media outlet) with John, the proprietor of a new virtual tabletop called Epic Table. It’s aimed at being more user friendly than something like MapTool (no coding required), and John says that it’s aimed more at indie games than D&D and Pathfinder (since those are already pretty well supported with things like Fantasy Grounds for people who want to pay for software). I appreciate that the business model only requires the GM to buy the program, and then they can host games for as many players as they want. It’s still in closed beta at the moment, so I know there will be more features to come, but I think John’s right – it’s probably not for someone like me who’s comfortable with MapTool. Even if it were free, I can’t see switching, but Epic Table might be good for people who like more point and click (though it’s not too different from Gametable / OSU-gt in that regard).

I then got a text message from my friend Ryan who lives in San Francisco and happened to be at GenCon. Excellent! I met up with him and another friend in the D&D 4e area for a Living Forgotten Realms game. Our DM was a guy from Chicago named Adam, and he ran a fun little adventure for us. I got to run Factotum the Bard, which is always fun times.

It was after this game that my wife Barbara got to town, so we put our things in the hotel room and then met up with Ryan and some other friends for dinner. Now Barbara’s going to take a nap and I’m going to see if I can find some more gaming!

Still Tweeting as I go – OnlineDM1.

3 thoughts on “GenCon 2011 Day 1: Afternoon

  1. May want to keep the nubs — I don’t have a set myself, but from what I understand, that’s what gives the dice their “extra” randomness.

    Great coverage of the Con!

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