Gen Con 2011: First Thoughts

So, got back from Gen Con at about 03:00 this morning after a long, long drive. Thoughts are still percolating through my skull and I’m still on a bit of a Gen Con high, but here are some immediate take-aways.

1. I suck at selling my own stuff. Early on, I recognized this and simply switched to giving stuff away. I still have copies of Kiss My Axe: the Quick and Dirty Gen Con Edition available if you have a podcast, blog, some kind of pulpit, so let me know if you want a review copy. I will no longer take product to cons to sell. If I take product, it will be to provide review copies. I actually knew this would be a problem, but hoped I could overcome it.

2. Even when you think a game is done, it is not done. I came to a realization that the stuff that puts most Kiss My Axe games over the edge in terms of pure awesome fun isn’t exactly in the rules. It’s there, it’s tied to the Style Quality, but it’s not explicit throughout. I need to pump its visibility up. This means Kiss My Axe will be delayed, but will have 25% more pure awesome upon release.

3. Timing for Con games is crucial. The Kiss My Axe one-shot hit the two hour mark once. The other two times it was run, it wasn’t allowed to get to the two hour mark (Games on Demand slot started late and table was required) or ran over two hours. I knew there was no way the Sword Noir one-shot would fit in two hours, but it certainly worked at four hours, even with the amazing crew getting very complex and sneaky with how they approached the problem. With a pick-up game, time isn’t as essential as it is in an actual con slot, and I had expected the Kiss My Axe one-shot to actually run just shy of four hours. Because every group is so different, game timing is very tough, but essential.

4. Sand skiffs, hornet riding mutant desert raiders, and skywhales? You’re doing Old School Hack right! There’s a lot of fun inherent in the OSH rules, but watching author (Enny-award winning) Kirin Robinson run an OSH game takes it to another level. He’s there, drawing out the combat zone that is abstract, but provides the visual cues for running a good combat, including differing arenas.

I’m sure as I think more on what happened and formulate hypotheses as to why, I’ll have more to share.

Now if you have not yet, go buy Sword Noir here.

And go download the Enny-award winning Old School Hack here.

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