First time attending!
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Posted by austicke alittleparrott

alittleparrott wrote:I am so overwhelmed by all of the responses I've gotten here. This is already such different con experience than I've had before; everyone is being so nice, helpful, and it really seems like everyone is dedicated to having a good con experience.

If you miss complaints, bitching and recriminations, just give it two weeks for the results of the housing lottery. Hehe, but, seriously, we're mostly all good eggs.

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Posted by alans

There's usually more complaining on Facebook than here :)
But, not always!

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Posted by austicke alans

alans wrote:There's usually more complaining on Facebook than here :)
But, not always!

Don't I know it!

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Posted by ayoung98683

One of my favorite experiences from last year (my first year attending) was Indie Games on Demand -- with 2 and 4 hour drop-in slots, you never have to worry about having nothing to do. I showed up 15 minutes before the timeslot started and got into an excellent Feng Shui 2 game. I can't attend this year, but next year I'll leave more open time to fill with G.O.D-ness.

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Posted by cosmicpower

I got a hotel room 6 miles away. I was already planning on traveling using uber/lyft. How lucky would I have to be to get a decent hotel room in the lottery pick? What really goes fast so i could have an idea if i should just not worry about it.

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Posted by ayoung98683 cosmicpower

cosmicpower wrote:
I got a hotel room 6 miles away. I was already planning on traveling using uber/lyft. How lucky would I have to be to get a decent hotel room in the lottery pick? What really goes fast so i could have an idea if i should just not worry about it.

IMO, it'd be silly to not try and get a better room via the lottery. For basically zero investment, you have a decent chance of getting a better location. Why wouldn't you do that?

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Posted by mhayward1978 cosmicpower

cosmicpower wrote:
I got a hotel room 6 miles away. I was already planning on traveling using uber/lyft. How lucky would I have to be to get a decent hotel room in the lottery pick? What really goes fast so i could have an idea if i should just not worry about it.

There were just over unique 60,000 attendees last year and the year before.  There are around 4,700 connected hotel rooms (Gen Con doesn't get all of them).

So - with some back of the envelope estimation it seems your odds are between 1/15 and 1/3.

Keep in mind, connected rooms are much prized, but also cost $200-250 a night, I'm betting your 6 mile out room is half that.

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Posted by aaronmlopez

Last year I rented a place about 10 minutes out. Split 4 ways it was quite reasonable. I didn't even consider the housing lottery at that point, and the additional parking fee ($35/day) was worth it as I was still saving money over the cost of a downtown room. This year, I think I would like to stay at a connected hotel just to be able to game later and not have to worry about driving. 

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Posted by ayoung98683

Everyone measures things differently of course, but don't underestimate the value of being able to go back to your room to lie on the bed and 'rest your eyes' for half an hour or so.

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Posted by andrewj.rager

Everyone has their reasons for wanting to be closer. Last year it didn't matter to me so we stayed in the Keystone Crossings area. Worked out fine. However this year with a baby, we really need a close, preferably connected, hotel so we can go back & forth with the baby. Hopefully luck will be in our favor.

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Posted by tlizerz cosmicpower

cosmicpower wrote:
rhone1 wrote:
Uber is a fantastic way to get the Con from hotels not downtown.  I know many a gamer that have used Uber and they reported no problems at all.
do you know off hand the prices for uber/lyft? I know it changes during certain hours. I'm just looking fo rough estimates.
I was staying about 13 miles away last year and ended up paying $13-$18 per ride with Lyft. 

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Posted by kcgames tlizerz

tlizerz wrote:I was staying about 13 miles away last year and ended up paying $13-$18 per ride with Lyft. 

How was your experience with Lyft?  

This will be my third Gen Con - and both previous times I got a downtown room within walking distance.  (We're thinking about staying outside the downtown area this time.)

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Posted by voice_of_reason

OK, first a disclaimer:  The information below is NOT my own.  Someone had posted this in the forum YEARS ago and being new to Gen Con at the time, I found it to be a good starting point.  With that in mind, I'll repost it and hope it is beneficial.  Sorry I can't give credit to the author.  I copy/pasted the info and kept it (most in original form).  Again, it is dated now, but some of it may still be useful.

