And now the moment you've all waited for... the pictures and recap of what happened. Even those who went will have a good read, because we all did different things at the con, and I find that it's fun to see how other people spent their time that might have been different from you!
No journey from my home land of neighboring Ohio is complete without a picture of a big building shaped like a candle. The semi is for scale Every time I see it it's like 'ah...almost there.'
For you colts fans, I went ahead and got pics of the new stadium under construction, and the old one. The old one looks TINY next to the new monster :X
Can you spot the gencon goers? Armed with backpacks and badges, you can pick them out of the crowds easily enough, but with 25,000+ of them, they usually ARE the crowds.
This is why we always pre-order our badges every year. The line to get in was kinda crazy. Was a much shorter line last year, but they changed the way the poor volunteers were doing things, so result: huge line. Here's the REST of that same line wrapped around the block.
The first year gencon was there, Indy residents kinda just had to wonder why their city was suddenly swarmed with gamers. Now they welcome us and decorate for the occassion
A typical hallway shot of the main drag inside the convention center.
Every year for charity, you can build card houses out of magic or other collectable trading card games. At the very end of the convention on the last day, you can use money (quarters, nickles, etc) and throw them at the card houses to knock them down. All the money thrown goes to charity. Here's my friend's contribution to the cardhouse collection.
A typical sight... you spend so much time partying and playing games and so forth, by about the 2nd day, random passed out convention goers is a common sight.
This year was a special year for gencon. Normally we all just kinda wait for the vendor room to open and pile in. This year they got a red carpet out and had a big ceremony. Here's a shot of the crowd waiting for things to get kicked off.
Another shot of crowd at floor level.
V for vendetta? Nope... V for balloon drop
There were news crews there to cover the kick off, INCLUDING our very own Jerry Snook of DDOCast. Here he is armed with his gear in ear ^^ Jerry had a great spot to watch the festivities right up on the press platform.
We also had some costumed performers for the occassion. "Hey you, waaaay in the back!"
The drummer signals for the start of the show followed by costumed belly dancers. Now while still pictures of them are great, I opted to go for a little bit of video footage which can be found here. Sorry gang, no sound on my camera , you'll just have to imagine the techno music saying 'The best 4 days of gaming.'
Nothing like a really tall person throwing gifts to the crowd
Now as cool as Jerry's spot is up on the press box, I managed to sneak a spot right at the main doors so I could get pictures of all the special guests such as:
Tracy Hickman, one of the originators of Dragonlance
Tracy Hickman walking the red carpet
Mike Gray, a game designer and senior rep of Hasbro games
Reiner Knizia, board game designer
Wm. Morgan Sheppard actor and noted for Babylon 5 among other sci-fi roles
Another shot of Wm. M Sheppard
But this is D&D. This is gencon. What gencon is complete without the man himself, Gary Gygax.
Come on in Gary!
He's so special he gets two ladies for the red carpet ^^
It was very cool that I got a good spot so I could get really up close pictures of him for you
Gary was nice enough to walk near the crowd shaking hands with fans. "Don't forget us over here Gary!"
Gencon cannot begin until Gary rolls a giant pair of 2d6. I couldnt see the first, but the second was a 6, you show all those novices how to do it Gary
Now the party can really get started!
A swarm attack ... of balloons!
Talk about an AOE
Hey now, the balloons are getting in before we are -_-
I also got some video of people in the crowd playing with the balloons
Me and hubby with this years welcome banner.
Now I didnt get time to do my cool little photoshop panoramic spread of the main vendor hall, but
together in one big shot, and that gives you an idea of just how much there is to see in the vendor hall alone. Remember, this is just the room where they sell a majority of the merchandise, and run game demos, and is only one chunk of the convention itself.
Those badge checkers take their job seriously... armed and ready to blast anyone trying to sneak into the convention without their badge on... ok so maybe they'll just show you back out but still... very imposing when your entrance is guarded by stormtroopers.
Costumes and dressing up is huge at the con, and you'll see all kinds of really awesome ideas! Here's some of the highlights of the outfits I snapped while walking around:
Roman centurians for the live Gladiator arena
She's so cute in a little flowing cape
Guess who these folks are
Some people make group outfits
Another awesome outfit. Some people really go all out!
My friend gets festive for the convention
(one of these days, we can corrupt her... one of these days)
Even the vendors have costumed folks for advertising. In the past they've been called 'booth babes' because well...the purpose is to draw people to the booth, and this is one of the tactics. However, I've noticed an increasing proportion of booth hunks too
Or you can just go with a full get-up for your booth, such as this one for Halo
Here is a shot of one of the big halls for D&D games. GMs sign up to run the games and they are provided a table. Just incase you're not sure if you're in the right place, there's always the BIG RED DRAGON in the back!
Mini's and elaborate maps are very popular at the con. Here's a set up for a game themed after King Kong.
Check out the paint job on these dragons!
