GenCon 50: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
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Posted by garhkal hawkeye

hawkeye wrote:
My only issue this year was the fact that my GoPro was taken from my Hotel room at the Marriott while I was at the TMBG concert. I had left it in the room to charge the battery, and Friday morning When I went to grab it to take more pictures and video it was gone.

Did you complain to hotel management?

This is one reason one of the guys i rommied with, KEEPS a camera going, live streamed to his phone and recorded in the cloud..  TO KEEP watch on his hotel room, against unscrupulous staff.

Posted by steffles

The Good: 
1) Farmer's Market on Wednesday
2) Agricola Farmer's of the Moor expansion was fantastic.  5 hours of joy - wish the expansion wasn't out of print.
3) Watching my teens make new friends and hang out with friends they've met over the years.  We've gone from a family that is always by itself when the kids were young, to being much more social as the kids are older.
4) Werewolf - seeing old faces and meeting new people & getting better at the game.
5) Nebin Pendlebrook's Perilious Pantry w/Judge Evie - actually made me realize that I could like an RPG.  
6)Escape room on Wednesday.  Our family lucked out and it was just the 4 of us.  We had a blast and finished 15 minutes early.   So, looking forward to trying a higher level.
7) Playing The Great Western Trail and Concordia at the hotel Wed. and Sunday nights.
8) The crowds.  Despite record attendance, it never felt crowded to us until the cosplay parade on Saturday.  Bathrooms always seemed clean and staff we encountered were incredibly nice and helpful.
The Bad:  
1) Not taking advantage of the Rio Grande game room on Thursday and Friday when the games I wanted to test were available.  Wanted to try Concordia, Powergrid, and Imperial 2030 - all of which were available those days.  Decided to come back on Saturday and it was so mobbed we never got a chance.
2)  Our hotel.  We loved our hotel (Home2Suites) - so many great things about it, but my husband no longer wants to stay up to 1-2am playing Werewolf.  There were so many panhandlers and homeless on our route to the hotel that it didn't feel safe for me to walk home alone so late with my kids.  As a result my husband was really tired and pretty unhappy about the situation.  Next year, we will try to get closer or figure out Uber or something.  Also, my daughter and I witnessed a loud and scary altercation between two locals on Saturday night that really scared her.
The Ugly
1)  One night at 2am in the elevator up to our hotel room we met a guy who was working for an exhibitor at the con.  We asked him which exhibitor it was and he wouldn't tell us.  Then he said some stuff about the people attending the Con that was very unkind.  I said, "well we love it, it is our family bonding time."  He replied, "That's just sad."  I didn't realize until he said that how much distain he held for Genconers and it deeply creeped me out.  He was piss drunk and I hope he had a terrible hangover for work on Friday:)

Posted by lord thrifty the cromulent ytuni

ytuni wrote
The Bad
- That damned broken escalator in the sky walk on the way to the mall. Going up steps after walking all day sucks...

That damn escalator is STILL broken a week later.  And it was broken for at least a week before.  At this rate I wonder if it'll be fixed in time for Gencon 2018.

Posted by hawkeye garhkal

garhkal wrote:
hawkeye wrote:
My only issue this year was the fact that my GoPro was taken from my Hotel room at the Marriott while I was at the TMBG concert. I had left it in the room to charge the battery, and Friday morning When I went to grab it to take more pictures and video it was gone.

Did you complain to hotel management?This is one reason one of the guys i rommied with, KEEPS a camera going, live streamed to his phone and recorded in the cloud..  TO KEEP watch on his hotel room, against unscrupulous staff.

I did. They have done an investigation, and took my info to file an insurance claim. When I called last night they said the claim was filed and I should hear something in a about a week. I'm thinking of getting one of those camera for next time. Do you think you could get me the type he uses?

Posted by mu skulls frank steffles

1)  One night at 2am in the elevator up to our hotel room we met a guy who was working for an exhibitor at the con.  We asked him which exhibitor it was and he wouldn't tell us.  Then he said some stuff about the people attending the Con that was very unkind.  I said, "well we love it, it is our family bonding time."  He replied, "That's just sad."  I didn't realize until he said that how much distain he held for Genconers and it deeply creeped me out.  He was piss drunk and I hope he had a terrible hangover for work on Friday:)

That's pretty lousy and I hope this cheers you up. Because I was impressed with the attentive restroom staff regularly restocking at the JW, I shared as much with the fellow doing the restocking. He replied by thanking me and exclaiming that Gen Con was a great con and his favorite because Gen Con attendees don't trash a bunch of stuff. He paused and then said, "Though you do go to the bathroom more than the others but you are all really great!"

