Showing posts with label GenCon54_2021. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GenCon54_2021. Show all posts

Saturday, September 25, 2021

GenCon_2021_ In Lieu of the Writer's Symposium

This is part of a set of posts summarizing my GenCon 2021 experience:

  1. Overview of Gen Con 2021
  2. Gaming Hall & Painting
  3. in lieu of the Writer's Symposium <-- You are Here
  4. Dead Man's Cribbage Unboxing

In lieu of the Writer's Symposium:

Just a few years into volunteering with the Writer's Convention, I was sad when it got canceled in 2020 (with the entirety of GenCon, and again this round). Covid didn't help at all. Additionally, some key planners, volunteers were also struck with life changes (even two tragic deaths largely unrelated to the virus). In short, the future of the Symposium is in peril/disarray.  As per Melanie Meador's suggestion, I've reached out to GenCon's event coordinator about assisting in reviving it, but have not heard back. I'll be trying to stay in touch with others to get something going in 2022. For now, I found other ways to connect with the author/publishing crowd.  

Chicago? My own personal panel with two S&S role models

Okay, without any Writer's Symposium volunteering to do Wed. night I arranged a visit with Joe Bonadonna and David C. Smith. They live in Chicago, and I figured I could handle a ~7hr round trip (3.5hrs each way) drive to see them during the time slot I planned to network in Indianapolis. We had a four-hour discussion over lunch at Moretti's Ristorante.  

Joe has had my back ever since 2015 when he reviewed Lords of Dyscrasia for Black Gate. Since then, he and I have shared several TOCs for Perseid Press's Heroes in Hell and Heroika anthologies. Great guy, His Dorgo the Dowser books are fun to read, in part since Dorgo feels like a natural extension of him.  

Meeting David C. Smith in person was awesome too. Of course, he and Joe have partnered to write several short stories and the Waters of Darkness novel. I got to know David via reviewing his Oron books (including this tour guide on Black Gate). Managed to update his wikipedia page too as I worked with him to iron out the reading order (check out his photo!).

These two both have muses rooted in cinema. I soaked up their conversation as best I could. Was honored to share signing books with them.

Back in Indy: Author's Avenue

I met Chris A. Jackson during my first time to GenCon. He's writing a bunch of Pathfinder material now, and ~3 other series. I liked his Weapon of Flesh previously, so I picked up Zellohar and Nekdukarr, which are Sword & Sorcery novels co-written with his wife Anne L. McMillen-Jackson.

He shares an interest in reviving the Writer's Symposim. He clued me in on the never-ending "continual convention" too:

Film Scripting Panel Video Film Festival

I infiltrated the Film Festival to learn how they approach writing. Apart from using Final Draft software, their process for creating a story differs in many ways from a novel. Namely, the story creation is often a team effort, so the interplay between writers, actors, and the directors is interesting.

Game ID:  FLM21197368 Gen Con Film Festival
Description:   Making a movie? First you'll need a script! Learn from our experienced scriptwriters!
Start Date & Time: / Friday, 12:00 PM EDT; Location: / Westin : Council

Indie Design & Publishing Roundtable

Game ID:  SEM21195822. Satine Phoenix, former community manager of Dungeons & Dragons & Jamison Stone, Creative Director and CEO of Apotheosis Studios, have gathered some of the great minds of indie gaming for a live roundtable discussion on game design & publishing.

Start Date & Time: Friday, 1:00 PM EDT /  End Date & Time:  Friday, 2:00 PM EDT /  Location: Westin : Grand IV

L-->R : Sam at Indiegate, EmiIy Setigue, Jamison Stone (Creative Director and CEO of Apotheosis Studios,), Satine Phoenix (former community manager of Dungeons & Dragons)


Lots of great artists were present. I got a print and spent some time speaking to Echo Chernik Her art nouveau style may be a good fit for depicting Dr. Grave's daughters (whom I am writing about now).


I recognized Unsheathed in Jay Erikson's booth (I'm a big Charles Gramlich fan who has a contribution in this Sword & Sorcery book).  Had a great conversation about gamifying novels into 5e or Pathfinder modules, and learned about the July 8-10 2020 Imaginarium symposium (

GenCon_2021 Gaming Hall

This is part of a set of posts summarizing my GenCon 2021 experience:

  1. Overview of Gen Con 2021
  2. Gaming Hall & Painting: <-- You are Here
  3. in lieu of the Writer's Symposium
  4. Dead Man's Cribbage Unboxing 


Game Hall

This was the first year I had time to play in the Hall!