And I'm sorry, but this egyptian tomb style set up in a canyon is just way too cool. Althought the greek one was neat too (I forgot to get a pic of the waterfall it had on the side)
Look ladies... no line. I never waited in a line for a bathroom the entire convention considering there were thousands and thousands of people. But I will say, the bathrooms weren't near the ghost town they were when gencon came to indy the first year. The presence of ladies at the con, and families, is higher ever year that I go it seems.
The segway challenge. Show off your maneuverability
One of the many designated lan areas where you can play games like quake, halo, or other first person shooters and so forth
Many types of games can be tried at the con, such as collectable card games. Here's a big area for one.
Here we are with another convention goer testing out Escape from Pompeii... cute game, made by the same folks who brought you settlers of Catan. Playing games with other random people can be fun, like a convention PUG, and you can meet some neat gamers.
I guess this is one way to keep a poker face at the table
Train for the live action gladiator arena. They use a LARP combat system that affects how you swing at each other as you go. Get thumped in the arm? You can then only use your other arm. Leg? Now you're down on the ground. Kinda neat, and some people are very into it and good at it to boot. They had a big arena set up where you could watch them beat each other senseless.
Have at you!
We who are about to die salute you!
Someone had the right idea
What's a convention without batman crawling up from the earth
Now once we've settled in for a while, it's time to hit up our hotel. Here's the view from our room at the lovely Westin.
Waiting for a table in a restaraunt with my friends, fellow players, brother-in-law, and hubby.
Still waiting :P
Gotta be careful as you walk around, you never know where a beholder will spawn or a troll . I knew I should have put on more resists before I walked in there ><
Kashka next to the big d20 for scale.
Ah the food of gencon...
Here is a monster plate of nachos one of the Xorians ordered that night.
Dude, the shrimp at this place don't mess around! That cocktail sause will burn through your sinus cavity
The Ram made a custom menu and renamed their food after gaming stuff
Kashka and a lotro player with me at the bar sampling Indy's brews. Except for me... mine is the floofy green drink
Now that's a big steak
Lord Fancy with a huge steak prepairing for his new emote
Hanging at the bar with Eldorudo, Silthe, and fellow players ^^
Hey check it out, random people sneaking in the back! That and Eld's cube shirt is priceless
Myself, bro-in-law, Meepo, and several other friends took on the TrueDungeon. Here we are organizing our loot piles. We immerged triumphant! That's because we're experienced dungeoneers This is a shot of the TrueTavern, and you can buy drinks there too while you wait to go into the dungeon. Look at the drow at the one table, it's like I'm back in Stormreach Go go team, we made it out without losing any party members
Before the DDO party, I slipped out for dinner ahead of time with folks. Here we are waiting on our table at Spag Factory. Dinner guests included myself, a couple close personal out-of-game friends, Meepo - who attended the original Get Together at the Con last year, Jerry Snook and his wife Sarah, Silthe, and Eldorudo.
Watch out! Jerry Snook's spouse is about to get nabbed by the giant claw machine oO
Players hanging with Silthe and Eldorudo
Meepo represents! He won the Gencon poker tournament and the trip to Vegas!
The Xorians do verbal battle for a chance at a poster I saw that made me think of them. I dont have any shots of it, but it is Animal from the muppets wielding a sword screaming 'THIS IS SPARTA!'
Lord Fancy shows me some hate or maybe he's trying to hug me, I dunno... I kept threatening to get some pictures of the hugging Xorians for blackmail but husband failed me on that one. Hmm wonder what he was doing when I needed those pics
Eldorudo sporting our awesome DDO T-shirts
Silthe helps me raffle off prizes
Drawing for the keyboard We had an awesome last minute addition to my Treasure Chest... an uber gaming keyboard with LCD panel and everything! Here's our winner being quizzed on what her favorite DDO creature is!
Ah there's nothing like loot
Thaaaat's right... check out the drops from this raid!
But we still have more prizes, so back to the chest we go
Now I'm not sure, but I think he was trying to either get a picture of the loot box, or get a picture of his wedding ring to reinforce that he's Mr. Merlask.
YOU MUST NOT LEAVE UNTIL YOU HAVE FREED ARLOS... or at least taken a swig of what was dubbed later in the party as 'Waterworks.' Here it is next to Ghallanda Distillate. Eh, I didnt personally take a swig from this one, I didn't have the right back flags *looks around innocently* I must say Kashka, I have never seen a drink that looked like we seriously went to the sewer and dregged up some of the water But I'm told it tasted fruity. I walked by the bar when Kashka was trying to order this originally, handing the recipe to the barkeep on a napkin, and the bartender said 'You want this??? That'll kill you!' apparently the tender must have already run this quest.
Hanging out with the guests
Here is Lord D in the great shirt that the Xorians made to celebrate their homeland
The hotel we didn't stay at
Are you supposed to drink and play games in the lobby of the hotel? I have no idea, but we did anyway. Staying up way too late with the Xorians showing them how to play Robo rally (fun game actually.)
All in all it was a great convention, and I had a blast with everyone! Keep those pictures and stories of your time at gencon coming so everyone else can see the DDO presence at gencon
Well I hit the road now, so everyone be well, and thank you for a wonderful time. /salute