GenCon Trip Report 2013

Yea though I walk through the valley of suspect hygiene, I shall fear no body odor...

Yea though I walk through the valley of suspect hygiene, I shall fear no body odor…

Well, we’re home. That’s right, The Wife, The Littlest Tsarina, and I have returned from Indy with sore feet, frayed nerves, bags full of awesome junk, and a handful of good work contacts. Oh, and stories. Lots of stories. Sadly, Eldest Tsarina couldn’t attend this year because, seriously, wrangling a three month old and a bright, willful, opinionated, highly motivated three year old at GenCon is crazy talk.Neither the wife nor I are that strong. Anyway, we got through it without losing our minds, without getting con crud, and with Wil Wheaton spending ten minutes chatting up the Littlest Tsarina. You, however, don’t care about that. You’re here to hear about stuff like how Accursed did and Space Hobbits eating a servitor. So, without further ado, here’s the Amalgamated Fiction – Detroit GenCon 2013 Trip Report. (Spoiler Alert – You’re going to hear about Wil Wheaton and the Littlest Tsarina)

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An Expected Journey

Okay, so, let’s just skip past the fact that I’m obviously incapable of updating this with any kind of regularity and get right to the part where I talk about going to GenCon. Oh, yeah, I’m going to GenCon again this year! Did I mention that? It’s true. In a couple hours the wife, youngest daughter, and I are all packing up and heading down to Indy. Sadly, oldest daughter is staying with baka and deda because having both of the Tsarinas with us on this trip would likely lead to us selling them both to gypsies then drinking ourselves to death. Pre-schoolers and infants and high-strung parents don’t mix well at GenCon, kids. Anyway, since I’m gonna be there, let me tell you about what I’ll be up to.

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Only the Harebrainedest Schemes

On a Roll

 

Awwwwwwwwwwwww, yeah. The kids’ll love this one

So, you guys have known me long enough to know that every so often I get a harebrained scheme into my head and then go crazy at it until it either gets done, I run out of steam, or get distracted and go ride bikes. Some of them, like my Savage Robotech conversions, actually worked. Others, well, let’s just say I ride a lot of bikes. Not this time, though. No, this time it’s for real. I know I’ve mentioned my good friends and colleagues Ross and John before. Solid dudes. Good designers, good writers. Well, the three of us have the best harebrained scheme. We’re making a game! An actual, factual, really real RPG that, if the Good Lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise, you will be able to buy, with money, and actually play inside of a year. Seriously. Would you like to know more?

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Bad Habits

PANICYep, that’s about right (credit Allie Bosh/Hyperbole and a Half)

So, in last week’s missive I talked about developing some really bad work habits last year, habits born of “hubris, aggressive indolence, a sad tendency toward procrastination, and my well honed ability to justify anything led me into all manner of poor work and bad decisions”. This is a situation that, I believe, most if not all freelancers fall into from time to time. The cry of, “I’ve got plenty of time before this is due!” has rung from many a home-office or co-working space, typically right before Facebook is opened for the eightieth time in two hours, or the newest DLC for Borderlands 2 is launched. So you upload some pictures of cats, like some pictures of somebody elses’ lunch, and kill a few Drifters, when suddenly it’s three days before your deadline and you’ve got maybe seventy words of a thirty-thousand word assignment written. And you have no idea what you’re writing about, because you’ve been busy with cat pictures and Drifters. And it’s not your only deadline. And you’ve got other, non-work responsibilities to take care of. And…and…and… And, well, it becomes a vicious cycle like in that picture up there. Now, there are some guys, like Scalzi and Chuck Wendig and Matt Forbeck who don’t suffer from this affliction, but I’m convinced that those dudes are robots or aliens or alien robots. I, however, am neither a robot nor an alien more’s the pity, and let me assure you children that I suffer from this affliction in spades.

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Reentry

Coming in for a soft landing

Hey, friends! Well, I’m back from spa…I mean…Orlando. It was a whirlwind trip wherein I brained a lot, drank a lot of coffee, pretended to be a ten year old aboard the ISS, wore funny hats, played with Lego, drove a small Italian car at very high speeds on the 408 around Orlando, and made some pretty great contacts. There was more to it, of course. Would you like to know more? Of course you would!

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In the Town that Walt Built…

Pretty as an airport.

Never in the history of mankind has anyone described something as “Pretty as an airport”, and with good reason.

(Note: I did, in fact, write this in the air. Sadly, I couldn’t actually figure out how to post it from there, so you get it from my comfy room in downtown Orlando. Enjoy.)

Well hey there, friends! So, here I am, somewhere around 25,000 feet over Ohio in a cramped, oversold 757 speeding south to Orlando. Now, truth be told, I don’t care much for Florida. In fact, my opinion on the whole state can pretty much be summed up by Bugs Bunny and his giant saw. Having said that, I’d suffer all kinds of indignities for this trip, including sitting behind an incredibly obese, red-faced, middle-aged meathead with his seat back aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way reclined, encroaching on what little space is available to me for work. But I digress. Anyway, here I am on my way to the Sunshine State to talk about space. Yep, tomorrow is the day join some of the greatest minds of our generation to talk about what to do with the International Space Station. Crazy, right? I mean, seriously, it’s like a reverse of the “not my job” segment on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. You know, where a bunch of radio dorks invite someone super important and accomplished onto their show to ask them ridiculous questions about the history of astrology or butts or whatever strikes their fancy. In Orlando, it’s going to be all this brain power, all these eminent scientists and engineers and rocket surgeons and thinkers….and me. A dude who writes about spaceships and giant robots for a living. I’m not going to complain, though. Because, seriously, I’m super stoked about it. Honestly, this is as close to being an astronaut as I’ll probably ever get, and being an astronaut was the end-game of my whole life plan when I was in fifth grade. That was a good plan too, man. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the Cylon’s plan. Good grades, Air Force Academy, flight school, F-16 pilot (I’ve always had a soft spot for the Viper, but now I’d probably rather be an A-10 driver), major by the age of 36, then bam!, astronaut time. But then reality set it, it turned out I was terrible at maths, then what with the distractions from girls and RPGs and model airplanes and books about dragons and obsessively reading about aircraft and all I got kind of sidetracked and here I am. I guess I don’t have any complaints, though. Hell, in hindsight, I’d have made a terrible military man what with my low tolerance for bullshit and even lower tolerance for authority. Anyway, so, yeah. Gonna talk about Space. I’ll write more about it tomorrow night after the conference, give you guys a taste of what went on, then probably do a larger post about it next week sometime in between writing about Orks, SPEHS MARINES, and future-past wild west demon apocalypses. So, stay tuned. This should be pretty good. You know, if I don’t just break down and start babbling about space like the Space Core.

The Big Announcement and Other GenCon 2012 Ephemera

Let’s just cut straight to the point, shall we? GenCon 2012 was a riot. It was also very, very good for me. I’ll admit, before the show I was kind of reticent about going. You see, and I’m not gonna lie to you kids, I’ve been feeling both burned out and discouraged these past few months. GenCon fixed that problem for me, and quite handily. So, what all did I do at GenCon? What games did I play? Did I run anything? What’s the big announcement? Well, I’m glad you asked!

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Pick of the Day!

Look here, kids! My latest book, Chaos Commandment for Dark Heresy, was picked as Sean Patrick Fannon’s (the mastermind behind DriveThruRPG) pick of the day! It’s a canned adventure, the final book in a trilogy of adventures wherein the players take the fate of the Calixis Sector in their hands. There’s a little bit of sneaking, a little bit of shooting, and a whole lot of mind-bending, body-twisting terror. Get it while it’s hot!