The Good The Bad and the Ugly for 2016
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Posted by mhayward1978 bpunkert

bpunkert wrote:True Dungeon (Group One): The folks who showed up super early with briefcases of pogs and were only interested in the loot and doing it as hardcore as possible. I wasn't interested in doing it hardcore, and I wasn't the only one, but I got the feeling there was a lot of annoyance at the newbies. I was having a panic attack in the muster room and trying not to cry because they were so obviously mad at us for wanting to play normal. Also, there is a difference between being decisive and making others feel unwelcome. It got precariously close to that line at times.

Sorry about that!  Just so you know, the rule at TD is it takes UNANIMOUS agreement to run at any difficulty other than Normal - so you were in the right, no ifs, ands, or buts.

If people in your group are giving you a hard time, you can ask your room coach, DM, or other to fetch an "AC" (Adventure Coordinator), who can act as a customer service ambassador.

Next year, if you go again, I recommend organizing with a group in the TD forums at truedungeon.com beforehand to get a full run.  That way you can pick your difficulty, classes, and avoid this kind of friction.

Posted by mhayward1978 lanefan

lanefan wrote:
Maybe the TD organizers could look at running some dungeons on a "no-gear" basis, so new and experienced players start out more equal?

They have tried in the past to do something along those lines.  (They had "nightmare only" runs that were constrained to go at that difficulty).

The problem is that during registration people don't read / understand the description and show up planning to do whatever they imagined, and it actually causes a bigger issue, as now they are in a run where in group diplomacy can't change the rules.

 

Posted by holien

The good
Less crowded, the use of the Lucas stadium has made a massive difference and wandering the dealer hall was the best I have seen in the 3 years I have been attending. 

As usual some great gaming and lovely people met and old friends seen. That makes it a world class event and keeps me travelling over from the UK for this show.

Picking up a copy of the new Pandemic game.

The bad
1hour wait in line for Will Call on Wednesday. I arrived in line around 9pm and got through it by 10pm. After a long day of traveling that did for me. I guess I needed to hit it later or early on Thursday.

Also pretty annoyed that when I went to get a bag / coupon book they were all gone. Just read there were no bags, but come on if I have to wait an hour for my badge surely the stack of coupon books can be kept ready and stocked?

Made the mistake of using the Go shuttle at the airport. I should have used uber as it (Go Shuttle) is shockinly run and late, overcrowded with a bit of planning they should be able to deal with the numbers, it is not as if it should be a surprise... I guess I was lucky as I got a seat, but numerous people were left standing at the kerbside. I listened to the driver who seemed to be the boss on the radio and his man mgt skills were dire....

Having garbage bins right in middle of walkway in the dealer hall, silly!!!

The ugly
Reading here about people groping women in the dealer hall! That is sad to hear, I hope the culprits can be tracked and dealt with. If I go next year I will keep an eye open for it and call out any behaviour of that nature.

Posted by tdb

The Good:


  • Had some great events.  Can Of Whupass was fun as always, and I also had fun at Den of Ubiquity: Not Certified For Use With Shoggoths and our Thursday morning Trail Of Cthulhu game.
  • The wider aisles in the exhibit hall made our time there much more pleasant.
  • The photo area in the main hall seemed to help traffic a little.  Having these in some other areas might be a good idea as well.  Publicizing them better might help too.
  • The volunteers at Will Call and Customer Service deserve a big Thank You.  On Wednesday the line for will-call stretched to Hall A (West Street), but we got through in 38 minutes. Amazing!  And both times we had to go to Customer Service the line moved fairly quickly, and the volunteers were pleasant and efficient.
  • We got to see a lot of old friends.  I actually didn't recognize Will when I first saw him because he has lost so much weight.  Go, Will!
  • We also got to see many other old friends, some who we only see at Gen Con, some who we see more often, but it's always great to see friends among so many faces.
  • The con felt much less crowded than last year, much more so than the attendance numbers would indicate.  I think expanding to Lucas helped a lot.

