My Indiecon Experience

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My Indiecon Experience

Postby Mick Red » 7:14pm on 09 Nov 08

Right just back from Indiecon and thought id share my thoughts, this is an honest appraisal from my point of view, others may be different.

On announcment i thought Indiecon was a fantastic idea, an event dedicated to independant RPG publishers, as it got closer i started to worry people it seemed were just not prepaired to commit for varying reasons, info was slow to appear and the forums were quiet, but hey i was excited so here are my thoughts on the event.

Thursday - Prior to arrival we had been told that although the con didnt start proper until friday morning we could collect our keys at lunchtime and for those arriving early thursday was billed as 'Playtestageddon', this was a cool idea the playtesting of games in development!! the Pompey crew arrived about half eleven and were the first to arrive (apart from one person), no sign of the con organisers, i went to the park reception and yep they had my name on a list and gave me my keys...cool! I asked what time the bar was open and was told 7 o'clock!!!! WTF! This blew the idea of 'open gaming' out of the water and should have been checked first by the con organisers, however the con didnt start till friday so thursday was a bonus anyway, quick trip to tesco's to by two crates of lager and a bottle of rum soon whiled away the afternoon. At seven we hit the bar, the con desk was set up and Chris was there to meet the attendees, a nice touch, con passes were given out and game sheets were up on the board, not many maybe four or five but games none the less, the remainder of the evening was spent in the bar catching up with friends

Friday - Arrived nice and early, breakfasted from the food counter then went to muster for my game, i'd signed up for a game of 'Omnifrey' a fantasy system written by a nice guy called Matt West which i was very much looking forward to, at the muster there was a crisis!! Half a dozen people had showed up and alas had nothing to play, and although i was running a game of HEX in the afternoon i said i would forgo playing this slot to run a new HEX scenario written by a nice american called John Aynge this scenario was written specificly for Indiecon, it was awesome the players had a blast and there was some great moments, game finished hadfood then ran HEX again in the afternoon (this was my advertised game) and went swimmingly i probably enjoyed running this particular game more than any game i have ever run. As soon as the game finished five of the players asked if i would re-run the exclusive scenario the following day so i put the sheet up, it filled in under 20 seconds. At this point i was feeling some gaming burn so decided to spend the evening chilling in the bar. The thing that struck me about this con was the laid back feeling going around, ok the numbers were not great about 90-100 paying attendees, people i normally see at Conception working hard were far more relaxed and seemed to be enjoying the whole vibe (alot of the conception team also spent time helping at Indiecon running the con desk and such and for they they should be thanked and applauded). Without the horde of living players and LARPers im used to at Conception it had a far more friendly and relaxed feel to it.

Saturday - Managed to con Andrew Kendrick into running a game of Dead of Night for us, it was awesome, i love the game and cover the style and genre well very enjoyable :D. The afternoon slot saw me running the HEX again for fridays group plus a few extra and yet again it went well, it was nice that 15 people got to play a scenario knocked up by a respected published writer that will never get played anywhere else again!!!! Saturday night saw some awesome bug slaying with the amazing 3:16 run by its author Mr G Hutton, a truly nice bloke as well as a great designer and GM. There were 13 games available and filled saturday afternoon.....cool!!!

Sunday - Oh no!!!!! Im having such a good time i dont want it to be sunday :( Played a great game of Duty and Honour run by Andy Kendrick again and was bloody great although i played the lowly private and got shouted at alot. Alas for me it was time to go home, the trains were all buggered up and it was gonna be a long journy home plus i had to pick the kids up.

All in all i had an awesome time, in fact i enjoyed Indiecon far more than i had expected it was like a cooler Conception without all the jossling for space/time/drinks/games and we were all there for the same thing Indie gaming goodness so there was no animosity towards one group or another.To those who went thanks for a great time, to those who didnt you missed a great con with plenty of wall to wall gaming.

Personal Thanks - Chris and Karen you did a great job and pulled it off, Stokemon and Claire you guys are great friends, To the Conception team (for helping make a great con run smoothly), To all my players and GM's, Max John and Whit for some great company, Grant for running some excellent games for the guys at my club and last but not least Jez for the early morning snuggle ;)


Roll on Indiecon 2009!!!! :D
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby dpmcalister » 8:21pm on 09 Nov 08

Mick Red wrote:Without the horde of living players and LARPers im used to at Conception it had a far more friendly and relaxed feel to it.

I'm sure you don't mean it this way, but it sounds like you're saying the living players and LARPers make Conception less friendly and relaxed... :(
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Darran » 8:22pm on 09 Nov 08

I guess that you are saying the smaller numbers suit the venue and the convention?
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Mick Red » 8:23pm on 09 Nov 08

Nope your right, read futher down and you will see i write that its less hectic, so the forum police cant sleep well tonight safe in the knowlage im not trying to make anyone cry :D In fact i think there were 3 or 4 games of LFR and FQaC run today but im talking purely numbers
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby neil » 8:49pm on 09 Nov 08

It will be interesting to see how the traders felt about the numbers, especially those that had to travel any distance. Whilst lower numbers are possibly better for the gamers with regards to room and hassle, they aren't good for the bottom line.

- Neil.
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Mick Red » 8:52pm on 09 Nov 08

Leisure games were happy with thier take the Collective Endeavour were happy with thiers also or so they told me

Whilst lower numbers are possibly better for the gamers with regards to room and hassle, they aren't good for the bottom line.


Well 80 attendees isnt bad for a first time con, Conception had 60 at thier first one!!! and Indiecon has made a tidy profit so that can only be good
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Arkangel » 10:32pm on 09 Nov 08

Glad to hear the con went so well

Well done Chris and team :D
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby queenortart » 11:16pm on 09 Nov 08

dpmcalister wrote:
Mick Red wrote:Without the horde of living players and LARPers im used to at Conception it had a far more friendly and relaxed feel to it.

