Monday, February 23, 2015

Gamicon Omega Day 3 And Post-Con Wrap-up

Yesterday (Sunday) was the final day of Gamicon Omega, the longest-running gaming con in Iowa and my first year attending. As it was the final day, most of the gaming space was thinning out a bit as only die-hards were gaming up until the moment of closing. No one signed up for my 9 a.m. Mutant Future game, which was OK as it gave me a chance to hit the road for my 9-hour drive a bit earlier. After helping Dan close up and pack up the Goblinoid Games booth and saying my goodbyes to Dan, Kris, Steve, Allan, and The Rest, I hit the road for the long journey back.

Not much to report on this final day as it was a melancholy wind-up, as it is with most "final day of the convention" situations. So instead I'll wrap up with a series of "Things I've Learned":

  • Committing to a 9-hour drive in the middle of winter from cold and snowy Ohio to cold and snowy Iowa sounds great during the summer when you're making plans, but it's much less great when you're fighting it from behind the wheel of a car 6 months later.
  • Dan and I noticed that there seems to be a "shift" in gamer dynamic from RPGs and CCGs toward tabletop board games and card games. RPGs were still being played and enjoyed, but they seemed to be a bit dwarfed as there were a LOT of board games in constant play.
  • Along those same lines, board/card games are typically scheduled for 2-hour blocks. Ergo, it's easier for a gamer to cram in double the number of different games he can play versus the typical 3-to-4-hour blocks for a role-playing game.
  • Even smaller regional conventions can have an awesome dealer room as there was a LOT of cool stuff for sale including rare collectibles and Kickstarter dealer premiums. I had to keep my purchases minimal lest I go nuts.
  • I've come to the conclusion that I much rather prefer smaller regional cons over the larger state/national cons. Everything's more laid-back; it's easier to get from one place to another; and the folks (both staff and attendees) are all much more approachable and friendly.
  • However, at a smaller con, games that are a bit more "niche" are a harder sell to get players for as you have fewer folks attending that may have heard of it or want to play it. In other words, if I had wanted to run a game of Villains and Vigilantes, Paranoia, or TORG, I have a feeling I wouldn't have had any takers. So you run into the problem of wanting to play something less-common, but risk having no-shows.
  • Never, ever, ever schedule to run a game an hour or two after the con opens. Unless they preregistered for it before the con opens, it is unlikely there will be enough time for people to notice it's being run. ("Oh, you had a game of Blanky-blank on Friday morning? Wish I had known!")
  • Same thing in reverse: Scheduling a game on the last day might ensure you don't get takers as everyone is trying to pack up to leave, shopping for last-minute stuff, and/or getting one last game of their favorite game under their belt rather than committing to a 4-hour block for a game they've never played.
Gamicon Omega was a great event and a great time, and I'd like to thank the organizers for putting on a great convention. I'd also like to thank the ever-genial Dan Proctor as well, as it was great hanging out with him. Will I be back next year? Hmmm... ask me in August when it's warm out and I've forgotten my recent white-knuckle voyage!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the con report! Sundays at a con are hard to predict. On Sunday morning you may have sleepy players or games can get silly on Sunday afternoon as players are usually worn out from the weekend. I started taking the following Monday off for recuperation.