The Good, the Meh, the Ugly.
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Posted by adcjones

Going into the Con this year was less exciting than past years.  Maybe I’m getting old, maybe the Con is getting old, maybe it was because some of my friends couldn’t make the Thursday and Friday games, or maybe all the above.

My group also chose to move on from straight Pathfinder the entire Con and branch out to board games and another RPG, Call of Cthulu, which we’ve never played.  I figured we’d end up missing out on the final season of Pathfinder 1 PFS story, etc., but the past few years the specials for PFS have just sucked the excitement out of those special events.  We instead only played two PFS games and did the Starfinder SFS special on Saturday.  Normally PFS games reach a point in combat of sheer boredom, and lackluster GMs make it worse.  Boring players don’t help, either.  I can say, happily, that none of the PFS/SFS games were boring and we had good GMs; the players we ran with were fine, too, so overall I’m happy with the PFS and SFS experience.  I also think the GMs did a great job of modifying the scenarios.

We got into board games after last year’s Con and were excited to see all the new games and look for deals on ones we saw over the past year.  I was excited for the Auction/Consignment store.  We also booked BGG Hot Games Room for two two-hour sessions as well as bought 2 generics for the Board Games library.  It was going to be a laid-back Con where I thought we would have time to do all sorts of things plus have time left over. 

Well, we stayed pretty busy and STILL didn’t get to demo all the games I wanted, which was fine, because some I chose not to demo because my brain simply needed a break.

THE GOOD

Will call line moved quickly Wednesday despite it being back up nearly to West St., even on Wednesday at 100p!

Hallways weren’t as crowded.  I would suggest making a through-lane, however, right down the middle of the hallways for those moving from far points in the center. There was a rope-line type thing in the hall by the dealer hall, but this was simply ignored and/or congested due to everyone moving back and forth.  Putting markers on the floor would be a great thing to consider. 

I wish to the mighty heavens the dealers would allow “stepping or browsing” space in their booths, because those dealers with items all the way to the line, or the red carpet, force those browsing to stand in the way of traffic. 

Indianapolis, unlike the rest of Indiana, is incredibly welcoming to the gamers.  I live north of Indianapolis but work in Indy and can see the difference every day. <p>Free game demos upstairs, especially by Rio Grande Games.  FREE.  They even had someone teach us the games we played.

Call of Cthulu.  Had no idea what to expect going in to this game.  Had heard it was deadly, but it turned out to be quite easy.  I will now be a new player of this game.  Great time. 

Pathfinder 2 playtest went well so far.  I’m glad I got the opportunity to play it so many times, but am worried there was no lines to wait for tables to play it.  Starfinder had 20+ minutes of wait time last year to play the demos.  I’m hoping it’s due to it being “playtest.” 

The final band on Wednesday night on Georgia St. was great (except for his intro and outro noise).  SunKing selling reasonably-priced beer is always great. 

I’m OK with the Catalogue missing the event listing.  All I needed to do was get on the app to find events.  The catalogue still had plenty of new game info, etc. to steer my group in directions we never would have taken otherwise. 

THE MEH

Board Games library.  Apparently they upped the price Thursday night to play.  Cost $6 to play evening slot.  Only got to partially play one game because we had a 1000p and had to learn the game we picked out.  Not sure that’s worth it, we could have pooled our money together and just bought the game. <p>BGG Hot games room.  2 hour-tickets…just not enough time to get a game, learn it, and play, especially when they only have one or two copies of the hot games everyone wants to play.  If I remember, the hot games room ticket cost $4.  Not worth it. 

THE UGLY

Prices in the Consignment Store.  For some reason, people still think they can charge retail for games in the consignment store and sell them.  The store really needs to take up some of the auction chairs for store space, because the line to get into that place Saturday morning was about 45 minutes, then when you got in it was so packed it was difficult to move, let alone carry anything you wanted to buy without knocking into people.  Either use up some of the auction chair space or expand the room to make it bigger. 

The bathrooms in the Center are disgusting.  I really don’t think they clean them at all.  I’ve been to football stadiums where the bathrooms were a disaster after one night, then going back to another game the next day they were pristine.  I don’t know what GenCon has to do to complain. 