The Bad:

  • We were served half-cooked pizza at the food court on Maryland street Friday evening.  Management did give us something else instead, but we were pretty grossed out.
  • In the Castles and Crusades game we had to roll up characters, and there were only 2 player's handbooks available for a table of 12.  It took a long time, and the rest of the game ended up feeling a bit rushed as a result.  I get that they wanted to show how easy it is to create a character in their system, but it's never easy without reference materials.  They did get some more books eventually but it felt like we wasted a lot of game time.
  • Our Traveler adventure had us equip our characters.  Again, this took a long while, and the GM had to fudge some things and "summarize" the conclusion because we ran out of time.  I really think that for one-shot adventures the characters should be completely ready to go, particularly for "No Experience Needed, Rules are Taught" games.
  • I do understand that we need trash cans in the dealer hall, but why in the name of the Old Ones do they have to be in the middle of intersections?  Also, could they be smaller, to block less aisle, and have rounded tops, so people don't try to use them as tables?  I actually saw someone eating lunch on top of one Sunday.  There went another 1d3 of SAN!
  • No-shows in RPG's.  We were short-handed in three games this year. 
  • We also had a no-show GM Sunday afternoon.  And when we went to the HQ to get our tickets signed we discovered that...
  • The Marriott Event HQ shut down early (prematurely) on Sunday.  It seems to me that as long as there are events running in a building the event HQ needs to be open.  We were able to get the person running the room HQ (Indie Game Developer Network) to sign the tickets, and the Customer Service folks at ICC accepted them, so all's well that ends well, but still.

The Meh:


  • Were there really 60 video games in the hallway to Lucas as promised?  It sure didn't seem like it.  And the selection didn't do much for me, really.  My quarters stayed in my pocket.

The Ugly:

  • My wife got shoved aside (shoved hard, I might add) by some 20-something twit who just had to get past her in the dealer hall.  She said she regretted not tripping him with her cane.
  • I saw a woman ramming a baby carriage into someone's ankles to bull her way past them in the dealer hall Friday.  I'm not sure if I feel more sorry for the victim, or for the woman's children.

 

Posted by bpunkert

=-=-=-=
galahadkoa
I walked into my True dungeon room to prepare and was greeted by two TD experts that immediately had a disgusted look on their faces when they realized I was nowhere near as "geared" as they were. It made me a little uncomfortable. On the bright side they helped gear me out so we could run hardcore, and it turned out being a lot of fun, but I can only imagine some of the things newer players have to deal with just based on what I saw.
=-=-=-=

It wasn't a matter of whether or not they were willing to gear me up. My travel mates had loaned me a fairly decent starting point already. (One poor fella looked like he had what came in the token bag. Ouch! I think my travel mates loaned him a few bits.) They could have probably loaned me a ton of stuff. It was the immediate feeling of *ugh* that came from that side of the room when some of us (at least three, maybe five) didn't want to "play up". I am **brand new** - I have never been to GenCon before, I have never been to Indy before, I have never done True Dungeon before. I flew 850+ miles to get here. I don't ***care**** if you will buff me. I want to have a fun experience where I don't die in room one. I don't like 'play up' tactics in D&D either, so this is a personal irritant for me.

=-=-=-=
mhayward1978
Next year, if you go again, I recommend organizing with a group in the TD forums at truedungeon.com beforehand to get a full run.  That way you can pick your difficulty, classes, and avoid this kind of friction.
=-=-=-=

We TRIED. We got ahold of two of the people in that run but not the group that was obviously playing together. The other run, not a single person checked in to the thread. Can't make people talk to you.

Posted by adcjones

The excitement going in was the same, but leaving was lower.  Normally by Sunday afternoon I’m ready to leave, but am ready to do it all again the next day.  This time I was simply ready to leave and not *as* excited about next year.  But then I realize it’s GenCon 50 and hope they go all out. 
Many of these reasons are trivial, my opinion, and don’t necessarily represent the views of others, but I’ve been going to GenCon for a long time, so I think there is some value to them, however minimal.  I try to be fair in my criticisms.

