Rockin' Comics Returns!
GEN CON 2012
(00:21:01 - Much more audio below!)
For those of you who don't know, Gen Con is the largest gaming convention going, period. And I dig it. Hard. I've been going to Gen Con for years, and every year, I look forward to going. Thanks to things I couldn't control, I was unable to attend last year, but this year, I made it. But for the first time I'm "working". I'm covering the Con for the first time instead of just to play, play, play.
Day one is down there's still a ton left to do.
I've seen a ton of stuff in the "Big Hall". (For those who don't know, the Big Hall is where the vendors are located. You can see every type of game imaginable, you can demo most of them, and of course you buy the games there as well.)
So far, one of the high points of Gen Con already was the first ever Keynote Address, and yep, the focus was Dungeon and Dragons. Specifically, Dungeons and Dragons Next. This is, obviously, the next version of Dungeons and Dragons.
Mike Mearls, DnD designer, gave us some insight into what's going on with Dungeons and Dragons Next. In a nut shell, here's the deal:
1) They are stripping it down to is't basics for simpler play. The thought is to supply the framework, let the players fill in the rest.
2) The first main setting is going to be The Forgotten Realms. This is one of the oldest settings, but they feel there is tons of room left to explore in the realms.
3) They want to make it modular. In other words, they want you, the player to be able to pick and chose what they use while playing the game. As an example, they will be featuring three different ways to do magic. You can choose from three different magic classes (wizard, warlock, sorcerer) that use magic differently.
4) Ed Greenwood, the author behind the Forgotten Realms fiction, introduced six new novels that will be introduce the new version of Forgotten Realms. The over all arch of these novels is called the Sundering. Obviously something is going on in the realms that bring about a huge change.
5) They aren't rushing this out. They are taking at least the next two years to complete play testing to work out the kinks and bumps. I think this is a good thing.
And on a final note on the Keynote Address, it was held in the IRT Theater. This thing looks freakin' awesome. They had Judas Priest blowin' through the speakers, fog machine goin', lights everywhere. It really looked amazing. I'll post some pics and add some video when I catch my breath.
Now, I've got to get to more gamery!
GenCon 2012. Wow. What a great time. I absolutely love going to GenCon. There is so much to do and see, even going for all four days (four and a half if you come in early on Wednesday) isn't enough time to really do all of GenCon. I could go on and on about why I think everyone who likes... well, fun, should go to GenCon. But for now, I've got business to attend to.
This was my first year going to GenCon as more than just an attendee, but as a member of the press. And I got to see a bunch of cool stuff, and talk to a bunch of cool people. As an aside, in this post, I'll put up nothing but the audio. I've got a bit of video that will be in a different post, but for now the interviews.
You can't go to GenCon without being exposed to Dungeons and Dragons. That's a given. It's the big daddy in the Role Playing world. And I got the chance to speak with Laura from Wizards of the Coast about their current mega campaign, Rise of the Underdark. It's a massive campaign featuring everybody's favorite bad guys, The Drow.
(To download for later listening, just click "share" then "download" you're golden.)
Speaking of The Drow and DnD, I also had the opportunity to chat with Eric from Wizards of the Coast. He's one of the mad scientists behind Dungeons and Dragons Online. They just came out with a massive update that includes, you guessed it, The Drow.
Besides, you've got a Druid who can turn into a Dire Bear. That Rocks.
One of the main reasons I wanted Rockin' Comics to check out Gen Con was to try and find where comics and gaming cross over. And honestly, they cross over quite a bit. But when it comes to iconic super heroes and role playing Margaret Weis Productions has this one covered. Roleplaying in the Marvel Universe with Marvel Heroic Roleplaying is a pretty simple system that uses a dice pool mechanic to determine what you and your hero can do. It does this while still being able to maintain that comic book feel we all know and love. I had the chance to talk with one of the designers, Cam Banks about the game.
Speaking of Marvel and gaming, Upper Deck is getting ready to launch a new deck building game, tentatively called "Legendary". I had the unique, and very fun, opportunity to sit down with one of the Upper Deck team to demo their new game. I gotta say, it kinda rocks on toast.
Also looking for a release this fall is Cryptozoic Entertainment with their DC Deck Building game. I know I posted it earlier, but just to keep things flowing, here's my conversation with AnnaMaria from Cryptozoic about the DC Deck Building game and a bunch of their other awesome games.
But, like comics, gaming, and Gen Con in general, offers up a wide variety of genres. And fantasy is a big one. But not all games are coming from big name companies with big name licenses. I got the chance to go to a launch party for a little company with big ideas. Fable Streams has their own universal role playing game called Genesys. But they see their game as more than just a pen and paper sit around your table and roll dice. They see their game as a way to get people to game whether they are across the table, or across the street or across the country. And they plan on doing bringing players together and incorporating dynamic game play on your smart phone with their soon to be released app,HazzaH. I had the pleasure to talk with the owners of Fable Streams and the force behind HazzaH, Carlos and Juan.
But roleplaying games aren't the only games making the jump to smart phones and tablets. I got the chance to talk with Randy from Nukotoysabout their two new products for the iPad. This is a pretty slick pair of games that uses cards to unlock features and characters in the game on your iPad.
While Gen Con is filled with all kinds of super heroic and fantastical gaming of all kinds (RPG, Cards, and hybrids) one of my favorite things is board games. And a few years ago at Gen Con I was introduced to a very cool, very simple, yet very fun, absolutely gorgeous board game called Tsuro. When I heard that Calliope Games was coming out with a new version called Tsuro of the Seas, well I had to know more. I had the pleasure of talking with Ray Wehrs about not just Tsuro of the Seas, but all of their family of games.
These are just the high lights of a very enjoyable Gen Con experience for me. I can't stress enough how fun going to Gen Con is. Do yourself a favor and start making plans now to attend next year, I know I am.
I'm still trying to recoup from GenCon 2012. That is one fun four days of gaming goodness, and I wouldn't miss it for anything.
One of the cool things about GenCon is the sheer variety of awesomeness you can find there. You've got roleplaying games, and board games, and live action roleplaying, and video games, and artists, and crafts, and geek clothing, and costuming, and cosplay, and panels, and workshops, and minis, and more... way more. And I really did do my best to try and sample it all, but alas, I am but one dude. But what I did get to experience was great, and some of it I actually got on video.
I've collected my conversations and observations on our YouTube Channel in a play list that you can check out by clicking HERE. Some of the videos you'll find there are a couple of really cool artists that I met and had the chance to chat with.
You know how I like comic book art, well you may not know Tommy Castillo by name, but I know you've seen his work. This guys is awesome. And equally talented guy with equally awesome art is Nigel Sade. I was pleasantly surprised to see these two guys there and see a pretty solid response to their work, which rocked out loud.
You'll also see a quick video interview I did while being interviewed on video by fellow podcaster Vic from 3MarriedGeeks.com. Really good guy who hopefully you'll be hearing more from soon here at Rockin' Comics.
And what would Gen Con be without some Dungeons and Dragons? I got to get some really cool insight on the latest release for the Dungeons and Dragon Online game from Eric.
But I'll start you off with one of the cooler things I got to do and that's attend the very first GenCon Keynote which had some of the big guns from Wizards of the Coast talking about Dungeons and Dragons Next, the next version of Dungeons and Dragons. I already recapped it quickly in an earlier post, but here's the beginning of the Keynote with Peter Adkison, the founder of Wizards of the Coast, introducing current head man at Wizards, Greg Leeds. (And let me say the venue and production values on this event rocked.)
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