Sunday, 25 August 2013

Con Plague

First off, my plan to blog each day of the con fell through. I was up late at parties and social events, and my need for sleep defeated my need to blog. Now it's a few days later, we've done the 16 hour drive home, and things should be back to normal.

But now I am suffering from a severe case of con plague. Lack of sleep + improper diet + close quarters with thousands of people = one very sick armoured writer.

Still, I feel obliged to deliver a Gencon After Action Report. So here we go:

The Company
Outrider Studios did very well at Gencon. We sold a lot of games, met a lot of fans, and made some new industry contacts. Cait, Derek, and Desi all worked tirelessly to promote our products. We did a few book trades and came out of them with some very interesting products.

Business cards were exchanged, and deals were struck. We submitted Warbirds for next year's Ennies (you never know), and Indie Press Revolution agreed to start carrying the book as well. Our Broken Lands supplement also did very well. We sold all but 2 of them (out of 25) and those last 2 are now for sale at the Kingston Gaming Nexus (a game store that I have been frequenting since college). Our custom dice, always a favourite, sold right out, and we plan to have more for next year.

All told, Gencon was a huge success for Outrider Studios. Hooray!

The Haul
We managed to buy a few things despite our time spent in the booth. While there we picked up:
-Iron Kingdoms RPG
-Star Wars - Edge of the Empire
-The new Firefly RPG
-Achtung Cthulhu
-Cards against Humanity
-Call of Cathulhu
-Other stuff I haven't gone through yet.

The Downside
While the company did great, I did not. I spent most of my time on the dealer floor in our booth. The only game I played all weekend (other than 5 minute in-booth demos) was a 2 hour Warbirds demo. I didn't spend much time wandering the halls or finding fun pick-up games. It was far too much of a business trip and far too little of the gaming pilgrimage that it has been for me for over a decade. I woke up exhausted, and went to sleep even more burned out. I ate on the convention floor (bad idea), and considering my physical state, I am not at all surprised I caught the con plague.

Cait experienced similar issues (minus the plague), and we've agreed that next year we are registering for more events. There are 4 of us at the booth (plus a few friends now and then) and we can afford to not be there for every hour of every day, So next year will be about fun, in addition to selling stuff.

What's Next
First off, my lungs have to stop trying to drown me, my throat needs to stop feeling like it's on fire, and my head needs to stop hurting. Once we have those sorted out, I have to send out drivethru coupons to all the people who bought at the Con.

After that, I have a ton of writing to do. I also have a full-time job, and a 1 year old daughter to manage... I may have to give up on sleep for a few months.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Gencon Adventures Day 2

Fridays are always slow for sales at the con. But while sales are slow, lots of other stuff happened today. Let's review:

-Visa! That's right, we got Visa working for the first time ever. Hooray! This has made sales way easier. Thanks random customer who suggested!

-Fantasy Flight games: seriously guys, I want to buy your stuff. Stop with the half hour+ lineups so you can shut up and take my money!

-We talked to our artist cousin Chris, who wrote Achtung Cthulhu. He has some brilliant ideas and nothing beats WWII Mythos. Our Warbirds artist, Dimitris, works for Chris as well.

-We chatted with Kevin of 2gms1mic. He ran a Remnants game for 5 months for the podcasting team. He rocks, and they rock.

-Monte Cooke. We met him. he promised to sign my copy of Numenera. That is all.

We watched the Ennies for a bit, and then took a trip to Steak n' Shake. We ended the evening at the annual party hosted by our friends over at Gamer Concepts.

There is a little photo evidence on the day:
Even though sales are slow, I ran a lot of demos on the day.

Pilots Derek and Duffy looking sharp.

I wandered a bit and found this dangerous alien. He talked, moved, and threatened the local con goers with extermination.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Gencon Adventures Day 1

Well, day 1 of 4 is done. Sales were good, the fans were many, and people seemed to like our new game. Highlights of the day:

-We almost made sales equal to our last Gencon total. That's the old 4 day total. In 1 day. Tomorrow I am handcuffing the team to the booth. Sales are best when they are all there.

-Strange man thinking I would trade him one of our custom dice for a business card for an Indian restaurant. I do not understand.

-A customer cried in front of Cait because he loves gaming that much. He has real passion and we applaud him for showing it.

-A visit from the awesome podcasters 2 GMs 1 Mic. They bought some Warbirds stuff. They played Remnants last year, maybe they'll start up a Warbirds game...

-The valiant comrades from Indie Press Revolution agreed to carry and distributeWarbirds. Yay!

-Wil Wheaton! So the patron saint of geeks everywhere happened to walk down our aisle. Desi squeaked and elbowed Cait. They both froze in awe. I, strangely emboldened, jumped up, grabbed a copy of Warbirds and planted myself in front of the man and gave him a free review copy. I hope he likes it. I got him to wave to the team. I think it might have been the highlight of their weekend.

I hope tomorrow will be as awesome as today was.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Gencon Adventures Day 0

Today was a good day, but maybe a little too long.

So last night's budget motel made sleep difficult. I didn't fall asleep until 4:00, and Cait woke up at 4 and couldn't get back to sleep. It was an uncomfortable night. The morning brought a quick trip to Target for supplies, a stop at the McDonalds for breakfast, and some navigation to get to Indy itself.

We checked in, grabbed the boxes that the Holiday Inn Express graciously held for us, and then went to the convention center for booth setup. Cait's organizational skills once again made this a relatively quick and painless process. By 1 pm the booth was ready to go:
That is our daughter's Duffy bear dressed up as a fighter pilot.

We spent the afternoon wandering the halls of the convention center and the streets of Indy. It took longer to find a place to buy shampoo than it did to set up the whole booth. After dinner at the pub next door, we came back to the hotel room. Derek and Desi headed back out to a party, but Cait and I are exhausted, and bedding down for the night. Cait is asleep next to me, and I will be going the same way soon. 

Tomorrow is day 1 and I am excited to meet fans and sell a few books. I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Gencon Adventures Day -1

So we began our annual pilgrimage to Gencon today. Our team consists of myself, my lovely wife Cait, The Great Derek Breedon, and the wonderful Desiree Barlow. Unlike previous years, where there was always some sort of insanely early morning start combined with some sort of transport calamity, this year Cait planned the routing and the stops, and the trip is going smoothly thus far.

We began at the leisurely hour of 8:30. We left little Alanna with her grandparents, and then picked up the team. Traffic was light, highway speeds were high, and we passed the day arguing Breaking Bad and Doctor Who theories, among other things. We didn't quite get to Indianapolis today. We are actually in the town of Anderson, about 45 minutes outside the city, and we won't venture into the city proper until tomorrow morning.

Our hotel in Anderson is... interesting. The staff is very nice, but we immediately witnessed an "altercation" at the front desk with an angry octogenarian from Arkansas who didn't want to pay full price for his budget room. We then discovered our extremely lumpy beds, 70s-tastic ambiance, and the decorative used condom in the parking lot. We locked the car up tight.

The good news is it's one night. We are moving to the Holiday Inn Express tomorrow, and this should be a little nicer.

The high point of the day was dinner. Our motel is right next to the Red Lobster, and it was amazing. We ate far too much, and our server, Jason, was top-notch. Here's some photo evidence:
Cait and I with all of the ocean's shrimp.

Desi and Derek.

Tomorrow we go to Indie itself, and set up our booth. Tonight, we will make a valiant attempt to sleep. We may yet fail...