September 1st, 2008

Old Friend

GenCon UK - Back Home

I got back home from GenCon UK in Reading just after 9pm this evening.

Last year I popped in on the Saturday, stayed for *maybe* two hours and left.

This year I arrived on Saturday afternoon about 6pm (which was later than planned due to very pleasent afternoon and company in Oxford re: Dave and Marysa's wedding) and left at almost 7pm on the Sunday. Considering I had planned (even on Saturday) to leave after lunch the next day this can be taken as either:

a) I was very busy
b) I really enjoyed the con
c) both of the above

This may surprise people that know my thoughts on previous GenCons but the answer was actually 'c' - both of the above. I had a really good time at this years show. Now part of that will very much be down to the people and the amount of meetings I had, but a large proporation will be down to the fact that it was a lot better than previous events. They had more people, the trade hall was busier (I didn't talk to a single trader that hadn't had a good show this year), the signage EXISTED (which was a major issue last year) and the show had a (gasp) BUZZ! Which is something that has been a bit lacking in previous years too.

I'm not going to say it was without issues, but those issues were a lot more minor than those from previous events and Horsemen do seem to have listened to much of the criticism previously aimed at them and improved things in many areas.

Highlights were many but some choice ones include:

Talking to lemuriapress  (Erik Mona, Paizo), mytholder  (Gareth Hanrahan, Mongoose) and others late into the night about the state of the industry, our predictions on what will happen in the next 2-5 years and how to best weather it and try and get new blood into the scene.

Bumping into a very old school friend, Simon English, whom I first met and RPG'd with when we were 13 years old and spending lots of time chatting and catching up.

Playtesting a new secret project card game which zencadet  is developing for another secret project which involves a prominent and well known artist, zencadet  and yours truly.

Finally getting my hands on a print copy of Pathfinder Beta! (it sold out before I could blink at GenCon Indy so I was very glad to have a second chance to grab a copy!)

Lots of great talks/meetings with a variety of people including Mel Chester (Pagan Angel) and Matthew Sprange (Mongoose Publishing) regarding a variety of topics.

Being told that rumours were 'abound' at the show that I was looking at taking over the GenCon UK license in two years time.

Having davywavy  come up to me very late on the Saturday night to tell me how he thought I *should* be running the show because Horsemen weren't professionals or businessmen - and then having me introduce to him the owner of Horsemen (whop run GenCon UK) whom I'd been talking to when Dave joined our conversation to give us his opinions on them :p (That was very amusing for me - but credit where credit is due Dave stuck by his words even after finding out who he was also talking to and Mark accepted the criticisms without getting upset).

Going for a good pub lunch with Mark and Sean from Horsemen to talk about the event, the events future and how to make it the show that the UK, the gamers and the industry deserves. I'll go on record by saying that I do think Horsemen have learnt a lot over the last few years and are certainly willing to take onboard comments, criticisms and ideas on how to make the show bigger and better - and I think they are heading in the right direction.

All in all I had a really great time at the show and part of me wishes I had been for the whole four days had I not had other engagements. Yes, I will admit that I am very surprised to be saying that. I'm looking forward to seeing what other feedback from the show I see and hear but I really do think this year was a marked improvement on last years event and I really do hope we see the show continue to move forward and improve.

Old Friend

Dave & Marysa's Wedding

I went to Oxford on Friday evening with Dave and Marysa for their wedding. It was a very intimate affair with just the loved up couple and then Ben (an old schoolfriend of Dave's) and myself acting as their witnesses.

We arrived in Oxford after having some great conversations on the train from things ranging from chain smoking comedian porcupines to the future rise of the Steampunk subcultrue as the Next Big Thing(tm) and headed to the apartment that they had hired for the night. The apartment was very nice and in a very good central location. I have to try and figure out more things to do in Oxford so I can go back and stay there again!

The evening was pretty chilled. We got some Lebanese food in, drank a £180 bottle of wine (that was the equivalent of £45 per person/glass!!!!) that Marysa's wine collecting brother had given her, and chatted loads. Dave (a non-gamer) also geeked out over the copy of Starblazer Adventrues I had on me (to take to GenCon UK the next day) as he was a fan of the comics and actually was given a couple as a Christmas present again a year or two back.

The actual wedding ceremony was at 9am the next morning so it was an early start for us all. The loving couple looked fantastic, Ben got some great photos and I managed not to loose the rings :p

Post ceremony and photo taking we headed back to the apartment to change and down a £150 bottle of Champagne that Marysa's parents had sent her before heading out to find breakfast and have a wander around Oxford - which is a beautiful city.

The day led us to heading down towards the river to have a picnic and drinks but we randomly bumped into spangle_kitten  and her friend Anna sitting down having a mini-picnic. So we joined forces and had a very chilled afternoon snacking, chatting and drinking. It also transpired through conversation that spangle_kitten  and Marysa had actually met a while back at one of morbidfrog 's gatherings - as I didn't realise that Marysa knew morbidfrog  that surprised me along with then finding out that she had a family connection to enlyyl  and that Marysa met enlyyl  when she was 8 years old!!! Cue Marysa's surprise to then discover that enlyyl  now lives in London and on the same road as she does :p

It's a very small world.

Anyway, it was a great day for Dave and Marysa and I was honored to have been a part of it. I had a great time and overall, with GenCon UK also thrown in the mix, had a really great weekend. I can't believe I have to go back to work again tomorrow though. With everything that happened over the weekend I could do with a few days off!!!

Football - Underhill

Transfer Day

Dimitar Berbatov to Man City? United will be fuming if that goes ahead this afternoon!

I love transfer day deadlines and watching all the clubs, agents and rumours flying around :p
Old Friend

Lost Boys 2: The Tribe - Aiden: Cry Little Sister

Aiden's cover of 'Cry Little Sister' has been getting a fair amount of airplay at the house over the last couple of months since Natasha discovered it. We're currently *still* waiting for a review copy of the film to arrive (and it comes out in the next week or two on general release which is a bit slack) so we can't comment on the actual film as yet. You can bet you'll hear *something* about it when we do finally get a chance to watch it though (or I cave in and order a copy if Natasha's review copy still hasn;t arrived...).

Anyway, Aiden have covered 'Cry Little Sister' for the film and I've started seeing it playing on the music channels so here's the vid...

Old Friend

Zombie Dating...

Saw this on sack_boy 's journal and found it amusing...

ZombieHarmony - A Zombie Dating Site... "because the apocalypse doesn't have to be lonely..."

Disclaimer: ZombieHarmony is for zombies only. We advise signing up for ZombieHarmony only if you lack a pulse, have limited motor skills, or feel an intense desire to feast on human beings. We are not responsible for lost or ingested loved ones. If you go on a date with a zombie, we cannot be held liable for contributing to the apocalypse.

Please date responsibly: bring a baseball bat or crowbar.

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