@ maxrebo:   Pathfinder.
 
The Good

First, though, the organization of the Con is outstanding.  Logistically, organizing thousands of gamers and events must be a nightmare.  I didn’t-nor have I ever, for that matter- experience any scheduling issues, event time issues, or anything of this nature.  Safety and security was just fine, people were respectful, and the program book and staff were exemplary.  My hats off to you all.  Seeing the attendance increase, the trending on social media networks, the talk of the town really makes me happy.  I introduced a new person to the Con this year and they are ready to purchase their badge already for the 50th.
Normally, I complain about the restroom facilities.  In years’ past, they’ve been horribly unclean and unstocked.  This year there was a marked improvement.
 
The Bad

I’m not the type of person that runs towards free stuff.  T-Shirts, blah.  Free demo cards…meh.  Free food, I’m not hungry.  But the free GenCon Dice every year I go for.  No dice this year?  C’mon, man.  Sure, the swag has been dwindling over the years, and frankly the swag has been nothing but garbage.  The coupon book is not something I use because I play only a few games, so I cannot complain about its usefulness.  I’d like to know how many others use it, though.  Yes, I realize someone has to pay for this, but can’t GenCon do more to entice companies to give something away?  I mean, I get more swag when I go to the Indiana State Fair now than I do GenCon.
Was it me, or was there a significant lack of costumes this year?  Why doesn’t GenCon have an actual cosplay contest and tournament, like the kind they have on the coasts? 
Dealer Hall traffic seemed to be a bit better this year than in the past.  I think the issue is the dealers utilizing all their space.  Sure, if I was paying to have a space, I’d want to utilize it, too.  But the crowding around really causes unnecessary congestion.  For instance, many dealers have displays set up right to the traffic line, which causes people to stop and look at their products.  Fine, but then that removes 1 to 1-2 lanes of traffic (because of big people, or people with backpacks, or people just not paying attention to where they’re standing).  Then, on the other side of the thoroughfare, you have another setup, blocking another 1 to ½ lanes of traffic.  See what’s happening here?  Bottleneck occurs in the middle, with traffic from the displays going in and out, which causes a lot of congestion unnecessarily.  Perhaps this could be addressed by widening the entire traffic lanes, mandating dealers to push back displays a couple feet from the traffic line, or simply provide that extra space.  A trivial matter, but one that is valid none the less.
ICC is always set on arctic freeze mode.  However, I realize the consequences should the AC be turned warmer…
 
The Ugly

My friend bought a sandwich and chips for $16 on the 2nd floor of the convention hall.  You pick which one is ugly.
The dealer hall closes at 6.  6.  6:00pm.  Why?  I understand they hire people to man the stations, but damn, you’d think there was a lot of money to be made.  Is this not true?  If money can’t be made from 600pm-900pm, then people will stop complaining.  I don’t need to hear excuses about how people work all day blah blah.
Wizards of the Coast- shamefully, they were nowhere to be found.  Paizo will soon surpass them, as they should.

The RAM sucks, always has.

The Hope

My friend, the newby I took to GenCon, expressed something I’ve always expressed myself: there’s nothing in the hallways, no displays, no “Carnival” type booths outside of rooms and the dealerhall.  I think it would complete GenCon to do something like this, at least for their 50th.  Yes, there are some banners and signs and info boards, but full blown statues (like there used to be), or carnival barkers, or something.  Yes, we have people in costume walking around, but it just doesn’t have the feel of a full blown festival.  I wish something could be done about this, realizing GenCon proper doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with companies’ promotions or setups.  Wizards always used to have neat statues.  If the price is going to go up, than how about putting something into the atmosphere?  Just a thought to complete the look and feel of GenCon.
 
