The Good, the Bad, and THE UGLY!
1 3
1 3
Posted by donaldbain

Forbid wagons but allow square carts?

https://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-Home-Upgraded-Waterproof-Groceries/dp/B0CBCW34P4/ref=sr_1_19?crid=2KO4M2P96DFO6&keywords=folding%2Bcart%2Bwith%2Bwheels%2Bcollapsible&qid=1692040970&sprefix=folding%2Bcart%2Caps%2C225&sr=8-19&th=1

Require flags on wagons? 

A bag check room would fill up really fast.  You'd have to require everything be removed at the end of the day, by 7:00 or so.

Posted by ryric

Twenty years ago, there were rental lockers in the ICC. They were generally all taken by sometime Tuesday before the con. 

That was when Gen Con was half the size it is now. I don't think a general bag check room is terribly feasible.

Posted by aldctjoc

Way too many people. Even if it's only a tenth of the attendees, that's like nearly 7000 people. 

A coat/bag check room for just a few dozen to a hundred is already chaos. You'd literally need to treat a check room for Gen Con like a mini warehouse. 

But don't get me wrong, I don't want to shoot down ideas. And yeah, something is needed. Even if you forgive all the multistory housing developments people carried on their backs, it'd be nice for even people with small loads, because that can get wearying to carry around all day. 

The real solution would be 3 times the number of hotel rooms in walking distance, but that'll never happen. :( 

Posted by jimdigris

As someone who carries a backpack, I simply take it off and carry it in my hand while in the dealer's hall.  Wagons and baby strollers simply do not belong there, as they snarl traffic selfishly and could lead to loss of life in an emergency.  Gencon should make multiple announcements to that effect.

Posted by quarex

People so obliviously disinterested in others' ability to maneuver that they bring full-sized wagons are not going to listen to anything short of an enforced ban

Posted by tdb

The Good:


  • I ran events at Gencon for the first time ever, and it turned out really well.  I ended up with an extra player each session, and everyone had a good time.  Big thanks to Quantum Black for inviting me to GM!
  • I played in a couple great games: Sweet Mountain of Madness Christmas was an absolute hoot, and Can of Whupass was, as usual, a highlight of the convention.  Hanging out and chatting with some of the other players afterwards was awesome. 
  • The art show had some amazing work on display.  We had some nice conversations with some of the artists.
  • We managed to check off most everything on our dealer hall shopping list, despite the ugliness of the dealer hall.
  • We loved the new location for the auction and consignment store.  We were able to seriously shop the auction store for the first time in at least a decade, and found some cool stuff.

The Bad:

  • Somehow my wife forgot her dice on Thursday.  And I forgot my snack bag on Friday.  Not huge problems but we really felt like we weren't quite firing on all cylinders.
  • Some real-life matters raised their heads during the con, forcing my wife to take three hours out of the middle of Saturday to run home and help someone out.
  • One of our games seemed like it was going to be awesome, but somehow managed to not be.  At all.  Oh well.
  • My attitude.  Somehow, between the logistics of running events, some life things, and the absolute crush of people in the dealer hall, I didn't start to really feel the "old Gencon magic" until late Saturday night.  And Sunday in the dealer hall pretty much crushed that feeling. 
  • I'm not into TCG's, nor am I into Disney.  So I didn't think Lorcana would have any impact on me.  But all weekend I, and everyone else attending or working the convention, had to dodge those bloody cattle pens that ran the length of the corridor in front of the dealer hall.  I understand that they had to do something to control the herds, but couldn't they have located Ravensburger in a location that would let everyone else get past it without trouble?
  • All of our gaming was in the JW or the Marriott, so the food trucks and beer were really inconvenient to visit.  We never went.

The Ugly:

  • Rolling things and giant backpacks in the dealer hall.  I started a separate thread on this specific subject but I'll mention it here too.  The enormous packs and wagons simply must be banned for the safety of the attendees.  Consider what would happen in the dealer hall if there were a fire.
  • The dealer hall.  We devoted two days of our schedule to roaming the dealer hall.  And each day, we lasted a couple hours before we had to bail.  Between the thoughtless people stopping to look at their phones in the middle of the aisles, the giant vehicles, and the huge crush of people we simply couldn't stay in the hall and keep our sanity or our tempers.  So we left.  Overall we managed to hit about 20% of the dealer hall.  I guess that was good for our budget but it wasn't fun. We played zero demos this year.
  • I'm starting to ask myself how badly I want to come back.  This was my 20th con, and if you would have told me I would be thinking that way before the con started I would have replied "Inconceivable!"  But the ratio of good times to pains in the ass has been on a downward spiral for a while now, and it's very close to the tipping point.

