I arrived in Indy, bright eyed and excited for the unofficial first day of Gen Con. I zipped to Will Call, grabbed my badge, and checked out the awesome costumed folk already wandering the halls. Tickets in hand, I escaped into the air conditioning for a bit before the Meet and Greet. Sure, there are few scheduled events, but Wednesday is the day for finding old and new friends, plus for grabbing a cold drink and enjoying a good story while you look through the swag bag and review your catalog for interesting games.
For me, it meant hanging out with designers, playtesters, and patrons of Open Design at Jillian’s for what is my third great gathering of wonderful folks. We started at the bar, waiting for the last few stragglers. We hit our critical mass– including Steve Russell of Rite Publishing, Ryan Costello, Bill Collins, as well as patrons such as Brian Suskind and our “queen of playtesting” Amanda Heitler, who came all the way from England. We had a decidedly fun time talking about design, about what we loved best about past projects, the status of current projects and possible new projects. There were some great ideas in there.
Before long, we were met by contributors Adam Daigle and Brandon Hodge, and enjoyed another good drink in the overstuffed couches. We hung out well into the 9 o’clock hour, chatting about project ideas, games we planned to play or run, and speculations about which interesting entry might win the ENnies. This inevitably led to discussions about new games, the great options for fun at Gen Con, and what we hoped to pick up when the dealer room opened with a “whoosh!” on Thursday. Then it was time to call it a night — other appointments called.
These moments are the best way for me to start Gen Con. They remind me of all the great people who form the Open Design community and the spirit of experimentation that we share. Thank you to everyone who made it here and and here’s hoping I can catch up with those of you who join us for the first time next year. The chance to connect with fellow patrons and designers is priceless — an opportunity I hope I don’t give up any time soon!