Live at GenCon ’05: Welcome to Indy

I was sent ahead to check things out on the day before opening day. After getting my hotel situation straightened out, I wandered around the Indianapolis Convention Center, getting myself reacquainted and reoriented. Overall it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good convention. The attendance looks good and the registration line seems to be moving a lot faster than in previous years.

Diana Jones Award Night

Wednesday night was the Diana Jones Award party. The nominees for the fifth annual Diana Jones Award were: Code of Unaris by Goldleaf Games, Dogs in the Vineyard from Lumpley Games, and Ticket to Ride from Days of Wonder. In what would be the shortest Diana Jones Award ceremony ever, Matt Forbeck announced the winner. The fifth annual Diana Jones Award went to: Ticket To Ride by Days of Wonder. Alan Moon was on hand to receive the award. “Do I get to keep it?” he asked. Matt informed him that he had to give it back. In a brief acceptance speech thanked the members of the “voting cabal” and asked if there was a sticker that he could place on his product. All in all, a great way to begin the GenCon experience.

The Exhibition Floor

Thursday morning was an early one for me. I got down to the press room for the early morning walkthrough of the exhibition floor. The artist exhibition area had expanded, now taking up two more rows of the exhibition floor. There seemed to be some consolidation of booths as, more and more, I saw booths with multiple manufacturers. This is not to say that there was a shortage of vendors and manufacturers. Quite the contrary, there was plenty to see and do on the exhibition floor. Many manufacturers were running demos. Wizards of the Coast were running demos of their new game Hecatomb – a horror theme CCG that used unique five sided cards. At 10 o’ clock the doors opened and the masses rushed in and it was time for me to get ready for the press conference.

The Press Conference

At 11:30 Peter Adkison gave a very animated press conference and informal QA. I will hopefully have the press conference online in the near future. In the QA he emphasized the new features of GenCon such as the expansion of True Dungeon: True Tavern. He addressed the question of GenCon leaving Indy saying that he was always keeping his options open but emphasized that he loved Indy and loved working with the convention staff and hotels. He said that the current plans to expand the Indianapolis Convention Center were “very enticing.”

More to come soon, from the convention floor of GenCon Indy 2005.