Gen Con Tip If you read nothing else, the lesson from Wednesday at the Con is: reserve space on Go Express (the $10 ride from Airport to hotels) in advance. The people on the flights the day before the con are all looking to use the shuttle, and people with online reservations were given priority.
So, Gen Con 2016. Let’s talk Wednesday.
Gen Con was a very different experience for me this time. I went representing Sword’s Edge, the blog, but also tried to work with the Indie Game Developer Network to help sell Sword Noir and Centurion. Through the IGDN, I sat on a couple of panels and ran four games of Nefertiti Overdrive.
As you can imagine, it was a very, very rough con.
Wednesday afternoon I got in without any problems. I only had carry-on luggage, so I didn’t have to pick up any checked bags. This didn’t really help – as you will see – but on the way back if I had checked luggage, I would have missed my connection. If you can, when flying, try not to check any luggage. Tough if you have a suit or are staying for more than a few days, but doable for something like Gen Con.
When I got to the zone where Go Express picks people up, there was a mob. I do not use the term lightly. There may have been no torches or pitchforks, but there were frayed tempers and frustration. Go Express was running four shuttles in regular rotation, but not even that could keep up with the arrivals.
In the end, strategic placement and a willingness to be a bit rude (tough for a Canadian) got me a place on a bus 30 to 45 minutes after I started waiting. You’ll want to avoid that wait at all costs. All the time I saved with my lack of checked luggage meant nothing on arrival.
I stayed again at the Embassy Suites, sharing the room with some friends. Luckily, one of the occupants was some kind of extra special Hilton Honours member, so we actually got WiFi. That’s not standard. You want to make plans for this. Sometimes, they’ll give you free WiFi if you sign up for their loyalty program on check in, but if one of the occupants already has a membership, see about pushing to get connected.
I attended the IGDN social at Loughmiller’s Pub and Eatery on Wednesday night. The place was packed. I met a few people, but I’m actually terribly shy, so I pretty much stuck in my spot and chatted with people around me when the opportunity presented itself. I liked the venue and went back for an early dinner one day. It’s affordable and I didn’t have to wait to get a seat around 4:15 in the afternoon on Saturday. I enjoyed the Dragonfly IPA, and they had a nice, if small selection of craft beers.
I got to bed at a decent hour, which was wise, because Thursday was going to be insane.
You can find the Go Express shuttle service here.
You can find the Indie Game Developer Network here.
You can find Loughmiller’s Pub and Eatery here.
You can find Upland Brewing Co.’s Dragonfly IPA here.