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Joseph Larson
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Copied from by Blog: http://joes3dworkbench.blogspot.com/2014/08/gencon-report.ht...

GenCon was a... singular experience. I've never been to a convention of any kind before. But when Just Game offered to let me man their booth for part of the con I decided "Why not? Maybe I could hand out some business cards and maybe drum up some side business." I didn't really know how huge GenCon was when I agreed. But GenCon is huge. And now I'm home, still a little sore from 3 days of walking, with a head full of ideas.

First of all, now that I've had a chance to play BoardCraft I can say is a very intricate game with a lot of depth and strategy and some unique elements pertaining to the board building mechanics. It's one of those "Damage stat plus attack bonus plus 2d6 against your defense plus armor plus 1d6 means you take X damage and get pulled 2 spaces. That means I get the 'get off my lawn' bonus and 5 achievement points. Your turn." It's still in an advanced prototype stage but if that sounds like your sort of game they still need your help.

I also got to see a lot of other games. Some, like BoardCraft are still struggling to get published. Others are compete but struggling for exposure. Some of my favorites (not all of which I bought, yet) were Volt, Livestock Uprising, Win, Lose, Banana, Flashpoint, Fire Rescue (with veteran/dog expansion), Switching Tracks, Grow, Time Thief and Ghost Pirates. I entirely missed talking to Adam McIver about my 3D printed CoinAge game and getting a copy of his new game VECTOR, so I'm a bit bummed about that. But besides that I had a great time and I've got some games to play.

Many publishers I saw bemoaned the fact that they were going to have to downscale the bits in their game for cheaper colored cubes and the like to make their budget reasonable. They didn't want to do this, but didn't see another choice. You can bet those people got my card. After all, what if you could offer a scaled down version of your game with the option to upgrade with 3d printing? Find a printer in your area on MakeXYZ out 3DHubs and replace those plain cubes with something more appropriate and visually appealing.

Then there were the costumes. Lots of folks who dedicated hours to molding cardboard, cloth, plastic, paint and whatever else into a tribute to their favorite things. Many of the cosplay folks already know that they can use 3D printing. I wonder how I can tap that audience more?

I also want to quickly mention the Cheese Weasel folks. My social/business awkwardness was making it difficult for me to talk to people and pass out cards. But Cheese Weasel's Con Quest gave me a goal for talking to people by turning it into a meta game. Because of them found people who I might be able to help. Tempting prizes aren't bad either, though I traditionally don't do well on drawings.

I was told that my videos are really good for my public image. I should really do more of them.

An idea started brewing at the con for a project where a 3D printer can be incorporated into a game, where players race a print to prepare their resources. Then when the print is complete the play switches to using those resources to win. The winner gets to keep the print which doubles as a dice tower or something. I've still got a lot of details to work out, clearly. For instance, most dice towers are several hours long prints, so the game play has to work with that. But if I could get some help and maybe a sponsor I might could make this happen. Maybe I'll even have an excuse to go to GenCon and other cons in the future, and that would be cool.
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