In addition to the MANY amazing games that I played, I did some SPA activities and I really wanted to share some of the info.
1) The events by Crafty Gamers and Joe Rotella have been top notch every year I've taken many of these events. This year I took Glass Etching and I was not disappointed. The instruction was fantastic, the event was wonderfully staffed and the additional hands on help and post convention follow up -- well, I cannot say enough good things about these workshops. My $34 dollars was well spent and I won't blink an eye at signing up for more of these events next year.
2) I am an avid crocheter and I took a dragonscale bracer class where the primary persons was Sarah Williams Douglas and the company was Nocturne Tabletop Gaming. Again - really fantastic. The supplies were great, the yarn provided was nice and the people educating were superb. They were able to handle and really support brand new to crocheters and still answer questions for people who were more experienced and ensured that no one was just left on their own. They were friendly and supportive and everything promised was provided and was just really a joy.
3) I took SithCore - a core workout. It was great! I had a blast and doing some physical exercise first thing in the morning really set the day up for success. The instructor was Michael Dotson and the company was WAG. ;) But maybe less squats. ;) (JOKING, I know they're good for us!) - I'm definitely going to do this again and hopefully next year I can also do the Jedi Yoga.
4) This was the only disappointing workshop. I paid $24 bucks for "Crochet Harry Potter Scarf or COWL". I guess it was okish, but I really feel like the company, CrochetWerks, did not live up to the standards I've experienced in the past for SPA events. Despite saying "or COWL", there wasn't a cowl pattern or instruction or even a hint of a cowl possibility. The yarn put together for the "kits", were inconsistent and the yarns were not matched in style. Additionally, I never completed the project because not only was the yarn REALLY TERRIBLE, there wasn't enough of it. I also thought that a kit to create a crochet project would include a hook to take with you, there were loaner hooks, but they weren't consistent in styles. I'm sure the instructor may of helped one or two people get started, but I don't know. I know I basically was left to do my own thing. Also, yes, there was a pattern for a scarf, but literally the pattern was to do a stitch for 10 rows, then change colors and do the stitch in the other color for two rows, then repeat. Add fringe if you want. There were no how tos or recommendations or anything. I think that if an 18 dollar event can provide more yarn and high quality and also personalized instruction, that an event half again as much could at least provide enough to complete a project. I understand there are costs associated with project kits, but I think that you need to price appropriately to provide quality and not just stock it from your stash and hope for the best. (some kits had skeins of a "better" yarn, some kits had partial small balls of hand wound yarn, some kits had partial skein cakes wound on a machine.)
5) The craft room, OUTSTANDING, once again the crafter area is spectacular. Thanks for the hard work!
--- unrelated to SPA, WOW! Greater Than Games, FANTASTIC. Thanks for an excellent Con. Also, Tabletop Gaymers - OUTSTANDING.
I now look for his games every year and absolutely LOVE getting to play with him! All of WAG is great, of course, but Michael is a star!
- I took the Pedal and Drink tour this year and it was actually pretty fun. I preferred it to the brewery bus tour I took last year. It was cheaper (both the cost of the ticket and the BYOB aspect), and nice to take a short breather away from the ICC and move your legs a little. The only thing is that the company does not have your contact info prior to you showing up unless you contact them first, so there is a lot of fumbling around to sign the e-waiver at the beginning.
- I took a pilates class Thursday morning to ease into the con and enjoyed it. It looked like the yoga class that preceded it was full! Nice to work out with some other gamers, since most people were looking at me like I grew a horn out of my head when I was walking around the ICC and hotels in workout clothes in the morning, haha. I was thinking about taking one of the Michael Dotson classes but didn't- nice to hear that people like them. Maybe I'll do one next year.
- My friend took the Indy Catacombs tour, and TBH, he said it was kind of a letdown and pretty dry. :/
- On a different note, has anyone taken any of the PMC (precious metal clay) classes? I'm interested in it, but obviously the materials are expensive, so the classes are quite pricey.
I am also interested in gearing any feedback on the PMC classes!
Ditto on the Precious Metal classes!