Gen Con calls itself “The Best Four Days in Gaming!” After my first trip there last weekend, I can certainly see why. I’ll share more detailed stories later after I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, but for now you can relive the weekend with me through these photos. (Click on any photo to zoom in and see the full caption.)
The photos really don’t cover everything, of course—there were some people and games I simply forgot to get pictures of—but it will give you a small glimpse of this tabletop gaming convention. I’m already eager for next year.
Welcome to Gen Con! Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders, greets gamers at the Wizards of the Coast area in the gaming hall.
Giant games are quite popular at Gen Con. Here’s Mayfair’s area, with Giant Settlers of Catan and Giant Settlers of America
Here we’ve got Giant Star Trek Catan.
GeekDads Dave and John give Roll For It a whirl at Calliope Games. (John won pretty handily.)
Chris Leder, designer of Roll For It. (And you can spot Ray Wehrs of Calliope Games in the background.)
GeekDads Dave, Jonathan, and John show off tiles from Giant Tsuro
at the Calliope Games booth.
Giant Tsuro! It’s a lot harder to plan moves when you have to stand on the board.
John and Dave try out Weykick
, a magnetic soccer game, at the Mayday Games Booth.
At Mayday Games, John takes careful aim in Tok Tok Woodman
. Meanwhile, in the back, Dave plays Crokinole with Max Holliday (designer of Eaten by Zombies).
We try a game of Walk the Plank from Mayday Games. Shove all your opponents off the plank to win!
, the caveman game from Blue Orange, will have you all talking like cavemen—if you can stop laughing.
Ian Stedman, designer of Magnum Opus
, gets ready to run a demo.
Ignacy Trzewiczek, designer of Robinson Crusoe, warns us: “This is the only good thing that will happen to you in this game. I’m sorry.”
(Z-Man Games/Portal Games) is a cooperative game about surviving as castaways on an island.
Eric Salyers (Break From Reality Games) teaches a game of Damage Report, a real-time cooperative space game. (We won! But this was the easy mode.)
Just a quick view of the exhbit hall—the numbers here went up to the 2000s.
Days of Wonder had a Giant Ticket to Ride
, plus demos of their upcoming game Relic Runners.
Asmodee Games was selling a gorgeous deluxe version of Takenoko
that included oversized wooden bits.
One of our favorites of the weekend: Rampage, from Asmodee Games, lets you tear down a city and eat up meeples by flicking, dropping, and blowing things down.
The city is all set up, ready for the invasion of giant monsters.
RAWR! Red Monster (me) admires all the destruction around him and looks for some yummy meeples to munch.
The actual size of Rampage was on display outside the exhibit hall.
Paul Imboden of Split Second Games shows off Quicksilver
, an airship racing game—one of my favorite Kickstarter rewards.
Justin De Witt of Fireside Games demos his brand-new game, Dead Panic. Think Castle Panic, but with zombies. And a lot harder.
In Dead Panic, it’s not just about knocking down walls: the zombies want to eat YOU.
Fabio Fontes shows off some of his artwork for Level 99 Games, including the upcoming Frame Wars.
David Malki takes a blood sample for the Machine of Death.
The Machine of Death takes a drop of your blood and then predicts how you will die, with 100% accuracy. Well, the finished machine will, anyway. This one’s a prototype so I assume there’s some margin of error.
The Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming went to TableTop this year.
A very appropriate fortune for the weekend … though you’ll note it doesn’t say anything about smooth travel plans returning home.
I got a chance to play Dungeon Command
with Dave Banks. Despite my awesome Dracolich, I lost.
Jason Kotarski, designer of Great Heartland Hauling Company (from Dice Hate Me Games), approves of our tastes in games.
End of Day One—finally get back to the hotel room, to find that they’ve considerately washed the sheets for our arrival. I didn’t see any notes about the towels.
Day Two: Waiting outside the exhibit hall just before the doors open.
Curt Covert of Smirk and Dagger shows off a new press-your-luck game, Dread Curse, another of my favorites from the weekend.
Dread Curse (Smirk & Dagger Games): eight pirate characters grab gold from the bag—and steal from each other.
Pirate’s Code cards let you perform dastardly deeds against the other pirates in Dread Curse.
Catalyst Games had a giant version of The Duke
, a two player strategy game.
We tried out Flying Frog’s first deck-building game just announced at Gen Con, Dark Gothic, based on the world of A Touch of Evil.
Each character has a unique starting deck and abilities. (Dark Gothic)
James Ernest of Cheapass Games had a few new titles to show—and a prototype he was testing.
I tried a demo of Kill Doctor Lucky: The Card Game, which James Ernest was still tweaking.
Everyone wants to kill Doctor Lucky. Give your character a Motive, Weapon, or Opportunity to increase the odds. But they don’t call him Doctor Lucky for nothing.
Dominique and Nathanui DeMille of Blank Wall Games were first-time exhibitors, demoing games and having guests sign their wall.
Re: Your Brains (Blank Wall Games) is an upcoming game based on the Jonathan Coulton song.
