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Subject: OrcCon LA who's going? rss

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Ron A
United States
California
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I'll be there Saturday.

I know this is super last minute, but is there any interest in starting a geeklist of open gaming games you are bringing or want to play?

I have a copy of Ogre Designer's Edition I am bringing, not sure I'll drag it out of the car unless I know somebody wants to play.
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Nathaniel Chambers
United States
Austin
Texas
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I'm looking to play Tash-Kalar, Robinson Cruesoe, Adventure Time, Through The Ages, and Space Alert. My first BG con, so I don't know how easy it is to find games you are already interested in playing (vs, just playing whatever is available).
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ronald fraigun
United States
Tujunga
California
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I'll be there, I know sometime probably Sat afternoon we plan a game of Adv Civ. but I'll mostly be in the open gaming room the whole convention. Easy to find me, i'll be the guy in the red power chair.
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Brian Simmons
United States
Palmdale
California
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I'll be there Saturday and Sunday.
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Jon Ruland
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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i'll be there demoing this game on friday from 3-7: http://gangsterdice.tumblr.com/.

drop on by if you have nothing better to do. i doubt my table will be full. =)
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David Etherton
Scotland
Edinburgh
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I'll be there Saturday and Sunday. I'm planning on bringing Nations, Caverna: The Cave Farmers, and Suburbia so far.

Hope there's enough open gaming space in the new hotel, that's been a problem for me at the old hotel several times in the past (too much table space reserved for tournaments and events, and people leaving their stuff unattended on other tables).

-Dave
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Nick Hayes
United States
Los Angeles
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I'll be there off and on Saturday through Monday.

Jon, I'll try and swing by today and give your dice game a try.
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Christopher Frazier
United States
California
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David and I will be there with our families, NOT demoing anything since Emu Ranchers is deep into the production process. Hopefully we'll get a chance to meet some more Geeks and designers this time around and play something new.
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Dev Davis
United States
Los Angeles
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I was there on Saturday with my kids, my niece, and a few friends. We pretty much only hung out in the open gaming area. My review:

The new location was nice, if a little confusing to find things at first. I want to say that there was more space overall but since things were spread out it was hard to tell for sure.

I'm not sure I liked the open gaming space. On the one hand, it was nice to have a dedicated area so that open gaming tables weren't confused with event and tournament tables but the room seemed a tad claustrophobic with the relatively low ceiling. Also, early on Saturday there were WAY too few tables but by the afternoon they brought in a dozen or so more which helped.

The convention staff was great as always.

Hilton parking is a joke. They allow a bunch of their available parking to be used as airport parking so there was zero available parking on Saturday. Nearby parking is expensive. The hotel itself is serviceable and generally enjoyable.

Any old timers remember the cons from the early-mid 90's at the Hyatt? The convention seemed huge and if you were lucky, you could find street parking for free. Ah, "the good ol days".
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David Etherton
Scotland
Edinburgh
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I like the new hotel in general; cell reception was terrible though (unless you had AT&T, apparently), and got in the way of meeting up with people.

The separate open gaming area was great -- I have zero interest in the events and tournaments -- but tables were in short supply even after they moved new ones in. A fair number of the tables were being camped on by people doing demos or kickstarted designs -- I have mixed feelings about that, I kinda wish they were all in the events area instead of taking up valuable space in open gaming (which is already a mix of board gaming and role-playing games). That would actually give me more of a reason to stop by the main floor as well.

The hotel parking was certainly cramped, although we got there early enough on Saturday that we found a space on the bottom floor.

-Dave
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Bill Gallagher
United States
Torrance
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devolutionxx wrote:
Hilton parking is a joke. They allow a bunch of their available parking to be used as airport parking so there was zero available parking on Saturday.

That's true of almost all the hotels near LAX. The parking is outsourced, meaning that the company operating the facility will do what they feel necessary to maximize its revenue. Thus there is a lot of airport parking. The bad news is that it'll likely be worse for the next convention (as there's much more air travel on Memorial Day weekend). The hotel should better anticipate demand for space when large conventions with lots of local attendees are taking place, and communicate that with the parking provider. Note that even the dedicated airport parking lots (Wally Park, The Parking Spot et al) have issues with inadequate space at peak times.

As for the convention space, it was nice. My main comment is:

It was a hassle to move between the Open Gaming/lower lobby RPG rooms and the second floor, where convention registration, auction and other events took place. This is because of the elevator setup at the hotel - in order to go between those two floors, one had to change elevators at the main lobby level.

I did hear some people suggest that the open gaming and miniatures areas be swapped for next time.
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Nathan Clegg
United States
Escondido
California
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Yuglooc wrote:
I did hear some people suggest that the open gaming and miniatures areas be swapped for next time.

This! Open gaming was two floors away from the game library, suffered from too few tables (as always), and had such poor cell *and wifi* signal that it was near impossible to find your friends or look up rules questions. Moving open gaming upstairs would be a huge boon.
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Randolph Bookman
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Los Angeles
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I found the layout to be pretty terrible.
Did get to try Chasomos. Very interesting mechanics not a game I will be purchasing, but Joey and his team were awesome and very enthusiastic about the game. Glad I got to try it.
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C. B. Green
United States
Culver City
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I am not crazy about the new hotel, but can probably make my peace with it.

For me, parking was the biggest drawback, and it was *big*. In fact, my continued attendance is predicated on some kind of better option(s) being offered. I live not far from the hotel and commuted every day. At the Sheraton, I could park all day across the street from the hotel for $12. This time out, the best option was WallyPark -- $20+ and still a few blocks walk to the Hilton. The Sheraton also had plenty of street parking right nearby... not useful as an all-day solution, but if looking to play for a few hours on Friday night or Monday morning, it worked great. The Hilton has -- you can count 'em -- eight public parking spaces behind it. (Why even provide eight? It just made me feel resentful of those who got them...) I could live with all of the other changes, if they would just arrange for better parking options.

I was at first very down on the Open Gaming area in the so-called "Lower Lobby"... Where I'm from, we call that a basement, but nice try, Hilton. But I could get used to it. I would love to see Open Gaming swapped with Miniatures, but I can't imagine that the Miniatures folks are going to be any happier about being in that low-ceiling, chintzy-decor room than we were.

But besides decent parking, the main thing I missed was the Sheraton Atrium... that sort of no-man's-land between the Flea Market tables and the Miniatures, where Registration was. I really missed those couches and chairs; it was a great place to rest for a moment and chat with friends, or eat lunch, or whatever... the Sheraton had a lot of open space where you could relax, socialize and feel like you were "at the con" without being in an event. The Hilton had very little of that -- the closest thing might have been the tables/chairs on the second floor that surrounded the Atrium. I confess, I didn't realize how valuable that space at the Sheraton was until it was gone... it really tied the whole con together.

Just so this isn't all complaints: That main ballroom was pretty sweet. The Dealer Room seemed bigger and better-lit. More Flea Market space was nice. Con staff very friendly and helpful, as always. On the whole, knowing that it was our first time in the new digs, I thought the con did a credible job, and I'm happy to cut them plenty of slack. I have faith that they'll make best efforts to fix what needs fixing. The fact that we turned out in bigger numbers than the hotel expected (heard this from a couple hotel staff) should hopefully give them the leverage to make constructive fixes.
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