GenCon Game Fair was a great time once again this year. As usual, new games, new releases, news, previews and more filled the Indianapolis convention center and surrounding hotels. GenCon reported today that there were nearly 50,000 unique attendees, up 20% from last year. So it's big and only getting bigger. Every type of tabletop game seemed to be represented, and there were a lot of board games this year. Clothing booths seemed to expand over past versions, usually with some sort of fantasy or steampunk focus, if not T-Shirts. At least two booths featured quality looking fezzes with logos or art on them, most likely thanks to Dr. Who. Several former kickstarter projects and games also appeared on the show floor.
And, of course, there was the Star Wars gaming...
My adventure, Beyond the Rim, released at the show. It looks fantastic...
and the art is amazing...
and it sold out sometime Friday afternoon. It is due to hit stores in about 3-4 weeks.
The Age of Rebellion beta (see above) was also released. The Beta extends into November, and like the Edge of the Empire beta, anyone who gets it can submit feedback to Fantasy Flight Games. I'm one of the writers on Age of Rebellion, but aside from contributions to Edge that are carried over here, my sections aren't in the beta.
One surprise announcement was the release of Edge of the Empire Specialization Decks, which are cards with talents printed on them. FFG revealed in their InFlight Report seminar that they now have the capability to print on demand right in their own facility, and these cards are one use of that technology. The machinery will make it possible for FFG to do some very specialized, shorter run products, so it will be interesting to see where they take it.
The only other RPG related news was the presence of Enter the Unknown, A Handbook for Explorers, in the display case at the booth. Come to think of it, that is the first Edge book announced I didn't participate in...
X-Wing Miniatures also had some BIG news. I'll let the photo speak for itself:
Yes, that's a Corellian Corvette in there, along with Rebel Transport and new X-Wing. They are very cool. Read more about the ships and new game play styles here. Actually, this wasn't the first blockade runner model I saw last week:
Before the show, we dropped by the Indiana State Museum to see the Star Wars Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit. That's the original Corellian Corvette from Episode IV above, one of an impressive array of ORIGINAL models and costumes from the movies. Luke's full size landspeeder was there. B1 battledroids do look thin and fragile in person, but the destroyer droid is larger and more impressive... Others included the Falcon, Star Destroyer, and much more. The show runs through Sept 2, so anyone in the area can still check it out. I don't know if it is a traveling exhibit that will appear elsewhere, but it's well worth the visit. If you do the Millennium Falcon part, the front seats are highly recommended.
As for gaming, FFG hosted their own RPG room, with Star Wars and other games. I ran a session of "A Matter of Life or Death" Saturday morning, and "Under a Black Sun" (the free RPG day adventure) in the evening. Both were full and a lot of fun. A squad of Mandalorians invaded the room for a bit in the morning, prompting much picture taking. FFG also ran demos of Age of Rebellion at the booth.
FFG posted videos from all four days of the convention.
It wasn't ALL Star Wars for me this week, though. I went to the Diana Jones Awards, but missed seeing the announcement of Tabletop as the winner. I went to the ENnie Awards. West End Games and D&D fans might skip to the 1:24 mark to see former employee Stan! participating in the game designer kareoke before the show.
I attended the D&D main event, An Evening with D&D, which was fun. It was held in the fantastic Indiana Rooftop Ballroom, the same place as the D&D keynote last year. I wasn't invited to the press event before the D&D event, but you can see it here. I dropped in for the D&D Next Q&A. D&D Next sessions were held throughout the weekend. I didn't sit down for a game, since I helped playtest the adventures earlier on. I did get a set of the giveaway dice, thanks to Chris Perkins.
There was more - meetings, bars, chance meetings, discussions, seminars, etc. but that's probably enough for now. Like I said, it was a good show.