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Author Topic: Gen Con: Between 8 and 12 at the Embassy Suites  (Read 24073 times)

Posts: 14

« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2005, 10:59:32 AM »

I managed to stumble into the Embassy Suites game sessions almost by accident, but damn, it was a great time!

On Friday night I played in Michael Miller's game of "With Great Power" with another guy whose name I can't remember (sorry about that dude) but whose roleplaying style was amazingly cool.

Saturday I managed to get into a game of "Prime Time Adventures" run by an excellent producer named Danielle (don't know her last name either). When I described the game to my wife, she got this thoughtful look on her face...

Rick Rutherford
Make Mine Incarnadine!

Posts: 85

May Contain Monkeys

« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2005, 12:04:45 PM »

holy paradigm shift.

Thursday ran massive Sweet Dreams for the wonderful Scotts (who kept me in white russians all weekend), plus John and Emily. †Realized that the game as I run it is not the game that I wrote, and that the game I'm running is still fun and I still haven't written it. †

Friday talked Shock and played Under the Bed with Joshua and Erin. †Grim Russian fairy tale. †My mind is still reeling from the design revelation of all of us playing aspects of the same character. †I can't wait to play this game with everyone I know.

Finished the Sweet Dreams game (minus Emily and Malcolm), with the revision in mind. †Most constructive playtesting ever thanks to these excellent people committing 2 nights to the game. †

Saturday brainstormed the new Sweet Dreams and Mob Justice mechanics with Ian, and played a/state with Malcolm, Gregor, and 2 others whose names I lost. So this is setting immersion and necessarily moral action stories. †Not at all sorry I monopolized these brilliant people.

Sunday played in Joshua's aforementioned PTA game. †Now I see what all the excitement is about. †Mind blown. †Looking forward to the AP. †Anything I design next has to start with the question "why wouldn't I just use PTA to do this?".

What I missed
Dogs, Sorceror, the Mountain Witch, and My Life with Master. †I hope to play these games soon, or at least read up on their designs before I go any further

So, yeah, inspiring and well worth the trip


Sweet Dreams - Romance, Espionage, and Horror in High School
The Big Night - children's game with puppets

In Progress:  Fingerprints
Playing:  PTA, Shock
Andy Kitkowski

Posts: 827


« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2005, 01:29:08 PM »

Also: just so it's perfectly clear...I hate Andy K. the most. Ripoff indeed!

Holy Crap.  I feel like a cockmongler.  One who mongles cock.

I wrote that early AM on the day I left for GenCon, and forgot to reread it before Orie (my wife and designer) uploaded it for me.  So I jumped in on that from work, and using a shitty text editor I fixed that award.  Man, I can't believe I did that, and I'm really sorry about all that stuff.

Here's what I MEANT it to read:

"I bought this at GenCon last year (after having read most of it in the free webzine Daedalus). I forgot how much it was at the time, but something like $20 for a game with not a lot of "high end production value". I was kinda disappointed in the purchase, until I decided to sit down and play it: After two sessions, I choked on my words: "Why the F*** did I earlier think I got ripped off???". Lacuna is like the best parts of Orpheus, Jacob's Ladder, Jung's Collective Unconscious, Flatliners, and the Lovecraft Dreamlands all rolled into one, with enough information to juice your players into the action and suspense, kicking off a campaign that could last a year. It reminded me of the familiar lesson of judging a book by its cover. Lacuna skooled my ass, hardcore. "

The comment on ripoff wasn't meaning a ripoff of Orpheus, Jung, etc, it was earlier a part of the sentence "Why the F*** did I earlier think I got ripped off"... but in three edits and shifting sentences around back before GenCon, something got lost in the shuffle.  I hope that helps.

Thanks.  And more on my experiences when I get some time later after all this training.  Gotta go back into the server room...


