Hi, just curious when the event schedule usually comes out? I've never been before and want this year to be my first!
Some time in May, usually about a week and a half before event registration opens (which is May 19 this year). They'll announce an exact date closer to then.
First timer here too, super excited!
I'm a little confused how the events work:Events at Gen Con work a little differently from other conventions you might have attended. At Gen Con, you'll rarely stand in line for hours hoping for a chance to get in to an event; you're here to game, not stand in line! Instead, you'll purchase a ticket for one of our thousands of events, so you'll be guaranteed a seat at a specific time.
Review the menu items links for information about how events work at Gen Con and how to find them.
We buy tickets on top of the price of admission in order to play games?
Where are the menu items links?
I'm so confused!
I think it works like this.
Some things are free, and some things are not.
Maybe for anything, you need to sign up, and the e-ticket goes onto your badge.
I found this site for 2018 to give you an idea of which kinds f events were free or not: http://gencon.eventdb.us
(I'm not sure if it's official. (!?))
You need a ticket to get in to basically any official event. Depending on demand for the particular game/seminar/whatever, it may be easy to get ahold of one, or you might need to get your ticket literally the second they go on sale in May. Once you have it, there's no line on site--you just show up at the right place at the right time. The wording on their website illustrates how their panels are different from other conventions, where there's no advance sign-up but people line up in front of the room for hours at a time to get good seats.
The vast majority of the tickets cost money - usually $1 per hour of the event, unless there are additional costs that need to be covered. The reason for this is to keep people from "hoarding" tickets that they may or may not attend. As silly as it sounds, people are more likely to attend things that they have a monetary investment in, no matter how big or small.
even if it isn't official kimberdsofparadise, I would assume the info is probably accurate!
Yep. With few exceptions (the Battletech pods are the first thing that come to mind), anything that happens outside the Exhibit Hall is ticketed.
Yes, you buy tickets to specific events on top of the price of admission.
Gen Con basically manages the space and takes $1/hour/ticket. The events are hosted individually by companies or GMs who can charge what they want.
Most tabletop events are around $4. Some events don't cost anything; the host pays for the space and your ticket is merely to reserve your spot. Events like jewelry-making can be $30 because they have to cover the cost of materials.
You can browse http://gencon.eventdb.us/ for last year's event list. Hosts are just starting to submit events for 2019, so there's nothing right now on gencon.com.
Re tournaments: I believe they charge for the first round, and subsequent rounds are free.
There are also generic tickets ($2) which you can use for events that you didn't sign up for that have open spots or no shows.
Welcome first timers :)
Yes, you will need to buy an entry ticket ($110 for all 4 days, less for individual days).
Then, you will need to purchase "Event Tickets". These event tickets are, on average, $2 per hour of the event (so a 4 hour RPG event will be ~$8. Might be more if its something like the DM provides minis you can take home or something). You will get 1 ticket per event, no matter how long or how much it costs.
There are also "Generic Tickets" at $2 each, that can be used in place of an event ticket. You will get a physical number of tickets that you can use, so if you buy $20 of generic tickets, you will get 10 individual tickets. The restrictions on Generic Tickets are that A. You pay an equivalent amount of generic tickets to the cost of the event you want to do. B. There is a space available as someone who has that specific event ticket didn't show up. C. The GM allows it. You can buy generics at the same time as event tickets, but if there is an event you know you want to go to, its better to get the actual event ticket as that saves you a guaranteed seat. However, if you can't get the specific event ticket, you can get generics and go to it anyway and hope you can get in. I tend to buy about 10 generics in case there is an event I find while wandering around, or certain events like the LARP combat or the Video Game room take generics.
One exception that I enjoy quite a bit is the True Dungeon (TD) runs. At 2 hours and ~$70/ticket, they are expensive. However, its an immersive Live-Action D&D lite game and is a lot of fun. Tickets WILL sell out, usually within the first 24 hours, even at that price. That should tell you how much fun it is :) Linky: https://truedungeon.com/what-is-it
Also be aware that there is a massive number of completely free seminars, panel discussions, and so forth. You sign up for these like any other event in May, but they have a $0 cost.
Here's the deal:
1) You could go to GenCon without purchasing a single event ticket, and still have a blast. You have plenty of free options, including:
-wandering the exhibit hall, and playing free demos (run by the vendors/creators/publishers themselves)
-wandering the halls of the convention center, the periphery of Lucas Oil stadium, the adjacent streets, hotel lobbies, etc. and people-watching (including all the costumes)
-approaching total strangers and starting a pickup game of just about anything (some folks carry around small portable games for this very purpose)
-checking out a concert on the outdoor stage (they block off some streets to traffic just for this)
2) You could also have a blast with just a handful of cheap ($2?) "generic" tickets -- just arrive an event at its scheduled time and wait a few minutes; the GM will likely let you participate if there are a few slots still open.
3) If you're driving into downtown Indy (and you're not staying at an adjacent hotel), then don't forget to buy an "event" ticket for Gate 10 Parking!
wowsers! this is all so exciting! Thank you everyone for all the useful/helpful info. It looks like I'm going to be spending a ton of time in these forums for the next few months!
The exhibit hall is open from 10am to 6pm (4pm on Sunday), so you can spend a large part of your time there, where all the games & demos are free. Also, in halls A-D there are dozens of events run by big companies, and individuals, going on up until at least 10pm. Many of them have no-shows, so just wandering around on even hours, you have a good chance of finding something for the price of a generic ticket or two. There are also the play test hall & the new games area, both only take generics.
So, for the cost of a badge, and maybe $20 in generic tickets, you could easily fill all 4 days with stuff to do.
Also, don't overdo events. It can be tempting to do as a first-timer when you see all of the amazing things that you can do. The exhibit hall is extensive and exhausting. I know in my first year I overbooked events and did not attend half of them. I now generally plan 2 events a day max--one daytime and one evening. I try to leave at least one night for just open gaming.
Also, do not schedule events back to back. The con is much larger then you think and it will take time to get places. Plan time for bio breaks (eating food/drink etc). Block time to visit the dealer hall, art exhibit, Lucas Oil. Most importantly plan time to rest and recharge. The con is a marathon not a sprint.
What nobody has mentioned as yet is you need to create a wish list for your events before the day events go on sale. They will release the schedule of events and as you find one you're interested in attending, you add it to your wishlist. Then when events go on sale, usually noon EST on a Sunday a week or two after the listing is released, you submit your wishlist. For in demand events, this is literally your best bet on getting into them.
Also of note, if you wish to attend a specific event together with a friend, you should add each other to your friends list and then one or the other of you put your tickets together on one wishlist. This will eliminate the possibility of you getting in and your friend not. It will say "buy so and so a ticket" or "buy another ticket for me". You need to check one of those boxes.
Ah yes, sorry. I guess I probably should have mentioned that you want to put every ticket you want in your wishlist before jamming the "Submit" button at exactly noon. Won't do you any good to try to add events to your cart if nothing's in the wishlist to put there.
Chiming in on the Wishlist:
You can set a priority for each item on your wishlist, and when the list is processed, the system will try to give you as many events as it can, in order of priority, provided that they don't clash with an event you've already been allocated a ticket for. This means that you can use the priority system to set backup options for yourself if you don't get your highest priority events.