Chris and I went to our first GenCon this past weekend. I don't know why we haven't gone before, but every year we say we need to and it just doesn't work out. Needless to say, we're already planning for next year!
The day started early with a drive to Urbana to leave the boys with Grandma and Grandpa for the weekend. From there, we headed to Indy and a great weekend!
We arrived at the convention at around 3:30, picked up our badges, and did a quick survey of the Exhibitor Hall before heading to our first seminar called "Independent Geek Film Industry." It was an informative hour and solidified that what we are doing with Starrynight Productions is on the right track.
After the seminar it was dinner time. We had a nice meal at Champp's in Circle Center Mall with the Cooks and one of their friends. Then we walked around a bit checking out the games going on all around the convention center. But it was 9 and we had an hour drive home, so we called it a night. We drove back and forth each day to save money on hotels and be able to feed the cats.
Friday morning was an early morning. We got up at 6:30 (we were too excited to sleep) and got up to Indy around 10 after a brief stop at Chris's work to pick up a package.... which we couldn't because the office which was supposed to be open at 8 wasn't at 8:15.
We headed straight to the Westin Hotel where Wil Wheaton was speaking at 11. Good thing we got there so early. We were in the 7th row to one side when they finally seated us. The talk, "I'm Wil Wheaton, and I'm a Gamer," was everything we could have hoped. I am so glad we were able to be there.
Next we headed straight to the Exhibitor Hall and waited in line 2 hours to meet Wil Wheaton and get autographs. And yes, we each gave him a die for his collection. I picked a D6. Chris gave him the D12 from his original set. He was really nice and signed a dvd for a very pregnant friend who couldn't stand in line that long. And he really got into the 3D picture Chris took.
Then it was off to the Westin for a seminar called "Independent Filmmaking: Preproduction" which also reinforced that Starrynight is doing a lot of things right.
And back to the Exhibitor Hall to spend another 2 hours in line waiting for autographs from several cast members from "The Guild" - Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, Jeff Lewis and Robin Thorsen. Once again, they were all very nice and were really excited about the 3D pictures.
Shortly after the Exhibitor Hall closed at 6, we headed home. We were very tired and wanted to save our energy for Saturday.
Saturday we didn't have anything scheduled until 2, so we took it easy and arrived later. We slept in a bit, met Chris's dad for lunch, then headed to the convention center.
Our 2 o'clock event was a game of Red Dragon Inn with one of the creators. It was an 11 person game!!! We play tested with some of the new characters that will be released some time this fall when RDI 3 comes out. If you have never played RDI, I highly recommend you do. It is a lot of fun.
We were able to watch much of the costume parade at 3 since it went right past the table we were playing at. There were a lot of really great costumes. While we didn't dress up this year, we are already thinking about costumes for next year!
We were scheduled to watch "All's Weird That Ends Weird" at 5 but decided our time could be better spent on the Exhibitor Hall floor since we hadn't really had a chance to explore much. Most of our time there had been spent in autograph lines. We met up with Amanda and walked together a bit. We picked up a few things - a set of dice for me (Chris is so proud I now have my first set of dice and don't have to use one of his spare bags), Cthulu Dice game, 2 t-shirts (a cylon toaster and Sheldon's friendship algorithm from Big Bang Theory - I didn't see rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock or I would have gotten that), our official GenCon dice set, and the first pieces of our costumes for next year. We're planning to go steampunk.
I am really drawn to steampunk. There is a lot of appeal in the mix of Victorian sensibility and steam-powered technology. Really, the steampunk laptop says it all.
But to get back on track, when the Exhibitor Hall closed at 6, we got a quick bite to eat in the convention center then headed to the Westin to wait in line for the "Adventures of 'The Guild'" panel. It was around 6:30 when we got in line for the 8 o'clock panel, but the line was already snaking around the 2nd floor. Luckily, they started seating early and we were in the 5th row! The session was mostly questions from the audience. It was really fun to hear the answers and find out how they started, how they cast the show, the shoestring budget the first year, etc.
By 9 when the panel was done, so were we. While gaming went on all night and there was more Sunday, that was the end of our GenCon experience. We slept in a bit Sunday morning then drove to Rockville to pick up the boys from my parents.
If you have red-cyan 3D glasses, click through some of the links to the pictures Chris took. They are in his Facebook album. He hasn't made 2D copies yet, but maybe....
Already looking forward to next year, August 4-7.
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