Posted by mu skulls frank

The Good: - This was the best year for players. I had good game groups for every single one of my games and everyone was awake and ready to play. Luckily, had some friends fill in for a couple of no-shows to fill out one group.
- No waiting to get in at a restaurant.
- The crowds were not as bad as I feared. 
- The bed bugs were not as bad as I feared.
- Amazing to see how the con had taken over about every room in the city.

The Bad: -Some dealers really didn't seem to care.
- Drag not being to walk up for demos without a 30+ minute wait. I couldn't seem to ever find an off time where the line wasn't long. This was the first year I couldn't get into any demos.
- Unexplained hip pain on Thursday afternoon that hit suddenly in the dealer's room. I could only relieve the pain with some unseemly stretching and grabbing that generated uncomfortable stares.
- No shows are terrible. I'd like to charge $50 for my event and then refund $46 if you show up.

The Ugly: -Because I was staying and running in the JW I sort of ended up in the gravity well of the place. I'd take the elevator down and walk to my game. I'd go to the restaurant at the JW because I knew I could get in with no wait. Then I'd escape for a few hours to hit part of the dealers hall and then it would be time to head back to the JW to run games. Then after the game I'd hit the JW restaurant because I knew they'd be open and I could get a seat. That pretty much happens every time I stay and run at the JW because it's at the far end of the city, I miss out on a ton of stuff. When I'm at the other hotels I end up walking through the upper levels of the ICC and I can swing by the miniature painting display and check out a couple of other events on the way. Super convenient but feel like I really missed out on stuff.

Posted by matthias9

GOOD

Process for registering for events, hotels, wishlist etc.  (1) makes sense (2) is fair (3) isn't frustrating as it was years ago when we'd just overload the site.  I especially like the elegance of the wishlist into your cart process.

Costumes seen around the con were entertaining, as usual.

Werewolf is always a great Convention game/event.

Bringing my teenagers to the Con for the first time to share my love of the event.

Total solar eclipse! within driving distance on the day after the Con?  Are you kidding me?  Let's have one every year....  ;)

Escape room -- lots of fun with this, even though we failed this year.

Lines at will call, customer service moved ridiculously fast.   These people know what they are doing.

Seminars/Panels on history of Gen Con Amazingly interesting.

BAD

Not sure anything can be done about these, but...

Housing availability  Process to get the rooms seems to be set up fairly.  But after 32 years of Gen Con, it's is rough to hit that housing portal hard on the opening minute and still get pushed out far from the ICC.

Crowds  Exhibit hall crowds might have been a bit better than last year, but still...

Sore feet   Long distances to walk between events, huge exhibit hall to walk.

UGLY

Nothing bad enough to fit here.

Posted by ladyimm nascragman

nascragman wrote:
ladyimm wrote:
The Good:
1) Loved the con - then again, I always do.  That's just a generality.
2) Very surprisingly made the Ticket to Ride quarter and semi-finals (then proceeded to beat MYSELF by getting too ambitious on ticket draws!).  
3) Nascrag!
4) People very kindly opening doors with me as I was coming through with my Rollator.  I sometimes had to call out' Hold the Door please' but every time I did, someone did so.  THANK YOU to all of you who helped me out, I really appreciate it.
5) Island Noodles and Hot Box pizza.  Yum.  Overate, did NOT stick to my diet.
6) Rio Grande Room (didn't spend enough time there!)
The Bad:
1) I overdid it with event tickets and missed out on spending more time demoing in the Exhibit hall and the Rio Grande Room.  Next year?  TWO event tickets pre-planned... the rest will be a joyous mix of dealer's room fun and generic ticket invasion (knowing what I know now about RPGs being under-played... I shall have to try to start trying to get in on more of those!)
2) I think I overdid the walking. I have a bad ankle and back - but what a way to go!
3) For the first year since we started staying there in Indy, I was disappointed by the Hampton Inn downtown.  They were not nearly as welcoming and accommodating as they had been in the past.  Rather sad.
4) The Walk to Lucas Oil - and the Location of Nascrag - I was ready to collapse when I finally made it there!
The Ugly:
Nope, don't have any, though I AM disappointed if people had stuff stolen from them.  That's just not necessary, anywhere.

