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Gen Con 2015 Recap With Pictures

Well I am recovered from Gen Con week. Gen Con is always amazing. It’s huge and full of all sorts of different experiences but I think our group had a great Gen Con. One of our focuses this year was sitting down for more demos in the exhibit hall. The tables always seem to fill up, especially Friday and Saturday, so on Thursday we tried to do a bunch of demos. I think we did pretty well with our goal.

What follows is my day by day recap of Gen Con 2015 with pictures…

Thursday

We arrived in Indy around noon, grabbed a quick lunch at Yats, and then headed right to the exhibit hall where we hunted down demos. Here are the pictures worth sharing from Thursday.

Game Demo #1: Medieval Academy

Game Demo #1: Medieval Academy

Game Demo #2: Royals

Game Demo #2: Royals

Pseudo Game Demo #3: Giant Flick 'em Up

Pseudo Game Demo #3: Giant Flick ’em Up

Game Demo #4: Ultimate Warriorz (played while others were demoing something else)

Game Demo #4: Ultimate Warriorz (played while others were demoing something else)

TMG Booth Banner. Check out the awesome game they've got on their table!

TMG Booth Banner. Check out the awesome game they’ve got on their table!

This Bad Beets guy was constantly roaming the exhibit hall. Pretty sweet.

This Bad Beets guy was constantly roaming the exhibit hall. Pretty sweet.

Saw this chrome-tastic Shelby Cobra (likely a replica) at our hotel.

Saw this chrome-tastic Shelby Cobra (likely a replica) at our hotel.

My new friend. Hello Rhino Hero! I got the awesom cape too, but there are no pictures of me wearing it.

My new friend. Hello Rhino Hero! I got the awesome cape too, but there are no pictures of me wearing it.

Friday

The next morning we wanted to get to the exhibit hall first thing to try and snag a copy of Mysterium. We failed miserably. They only had 100 per day but we were close enough to the front that we thought we had a chance. Here are Friday’s pictures:

A lot of people were waiting for the exhibit hall to open.

A lot of people were waiting for the exhibit hall to open.

This dude is pretty sweet.

This dude is pretty sweet.

This guy looks slightly more fierce than the boss monster.

This guy looks slightly more fierce than the boss monster.

Demo of New Bedford from Dice Hate Me games and Greater Than Games. Looks awesome!

Demo of New Bedford from Dice Hate Me games and Greater Than Games. Looks awesome!

Patrick Rothfuss signing stuff.

Patrick Rothfuss signing stuff.

This thing was

This thing was “fully functional.” It could move and beep and stuff.

Elysium was one of our groups favorite games of the con.  Really interesting gameplay here.

Elysium was one of our groups favorite games of the con. Really interesting gameplay here.

Rhino Hero was also a good pickup for me. I love the tower building mechanic but I'll probably remove the

Rhino Hero was also a good pickup for me. I love the tower building mechanic but I’ll probably remove the “lose a turn” cards.

Our group enjoying the Rathskellar with live music and a hopping crowd.

Our group enjoying the Rathskellar with live music and a hopping crowd.

Saw this cool brick head on the way back from the Rathskellar.

Saw this cool brick head on the way back from the Rathskellar.

We played a round of Flick 'em Up in our hotel room. It's a lot of fun.

We played a round of Flick ’em Up in our hotel room. It’s a lot of fun.

I got to play Codenames with a bunch of awesome game designers in the open hall around midnight. Our team won. It's a clever game design and was a ton of fun.

I got to play Codenames with a bunch of awesome game designers in the open hall around midnight. Our team won. It’s a clever game design and was a ton of fun.

To end Friday I was able to get my game design, Ziggurat, on the table. The honorable Adam McIver, Kerry Rundle, and J. Alex Kevern were excellent playtesters.

To end Friday I was able to get my game design, Ziggurat, on the table. The honorable Adam McIver, Kerry Rundle, J. Alex Kevern and T.C. Petty III were excellent playtesters.

Saturday

Saturday was our last day so we tried to make the most of it. Here are Saturday’s pictures:

Game Deme: Nautilus Industries. This game was really solid and fun. There are a lot fo ways to mess up your opponents and plan ahead. Recommended.

Game Deme: Nautilus Industries. This game was really solid and fun. There are a lot fo ways to mess up your opponents and plan ahead. Recommended.

We got in on a Mysterium demo. The art is beautiful. The gameplay is fun. I'm looking forward to our group obtaining a copy.

