Tag Archive for Dragon Con

30 Days of Game

I’m starting up a new category here at the blog: 30 Days of Game.

The topic of this category is going to be to review a game I have played for 30 days.  The idea came to me quite some time ago, but to be honest the thought of buying a bunch of games, or even one a month, just to play and review them, no matter how much they sucked, was unappealing.  So, until game companies are willing to send me 30 day free trials, I am going to stick to games that are free to play.

I want to start this in September, after I return from Dragon*Con, with my review coming in on the last day of the month.  That said, I need some candidates, some recommendations.

Previously on this site I have reviewed Urban Dead and Mafia Matrix (a new review of that one is coming, since I am considering quitting), so those two are out, because I want to approach 30 Days of Game games as a new player.  For right now, I do want to stick to free to play MMOs, so, if you know of one you think I should give a shot, post it here in the comments or email me at jason (at) probablynot (dot) com.

Fallen Earth Announces They Are “Feature Complete”

I have to admit, seeing a game company announce that their game is feature complete while still in the alpha stage gives me a tingly feeling all over. I am tired of games getting into beta and still adding classes and entire sections of game play.

So what does this mean, this “Feature Complete”? In theory, it means that they have implemented some rudimentary form of every game mechanic required to play the game in all the ways they intend the game to be played. The nuts and bolts. If true, it means that now they will begin overhauling each feature looking for bugs, making them more robust, and polishing them until they shine.

Of course, I will believe it when I see it… I really do hope this game turns out well. After talking to these guys at Dragon*Con, I want to see them pull this off, and I want to play it.

Read their announcement yourself.

Stuff White People Like

This is a pretty funny site.  And being that I am, in fact, a white person, I decided to go on a journey of self discovery and find out exactly how “white” I am by comparing to their list from 1 to 90 (the latest at the time of writing).