LadyImm, next year we've got to say hi to each other.  I want a face to go with the Forum moniker.  Sorry about the walk, we weren't given a choice of location.  You have to admit the noise level was much better than in previous years.
I totally agree with you nascragman.  Let's exchange pictures before next year so I know who you are and you know who I am.  I was one of the many Kitty's this year - but I had a hard time with the tinker part of the character (I changed accents about 5 times though, lol).  Our team was great with the puzzles, not so great with the role-play.  Will work on improving that part.

Posted by garhkal hawkeye

hawkeye wrote: I'm thinking of getting one of those camera for next time. Do you think you could get me the type he uses?

Let me email the guy and when i get word back i will send you a PM.

Posted by hawkeye garhkal

garhkal wrote:
hawkeye wrote: I'm thinking of getting one of those camera for next time. Do you think you could get me the type he uses?

Let me email the guy and when i get word back i will send you a PM.

Thanks.

Posted by steffles mu skulls frank

mu skulls frank wrote:
1)  One night at 2am in the elevator up to our hotel room we met a guy who was working for an exhibitor at the con.  We asked him which exhibitor it was and he wouldn't tell us.  Then he said some stuff about the people attending the Con that was very unkind.  I said, "well we love it, it is our family bonding time."  He replied, "That's just sad."  I didn't realize until he said that how much distain he held for Genconers and it deeply creeped me out.  He was piss drunk and I hope he had a terrible hangover for work on Friday:)

That's pretty lousy and I hope this cheers you up. Because I was impressed with the attentive restroom staff regularly restocking at the JW, I shared as much with the fellow doing the restocking. He replied by thanking me and exclaiming that Gen Con was a great con and his favorite because Gen Con attendees don't trash a bunch of stuff. He paused and then said, "Though you do go to the bathroom more than the others but you are all really great!"
Hehe - actually the last night of Werewolf I was so impressed by the young woman staffing the Women's Bathroom in Wasbash Hall - it was incredibly clean the entire time - and she was so nice, always chatting with me when I came in, that I handed her a $20 and thanked her.  Well, she was so appreciative of the tip that she gave me a giant hug.  Of course, I started thinking about how clean her uniform was and did anything splash when she was keeping the bathrooms clean (cause I'm neurotic that way).  But it was really nice.

Posted by qwaserity

The Good – Playing games (Epic Spell Wars 3 and DC deckbuilder 2 on 2 Confrontation) before they are on the market.

Playing games you can’t play at home like Aerodrome.

Who’s Line Is It Anyway? The best $2 you can spend at GenCon (if you like "naughty" humor and can stay up until 1 am.)

Buffy Legendary. A perfect use for the Legendary game system; bought a copy for $60 even though it’s not out until October.

Friday morning Math Trade. It was quick and efficient. The guy running it is polling us about paying $2 for the math trade next year (it takes some work to set up) and I think he’s worth it!

Game Design Seminar. Three hours of lecture and game buiiding. “I learned something today.” – Stan

D&D mini booster – I’ve played the Monster Mash which is always good. This cost more as you buy your minis and prove prizes but everyone gets a prize and everyone had 4 hours of fun.

Car Wars – Always a fun classic game to play.

Basey’s Bar and Grill one block west of the Lucas Oil Stadium. No one goes there, the food is awesome, the pricing is decent and the service is fast. You just have to be willing to walk outside for a while.

Gate Ten Parking. Thank goodness for parking with well-lit parking lots, folks who were always present and an awesome shuttle service.

Dave and Busters – I don’t have one of these in my hometown so I always hit it Wednesday night. Half priced games and I won a backup power supply that I forgot to pack and used all weekend.

Battletech pods, video games and all of the other things you just can’t do at home…  

The Bad

Being told WHEN ESW3 and Confrontation will be on the market. Seriously? Who releases a game four days AFTER CHRISTMAS?

Traffic through Louisville Kentucky. My friends warned me so when I stopped 20 miles south of Indy, Google maps basically told me to turn around and head east to Cincinnati to get to Lexington, Kentucky.

Playing a game (DC Rogues deckbuilder) in one third of the time it should take so you have no chance of winning.

Car Wars – Only one game during ALL of GenCon.  

The Ugly

Champions being closed. I was in the food court Friday afternoon but thought "nah, I'll eat at Champions instead" so I walked all the way back to find it gone.