Gamer reek was bad this year.  There’s nothing wrong with being hot and sweaty, but it’s unacceptable to stink to high hell.  Use deodorant and put on fresh clothes after showering. 

Sunday.  The dealer hall closed at 400p.  What?!  I sure feel bad for those people who bought Sunday-only badges.  What a rip-off, especially when there weren’t hardly any events offered after 12:00p.  I talked up the Con for weeks with a coworker who wanted to take her young kids on Sunday.  They arrived around 10a only to realize there wasn’t a whole lot for them to do.  Once they finally got around to the dealer hall around 3:00p, they felt they got ripped off.  And they did.  I’m not sure why I even pay that much for a 4-day badge when Sunday has so little events and the dealer hall closes so early.

Paizo’s miniature giveaway Saturday night at the SFS Special.  Wow- a bent mini that broke when you pushed it back up.  Thanks.   

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Posted by father bloodlust adcjones

adcjones wrote:

Sunday.  The dealer hall closed at 400p.  What?!  I sure feel bad for those people who bought Sunday-only badges.  What a rip-off, especially when there weren’t hardly any events offered after 12:00p.  I talked up the Con for weeks with a coworker who wanted to take her young kids on Sunday.  They arrived around 10a only to realize there wasn’t a whole lot for them to do.  Once they finally got around to the dealer hall around 3:00p, they felt they got ripped off.  And they did.  I’m not sure why I even pay that much for a 4-day badge when Sunday has so little events and the dealer hall closes so early.


That's always been the Sunday closing time.

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Posted by selene314 adcjones

adcjones wrote:
Sunday.  The dealer hall closed at 400p.  What?!  I sure feel bad for those people who bought Sunday-only badges.  What a rip-off, especially when there weren’t hardly any events offered after 12:00p. 

Yes, it sucks that there are no free demo events on Sunday. The companies run those in order to convince you to buy their game, so there's no point in running a demo that ends after (or near) 4pm Sunday. And it sucks that a lot of stuff is sold out by Sunday afternoon because the vendors brought only the minimum amount they expected to sell.

So Sunday won't give you the full Gen Con experience. BUT. Sunday badges were only $15 this year, compared to $60 for a Friday badge or $70 for Saturday. So it's not fair to call them a "rip-off." For 1/4 the price you get 3/4 as much time in the dealer hall, and 1/3 as many event options.
It's only a rip-off if somebody told you you could get the $70 experience for $15. 

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Posted by armadilloal

4pm on Sunday has been the official closing time of Gen Con - not just the dealer hall, the entire convention - for as long as I can remember.  Not sure why that's news this year.

Board Games library.  Apparently they upped the price Thursday night to play.  Cost $6 to play evening slot.  Only got to partially play one game because we had a 1000p and had to learn the game we picked out.  Not sure that’s worth it, we could have pooled our money together and just bought the game. 

The Thursday night ticket was $8 last year.  Not sure how it "dropped" to $6.  They did reduce the length of each ticket from 10 hours to 8, though that doesn't sound like it was a problem for someone like you who bought it to play less than one game.  

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Posted by braewe

They didn't get to the dealer hall until 3pm--what did they do until then? 10pm to 3pm is lots of time to do stuff, certainly capable of being worth $15.

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Posted by grtbrt

as to the running of events on Sunday - That is something our group has had arguments about for years . 
Sunday games have (in our experience ) the highest rate of no shows -we have games that are shown as sold out - then NOBODY shows up . The GM"s hate  this -they could be at the exhibit hall (usually the only chance they get to be there )or even just packing up and leaving.
As the event director - I want to give people a  chance to play games and always hear the complaint about no Sunday games ,but the evidence is that attendees do not show up .

Demo games can only be run in the demo hall (according to the Gen-Con rules anyway ) and it costs those companies money/product to have staff run those games.

Also remember -those dealers spend a lot of money for that booth space (small booths are around $1400 this year ,and I am sure it will go up next year ) so "browsing space " eats directly into sales .
 

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Posted by roundtop

I ran demos in the dealers hall. On Sunday we stopped running demos at 3:30pm, as our demo took 20 minutes or so to run. So there wasn't enough time left before the hall closed and booth closed.

That said, anyone who sat just before 3:30pm we ran the demo fully. All were done by 3:50pm.

