Category Archives: Con Recap

Final Day of Origins 2017 Stream of Consciousness


Eagle Eyes will notice that I had a totally different title for this post.  It’s like a Where’s Waldo puzzle in blog image form!

It’s Sunday, June 18, 2017.  I’m sitting at a table at the Big Bar On 2 in the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, OH.  For those who haven’t attended Origins, the Big Bar On 2 is a bit of a landmark, especially for those attending the convention and staying in the Hyatt.  It’s quiet here.  There are a handful of people playing games.  Every now and then you’ll see someone walk past.  This scene is much different than it has been the past few times I’ve sat/walkthrough here.

I’m sitting here beginning the decompression and readjustment “process”.  It’s not so much of a process, as it is a natural return to normalcy and “adulting” as the distractions of the week of Grown-up Summer Camp dwindle and fade away.  I paid some bills and had a little panic attack when, for a minute or two, I thought I hadn’t remembered to pay rent this month.  (Spoiler alert: I had).  I’m thinking about whether I’ll want to get groceries tomorrow when I get home or if I’ll skip trivia night and get them after work.  Work.  What do I do for a living again??  What was I doing before I left for Columbus? What was that long email thread I got on my phone that stirred the feelings of frustration that I was able to push aside because Origins but will have to be “adulted” with Tuesday morning when I’m back in the office.  I need to reach out to my family and find out when funeral services will be held for my uncle who passed while I was here at the con.  Decompression and readjustment from a con can be a weird thing.

For four days, at nearly all hours of the day, I’ve been around people.  Not Gen Con crazy numbers of people, but still a lot of people.  Faces I recognize from the past five Origins I’ve attended. Most of those faces I’ve never met.  But when I see them, I remember them immediately.  There’s the three people who always look like they’re disappointed or borderline snooty.  I think one of the two men and the woman of the group are married/involved, but for the life of me I can’t tell how they’re paired up.  There’s also the family (Mom, Dad, and two boys) with whom I played an early prototype of King’s Forge where the event runner tossed us the components and the rules and walked away.

And there are the faces of friends who I will never forget.  The faces of friends for which I was able to make time, and those to which I didn’t give enough of my time as they may have wanted.  The faces that back in 2012 when I first attended Origins, I wouldn’t have been able to pick out again, but now as beacons I seek out every year.  The faces who I first met as game players, but are now game designers, publishers or hold other positions of significance in the hobby/industry.  The faces of those I saw as Con Gods amongst men and women in years past and who I was anxious and embarrassed to ask questions about how Cons worked.  And the faces of those who now look to me as an “expert” on how to attend a Con, or recognize my name/face solely because of stupid tweets I make on the interwebs.

So many, many faces.

All those faces will go back to their homes and families across the country.  Some I will still be able to see regularly with whom I have a lot of new games to play.  Some I will get to see again in a handful of weeks at Gen Con.  Some I didn’t see at Origins, won’t see at Gen Con, won’t see until next Origins, and sadly some I will only ever see from memory.

Tomorrow, decompression and readjusting will be in full effect.  I’ll likely see 20-30 faces tops, and that’s dependent on whether I get groceries. I’ll talk to less than a handful of them, and then it’ll be answering/asking simple questions. I’ll get home to my mess of an apartment and remember that I don’t really have any good places for the games I bought this week to go. (I recognize that by typing that I, by the nature of how brains work, have already remembered it, but it’s one of those parts of this “process” that I can mentally still put my fingers in my ears and go “nah nah nah nah” and pretend I didn’t hear)

Game conventions are fun and exciting and fulfilling and expensive and exhausting and painful.  Origins will hold a special place in my heart since it was my first con, and unless something drastic happens, I’ll still continue to attend for years to come.

This post was almost 99% about faces and very little about games, but don’t worry.  There will be more posts to follow with some impressions of the new games I played this week including Century: Spice Road, Sentient, Flip Ships, Pit Crew and maybe a surprise or two!


Observations on Five Years of Game Conventions

Origins 2016 is in the books.  I’m home now, staring at bags of games to unpack and attempt to find places for.  I could really go for a nap, and I’m dreading going back to work tomorrow. I also feel compelled to dump another stream of consciousness onto an unsuspecting interwebs! Click through for Deep Thoughts by Copac!

