Welcome to the Forty Year Old Fanboy Gamex 2017 report.
I arrived at the Hilton LAX on Friday and messaged the people in charge that I was checking in. They informed me that I just have to tell the front desk who I was and show them some ID and my room was waiting. I will admit, I was nervous and kept fiddling with my passport, wondering if my VISA or my office i.d. card was a better choice to show them. Eventually, I opted for my Indigo Entertainment card and it was enough. The woman behind the counter confirmed my room, gave me my keycard and wished me a nice day.
The room was amazing.
I did not expect to have such wonderful accommodations. Nor did I know that I was going to have it all to myself! I started setting my stuff down and mapped out what I should bring down for my first game session, which was to run a game of 7th Sea second edition with the focus on La Bucca. I headed downstairs and after wandering about for a bit and exploring the place
The convention was HUGE. It occupied so many floors, offering areas of interest for people who loved board games, miniatures, and role-playing games. On the second floor, people would line up for registration and check out the available RPG sessions that they could sign up for. There were scheduled games for 9a.m., 2p.m., and 8p.m. Some games would have their own room. Others would be in a four table room. There were areas for LARP games, and Pathfinder Society games. The ground level had areas for board game demos, dealer rooms, and miniature based fun. That floor also had the flea market where there were so many fun choices I had to stop myself or suffer having luggage problems in the future. Finally, there was the "dungeon" which was the lower floor. That area had the place for Open Gaming and games on demand, and Adventure's League games. There were also demos and kickstarter demonstrations there.
The opportunities for people to try things were fantastic, with games and talks and the like all happening all over the place. It was nice to see so much activity to choose from in the area. As the time for my first game slowly crept closer, I heard someone call out to me by name. I turned and realized it was jim pinto, who admittedly looked nothing like how I imagined him to be. Within a heartbeat, he introduced me to five other people, and I even had a glimpse of an upcoming board game which was soon to have its own Kickstarter campaign. I learned jim preferred never to have his picture taken and I promised to myself to resist taking any photo of him during the whole convention. jim was such a fantastic con-companion, making sure I took time to eat and showed me around. He even introduced me to more people in the con and helped me feel less like a stranger in a strange land. We also meet with Stephanie Bryant and a few other designers from IGDN and quickly opt to step out to grab some grub.
After a quick snack at Carl's Jr. with newfound friends, jim and I head upstairs to attend the Meet and Greet. It was an event where the people in the convention get a chance to meet the special guests. With Ben still enroute, it was me, an artist named Philip Checkcinco, and reluctantly, jim, who are introduced. We have some slight rosey drinks and excuse ourselves to head down and prep for our games. Part of me wishes I asked for Philip's contact details to drag him with us for company on any food runs and the like. He and I had a short chat about feeling overwhelmed by the whole affair and I felt he might need someone to keep him company too.
My first game, a 7th Sea game called "True Monsters" gets four players, with one of them being someone who had never played a role-playing game before. The group of heroes arrived at La Bucca, each with their own goals in mind, but soon found themselves pulled together into a conspiracy unlike any other. By the end of the session, the groups were excited to explore the world of 7th Sea more, and the new player was very happy to try more. I counted it as a small victory on my part.
With the end of the first game, I weighed on what to do next. The guy handling the Games On Demand con stuff, Tomer, invites me to join his friends for an Escape Room experience. I decide to check it out and it was a pretty amazing game that cost only $15. It required tearing stuff and the like, but it it definitely was an experience well worth the cost! Tomer writes more about it here: http://www.supernovembergames.com/tomes-of-tomes/2017/5/29/strategicon-gamex-2017-friday
The game was Exit: The Abandoned Cabin and I highly recommend it to all fans of Escape Room games. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/203420/exit-game-abandoned-cabin
I soon hear from Ben Woerner and Dan Waszkiewicz that they've arrived and were at the Open Gaming area. I make my way there and finally meet the two. Hugs and lots of laughing ensured. We hit the cafe for a late snack and decide to call it a night given we all have stuff to handle come morning.
I get back to my room and I find myself overwhelmed with emotions. The happiness. The excitement. The nerves. The were all incredibly moving. I thought of having some water but end up breaking a glass in the process of unwrapping it from a paper cover. Thankfully, I didn't cut myself. I got inspired enough to try writing stuff for some of the projects I am working on, but the laptop fails to work with the cellular phone's hotspot, so that kind of threw writing out of the window.
I tuck myself into bed to sleep and wonder how much more fantastic the night can get.