I'm bringing my 2 kids (17 and 15) to Gen Con but all of the events we were interested in are already sold out. Is there any other way to play certain games? Is there a forum to search for other gaming sessions?
... or is this simply the wrong con for actual gaming?
I think getting general tickets will let you jump into games that are happening off the event list.
If the game is in general release there's likely a copy in the Gen Con Game Library, check it out in the Isle of Misfit Games category.
Otherwise, if you're looking for a seat at a specific game that is currently scheduled your best bet is to buy generic tickets and show up a little early to the event and hope there are no shows. (Not a lot of fun, but it works sometimes)
shipwreck ... what do you mean by games "happening off the event list" ... that's sort of what I'm asking. Last year we saw tons of games being played (some had 10-20 games happening at once) that I never saw on the event list, even as sold-out events ...
what were you looking to play?
Might I ask what games were you looking for? There are a ton of games that almost never sell out and there is a ton of open gaming.
Now I happen to be playing in an Overwatch Tournament with a friend. It's an FPS and I am trying to build a team. It's just $10 and it's not sold out. At least not let.
I'm also playing in Heroes of the Storm. I'm solo in HOTS and looking for a few gamers that can help.
I also plan to play tons of Werewolf as well as picking up a new board game ...or 10. Every year I drop a game on a table and a sign with an offer to anyone wanting to play and in no time I have a group. Trust me... There is no better con for actual gaming.
...and I just want to say, I have 2 friends that have gone the last 7 years and they never plan anything out and they still have a blast.
Are you looking for RPG games? I might be able to put together a pick-up game of Savage Worlds.
My son wants to play Twilight Imperium or Rebellion ... I wanted to play Arcadia Quest or some other Cool Mini game ... but we're not choosy ... I just want to figure out the options
What is "open gaming" ... is that the library?
There is no dedicated "open gaming" area, but the Gen Con Games Library does have a lot of games available and it's a good place to get into a pick-up game or two.
You mentioned Cool Mini or Not, and their event schedule should be incoming soon, once it has been finalized, so you'll want to check back later.
As for other games, I would suggest contacting the companies and gaming groups running those games to encourage them to try to run additional sessions to add more tickets to the pool.
Gen Con LLC
The Games library is great for open gaming, I highly recommend it.
As others have said Games Library is great to just pull a game and go play, and also grab some Generic tickets to drop into a scheduled event (if you don"t use them before Sunday at 2ish you can get a credit on your account as long as you turn them in at the ticket office that day).
Honestly anywhere there are tables you will see people with games, even camped out on the floor in the less traveled hallways. Hall B and C (I think) is where a lot of the game company's have play tables for ticketed events, but that room will have a lot of tables that are open for just anyone to play at.
The dealer hall will let you get a feel for some games as all of them have someone who can demo their games. You can sometimes even play a whole game with them if someone no shows on an event (usually a new release the major company's will sell tickets for a demo and have that in the dealer hall)
NASCRAG, for example, will find a GM and get you into a game if you show up, they are fantastic about that. I've seen people running board games have four additional people show up, so they broke out an extra copy they had and found those people an empty table.
Events that are 'full' quite often are not. It leads to a little more uncertainty in your Con, but speaking as someone who has been there, it's not a bad way to go.
Good luck. If you like LARPs or want to try one, hit us up by searching the event catalog for BYOV :)
These responses are SO GREAT. I really appreciate this information. Gen Con can be overwhelming.
I've got a twitter bot set up as well, for GMs to tweet when they need players. We'll certainly be using it for our LARPs, I'll dig up the info and post it here soon.
Rebellion had zero events that I saw...both TI and rebellion will be playable in the open game library.
Since you are board game people, I would also encourage you to seek out the side rooms - TMG has had one, Asmodee, Rio Grande, and the Kickstarter room.
All of these are fantastic for getting a real expert to teach you through the first turn and then you get to play through the whole game.
Don't forget that if you already have a game and players and you just need space to set up, you can stop by any event HQ to request an open table. We'll let you know what should fit the window you need to play during.
1. There will always be plenty of games being demoed in the dealer hall. But be warned -- during peak times, it will be very hard to squeeze all y'all into one of those. Still, I've wandered into that place for some early Sunday shopping and ended up playing for hours.
2. It's not too late to submit an event! Figure out what y'all want to play, submit it, and do it!
Don't mind just sitting in the hallway, either, but would be good to have it somewhere for everyone else to see when it is available to play at a certain time.
I've always just found a couple people and asked if they wanted to p,any a board game. I just recently started playing miniature games. I saw many tournaments but I' not ready for those. Is there an open miniature gaming area? I was thinking of bringing malifaux and guild ball.
But if you don't want money from it, you do nothing. Just submit it, and they figure that out. But there will be a ticket price for your game.
It is fairly simple to submit a game, they've got a pretty good process.