The Story Games Community - It's like RPGNet for small press games and new play styles.
Emily Care

Posts: 1126

« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2005, 01:40:39 PM »

Man, this was the best of the best. The best thing about it was in between playing the amazing games I got in on, I could walk around the room going from table to table seeing all these wonderful people I'd just met having a tremendous blast playing with one another.  It was my first, and I can't imagine the Con without it.   My thanks too to everyone for making me feel so welcome!

My play--

Thursday: Sweet Dreams with Allan, Gregor, Morgan, Kat, Ian, John & Malcolm.  The folks from Edinburgh had me rolling on the floor, and getting to play the game as it stood helped me get insight into what Allan really wanted to get out of it in later conversations with him.  Go you!

Friday:  The game of Barbaren! gm'd by the intrepid Julie w/help from Ben and the rest of us hard fightin'-hard lovin' barbarians played by Tom, Ron, Jared & Jasper.  Frank, I got to play it after all, now I can give you feedback in return for your play of Breaking the Ice.

Saturday: Dogs in the Vineyard gm'd by Vincent with Clint, Ben and Matt Wilson.  Wow--an intense, amazing game that brought us all to some deep places with ourselves & one another.  No holds barred in this gaming we do sometimes.  It was an honor to be with these folks & to see what this game can do.

Sunday:  Another great series is born: Blue Lines, behind the scenes in a disney cartoon series where you get to see what the characters really think of their animator & struggle with class discrimination between Protagonists & extras.  Joshua produced for myself, Allan, Eric Finley, Starr & Ben.  Proving yet again that this game sets the bar for fun. 

Other hightlights:  seeing Vincent, Matt W. and Eric playtest for Paul, walking by a table and seeing Andy K and other folks playing Breaking the Ice! (Still wierd seeing other folks play.... : ) Listening to the incredibly funny game of PtA going on while I was in the Sweet Dreams game with Allan et al.  Just watching the expressions on their faces and seeing them double over with laughter was a joy. All the board & card games that came out, mixing up the ways to have fun. And just having one place to come to where all these folks could continue getting to know one another, working on eachothers' games & really getting to enjoy playing the great stuff we've made here.   


Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games
Gordon C. Landis

Posts: 1024

I am Custom-Built Games

« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2005, 04:19:26 PM »

I think the games I actually played in have all been mentioned, so I'll talk about another part of the experience: the desperate desire to be in multiple places at one time.† Sunday night, what with the con coming to an end and all, it was positively painful.† Here I was thoroughly enjoying the Shab-al-Hiri Roach game, and I glance over and see Ralph, Vincent, and Meg and/or Emily playing something with cards.† I want to be there too.† Then I sneak to the bathroom and notice Malcolm and some other folks up to something - I never did get to talk to him much, and A|State just looks so cool.† And . . . everywhere I looked, somewhere else I wanted to be.  Someone else I wanted to spend time with.  Some other game I wanted to know more about.

You all rock.† Or rawk, if you prefer.† RAWK, even.† Cool games and cool people in one place together = magic.† That's why the Forge exists, I know, and I suspect we all know it, but still - at the Embassy Suites, Indianapolis, from 8-12 PM,† in mid-August 2005, you could SEE the magic.† FEEL it.† LIVE it.

And to continue the melodramatics - may it be so in all your play, throughout the year.† For it will surely be so again next year in Indianapolis.


www.snap-game.com (under construction)
Andrew Morris

Posts: 1233

« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2005, 05:17:43 PM »

I played only a couple of games at the Embassy Suites, primarilly because I didn't really know about it beforehand. The only times I ended up there were when Tony swept me along in tow. If I'd realized it was a semi-planned event, I'd have spent more time there. As it was, I thought it was just a happy coincidence that folks looking for games were hanging out.

The first game was on...uhm...Thursday? I played a fun game of PTA with Meguey (producer), Ayrlia (sp?)/Star, Eric, and Dave. It was interesting to watch Meguey's style of Producing and how that differed, from, say, Ben's. Ben was always on point, and very much the "boss," accepting and tossing out ideas with little or no explanation, until we reached something we all thought was cool. Meguey (and I'll never be able to hear that name without thinking about tequila now...thanks) incorporated pretty much everything and patched it together into a cohesive whole. While they were both enjoyable, Meg's had a more collaborative feel, while Ben's had a strong "you're on the spot, so dance, monkey, dance!" feel to it. As I said, they were both great, but with completely different vibes.