Forgot my razor and looked fuzzy hideous on Monday morning.

All of my friends who got caught in traffic driving on Monday after the eclipse.

THE DOCTOR WHO ROLE PLAYING GAME IS NOT A COMBAT GAME! Apologies for the all caps but had a four hour game of solid combat with a non-combatant character who was useless the entire time.

Some folks (I’m thinking retailors) dropped loads of gaming materials into the consignment hall asking for MSRP. No, I’m not going to stand in line for 20 minutes to buy the same stuff I could buy anywhere else. Even when discounted later in the weekend, I could still beat though prices at my local friendly game store.

Posted by father bloodlust qwaserity

qwaserity wrote:
Dave and Busters – I don’t have one of these in my hometown so I always hit it Wednesday night. Half priced games and I won a backup power supply that I forgot to pack and used all weekend.

Holy crap there's a Dave and Busters in Indy?! Where? I've never been, but it looks fun!

Posted by garhkal

I hear people railing about how good D&B's are, but for me, the two times i;ve been in their arcade selection seemed rather limited, focusing mostly on 'token issuing games'...

Posted by jimmythesaint qwaserity

qwaserity wrote:Some folks (I’m thinking retailors) dropped loads of gaming materials into the consignment hall asking for MSRP. No, I’m not going to stand in line for 20 minutes to buy the same stuff I could buy anywhere else. Even when discounted later in the weekend, I could still beat though prices at my local friendly game store.

Yeah, a lot of the prices in there were laughable. 

Posted by nascragman ladyimm

ladyimm wrote:
nascragman wrote:
ladyimm wrote:
The Good:
1) Loved the con - then again, I always do.  That's just a generality.
2) Very surprisingly made the Ticket to Ride quarter and semi-finals (then proceeded to beat MYSELF by getting too ambitious on ticket draws!).  
3) Nascrag!
4) People very kindly opening doors with me as I was coming through with my Rollator.  I sometimes had to call out' Hold the Door please' but every time I did, someone did so.  THANK YOU to all of you who helped me out, I really appreciate it.
5) Island Noodles and Hot Box pizza.  Yum.  Overate, did NOT stick to my diet.
6) Rio Grande Room (didn't spend enough time there!)
The Bad:
1) I overdid it with event tickets and missed out on spending more time demoing in the Exhibit hall and the Rio Grande Room.  Next year?  TWO event tickets pre-planned... the rest will be a joyous mix of dealer's room fun and generic ticket invasion (knowing what I know now about RPGs being under-played... I shall have to try to start trying to get in on more of those!)
2) I think I overdid the walking. I have a bad ankle and back - but what a way to go!
3) For the first year since we started staying there in Indy, I was disappointed by the Hampton Inn downtown.  They were not nearly as welcoming and accommodating as they had been in the past.  Rather sad.
4) The Walk to Lucas Oil - and the Location of Nascrag - I was ready to collapse when I finally made it there!
The Ugly:
Nope, don't have any, though I AM disappointed if people had stuff stolen from them.  That's just not necessary, anywhere.

LadyImm, next year we've got to say hi to each other.  I want a face to go with the Forum moniker.  Sorry about the walk, we weren't given a choice of location.  You have to admit the noise level was much better than in previous years.
I totally agree with you nascragman.  Let's exchange pictures before next year so I know who you are and you know who I am.  I was one of the many Kitty's this year - but I had a hard time with the tinker part of the character (I changed accents about 5 times though, lol).  Our team was great with the puzzles, not so great with the role-play.  Will work on improving that part.

What was your team name?  It would be funny if I GM'd for you.

