Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Chit Chat

Subject: Going to GenCon Indy: Advice? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: GenCon_Advice [+] [View All]
Boo
Canada
Kanata
ON
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This will be my first time going to GenCon - yay! It will be the first time I go to any gaming con larger than my local one which draws about 500 people. I have a hotel room booked, I have booked myself into a couple of seminars, I missed out on getting into the true dungeon, I am driving down from Ottawa (Canada) with my husband (who has never been there either) and a friend.

What else should I do or see or plan for?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Loveland
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For eats, I recommend Claddagh Irish Pub, which is a block or two from the Convention Center. Amazing fish and chips.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Pennisi
United States
Carpentersville
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Plan on at least two full days just playing new games in the exhibit hall while it's open (10 AM - 6 PM I think).

This year there is supposed to be an open gaming area but I don't know where it will be. In the past, 'geeks just used to huddle in any empty corner of the boardgame room that they could find so hopefully it should be easier to meet people and play games now. Anyway, find out where the open gaming is by consulting the event book that you get when you arrive and go there at night, you won't regret it.

Also make sure you stop by Z-man games where I'll be demo-ing on Thursday and Friday. As the official "US boardgame diplomatic liason to Canada" I'll be happy to give you and your husband some tips.

There are many good places to eat so the only eating tip I will give you is to leave the con when you are hungry, there is a mall across the street with far more and far less expensive food options.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Victor Aldridge
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
All very good advice. If you're unsure if the hotel you're booking is connected to the skywalk system, ask the front desk. There are 7 that I can think of, but be warned - the skywalk system extends for several blocks through other buildings and a mall. It will make your trip to and from the Convention Center more comfortable, probably more direct, and perhaps safer (panhandlers come out of the woodwork around Convention time but mostly stick to Illinois Avenue and parts east). Just getting through the Convention Center itself is no small walk. To go from the westmost edge of the Center to the Omni Hotel is a good 7 block walk up 3 flights of stairs and down one more before you reach the elevators.

The food vendors in the Center sell for insane prices, but having run events there and investigated their catering services and contracts, I can understand some of it. Indianapolis levies tax upon tax upon tax on these places. Your closest bet is the McDonalds or Subway in the Hyatt hotel immediately northeast of the Center on the ground floor. If you're willing to go a bit further, take the skywalks past the Hyatt into the Circle Center mall where they have a diverse food court. It's not really cheap, but it's reasonable and fast. There is also a Steak and Shake about a block north on Illinois and, true to form, they're open all night, but in recent years they have SEVERELY restricted their nighttime menu.

St. Elmo's is clearly viable from the skywalks, and their cocktail sauce DOES live up to every warning you may hear about it. NOT for the faint of heart. If you love your General Tso's extra-extra spicy, you might make it through this one. Also note - this is an expensive place to eat. Expect 2 people to come to about $80-100.

If you want less expensive fare, I would suggest the Rock Bottom Brewery which is within view of the Artsgarden and has a good variety of food. There's also a brewery on Illinois next to the Steak and Shake that really tries to welcome the GenCon crowd. Their beer-batter Onion Rings are big, and more beer than batter. For more familiar fare, there's a Friday's west of the Center about a block away.


What should you plan for? 4 days without sleep. Quite simply that.

Arrive, and look around as much as you can. Find maps, ask questions. You can find lots of information about things in and around downtown Indianapolis. There's a lot within 3-4 blocks of the Center. Don't concern yourself with anything outside of that. You're either here for the con or to sightsee, and most of Indy's sites are 10 miles away.

PREREGISTER. PREREGISTER. PREREGISTER. Once you see the lines you'll be SO happy you did.

CONFIRM WHERE EACH OF YOUR EVENTS ARE. The Center is a fairly big place, it isn't always logical where your room or event will be in. Some events are held in the adjoining hotels.

PACK SNACKS ANDBRING A KNAPSACK. Much more comfortable for hauling things about, and snacks brought from home are much less expensive than taking an hour to get some food and get back, or paying for con food. A water bottle is a cheap way to slake thirst and can be easily refilled. Those flavor packets are fantastic.