Re: Your Brains is a zombie-vs-human card game. As the zombie, try to get the human’s brains through force, intellectual arguments, or emotional pleas. (Unfinished prototype pictured)
As the human, convince the zombie to leave you alone by using heartfelt requests, fighting them off, or outsmarting them. (Unfinished prototype shown)
Steve Jackson Games had a copy of the enormous OGRE on display.
One of my favorite costume groups of the weekend: Steampunk Ghostbusters
Keith Baker got to demo a nice shiny copy of The Doom That Came to Atlantic City at the Cryptozoic booth. (They didn’t have the plastic miniatures available yet.)
Gravwell, from Cryptozoic Games, was another hit of Gen Con this year, but I didn’t get a chance to try it out yet.
I tested out a prototype of King’s Armory, a tower defense board game. Just getting started so we don’t have a lot of firepower yet.
Dave, John, and Paul get their characters set up for True Dungeon
We got a chance to play the Lycans Afoot adventure in True Dungeon. I played the cleric. (Spoiler alert: we all died.)
Outfitting my cleric with various weapons, spells, and items.
Cosplayers unite! There were people in costumes of all sorts walking around Gen Con the entire weekend.
Mark Jacobs, designer of Chaostle
, shows off his massive castle miniatures board game.
Angie Hickman-Newnham and Julian Leiberan-Titus ran demos of their family-friendly storyteling adventure game, Storm Hollow. The prototype maps of Storm Hollow and the city of Venture were beautiful and incredibly detailed.
Day Three: cosplayer line up for contest registration.
An X-Wing pilot and her dad.
The giant balloon Cthulhu was built over the course of the weekend—and it awoke on Sunday to go walking around. (I missed it, unfortunately—or perhaps fortunately.)
Ben Harkins of Floodgate Games is really excited to be at Gen Con with Legacy: Gears of Time
and the new expansion Forbidden Machines.
Chris Schreiber at Tasty Minstrel Games runs a demo of Dungeon Roll, a press-your-luck dungeon delve that currently has the record for most Kickstarter backers for a tabletop game.
Oooh, shiny! Irondie
from Irondrake features metal dice of all sorts of shapes.
I’d seen Eons at Gen Con 2013 but didn’t get a chance to play it there. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu
David Villegas, Krista Witt (designer of Eons), and Christopher Witt at the Gamer Nation Studios booth.
Rebekah Zetty of Playroom Entertainment shows off Geek Out, their new geek trivia game.
Greater Than Games, home of Sentinels of the Multiverse
, had fans showing up in costume—so they let them get behind the counter and greet other fans.
Greater Than Games announced a new spin-off, Sentinels Tactics, which will have miniatures and a hex-based board. The prototype drew crowds all weekend.
Luther Hendrix and Kevin Nunn, designers of Sentinel Tactics (along with Christopher Badell of Greater Than Games).
Greater Than Games hosted Tom McLean so he could demo Story Wars.
Thanks to these folks, I didn’t run into any goombas or koopas all weekend.
The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game was sold out quickly this weekend, but we did get to try out a demo at the booth. It’s a cooperative game with some deck-building elements.
When you complete quests in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, your character can level up stats, which carries over into the next time you play.
Nate Veldkamp and Bill Trammel proudly display their Catan Board
—they’re now taking preorders for more boards, and people were signing up for them.
Three Little Pigs (Iello Games) challenges you to build your houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks—and blow down everyone else’s.
, from Iello Games, pits players against each other to collect titanium and build better ships, weapons, and equipment.
Iello Games had a prototype of Guardians Chronicles, a one-vs-many game of superhero combat.
Space Cadets: Dice Duel from Stronghold Games is a real-time space battle between two teams. It’s amazing—and also sold out at Gen Con.
Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games behind his stronghold of games. Gamers have been chipping away at this wall all weekend—they breached the Dice Duel section entirely.
by Queen Games has a curious structure that works like those quarter-eating games in the arcade. Put one in, shove the bar, and see if anything drops out the other side.
Cardhalla is a huge card city built out of worthless CCG cards. At the end of the Con, people get to knock it down by throwing loose change—which goes to charity.
This was near the end of Saturday, so Cardhalla was looking pretty good.
TC Petty III gets ready to teach us his upcoming Viva Java Dice. From left to right: David Chott, game designer; Dave Banks, GeekDad; Ben Rosset, designer of Mars Needs Mechanics.
A close-up of the Viva Java Dice.
Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games had a demo copy of Belle of the Ball.
“Announcing Gapplepap Gravelsap, Drake of Jamshire!” Belle of the Ball by Daniel Solis combines set collection with very ridiculous names.
Sample miniatures for Flash Point: Fire Rescue
by Indie Boards and Cards. The final versions will be the yellow plastic rather than black.
Of course, the miniatures look really great when painted.
The dice are designed so that any hand of poker or rummy can be made using these nine dice.
For “Square Shooters” you try to get various card combos by rolling the dice.
Jeff Gracia of Greenbrier Games (home of Zpocalypse) demos a prototype of the upcoming Ninja Dice.
The long legs of justice—Captain America and Wonder Woman stay above the crowd.
The Doubleclicks commandeer the TableTop booth for a game of SmashUp.
That’s all, folks! See you next year! Christopher Badell (Greater Than Games) has a superpower: the man apparently never sleeps.