Thursday, February 19, 2015

OrcCon 2015 convention report

Last weekend I traveled to Los Angeles again, as I have done for the last decade or so, for OrcCon 2015. I find it interesting to think back on all the years attending these types of conventions, and how things have changed...

Years ago I enjoyed the Strategicon events (OrcCon, Gamex, and Gateway) for their tournaments. I used to play in a bunch of euro game tournaments, and often I'd win enough dealer dollars to head home with a brand new game.

By contrast, I normally skipped Gamex in favor of Kublacon for Memorial Day weekend. Kublacon had a much different feel for me. they had scheduled events, but they were mostly demos, not tournaments. Their prize vault didn't interest me as much - often not containing anything of interest to me. So I spent most of my time in the open gaming area, playing new hotness or playtesting my prototypes.

I used to track plays, and over a 4 day convention I would easily log 40 plays... in retrospect I'm not sure just how I managed to do that! Nowadays it seems like I spend more time looking for a game to play than I spend actually playing games.

Things have changed over time. I have met a lot of people, and now I seem to use these conventions as a way to hang out with those people. It's much more a social event for me now.

As well as, in some cases, a commercial event. Unlike 10 years ago, now I'm a published designer and I work for a publisher. I frequently run demos of new or upcoming TMG games. I've always had some prototype or other with me, but now I've got more of them at a time, and getting them tested is a lot more important. And now more than ever, designers frequently want me to play their prototypes in addition to my own.

Last weekend was a little unusual in a couple of ways. First off, I didn't play a lot of games. Over the course of the weekend I managed to get into the following:
* Hanabi Race (x2)
* Roll for the Galaxy (x2)
* Concordia (x2)
* Trajan
* Crusaders (x2 - I wasn't actually playing in either game)
* Eminent Domain: Exotica
* Brains, Grains, and Trains (a prototype by Mark Major)
* Oceanica (a prototype by Mark Major)
* Stones of Fate (new release from Luke Laurie)
* Fits (had to leave 1/2 way through to make my flight)

I guess that's 14 games, maybe not too shabby, but only half of what I used to play at these things. Missing were games of Notre Dame, Puerto Rico, and Stone Age, tournaments I used to do well in. Also missing were plays of Glory to Rome, Got It!, Time's Up, Train of Thought, and Werewolf (though to be honest, I've completely soured on Werewolf over the years). I didn't learn any of the new hotness, though it was nice to play Trajan again.

I also had prototypes that did not get to the table: Odysseus: Winds of Fate, and The Pony Express.

I still had a good time at the convention, but I've noticed that I don't play as much as I used to, and I miss that.

1 comment:

Marisa said...

It was nice seeing you there Seth. Looking forward to trying out your new games.