GenCon: Day 1 Recap

GenCon 2016 is here, and it’s bigger than ever. Seriously though. The dealer’s hall is growing and slowly absorbing more space every year.
Wednesday is sort of an unofficial kickoff, but we will call today the official first day. Today we spent most of our time exploring and familiarizing ourselves with the exhibition hall. We also got to spend some time at IELLO’s press conference and get a sneak peak at some upcoming games.
I’m here with my brother-in-law, Wes, who took all of the photos in this article. Special thanks to him!


Let’s do a brief recap of some of today’s highlights.

Iello Games

We had some delicious food, thanks to Indianapolis Convention Center catering, which was followed by a short, but awesome presentation from Keith Meyers.
Really love these components. Excited to see this finished.

Really love these components. Excited to see this finished.

We saw brief talks on the King Of New York: Power Up expansion, followed later by an update on Richard Garfield’s Bunny Kingdom. Apparently, the continued delay on Kingdom is because Garfield wants to make the game perfect before releasing it. Garfield’s track record with King of Tokyo, and of course, Magic: The Gathering, says he is probably right.
We also got to see prototypes for other games, like Around the World in 80 Days, Welcome Back to the Dungeon, and Kanagawa.
I hadn’t heard of Kanagawa before, but I was immediately drawn in by the really cool watercolor artwork, bamboo sushi mat board. (Actual bamboo. Seriously, guys, this is cool.). And of course, designer Bruno Cathala.

Dark Souls: The Board Game

We already played Dark Souls: The Board Game at Origins Games Fair, but today we got a cool look at a rendering of the gaping dragon 3D model. We are hoping to visit again tomorrow to get a closer look to see if there have been any new miniature production from Steamforged Games.
Yeah, this thing killed me 40 times in Dark Souls, so what?

Yeah, this thing killed me 40 times in Dark Souls, so what?


Board Game Media: Do’s and Dont’s


From left to right: Rodney Smith, Tom Vasel, Jaime Keagy.

The clock hit 3:30 when I suddenly remembered how badly I wanted to attend this seminar as a new reviewer.
Once we figured out where the seminar was located (at four o’clock, by the way) we made our way over to the Westin Hotel. Just before this, we met Carl Sommer, in line for the session. We are playing a round of his game, ZORP: Zombie Oblivion Response Package, tomorrow afternoon, so check back for that!
This seminar was led by Tom Vasel (The Dice Tower), Jamie Keagy (The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast), and Rodney Smith (Watch It Played). These are all guys that I have looked up to, as well as very much enjoyed, and learned a lot from.
The seminar was focused on teaching those in the room how to be the best board gaming media we can be, and learning from theirs and other’s mistakes. This was a great seminar.

A Couple Other Stops

Today, we also got to meet designer Mike Gnade, who manned the design for Brass Empire.

Brass Empire.

Lots of us have thought about board game design before (who hasn’t), but our conversation with Mike gave us some awesome insight into Kickstarter, and pleasing your customer base, especially when it’s your first time delivering a product.
He showed us his game, Brass Empire, which is a deck builder with a focus on take-that mechanics, and learning to refocus your strategies when your current plan isn’t working. We hope to get a demo of this in over the weekend. Mike is also working on an unnamed co-op, as well as a (story-based) expansion for Brass Empire.
We also got a chance to look over an upcoming Kickstarter, called Restaurantours. This is designed by Canadian natives Wayne Rowe and Dan Taylor.
This gateway game puts you in control of a themed restaurant, where you gather ingredients to complete recipes of increasing difficulty, in order to appease your guests and a food critic. Occasionally, a health inspector will stop by to see if you are storing your foods in an unhealthy fashion.
There is still play-testing to be done, but the hope is to get artwork decided on, as well as resolve complexity issues before launching on Kickstarter. Regardless, I’m excited.

That’s it for today. Tune in tomorrow to get more in-depth on the newest releases, and general Gen Con information.

Chris Hecox

Chris enjoys the simple things in life, like teaching his wife the newest review game, looking up Ketogenic recipes, and playing 10 hour long indie games on Steam. If he's not thinking about the oil drum components from Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, playing Player Unknown: Battlegrounds with his college buddies, or dwelling on the release of Daredevil Season Three, he's probably shooting or editing video, because that's what he does for a living.

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