So, Gencon happened.
By now everyone has seem the various pics from Gencon. If you haven't then you should head over to the Dream Pod 9 Face Book page right away and look at the pictures posted over several days at the Dream Pod 9 booth.
As usual with this kind of event there was a lot to see and a lot to do. Getting there was also part of the experience.
For my part I was traveling to Gencon directly from my vacation. That translates to three flights with two close connections and a drive from the airport before I began my day on Tuesday packing models for the con.
See the molds had been producing plastic sprues since only a week before so at that point the production run was not even going to be done before Gencon was over. In order to have stock available at the show we had to get to Indiana early and pick up stock from the caster in Indiana and pack it for the show.
This means six hours of packing on Tuesday night after nine hours of air travel.
When you go to a big con it's easy to discount the trip. After all, the hype is for the event. The costumes, the tournaments, and the vendors who will be there.
For anyone who works at a con the trip is most of the experience. It's when you get to talk to others without the constant requirements of the job taking precedence. I'm not saying that a person working at a booth doesn't have fun, just that our fun is tempered by the reality that we are there for a specific reason.
For me I got on my first flight at eight in the morning in Halifax Nova Scotia and looked at who was on the eighty seat plane with me. I checked out their bags and saw what patches and pins they had and how they chatted about stuff when most of the passengers just played with their cell phones.
When we all got in line for the second flight in Toronto I said hello and met some people who were on their way to Gencon for the first time to demo their games. Sadly we had so much fun chatting that I didn't get their cards and can't share the games they were there for.
When we got to La Guardia for the connection to Indiana we worked together to make our way through construction and confusion to get to our gate in time.
When we said goodbye to each other upon arriving in Indy I realized that it had made a difference, connecting with people rather than just putting the blinders on and travelling solo. It was interesting to note that it was a sense I get a lot when I meet gamers at cons to play or demo to them. We're there to connect with each other and share the things we enjoy.
That's why I wasn't tired when I started packing at 7pm Tuesday night before the set up for the con. Gaming is like that for me. No matter how tired I am I enjoy working doing what I do. A con is just a chance to do all that with new people. It took seven hours to move everything we needed from the storage and set up the booth. Then we went back and packed some more stock just in case until midnight. That was over twenty hours of work before the four day con even began.
This year was extra fun because I got to show people our new plastic models. On the ride back in the car with Robert we did a lot of talking about plans for Heavy Gear now that the plastics are on their way. We talked about tournament formats, the upcoming kickstarter, the booths we saw, and how the next couple of months and even years will be for Dream Pod 9.
The connections I made with the gamers I met at the con and the designers at the airport reinforced one thing to me. That we all live in our own places doing our own stuff but the gaming is what brings us together.
In the future the most important thing for Heavy Gear to grow and for us at Dream Pod 9 and Fusion Core Studios be able to do what we want to do - make awesome games - we need to reach out and get your help.
Most people just assume that we can do whatever we want to do, but in reality we are entirely constrained by the interest of the gamers who play our games. If you like the games then there are a number of things you can do to help us.
Like our Facebook page. Turn on notifications. Share the posts with your friends. The games set in Heavy Gear are imaginative and open to all.
Show your friends how to play the game.
Send us your feedback! The game gets better with your help.
Join in a discussion on the forums.
Post pics of your models to Facebook and the Forums.
Heavy Gear can't grow without its fans actively helping, and that means all of us.