Regarding the Cosplay Deviants, they weren’t dressed any different than a lot of other cosplayers.  They didn’t push their wares on people, as far as I could tell.  If you ban them from the exhibit hall, then do you ban all the artists who create scenes with nude people?  Or what about semi-nude people? What about all those anime sellers? I can appreciate the need to be family friendly, but where should the line be drawn?  For true family atmosphere, go to Disney Land.  Come back next year, @cosplaydeviants!

@ rutherfordr The panhandlers’ life isn’t that hard, in my opinion.  The same group of folks have been doing it for years and years.
Dealer hall and demos.  I’m ok with demos being in the dealer hall.  It allows dealers to sell their product right away to those interested.
 

Posted by braewe

@adcjones

There used to be booths in the hallways. IT WAS TERRIBLE. If you've been attending as long as you say you'd recall the horrific logjams because people were stopping, reasonably, in front of said booths.

I agree that it did make it feel less empty back then (and there were fewer attendees so I can only imagine how awful it would make it now) but I'm not sure putting them back would be a good thing at all. 

The Klimgon jail and bail and the Origins booths just always seemed to cause colossal road blocks.

The Cosplay was moved to the stadium, so perhaps you didn't make it over there? Or were in an event during the costume contest? (They have had a contest every year I can remember, so somewhere around 15 years or so.) I still saw quite a lot of costumes.

The dice were there, you just had to ask at the crystal caste booth where they were usually handed out. The statues were brought in by companies, usually wotc, and they did not attend. I too miss them, and wish they were there. Perhaps wotc should donate them to gen con (since they don't use them anymore) so they can be where people appreciate them. The statues were amazing. AMAZING.  

@everyone else

I've found it really really helps folks' experience if they attend with a gen con 'buddy' who has been before...and this is from badge purchase to hotel reg to event choosing to actually attending. Gen Con is just SO large with SOMUCH to do and see it can be confusing. Not to mention it is also now so spread out. Obviously, make sure your buddy likes the same things you do.

Our True Dungeon experiences have been not-so-good since they expended to the ten person team. We haven't even gone in the past two years. Maybe next year, with a full run. Maybe not. We gave away all our tokens.

Posted by nascragman

Yeah, I got lucky with the Crystal Caste die.  I wandered past, disappointed.  Saw the GenCon Commemorative set, and asked how I would get the 6 sided die.  They said their coupon got left out of the book, but they accepted the cover instead!  Yay!  My niece now has her Christmas Gift.

online
Posted by brotherbock adcjones

adcjones wrote:
@ rutherfordr The panhandlers’ life isn’t that hard, in my opinion.  The same group of folks have been doing it for years and years.

 

And you've been a panhandler for how long?

adcjones wrote:

The dealer hall closes at 6.  6.  6:00pm.  Why?  I understand they hire people to man the stations, but damn, you’d think there was a lot of money to be made.  Is this not true?  If money can’t be made from 600pm-900pm, then people will stop complaining.  I don’t need to hear excuses about how people work all day blah blah.

 


Right, unbelievable how they used the same dealer hall hours that have been in use for decades. The earliest program I have the ability to glance at is 1994...same hall hours.

And I know, you don't want to hear excuses. You only want people to do what you say. Too bad you'll get almost no dealers to agree with you that they should stay open longer. Source: all the dealers I knew when I was in the dealer hall. Every one of them. Believe it or not, standing for 8 hours on concrete--even cushioned by foam pads sometimes--and talking every minute of the day, saying the same things over and over again, is exhausting. To top it off, many of them are people who'd like to do something else at the Con other than be at their booth--like game, for example. Or eat.

Posted by schra1cm

The Awesome: Different Drummer Belly Dance Troupe was dancing in the halls and their performance included a song to allow passerby to jump in and learn a few moves. I was asked to dance with them and had an amazing time. I want to look into their classes next year. It is nice to see such a welcoming group of dancers of varying body types having a blast and not worrying about fitting a traditional mold.