The Night Cage

Played this in the vendor area. This one I passed on Kickstarter, but the design kept drawing me back to the booth.  It's a cooperative game for 1-5 players. I played a match with one of the designers (Chris McMahon). I played with a family, the two younger ladies were not engaged at first, but within minutes were got the rules down and managed to partner to exit the labrynth of darkness. Got a signed copy and all the extra KS goodies (neoprene matt, metal figurines for player).

Perdition's Mouth

I missed the original Kickstarter, but did purchase the full set via Dragon Dawn Productions. This is a dungeon crawler, cooperative, without dice. Awesome dark themes.  My son and I had finished the main campaign, however, I wanted to play in the Game Hall.  In a 3hr session, I played with four friendly strangers...and we had fun marching to our doom/

Playing Bristol 1350

A game which we both backed via Kickstarter, but never got around to getting the 6+ players needed to test it out; here, we have Facade games teach us the rules.

Wyrd Games

Was on the hunt for a good ghost story game, and while roaming the Game Hall I stumbled across Vagrant Song by the makes of Malifaux. Apparently, it was in high demand, but I managed to snag a limited copy.

Cincinnati Arsenal Gaming

I hail from the greater Cincinnati area, but was unaware of this crew. They had a bunch of tables in the gaming hall and their mission seems to be help people play games. Super cool. They let my brother and I perform our unboxing of the prototype Dead Man's Cribbage game here. 

Kevin Fannin - Painting Miniature Class 

Lots of crafting classes were sold out fast. I enjoyed this 2hr crash course for introductory mini painting.

GenCon_2021 Overview

Overview of Gen Con 2021  

This is part of a set of posts summarizing my GenCon 2021 experience:

  1. Overview of Gen Con 2021  <-- You are Here
  2. Gaming Hall & Painting
  3. in lieu of the Writer's Symposium
  4. Dead Man's Cribbage Unboxing

Overview of Gen Con 2021:

  • Gencon 2020 was canceled due to covid; 2021's event was moved from the traditional first week in August to Sept 16-19 (i.e. out of Summer break, and into school season).
  • Attendance dropped from ~70K attendees to ~35K. 
  • Many events were canceled, including the Writer's Conference which I usually attend (prior links: GenCon50_2017, GenCon51_2018, GenCon52_2019GenCon53_2021); in lieu of the desired networking, I found other ways to connect (see agenda item above in the blog list)
  • My brother and I share a passion for making games, including Dead Man's Cribbage and his economic literacy games Free Market Kids.
  • There were fewer vendors (~1/3 less I think), and these were gifted more space between them on the floor

Gamers playing games...everywhere 

Pictures here are from our hotel, the downtown Embassy Suites by Hilton, which is a great place to stay with the world's most obscure entrance.

Mask and Crowds

Everyone seemed to wear their masks and keep their distance most of the time.  Short time periods of crowding occurred when the "running of the nerds" commenced entering the vendor show. The weather was beautiful, and there was plenty of opportunities to walk around outside.

Obligatory stupid poses:

Lots of loot:

In addition to ~10games, I snagged this cool "Dungeon Maze Blanket" to match the shower curtain already in my house (already owned, thanks to John O'Neill for the lead). You can purchase them thru Gamers ConceptsApparently the artist is Dyson Logos. Check out his cool stuff:

Furniture of the future:

At least three vendors were present with RPG games that play atop horizontal monitors.
Several fancy game table manufacturers were present too. I was most enticed by Wyrmwood's offerings. 

GenCon_2021 Dean Man's Cribbage Unboxing

This is part of a set of posts summarizing my GenCon 2021 experience:

  1. Overview of Gen Con 2021
  2. Gaming Hall & Painting
  3. in lieu of the Writer's Symposium
  4. Dead Man's Cribbage Unboxing  <-- You are Here

Dead Man's Cribbage Unboxing  

This showcases the Dead Man's Cribbage game by unboxing it. Learn more about the game at:

"Traditional Cribbage with role-playing elements, narrative design, board, and miniatures! Just pick a role (ID card) representing a face-card from the suits: Hero, Villain, Skunk, or Deadman...then play Cribbage. Choose a peg that matches your character/colored-suit. After counting your hand as normal, just obey the card for bonus pegging. Your bonuses depend on your character state (healthy or infected). These vary by character." 

Unboxing presented at the Cincinnati Arsenal Gaming table in the GenCon 2021 Game Hall. Learn more about CAG: 

Virtual version available via the Tabletop Simulator (hosted by Steam, Link