GenConnery, i.e. Nerdfest
Post by: Grant Rodiek
In case it wasn't clear, and I'm not sure why it wouldn't be, I was trying to make a Sean Connery joke with that headline. Naiiiled it.
GenCon is nearly upon us and I'm fairly excited. I'm a bit of an outsider in that I'm not terribly keen on conventions. Playing games with random people is not nearly as fun as playing with people I know. Being surrounded by millions of people, waiting in lines...also not fun. However, GenCon will have tons of publishers with booths full of awesome games and at least 10 people I've befriended online will be there. As nerdy as that sounds, I'm looking forward to legitimizing some of those friendships with some dice and adult beverages. It's not real until high fives emerge!
This is a non-conclusive list, but some of the guys in attendance with whom I speak constantly, review rules, discuss design, whine, whatever, are Matt Worden, AJ Porfirio, Cyrus Kirby, Chris Kirkman, my beloved publisher Phil Kilcrease, Eric Leath, Angela Hickman Newnham, Jay Treat, Chevee Dodd, Corey Young, Patrick Nickell, Paul Imboden...I'm know I'm missing some (and if I am make sure you tell me you're going!), but this is exciting.
One of those fellows, Eric of Games & Grub, wrote a great piece on what he's excited about for GenCon. He did a great job covering the games, so I won't duplicate his efforts. You should simply go read his piece. I will doubly note that Seasons from Asmodee looks gorgeous and amazing. I will be buying a copy.
GenCon will feature many firsts for me. I'll be demoing and selling my first published game, Farmageddon, at my publisher's booth. Stop by 5th Street Games' booth #242 in the Family Fun pavilion. I'll happily play a game of Farmageddon with you and if you want, walk you through the expansion prototype.
I've demoed games before, namely the ones I have worked on for my day job. Hell, if you search my name on YouTube you'll find interviews of me discussing things. But, this is the first thing I've created for myself. I made the decisions and choices and I'm eager and hopeful to see it pay off.
I'll also be (hopefully) pitching my new game, Empire Reborn, to eager and excited publishers. This game has been thoroughly tested and designed and I'm confident the game will demo well enough to garner some interest. At the very least, I'll receive promising feedback from my peers. If I don't get the slam dunk, I'll hopefully gain enough momentum to keep driving forwards with it. Pitching is thrilling and terrifying to me. I love talking games! My elevator pitch is something along the lines of:
Empire Reborn is a light war game for 2-4 players that plays in an hour. The game is diceless and entirely card driven. Players play cards to add reinforcements or activate powerful tactics. The player who has won the most battles and controls the most territory at the end of 7 rounds is the victor!
I'll be tweaking it and practicing in this coming week.
I don't have the times yet, but I'll be testing Empire in the First Exposure Playtest Hall on and off throughout the show. It may seem silly to pay for testers, but I'm hoping this will demonstrate to publishers that I'm serious and have a viable game. At the very least, I'll get some guaranteed testing data. I also plan to test it with peers at night and, if they'll have me, hopefully I can swing by the UnPub area as well.
It's also really important to me to play the prototypes of my peers and further develop a working relationship. I've reviewed many rule sets and provided a lot of (unsolicited) feedback over the past 12 months. Just like it's important to have some drinks and have fun in person, it's important to hang out and work together in person. Over the years I need to develop a reputation as someone who is a good and decent development partner. Otherwise this silly publisher notion of mine is just a waste of time.
GenCon is going to be a great deal of fun. There are several opportunities and I hope to grasp all of them fully. Let's sync up and share numbers so it's easy to meet! We should also takes notes on who is bringing which games. I'm bringing King of Tokyo and maybe 1812: The Invasion of Canada.
See you in Indianapolis...