*if the author reads this, please accept my belated THANKS!

Here are some basic guidelines for your Gen Con budget:
Part I: LODGING
You have two extremes to work with here.
Posh -- Staying at one of the connected hotels.
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  • Pros: Easy access to the hotels, nice amenities, nice comfort, quick bedside-to-convention time. You can also pop in and drop off swag and merchandise at will, and even pop in for a nap between events. Your car is relatively safe in a hotel parking garage.
  • Cons: Expensive. Parking garage fees tend to be extreme.
    [/list]
    Roughing It -- Staying offsite at a dirt cheap flophouse.
    [list=circle]
  • Pros: Inexpensive -- you can stay the whole con for the price of one night at a posh hotel.
  • Cons: You'll have to deal with a drive, and downtown parking fees will gouge you, and you have to stay at the convention all day. (or pay repeat parking fees).
    [/list]
    I've done both ends of this -- I've stayed at the Red Roof and commuted each day, and I stayed at the Marriot and Hilton. There are two schools of thought -- 1.) You’re trying to do this as inexpensive as possible and have to watch each dime, and 2.) Damn it, you’re on vacation and it's time to spoil yourself. I myself love the ease of access to a hotel room and not having to deal with the downtown parking issue, so much so that I think it's worth the extra 100. Likewise, I've been worn out by 4pm at the con, and ready to kick back in the bathtub for an hour, but grimly realized that if I left for the hotel, I left for the day. But I still must admit it is pretty nice having a four day con's lodging paid for under $200.
     In either case, the sooner you book, the cheaper it will be. Keep that in mind, and certainly take advantage of the hotel block-reservations offered by this fine site each year.
    You’re looking at:  500-700 bucks for posh, 100-250 for roughing it.
     PART II: FOOD!
    Yes, of course you need to have some carbohydrates and proteins to keep going at the con. I remember when I first moved out; I asked my dad how much I should budget for food. He told me the answer to that question is always another question -- how well do you want to eat?
    And it's very true. If you are going get by with a 6 inch meatball sub for din-din, your dinner probably will be under 10 bucks. If you go to the old Ruth Chris, and order up a 2-lb porterhouse with a giant glass of Merlot, you probably need to budget a heck of a lot more.
    The Double Rule: I find this to be a good rule of thumb -- plan for your lunch to be double the cost of your breakfast, and your dinner to be double the cost of your lunch. For example:
    [list=circle]
  • Breakfast: An omelet sandwich from Mc D’s:  $5.00
  • Lunch: A club sandwich and coke (+ tip) at a nearby restaurant:  $10.00
  • Dinner: Some of The Ram's legendary Seafood Alfredo (+ coke and tip):  $20.00
    [/list]
    For goodness sake, stay away from room service. Room service is horribly expensive and rarely worth it. At the Marriot, the basic breakfast of eggs, sausage and bacon (7 bucks at most restaurants) ran 20 bucks. Get your ass up and go get a McMuffin for a buck or two. Also, don't use the convention food court -- their prices are just as bad. There's a nifty little food court at the attached mall that has some really good bourbon chicken... and more reasonable rates.
    You CAN do food on a mere Alex Hamilton a day.  Mc D's value meal will stuff you for under $3 a meal. True, having double cheeseburgers and parfaits isn't eating like a king, but it sure will be cost effective.
    You are looking at: probably $20-$100 a day, depending on how extravagant your meal budget is.
     PART III: THE CON
    I always said it is ironic that the smallest item on my Gen Con budget is always the event itself.
    [list=circle]
  • Badge: Your badge costs $72.00 for the whole con (pre-registration). Unless you are planning to go only one day, it's really not saving much money to buy days piecemeal.
