Jul 2, 2012

DexCon 2012 - Preview

This DexCon will be my most exciting convention ever for a specific reason. But first, please permit me a bit of navel-gazing. (Feel free to skip past it to the big "DexCon Schedule" line if you're not interested.) It started 8 years ago.

At this point in my life I was playing nothing but CCGs. My knowledge of board games was limited to the obvious: Monopoly, Risk, Clue, Scrabble, Connect-4, etc. I kind of knew that there were other games out there, but I didn't bother to check them out because the ones I knew bored me to tears. The geekiest games I played were Chess (high school team), Axis and Allies, and Diplomacy.

So imagine my surprise to learn that we would be playing a couple of games that Andy himself made. These hadn't been released yet, but they were really well-done prototypes. It turned out that Ideology was in the final stages of playtesting and would be printed soon. I don't remember who I was that first game, but Doug Faust won it playing as Communism. (It would turn out to be one of the very few Ideology games I would ever lose. ::wink::) I immediately loved the game, and it was responsible for turning me on to the broader world of board gaming and especially eurogaming. Next we played Camelot. I was not a fan. I just felt like I was reaching around in the dark and didn't know what I was trying to find. That was probably just because it is the type of game where it helps to know what all the cards do in advance. I also have never been big on midieval stuff. Everyone else liked it, though. Camelot would go ont to outsell Ideology, to my chagrin.

The reason I'm recounting this is that I was astonished that someone I knew had invented a board game unlike any other I had heard of and it was going to be sold in stores. To me, board games were like the oblelisk: they were things whose existence were unkown and true purpose not explainable, people just used them and hoped for the best. It didn't cross my conscious mind that actual people, living nonetheless, went out and made them. That was the day the seed of desire to design was planted in my mind.

Over the subsequent 8 years, I have designed a bunch of different games. Most of them were abandoned after a single test because they were fundamentally flawed. Others saw far too many playtests and "fixes" as I stubbornly attempted to save an idea which did not deserve it. A couple are still in early development as I search for something to make each unique in some way.

Finally, I have two games which have consumed the vast majority of my time. The first is currently known as Captains of Industry. I am proud to say that this game is actively being developed by a potential publisher, though no official announcement has been made.

Regardless of however that one will proceed (or not proceed, as nothing in this business is done until it is done and that publisher could just decide to walk away for any of a thousand reasons), I have decided it is time to take my destiny into my own hands. That is why DexCon looms so large in my mind. In two days, I will "officially" (whatever that means) unveil City Hall at DexCon 15 through my company, Visible Hand Games.

I will then spend the summer and fall attending six more conventions to let as many people as possible try the game out before putting up a crowdfunding campaign. But that's later. It all starts at DexCon.

DexCon Schedule

Wednesday, July 4

  • 6pm-9pm Demo table for City Hall open

Thursday, July 5

  • 9:30am-8:30pm Demo table for City Hall open

Friday, July 6

  • 9:30am-8:30pm Demo table for City Hall open

Saturday, July 7

  • 9:30am-8:30pm Demo table for City Hall open
  • 4pm Captains of Industy session (B0840, two tables)
  • 8pm City Hall session (B0873)

Sunday, July 8

  • 9:30am-12:30pm Demo table for City Hall open
  • 12pm City Hall session (B0977)

I didn't schedule any sessions on Thursday or Friday because at the event registration deadline, I did not yet have any volunteers on those days who could run the demo table while I GMmed a session. However, if you are interested in playing a full game on one of those days, please drop by the booth early and let me know and we'll try to put together an unscheduled one that evening with whoever expresses interest.

Hope to see you there and here's to a great convention!

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