The second day of a convention is always interesting for me because I lose the energy and excitement of just having arrived. As well, I usually end up staying up really late on the first night, so trying to get going on day 2 can be a challenge. That said, I knew that I was going to be able to get into the Dealer’s Hall on Day 2, so that helped.
The Sprawling Masses
I was very overwhelmed by the Dealer’s Hall at Origins last year. I spent hours wandering the aisles, lost in wonderment at the sight of all of the vendors and products. Since I’ve been to a couple of other conventions since then, I was much more prepared this year. However, when I got in line, waiting for things to open, I was petty surprised at how it all went.
I was in a group of about 75 people, all waiting to get inside. When 10 o’clock rolled around, with no fanfare, with no grand announcement, people just were able to start walking into the Hall. I made a beeline for the IPR booth to grab my copy of the Fiasco Companion, because I wanted to make sure I picked it up before it sold out. Turns out, I needent have rushed. Not because the Fiasco Companion isn’t awesome (it is), but because of the vibe of the Dealer’s Hall this year.
The whole thing just seemed… muted. I didn’t feel that rush of excitement around the room as I walked. Even the booths seemed smaller and more self-contained than last year. Additionally, a lot of the booths were vendors for gaming accessories and (at least to my eye) far fewer publishers showing off their new products. I would almost call things laid back. Now, that might not be the case on Saturday when there are tons more people coming through the Hall, but I didn’t have trouble walking or making my way around. There just didn’t seem to be as much going on. I talked with some folks later in the day and they confirmed my suspicions. Things are just not as exciting in the Dealer’s Hall this year. Don’t quite know what that signifies, if anything, but it’s definitely the case.
Moving Softly Into the Afternoon
I went over to the North Market (again) to get some lunch, and then headed back into the Dealer’s Hall for something I was really looking forward to. I got the chance to interview Shane Hensley of Pinnacle Entertainment. It was a fantastic interview, and I got some relatively exclusive stuff about what Pinnacle is going to be doing with their games, especially the Deadlands line. I promise that as soon as I have a chance to (after the convention), I am going to get that audio up for you all.
It was especially cool to talk to Shane when I did, because I had a Deadlands game scheduled to run that afternoon. I managed to wrangle up a really good group of players, including Tom Cadorette, Dave Chalker and E. Foley. We played through a scenario called Bury Me With My Guns On, that I wrote last year for some friends at GenCon. I’ve had a chance to run it three times, now, and I hoping that I can the time soon to polish it up and possibly get it published. I think I’ve got a good adventure with it, but I need to tighten some things up before publication is an option. I’ll keep you posted. Also, the audio of the game was recorded and will be posting at The Gamer’s Haven soon, as well.
And On Into the Evening
Following the Deadlands game, I went out to dinner with the group, and that, really, encapsulates my evening: good food, good drink and good people to talk to. In fact, so far, that has been the theme of this convention. It’s very different from last year, as I kept myself so busy and wired that I barely had time to think. This year, I’ve been spending the majority of my time just sitting and talking to people. And, thanks to Twitter, they have been people who work in the game-publishing industry, so I’ve been learning a lot about what I should be doing as it pertains to Sand and Steam. It’s the kind of advice that I need, and I’m really grateful to have it.
Tomorrow (today), I’ve got another interview schedule, and this evening will be playing in a game of Pathfinder with my regular gaming group. (It’s really nice to have Origins as my local convention). I’ve also got a dice game that I want to check out on the show floor. It’s called Shootin’ Dice, and I was skeptical about it when I saw the signs around. I tried it out (while writing this post) and it seems pretty interesting. You should be seeing a review, soon.
Anyway, I’m off until tonight’s post! Hope you’re enjoying your weekend as much as I am.