Posted by cnjones

The Good

GenCon is back!

The weather!  Normally Indy weather is disgustingly hot this time of year, but only Thursday was the hot day it seemed to me.  Saturday's overcast weather was perfect.

All the new games I actually wanted to spend my money on for a great value and price!  

The BGG Math Trade- went smooth as usually, but I had far more trades this time than usual, and did so faster than usual.
New vendors with affordable bulk miniatures!

Vendors, etc. Look, I LOVE the art. I buy a piece of artwork every year. There is some truly gorgeous stuff. But I'm not sure the dealer hall is the place for it anymore. Artists and authors eat up a huge chunk of real estate that could mean more room for new and unique game and game supply vendors (or expanded room for existing ones). Giving the artists and writers their own dedicated vendor area in one or more of the big rooms across the hall seems like something worth looking into.

The Meh

Food trucks/Block Party:  this topic barely edged into the Meh category from the Bad category, mainly due to Island Noodles' extraordinarily fast service and good food.  My other mates went elsewhere, and I was already finished with my dinner and was sitting comfortably by the Stadium.  Island Noodles only takes about 10-15 minutes at most to walk through.  It took my other group 45 minutes just to get to me and begin eating…and they were disappointed with the food.  
The distance wasn't an issue for us, but it can be exhausting to walk tot dealer hall for several hours and then walk to the truck location, so I understand that part.  Thursday was atrocious, however, because it was so hot, tons of people were sitting inside the long connector hallway 2 and 3 deep from the walls it made navigating difficult (and the mix of food smell and BO was not great).  When we finally exited the food truck area was slammed packed and it was terribly hot due to being on a parking lot.  We all broke up to go our separate ways and waited about 10 minutes in our lines and decided to hell with it.  Lines were just too long and it was too hot.  

Now, the variety and number of trucks there on Thursday wasn't as many as the other days, but the wait times are still ridiculous enough to warrant skipping most of the trucks in my opinion.  The unfortunate thing is, though, the lack of *available decently-priced* places to eat in the vicinity.

The new auction/consignment store location.  Fantastic upgrade.  However, the process for sellers Sunday morning is atrocious, as they only had one person checking out people's earned payouts.  With an option of cash or check, this slowed the process down more than necessary, as many preferred a check.  While waiting, I also saw many people who had entered their products at such ridiculous prices they didn't sell anything, which also took tons of time to process them.  
Hopefully they can improve this next year.

Paizo's diminished appearance is sad for me.  The lack of quality GMs is also something they need to address.  They need to figure out how to get better quality GMs, or a better way to attract volunteers.  It's obviously not enough.  I was expecting a bigger presence from them with their new remaster coming and the new ORC license.

The National Security Decision-Making Game.  There were too many people allowed into this 2 hour event, and the process of the game itself was not done well at all.  Many people were simply left out because there was no formal process of decision-making and no guides during the game.

The Bad

Food in the mall is garbage.

Paper ticketing issues.  I play a lot of Pathfinder, and while in line heard several times people telling the ticket sellers that an electronic ticket was sold to them for an event, then they went to the event to be told electronic tickets were not being accepted.  This happened at Paizo several times over the Con- Paizo apparently doesn't take electronic tickets, but people were constantly told at checkout they did.

Metal detectors into Lucas Oil.  The hall connector from convention center into Oil Lucas housed metal detectors.  However, you could simply take a surface door and go through a non-functioning metal detector and get in that way!  What's the point of this?  I know for fact none of the detectors we walked through from the surface into Lucas Oil were on or working.
Lorcana logistics.  Ravensburger and GenCon had to have known the scramble to buy this game was going to be huge, so either they didn't care or were woefully incompetent.  I could not get to a booth I was going to due to the line, and other booths were blocked.  It was a mess and GenCon needs to do better with these.

The Ugly

Dealer hall crowd.  GenCon 50 was a hot mess, and Saturday and Sunday's Dealer Hall crowd was worse than that year.  
Many factors contribute to this, but it's a problem because people who go to spend money are getting frustrated and end up not spending that money and just leaving the crowd.  Worse, tensions are going to increase one of these Cons and there will be a terrible tragic accident occur or an incident in anger, and GenCon really needs to think about reorganizing the hall and access control.

