This year Toby and I went to Haiti Con for the first time. Haiti Con is a small 1.5 day charity convention in San Francisco that supports Ti Kay, a free TB/HIV clinic in Haiti. The convention is Friday night and Saturday during the day, but we only got day tickets for Saturday. Being the typical non-picture taker I am, I forgot to take any pictures so this blog will just be text.
The first thing we did when we arrived was explore the area. The convention was held in a 4-story church. The second floor had a small gaming library with some tables for open gaming and some snacks for sale. The third floor was dedicated to special guest designers with their prototypes. The fourth floor was for social games like Werewolf - there were multiple rooms of Werewolf games by the end of the night.
The majority of our time at the convention was spent on the third floor with the designers. We ended up spending time at three different designers' tables, and it was really neat being able to try out their new designs and give them feedback. The first designer we visited was Jeremy Commandeur, and we actually started off playing one of his published games, Pirate 21 (Amazon). It was kind of like Blackjack mixed with Love Letter - you're trying to get closest to 21, but your cards also have special abilities that you can use on your turn (instead of just drawing a card). We then tried a couple of his prototypes - one was a social deduction game based on The Prisoner TV show, where people are voting on event cards to try to fulfill their different win conditions. But my favorite prototype of the day was his other prototype - a real-time cooperative/team bobsledding game. You have four people sitting in a row and picking up cards to get ready, and then you have to work together to play the cards to get around obstacles, and everything is timed for the fastest time! Jeremy said that the final game will have double the cards, so you can have two teams of 4 that will be racing. I love real-time games (specifically real-time cooperative), and this one was a lot of fun.
Ambie, Cassadi, and Crystal discuss some games they've played recently, including Flip Ships, Magic: The Gathering, and Near and Far. We then have our first Top 5 list - Top 5 Surprises in Gaming! In this week's "Board Game Etymology" segment, Crystal discusses the origins of the word "card."
Ambie, Cassadi, and Crystal discuss some games they've played recently, including Spirit Island, First Orchard, and The 7th Continent. We then talk about ethics and bias in board game media. In this week's "Board Game Etymology" segment, Crystal discusses the origins of the word "adventure."
Ambie, Cassadi, and Crystal discuss some games they've played recently, including The Pyramid's Deadline, Kobayakawa, Russian Railroads, and BONK. We then talk about art and graphic design in board games. In this week's "Board Game Etymology" segment, Crystal discusses the origins of the word "art."
Ambie, Cassadi, and Crystal discuss some games they've played recently, including 18OE, World's Fair 1893, and the Ferengi and Cardassian expansions for Star Trek Ascendancy. We then talk about board game expansions. In this week's "Board Game Etymology" segment, Crystal discusses the origins of the word "expand."
Ambie, Cassadi, and Crystal discuss some games they've played recently, including EXIT: The Game, Ethnos, and Dice Forge. We then talk about dice in games and what we like or dislike about them. In this week's "Board Game Etymology" segment, Crystal discusses the origins of the word "roll."
For the first time in forever, Toby and I went to Gen Con! This year was the 50th anniversary, and all the badges were sold out, so there were a lot of people there. We definitely did not go in expecting to play many games, but we still managed to play a few games throughout the convention! We also don't usually buy many new games, so we were mostly there just to experience everything as a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The convention was overwhelming. Before this, the biggest board game convention I went to was 3,000 people, so it was a huge jump to go to the 60,000 people at Gen Con! Also, most of the conventions I'd been to were more focused on open gaming and didn't have many vendors, but half the convention center was dedicated to exhibitors. We walked through the Exhibitor Hall multiple times each day, and every time we'd see booths we hadn't seen before. I'm pretty sure we still didn't see everything there.