Looking Forward To GenCon

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In less than a week, the Hex crew will be converging on Indianapolis for GenCon, the biggest gaming convention of them all. The first time I went to GenCon, I dreaded it–I was afraid it would be a perfect storm of all the things that annoyed me about Origins and Dragon*Con. These days, it’s my second favorite convention of the year (and if they ever start handing out free beer, Archon will have some serious competition for the #1 slot).

I think the thing that really makes GenCon so much fun for the Hex Crew is that because there’s such a large pool of gamers, everyone who ends up at our tables is genuinely interested in the games we’re running. People aren’t there because there’s nobody running GURPS in that time slot or because the D&D game they really wanted to play in was sold out. They’re there because they looked through the program book, saw a game about magical hobos or time-traveling roller girls and said, “That’s the game I want to play!” I think this really hit home for me a few years ago when I ran a game where the Rat Pack were CIA assassins on a mission to assassinate Castro. Not only was the game full, it was full of people who knew enough about Sinatra & company to convincingly play them as characters.

Also, from a purely business standpoint, we always see a lot of new faces at GenCon. At most smaller cons, 50% or more of our players are “regulars” who play in our games every year. While this is usually fun–fortunately, most of are regulars are the kind of players we really enjoy gaming with–having the same people in every game year after year isn’t exactly great advertising, which is ultimately our business justification for traveling hundreds of miles to spend the weekend playing games. We do have people who show up to our games at GenCon every year, but the sheer volume of other events means that most of them can only make it to one or two games, leaving plenty of room for new players to try out QAGS. And best of all, there are always new players looking to give the game a try.

This year, Hex is going to be running 26 games and 8 panels over the course of the con. You can see the full list here (I’m personally looking forward to my Muppets of Sherwood game on Sunday). Also, I just got confirmation that the print edition of Hobomancer has shipped, so it will be available (along with other Hex titles, including a few that we haven’t had a GenCon before) in the dealer’s room. There’s not a GPA booth this year, but the fine folks at Studio 2 Publishing (booths 415 & 419) have agreed to handle our sales (huge thanks to Andy at Crafty Games for the assist–you can also pick up Crafty’s stuff, including Spycraft, and Mistborn at the Studio 2 booth). I’ll be dropping off most of it when I arrive at the con Friday morning. Leighton will be bringing Hobomancer with him Friday evening, so it might not be available until Saturday.

Hope to see you all in Indy!