First, if your backpack is wider than you are, they should not be allowed in.  Second, no pull carts or wagons should be allowed in.  Third, no strollers or other wheeled devices should be allowed in, period.  There just isn't enough room to accommodate and the crowds are so large that children in strollers shouldn't be in the hall anyway.  I'm sure this is probably unpopular.  Obviously, anyone with a disability should be exempted.  This also makes it nearly impossible for someone with a motorized vehicle who has a disability to make it through the hall was well, in part because there are below the horizon for most eyes looking around.  I personally witnesses a poor woman stopped, trying to cross and lane of the herd for far too long before she slowly edged her way through.  This is unacceptable.  Maybe there should also be dedicated center express walking lanes put down by tape?

People's etiquette is always atrocious and there probably isn't any way to fix this, but lessening the mass of humans will.  
Half of people have no awareness of their surroundings or can empathize with others, and thus don't give a hoot about stopping in the middle of a walk aisle or knocking a child down with their keg-size backpack.

I wish GenCon could institute a better intersection system.  Intersection roundabouts would be perfect instead of the trash cans; I witnessed multiple times people actually resting their items on the trash can while they ate something!
One solution another poster offered was to stick big publishers in their own rooms.  This would be ideal, but the dealer hall is where most people go and spend their time looking and then buying.  It would be tough to force a company to go into their own room AND pay the cost for that.  

No one has mentioned extending the dealer hall to a portion of the hall where Magic the Gathering is played.  There is plenty of room in there and is a perfect spot to add more vendors.  Move a couple rows of the tables that are never full!
It was also mentioned moving the art and author area.  As before, it would be a tough move for a company or person to leave the dealer hall.  Plus, although I'm not an art buyer, the art there is top of the line.  These people are true professionals.  

Limiting the count of people going into the Dealer Hall might be a solution, too?  I can only imagine what would happen if there was ever a fire in there.

Friday and Sunday are my groups' days to wander the Dealer Hall.  Sunday, however, we actually said to hell with it and left around noon.  It was just too much.  I've never left GenCon so early on the last day.

*None of the above complaints are deal-breaking for me, however.  We plan on attending next year but will consider doing something else on Sunday instead of the Dealer Hall.
 

Posted by ryric cnjones

cnjones wrote:

Vendors, etc. Look, I LOVE the art. I buy a piece of artwork every year. There is some truly gorgeous stuff. But I'm not sure the dealer hall is the place for it anymore. Artists and authors eat up a huge chunk of real estate that could mean more room for new and unique game and game supply vendors (or expanded room for existing ones). Giving the artists and writers their own dedicated vendor area in one or more of the big rooms across the hall seems like something worth looking into.

Years ago, the art show was in a different room. It got moved into the exhibit hall, likely to get the artists more customer eyeballs.

Posted by lehane cnjones

cnjones wrote:

Paizo's diminished appearance is sad for me.  The lack of quality GMs is also something they need to address.  They need to figure out how to get better quality GMs, or a better way to attract volunteers.  It's obviously not enough.  I was expecting a bigger presence from them with their new remaster coming and the new ORC license.
 

I didn't have any Pathfinder or Starfinder games this year, but I can't help but wonder what went on here. What do you mean by a diminished appearance?

Posted by brooks lehane

lehane wrote:
cnjones wrote:Paizo's diminished appearance is sad for me.  The lack of quality GMs is also something they need to address.  They need to figure out how to get better quality GMs, or a better way to attract volunteers.  It's obviously not enough.  I was expecting a bigger presence from them with their new remaster coming and the new ORC license.
I didn't have any Pathfinder or Starfinder games this year, but I can't help but wonder what went on here. What do you mean by a diminished appearance?

I also don't play Pathfinder or Starfinder at Gen Con, but their physical presence in both the Exhibitor's Hall and Sagamore Ballroom has absolutely diminished. I'm guessing it's due to internal factors such as Lisa Steven's stepping back from having an active role running the company, internal strife, the SRD debacle, spending resources on both Starfinder 2ed and a revamped Pathfinder 2ed, developing the ORC, etc.. They have a lot going on and haven't had the same massive presence at Gen Con from just a few years ago. 

Posted by qwaserity cnjones

cnjones wrote:
The Good... 
The BGG Math Trade- went smooth as usually, but I had far more trades this time than usual, and did so faster than usual.

You're welcome!!!

New Post Sign in to write a new post.
1 3
1 3