The Good:
Games: Flight in the Skies had wonderful organization for their booths and their GM for Formula D was very nice. Game Salute also had good demos. Thames and Kosmos demos were very flexible and I was able to jump into a demo that I really wanted instead of the one that I had signed up for. I discovered Dragoon by luck on Sunday 20 minutes before the vendor hall closed demoed it and walked away with the game on a whim. **Bonus +1 for saving 10 bucks for a Sunday sale. We played Cauldron: Bubble and Boil in the Play Test Hall and enjoyed it very much. The artwork was amazing. 

Vendors: The Medieval Collectibles booth had wonderful staff and they were very helpful. I found the perfect cloak! PenDragon Leather also had very kind staff that laced me into a corset that gave me a figure that I didn't know I had. I was also given a crash course in corset types so that I knew what was best for my style. (I will be checking out their wares in the near future.) It is funny how I am still considering buying things even after the convention is over. 

Food: All of the convention food that we purchased was hot and decent (if a bit overpriced). The Old Spaghetti Factory was a first for us this year and we ended up eating there twice because we enjoyed the food so much and the wait was either non-existent or less than 5 minutes (even at peak eating times). It is also pretty cool that the dessert and the soup/salad are included in the meal price. 

The Bad/Meh:
Hotel: Home2 Suites was our first downtown hotel experience. The room was huge and the beds super soft (GOOD category). We wished their breakfast had hot options that we didn't have to microwave ourselves. The wifi was also down for 2 days at the hotel as well.

Vendor Hall: I would like to echo that trash cans in the middle of intersections of the vendor hall were not the greatest idea. Also, I think I accidentally ran into several people that would stop in the middle of the aisle to check their cell phone or talk to someone without warning. If I needed to stop somewhere in the hall I tried to find a wall or an out of the way place to get in my bag or check my phone. I wish others had that same idea. 

The Ugly:
Games:  I had 3 GMs that did not show up or cancel events. I waited for a game on Friday evening, no one showed up and HQ was not notified of the cancellation. The missing GM (once found) said that he didn't show up because I was the only ticket holder registered and the game was for multiple people. He thought it was a waste of his time. There was another game on Friday night from Dimension Games, it was cancelled and HQ was not notified. Several players were left without a game. Finally, we signed up to play test a prototype on Saturday evening (not in the play test hall but rather an individually ticketed event. (Please note that I understand prototype means work in progress and with many to lots of bugs being worked out.) However, the GM didn't really teach us the game, he had us watch a turn and expected us to "get it." I am usually good at picking up on games and I am patient when learning new systems and game fluency. We tried to learn the game for an hour before I gave up and watched the other players try. The GM told us that another group didn't last as long as we did. Systematically speaking the game was decent, the GM was a terrible teacher. 

Food: The Yard House on Thursday evening was TERRIBLE. We ordered food and it took them nearly 45 minutes to get it to us. When it arrived it was cold and soggy. When I asked our waitress when our meal might arrive, she smiled and said hopefully soon. I feel that this was not a result of an overburdened and busy kitchen but rather a terrible waitress. I don't think I will return. 

Overall, I am super happy with the convention experience that I had. Everything evened out and I learned lots of new games. 

Posted by mhayward1978 bpunkert

bpunkert wrote:

=-=-=-=
mhayward1978
Next year, if you go again, I recommend organizing with a group in the TD forums at truedungeon.com beforehand to get a full run.  That way you can pick your difficulty, classes, and avoid this kind of friction.
=-=-=-=
We TRIED. We got ahold of two of the people in that run but not the group that was obviously playing together. The other run, not a single person checked in to the thread. Can't make people talk to you.


My suggestions is slightly different.  Before event tickets go on sale, go to the TD forums, and say:

"We're X players looking for a Y type run and can play A, B, C - who wants to join us!" 

You'll get some takers, then you or them buy all 10 slots in the run.  Now you've got a group who all want a Y type run.

