Post GenCon 2019
It’s been a little over two weeks since I attended GenCon 2019. The convention was even more massive then the year before and I felt like I accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. I arrived in Indianapolis Thursday, August 1st around 9pm to pick up my friend Ryan Costello to go to a Panda Manufacturing party. The party was filled with tons of industry gurus from publishers to designers. A highlight of the night was speaking comic books, collectables and the new Sinister Six game with Daryl Andrews, best known for designing Sagrada. I always try and hit a party or two at any convention I go to. It’s the best way to network and catch up with industry friends. After the party, we called it a night since I had a breakfast meeting with my panda friend Adam.
A note to anyone going to cons, even early breakfast joints are packed at GenCon. Thankfully, I was able to get to our meeting a half hour early so the table was ready about the time he arrived. After a delicious meal and great company, I hit the floor for back to back meetings. Throughout the weekend I ended up pitching to 9 publishers and had 4 prototype games taken for publishers to continue playtesting. One of my games Star Gazers got a lot of attention but every publisher wanted to see something different so the next few months I will be testing different versions of the game. Every publisher agreed that the game was unique, but the parallel play was something that not all of them could get behind. Currently, I am developing 2-3 different versions of the game to see what publishers say.
During the Cards Against Humanities party which turned out to be more of a gala then a low-key party I had a ton of people playing Star Gazers enjoying the dexterity and strategy of the game. Besides Star Gazers I brought Curbside and Nut Stash to be playtested in the First Exposure Hall. All of the playtests went great and I have spent the past few weeks adjusting the games according to the feedback. I don’t think I will sign up for the First Exposure Hall again because it became too stressful with trying to coordinate meetings and my playtesting times. I did get a chance to pitch both Nut Stash and Curbside at multiple meetings though. Nut Stash ended up going home with 3 publishers! I’m hoping to receive feedback by the end of the year on if it will be picked up by BlueOrange, Social Sloth or HABA Games.
In between pitches, playtesting and networking I got a chance to hangout with friends, play/buy a few new games and enjoy GenCon. Even though I had a long list of things to do I did manage to enjoy myself.
A few things I’d change if I could is:
Getting a hotel that’s walking distance from the convention because the remote parking lot and 30-minute drive to the center cut into valuable time.
Double check all my meetings, I showed up late to one because I wrote the wrong start time in my phone.
Bring printed rules for my demo games versus sending an e-mail.
Things I wouldn’t change:
Hanging out with both of my Ryan’s.
Catching up with Adam which led to introducing myself to Panda’s HR department.
Every game pitch I gave and the feedback I received.
Demoing the Splendor’s Marvel edition which became me showing people how to play the game since I knew all the rules to the original game.
Getting an animated short of my death by the hands of Richard at the Blind Ferret Entertainment Booth.
Overall it was a great experience and I look forward to seeing if any of my games get signed! My next scheduled convention is the Protospiel in Madison. I hope to have my game demo of Team Hero ready by then! If not, I will have Star Gazers and Let’s Sort This Out: The Game of Recycling there.