Skip to main content

Gen Con Report: Part 1

I am back from Gen Con 2015. This year's con was amazing, the best in the last few years. I'm interested in seeing the attendance numbers. I would be surprised if there were less than 60,000 people, yet the show didn't feel any more crowded than last year. (As I wrote this post, the official numbers were released: 61,423 attendees, with 197,695 turnstile.)


Wednesday was travel day. I attend Gen Con with friends, and we typically carpool from the Pittsburgh area. This year, our group included one member who flew in from Boston, so the trip began with picking her up from the airport.

The drive to Indianapolis generally takes about 7 hours including a stop for lunch. We also throw in a stop at a large outdoor sports shop in West Virginia because it's along the way and who wants to go to West Virginia if they don't have to?

I had left much of my game prep to the last minute this year, so I took advantage of the ride to complete the last few pregenerated characters for my Games on Demand offerings. More on those later.

Upon arriving in Indianapolis, we checked into the JW Marriott. Our room on the 19th floor gave us quite a view of the convention center area. The JW is a perfectly good hotel, but I'm glad I got the group rate, as they were advertising non-block rooms for $800 a night.

After a light dinner at the food truck roundup on Georgia Street, I made my way to the Diana Jones Awards. This is the big industry get-together before the show proper begins, and it's also an awards ceremony celebrating excellence in gaming. This year's winner was The Guide to Glorantha, published by Moon Design.

The Diana Jones Awards are a strange experience for me. They are the biggest example of something I ran into a lot at Gen Con: a space where I feel like I'm welcome but not particularly wanted. The DJAs are held in a bar which rapidly becomes crowded with industry folks. I don't mingle well and I don't drink, so bars are generally uncomfortable. Basically, I spent a few hours watching for people I recognize but don't feel too intimidated to speak to, saying hello, maybe chatting awkwardly for a moment, and then wandering away. I don't go to the Awards "with" anyone, so I don't have anyone to retreat to and always feel like I'm interrupting someone else's group or conversation.

Eventually, I left the DJAs and returned to the convention center to pick up my badge and tickets from Will Call. Every year, the Will Call line gets longer and longer, and while Gen Con does a good job keeping everything moving, it still takes a while to get through. We're considering having our materials mailed to us next year.

To Be Continued

This post is long enough. I'll continue tomorrow with the events of Thursday. See you then!

Popular posts from this blog

Dungeon Crate, May 2016

For my birthday last month, my friends got me a subscription to DungeonCrate.  This service is the RPG-focused entry in the current "crate" craze, where you pay a subscription fee and a box of themed stuff is sent to your home monthly, quarterly, or whatever. Well, my first crate arrived today, and I thought I'd go through it here on the blog.

Discworld RPG Review

The Discworld Roleplaying Game is a standalone fantasy RPG written by Phil Masters with rules based on GURPS Fourth Edition by Steve Jackson Games. It is the second edition of Discworld RPG, following the original GURPS Discworld published in 1998 and reprinted under the Discworld RPG name in 2002.

For those who may not be familiar, Discworld is the setting of an extremely popular series of fantasy novels written by Sir Terry Pratchett. The Disc consists of a flat, circular plane resting on the backs of four elephants who in turn stand on the shell of an enormous turtle which swims through space. It began as a fairly traditional — if satirical — fantasy world, but through over 40 novels, Pratchett advanced the setting into a rich canvas on which to poke fun at the peculiarities of modern life.

The first edition of the Discworld RPG was based on GURPS Third Edition, and it included GURPS Lite, a pared down version of the core system. Still, it relied perhaps too much on knowledge of th…

Voting Is Live For The 2016 Ennie Awards

The 2016 Ennie Awards are now open for voting. Go to to vote for the great gaming products in two dozen categories.

While you’re there, I hope you’ll consider voting for It’s Element-ary! for Best Family Game. I’m up against some very worthy competition, and I’m honored just to be nominated. But who knows what could happen, right?