Hello!

 

Yes, I know it’s been over a week since GenCon now, but I’m telling you, the time has been flying by to the point that I just got time to sit down and write this up. I could have done so sooner, but I wanted to give it more than a passing effort, so I set aside some time today to do just this. That said, here we go!

Monday the 12th my family piled into the truck and drove out to DIA (that’s Denver International Airport for those not familiar) where they left me curbside to begin my GenCon journey, then headed off to the kids’ first day of school for the year. This trip was full of firsts, and they started piling up right away that morning. For example, before this trip, I’d only ever flown a handful of times before, but this was my first time going it alone. Also, the last time I flew was before the events of 9/11, so this was also my first time dealing with the TSA. I don’t want to take a bunch of time here with all of that, so I’m just going to say that it was pretty smooth, and I do not appear to have caught any foot fungi from walking around a frakking airport in my socks!

G33k & Co. booth

So, I arrived in Dayton that Monday around 3pm zulu, was promptly attacked by munchkins, ran some errands, had dinner with friends, and set about tackling last minute con details and assisting however I could with final prep and production. Tuesday was much of the same, with the evening spent packing a 200 square foot booth and all associated fixtures and stock into a Honda minivan. All I have to say about that is, wow. That thing holds a deceptively large amount of physical goods!
Just after 6, I stopped by the 6-9pm trade day table set out for us and chatted with a couple of people while my cohorts ran around the hotel and convention center dropping off download codes for promotional copies of the RPG books and other prizes for the various charities, groups, and raffles that we had elected to participate in. Around 8 we decided to play hookie from trade day and ran off to get some food, then crashed.Wednesday morning we saw the kids off to their first day of school, packed up the coffee machine and luggage and hit the road to Indy. We arrived around 11am, unloaded the van into the convention center, parked it at the hotel, and then set about constructing the booth which had, up to that point, never been fully assembled previously. Things went very well, if you ask me, and we only had to alter three pieces of the structure, which was entirely expected. By 6pm we were basically finished with the booth, including setting up all of the stock and displays, and having not eaten since 7am, we were famished and ready to eat. Which of course meant that we had somewhere else to be!

Thursday morning we got up, had breakfast in the convention center (bad idea), then headed into the hall to do final preparations and get ready for the first day of con. Things got off to a rough start as we fought with our wi-fi hot spot and the video we’d intended to run in the kids area of our booth, but we soon sorted all of that out, made necessary adjustments, and were off and running! We nearly sold out of our bibs on Thursday, and sold a bunch of dice bags as well, but books were not really a big ticket item. I Had a game around 2 that one person showed up to, so we chatted for a bit, I gave her a download code for a digital copy of the RPG and thanked her for giving it a shot, then headed back to the booth and we finished out the day with strong sales and a good hot meal before crashing hard again.

SMG GameFriday was more of the same, although a bit slower than Thursday in terms of sales. We sold a few Kalijor: Kids books, a ton of dice bags, and the Surreal Mother Geek book was moving very well from Friday through the end of the con. Friday morning we ran games for kids in the family fun pavilion to no small amount of cheers and parental approval. The game was a hit with the kids, ran well in its first public appearance, and despite her misgivings, Diana knocked it out of the park! My game at 2 had more than enough people to play so we ran through the campaign and everyone said they really enjoyed it. I had a guy do something I’d never seen before in 25 years of GMing (although looking back it wasn’t all that amazing and probably should have come up sooner, but what are you going to do?). Folks seemed to be getting into it and made lots of great comments about the game. That night, we closed up the booth at 6 and ran right over to watch The Gamers: Live, which was epic fun, then had California Pizza Kitchen for dinner and then got probably the best night’s sleep I had over the entire trip!

Saturday was super busy. We ran both the Surreal Mother Geek 4-7 game, and a Kalijor: Kids 7-14 game at the family fun pavilion and again, all parties involved seemed to be having a tremendous time. Parents were laughing and helping their kids play, we did a couple quick Q&A sessions with reporters and bloggers, both at the game and later at the booth, and Diana was even filmed for an interview with PlayUnplugged! My 2pm game was with a group of 9 friends who regularly game together and when they attend GenCon they look for games that are fresh and new and then buy them out so they can all play together. They were super fun to GM for and we played for 3 hours and change, well over our 2 hour block of time. After that, they talked about showing up for the next session on Sunday morning, so I knew they were enjoying the game!

Sunday morning at 10 I had my last Kalijor game session and when I arrived there were already 5 people there ready to go. As I was explaining the basics of the system to them, six of the nine from the previous day’s game showed up and bought up the remaining seats and after another three hours we had two tables full of people having a great time and I was moving around between tables running two different groups as the party had split up to divide their efforts. I had to run back to the booth after that to sign some books and talk to some customers about the game. Then at 2 we ran the last of the kids games, again both the Surreal Mother Geek and Kalijor: Kids games, and again we received a bunch of compliments and accolades from both the kids, and their parents!

The con closed up at 4pm and we had the booth broken down and packed up in about an hour. There were some issues in getting access to the loading dock for load out, but we dodged the (THREE HOUR!) wait with some clever parking and with the help of some friends got packed up and on the road by 7pm. Back in Dayton we decompressed for a bit in the hot tub, then slept off the day.

Monday we saw the kids off to school, unpacked the van, stowed what we could, boxed up all of the stock and other things that needed to come back to Denver, and made a trip to the post office to drop it all in the mail. Tuesday we made a few dice bags, including a prototype Kalijor bag, and started making plans for future cons, including a return to GenCon in 2014! That night we played some Red Dragon Inn, hung out with some friends and had a generally good time.

Wednesday, I had a great sushi lunch with my friends in Dayton before getting back on a plane home and by the time I arrived back in DIA the cold I had started to feel the tingle of the previous night had taken full effect. 🙁 Still, it was awesome being back home with the family. Since then I have been working to get rid of the cold (almost gone now) and watching movies and playing some Skyrim. But now, Monday, it is back to work!

In all, GenCon was another awesome experience. We did even better than in previous years and I am excited both to go back next year and for the future of the Kalijor RPG and our partnership with the SurReal Mother Geek and G33k & Co.! The RPG didn’t sell out, but it sold, and to people who played it as much as those who picked it up sight unseen, as it were. People are super excited about a game system that they can use with their kids, and for themselves, and accommodate both styles of play without adjusting or changing mechanics or stats in any way. We met a number of folks who run game stores all over the world (including one in Australia) who loved the game concept and want to talk about carrying the game in their stores!

All told, the trip was great, the RPG and novels all sold well, and I am super excited both to have been able to go, and to be back. The excellent news is that I will be putting the finishing touches on the first sourcebook soon, and the moment we have the money, I will be assigning out artwork to get it on its way to publication so we can keep the momentum going!

In the meantime, I will be finishing up the most recent revision of The Aegis Protocol this week, and this weekend we will be at TactiCon in Aurora Colorado! I Have three games scheduled, although something has come up for my usual assistant and I may not be able to get away from the table for one or two of them. I’ll do whatever I can, but at the very least, I will be available in the dealer’s room with novels and the RPG books on hand. I have games Friday at 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday at 9am.

 

So, I think that’s about it. Which is good because I think I’ve started rambling!

Thank you to everyone who has been here through thick and thin, and welcome to any of those new folks who have joined us since GenCon. We’re all in for some fun here in the near future, with new novels, new RPG sourcebooks, and more, all right around the corner. This is a great time to be getting on board and I am looking forward to seeing where we can take this boat together!

 

For now, I am off to get some more work done. I hope to see you this weekend at TactiCon!

 

End of Line…

 

Paul