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Subject: Gen Con should be 5 days long... rss

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Joel Eddy
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I've enjoyed reading the various post-convention reports, Geeklists, and photo blogs. I am also excited to watch the various interviews and videos that are sure to come out in the coming week or so.

I pushed myself this year, trying to take in as many vendors as possible, but I missed A TON!!

I totally missed out on much of what was happening in Hall E for example. I didn't get enough Library gaming in. I didn't get to sit down and really BS about the hobby as a whole. And, people are constantly telling me the same thing. "You saw what? I didn't even see that game!"

So. Please increase the length of Gen Con to five days.... or seven.

Thank you.
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Pete Lane
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I'm a Magic player first over all, so I got my share of good games in. However, 4-6 hour long tournaments made my weekend FLY by. One could argue that if you get into town on Weds, it IS a five day convention... but even then, unless you live close or fly in, it's a short day.

I missed out on a lot, but still enjoyed myself quite a bit. Cheers to everyone I met and those on these boards I crossed paths with!
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Joel Eddy
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stagger lee wrote:
I'm a Magic player first over all, so I got my share of good games in. However, 4-6 hour long tournaments made my weekend FLY by. One could argue that if you get into town on Weds, it IS a five day convention... but even then, unless you live close or fly in, it's a short day.

I missed out on a lot, but still enjoyed myself quite a bit. Cheers to everyone I met and those on these boards I crossed paths with!


I hear that. My first Gen Con was in 2004 for a VS. System tournament. I completely missed the entire show, spending all of my time losing at VS.. modest
 
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Pete Lane
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Oh I wasn't losing. whistle

Part of the time sink was Pasttimes fault though. Some of those tournaments didn't start till 30-45 mins after the posted start time.

I do wish Gen Con wasn't so freaking HUGE though. It would make things a bit easier to explore and discover new things. This morning I realised that I completely forgot there were things on the 2nd floor!!
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Joel Eddy
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stagger lee wrote:
Oh I wasn't losing. whistle

Part of the time sink was Pasttimes fault though. Some of those tournaments didn't start till 30-45 mins after the posted start time.

I do wish Gen Con wasn't so freaking HUGE though. It would make things a bit easier to explore and discover new things. This morning I realised that I completely forgot there were things on the 2nd floor!!


Yep. I never set foot up there. It's mostly mini's and RPG's though yes?
 
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Chris Schreiber
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Because I was able to get into Indy a little early, I was surprised at how many informal events were going on in the common areas of the convention center on Wednesday. I ran into a ton of people and got in several games on Wednesday night. It already felt like the best four five days in gaming and I didn't even get to play in the game library at all. I felt behind the whole time. Six days should do the trick.

PS. Joel, did you hear from Seth that after you and I left that game of Hanabi the others stayed behind, dragged in two more players, and went until they got a perfect score. They played another 8+ hours after we left (which must have been after 2am?).
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Joel Eddy
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Chris Schreiber wrote:

PS. Joel, did you hear from Seth that after you and I left that game of Hanabi the others stayed behind, dragged in two more players, and went until they got a perfect score. They played another 8+ hours after we left (which must have been after 2am?).


What the hell?? I left that hall at 3AM. laugh

I felt like we may have achieved a perfect score if we had played another time or two and I wasn't punch drunk from cold medicine! That's what I will tell myself.
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Chris Schreiber
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eekamouse wrote:
Chris Schreiber wrote:
PS. Joel, did you hear from Seth that after you and I left that game of Hanabi the others stayed behind, dragged in two more players, and went until they got a perfect score. They played another 8+ hours after we left (which must have been after 2am?).
What the hell?? I left that hall at 3AM. laugh

I felt like we may have achieved a perfect score if we had played another time or two and I wasn't punch drunk from cold medicine! That's what I will tell myself.

I agree, I think we were close. Wish you could have seen the blissfully exhausted Seth coming up to me at the booth where I was working the next day around 11am with totally bloodshot eyes and the wooden card holders in his hands. He couldn't stop talking about it. Eager for the new version of Hanabi to be released so others can enjoy it.

For the health of everyone involved---GenCon must grow.

Add siesta time.
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AJ Newhausen
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Chris Schreiber wrote:
It already felt like the best four five days in gaming and I didn't even get to play in the game library at all. I felt behind the whole time. Six days should do the trick.

Me too, but it was my first GenCon. I chalked it all up to doing things inefficiently (not knowing how long it would take to get lunch, for example, or staying in a hotel 10 miles away, or just not planning anything in general other than a few entertainment events).
 
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Nicholas Vitek
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I'd be all for a 5 day long GenCon if they allowed Exhibitors to setup on Tuesday and Wednesday was a free for all gaming day.

