Geeks A Gogo spent the weekend in Indianapolis for Gen Con 2019, and as usual, we had a great time at this amazing convention! We've covered this convention for the past few years, and it continues to be one of the biggest tabletop gaming conventions in the world, and the place to be to see the major players in the industry and see what their newest releases are. As well, if you're the type of convention goer who likes to go out and see the costumes, then there is still plenty of opportunity to do so. If you're not a gamer, but looking to try something new, it's a great place to demo board games and tabletop role-playing games.
This year, Gen Con saw about 70,000 unique attendees, making it the biggest ever attendance for this event. If you're not into crowds, it might not be your convention, given the throngs of people and long lines in the mornings to get into the vendor hall. But if you want to see and play all of the coolest games before they come out, then it's definitely worth lining up to see the latest thing.
This year, the vendor floor was as big of a spectacle as ever, with big gaming companies bringing their best to show off their products. CMON had an awesome display that included a live demo booth for their game Zombicide. Days of Wonder had some jumbo-sized demo boards of their latest game Ticket to Ride: London. Breaking Games has an amazing display every year that includes a "vending machine" that dispenses random items to congoers. AEG had an amazing booth to promote their new game Tiny Towns, and one of the most noticeable displays this year was Big Potato Games' Blocbuster: the Party Game display, which recreated the interior of a Blockbuster video store!
Tabletop RPG companies typically don't have the flashy displays that the board game companies do, but there was plenty to see, with the release of some long-anticipated books. Paizo, of course made shockwaves last year with the announcement of the release of Pathfinder 2nd edition, and the game became available at day 1 of Gen Con, and Paizo came prepared with tons of copies for eager fans. As well, Catalyst Game Labs brought their new edition of Shadowrun 2 months before it's going to be released in stores. The other big players were there as well, including Modiphius, offering their large product line, and Palladium, where we couldn't help but pick up the new Rifts Bestiary (how is this just coming out now?) and the Cthulhu-themed cookbook, Necro-nomnomnom. And Chaosium decided to show off their Ennie award winning authors!
Not to mention, that there are always some great artists and displays to see. This year included some amazing sculptures for sale (we just loved the kissing dragon head from Mark A Helwig). We saw some amazing scenery from Dwarven Forge, and some incredible wargamming "minis" from Games Workshop's Warhammer 40k, just to name a few.
Gen Con is always a great chance to meet your favorite creators and even a few celebrities. This year on the vendor floor, we ran into author Mike Stackpole, known for his work on Star Wars and Shadowrun fiction at the Catalyst Game Labs booth. This year's convention had a bigger emphasis on cosplay, with Yaya Han appearing as a cosplay judge--and she had a booth on the vendor floor, where we were able to stop by for a picture and some cosplay advice. As well, fans of the band Gwar will be happy to know that they have released a new board game--and they even made an appearance on Friday for pictures with fans!
As mentioned above, Gen Con put more of an emphasis on cosplay this year, with their 34th annual cosplay contest. Yaya was brought in as a judge, which was a big draw for people in the cosplay community. As well, the cosplay contest process was overhauled this year. The event definitely drew some great cosplayers this year.
The Gen Con experience isn't complete, however, without seeing some of the staples of the show--that includes the displays in the halls of the convention center, such as Cardhalla--a display of sculptures built from collectible cards. And much of the show is outside the convention center entirely, such as the specialty menus at places like RAM brewery, just a block away, or the Gen Con display and specialty t-shirts for sale at Bee Coffee just across the street.
After 4 days in Indy, we're still catching up on sleep, but we're already planning for next year. See you there!