Posted by ladyimm nascragman

nascragman wrote:
ladyimm wrote:
nascragman wrote:
ladyimm wrote:
The Good:
1) Loved the con - then again, I always do.  That's just a generality.
2) Very surprisingly made the Ticket to Ride quarter and semi-finals (then proceeded to beat MYSELF by getting too ambitious on ticket draws!).  
3) Nascrag!
4) People very kindly opening doors with me as I was coming through with my Rollator.  I sometimes had to call out' Hold the Door please' but every time I did, someone did so.  THANK YOU to all of you who helped me out, I really appreciate it.
5) Island Noodles and Hot Box pizza.  Yum.  Overate, did NOT stick to my diet.
6) Rio Grande Room (didn't spend enough time there!)
The Bad:
1) I overdid it with event tickets and missed out on spending more time demoing in the Exhibit hall and the Rio Grande Room.  Next year?  TWO event tickets pre-planned... the rest will be a joyous mix of dealer's room fun and generic ticket invasion (knowing what I know now about RPGs being under-played... I shall have to try to start trying to get in on more of those!)
2) I think I overdid the walking. I have a bad ankle and back - but what a way to go!
3) For the first year since we started staying there in Indy, I was disappointed by the Hampton Inn downtown.  They were not nearly as welcoming and accommodating as they had been in the past.  Rather sad.
4) The Walk to Lucas Oil - and the Location of Nascrag - I was ready to collapse when I finally made it there!
The Ugly:
Nope, don't have any, though I AM disappointed if people had stuff stolen from them.  That's just not necessary, anywhere.

LadyImm, next year we've got to say hi to each other.  I want a face to go with the Forum moniker.  Sorry about the walk, we weren't given a choice of location.  You have to admit the noise level was much better than in previous years.
I totally agree with you nascragman.  Let's exchange pictures before next year so I know who you are and you know who I am.  I was one of the many Kitty's this year - but I had a hard time with the tinker part of the character (I changed accents about 5 times though, lol).  Our team was great with the puzzles, not so great with the role-play.  Will work on improving that part.

What was your team name?  It would be funny if I GM'd for you.
You didn't - one of the ladies GM'd our team.  Our team was Ants killing Nazis (I got overrode on this, I did NOT like that name at all but was having a hard time coming up with something more fun...).  I was one of the people using a rollator (otherwise known as a walker with wheels and a seat).  I parked it against the stadium wall while we were playing so it was out of the way.

Posted by alans

The Good:
  *Crowds were not bad at all, except early Thursday in the Dealer Hall
  *Customer Service lines.  Hardly any wait at all - if Gen Con never again has on-site badge sales, that would be awesome with me!
  *Scotty's patio
  *Giant games
  *Watching my son win his Halo 5 tournament again this year.  
  *Barenpark
  *Steve Jackson Games new stuff
  *Big Trouble in Little China boardgame upcoming release.  Beautiful board!
  *Fallout board game sneak peek
  *Having a close hotel again
  *Hanging out with friends that now live in Seattle
  *Late night Gamma World game with friends in my hotel room
  *Lucas Oil Stadium.  I see lots of room to expand there. . .
  *Laser tag.  I almost turned in my ticket when I saw the setup, but glad I didn't.  Great guns, lots of fun!
  *New Nerf guns at Rising zombie LRP
  *Food truck lines and quality
  *Bee Coffee roasters vanilla crack frozen latte.
  *The Indy police
  *"GEN CON 50" scrolling in lights on the building windows facing Monument Circle.  Cool!

The Bad
  *Final room in combat of TD being a puzzle.  Again.  There's a reason we don't do puzzle runs.  Don't make the big, final, got-to-do-or-die end of the adventure a puzzle room for combat runs.  
  *My Saturday.  Carried TD tokens around all day bc each time I left my hotel room, starting that morning, I thought I wouldn't be back until after my TD run.  I think I made 4 trips back.  Oy!
  *Big 4-hour zombie minis game cancelled at last minute due to no GM.  Personal issues.  It happens, but it was a bummer.
  *Eggs at breakfast buffet were really not good.
  *The already remarked-on LOUD announcements in the Hall.  Just.  Stop.
  *The game next to us in Lucas Oil that relied entirely on a computer-run creepy/distorted LOUD evil-sounding voice to tell the players what to do.  That needed to be away from other tables.  Like, in its own room.  In Carmel.
  *Gen Con is over until 2018!

The Meh
  *Noise ordinance does not seem to be enforced downtown.
  *The Thing game.  I was not impressed with the way the game-play was set up.
  *Tavern on South closes awfully early.  10:00 Saturday night of Gen Con?  Huh.

Posted by armadilloal alans

alans wrote:The Bad
  *Final room in combat of TD being a puzzle.  Again.  There's a reason we don't do puzzle runs.  Don't make the big, final, got-to-do-or-die end of the adventure a puzzle room for combat runs.  
Especially not a puzzle as easy as that one was.  I had the second part of it completely figured out before the NPC even finished her speech, and the rest of the party needed about 15 seconds to figure out the first part.  The only thing remotely difficult about that room was seeing the colors of the flowers in the darkness of the room.

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