Aug 22, 2014

Post-GenCon Thoughts

  • GenCon is, as ever, exhausting.
  • I did not get a chance to step into the exhibit hall, even for five seconds. I knew that once I was in there, I would lose four hours of my day to it.
  • Spent most of my time in the Tasty Minstrel Games demo room. Having it was a great idea. Teaching and playing a game like City Hall in the exhibit hall would have been difficult, given the crowd and the noise. Playing in a separate room gave me and demoees a chance to take our time and have fun.
  • Unfortunately, there were no copies of the game for sale at GenCon. It hurt to have to tell people that when they asked where they could buy it in the middle of playing the game.
  • Biggest surprise of the convention was when I turned around and a representative from Panda was standing there with the manufactured proof copy of Captains of Industry. My heart skipped a beat. With City Hall, I knew the advance copies were coming. This was a total surprise and all the more amazing for it.
  • Captains of Industry turned out far better than I had ever hoped. I knew the gameplay is excellent </totally unbiased opinion>, but the box, cards, and board are a sight to behold. TMG and their graphic design team did an amazing job with my baby.
  • The people who attend seminars at GenCon are much less interactive than those who attend the seminars at Metatopia, despite being more numerous. I need to have different versions of my presentation ready for each audience.
  • The First Exposure Playtest Hall is unbelievable. It has 10 times as much activity as when I used it two years ago. Unfortunately I had no games to test, but I did test someone else's prototype there. Must-do for designers at GenCon.
  • Giving a seminar is a great way to market yourself. Several people came up to me afterwards to say they found it informative, and those people were the ones most likely to come by the TMG room to play City Hall (I made sure my last slide had a map on it pointing out where to find me).
  • Speaking of marketing, Battle Merchants (by Gil Hova) is a great game that has not received any. If you like economic games, check it out.
  • It was heartwarming to have people come over to congratulate me on my first design. It's nice to be part of a community of people who create things for others to enjoy. I won't name names, because I will forget people if I tried to construct a list, but it meant a lot to me.
  • Quixotic Games celebrated it's 10-year anniversary with a dinner at GenCon. Andrew Parks is the person who both introduced me to modern board games and sparked my own desire to design with his prototype of Ideology all those years ago. He also provided feeback and industry contacts over the years and I cannot thank him enough for his help.
  • Every time I've ever flown anywhere, the moment I see NYC outside the plane window on my return I've felt a deep sense of relief and comfort. Even if I enjoy a trip, I love coming home. This time I actually felt disappointment in realizing that GenCon was over and I wouldn't get to wake up in the morning and do another 8 hours of demos. I didn't want it to end.

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