The bathrooms in the dealers hall, I saw ICC staff going through there regularly, but it still ran out of paper towel, and soap, and messy, multiple times.  Major sporting events you tend to have rushes at specific times (intermission, halftime, etc), but at con it is constant high flow. It doesn't lend itself to easy cleaning.

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Posted by garhkal grtbrt

grtbrt wrote:
as to the running of events on Sunday - That is something our group has had arguments about for years . 
Sunday games have (in our experience ) the highest rate of no shows -we have games that are shown as sold out - then NOBODY shows up . The GM"s hate  this -they could be at the exhibit hall (usually the only chance they get to be there )or even just packing up and leaving.

Our group was looking into ceasing doing the 8am game and noon slots for gencon on sunday and just going with one slot starting at 10am..  To hopefully avoid that issue with no-shows.

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Posted by nscott garhkal

garhkal wrote:
grtbrt wrote:
as to the running of events on Sunday - That is something our group has had arguments about for years . 
Sunday games have (in our experience ) the highest rate of no shows -we have games that are shown as sold out - then NOBODY shows up . The GM"s hate  this -they could be at the exhibit hall (usually the only chance they get to be there )or even just packing up and leaving.

Our group was looking into ceasing doing the 8am game and noon slots for gencon on sunday and just going with one slot starting at 10am..  To hopefully avoid that issue with no-shows.
I end my gen con gaming fairly regularly with FITS playing Dungeon which is usually at 10 or 12. While there were some ticketed no shows this year there were people with generics who showed up so there was still a full 16 for the event ( even out in LOS). I think games that are a good laugh and not too taxing can work well in those Sunday slots.

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Posted by adcjones father bloodlust

father bloodlust wrote:
adcjones wrote:Sunday.  The dealer hall closed at 400p.  What?!  I sure feel bad for those people who bought Sunday-only badges.  What a rip-off, especially when there weren’t hardly any events offered after 12:00p.  I talked up the Con for weeks with a coworker who wanted to take her young kids on Sunday.  They arrived around 10a only to realize there wasn’t a whole lot for them to do.  Once they finally got around to the dealer hall around 3:00p, they felt they got ripped off.  And they did.  I’m not sure why I even pay that much for a 4-day badge when Sunday has so little events and the dealer hall closes so early.

That's always been the Sunday closing time.
So what. 
 

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Posted by adcjones selene314

selene314 wrote:
adcjones wrote:
Sunday.  The dealer hall closed at 400p.  What?!  I sure feel bad for those people who bought Sunday-only badges.  What a rip-off, especially when there weren’t hardly any events offered after 12:00p. 

Yes, it sucks that there are no free demo events on Sunday. The companies run those in order to convince you to buy their game, so there's no point in running a demo that ends after (or near) 4pm Sunday. And it sucks that a lot of stuff is sold out by Sunday afternoon because the vendors brought only the minimum amount they expected to sell.So Sunday won't give you the full Gen Con experience. BUT. Sunday badges were only $15 this year, compared to $60 for a Friday badge or $70 for Saturday. So it's not fair to call them a "rip-off." For 1/4 the price you get 3/4 as much time in the dealer hall, and 1/3 as many event options.
It's only a rip-off if somebody told you you could get the $70 experience for $15. 
It's a rip-off to a family of 4.  I'm going by what this person said to me, who was new to GenCon.  I've been attending for nearly 10 years and love it.  Seems like some one here don't like to here any criticism whatsoever.  Stop being snowflakes.  I'd also like to tell those who are mad at Sarkeesian being there to stop being snowflakes, too.  She has every right to be there to speak her mind and people have every right to attend to listen to her, and her and GenCon have every right to NOT take questions during the event, especially when haters show up to specifically cause issues.

As far as browsing space, I can feel the pain of the vendors who probably pay a lot of money to be there.  I'm just offering constructive criticism on the issue.  I saw many booths which had plenty of "backspace" room that could have offered browsing space, so there's that.  It's not even a big deal, just something I thought should be noted to make GenCon the best experience possible. 

No shows always ruin games.  It's unfortunate something can't be done against those people who no show.  In my experience if I don't end up with a ticket I always go anyway knowing there's a high probability of a chance to get in anyway.