I'm not saying you should have somehow known to do this, or it's obvious or something - just if you like TD and want to run it your way, you can do this to avoid running with randos.  Obviously if you end up in a run with strangers, if they don't want what you want someone is not getting what they want.

Posted by mhayward1978 adcjones

adcjones wrote:
 But the free GenCon Dice every year I go for.  No dice this year?  C’mon, man.  Sure, the swag has been dwindling over the years, and frankly the swag has been nothing but garbage.  The coupon book is not something I use because I play only a few games, so I cannot complain about its usefulness.  

I've got some sad news for you - there were at least 3 vendors offering free dice this year, including Crystal Caste who does the "Gen Con YYYY" d6's.  

You got them by redeeming coupons from the coupon book (or in the cast of Crystal Caste ripping the cover off the book.

Posted by tdb

We lucked out and my wife saw a post on the FB page about the Crystal Caste dice, otherwise we wouldn't have known either. 

I later heard a CC employee say it was their own fault, they missed a deadline to get the coupon in the book.  So kudos for owning up, and doing the best they could to make up for it, I guess.

Posted by garhkal tdb

tdb wrote:

  • No-shows in RPG's.  We were short-handed in three games this year.

The Ugly

  • My wife got shoved aside (shoved hard, I might add) by some 20-something twit who just had to get past her in the dealer hall.  She said she regretted not tripping him with her cane.
  • I saw a woman ramming a baby carriage into someone's ankles to bull her way past them in the dealer hall Friday.  I'm not sure if I feel more sorry for the victim, or for the woman's children.


On the Meh..  My group only had one event not go off to my recollection, and that was (like nearly always) sunday morning 8am..  We had no where near the # of tickets sold for our RPGs that were no shows..

As for that Ugly of the woman with the stroller pushing it INTO people to barge by, i feel more sorry for the kid(s) she has...

schra1cm wrote:
The Ugly:
Games:  I had 3 GMs that did not show up or cancel events. I waited for a game on Friday evening, no one showed up and HQ was not notified of the cancellation. The missing GM (once found) said that he didn't show up because I was the only ticket holder registered and the game was for multiple people. He thought it was a waste of his time.

IMO tht is not HIS Decision to make.  Was he an independent GM or one running with a group?  If the latter, then he should have been told by THEM if it was ok to canx due to poor sales on that one event..  NOT make the call himself.

Now i have done comments on everyone else.. Time for mine.

The good
     * Waiting time in lines.  Compared to some prior years, the lines moved REAL quick for will call and customer service..  Plus all the staff i saw, were Smiling..  Not a one i saw seemed to have anything less than a very positive attitude...
     * Gamers from all over..  Got to chatting to a large # of fellow brits, one of which was even from a town just to the north of where i was raised and spent the most of the time i grew up in the UK at..  Man that was fun catching up on some of the ole home's main attractions (like Roller bury and the Abby gardens)...
     * Cordiality.  Unlike in the past where i have had some fellow smokers seem rather blunt when being talked to by other conventioneers on the smoke pits, everyone i tried getting a convo up with, were WELCOMING of the chit chat..  even had 5 start one up with me!
     * other than in some of the stairwells in front of the 2 mid doorways near the hall B and C, most of my fellow smokers generally stayed BACK, and didn't do the usual clogging up of the entrances, like many here complained about in prior years..

The Meh.
     * The Sheradon downtown..  It seemed to me like the matresses were harder than normal.. 
     * Subway not accepting coupons..  In the past, even if the coupons i got in the mail generally said "Normally only usable in the greater columbus area, they can be accepted by any participating restaurant", i have not had a problem with the Indy subways accepting them (other than the one in the mall food court)..  however after using the first one on Thursday ok, they wouldn't take any of the others..  Heck the Subway in the Nationwide plaza building, had a sign out "NO coupons accepted"..  That sucks..

The Bad.
    Surprisingly i saw/had nothing real bad to report.

