Gen Con 2012: Arrival

Reported by Robert Posada

The Trip

big gaming hall

The con's sheer size is sometimes overwhelming.

Once again, it's time for the Chimera pilgrimage to the gaming Mecca of Gen Con. The trip to Indiana on Southwest is less than two hours flight time, but my day started much earlier, and having a cold caught from the baby girl won't make this any easier.

Unlike earlier years, I will get to the show around noon or so. No super-early start this time, no red-eye flights. I arrive in Indianapolis still under the weather, so I take a short nap and then go get my badge around 4pm.

The traditional registration packet

The line is very short -- only two people ahead of me -- and there are no foul-ups. In fact, they even verify it is me after checking my federal-government-approved identification by asking for my email address.

Satisfied with the process, I proceed to get some generic tickets from an equally-short line (about 6 people in front). No preregistrations -- either I will get into events or I won't.

Initial Impressions

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To start I walk around the show, taking some pictures of costumes...

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...and other game-related views.

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The most interesting thing in this run is a sculptor making a life-sized dragon out of balloons. The process is clearly not yet finished. I should come see him again when it is done.

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These pods started showing up at Gen Con 2007. They allow 16 players to fight in a single Battletech simulator scenario.

First Dealer Room Run

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I go into the dealers' room for a quick look, as it is close to closing time.

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Wizards and Catatyst are the big booths greeting those who enter.

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Here's some cool minis dungeons.

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A sculpted glass top coffee table with a metalic dragon as the base catches my eye. Only 3 left, and a bargain at only US $350! But not this time. With a crawling baby at home the only thing all those spiky edges say to me is "PAIN!"

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Then a well-crafted diorama for fighting figures from Wargames Factory.

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The sea painted below the cliff makes for a beautiful photograph.

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Later I catch a sculpted Eye Tyrant, the new (old?) name for Beholders. This is from Mental Malfunction Studio.

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The Pathfinder booth has Line Of Sight indicators for only $3.00. Tech changes a lot of things, including gaming. Not too long ago these types of items were expensive specialty items only hardcore wargamers would spend money on.

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I could not resist going by the Talisman booth...

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...and taking a look at the new version of Talisman. It looks like gameplay hasn't changed. If so, this is a fun game that can benefit from revised rules.

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Inkwell Ideas has Java programs for mapping and designing coats of arms. The cross-platform language allows it to be used in Windows, Mac, and Linux environments -- a big plus.

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The product is interesting and has lots of variations. For example, making the maps in black and white, or light blue and white like the old TSR dungeon maps, or full color, as is more common today.

Demonweb Queen sneaking up on publisher

Lolth? Where? And what are you staring at?