John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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GenCon 2017, Day -1 Report

Here is the report of the second day of the trip to GenCon 2017. The report on the first day can be found in this journal entry.

August 16th, 2017

Woke up this morning feeling somewhat tired. While the bed looked really appealing when we got into Indy yesterday (Tuesday), the mattress was rather soft and a bit lumpy for my taste, and undid all the good the hot tub had done for my back and shoulder the night before. Today promised to be long day, what with the unofficial start to GenCon 2017 and the fact that the Will Call line was expected to be longer than ever. I was also going to spend the evening at the Indie Game Developer Network (IGDN) Social at Loughmiller's Pub, so it would make for a somewhat long day. However, one step at a time.

spross and I took care of the morning ablutions, and then set out to find some breakfast. I was feeling somewhat queasy in my stomach, but attributed that to the fact that my body clock was off from the travelling, and we headed down to Shula's for breakfast. It was relatively quiet when we got there, and we had an easy time getting a table. (It wouldn't be that simple on Thursday, but that's getting ahead of myself.) Wandering into the buffet section of the restaurant, I decided right away that I was going to order food off the menu. SteveR agreed with me on this, and so we went back to our table and ordered breakfast. I had a 3-egg omelette with mushrooms, spinach and mozzarella cheese, with bacon and toast, and had a cup of decaf coffee. The omelette was just too large for my taste, but it was delicious. Filling. I realised that for the next morning, I needed to cut it down to 2-egg omelette, and have them cook it without butter. Still, it was delicious. On the other hand, I found the decaf coffee to be a bit more bitter than I like it.

Me at breakfast at Shula's

Steve at breakfast at Shula's

We went back up to the room for a bit, and SteveR and I decided that he would head over to the CVS Pharmacy again to search for a couple of things, while I went down to the lobby and waited for him. (I didn't want to spend too much time in the hotel room.) After he got back from the pharmacy, we would spend a bit more time in the room relaxing, and then would head for the Convention Center to collect our registration stuff for GenCon 2017 at the Will Call area. From there, we would head to lunch. And it was while I was sitting in the Westin lobby that I had my...accident. Suffice it to say, I spent what felt like an hour in the Westin lobby bathroom, with my pants, underwear and socks messed up, as I waited for SteveR to return to the hotel from the pharmacy and help me out. The hotel took the soiled clothes, and would clean them, returning them around the supper hour the next night, but in the meantime, I just felt humiliated, helpless and just plain depressed. And SteveR and I would be late for Will Call. This whole incident was due to the fact that I'd not eaten for close to 6 hours the day before during our flying experience, and when it was all over I vowed that I wouldn't let this happen again at the convention or during our return trip to Ottawa. Anyway, not going to dwell on this any longer and I'm not even going to mention this again.

Once we'd returned to the hotel room and I'd dressed in clean clothes, we headed over to the International Convention Center (ICC from hereon out), and boy was the place packed! More people than I'd seen in one place in a while. We went and joined the Will Call line, and I figured it would take a long time.

The Will Call line, looking forward

The Will Call line, looking back

I should have known better. The Will Call process took less than thirty minutes, and the line moved along at a really good pace. We got to the desk area, and the GenCon 2017 staff there made the process relatively painless and pretty quick, but it was a madhouse of activity and I have to say that I'm glad I wasn't working the Will Call area. Will Call took less than thirty minutes. Here's another pic.

The Will Call area, when we got there

From there, SteveR and I went to the Event section of the booths, where the line was much shorter than I'd expected, and we both bought some Generic tickets. I was hoping to get into a game of Torg Eternity during the convention, and thought I might play in a couple of other things as well. While waiting in the lines for stuff, I'd been tweeting with my virtual friend, T.R. Knight, and we actually arranged to go to lunch with T.R. and his daughters. SteveR and I hustled to get to the Circle Center Mall, and we met them in a relatively quiet section of the food court area.

