John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane
jkahane

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GenCon 2015, Day -1 Report

Here is the report of the second day of the trip to GenCon 2015. The report on the first day can be found in this journal entry.


July 29th, 2015

I didn't sleep all that well last night. I got to sleep sometime around or just after midnight, not even remembering what happened other than my head hitting the pillow, but woke up some time around 4:15 am to go to the lavatory, and just couldn't get back to sleep. spross was snoring just a little bit, nothing to wake me up, but sleep wouldn't visit me again this night. Ah, well, at least I managed to get around 4 hours of sleep, thus invoking the "3-2-1" Rule somewhat. :) Steve had set his watch alarm for 7:30 am or so, and when the alarm went off, I went to wash my hands and rinse my face, and then took my morning blood test. Not great, but not as bad as I feared. I was feeling somewhat tired and groggy, and went through the morning ablutions and took my shower somewhat hotter than I would have liked, but that served to wake me up somewhat.

Once spross was up and about, we went down to breakfast in the hotel's Bistro 33 restaurant. Deciding I needed to see what the breakfast buffet was like, we both partook of that with an omelette with spinach in it and some toast, and to say that I was pretty disappointed in that was an understatement. Too greasy, the eggs were almost non-existent, and let's just say the toast wasn't all that healthy. I spoke to the restaurant manager about the fact that I was diabetic and needed a healthier choice in breakfast foods, and he asked me for some details that I readily gave him. spross and I headed back for the room, and after brushing my teeth, I suffered the diarrhea that I was worried about having after the stress of the flying and some of the food that I'd eaten/not eaten the day before. I hoped it wouldn't continue for the remainder of the day, let alone the week of the convention. We prepared to take what we needed with us for the convention for the day, given that it was the opening of Registration, and I took my medications with me and the stuff I needed for the Registration process. I also took my insulin with me, since we were planning to stay for the Indie Game Developer Network (IGDN) Social that night at one of the local pubs. After taking care of a few other things in the hotel, we headed down to the Indianapolis Marriott North parking lot where the car was. It was turning into another hot, humid day in Indianapolis.

spross got behind the wheel of the Honda Accord, and we set the GPS (which I started to call "Amy") for the convention site, though it took us a while to discover that the GPS wouldn't accept "South" as the first word of the address, and needed "Capitol" instead (the address was South Capitol Avenue). The trip from the Indianapolis Marriott North to downtown Indy and the Indianapolis Convention Center (hereafter the ICC) took us about half-an-hour, and was quite pleasant and scenic. One of the main parts of the drive took 13 kilometres on Meridian Street, and it was a very green, heavily vegetated street with lots of old homes, rich-looking mansions behind the bushes and trees, and opulent churches and the like. I couldn't help thinking every time we made this drive what I could do with parts of the area in various roleplaying games. Just ripe for the picking of ideas! :) We arrived downtown and were able to find parking relatively easily at the Plaza parking lot, though the heat of walking from the parking lot to the indoor skyway near the convention centre just about melted my brain. Once inside, I found a place to take several swigs of water, as it was around 12:15 by the time we arrived and there were already lots of people. GenCon, all right!

We worked our way through the ICC and found the line for the Will Call line, but it was already quite long and it took us a while to get to the end of it, to begin the slow trip back to the Registration area and the Will Call desks. The process went extremely fast, though I took a couple of photos of stuff along the way (see below).



Will Call line, ahead


The GenCon store in action


We passed the area where the GenCon Store was (see above), and it was already doing brisk business (though not as busy or as much business as it would do later when the convention officially began). The line for the Will Call registration moved pretty fast, the process itself being fast and smooth, with friendly people in the line to talk to, and spross and I had our badges and stuff within about 25 minutes. Truth be told, the GenCon team makes this process pretty painless, but they've also had a good number of years to refine the process. Now if they could just fix the mess with hotel registration, all would be right with the world. :( I picked up 12 hours worth of generic tickets (giving me roughly 3 four-hour games or some shorter, two-hour ones) in the hopes that I'd be able to get to play in some stuff, since I hadn't been able to get into any of the games that I wanted to play in during convention game pre-registration. We picked up a couple of the GenCon Programme Books and also grabbed our free swag (a carry bag-cum-backpack and the coupon book for free stuff), and then headed out and wandered around for about 15 minutes or so, just drinking in the GenCon feel once again. I didn't see anyone that I knew as we walked around, but several folks that I knew as acquaintances said "Hello".

By this time, it was well after 1:15 pm, so spross and I decided to head out for some lunch. We headed over to the Circle Center Mall, and grabbed some Asian food at the Maki of Japan food concession there. Even though it was only Wednesday, and the convention hadn't officially started yet, there were plenty of gamers getting food there. I rather liked the orange chicken and the barbecued chicken that was served, and the stir fried bok choy was good, too. My greatest enjoyment came from the water that I drank, as I had started feeling a little bit dehydrated. My left ankle was hurting a bit as well, so I took an Aleve before we got going again. Steve and I snapped a couple of photos of each other and the badges.