  • True Dungeons: Ok, now here's the killer. If you want to run the puzzle and combat runs both, you are looking at another $80 bucks. They are two different runs, but I am not sure if its really worth the extra 40. Also, don't waste your money on additional tokens. I've done runs for 3 years now and 99% of the time the tokens make no difference.
  • Events: Virtually all events at Gen Con are in the neighborhood of 3 bucks an hour. Using that as a baseline, figure $30.00 for a solid 8am-10pm day of events.
  • Celebrity Meetings: You're going drop an Andy Jack ($20) to go get your picture with Redshirt Ricky or whoever. My first year of Gen Con had a bunch of top-flight guests from the sci-fi industry, but over the past 3 years the star power has REALLY diminished to a handful of ("Who...?" and "Him?" celebrities. Not worth the jack in my opinion. But again, 20 per celebrity handshake/signature/photo.
  • [/list]
    The True Dungeon bit is moot if you aren’t going be here the day (or 2-3 days following) of pre-registration for True Dungeon, because after that, you aren't getting in. And be careful not to pack your schedule tight. It really gets wearying to be bolting from event to event every 60 minutes.
    There are also free events like the Paint and Take, Cardhalla, and even kicking back and just enjoying the company of fellow gamers. Also, there are plenty of pickup games to be found.
     You’re looking at: $100 (tickets and regular events) to $300 (tickets, events, 2 TD runs, 5 celebrity sigs)
    PART IV: SWAG AND SOUVENEIRS
    This is the area that will really fluctuate from person to person. Some people go on gigantic buying binges, buying thousands of dollars of merchandise and artwork. Other folks don't spend a dime on keepsakes. This is really totally up to you.
    I'd wait and use the money you have left over from all other figuring.
    You're looking at:  $0 to thousands.
     PART V: PARTY TIME
    Some folks want to go out and go do the three deadly Ds (drinking, dancing and debauching), and some just want to go to their room at the end of the day and unwind. Most folks fall somewhere in between these two extremes. I always consider a beer about $5.00, and go from there. Admission to a club will be $5.00-$10.00. Catching a movie will probably be about $10-$20. I always figure that if you are going go out on the town, figure at least 20 to 40 bucks a night. Or if just grabbing a quick pitcher at the RAM before turning in is more your speed, it'll be about $10. Again, this is another one that will vary based on the person.
    You're looking at: $0 to $160
    ___________________________________________________________________________________
    Quick Reference by Budget:
    I'd say you can't do the con for less than $200.00. Unless you are staying somewhere rent-free, and don't plan to do much other than wander the halls.
    $200-$500 -- A badge, staying offsite at a Day's Inn, eating off fast food value menus and a precious few events is all you're going to be able to do.
    $500-$800 -- Now you can afford to get a badge and stay at a connected hotel, but you won't be able to do much but an event or two. This is the level where you can stay offsite and use the saved money to make some true dungeon runs and pick up some items in the dealer hall. You'll still probably be doing fast food and not much off-site partying.
    $800-$1,200 -- This is the zone I shoot for. You are at a connected hotel, you have enough to pack your schedule, you can do a couple True Dungeon runs. You have enough for modest meals and an occasional nice tuck-in.  You have enough to buy a few goodies in the dealer hall and even maybe a pitcher of beer at the RAM.
    $1,200+ -- Fat city. Once you past a dozen Franklins, you got yourself a pretty comfortable con.  You can stay at a connected hotel, attend events, do a True Dungeon run, eat extravagantly, and have money to burn in the dealer hall...plus the coin to go hit the Indy nightlife, if you choose.
     