 

Posted by suburbaknght

The Good

Westin - I was amazed what a difference having a connected hotel made.  I've stayed at remote hotels with a 45 minute drive in time, area hotels with a 20 minute drive in time, downtown hotels you can walk from, and this year the Westin.  While I can have a phenomenal Gen Con even at one of the far out hotels, being connected just blew me away.  We had some troubles with our reservation but those got taken care of after the con due to diligent efforts by Q-Rooms and the Westin staff.

Dancing and Dragons Staff - This was our tenth year teaching at Gen Con and we've grown each year, including our first partnership with other teachers this year.  Everyone came through and I can't say enough good stuff about my people.  Teachers, event assistants, and crew, they all did great.  Plus the classes themselves kicked butt, if I do say so myself.

Our Students - After 10 years we've taught hundreds of people, if not several thousand, and some come back year after year.  While we have some great success stories (i.e. one girl was inspired to join her university ballroom team and went on to place at the collegiate national championships), my favorite stories are from people who discover that they love dancing and have made it a part of their life.  We got a lot of great stories like that this year.

Meeting People - We made some cool random connections as a result of late night gaming, including one of my friends from the forum (whose SN I now forget.  Your real name starts with a J!).

Star Trek Panic - My wife signed me up for this demo.  I hadn't known how tight the competition was to get in on it and I'm glad she did (yet one more reason she is the Best Woman Ever.  Did I mention we first met at Gen Con?).  The demo was great, the game was great, and USAopoly was sold out.  They directed me to another dealer that had it in stock, and was selling it for 1/3 less than what USAopoly was selling it for.  Score!

7th Sea 2nd Edition - The one game that was on my Must Do list.  I got very lucky with my event registration and snagged one of the tables at Gen Con.  Then, despite the game being sold out, there was a single no-show, so I was able to get in one of my friends with a generic.  The woman running for us was a first-time con GM but did a phenomenal job.  Then I came home to my Kickstarter book waiting and now I just want more pirates.

True Dungeon - We had a phenomenal time with Into the Underdark the first night, including meeting three nice people to join our crew of seven.

Legend of the Five Rings - Not really Gen Con, but I came home to find an announcement about the game's fourth living campaign.  Despite some bad experiences with the third campaign, I'm very excited about the new admin and I look forward to giving it another shot.

The Bad

Overbooking - As usual I overscheduled myself.  This meant that not only was I perpetually exhausted, but it also meant I didn't get to spend as much time with my friends as I would have liked.  I've decided on a different approach to scheduling next year to fix this.

Hotel Rooms - We had an issue with our hotel room.  While Q-Rooms and the Westin got it resolved after the con, it created a lot of stress the day of.  Props to both of them for stepping up, but man was that unpleasant until then.

Event Complications - Car trouble, equipment failures, staffing issues, room issues... nothing major in any given event but altogether they took their toll on me, especially coupled with the exhaustion from overbooking.  Working on better ways to deal with them next year.

The Ugly

Me - As the scope of Dancing and Dragons has grown apparently I made the shift to manager without realizing.  All those complications that I once would have dealt with as a matter of course just by being the person running events, suddenly I was dealing with as a manager (which meant at one point leaving a game I was playing to go put out a not-literal fire).  This caught me utterly by surprise and going forward I need to reevaluate how go about planning my Gen Con.

Overall
Easily the most stressful Gen Con I've ever had, but despite that one of the most fun.  I can't wait for next year!

Posted by nikki adcjones

adcjones wrote:
@ rutherfordr The panhandlers’ life isn’t that hard, in my opinion.  The same group of folks have been doing it for years and years.

Just wow.  You do realize that many have physical, mental or emotional issues that prevent them from being able to hold a job, right?  Most people would NOT choose to live on the streets if they had any other option.

Posted by braewe

The trouble is that enough panhandlers are not actually poor downtrodden homeless that it affects how the others are viewed.