  1. Coffee – No, I hate coffee in pretty much all its forms.
  2. Religions their parents don’t belong to – I suppose this could be correct since I don’t ascribe to any religion currently and my parents did, even if they hadn’t gone to church in nearly twenty years.
  3. Film Festivals – Okay, I do like film festivals, but I think its important to note that I hate most independent films.
  4. Assists – Not much of a sports guy, so I have no opinion on assists.
  5. Farmer’s Markets – Nope.  Not a big Farmer’s Market guy.
  6. Organic Food – Nah… processed food is A-okay with me.
  7. Diversity – Ehh… not so much.
  8. Barack Obama – While I would choose Mr. Obama over Mrs. Clinton if those were my choices, I’m currently supporting McCain for President, so, this one doesn’t apply to me.
  9. Making you feel bad about not going outside – I’m a computer geek… outside? Why?
  10. Wes Anderson Movies – I have watched, and not really enjoyed, most of his films.  I don’t really get it.
  11. Asian Girls – Not entirely my cup of tea… wait, does saying “not my cup of tea” make me “white”?
  12. Non-Profit Organizations – Not I.
  13. Tea – Shit.  Although, I really only drink tea at Chinese restaurants, which I go to maybe once a year, and sometimes at family dinners, because my parents are from the South and Sweet Iced Tea is required at the table.
  14. Having Black Friends – I currently have no black friends, only a couple black friends of friends, this isn’t because I avoid black people, but instead because my life just doesn’t happen to have any black people in it, and I don’t feel any need to seek out black people specifically so I can befriend them.
  15. Yoga – No.
  16. Gifted Children – If I ever decide to have children, I’ll be happy if my kid only eats the FDA daily recommended amounts of paste.
  17. Hating their Parents – I can’t really say I ever hated my parents.  I mean, I did move out of the house at 18, but that was more because I wanted to have more sex than I was able to sneak past them, not because of any dislike of them.
  18. Awareness – Largely, I am aware of only that I could be doing more, none of which involves making other people aware.
  19. Traveling – I apparently missed my requisite trip to Europe. 🙁
  20. Being an expert on YOUR culture – While I will admit to trying (in vain) to learn Spanish and Japanese, I really haven’t spent much time worrying about learning other people’s cultures.
  21. Writers Workshops – Okay, fine, yes, I have gone to a Writer’s Workshop, but in my defense (I hope) it was only 2 days and at Dragon*Con.  No, I guess that really didn’t help.
  22. Having Two Last Names – I am not particularly fond of people who do this.
  23. Microbreweries – Not so big on the beers, I like liquor.
  24. Wine – People, white people, keep insisting I try wines.  Haven’t liked one yet.
  25. David Sedaris – Who?
  26. Manhattan (now Brooklyn too!) – I have so little interest in New York that I almost didn’t write this sentence.
  27. Marathons – “Do you run?” “Only when chased.”  And that pretty much sums up my interest in marathons.
  28. Not having a TV – Not only do I have a TV, I have 4, and 1 is actually a PC with 6 tuners so I can record everything and watch it later.
  29. 80s Night – This is really unfair, because being born in ’74, the 80’s are a huge part of my development as a human being.  So, I guess they get me on this one.
  30. Wrigley Field – If I was in Chicago, and I got tickets, I’d go, but more because about the only way I can stand watching baseball is at the field with a couple of beers and a footlong hotdog.
  31. Snowboarding – Have I ever mentioned how much I am not a fan of cold?
  32. Vegan/Vegetarianism – I am a card carrying member of PETA… People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.
  33. Marijuana – The only time I ever got high was during the 8th grade when my parents let my older brother and I go to see David Bowie on his Glass Spider tour.  Shortly after the concert began a haze rose from the crowd, the air was filled with the smell of a wet down jacket and I got a headache.
  34. Architecture – Got me on another one, I do like architecture, however there isn’t any particular style or era that I like, I just don’t like when strip malls are built looking like bland boxes.  I would prefer they all put at least a little effort into it.
  35. The Daily Show/Colbert Report – I have been told I would love these shows if I watched them, but as of yet I haven’t bothered watching.
  36. Breakfast Places – Breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day, largely because every breakfast place known to man seems to insist that eggs are required and I hate eggs.  Then they go and make me order a side of bacon, a side of ham, a side of sausages, a side of toast, a side of hashbrowns… it seems my penalty for disliking eggs is that my breakfast is going to cost $47.83.
  37. Renovations – *sigh* I am renovating a house, but only because I bought a foreclosure and the previous owner took everything not nailed down (and some things that were, if you’ve ever seen the Richard Pryor movie Moving you know what I mean), and they had horrible taste (every room in the house is a shade of brown).
  38. Arrested Development – Still have not seen it, but I’ll be sure to add it to my Netflix queue.
  39. Netflix – Fuck.  Although, allow me to reiterate how much I dislike most independent films… and foreign films.
  40. Apple Products – I’m just going to say that I simply do not have enough time or diskspace to explain to the lengths that I loathe Apple Products.