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Posted by braewe adcjones

adcjones wrote:
father bloodlust wrote:
adcjones wrote:Sunday.  The dealer hall closed at 400p.  What?!  I sure feel bad for those people who bought Sunday-only badges.  What a rip-off, especially when there weren’t hardly any events offered after 12:00p.  I talked up the Con for weeks with a coworker who wanted to take her young kids on Sunday.  They arrived around 10a only to realize there wasn’t a whole lot for them to do.  Once they finally got around to the dealer hall around 3:00p, they felt they got ripped off.  And they did.  I’m not sure why I even pay that much for a 4-day badge when Sunday has so little events and the dealer hall closes so early.

That's always been the Sunday closing time.
So what. 
 
You didn't respond to any of the other comments--Sunday is CONSIDERABLY cheaper than the other days, for the most pertinent. And there still IS a lot for them to do on Sunday. You said they didn't get to the dealer hall until 3pm yet arrived at 10. What did they do? Did she take her smaller children to the family fun pavilion? Training grounds? And if the children themselves were young, as you say, they themselves were free (ten or under with wristbands).

Of course, if they drove into a parking lot at 10, leisurely wandered into a will call line, then went to lunch with their friend, and remained chatting for quite some time(kind of like we did on Wednesday, but on purpose) and only THEN headed to the dealer hall at 3, then yes, not worth it. But that wouldn't be Gen Con's fault. And even if it had been another day, it would only have been an additional 2 hours. Did she not look into the convention at all? You yourself say you talked up the con for weeks. Did YOU not look into the convention at all? Is this your first con?

Just saying, if I'm going to drive into St Louis(nearest big city to me) with my grand daughter to take her to the zoo on a lower cost offered day, I'm definitely looking at the HOURS it's OPEN.
 

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Posted by adcjones

I don't need to respond to the other comments, do?  The woman felt ripped off with her 4 kids plus herself, even if it was $15, plain and simple.  Before she arrived i even gave her several of my older GenCon programs and circled activities they could do.  I'm not going to defend myself for my opinions further, not try to get into the woman's hourly schedule.  Bottom line is she won't return on a Sunday.  Her kids were also old enough to pave to pay for a badge.  And she was from Indy, not St. Louis.

Good job on attacking a mother of 4 who just wanted to take her kids to GenCon.  Good job on taking constructive criticism.

 

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Posted by lord thrifty the cromulent adcjones

adcjones wrote:
I don't need to respond to the other comments, do?  The woman felt ripped off with her 4 kids plus herself, even if it was $15, plain and simple.  Before she arrived i even gave her several of my older GenCon programs and circled activities they could do.  I'm not going to defend myself for my opinions further, not try to get into the woman's hourly schedule.  Bottom line is she won't return on a Sunday.  Her kids were also old enough to pave to pay for a badge.  And she was from Indy, not St. Louis.
Good job on attacking a mother of 4 who just wanted to take her kids to GenCon.  Good job on taking constructive criticism.
 
Constructive criticism isn't generally laced with insults like calling people "snowflakes".  Stop being so defensive and insulting.

I still don't get your criticism of the closing time of the dealer hall.  The hall closes at 4 PM, as does the entire convention.  If your co-worker didn't get there until 3:00, that's entirely her fault if she felt like she didn't have enough time.

It's fine if she didn't feel like the convention was enjoyable, but if she and her kids couldn't have $15 worth of fun on Sunday I doubt she'd have $70 worth on Saturday either.

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Posted by adcjones

You are the one being defensive.  I merely posted the annual "good, meh, ugly" that occurs every year on this post and got a bunch of snowflakes.  Proof is in the pudding.  Grow up and deal with criticism and seek to make gencon the best possible experience for everyone involved.  It's that easy.

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Posted by lord thrifty the cromulent adcjones

adcjones wrote:
You are the one being defensive.  I merely posted the annual "good, meh, ugly" that occurs every year on this post and got a bunch of snowflakes.  Proof is in the pudding.  Grow up and deal with criticism and seek to make gencon the best possible experience for everyone involved.  It's that easy.
Constructive criticism does not include insulting people.  Constructive criticism is also open to feedback on why the suggestions might not be tenable.  People are trying to explain this as politely as possible but you are just getting angry and insulting people. 