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Bootleg Iron Design Challenge Footage

So, I was walking through the vendor hall at GenCon and this weird looking guy came rushing up to me. He was out of breath, with a haggard, unkempt look about him. Looking him in the eyes, I saw a fire the likes I’ve never seen before. “DUDE! Take this! Make sure it gets seen! Fight the Power! BRUNO!!!”, he spit-shouted at me before rushing off haphazardly, attempting to jump the rope line surrounding the Paizo booth. He didn’t quite get the clearance he needed, and proceeded to knock over an entire rack of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game playmats. Luckily for him, they’re soft, so he bounced back up, looked around, and took off again. I stood there for what felt like 10 seconds in a daze, before realizing he had somehow slipped an old school VHS tape in my hand. It was in a dog-eared cardboard sleeve from what appeared to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze tape with a “Hello my name is” sticker on it with the words “1r0n Brun0 4 Lyfe” written on it.

Naturally, I quickly hailed a cab, made my way to the nearest Radio Shack, left the Radio Shack because they don’t actually have anything useful in them anymore, and ended up in a sweet elderly couple’s home, where I watched the tape using their VCR, which was covered in a crocheted cover with a working flap for the tape. As I sat there, letting the footage wash over me like a wave of pickle juice and loan paperwork, I suddenly realized what I had to do. I had to type in the youtube url that was on the back cover of the vhs tape (which incidentally would’ve been much easier than finding a vcr and watching the tape, but Mildred Higgenbottom’s snickerdoodles were worth the trouble) and then make a blog post about it.

This is that blog post.

So, this, dear readers, is bootleg footage of the Iron Design Challenge 2014.

PaneraCon IX Recap – The one that came down to the wire

Panera BreadOn June 29th, 2013, a small fledgling gaming convention was created in a miasma of carbs and chits at a Panera Bread location halfway between Cleveland and Columbus.  What started as a group of three friends spending the day playing games has now, over the past year, become …. four friends spending the day playing games.  Click through to hear about Star Realms, Lost Legacy: The Starship, Potato Man, Caverna, Las Vegas Boulevard, Port Royal, and Florenza The Card Game!

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Origins 2014 Recap Part 1: The Con that succeeds in spite of itself

At least I don't think they were.

Don’t worry. No Humans were eaten.

I’m really tired, guys.  I’m fighting to stay awake at least until 9pm so I’m not going to bed too early.  Why am I so tired?  Oh, I don’t know, it might have something to do with being in Columbus from the 10th until this morning, playing god knows how many games until at least 2 in the morning.  Nahh, that’s probably not it.  Origins 2014 random stream of consciousness Part 1 awaits!

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PaneraCon IV Recap – We went so Euro, I speak German!

Panera Bread


So, PaneraCon IV happened.  You know, PaneraCon! Wait, you don’t know PaneraCon?  Well, let me tell you about what PaneraCon is and give you a recap of the latest convention and the games played!

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Thoughts on GenCon 2013: The Third and Final

Oi! Ok, I’m gonna finish up GenCon 2013, at least from an overview standpoint with this post.  Honest.  Scout’s honor.  I wasn’t a scout.  I stayed inside a lot.  Except when I played with my g.i. joes or legos in mom and dad’s rock garden.  *cough*

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Thoughts on GenCon 2013 Part Deux

Hey everybody!

You came back! Awesome!  I should really stop using exclamation points so often! Let’s get down to it, then, shall we?

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Thoughts on GenCon 2013 Part 1

So, I’m sitting here in a bit of a fog.  It’s not a bad fog necessarily.  And it’s not a literal fog, although it was a little foggy overnight and this morning.  No, this is just one of those fogs that you’re in after you’ve experienced something new that you’re not accustomed to.   That, or I’m still really tired from being in the car for 5+ hours.

Yesterday I arrived home from my very first GenCon trip.  It was quite the experience, let me tell you.  No, seriously, allow me the opportunity to tell you about it.  When thinking about how I wanted to organize my thoughts about GenCon, I started to have grand designs to have all these nifty sections with headings and Top X lists and such.  Will I do that?  OoooOOooh, suspense!!!

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