As I look through the events it seems like it either tournaments, or demos. Most of the cool scenario type events or games seem to be MIA. Don't get me wrong, I like to kick the tires on new stuff as much as the next guy but there just seems to be the morass of the same games played every two hours or tournaments.
Where's the good stuff?
check open gaming forum for a couple options
I've already brought this up in the forums multiple times and people are complaining all over social media about it, but for some reason the Gen Con staff just seems to not care. It's almost like they want to run the most boring, generic con possible.
I think you have to look at the sum of the parts and just realize this isn't going to be every other year. You can point to either limited capacity or people not feeling safe in traveling to the con, which is limiting some of the creation of events and/or participation. There are fewer big vendors going that run some of the bigger areas of the convention (Paizo, etc.). I'm assuming things like the mech pods, where people are climbing in and out of those things weren't really in a position to want to have to clean the pod after each use, or assume some type of liability. And GenCon didn't seem to know initially if they were going to be able to have a convention at the beginning of the year, so event submission was pushed back and into a smaller window to submit. So they ended up having less time to review events, and the easiest way to remedy that was to change the approval process, given that they didn't change how many people they have working for them.
Is it ideal? No. But at least a convention is happening, I can't tell you how many other conventions I would have normally gone to already this year that ended not happening instead. I'd rather go to something a little dressed down and do some things outside of my regular comfort zone than not attend at all.
I do think that Open Gaming is going to have it's best year ever with a lot of smaller/independent GM's looking to run games. And hopefully that will encourage or spur a lot of those people to either return to running events in the catalog next year, or have new GM's running events for the first time.
Yeah I mean it sounds like they wish there were some more events, but between the lost 8 hours of gaming every day for cleaning and the first-ever requirements to have gaming areas spaced apart, I imagine opening up events per usual would have resulted in an overbooking situation instead of an underbooking situation.
Also things might actually be worse in September than they would have been right now (hello from alternate-universe-timeline Gen-Con 2021, everybody!) so it might end up being prescient to limit events further than seems reasonable.