Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gen Con 2010

As I mentioned in my previous entry, I recently attended Gen Con, a huge annual four-day gaming convention in Indianapolis. I thought I'd share a little rundown of the events I attended there, for those who are curious. I'll just jump right into it without too much introduction:

Day 1

Thursday, 12:00: RPG1016482 Iron Team Challenge: Shipwrecked

My first scheduled event of the convention was a Pathfinder event, essentially equivalent to Dungeons & Dragons. I was somewhat hesitant to join this event, since it specified that players should have some experience with Pathfinder, of which I had none. The first hour or so of the event was excruciating, since I had no clue how to make a character; I ended up scraping by with a half-completed ninja monk character. Fortunately, my character sheet really didn't matter much, since Keith, the GM, was aware that our group had some n00bs and focused much more on the role-playing elements than the combats. Major props to the GM for this one.

Thursday, 19:00: ENT1017082 Hamlet vs. MacBeth: the Shakespearean SmackDown!

While two of my friends decided to continue on with Pathfinder for the rest of the day, I opted to check out something new. That something turned out to be a skit put on by a group the Damsels of Dorkington, "Hamlet vs. Macbeth" (Shakespeare in the loosest sense). Unfortunately, my enjoyment of the show was hampered by the tall guy sitting in front of me, which obstructed most of my view of the stage, as well as my unfamiliarity with the Macbeth source material. Still, the Damsels put on an exciting show; their excitement was infectious, and their frequent on-the-spot interactions with the boisterous audience really made it something unique. Check out the Damsels here.

Day 2

Friday, 10:00: SEM1017813 Video Game Music Composing and Video Games Live! with Tommy Tallarico

My friends and I barely made it in time for this 10 AM event, but of all Gen Con events, I'm happiest that I attended this one. The event was essentially a presentation by esteemed composer Tommy Tallarico about the world of video game audio, but for some reason this event was left out of the Gen Con catalog. Consequently, I was one of about four attendees, which actually made it better, I think. Tommy was gracious enough to answer all of our questions, and after the event, I managed to ask him a few questions on my own. Upon learning I was a music student, Tommy referred me to a variety of resources on the video game audio world. If you're interested in learning about some of those resources, let me know. xD

Friday, 16:30: FLM1013517 The Dead Matter

Of the films in the Gen Con catalog, The Dead Matter both looked interesting and didn't conflict with any other planned events, so we decided to check it out. The movie (a fairly nondescript film about a necklace with necromantic powers) wasn't anything mind-blowing, in my opinion, but it was impressive enough for its low budget, and once I realized the movie didn't take itself very seriously, I began to appreciate the humor.

Friday, 19:00: TCG1010427 Two Headed Giant Limited - M11

For my sole Magic event of the convention, I teamed up with one of my friends for a Two-Headed Giant draft. I'd never done a 2HG draft before, and the format was definitely interesting, but I think my teammate and I put together some admirable decks. Our first victory was an unlikely turnaround that left our opponents stunned, dealing something on the order of 30 damage in one turn. We weren't able to complete our second game, due to our opponents having to leave, but nonetheless it was a fun little distraction.

Saturday, 01:00: ZED1010350 Are You a Werewolf?

There's actually no difference between Werewolf and the more well-known game Mafia apart from different naming conventions, so I was able to jump in without much of a problem. In Game 1, the entire group was fooled by a 10ish-year-old girl who successfully convinced her father that she wasn't the werewolf, and rode that trust card to victory. In Game 2, I happened to be a werewolf, and both of my fellows were killed off early in the game. I managed to stick around for a little while longer, but unfortunately couldn't pull off the victory. I hate being mafia. I mean, werewolf.

Day 3

Saturday, 14:00: RPG1017757 Tokyo Masks

Tokyo Masks was quite the unique tabletop RPG. Essentially, each player took control of a fairly stereotypical superhero; I, for instance, had the super-powerful but not-so-bright Brodin, the "Norse God of Surfing." The first half was fairly typical role-playing; took down some evil supervillains, etc., but for the second half the GMs decided to conduct a cross-over with a closely-related universe, featuring a school of mutant elementary-school children. With something like 10 players in the room and two different rulesets, things got a little hectic, but at the end of the day it was still immensely entertaining (and unique).

Saturday, 19:30: ENT1016339 Video Games Live!

I mentioned Video Games Live in great detail in my last post, so I won't go into detail again here. The best part of the event was getting to meet Tommy Tallarico, Emmanuel Frattiani, and Laura "Flute Link" at the meet 'n greet following the show. Mr. Frattiani, upon hearing I was a music student at Duke, gave me a reference to one of his colleagues, a graduate of Duke's Ph.D. music program; I thought that was really cool. Of course, getting to talk to Tommy again was awesome, too, especially since he still remembered me from the seminar that morning.

Sunday, 01:00: ENT1014142 Pajama Jammy Jam (a.k.a the Dance)

Having been at the back of the line for the VG Live meet 'n greet, we made it in time for the last two or three songs of the dance. I wasn't expecting much from a dance where the ratio of men to women was probably something like 10:1, but it was actually pretty fun. And no, there really weren't that many people in pajamas.

Day 4

There weren't any scheduled plans for Sunday, so my friends and I just wandered the main exhibition hall, where essentially every company present has a booth set up with cool stuff. I'll just attach some pictures here to show a little of the happenings of the ex-hall.

Yep, that's pretty much all I've got. 'Til next time!


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