  41. Indie Music – I like music, pretty much any kind except hardcore gangsta rap (all the bitches and hoes and drugs and guns and that stuff, just does not strike a chord with me), so I suppose I like indie music, but I don’t believe it is to the degree intended here.
  42. Sushi – Hate.
  43. Plays – I like the idea of plays, its the execution of most of them that I dislike.
  44. Public Radio – Talk radio, I am certain, is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.
  45. Asian Fusion Food – No.
  46. The Sunday New York Times – I don’t read any newspapers anymore.
  47. Arts Degrees – Bachelor’s in Computer Science.
  48. Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops – I do shop at one of those membership store, but its a warehouse style shop and I go there because it allows me to buy the crap I eat in bulk and save money.  Why pay $9 at the regular store for a small box of Stoffer’s French Bread Pizzas when I can go to BJ’s and get the giant box with four times the pizzas for $12?
  49. Vintage – Not really.
  50. Irony – I do, indeed, love me some irony, but not really in the fashion they describe it here.
  51. Living by the Water – Guilty.  I do want to live on a beach.
  52. Sarah Silverman – She’s funny sometimes.  And sometimes not.
  53. Dogs – Much better than cats.
  54. Kitchen Gadgets – I buy the gadgets not for me but for my wife.
  55. Apologies – I apologize alot, but then, I am a chronic procrastinator, so I often have things to apologize for.
  56. Lawyers – I respect the need for there to be people who spend the time to understand the nuances of law, but most lawyers are scum.
  57. Juno – I loved this movie.
  58. Japan – I do want to go to Japan someday, but I really hate anime.
  59. Natural Medicine – While I’m all for exploring natural solutions for things, I fully believe in the pharmaceutical industry’s ability to cure diseases.
  60. Toyota Prius – I do want a hybrid, but less for the environmental impact than for the savings in gas.
  61. Bicycles – I do like bicycles, although I have not owned one since mine was stolen almost 15 years ago.  If I ever bought another one, I could not see myself spending more than $200 on one, so no specialty bikes for me.
  62. Knowing What’s Best for Poor People – I care, somewhat, about poor people, but I care more about not becoming a poor person.
  63. Expensive Sandwiches – Wheat bread, meat slices, mustard, maybe occasionally throw in some lettuce or a tomato, or some pickles.  What I make at home often is so much better than what a restaurant will make.
  64. Recycling – I do recycle, but I also work on reducing the amount of garbage I produce as well.
  65. Co-Ed Sports – Again, computer geek… outside?
  66. Divorce – Divorce sucks.
  67. Standing Still at Concerts – I am confused by this one, do people who are not “white” go to concerts and ballroom dance?  I don’t stand “still” at concerts, I do move around to the music and what not, but it never occurred to me to break out the foxtrot or boxstep.
  68. Michel Gondry – He does some interesting stuff, but I wouldn’t exactly say that I love him.
  69. Mos Def – I do like Mos Def.
  70. Difficult Breakups – I don’t believe I’ve had a difficult break up yet.  Relationships just sort of end, and that’s it.
  71. Being the only white person around – Can’t say as I have ever sought this situation out.
  72. Study Abroad – Might have been nice.
  73. Gentrification – I suppose it is a thing that I like, because I would rather see inner city areas looking good than to see them looking like crap.
  74. Oscar Parties – I have gone to Oscar parties, but thus far, much like our State of the Union parties, they are more about hanging out and drinking than the program on the TV.
  75. Threatening to Move to Canada – Hell no.  Did I mention that I don’t like cold? or hockey? or French?
  76. Bottles of Water – I don’t buy bottles of water unless I have to, but I do buy bottle of orange juice which I keep and reuse as water bottles.
  77. Musical Comedy – Yeah, I admit, I do find it entertaining.
  78. Multilingual Children – I want to be multilingual myself, and looking to the future, being multilingual is probably going to be advantageous.
  79. Modern Furniture – No.
  80. The Idea of Soccer – Not much into any sports.  Computer geek.
  81. Graduate School – I wouldn’t mind going back to school and studying stuff, but I really don’t have an interest in grad school.
  82. Hating Corporations – I don’t hate all corporations, however I do dislike the disassociation of responsibility of people who work for them, the “I just do my job, and I had no part in the overall heartless money grubbing of this company” defense.  There is much more to it than that, but not for here, not now.
  83. Bad Memories of High School – I don’t really have bad memories, or good memories.  High school was neither the best nor worst years of my life.
  84. T-Shirts – While I do like T-Shirts with cool stuff on them, and I do wear T-Shirts whenever I can get away with it, but it doesn’t really go beyond that.
  85. The Wire – I do want to see it… Netflix.
  86. Shorts – Did I mention how much I hate the cold?
  87. Outdoor Performance Clothes – I do not believe I own any Outdoor Performance Clothes.
  88. Having Gay Friends – Much like the black friends up at number 14, its not something I seek out, if it happens, then it happens.
  89. St. Patrick’s Day – Yeah, well, I do like this particular holiday.
  90. Dinner Parties – I’ve had people over for dinner, but not by choice.  My wife is “whiter” than I am apparently.