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Pete Lane
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Nich wrote:
I'd be all for a 5 day long GenCon if they allowed Exhibitors to setup on Tuesday and Wednesday was a free for all gaming day.



That would work for the smaller companies no doubt, but for the larger ones it's pain enough getting all of those people and volunteers in one place at one time. Not to mention those paniced last minutes on Monday/Tuesday needed for finishing things up before climbing in the Uhauls on Weds morning.
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Chris Schreiber
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I don't think anyone seriously thinks we can magically expand GenCon (the dates are set for several years in advance anyway), but it does hit me how much more thoughtful I can be in where I can save time and where I need to be open to happy accidents. I totally understand the sentiment of wanting it to be longer however---if only I were younger, right.

I only thing I did right when it came to planning: I packed eat-on-the-go lunches and snacks on the days when I was roaming the Exhibit Hall (peanut butter and jelly works!). Next year I will add being thoughtful about Wednesday evening and making solid plans to meet up with people that night.

Everything else I did right was going with the flow, because the happy accidents ended up being my favorite part of the convention: the conversation with a favorite designer while in line getting a drink, stumbling into the gang from Snakes & Lattes in Toronto and remembering that Party Games can be amazing with the right group (e.g. Snake Oil), randomly testing prototypes, conversations with publishers that started out as simple exchanges and then turned into meaningful insights for me, accidentally giving away Richard Garfield's autograph to a woman because I forgot the autograph was on the back of that piece of paper, talking with the guys in the booth who volunteered with me and the customers needing recommendations who came back everyday, running into one of my favorite former students I helped introduce to the hobby on his birthday and gaming with random people while he wanted for his friends to finish a Magic draft.

It's precisely the feeling that I can't get to it all that will keep me coming back and pushing myself, and the random successes involving meeting people that will remind me it's all okay when I miss some most of what I wanted to see in the first place. It's gratuitous how much goodness can be explored in the hobby, and that's not even including the games.

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Joel Eddy
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Chris Schreiber wrote:
It's gratuitous how much goodness can be explored in the hobby, and that's not even including the games.



Amen.
 
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Nicholas Vitek
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stagger lee wrote:
Nich wrote:
I'd be all for a 5 day long GenCon if they allowed Exhibitors to setup on Tuesday and Wednesday was a free for all gaming day.



That would work for the smaller companies no doubt, but for the larger ones it's pain enough getting all of those people and volunteers in one place at one time. Not to mention those paniced last minutes on Monday/Tuesday needed for finishing things up before climbing in the Uhauls on Weds morning.


Well, allow Exhibitors Tuesday and Wednesday to set up.
Exhibit Hall still opens on Thursday.


It provides more flexibility for exhibitors and also makes booth setup not the rapid affair it is.
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Joel Eddy
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Nich wrote:

It provides more flexibility for exhibitors and also makes booth setup not the rapid affair it is.


I've heard this sentiment from more than one publisher and experienced a small measure of it myself. The setup can be very hair raising and stressful, which comes with the territory I guess but I can't imagine the panic at the FFG booth. Good thing they have like 50 people working there. whistle
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Pete Lane
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eekamouse wrote:
Nich wrote:

It provides more flexibility for exhibitors and also makes booth setup not the rapid affair it is.


I've heard this sentiment from more than one publisher and experienced a small measure of it myself. The setup can be very hair raising and stressful, which comes with the territory I guess but I can't imagine the panic at the FFG booth. Good thing they have like 50 people working there. whistle


Can't speak for recent years... but usually a small contingent arrives the night before while the "truck" arrives on Weds morning/afternoon. Then the whole crew gets to work on everything. It's actually a fairly quick process, but no less exhasting. The years I helped, set up/break down were manditory, but now they have a much larger group of people helping so who knows. It's really a thing of wonder to walk in when the set up is first taking place in the massive empty hall, and then look up in the middle of a project to see things that have started to take form. One of my favorite things to do was walk around after we had finished to see everything before the chaos swarmed in. So peaceful and quiet!
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Dan Taylor
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On good years, the group I'm with actually rolls into town Tuesday evening. Head out to dinner, have a game night, which leaves all Wednesday for just hanging around and playing games. The restaurants are quiet and the streets are clear, at least until Wednesday evening...
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Joel Eddy
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stove wrote:
On good years, the group I'm with actually rolls into town Tuesday evening. Head out to dinner, have a game night, which leaves all Wednesday for just hanging around and playing games. The restaurants are quiet and the streets are clear, at least until Wednesday evening...


So... you are saying you just make your own "fifth day"?!

Fascinating. So simple, yet efficient. whistle

I may just do this as well.
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Chris Schreiber
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Wednesday is BYOG.

Edit: the G can stand for games or gamers... BYOGG looks too much like it's an apostrophe away from being a Cthulhu name.
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