In the midst of all the chaos with moving, nailing down a new job, and getting settled in our new home the hobby of playing games slipped away from us for a bit. Luckily I was able to put on my big boy underpants and pull myself together in order to get things back on track with what I love the most, which is playing games. I’ll have a post about what exactly was going on behind the scenes later on, but for now let’s focus on the most awesome of awesome things: Gen Con!
Before we could blink Gen Con 2015 pounced upon us like a Savannah Lion with haste. Mustering all of our strength, the I:T team set out on a mission to see all the convention had to offer this year, with a focus on enjoying the festivities rather than running ourselves ragged like previous years. Our goal was simple: find awesome games/stuff and talk about it. This year’s all about showing off what we think is cool, and running this way will definitely help us get some speed in our wheels again.
Something new that I personally am doing this year is working for publishers at their booths. For instance, today I worked at the Shadows of Esteren booth, telling all inquiring gamers about The Black Rose, a board game of deduction set in the Esteren universe. I donned my best monk costume and headed into the Exhibit Hall as early as possible. Before hitting the Shadows booth I tried to snag a copy of Mysterium – a Ukranian title that’s been picked up and translated by Asmodee – though I was sad to learn that the game sold out within 20 minutes of the hall being open to early access.
I had a lot of fun talking to con-goers about The Black Rose, and I even got to teach some gamers about the actual Shadows of Esteren RPG, which was a great opportunity to open more players up to such a great game. I even picked up a sweet new t-shirt:
After my shift at the Shadows booth was over I was able to walk the floor a bit. Gen Con has always been huge, but this year it seems like it towers above all the previous years I’ve been. I didn’t let the vast feeling overwhelm me, however, and I pressed on down each isle at a snail’s pace! I was lucky enough to speak with Peter Adkinson about his new project, Chaldea. It’s an epic web series that will feature film, fiction, and digital graphic novels. Like with his previous work from turning his gaming sessions into multimedia projects, Chaldea looks like it’s going to be something big. The production value, from what we’ve seen, is fantastic and there were many people involved that are veterans in the gaming industry.
After Chaldea I got a couple of moments to speak with Ben Loomes, the main man behind Syrinscape. We took some time to go over what’s new with the sound software, and I was surprised to learn a couple of new tricks. With the PC version of the software you can now take any button/sound effect from within Syinscape and make it a clickable object to be placed right on your desktop. Need a convenient Fireball? Make it a desktop item and click away! You can also create custom sound boards by pulling bits and pieces from soundsets you own. This REALLY comes in handy for running homebrew campaigns. Finally, something I was excited to see was that the software’s subscription can now be purchased in bundles, meaning you can gift it to your GM or receive subscription time as a gift for any reason under the sun!
With an early day on our hands we decided to cut out from the con, grab some dinner, and get back to the hotel to play some games. While at the con we grabbed Machi Koro, Batman Fluxx, and DC Deckbuilder Rivals: Joker vs Batman. (Can you tell we like Batman?) With games and relaxation on the mind we descended upon the hotel and busted these games out in a flash.
You can probably guess how I feel about Batman Fluxx, and if you said it’s awesome because Batman you’d be right. The game offers up a slight difference with the Creepers, as instead of them affecting only yourself, the Villains (Creepers) keep all players from winning until they’re wiped off the board! The rest of the gameplay is relatively unchanged, but what really makes me happy is the game’s artwork. I’m a huge fan of Batman: The Animated Series and it looks as if Looney pulled images straight from the show to get on these cards.
With DC Deckbuilder Rivals: Joker vs Batman you mainly get the whole DC Deckbuilder experience wrapped up nice and tight in a two-player box set. One player takes the role of the Joker while the other plays Batman in an attempt to knock each other silly. If you’ve played the original game you won’t notice much of a change in this one save for the Confrontation rules. With this smaller version a player can announce a Confrontation on their turn in attempts to knock their opponent out. If a player does this successfully three times they win the game hands down. Of course you can still reach the end-game by running the main deck out of cards, but this new mechanic really makes the game more interesting.
Finally we busted out Machi Koro. Oh man, can I ever tell now why this game has so much hype. It’s a giant barrel of fun dressed up in a tiny little card game. It’s pretty much Sim City on colorful cards. The goal is to develop your landmark cards before your opponent, and how you do so is entirely up to you. You get the chance to pick up development cards that will reward you with money when certain die numbers are rolled, so gauging which number could be rolled on the dice is a big factor on deciding what to build. We’ll definitely be reviewing this one soon!
With Gen Con day one under our belt I can say I’m quite happy so far. I’m only more excited to see day two, and before you know it we’ll have our gaming fingers in full-swing. On the docket for tomorrow is some work at the Hairebrained Schemes booth, then a couple of interviews that you readers won’t want to miss out on! Make sure you stay tuned right here, and thank you for stopping in!
If you’re at Gen Con and want to meet up, drop us a line on Twitter or Facebook!
Take a look at Kae’s Gen Con Day 1 Recap post to read about a special edition of Tsuro, Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale, and more.