So, that’s it.  Assuming this website is discussing a particular variant of “white”, largely registered Democrats and yuppies, it appears that I am not very “white” after all.  Well, now I’ve got to go figure out how to waste the rest of my day.


The Signal

Normally, Wednesdays are reserved for zombie posts. But this week, I’m co-opting the Wednesday slot for a guy I know, one AJ Bowen.

AJ is an actor, and he’s from the Atlanta area. A couple of years ago, he and a bunch of other people made a horror film for about $50,000. Last year, they took that film to Sundance, where it was immediately picked up by Magnolia Pictures. And when I say immediately, I mean that talk started before the movie finished and, I may be wrong here, it sold that night. This movie is called The Signal.

I got to see it at a film festival in Atlanta last year, and then again at Dragon*Con, and then a third time at a screening a couple months ago around Christmas. Each and every time I’ve seen it, I have enjoyed it. And that’s not loyalty talking, The Signal is genuinely a good horror film.

As with other reviewers who have seen it, there are moments, few and short but they exist, where the low budget nature of the film comes through, but mostly the film just comes across as well made, with some scenes actually falling into the “disturbingly real looking” category, which in my book is exactly what you want from a good horror film.

The setting of the film is that a signal is coming through electronics and it is driving people crazy, acting out on their impulses and urges to deadly effect. I say that is the setting and not the story because it really is, its the backdrop on which the real story happens. The real story is about a girl, her husband, and her boyfriend. The story is told in three parts, each from the point of view of a different character: the girl, her husband, and her boyfriend.

The Signal is not gross out torture porn, like the Saw movies or Hostel. Instead it is a well crafted story with elements of and rooted in horror. If you like horror films, I highly recommend that you find a theater playing this one on its currently limited release.

And no, before you ask, they did not steal the idea from Stephen King, the movie was filmed before his book Cell even came out, and they aren’t the same in any event beyond sharing a basic idea: a signal through technology drives people crazy.

Choices That Matter

Reading up my morning blogs, Tobold has thrown down a decent shot at the missing “good vs evil” elements of WoW. He’s right, of course, the design of WoW can be described as “colorfully bland”, its vibrant and exciting, but strip away the artistic elements and both sides are the same. Kill those guys, collect these items. Later on, they even share all the same quests in the “neutral” settlements and can choose the same side in the Burning Crusade’s faction division.

I’ve got high hopes for Fallen Earth. For one, a sci-fi apocalyptic MMO that works would be awesome. But beyond that, having had a chance to talk to the developers at this year’s Dragon*Con, they plan to have 6 factions, arranged around in a circle each one will have an opposing faction, two semi-allies, and two semi-foes. And they are working on making the factions matter. Since they can take over and control/influence a town, it will be important to help your faction win and to assist in the defeat of other factions.

Realm vs Realm was what attracted me to Dark Age of Camelot, sadly I found the PvE game (which was the only way to level up at the time) to be boring, repetitive, and exactly like EQ, which I was already playing and I just wasn’t inspired to start over. Had I gone to DAoC later when they put in battle grounds and other things the game might have stuck. World of Warcraft’s stabs at it had left me wanting. The battlegrounds were predictable and short, and not overly fun when raiders beat up on the non-raiders with their superior gear. The open PvP in WoW was a joke, and the tower stuff they added in Burning Crusade was great for about a week or two… then it devolved into a bizarre cooperative dance, each side letting the other side win, trading back and forth. Capturing was better than holding, so its better to let go and recapture, for both sides, that it is for either side to hold it, unless they have a strong desire to withhold rewards from the other side while reducing their own reward gain.