SOMEONE SAID PLAN FOR THE EXHIBIT HALL. THEY MEAN IT. You could set aside an entire day just for the hall and may not see it all. I usually make sure I plan some transition time between events, and hit the exhibit hall every chance I get, section by section.

WAIT UNTIL THE LAST DAY TO BUY STUFF. The stuff that's REALLY hot and will sell out will do so within a few hours of the hall ever opening, or the item becoming available. Everything else will still be there Sunday, where you can take advantage of any discounts you may have won, or any specials the vendors offer so they have less stuff to haul home. In addition...that's less stuff YOU have to haul all around the convention. Make a list of what you want to get, and do a lightning run Sunday to pick stuff up. You'll also have a better idea of how much you can spend, instead of having a nasty surprise later.

JOIN IN. Many people there are just as anxious to meet new people and try new things as you are. If you see a board game starting up, ask if you can join, or at least watch. You'll learn something new, and probably make some new friends. There's a lot more to the con than going from event to event.

TRY SOMETHING NEW. There are so many different types of events at GenCon. This is the perfect opportunity to try something new you haven't done before. Get in an introductory RPG you've never played. Demo a CCG. Take in one of the seminars. Stay up past midnight with the Werewolves (Are You A Werewolf?). Never tried a LARP? Here's your chance. Take advantage of the possibilities to expand your enjoyment. There are duds out there, but you also might find a hidden gem.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Victor Aldridge
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One last note - as far as I've heard, True Dungeon isn't completely sold out, and they're going to stagger the release of tickets to allow more people an opportunity to participate. Check out the GenCon Indy and True Dungeon websites for more information.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Boo
Canada
Kanata
ON
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lanodar - thank-you for the great advice, I did not want to book myself too much since I figured that there would be a lot of pick up gameing and demo games that I could get into, thank-you for confirming that. I will try again for the true dungeon as I hear it is fantastic.

We are planning to arrive in Indy on Tuesday to give ourselves a day to acclimatize, I figure we will need it the first time.

I booked a king suite at the Days Inn back in February because I could not take time off to try and book a room when the hotel bookings opened up and all I read on the forums was how hard it is to get a room (I booked my suite for 6 days, total = $699). I know it is not up to the luxury standards of some of the hotels but it was a really good price and it has to be better then some of the cockroach motels I have stayed in in the past (and it is a darn site better than my accommodations when I am camping). The walk will be fine since I will not be alone and panhandlers don't really bother me since I do volunteer work at a soup kitchen and I am pretty used to things like that.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
stuart o
United States
Indiana
flag msg tools
Welcome to GenCon and Indianapolis!

If you have not been able to acquire any True Dungeon tickets yet, be sure to check out the GenCon forum on TD, or True Dungeon's own forum (http://truedungeon.com/trueforum/index.php). It's somewhat common for people to purchase all 7 tickets for a timeslot and then try to fill any extra spots. Just put up a post saying how many tickets you're looking for and you might get lucky.

One ticket will be easy to find. A lesser known fact is that the parties this year have the option of an 8th person. This person pays for ticket on site.

Two tickets might be a little harder, but still a good chance, especially if a team is one person short and they opt for the 8th member.

Three, well good luck.

True Dungeon also has a wait list you can sign up for on the admin desk. It does require hanging around the Marriott and TD lobby in hopes of a last minute placement, so I'd only do this if you have a few hours to spare between any waiting and then the 2 hour dungeon crawl. I've seen a fair number of people take a break from the con floor, sign up for the wait list and then grab a table or spot on the floor in the Marriott and rest or play a game while waiting.

Last option, if you really want to see what TD is about, they begin setup on Tuesday evening and work throughout the night and Wednesday. Since the Con doesn't officially start until Thursday, if you had a few hours to kill I know they appreciate volunteers.

Lastly, for eats, the RAM (one block east of the con center) has good food and lots of GenCon dinner events. Across the street is the downtown mall (Circle Centre) which has the Alcatraz Brew Pub, Champp's American Grill, as well as its food court.

Have a great time!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.