Wednesday, May 09, 2012
In Which The Warlock Expounds on Scheduling...
With only three weeks till the show itself, GAMA's finally managed to open up event registration for this year's Origins Game Fair. I've always tried to be supportive of GAMA, as they're propped up significantly by their volunteers, rather than the full time staff that GenCon benefits from. Even though I've disagreed with them at times--particularly about this year's date change, they've always been really receptive to receptive criticism and feedback.
But, with the open registration, I'm faced with a greater quandary: what to do? what to play?!
Compared to prior years, there are significantly fewer events on the docket, which restricts ones' options significantly. After doing the math, there's about 300 less events. Strangely enough, there are actually 30 more RPG events than last year, though! Go figure, right? However, it feels like the variety that we'd always been able to enjoy at Origins seems to be in rather short supply. Less people means less GMs, which means less variety of events.
Truth be told, scanning through the spreadsheets of events, I wasn't really jazzed on many of the role-playing options in general. While I'm eager to sit in on an advanced session of El Willy's "Dingbitt's Inferno" scenario, the only game that I actively sought out was an opportunity for the upcoming D&D Next playtest series. The PlatinumChick was eager to jump into one of the events held by Matinee Adventures, but our scheduling conflicts prevented her from jumping in as one of the "Birds of Prey". Many of the less-played systems out there are playing only on Wednesday and Thursday, which precludes our enjoying them, as we won't be arriving until Friday evening.
Where I have found a good degree of interest, however, is in the seminars. Moreso than in any of the other years we've attended, the seminars at Origins have really come up. Plus, most seminars have no entry fee, which keeps down our attendance cost! If my schedule runs out as it stands now, I'll be sitting in on at least three seminars on game design, including one with the dice-master himself: Lou Zocchi. With my editing and drafting cycle of Cold Steel Wardens approaching so rapidly, I think it'll do me some good to hear as much as I can from the "industry insiders" as possible.
I want to make sure that I get a good deal of time in the dealer hall, if for no other reason than to check out the new releases and see what other indie designers are coming out with. Plus, trolling for deals at the SJGames booth and other places almost always ends out with me walking away satisfied. Though, this time around, I'm hoping to manage to pick up the first component for my Man-at-Arms cosplay: his iconic mace!
Truth be told, I already miss my annual ritual of prepping games for Origins. While this has afforded me some additional time for other projects--finishing out Tyrian Horror and doing some new freelancing--I love GMing at convention games, and I'm disappointed to be shut out this year. That said, there's always next year...