Long time Gen Con attendee here. Up until an hour ago it looked like I was going to miss my first Gen Con in about 10 years due to a work obligation. Now it seems I will have the time off to go. I found a flight from Los Angeles. I found a place to stay near'ish Indianapolis. However, this late in the game I have absolutely no events and because I initially wasn't going my usual Gen Con friends that come out with me are also not going. So...do I make the trip alone (not a big deal) with no events? I'm guessing if I do go I arm myself with a bunch of generics and try to get into D&D games, True Dungeon, Fantasy Flight and Pathfinder games, etc.
Anyone ever come to Gen Con last minute with no event tickets? I come for the gaming (and a little socializing) and like to stay busy. It's a long trip from California to plan last minute. What do you all think?
I would, but I like adventures.
Have most of your other Gen cons been very planned out? Maybe a more free form "see where the day takes you" event will give you the chance to discover something new?
I found my best moments at the convention were ones that were not planned.
Yeah, all of my Gen Con's have been planned out for the last 10+ years. Our group always had plenty of time for meals and dealer hall but it was really packed with events.
My first Gen Con spur of the moment and was without event tickets and I purchased generics on site, did have friends with me but they had their own events and schedule. I ended up playing demos, the D&D Open, going to some seminars and other games here and there. I had the time of my life.
2014 was my first year by myself, everyone dropped out. I did have events planned out but made a point of meeting people. One way I did this was if I was out eating, I would invite others to my table, if there was a line. Yes, I missed my friends but I knew a few people, at least met them before.
Another option is volunteering, way to meet people but also give back.
This is my 9th GC, my first by myself, and I am looking at it as a complete adventure. Sure I have a few tickets to events, seminars, and shows, but my schedule is pretty much wide open other than that. I even took the opportunity to volunteer 16 hours this year to see what that is like - all a part of the adventure. There is so much to do if you are open to the possibilities. I'm hoping to get into a lot of open gaming, wander around the city a bit, and hopefully make new friends in line or over drinks. There is still time to get tickets to stuff so grab some to add as a foundation, but don't be afraid to dump it if something better catches your eye while you're there.
There are still plenty of events available. Use the situation as an excuse to really try some games you normally wouldn't.
Been there, done that. No regrets. Generics work especially well solo. Solo seating in a bar area means you can skip lengthy seating ques at restaurants.
I have been going solo for about 4 years now ,after 7 of a group Gencon adventure,and since I work Sundays when events go on sale I usually can't get the hotness or, most of the time, my first choice of events. However I have discoverer that Gencon is exactly what you make of it, there are always openings somewhere so I just pick things that look or sound interesting, use generics when I can, and check out the shows. I never went to any of the shows before 3 years ago and boy was I missing some good stuff. Almost none of them sell out and I haven't seen a dud yet.
First Exposure playtest hall is a great thing as well, some hit and miss but its still fun to play what is essentially a final playtest of a game. The Iello room was great 4 bucks and you can play Iello games all weekend but I don't think they are doing that this year. Mayfair room is similar but I think its 4 hour blocks rather than all convention not sure someone will correct me :). Games on demand is another place, a generic gets you a couple of hours of what may be the next game you love.
Heck even off site but affiliated, the Concert against Humanity, huge fun last year so I'm going again this year.
My first Gencon was a spontaneous decision to go when I realized that it was going on in Milwaukee and I had nothing else going on that weekend. I didn't even know what it cost to get in and only brought maybe 200 dollars grand total, had no place to stay and not really enough money to both eat and park. I had no idea how to even sign up for events. More than a decade later I'm still going. I really only started planning things when I started having a group and that was a few years into Indianapolis. I say go and have and have an adventure. Solo is the easiest way to go with little to no planning.
Going solo...not much planned*...yep, pretty much sums up the 5 times I've been.
* - other than a few seminars, the Stink, KFG's Wednesday gaming, and - up until this year - Killer Breakfast.
have gone solo and with family up until two years ago I didn't buy event tickets just let the day take me where I wanted. (sometimes I wanted a nap at 3pm)
There's a metric ton of stuff you can do without planning ahead, *especially* early.
1) Nascrag -- always takes stragglers, will put you with a team. Pathfinder RPG "tournament."
2) Delve style events -- I believe pathfinder has a delve this year, but I could be wrong.
3) Card game tournaments -- if there are any LCG's that you play, maybe take the opportunity to play in a tournament for them. Aside from the national champinoships for Fantasy Flight, I don't think any of them sell out.
4) Show up with generics at whatever RPG you want to play. Showing up as an individual is way more likely to fit you in, as one no show is more common than 5 no shows, plus a lot of the smaller RPG groups will design a table to have between 4 and 6 players, menaing if they sell a group of 5 they will have one left over.
Plus everything in the dealer hall of course. And the dance party. And the seminars. And the costume contest (to watch).
I wouldn't go especially traveling so far. I did go in 2012 sort of spur of the moment. It was still not as late as this though. It was right before pre-reg ended. I was able to find 2-3 events to do over the weekend and we stayed at a cheap hotel 10 miles out. Since we were only a 5 hour drive away this all seemed worth the cost. A plane ticket would make me nix it though unless I had to spend expiring miles/credits.
You can still plan and register for events, you just have to pick them up at Will Call. See what's open and do the rest "on the fly," if you want to go!
Hell yes! When you go alone, you can try anything you like, play any game you like, attend any event you like without getting judged by anyone. Turn off your own internal critic for four days, and see where your interest leads you. The freedom is incredible!
My first GenCon was three years ago, and for the most part it was just my brother and I. We had no events scheduled. We didn't find the main event hall until Saturday. We are not especially social people. And we had a great time.
There is so much to just wander into at GenCon. We each bought a handful of generics and just wandered. Just walk up group areas and groups and ask if they have a spot open.
Lots and lots of game demos in the exhibit hall and elsewhere in the convention center. Lots of events where somebody doesn't show up and the need someone to fill the slot. Lots of time to just wander the exhibit hall and maybe find a new game or twelve that you didn't know about. Heck yes, go to Gen Con with or without scheduled events and you will have a great time!! Nothing else, offer to volunteer a few hours for the con. You can meet lots of new people.
I say the only way you will know if it was "worth it" for yourself is to give it a try. I can't imagine not finding some great things to do because there are thousands of events. I hardly ever have more than two or three tickets before I get there. Plus you can play demos in the exhibit hall like a crazy man! :-)
I don't have a single event ticket - neither does my brother. We always do separate events and use a lot of generics (last year I planned more and got actual tickets). Also, there will be tons of events left you can still get tickets for :D. Go for it! And enjoy! :D
You can probably find a spot or to for True Dungeon in the forums at truedungeon.com, or you can wait on standby and get slotted into a group with a no-show on generics.
You can register when you get in for events, there will be stuff left.
Plenty to see and do on the show floor.
If you play magic you'll be able to get into pretty much whatever you want there.