GenCon 2014

Sunday , 31, August 2014 3 Comments

gencon_crowdGen Con, as expected, was AWESOME! While I didn’t get to do evertying on my list, I did get to do a GREAT many things.  And, as I hoped, I got to experience more than I had planned on.

My first day of GenCon started with an official TableTop event run by Boyan (thegamesmith)! I got to play Formula Speed (Formula D with an excellent ‘speed bus’ variant) with a fun group of people. Casualties piled up quickly, but 3 of us made it to the final round. I was poised to take the win, a couple of spots away from the finish line in 6th gear, but I rolled the absolute lowest roll I possibly could and the person behind me went further past the finish by 2 spaces more than me. *sigh* Hey, 2nd place in a great game with a great group of people is more than ok with me!


The rest of my weekend was spent demoing games, meeting people in real life that I only knew from Twitter and Kickstarter, buying WAY more than I probably should’ve, and just having an EXCELLENT time!

I had the opportunity to demo and play a LOT of excellent games.  I’m sure that I’ve missed some in my list below. I REALLY wanted to take home more of them, but my funds quickly depleted and some of them just didn’t fit our family game nights. And, if you’re curious, King of Tokyo REALLY DID live up to the hype. The additions they made to it make it an absolutely better game. I can’t wait to pick it up retail!!

gencon_camelupSome of the Games I Played or Demoed:

  • Formula D
  • King of New York
  • Splendor
  • Camel Up
  • Battle at Kemble’s Cascade
  • Night of the Grand Octopus
  • Friday the 13th
  • Mars Attacks: The Dice Game
  • Zombie Dice 3: School Bus
  • 2 Prototypes
  • Gold West
  • Pagoda

So, yeah..  I really did pick up a lot of games. Not everything below cost me money, though! I picked up 2 games from Kickstarter pre-orders* and I got 3 of them ABSOLUTELY free** just for asking the designers! Those, in addition to the awesome promos I picked up, made for a pretty epic haul for me. Much more extensive than last year!


Games Purchased/Picked Up:

  • GenCon Roll For It!
  • IncrediCards**
  • Discount Salmon
  • Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing**
  • Mars Attacks: The Dice Game
  • Brave Rats
  • R
  • Pull!*
  • Heroes Wanted*
  • Me Booty!**
  • Zombie Dice 3: School Bus
  • Sophia the First: Spot It!
  • Boss Monster Promo Card (Killa)
  • Machi Koro Promo Cards
  • Animal Upon Animal
  • Lost Legacy: The Starship
  • Lost Legacy: Flying Garden
  • Con Crud
  • Camel Up

Even better than the games, though, were some of the awesome people I got to meet. I follow a lot of board game people on Twitter, and I’ve Kickstarted a LOT of projects, so it was the perfect opportunity to meet the folks I’ve only known virtually and shake their hands. Without exception, everyone I met was gracious and open and friendly. Whether demoing games or just a handshake in passing, I felt like they truly appreciated meeting people who loved their games. Some, of course, went above and beyond (FISH SUITS AND FREE GAMES?!), but even the casual conversations about how their Gen Con experiences were were great. I didn’t get to meet everyone on my list, but again, those that did made the effort more than worthwhile.

gencon_discountsalmonSome of the People I Met:

  • Randy Hoyt
  • Patrick Nickel
  • Boyan Radakovich
  • Jason Tagmire
  • Eduardo Baraf
  • Chevee Dodd
  • Ben Rosset
  • Marcus Ross
  • Antoine Bauza
  • TC Petty III
  • Jamey Stegmaier
  • Seth Jaffee
  • Teri Litorco
  • Christopher Chung
  • J. Alex Kevern

Let me go ahead and apologize if I met you at Gen Con and you aren’t on the list. Unfortunately, sometimes the connection between the virtual and the real world didn’t happen in my head.. Not to mention my memory isn’t what it used to be…

gencon_wilfeliciaAs I stated above, the very first event I participated in at Gen Con was a huge highlight for me. And I would consider every meeting I had and game I demoed another highlight. But the events I participated in definitely had an impact on my experience.


  • Formula D
  • Playtesting a game being pitched
  • Tabletop Pane of Awesome

One of my absolute favorite experiences was one that just would never have happened to me outside of this venue. I got the opportunity to sit in on a playtest where the designer was pitching their game to a publisher. While to some, this may not seem like a big deal, I was thrilled to have that opportunity. I’ve always wanted to see ‘behind the scenes’ into how some of these games were made and the process they went through to get published, so this was an EXCELLENT experience. Not only did I get to help out a great publisher (and designer in his own right), but I got a preview of a game that, after playing it, I know will get published somewhere. Plus, the designer brought out another smaller game just to provide a glimpse at what he was working on. Like I said, this is not an opportunity I’m likely to get, often, and it’s something that I’ll always remember and cherish about this Gen Con.

And, as always, it’s better to share great experiences with friends than all alone. My second (and last) day of Gen Con, I got to spend quite a bit of time walking around with friends who were attending. I can’t think of many more enjoyable things than having the chance to hang out with good friends playing new games and discussing all things game related. It was a great way to spend my last day of Gen Con, and I plan on it being part of my Gen Con experience every year.

I could probably write another 10 pages about the things I saw or felt or experienced at Gen Con, but I’m not sure anybody would read them and, for those that went, I’m sure my experiences are pretty common. It amazes me that even though Gen Con is MASSIVE in scale, the people there make it feel like you matter to them. Nobody is pushing their games. They’re just happy you want to play them. I really believe that the people and gamers in this industry are second to none when it comes to inclusiveness and acceptance. I hope that never changes.

I really can’t wait to go again next year.

gencon_concrud gencon_cheveedodd gencon_tabletop gencon_superdog gencon_sheep gencon_R gencon_machikoro

  • It was great meeting you, Jason! I should have seen if you wanted to play any prototypes shown to us at Gen Con–I like getting different people’s points of views on submissions. Next year. 🙂

    • jfunk says:

      I’d love that, Jamey! As I stated in my post, you and the other designers/publishers I met at Gen Con were so welcoming and open and genuine.. I enjoyed my conversations no matter how in-depth. Your area of the room was always busy and I loved being able to see the latest production updates! I can’t wait to get my Tuscany big box. Very much enjoyed meeting you and look forward to the coming year of updates and games 🙂

  • Randy says:

    I’m glad you had such a good time at Gen Con! I’m so glad we got a chance to meet in person; it’s been such a blessing to me for Relic Expedition and Lanterns to have been a part of your family’s game nights this year. I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll get more opportunities like the ones you described here. I look forward to playing more games with you at next year’s convention! 🙂

  • Let me know your thoughts!