Gencon is not going to be for everyone.  It doesn't have to bend over backward to be for everyone.  I only attend because I live in Indianapolis.  It's good enough for me to spend about $200 on a badge and some events, but not enough to spend hundreds on travel and lodging.  I'm moving away at the end of 2019 so GenCon 52 will probably be my last.

GenCon ends on Sunday.  It's never going to be quite as active on Sunday as the other 3 days.  So I'm not sure what you're expecting. 

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Posted by traveller adcjones

adcjones wrote:
You are the one being defensive.  I merely posted the annual "good, meh, ugly" that occurs every year on this post and got a bunch of snowflakes.  Proof is in the pudding.  Grow up and deal with criticism and seek to make gencon the best possible experience for everyone involved.  It's that easy.

I'm sorry your friend did not feel they had the best possible experience.  My travelling companion was working in the dealer hall for one of the larger game companies.  He was not relieved from demo duty until 3pm, and he was replaced by a demo team member who would continue until close and then help pack up the booth.

There were plenty of vendors (pretty much everyone I walked past) still doing demos.  The art exhibit was starting to clear out, but since those tend to be only 1 or 2 people i can understand why...

As others have pointed out, between the arrival at 10am and getting to the exhibitors room at 3, what were they doing that they felt was not worth their time?

The dealer hall has closed earlier on Sundays probably for a few reasons, less crowds (relative to say Saturday) and that the convention needs to be packed up.  Gencon doesn't rent out the space the following Monday so they have to clear out.

 

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Posted by roderick

adcjones, 

You might want to take a few deep breaths and cool down a bit. Calling people "snowflakes" is not acceptable behavior. 

This is a warning. 

Roderick Robertson
Forum Coordinator 
Gen Con, LLC. 

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Posted by buffythecatslayer adcjones

adcjones wrote:
father bloodlust wrote:
adcjones wrote:Sunday.  The dealer hall closed at 400p.  What?!  I sure feel bad for those people who bought Sunday-only badges.  What a rip-off, especially when there weren’t hardly any events offered after 12:00p.  I talked up the Con for weeks with a coworker who wanted to take her young kids on Sunday.  They arrived around 10a only to realize there wasn’t a whole lot for them to do.  Once they finally got around to the dealer hall around 3:00p, they felt they got ripped off.  And they did.  I’m not sure why I even pay that much for a 4-day badge when Sunday has so little events and the dealer hall closes so early.

That's always been the Sunday closing time.
So what. 

Because I know if I plan to spend $80+ attending an event (4 people, parking, etc.), I make damn sure to check the schedule beforehand.  The fact that your friend failed to do so is on them; stop trying to blame everyone else for their lack of planning.

You still have yet to explain why they arrived at 10am, and despite finding little to do (nonsense, as there were over 1500 events on Sunday, and there were demos running constantly in the booths in the vendor hall), it took them 5 hours to walk the 100 or so yards to the vendor hall, yet you keep blaming a schedule that was posted months ago (and has existed for years) for their problem. 

Since you were the one that encouraged them to go, maybe you should have given them a heads-up that Gen Con closed at 4pm?  Also, maybe warning them that they shouldn't arrive AT 10 if they had to pick things up at Will-Call?  Nah, easier to blame Gen Con, and insult people that are pointing out the obvious for your failures.

I know what I saw during the 5 hours (10-3) I spent in the vendor hall Sunday.  Tons of people with Sunday-only badges, with a bunch of kids having fun at several kid-oriented events.  They probably felt it was $15 well-spent.

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Posted by grtbrt

I don't agree with a lot of what adcjones said / intimated ,BUT  I do question why posters have been demanding the explanation(you still have yet to explain , What did they do? ,) of what the mother did  during that time - 
while there MAY indeed have been 1500 events -likely most of them required tickets -added expense- and they were spread out into many areas . In addition not sure how many of you have kids, let alone 4, but likely the kids were pulling her in many different directions and slowing things down immensely . Then add in attitudes by some GM's on Sunday(which is reflected in some of the posts above and on other topics ) .That may indeed be why she felt it was time wasted .
Though I do believe Rip-off is too strong a word to use -I can definitely see it being a waste of time . The majority of people I know that have attended using the sunday cheap pass (over 100 families ) will not return to Gen-Con .

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