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    Posted by apparentlymarylee

    First time for me as well. Subscribing!

    Re: Your budget, We've already paid for lodgings on Mass Ave for a week and will have about 2k to spend on Gen Con and seeing Indy in general (including lots of food and booze) so hopefully we're set? I was assuming it'd be like a 40/60 split.

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    Posted by rhhata

    I've done two Gen Cons at Indy '11 & '12 (and one in Wisconsin decades ago, but now that's irrelevant), and both times I did the "schedule tightly and run like a madman" thing - I'm more comfortable with the structure.
    This year, I'm thinking I want to step outside my comfort zone, and so I am looking at the posts that advise "grab some generic tickets and wander around".  My question is,  wander where?  There are events all over the place and I believe it could take an entire day just to find every room once and glance inside.
    Probably one of those far out, difficult to answer questions, but I am curious.  For reference, I lean heavily toward RPGs, but am not averse to other gaming.

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    Posted by soulcatcher78 rhhata

    rhhata wrote:
    I've done two Gen Cons at Indy '11 & '12 (and one in Wisconsin decades ago, but now that's irrelevant), and both times I did the "schedule tightly and run like a madman" thing - I'm more comfortable with the structure.
    This year, I'm thinking I want to step outside my comfort zone, and so I am looking at the posts that advise "grab some generic tickets and wander around".  My question is,  wander where?  There are events all over the place and I believe it could take an entire day just to find every room once and glance inside.
    Probably one of those far out, difficult to answer questions, but I am curious.  For reference, I lean heavily toward RPGs, but am not averse to other gaming.
    If there's an RPG that you'd like to try but don't have any luck getting access once the events open (i.e. Paranoia) then make a note of the time and place of the event and stalk the table like an animal you plan on eating.  Seriously though, if you know there's something you'd like to do and there are multiple instances scheduled they'll likely be in the same place (at least hotel if not room (i.e, 7th Sea second edition)).  Be available before the game starts and let the GM know that if there's an opening you'd like to sit in with generics (please have the appropriate amount for the event).  If there's a no show the GM will usually allow you to jump in after 5-10 minutes of the start time to give the ticket holder some time to show up.

    While it may not work every time, there are enough successes that make it worth your while to show up prepared to play.

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    Posted by soulcatcher78 apparentlymarylee

    apparentlymarylee wrote:
    First time for me as well. Subscribing!
    Re: Your budget, We've already paid for lodgings on Mass Ave for a week and will have about 2k to spend on Gen Con and seeing Indy in general (including lots of food and booze) so hopefully we're set? I was assuming it'd be like a 40/60 split.
    2k for fun after the hotel should be more then enough depending on your tastes and how much damage you'd like to do to your liver.  If you're going to be in town for a week take some time to see the museums (not sure what's scheduled this year for the one that's close to the ICC but they usually have something interesting).  The Zoo and the Children's Museum are also good stops (esp. if you're bringing kidlets).

    Check the schedule for the baseball games (there's a team that plays across the street from the ICC - minor league but if you enjoy baseball it might be fun).

    Tuesday is the new Wednesday (aka day 0) so if you're social and bring games with you you'll likely be able to drum up some additional players in your hotel starting Tuesday.  Sit down in the lobby and break out a game and you'll fill the seats soon enough.

    Sadly, you won't be able to do any open gaming IN the ICC before Thursday (occupancy rules or some such legal hoo hah) but you may be able to do some in the restaurants downtown that aren't to crowded before the Con starts.

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    Posted by rhhata soulcatcher78

    soulcatcher78 wrote:
    rhhata wrote:
    I've done two Gen Cons at Indy '11 & '12 (and one in Wisconsin decades ago, but now that's irrelevant), and both times I did the "schedule tightly and run like a madman" thing - I'm more comfortable with the structure.
    This year, I'm thinking I want to step outside my comfort zone, and so I am looking at the posts that advise "grab some generic tickets and wander around".  My question is,  wander where?  There are events all over the place and I believe it could take an entire day just to find every room once and glance inside.
    Probably one of those far out, difficult to answer questions, but I am curious.  For reference, I lean heavily toward RPGs, but am not averse to other gaming.
    If there's an RPG that you'd like to try but don't have any luck getting access once the events open (i.e. Paranoia) then make a note of the time and place of the event and stalk the table like an animal you plan on eating.  Seriously though, if you know there's something you'd like to do and there are multiple instances scheduled they'll likely be in the same place (at least hotel if not room (i.e, 7th Sea second edition)).  Be available before the game starts and let the GM know that if there's an opening you'd like to sit in with generics (please have the appropriate amount for the event).  If there's a no show the GM will usually allow you to jump in after 5-10 minutes of the start time to give the ticket holder some time to show up.While it may not work every time, there are enough successes that make it worth your while to show up prepared to play.
    So, do my research before hand.  Show up early and talk to the GM, have the generics in hand, and hope for some good luck!  I assume after about 15 minutes, I'll know either way, and if I haven't been invited to the table, just tip my hat and slip away quietly without interrupting the session (seems like the polite thing to do).
    Thank you for the quick response!  Love these forums!!
     

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