I really want to play an MMO where things I do, things everyone does, really matter. And the first person to suggest EVE Online will get bitch slapped. Call me when they allow me to get out of my ship and walk around the space stations and planets.

2007: Aftermath

As with every year, I really enjoyed Dragon*Con. I actually says a lot about the con when my biggest complaint is that I can’t see everything I want to see because there is so much I want to see.

The new Apocalypse Rising track was very interesting, although, at times I did feel a number of their panels were repetative, but that is the nature of the beast when talking about a topic that is very focused but encompasses so much. However, it was the first time around in the new format, so I’ll cut them some slack and see how they grow for next year.

The Game Programming (with a heavy MMO bent) spinoff of the EFF track was another favorite. The only downside there is that people seemed to want to talk about WoW too much, even when the moderators and panelists tried to veer off to another subject the attendees would drag it back to WoW. I guess that is proof that WoW really is the 800 lbs. gorilla in the market. I think this track can only get better.

In both cases, I’ve finally found tracks that have inspired me to get involved. I’ll be keeping an eye on both and seeing where I can lend a hand.

Other than a few panels here and there, or a couple trips to the short films room, the bulk of my time was spent in the above two panels. I never made it down to the Writer’s Track, which is where I normally spend most of my con time.

With panels and programming out of the way, let’s talk hotels… The Marriott is still under construction, however from seeing the parts that have been completed I have high hopes for the future of the space for Dragon*Con. Seriously folks, you really need to stop defaulting to the Hyatt bar and lobby. I know it has traditionally been the place to be, but even before the renovation the three levels of the lobby area of the Marriott were better. Lots of space for costumers to show their stuff, and even places where distance watchers can view the chaos without getting involved. The only drawback to the Marriott previously was the cruddy location of their only bar, but this year with the opening of Pulse on the atrium level, the Marriott is turning into the new place to be. Next year when they have the other 70,000 square feet of ballrooms and whatnot open, there should simply be no reason to remain in the cramped Hyatt lobby except to get a quiet drink at the little out of the way bar.

The Hilton also blossomed well this year. The halls of rooms for panels (used for gaming last year, which this year moved to the new business center of the Marriott) were fantastic, even if a little small for some of the panels they put in them (*cough*Zombie Squad*cough*). The exhibitor halls were nice, but I do have a small complaint about the dealers’ room… entering into the center of the hall and having to make several circular trips through to see everything was just odd and annoying. Some of this may end up back in the Marriott next year, but the Hilton Halls shouldn’t be left unused…

One thing I’ve always hated about Dragon*Con and still hate is the use of the itty bitty teeny tiny Learning Center in the Hyatt for the Film track. Every single set of short films ends up with a line and they have to turn people away, every one. They need a bigger room, perhaps the Marriott will have something they can use, or maybe if one of those Hilton Ballrooms winds up empty they can utilize one of them. The Learning Center is nice though, for smaller screenings, perhaps for invite only or contest won passes to exclusive screenings of new movies. That would be sweet. Or hey… you know about that Writer’s Workshop they do every year? Maybe they might consider a Film Maker’s Workshop…

The only other real complaint I can come up with about Dragon*Con in general is the lack of signs. Because of the construction in the Marriott, the traditional method of going out the back was blocked off. Thankfully, rather than forcing people to walk around the outside of the building, they opened up four staircases for use. The intent was obviously that two would be for going up and two for going down. They did place a Marriott employee there most of the day telling people how to use the stairs to get to the Hilton, but, across the street inside the Hilton is a Kinko’s, and for probably $20 or less (definitely less than the cost of manning the post all day) they could have printed up 8 very nice signs (4 staircases, 2 ends of each staircase) indicating the direction of travel, UP or DOWN. 90% of the traffic issues would have been solved right there. Other signs around would have been nice, maybe even ones indicating where photos should be taken instead of just a few signs stating when and where they could NOT be taken. They did have some signs around for things, but most of those signs where floor level signs… meaning that you can’t really read them until you are practically on top of them. Head height should be a minimum for signs, six feet, seven would be better.