SteveR and his badge


Me and my badge


After just sitting and relaxing for a bit, and letting the food digest, spross and I headed over to the Hyatt Regency hotel. This was where I was going to be running my two Primeval RPG game sessions on the Friday and Saturday, and I wanted to check out the area, see the room(s), and get a bearing for the bathrooms. There was already some gaming going on here, so I stood for a few minutes and watched a bit, and then did some more scouting out of stuff here. There were a couple of new games being playtested in one corner, whose names I can't remember now, and I watched those with some fascination. Or perhaps it was just plain fatigue. After another round of diarrhea (and hoping this wasn't going to become a daily event!), we went over to the Marriott Downtown hotel, as I figured this was where I'd spend a lot of time trying to get into games being run by the Indie Game Developer Network (IGDN) folks, and in the process discovered this was where Games on Demand would also be taking place, just around the corner from the IGDN area. I noticed around this time that my GenCon badge was actually getting bubbles in the area of the name label that had been stuck on to the main badge, and commented on this to spross. He noticed the same thing on his badge, and I attributed this to the heat of Indy and the going in and out of the air conditioning. I didn't see anyone at the Marriott that I knew or even recognised, but was feeling quite weary by this time, so spross and I went down to the ground floor of the Marriott Downtown to sit back and relax for a while before wandering around a bit more. The comfy chairs that we sat in were being shared by Richard Baker, Stephen Schubert, and David Noonan, the folks from Sasquatch Game Studio, who have just funded (and released?) the Primeval Thule sword & sorcery setting. I had a good chat with the guys from the company, and learned a good deal about the game and the like. The rules and mechanics for the game are not to my taste, so I wasn't likely to buy the game other than for the sword & sorcery game world, but I told them that I would see them at the booth. (Much to my shame, I never made it to the Sasquatch Game Studio booth at all.)

By that time, it was time to do some more walking and head out for the Indie Game Developer Network (IGDN) Social that was being held at Loughmiller's Pub & Eatery. The pub was located less than a full block away from the Marriott Downtown, so spross and I headed for the pub, unfortunately carrying the bags and stuff that we'd come downtown with, as there was nowhere to leave it (the disadvantage of not staying in a downtown hotel), but due to the heat and humidity, it felt like we walked three blocks. I perceived myself as dirty and sweaty by the time we got there, and wasn't happy about that. We got there just around 6:00 pm, the time the Social was starting, and I had high hopes of meeting some of the folks from IGDN that I knew as well as the folks I was looking forward to meeting there. Since I don't drink alcohol these days, except on my birthday, I didn't have any drinks other than water (and maybe an iced tea, iirc), and after some initial chat with Jason Pitre (of the Spark and Posthuman Pathways RPGs, among others) and Eloy Lasanta (who owns the Third Eye Games company, and has among his credits the Mermaid Adventures (ENnie-nominated) and Camp Myth: The RPG (ENnie-nominated) RPGs), spross and I ordered some supper. I ordered the Loughmiller's Cheeseburger without some of the stuff that comes on the burger usually, and an iced tea; Steve got to eat the (American) bacon that was on my burger, as I prefer the peameal bacon (what Americans call Canadian bacon), but I still found the burger somewhat greasy for my taste. In other words, typical U.S. pub fare! :) That and the heat and humidity and noise in the place as more of the IGDN folks and IGDN friends showed up made me feel...uncomfortable and out of place. I was all set to pack it in for the night, but had to go to the loo before I told Steve that perhaps we should head out of there. It was while working my way back to the table that I met up with several friends, and we chatted for a bit, and then talked to Justin Bow (of Fae Noir fame), Joel Sparks ("Mr. Joel" of Call of Catthulhu fame), and Cheyenne Wall-Grimes, among others. (Sorry if I've forgotten anyone, folks, but I didn't take notes about all of this stuff at all, other than to jot a few things down in Inkpad on my mobile later on. And sorry folks, but I didn't take any pictures at this meeting, as it was just too crowded for me to do so.)

It was starting to work its way to 8:00 in the evening by this time, and I was starting to flag somewhat, no doubt due to the lack of sleep and the fact that I still felt somewhat dehydrated. spross and I said our farewells to several people, and then made our way back to the Marriott Downtown and then to the ICC. The Will Call line was still hopping and seemed even busier and longer than it had been earlier in the day, and the noise level in the ICC just wore me down somewhat. I was just happy that I'd been in the line some 8 hours earlier, to be honest.


The Will Call line near 8:00 pm


Steve and I headed out and got the car, and then returned to the Indianapolis Marriott North, where we went and relaxed a little bit in the lobby, and then headed upstairs to the hotel room. The housekeeping staff still hadn't brought the additional towels that we needed, so spross went back down to the lobby to inquire about those, while I prepped for the evening's insulin shot and all. I discovered the fridge was at -10oC(!!), well below the temperature for storing the insulin properly, and saw that some of the vegetables had frozen. *sigh* I managed to salvage some stuff, and when spross returned to the room, we raised the fridge temperature somewhat, and then I took blood for the evening, and it was quite...low. We had a snack and then I took my insulin injection before eating a bowl of Cheerios and a few almonds, and then relaxed for a bit before getting medications ready for the next day, the first full day of the convention.

I got to bed about 11:45 pm, but didn't want to read, so Steve and I chatted about a few things before finally turning off the lights to go to sleep. The first day of GenCon was about to start tomorrow, and I was looking forward to it.


Anyway, that's the wrap-up on the second day of the trip to Indy, and the day right before the official start of GenCon 2015. Next up, the first day of GenCon, 2015!
Tags: convention, gaming hut, gencon, personal, photos, report, rpg hut
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