We got in on a Mysterium demo. The art is beautiful. The gameplay is fun. I’m looking forward to our group obtaining a copy.

This squirrel costume was awesome! I love squirrels for some odd reason.

This squirrel costume was awesome! I love squirrels for some odd reason.

I met Antoine Bauza (designer of 7 Wonders, Takenoko, Tokaido, Samurai Spirit and more) and he signed my box for me!

I met Antoine Bauza (designer of 7 Wonders, Takenoko, Tokaido, Samurai Spirit and more) and he signed my box for me!

It's a Gen Con tradition to take pictures of cool cars. I've seen a Ferrari at every Gen Con!

It’s a Gen Con tradition to take pictures of cool cars. I’ve seen a Ferrari at every Gen Con!

But I'd never seen a McLaren before! That thing is so awesome!

But I’d never seen a McLaren before! That thing is so awesome!

Jeremy picked up Thunder Alley for $40  at the Cool Stuff Ding and Dent booth. We got in a lap after dinner. This game is a lot of fun and the movement mechanics make it enjoyable!

Jeremy picked up Thunder Alley for $40 at the Cool Stuff Ding and Dent booth. We got in a lap after dinner. This game is a lot of fun and the movement mechanics make it enjoyable!

Before calling it a night we played the Duel at Hotcreek scenario of Flick 'em Up. The good guys lost but we had a good time.

Before calling it a night we played the Duel at Hotcreek scenario of Flick ’em Up. The good guys lost but we had a good time.

The box cover looks fantastic!

The box cover looks fantastic!

Mark had captured this sweet cookie monster costume and shared the picture with me and now I'm sharing it with you.

Mark had captured this sweet cookie monster costume and shared the picture with me and now I’m sharing it with you.

My

My “Gen Con Haul.” I wish I had snagged a copy of Artifacts, Inc. by Red Raven Games.

My purchase of the con was Francis Drake. I’ve been wanting it for two years but never pulled the trigger due to the $80 price. But I found it for $45 at a booth and snagged it up! I’ve also looking forward to both the Imperial Settlers expansion and the Five Tribes expansion. Those are two of my recent favorite games. I got Nations, Akrotiri, Tokaido, and Escape in the Math Trade. So I didn’t really buy that much this year. Maybe next year! Thanks for checking out my recap.

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Game Design Starter Kit

My Game Creation Process

Move beyond the Concept phase!

One of the barriers to game design is a lack of components. If you had blank cards sitting around, you would be more likely to start designing a card game. If you had some dice, you might design a dice game. The point is that if you had game design components available to you, then you are much more likely to move your game designs from the Concept phase to the Prototype/Playtesting phase.

Today I am listing some of the items that I find most useful in putting together a prototype. The hope is that you can find what you need to move your game design along.

Getting to the playtesting phase is often the biggest hurdle, but it’s the critical step in determining if your game design has any potential.

Before I get to my recommendations, which are brief, I want to remind you of the series I wrote about sourcing game design components. These articles are much more thorough:

So check those out and then come back here for the basics to get you from the concept phase to the playtesting phase of your game designs.

Here is my checklist of excellent items to have in case you are ready to move from concept to prototype. To make it easier for you I have provided two lists, one for Amazon, and one for EAI Education (my preferred source). This way you can choose one and buy everything you need from one place.

Amazon:

EAI Education:

With cards, dice, meeples, and cubes you are basically ready to roll out your game design prototype. Of course there are other things that you may want, but as for a Game Design Starter Kit I recommend these four items very highly! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Oakleaf Games

Board Games by Nat Levan

Kevin G Nunn

Mechanisms and Machinations

play without fear

on game design and play

Formal Ferret Games

Gil Hova designs, publishes, and plays board games

Boards and Bees

buzzing about board games

Go Forth And Game

Adventures In The Cardboard Universe .... with Tomgurg

Hyperbole Games

Blog about Game Design and Beer Brewing

Stonemaier Games

We believe in creating memorable, beautiful, fun games.

Cumbersome

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Purple Pawn

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iSlaytheDragon

Board game reviews, previews, guides, and interviews

Daniel Solis

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Board Game Reviews by Josh

Blog about Game Design and Beer Brewing

Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Blog about Game Design and Beer Brewing

Inspiration to Publication

News from the Game Lab of the Bamboozle Brothers

Theology of Games

Two Geeks, Hundreds of Games, One God.

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