I am fortunate to be able to say that I will be attending GenCon this year for the second year in a row! Last year was my first GenCon, and I had a blast (those posts are available here and here and here and here). This year, I was not planning on going until my wonderful wife convinced me that the card game I’ve been developing, Chaos & Alchemy, was good enough to deserve a GenCon debut.
What do I look like?
If you want to find me at GenCon, it will probably help to know what I look like! I’ve had some Chaos & Alchemy T-shirts printed, and I’ll probably be wearing them most of the time, so I’ll look something like this:
If you see me and want to talk to me, please do! I’ve never been recognized by a stranger before. That would be cool!
Chaos & Alchemy
Obviously, I’m going to be demoing the heck out of Chaos & Alchemy, the game that inspired me to come to GenCon. Unfortunately, I don’t have a booth or anything like that. This means that I’ll be camping out at vacant tables wherever I can find them. I plan to hang out in the board game area somewhat, but since I’ve discovered that Magic: The Gathering players seem to love my game, I plan to hang out there, too.
My general plan is to put myself at a table and invite passers-by to sit down and play. It’s not a well-thought-out plan, I’ll admit, but I’m going for it! If you see me and you want to try out my game, please do! Really, I would love that.
As I write this, I have pre-sold about 40 games, and I have about another 10-15 that I don’t plan to make available for sale (complimentary copies for certain folks, or copies that I plan to keep as extras for myself, just in case I need them later). Since my print run is 125, that means that I plan to have about 70 copies available for sale at GenCon. If you know you want a copy of Chaos & Alchemy and you would like to pick it up at GenCon (and get the special GenCon promo card for sure), you can order in advance and just let me know that you’ll pick it up at GenCon. Several people have chosen this option already.
Edit: Since I put up my original post, I’ve learned that I won’t be allowed to run anything that resembles a formal event, which means that my banner is a no-no. I’ll do my best to be easy to find, but I’m new at this!
As I mentioned in my Making the Game post about marketing, I’ve signed up to sponsor two GenCon events.
On Thursday at 5:00 PM, I’ll be in the CSO-4 room of the convention center (wherever that is) to be part of a recording of This Just In From GenCon in which I’ll get to talk a little about Chaos & Alchemy (and GenCon so far). I believe this recording is open to the public, so if you like the show you can come to the recording and have the bonus of seeing me there, too!
Later that evening, at 7:00 PM, I’ll be over at Rock Bottom Brewery for the GenCon Social. For those astute GenCon schedule trackers out there, yes, this conflicts directly with the D&D keynote address. Sigh. Still, I definitely want to be at the social since this is where folks will get their dice bags containing goodies, including the GenCon exclusive Chaos & Alchemy promo card! I’ll reveal that here for the very first time:
Those of who who have been following my game know that the card illustrations are black-and-white, but since Social Convocation is a special one, I hired an artist to do it in color. She did a fantastic job, too! Everyone who buys a copy of Chaos & Alchemy from me at GenCon will get one of these cards (while supplies last – I’ll have about 65 of them).
I do have tickets to a few seminars that I may or may not attend depending on how things are going with the Chaos & Alchemy demos. If I have a line of people who want to try the game, I’ll probably keep playing rather than stopping to attend a seminar.
- Thursday 10:00 AM: D&D Digital Future, ICC room 139
- Thursday 6:00 PM: Kickstarting board games, ICC room 210
- Friday 1:00 PM: D&D “The Sundering”, ICC room 139 (most likely to be skipped, I’d say)
- Friday 3:00 PM: Law of the Geek recording, ICC room 201
- Friday 6:00 PM: The Tome Show advice episode with Robin Laws, Crowne Plaza Victoria Station C/D
- Saturday 10:00 AM: Board game design with Rodney Thompson (Lords of Waterdeep), ICC room 211
- Saturday 6:00 PM: The Tome Show Gamer to Gamer with Chris Perkins, Crowne Plaza Victoria Station C/D
- Saturday 7:00 PM: The Tome Show Behind the DM Screen, Crowne Plaza Victoria Station C/D
I’ll be interested to see how many of these I make it to. I think that the board game Kickstarter seminar might be useful, since I might be doing one for Chaos & Alchemy soon, but it’s right between This Just In From GenCon and the GenCon Social. I really want to attend Law of the Geek since Geoff Gerber was kind enough to talk to me on the phone about general legal stuff with my game, and I’d love to attend the Tome Show recordings to meet Jeff Greiner and Tracy Hurley in person (since I’ve been on their show a bunch of times now).
The board game design seminar with Rodney Thompson mainly interests me because Rodney was one of the main people behind Lords of Waterdeep, which I think is an excellent game. I’d love to pick his brain about the design process.
Naturally, I plan to spend some time in the vendor hall when I’m not otherwise engaged, and I’d like to at least play a few board games or indie RPGs while I’m at the convention, too. The vendor hall might be especially interesting, since one company has already asked me for a copy of my game. Who knows – maybe a publisher will decide to pick up Chaos & Alchemy and run with it!
In any case, I know I’m going to have a blast. If you’re looking for me, watch my Twitter feed – I plan to post updates on my GenCon whereabouts regularly.
-Michael the OnlineDM
Not to hassle you, but I’m a little confused; why didn’t you set up actual games at Gen Con? If they were official events, your game name and description would be seen by thousands and thousands of people.
Also, FYI, I don’t think your banner will be allowed; you might get by displaying it for a bit, but since signs aren’t allowed, someone will eventually come and make you take it down.
Question 1: Because I only invented the game in the past couple of months, far too late to sign up for GenCon events. Too bad for me.
Point 2: Thanks! Can you point me to the rules about this sort of thing? I really have no idea what I’m doing!
You could submit events even as late as onsite. They won’t be in the printed program guide, but they’ll be in the online guide, if Gen Con can find a space for them. Last month would have been a better time to submit them.
You should go to the downloads section of the forums at community.gencon.com, where you can download the Event Host Policy, that explains this sort of thing in detail. Pick up games are fine, but something more organized really needs tickets. But, good luck!
Thank you for pointing me toward the Event Host Policy; I had no idea it existed.
First of all, I can’t submit events any more. The deadline was June 1 for late submission. Chaos & Alchemy didn’t even exist at that point in time, hence my lack of submission!
Second, I’m not running any formal events. It will just be pick-up games.
I don’t really know what to expect here, and it looks like this may all be a washout for me. At the very least, I’m going to leave the banner at home; it’s a no-no for sure.
Thanks again for helping me see what’s kosher and not at GenCon!
-Michael the OnlineDM
Yes, as I stated before, actually you can submit events this late, but there’s no guarantee they’d be accepted or place could be found for them. But yes, you can submit late events.
If you have any other Gen Con questions please don’t hesitate to ask.