So, with that I bid adieu to another year at Dragon*Con. 359 days until the next one…

2007: Day 4

Nothing much ever happens on day 4 of Dragon*Con. Everything is shutting down, people are checking out, it is both hectic and lazy at the same time. I had planned to go to a few of the programming track round ups because I’d like to give my opinion on what they did right and what they did wrong, but of course they pretty much all do those at the same time, so I picked the Apocalypse Rising track to visit… and then never made it there.

I did make another pass through the exhibitor’s hall to view the stuff and make sure I didn’t miss anything I wanted to see. I didn’t really.

Tomorrow, when I’m feeling more energetic, I’ll write an Aftermath post about the con and some views on a few things I intentionally skipped or glossed over.

2007: Day 3

Day Three always seems to start late, perhaps its because of the long day that day two always is. So, I’m pretty sure I always miss the 10 a.m. panels on day three. This year is no different.

But I did make it down for the 11:30 panel on the Future of the Game Industry in Atlanta. Pretty much as I expect the answer to “how is it?” is “how is what?” Atlanta has White Wolf, which owns CCP now and is making an MMO. There is also GameTap and the stuff the Cartoon Network is working on. Outside that it is little shops doing either gambling sites or no-budget games. Currently the best bet for anyone in the Atlanta area who wants to work in games lies in leaving Atlanta. But, that might change in the next few years. The Georgia Commerce Department recently created a division to look into drawing more entertainment ventures to Georgia. Movies, TV, games and other things are in their sites, and they really want to try to ramp up Atlanta as another entertainment hub for the US. We’ll have to wait and see.

Then I went and saw some comedy short films, a panel on Eureka (I love the show, the fans… not so much), a panel on Apocalyptic themes in media, and then some apocalyptic short films. All the short film stuff is great… okay, not all of it, but most of it, some of the shorts I have to only applaud the effort put into making the film and the determination to get it done because the writing and/or acting was horrid.

But lets take a half step back and revisit the Eureka panel. I think the only thing that prevents me from going to more TV show based panels is the fans. In the case of Eureka one of the earliest topics of discussion was the character of Carter not really being dumb, but just not being book smart and college educated, that he is actually smart but in a more intuitive manner. Yes, score one for the people who watch the show, because every single episode in some way involves Carter solving a problem other “smart” people can’t. So the next topic is… Carter not really being dumb. Fine, I hear you started your comment with “I really don’t think Carter is dumb…” but we’ve covered this. On to the next topic… Carter is apparently not dumb. Whatever, we agree. Moving on… Carter’s daughter isn’t dumb either. Cool, kind of some new ground here… except that now we are talking about Carter not being dumb either. Check, not dumb, got it. Allison is a good leader for Global, oh and someone interjects that Carter is not, in fact, dumb. Oh. My. God. Carter might not be dumb, but I think many of the fans are. Either that or they just don’t listen… ugh.

In any event, after the Apocalypse short films we had dinner and then hooked up for people for partying, drinking, talking and people watching. Another day at Dragon*Con ends… time to hit the sack.

2007: Day 2

Breakfast is good. Expensive, but good. Luckily this year we’ve got a ton of Marriott gift certificates to use to we basically eat for free… go, go credit card rewards points!

On to the zombie walk… okay, lets talk about a good idea: Get a bunch of people together dressed as zombies, stumble down the street. Now lets talk about poor execution… do this at the same time as the parade, along side the parade, but not in the parade. Seriously, a better show, since they didn’t get into the parade, would have been to pick a time, say around noon, and walk as a group through the three participating hotels. Ah well, maybe next year…

Saturday was looking to be a zombie day as I headed over to see the Zombie Squad. They were hilarious, but at the same time informative and cool. While they take on the far flung fantasy of a zombie uprising, they do so in focusing in general disaster preparedness. Take a look around your house, if you were to be cut off from communications, power, running water… if it were to all shut down, could you survive the first 72 hours on what you have?