It was a pleasure to meet T.R. and his daughters. T.R. and I have been good virtual friends for a bit now, and this was the first time we met. They were already eating by the time we arrived, and though I didn't really feel like eating (as I still had a rough feeling stomach), I realised I needed to eat. Fortunately, we were in the part of the Circle Center Mall where one of my favourite food places, Maki of Japan, was, so SteveR and I grabbed some food from there and rejoined T.R. and the girls at the table. I can't remember what we ate there, but the conversation at the table was lovely and I felt like I had just met someone that I'd known for years. We chatted for a while about all manner of things, and T.R. presented me with the jar of home-made cherry jam that we'd talked about for several weeks on Twitter. T.R. and the girls had to return to the Exhibit Hall to continue helping the folks at the Modiphius booth set up. We agreed to chat a bit more when I saw him next, as I was sure that I'd see him at the Modiphius booth later on during the convention. Sadly, I forgot to take a photo or three. *sigh*

SteveR and I returned to the ICC and we went over to the GenCon 2017 (GenCon 50) merchant booth in the halls that was being run by the good folks at OffWorld Designs. The line-up was pretty long to get to the merchandise, but we managed.

Waiting in line for GenCon merchandise

I managed to buy myself one of the GenCon 50 t-shirts that depicted the fully winged dragon in gold, while SteveR picked up a special anniversary t-shirt for Tammy and a t-shirt for himself (can't remember which version of the t-shirt he picked up). We walked back to the Westin, and dropped off our purchases at the room, then headed out to the Hyatt see if I could find the room where I was scheduled to run the two Coriolis - The Third Horizon game sessions. SteveR and I walked around the second floor of the Hyatt to see if we could find the Directors rooms where I'd be running the games, but for the life of us we couldn't. By that time, it was getting late in the day and we both wanted to relax a little bit back in the hotel before heading out to Loughmiller's Pub for the Indie Game Developer Network (IGDN) Social. When SteveR and I got back to the Westin, the lobby was *packed* with folks checking in to their rooms. Turned out there was an electrical problem of some sort that was wreaking havoc on the process. Once back in the hotel room, I lay down on the bed back in the room at the Westin, and fell asleep for about 3/4 of an hour. Lovely nap.

After getting up, I took a quick sitz bath and felt a bit more human again. The rest had done me good, as my stomach was relatively calm. Headed over to Loughmiller's Pub, but SteveR said he had to go back to the hotel room for something. I wandered through Loughmiller's looking for a table for supper and reached the back without recognising anyone I knew (at least I didn't think I did). At the back of the Pub, at one of the tables there, a fellow was sitting and I thought I recognised him - and then I saw the Biohazard Games t-shirt and realised it was Jeff Barber! This is the guy who created the waterworld (or waterpunk) Blue Planet RPG, and a fellow that I've been wanting to meet for at least 20 years! Oddly enough, Jeff recognised me since we'd been recently tweeting and he recognised me from my image there and my blog, and invited me to join him for dinner. I did so, and we had a pleasant conversation about all things Blue Planet and Upwind.

Sitting with Jeff Barber at Loughmiller's

SteveR finally came in and joined us and we had a good meal. The Cobb salad that I ordered for supper didn't agree with me all that much, so I ate rather more sparingly than I had intended. Didn't even finish the beer that I ordered. *sigh* SteveR was still having problems and took off for the bathroom, and when he came back he ate sparingly and then excused himself and headed back to the Westin hotel room. Once Jeff and I finished dinner and talking, I wandered around a bit and met several other people that I knew, including Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games and Simon Rogers and Cat Tobin of Pelgrane Press. We chatted a bit, and I had a pretty good evening (notably after the earlier difficulty I had). After talking with a few people and giving them my business card (which will hopefully lead to some editing and/or writing gigs), I was feeling worn out and headed back to the Westin.

I wasn't quite ready to head up to the hotel room, so sat down to just drink in the gaming atmosphere of the Westin lobby (there were already some gamers in action, mostly board games, by this time). I texted SteveR, who was up in the room, and convinced him to come down to the lobby for a bit and just sit and chat. He did, but were both pretty tired and SteveR looked a bit green around the gills, so we headed up to the room around 10:30 pm, and I dealt with my insulin shot and had a snack of Cheerios and some apple, before crashing for the night around 11:30 pm.

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 2017. Next up, the first day of GenCon, 2017!
Tags: convention, gaming hut, gencon, personal, photos, report, rpg hut

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