Gen Con 2016!

As predicted, Gen Con 2016 was SO MUCH FUN. Rachel, Amanda, Jeff, Brett, and Nicole drove down with a U-Haul full of swag to set up our booth, stopping for dinner at the Possum Trot Supper Club, because if a place is called Possum Trot, you can’t NOT eat there.

True dat.

Once we got to Gen Con, it was booth-settin’-up-time. We were lucky enough to score a corner booth, so we spread out the product a bit. We even had some space for some of our musician friends to stop by and sign stuff.

Blurry photo of Amanda and Rachel setting up.

Then Pat’s flight arrived, and he declared he was taking us all out to his favorite Italian restaurant, Buca di Beppo. He put on Dad Face and declared that we had to eat well while we were there, and stay hydrated. We said yes, because delicious food motivates us like nothing else.

Amanda, Nicole, Jeff, Pat and Rachel…with Brett behind the camera, as usual.

The next day was con day! We all split our time between our booth in the expo hall and the information table Marc and the Writers Symposium folks set up for us! The merch table did fantastic business with the help of our awesome volunteers, super-cool games and accessories, and of course, a free drawing to join Pat for King of Tokyo. The Writers Symposium table was just as busy, with folks stopping by to see what we were selling (nothing, as it turns out, but we gave away lots of little buttons and magnets). Folks at the information table were really cool–a lot of them hadn’t read Pat’s books, but had heard of Heifer International and Mercy Corps. Some of them knew Pat but hadn’t heard about the charities. A few asked directions to the bathroom. Much information was dispensed, along with lots of geeking out about Heifer, Mercy Corps, and Pat’s books.

Thursday night brought the Storium Live event at the Writers Symposium, where four of our favorite authors used the Storium engine and prompts from the audience to guide them through a story involving dragon princesses, rotating wooden toilets, and the Best Romance Ever.

Stephen Hood emcees while Karen BovenmyerMur LaffertyRichard Dansky, and Maurice Broaddus crank out the prose.

Then we got to have dinner with our friends from Badali Jewelry, which was super fun as always, then sleep. Friday was more tabling, eating food truck food, meeting more of Pat’s lovely fans (not even sarcastic–you guys seriously are some of the best people), and then racing off to the Concert Against Humanity to watch them surprise Pat (and the rest of us) by auctioning off a jacked up Mitsubishi sedan and giving the money to Worldbuilders! If you guys didn’t go to the Concert Against Humanity, you need to make time in your Gen Con schedule next year to attend. There was much laughter, a lot of goofy jokes, and some awesome music, usually all at the same time.

Saturday brought more folks we could geek out with about the Kingkiller Chronicle, Heifer, and Mercy Corps, followed by the Writers Symposium Author Hangout!

Look, so moody!

Last year, we had so much fun sponsoring the hangout that we decided to do it again. It’s kind of a place where the authors attending Gen Con can come and unwind for an evening–they don’t have to be “on” and they can relax a little. We met all sorts of wonderful authors, game designers, and Professional Geeks (we think that’s a thing), and actually came away with a number of business cards and a few ideas for some new projects. We’re stoked, but we can’t reveal the details too soon!

Nicole watches Melanie Meadors and Janelle Badali as they try to figure out what Anton Strout is talking about.

We got to meet Robin Hobb! She’s crazy nice. Pat geeked out a little.

Most of the time wasn’t spent on business, though–there were plenty of talks about worldbuilding, art, games (including an involved game of Mysterium), and fezzes (consensus: they are cool). When most of our guests had gone home (they still had one more con day ahead of them), we wound down with James Sutter and one of our longtime supporters/volunteers Caylie.

James is on the left, enjoying our conversation about childhood cartoons and how awesome they were.

Sunday was a short day. Everything wound down and we packed up our booth, loading up the U-Haul with what remained of our stock. We sold a TON of stuff! While that was pretty exciting, our best memories are from talking with you guys. A lot of you stopped by the booth to see what was up, say hi, talk about Pat’s books, and even get some recommendations for new books. Now, we love talking about the charity. It’s something we all believe in with a firey passion. But at conventions, we can be passionate about our charity partners AND geek out about books and games with you guys! It’s like the holy grail of geekdom.

After everything was packed up, we joined James, Caylie, and her husband Danny, and tackled a game of Secret Hitler. It was a very smooth running game, but be warned: Caylie was Hitler, and she played really well. Amanda only started to suspect her toward the end of the game. We then joined Cards Against Humanity for a few games at their hotel, then got some much-needed sleep before our drive back.

Caylie’s husband Danny sorts out the Policy cards.

Gen Con 2016 was a lot of work–we put in 18-hour days every day–but also a ton of pure fun. Thank you, everyone who dropped by to say hi and hear us get all excited about charity work, games, and books. You prove over and over that you’re the best people a team of geeks could hope for.