I'm sure you don't mean it this way, but it sounds like you're saying the living players and LARPers make Conception less friendly and relaxed... :(


Well! :cry:
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Graham W » 11:35pm on 09 Nov 08

We did say, in the chalet, that it was nice not having the LARPers there. On a practical note, the bar was never closed off. On a more general note, the atmosphere was more focussed on tabletop games, and I liked that.

Obviously I should point out that some of my best friends are LARPers and I love LARPers like my own son.

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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Avatar » 10:10am on 10 Nov 08

Graham W wrote: On a more general note, the atmosphere was more focussed on tabletop games, and I liked that.


Damn those weird LARP'ers with their odd smell and strange atmosphere! :roll:
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Kaiserjez » 10:12am on 10 Nov 08

Rather than start my own thread I'll just add to this one.

Thursday
After an epic train journey from Plymouth I arrived at the bar just in time to join in a game of Poison'd with Mick and the crew and Claire from (I think) Flammable Penguin, Graham W was the GM. I bought a copy of Poison'd a few months ago and didn't really get it to be honest but hey, it's Pirates and all so I thought I would give it a go. As with a lot of indie games I realised that it plays a lot better than it reads. Lots of laughs, lots of violence and loads of backstabbing! I really enjoyed playing this (cheers Graham!) and am sold on the system now that I understand it (although I do now want to metagame to hell and see what happens then).
Really friendly atmosphere as well from the other gamers in the bar - things were looking good for the con!

Friday
Woke up bright and early, had a lovely snuggle with Mick and a brisk walk into town to get my con funds and clear the head for the morning's games.
At first things seemed a bit quiet, there weren't many sine up sheets for games and didn't appear to be all that many people about, Mick stepped up and ran a game of HEX which was lots of fun - I must admit to playing it safe for my first game, I've played HEX lots and know what to expect from Mick as a GM, plus I knew this scenario was an Indiecon exclusive so I knew I wanted to play it.
Second slot I wanted to have a chill out, grab a bite to eat and have a look at what was going on around the con. Things still looked pretty slow to be honest but everybody was having fun and the atmosphere was awesome.

I'll finish this post later - work calls!
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Grinnen Baeritt » 1:10pm on 10 Nov 08

I'd have to say that I enjoyed all the games immensely, in that, I did little else at the con bar game... which in itself is a novelty compared to Conception. Many thanks for all those that participated in running stuff, it was great to play. True the number of games on offer wasn't massive, but for those willing to try something new, a fantastic opportunity.

Friday Am.

Trollbabe. Have to say that with only three players I found this a little hard going and a bit too freeform foe my liking, though certainly worth a go... which is what Indiecon should be all about. Seem to remember being made the High Priest of Xorn... my memory of the rest of the adventure (and the system itself) has been somewhat clouded due to it being the first game and the copius amounts of drink imbibed between then and now....

Friday Pm.

Hex. OMG!...finally I got to play it. It didn't disappoint, and Mick managed to remain healthy enough to run it. Fantastic...gotta get me a set of those dice! (hopefully some that work better for me than Micks did!)

Friday Evening.

(Living) Forgotten Realms. This was admittedly the 1st of the two I played at the con...and I feel a little of a traitor to the cause because of it, both were good games with good players and excellent DM's (Duncan Wilson and John Amos respectively), but the linear nature of the scenarios and tactics heavy system means that of the RPG games I played they were the definite lesser of a good bunch.

Saturday Morning.

Dead of Night. A very enjoyable (and silly) game... obviously played at an entirely inappropriate time!

Saturday Afternoon.

Hex. Having cajooled Mick into relucantly running again.... was rewarded by it being even better than the first!!!

Saturday Evening.

Skived off conventional gaming in the complex. Went and played Monty Python Fluxx in the lodge with Duncan & Joy, dispite already having had too much to drink, had some more... don't advise playing fluxx whilst under the influence!

Sunday Morning.

Living Forgotten Realms. (again...sorry)

Sunday Afternoon.

Blood!... enjoyed this a great deal. Had the original for several years now, lying unused. Will hopefully be changing that soon...

Sunday Evening.

(?-Postmortem Studios) Can't exactly remember the name of the game, though it involved one-eyed aliens and bunny girls (enough said)...really very silly and damn funny!

Late Sunday Evening (Part Deux)

Finished the event off with a card game whose name escapes me...something about Mad Scientists University? Anyway, a highly reccomended sort of Storytelling game. Really very, very silly....but again great fun.. (Many thanks Nimrod!).
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby cade_tosscobble » 1:26pm on 10 Nov 08

Indiecon was great, despite initial concerns the con ran well, the atmoshere was just great and everybody had a game to play. I EVEN PLAYED 4 GAMES, something I never get to do when running conception con desk, and drank copulous amounts of beer !
This can be considered an extremely successful event which will be even better next year.

Right, now for coneptionX.
Wot no halflings?
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Rich Stokes » 4:30pm on 10 Nov 08

I had a lot of fun. Sales wise, the Con was good for us, especially given the size. Quality of gaming was top-notch.

I'm too tired to write any more right now, but I'm pretty sure that I loved it even more than Conception (which I love an awful lot!).
I also write a regular column here about roleplaying games and what we're really doing when we play them. It's kinda dry, but hopefully interesting to at least someone.
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Re: My Indiecon Experience

Postby Mick Red » 6:11pm on 10 Nov 08

but I'm pretty sure that I loved it even more than Conception (which I love an awful lot!).


I definatly enjoyed it more than Conception, and i love Conception!!!! :D

Con made money
Traders made money
A good selection of great quality games
The friendliest most relaxed con ive ever attended

Awesome roll on next year
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