2010
06.15

GENCON: The Best 4 Days in Gaming

Though I have friends who went to GenCon in our early teenage years, my first GenCon was in 2000, the year that Fiery Dragon started up. I’d known about the show for decades, reading about it in Dragon Magazine and hearing stories online, but actually experiencing it was something else. That first year was mind-blowing: we weren’t exhibiting at the convention, we were there as attendees and fans, who also happened to be networking to find a distribution deal for our soon-to-be released d20 products. Ah, the early enthusiastic years of the d20 movement. Fun times.

This year we’re trying that again: Fiery Dragon won’t be exhibiting at GenCon in 2010, but Todd and I will be there as attendees, checking out the Great Hall, playing some games, and hanging out with all the great friends we’ve made over the past decade. Since we won’t be driven by a shift-schedule or anchored to a booth, we’ve got a real chance to explore the Exhibit Hall at our own pace (rather than a hurried half hour break), and here (alphabetically) are some things I’m interested in seeing.

ACHESON CREATIONS
These are the first guys on the Exhibitor list, and they make miniatures and terrain for tabletop games. I’m not a big minis guy (time and money prevent that), but these guys have a line called Primaeval Designs that are dinosaurs. Of course, since I don’t play any games that use dinosaurs, I won’t worry about spending money here. (HA! Like not having a use for something has ever prevented me from spending money at GenCon before! Better be careful looking here, ’cause I am on a budget!)

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ALBION SWORDS
We are doing a bunch of things differently this year. In addition to exploring as attendees (“being tourists” is what we’re calling it) rather than exhibitors, we’re also driving down rather than flying down for the first time (see, told you I was on a personal budget!) In previous years, we’d look at product like the stuff from Albion Swords Ltd. and create amazing scenarios about how we’d take that back through airport security to our return flight. I guess it’d be easier in the car, unless the border guards decided to be very thorough.

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ALDERAC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
AEG always has an interested booth, and this year I’m looking forward to digging through their large catalogue, particularly their boardgames like The Adverturers and RPGs like Legend of the 5 Rings.

ASMODEE EDITIONS
This French company has a cool line of games, including fun party games like BUZZ IT or IDENTIK, plus big box board games like OKKO or CLAUSTROPHOBIA. I might pick up something like CHROMINO for playing with my family, since it’s similar to dominoes but using colours, and I’m likely to grab something like OKKO for my own personal collection, since it contains the shiny shiny pieces and features asian-themed demon hunters.

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ATLAS GAMES
I have a lot of admiration for John Nephew of Atlas Games. He is a very smart guy and also runs a very cool game company. When not publishing Ken Hite’s “Mini Mythos” books like “Where the Deep Ones Are,” they’ve got great card games and rpgs. I’m really interested in their Dungeoneer card game line, something I’ve looked at in the past but haven’t picked up. Maybe this will be the year! Plus, Atlas Games always shares their booth with Steve Jackson Games, so two birds, meet one stone.

Yeah, I have a pretty good feeling I’m going to be driving out of Indianapolis this year with a lot less dollars, a big credit card bill, and a car packed full of new games. Next, I’ll work my way through B and C!

4 comments so far

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  1. Hello! Nice posts! I’m a big fan of fantasy and sci-fy, but I wonder why so many guys prefer to play games than to read books? Well, I like games too but there’s nothing like a good book… I know it’s great to play, kill dragons, conquer empires, etc, but there are no such tension in games as in books, no expectation of the uknown end, one couldn’t imagine in his mind all the events as in a book…
    I’ve never came across a game so far that could replace a book (like The Lord Of The Rings, Hobbit, my Tale of The Rock Pieces, or the Opposite of Magic…). What’s your opinion about that?

  2. Hi Allanbard, For me, both activities are to be enjoyed, and often feed into one another. I just re-read all of Glen Cook’s Black Company series, and would love to run a gritty company-esque D&D campaign. I enjoy both activities and think both have their charms!

  3. Hiya, I just happened across Atomic Superheroes and decided to track you down to find out what the story was. I’d ask you in person at GenCon but the ACunit just went so my vacation money is going there instead.

  4. Hi Stephen, visit us at GenCon in 2011! We’re hoping to have a bunch of new products in print next year and looking forward to another great GenCon.

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