GenCon's official kickoff is at 8AM on Thursday. There are some events for those early risers, but the real start of the show is two hours later when the Exhibitors Hall opens up. People pack into the hallways outside the doors - thousands of people. There are some attendees who get to go in at 9AM by virtue of dropping big money on a "Very Important Gamer" package, but, relatively speaking, they're few in number.
Screw 'em all, I got a yellow badge.
My work with Crafty means I'm an exhibitor, and can go into the Hall whenever. Yesterday morning, as usual, the bosses and I got in around 8:30, finished some setup details, and things were soon underway. Our booth has a good location again (Studio 2's collective area). Lots of traffic and visibility. Most years, we exhibitors take some time to pick up a few items for ourselves before the VIGs and huddled masses are allowed in.
At 10, when the doors open, it is a straight-up flood of humanity. People line up 3-4 hours early to get the best chance they can for early releases, limited-quantity stuff, or con exclusives. It's funny, and a little dangerous, as they tear-ass through the aisles to get to wherever.
I'm kind of a voyeur, so all of this nerdery and whatnot just entertains me to no end.
We released a new game this year. Little Wizards is aimed at kids, 6-11 or so. It's cute as all get-out and we sold a couple dozen copies. And people are talking about it. Lots of good conversations in the course of the day.
Thursday night is the company dinner. Some good socialization for the team. We unwind, share first-day stories, get a killer meal. This year, the dinner was followed by a party in one of our suites. Just a couple of friends of the company, or so it started. I think 23 people were here at one point. There was bullshitting, so much drinking, playing of Game! Most Popular Game In All Mother Russia Not Really, much laughter and fun and noise. And then the cops showed up. Been a while since I've had that experience.
Today, 4 hours in the Hall, then a 2-hour Hell in Earth game, then Mage to close out the night. My busiest day of the show. Going to be great.
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