For example, my city is a generally poor area. Businesses closing, unemployment high. I am very sure there are MANY genuinely homeless folks out there. However, there are two very very prominent panhandlers who patently are trying to take advantage of tourists, and so that colors my perception. The one has a sign explaining that as a result of a house fire he lost everything. Might have even once been true...but he's been using that sign for over four years. It's even been tacked onto a wooden backing. And if someone brings him inside to buy him lunch(I work at a Mcdonalds) he does his level best to get them to just give cash once in line or failing that, buy a gift card. If he is forced to be bought food, he waits until they leave and then asks for his money back. I've seen his wallet(he buys a cup of coffee in the morning) and he has PLENTY of money. Telling people who wish to give him money that he isn't one of needy typically falls on deaf ears. It took police intervention to get him to stop harassing my drive thru line.

The second one works the 'late shift' after the first one leaves. He pulls up in a nice car, parks it at the grocery store nearby and then sets up shop by the stoplight. He uses different signs. Some have him as a veteran, some kicked out by wife, some that he wants a home, just random. Same guy though, and when he came in I asked which bases he'd been stationed at, since I was in the Air Force. "I think I passed trhough one a few years ago," he said. 

So these two have made me unbelievably doubting.

Posted by nikki

I totally understand that.  I know there are a few that game the system.  But most don't.  In Indy, I see them sleeping in doorways in the mornings.

For the record, I think it is great that you try to warn people about the underhanded ones.

I just don't want a few to cast a shadow over the truly in need, you know?

online
Posted by brotherbock braewe

braewe wrote:
The trouble is that enough panhandlers are not actually poor downtrodden homeless that it affects how the others are viewed.
For example, my city is a generally poor area. Businesses closing, unemployment high. I am very sure there are MANY genuinely homeless folks out there. However, there are two very very prominent panhandlers who patently are trying to take advantage of tourists, and so that colors my perception. The one has a sign explaining that as a result of a house fire he lost everything. Might have even once been true...but he's been using that sign for over four years. It's even been tacked onto a wooden backing. And if someone brings him inside to buy him lunch(I work at a Mcdonalds) he does his level best to get them to just give cash once in line or failing that, buy a gift card. If he is forced to be bought food, he waits until they leave and then asks for his money back. I've seen his wallet(he buys a cup of coffee in the morning) and he has PLENTY of money. Telling people who wish to give him money that he isn't one of needy typically falls on deaf ears. It took police intervention to get him to stop harassing my drive thru line.
The second one works the 'late shift' after the first one leaves. He pulls up in a nice car, parks it at the grocery store nearby and then sets up shop by the stoplight. He uses different signs. Some have him as a veteran, some kicked out by wife, some that he wants a home, just random. Same guy though, and when he came in I asked which bases he'd been stationed at, since I was in the Air Force. "I think I passed trhough one a few years ago," he said. 
So these two have made me unbelievably doubting.

There have been similar high profile cases around where I live. But there's a distinct difference between that kind of person, and the clearly distressed dude wandering around by the food trucks multiple days asking people if they had any food, or the guys near me who sleep under bridges and have sometimes multiple poorly cared for prosthetics. The slick guys giving you a line are easy to spot in my experience. In large part, they're the ones with lines. The genuine homeless and needy I've met (not always the same, New Orleans for example has a high percentage of homeowners in extreme poverty) don't have stories to tell people about tragic luck. They just ask for help. 

Posted by dsypher brotherbock

brotherbock wrote:
divachelle wrote:If the demos could be demos and not full games that would really help. I've waited in lines where the demos never seem to end, and it's a few clicks past ridiculous at this point. 

Agree on this point. Short games, you can demo the whole thing. Five, ten minutes. Maybe fifteen. But they need to realize that they are driving away sales by demoing name entire 30-40 min game while other potential buyers just stand and watch. If you don't buy the game after fifteen minutes, you won't buy it after thirty. 

If you are going to run demos > 15 mins, please ensure there is room around the demo table for people to observe.  If I can't play it before I buy it at least let me watch.

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