The game was a load of fun, and I found it interesting that everyone chose to play the character they created. I wish we could have gone on longer, but I was fading fast when Meguey called an end to the game, so it was probably for the best.

On....Saturday?...I played Capes with Tony, the "other Andrew" (heh...sorry, Cooper, but Tony said it, so it must be true), Amber and her husband (I can't recall his name), and Ryan (?). It was a rockin good time, and interesting for a couple of reasons. First:

The coolest part was the young lady who was very shy and didn't think she could play a game like Capes because of the spotlight time it required.  The turn around came when she, playing The Iron Brain (a villain), won the Conflict "Who is the best hero?".  Sitting there with a straight face, she narrated, "After mentally reviewing all his memories and calculating all the facts with mechanical precision, The Iron Brain concluded that the best hero was....   a dead hero."  We all just died laughing.  From that point on she was out of her shell.  Beautiful (yet amusing) moment.

No joke man, I nearly fell off my chair at more than one point in the game, mostly from her narration. Watching her grow into the game was awesome. From "I don't think I'll like this game" to listening to our suggestions and picking one to taking one of our suggestions and running with it to jumping on conflicts and narrating the hell out of them. It was great.

The second interesting point about that game was the fact that Ryan noted that Capes wasn't his cup of tea, but still threw himself into it fully. I hear tell he ended up buying a copy of Capes, anyway, since he told his friends about it and they wanted to play. I might be getting my facts mixed up, though.

Download: Unistat
Gregor Hutton

Posts: 274

« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2005, 05:32:46 PM »

Yeah, the nights at the Embassy Suites were just great. I got to play Allan's Sweet Dreams on two nights and an a|state game of  Malc's on another (Bizarrely, that's only the second time Malc has run a|state with me as a player). Unfortunately for me, we had a long group meal on the Sunday night at an Italian restaurant and I made it along to the ES later than I'd hoped on the last night. Dang. I'll try and catch a Breaking The Ice demo somehow!

I loved the fact that people were gaming if they wanted to, and talking up ideas and theories if that was more their thing.

Thanks for making me feel so much at home in Indy. And I hope we all congregate at the ES next year.


Posts: 22

« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2005, 06:22:01 PM »

Friday I played in a great game of Inspectres with a group of eight.  It was my first time playing Inspecters and the game was a blast.  Although I will never understand why catsup came to mind when I came up with the substance that harmed the undead.

Saturday I sat down with Malcolm, and Gregor and talked about British TV and some of the funny words that our two countries share.  After a few drinks we were joined by two other fellows (canít recall their names) and played a rocking game of a/state.  And I really enjoyed the characters that we played and interacted with.  Good stuff.

While it was my first time hanging out with the forge crew after hours I enjoyed some of the best gaming I had while at GenCon.  Thanks all.

The Engineer of Kryos

Posts: 66

« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2005, 05:49:18 AM »

I managed to stumble into the Embassy Suites game sessions almost by accident ...

It might be a good idea to (selectively?) tell those who are looking for longer demos of the games they see at the Forge booth that there are these wonderful games after hours. Reading the GenCon booth likes/dislikes thread suggests that there might be a need for such a thing. I've always enjoyed open gaming at cons.
Paul's Girl
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 47

« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2005, 11:50:38 AM »

Hi everyone! I was a totally great time at the con.

Thursday I played Under the Bed with Vincent and Paul (someone else?? Ben?) and it was sad. Good, but sad. (Mommy, please remember to pick me up from school. Daddy, I hate it when you and mommy fight. Yes mommy, I will give up all my toys, but please give them to needy children).

