Gen Con 2015: Play it again, Sam

With a regularity, frequency, and dependability that has made me question the nature of the universe, this year’s convention was another series of events disturbingly similar to the kind of thing you’d see in a (badly written) sitcom.

If you came by the 3D Virtual Tabletop Booth and said hello, THANK YOU! It was super exciting to reveal Hypercorps 2099 (launching [Monday] August 31stand I hope you got a pamphlet/poster. 😀

Before the convention things were falling apart. The vehicle I intended to borrow needed to be inspected, the pamphlets (which are awesome and I desperately wish I had saved a few) came in way under quantity, and I’d waited a little longer than I should have to transfer funds out of PayPal.
So I promptly lost my mind (successfully) getting things square to leave on Wednesday morning.

incognito Mike
To avoid scrutiny or unpleasantness with the locals due to my tribal markings, I acquired a disguise and successfully remained incognito.

With little delay after waking up, I took to the road and got on my way to Gen Con. Unfortunately none of my people from Pittsburgh were able to make the trip this year and so, with some reluctance, I was on my own for the drive. Knowing this I slept plenty the night before and the journey was uneventful.
After getting into Indianapolis I pulled up to the convention center, Bevan met me outside and grabbed all the things (and gave me my badge—endless thank yous for you, sir), and then I drove about trying to find parking until a cop told me a good spot to go (thanks dude! Best interaction I’ve ever had with a police officer.)
By then I was already late for the first thing (in this instance, the IGDN party) but I stopped by the booth to see how things looked and then finally got to sit down and relax for a brief window of time. After that it was to the Diana Jones Awards and gallivanting about when the party there wound down, leaving me rather drunk, with a dead phone, in an unfamiliar city. By the time I found the car it was 4 AM and too late to get into the hotel I’d been offered to crash in, and I’d not be able to find it without my phone anyway—so I slept in the car.
Not an ideal beginning.

REALLY MIKE? (Thursday)
Yes, really.
The sun heating up the car woke me, I promptly got dressed in my business suit, combed my hair, fit on my elf ears, fit my cyberhand on, and grabbed my suitcase, then walked down to the convention center.
It was not a very pleasant beginning and I struggled through the entire day. Lunch with Reg McReynolds at 1PM did amazing things for my body, but I was still taking 5-minute breathers laying on the (blessedly sweet and cold) floor behind the curtain of the booth, out of sight.
I remained less than pleased with being a living, breathing thing for the remainder of the day. At the 3PP Meetup at Scotty’s I caught up with many folks, then grabbed Adam Meyers (Drop Dead Studios) and Scott Gladstein (Little Red Goblin Games) and absconded to the hotel. A shower helped a tad, but I was still feeling horrendous until finally succumbing to sleep.

mike and sauronFREAKING CABLES (Friday)
Due to some equipment failings, there were no live demos of Hypercorps 2099 on Thursday or Friday. I spent most of the morning driving around Indiana trying to find the right cable at multiple shops, and none of them had any in stock (normally they would, but nope! NOT THAT DAY!).
Eventually I grabbed the best thing I could yet there was no luck to be had—it would not work. The majority of my remaining day was spent handing out pamphlets and generally tracking down some specific folks. After the dealer’s room closed I made my way to the ENnies (congrats again to all the nominees and the folks that won!), and then fled the city with Scott before the One Direction concert let out (beginning traffic hell).
I did manage to negotiate a deal with a very important business partner.

SALVATION (Saturday)
The entire time I kept waking up prior to my alarm and this morning I managed to think enough to grab some fruit at the grocer (and fill up the car with cheap gasoline).
Those nectarines were like water in the freaking Sahara.
Feeling genuinely revitalized I took to the con floor and finally got to run a proper demo of Hypercorps 2099 for the Von Waldes and Andrew Marlowe—they had (as expected!) a great time playing and they are all avidly looking forward to the project launch (did I mention that? August 31st!)!
I also ran out of all my pamphlets and got into the reserves I’d wanted to save for my FLGS, which is great. Folks loved the costume, concept, and the fact we’re releasing four free preview PDFs at launch (you know, August 31st).
That night was the big secret industry party, and my favorite event of every Gen Con: the Adventures of Baron Von Munchaussen game.

munchaussen gen con 2015
Lord Pramas of the Pickle-Powered Steam Piston, Duke Zub the Seeker of the Nile, Duchess Savannah of the Liger Proletariat Rebellion, Lord Bulhman of the Lead Baron Balloon Race (“Cost me 20 Guineau!” lol), Emperor Agresta of the Purloined David, Queen Ventura the Procurer of the Yeti Tie, Lord Hitchcock the Master Spoon Warrior, and finally Duke Myler (famed for his part in the Turkey Pickle Catastrophe of 1802)

Though Lord Mona could not attend (a travesty of epic proportions), it was so epic we played twice. 😀

mike and cthulhuWhile I struggled through most of the convention, I’d found my rhythm on Friday and was finally feeling myself on Sunday. Heck, I even struck another big business deal!
What few pamphlets I had saved for home were given to deserving folks and I helped run the booth while Bevan ran around doing heaven-knows-what (never can know with those kiwis). After the exhibitor’s hall closed I dragged the TV and all my accouterments outside (and thanks again to Scott for carrying that TV back to my car—that quickly gets tiring).
Owen bought me real food during the Veranthea Codex product line meeting (awesome stuff is incoming with that, folks!!!), then I met up with Savannah and Tim to shoot part of the Hypercorps 2099 Kickstarter video. We look totally awesome in it (thanks for all the makeup work Savannah) and Tim’s advice, training, and ingenuity really brought everything together in a wonderful way.
I am so excited to share that with everyone so, one last time—MONDAY AUGUST 31st!
After that was over (10:30 PM?) I said my final good byes and, way, way too tired of not seeing Stephanie or hearing her voice, took to the road again. There were some crazy drivers and what have you but really it was uneventful and thanks to the old family driving trick (eat sunflower seeds to keep your hands and brain busy) I pulled up to the house around 5 AM.

THREE DOWN (Generally)
While this was a tougher go of things than the last two years, it was another Gen Con well worth going to and I’m happy I did. As always it was great to put faces to names, hang out with folks I already knew, and occasionally get recognized by congoers.
We’ll see about next year—I like to think a company will be requiring me to go and stay in their attached hotel block in 2016. 😉

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