A visit to Dragon*Con isn’t complete without a trip through the Art Show. Definitely some cool stuff to look at, but some times I wonder how they come up with the prices of the art… I see one piece, very nice, oil painting, $300… a few booths down, another oil, $6,500. I didn’t really see much of a difference between the two. There was another 1/8 scale diorama this year, last year was undead which was very cool… this year is Star Wars. Something about the little bastards of tattooine… jawas, storm troopers and sand people. Very nice.

After a short break, I went down and caught the end of the “Is Warcraft an MMO with training wheels?” to which the answer was a resounding “Yes” even though the “hardcore raiders” didn’t want to hear it. People were calling their game “easy” and “simple”, and it is, from level 1 to 60 (now 70) you don’t need help, you can level on your own and be just fine, but at the level cap the game gets “hard” because you wind up needing a guild, or at least a few friends to power through Arena and Battlegrounds.

That was followed by a panel on the nitty gritty of MMO Design. Mostly the room seemed to be filled with people who didn’t want to hear “Its not easy, in fact its a lot of hard work and takes a whole team of people.”

Ever watched a movie about the end of the world? Ever watched a bunch of them? Ever notice that the same archetypes of characters keep showing up? I attended a panel to discuss exactly that: what types keep showing up and why. Most interesting was the aspect of how American films differ from British films and both of those are miles away from Asian films. Fun talks.

While I skipped out on a screening of “The Signal” earlier in the day (I’ve seen it), I did want to attend a Q&A panel of the cast a crew. A.J. Bowen likes to wink at me, but I think only because I wink back… but its not in a gay way. Really.

The day ends as it always does… with drinking and people watching, running into old friends, laughing and talking… and sleep.

Good night.

2007: Day 1

Day 1 began as it always begins, check in. Really, seriously, I need to start planning on coming down on Thursday to avoid Friday. We really didn’t have trouble getting our room, it just wasn’t clean yet. So we got new rooms, but not before the bellman had brought up the bags to the unclean room. Why exactly are there two sets of bellmen? One helps you from the car to check in, the other helps you from check in to your room… two people, they each get half a tip.

With check in behind us, we set out to meet people and do stuff…

This year is seeing a few changes around the old Dragon*Con. Some tracks have been combined or changed, and there are some new ones. The old Tribe stuff has been pulled in to a new Apocalypse Rising track. I think I’m really going to like this one… I went to the kick off panel and we discussed all the ways the world can “end”, but of course apocalypse stories are not about the end of the world most of the time, they are about people surviving the end of the world they knew. Good stuff.

Next up was the MMO Obituary panel where we dragged out the corpses of all the dead (or dying) MMOs and continued to flog them, while at the same time discussing what they did do right and what we hope to see again. The Game Programming track that has finally broken away from the Electronic Frontiers Forums track looks to be another keeper.

Then we decided to wander through the dealer’s room and the exhibit halls… largely its all the same crap that is there every year. Not anything surprising, but some of it is still cool.

Back to the Apocalypse track to discuss pen and paper games. Lots of good stuff out there… Twilight 2000, Fading Suns, Aftermath, Rapture, Shadowrun, Deadlands, the Morrow Porject and more…

Some obligatory standing around and looking at costumes. Some people are crazy, and some are insane, and some simply should not be wearing that.

Last up for the night was a panel called “How NOT to get into the game industry.” I’ve been to the How To panel before, and this was a slightly more humorous take on the same subject… mostly I went to possibly meet Brian “Psychochild” Green, but he canceled, so poo on him.

Time for bed because I’ve been up too long today… and tomorrow is another day…