Friday was another Under the Bed game with Allan and Joshua and it was totally different. Kind of. (Please don't molest me uncle! Please don't fire the maid for helping me mother. I have to escape from Babba Yagga!) It was a good time.

Saturday I totally intended to join Meg, Star, Eric and gang for Bacchanal, but Michael S. Miller was so puppy eyed when he asked me to run PtA for him I couldn't say no. Howard and Rick joined us. They wanted to start fresh and the idea came out to be racing car business, set in the pre-Beatles 60s with a hot shot driver (Howard), the mechanic who knows tools better than women (Rick) and the 'looks dumb but knows how to run the business' blonde (Michael). Trying to come up with a name, Michael said, in a tone as if to say "it obviously has to be..." the title became 'Where the Rubber Meets the Road'. Excellent!! Paul and I have already decided to stay Sunday night next year.

A haiku inspired by Gen Con 2002:

Oh, Great Bowl of dice
Unearth the die of my dreams
Wicked 12 sider


Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.

« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2005, 02:28:33 PM »

These posts need to grow up and make their way to Actual Play, myself very much included.

Malcolm Craig

Posts: 263

« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2005, 04:07:38 PM »

The Embassy Suites after-hours thing was fantastic. Had great fun playing Sweet Dreams with Allan, Gregor, Cat, Iain, Emily, Morgan and John (?). Apologies for being out of the game for the following night. My short, semi-improvised a/state game with Allan, Gregor, Sam and Jeff was excellent, despite my ham acting as the psychotic Garsey Hatchett.

In addition to the above, the discussion and debate which took place was fantastic as well. All in all, I think the idea of having something at the embassy suites is a great idea and really was vital part of the whole GenCon experience for me.


Malcolm Craig
Contested Ground Studios

Part of the Indie Press Revolution

Posts: 22

« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2005, 06:52:11 PM »

My short, semi-improvised a/state game with Allan, Gregor, Sam and Jeff was excellent, despite my ham acting as the psychotic Garsey Hatchett.

Hey man, that was one of the reasons I enjoyed the game.  Its great to see people into their games.

The Engineer of Kryos
Frank T
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2005, 06:39:06 AM »

I am so excited. My game got played at GenCon! I feel like a teenager again. How cool is this? Can't wait for your report.

- Frank
Posts: 3453

« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2005, 10:58:48 AM »

Thursday: I played Under the Bed with Paul, Danielle, Eric and Ben. It was very, very sad. Typically when you play Under the Bed you include a good amount of the fantastic - J invented it to be like Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz. But after the game I said to him, "dude, we just played without any fantastic at all" and he said, "oh, ouch, I'll bet it was the saddest game in the history of the world." And I said, "it was."

Ben said to me "which scene got you the most?" and just remembering it made me burst into tears.

J shook my hand and thanked me (on behalf of all of us) for playing that way, because he knew you could but he was never going to. He was glad to have confirmation that it worked the way he'd expected it would. Too sad for bearing.

Next time I play that game, I'm'a be like "we're lost in a magical forest, the stakes of the story are 'do we find our way home?'" That'll be much happier.

Friday: I played Paul's game in development with Paul, Matt Wilson and Greg Stolze. It was a hardcore designers' confab and I hope Paul got a lot out of it. That's going to be a fun game; maybe Paul will say more.

Meanwhile, if I may: it's like kill puppies for satan, only really scary and violent, and Satan's Guidelines no longer apply. It's fearsome.

Saturday: I ran Dogs in the Vineyard for Ben, Matt Wilson, Clinton, and Emily. It was ... whoo, rough. Interesting. Problematic. I'll write more about it but only after Ron makes public his Conceptual Family Tree of Narrativist Game Design.

Sunday: I played Murray Hula with Julie, Meg, Ralph and Iain. Murray Hula is a straight card game my youngest two sibs designed, and it's fast frenzied fun on a stick. Just what I needed to wind down my con.

GenCon '04 had moments both more fun and more touching than '05 did, but every con can't be the most best, and every game can't be Moose in the City. Still, great! One of the true highlights of my year.

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