Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Gamescon SLC 2015: So Many Cool Things, So Little Time!

So I went to Gamescon in Salt Lake City last weekend. Sadly, the week was so busy, I was only able to go on Saturday. Let me tell you, 4 hours is not nearly enough to experience everything the Con had to offer! Let me share with you a brief overview of some of the things I did and experienced. I've decided to do two different posts on the Con: one about everything in general, and one about the Utah Indie Games Guild (I spent a lot of time with them).

So, I walked into the convention center with my usually feeling of dread I feel toward conventions. Perhaps memories of ComicCon being over capacity last year were tainting my feelings toward this convention. It was already Saturday afternoon, and there was only a few people waiting to buy tickets. 

After some questions, I went to the VIG/Press pass booth and picked up my press pass. The man at the booth took my name and said to me "You know the rules, right?". Honestly, I felt the pit of my stomach drop out. He then said "You're supposed to have fun!". I'm surprised I didn't laugh with relief. He did mention a few places where I could and couldn't take pictures. Still feeling nervous, I decided to wonder around outside of the main hall for awhile.

Insert anxiety selfie here!
I glanced into one of the rooms and saw some people playing some sort of MOBA game (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). After awhile, I realized it looked a lot like Defense of the Ancients. There were even commentators speaking about what was going on! I didn't realize that DotA was still a thing! I got a little bored so I wondered a bit more.

That's when I saw him. Jon Bailey. He's the epic voice behind Honest Game Trailers and Honest Trailers. I'm a really big fan of his, so I only looked at him from way across the giant lobby area. I'm really sad that shyness overtook me. I heard his voice a number of times during the convention. That was the only time I saw him.

Jon Bailey is awesome!
Next I stepped into the convention hall, and immediately saw the Utah Indie Games Guild. I was immediately intrigued. I had only recently heard about them from another Mormon Geeks author, Stephen. I didn't talk with them immediately, but instead decided just to walk through and look at what they had to offer. There were loads and loads of really cool indie games. I'll save my adventures with them for a second blog post!

I wondered the convention hall and saw lots of interesting things. There was a showing from XBox and Playstation 4. There were multiple consoles set up for people to play Mortal Combat X and other fighting games. There was even a Guitar Hero 4 game set up (they wouldn't let us take pictures or videos near there). I saw some booths with various computer accessories and graphics cards. Other booths sold geeky T-shirts, clothing that would go well with fantasy cos-plays, weapons, beautiful artwork, and even some that sold food. None of the food seemed all that geeky/nerdy though. There were tables dedicated to games of Dungeons and Dragons, Yu-Gi-Oh, and countless other games I didn't recognize.

I noticed that there was a Hearthstone tournament going on. Hearthstone is an online trading card game published by Blizzard Entertainment. They also had a Heroes of the Storm tournament going on! I didn't investigate too closely into that.

As a fun aside, I saw a co-worker of mine sitting down and playing with a game at the Utah Indie Games Guild. I lurked until I saw he was done. He looked at me, but didn't act like he recognized me. After wondering near him for awhile, he finally came up to me and said hello. That's when he told me I probably knew his twin. I laughed quite a bit about that. I never realized the guy had a twin! 

Shortly afterward, a woman pointed at my shirt, laughed a bit and said "I love your shirt!" I'm wasn't quite sure how to take it, but I smiled and said "Thanks!"

Some people fighting with fake weapons!
Did I mention all the awesome cosplays I saw? 

  • I saw a Lord Zed dressed up as the red power ranger (confusing that one).
  • I warily eyed someone in a hockey mask with some kind of bloody blade. The fact the guy was 3 times my size made me super nervous.
  • I saw 4 people with sims' diamonds above their heads. Two were green, one was yellow, one was red. I nearly ran up to the person in red and said "This person needs food, Stat!"
  • There was a guy dressed up as Axel from Kingdom Hearts, complete with Axel's weapons
  • I saw someone who had painted their skin purple and was wearing an Ursala costume!
  • There was also an Ariel that was being pulled around in a cart.
Traditional convention soft pretzel!
Well, I didn't exactly see the Ariel cosplay being pulled around in the cart. Near the end of my visit to the convention, I went into the VIG/Press pass lounge. I was just about to ask the guy at the front desk what was going on when I was distracted by something on the table. There was a giant lizard there. I blinked at it totally confused. I thought it was a bearded dragon but someone from Creature Encounters came up and said it was a Tegu to someone else. It was an incredibly laid back lizard. It spent most of the time walking back and forth on the table and flicking out it's tongue. Creatures Encounters also had a few different boa constrictors there, slinking along different people. I actually held one of the snakes for awhile (and got some pictures with it). They also had some tarantulas they were letting people hold. I was terrified at first, but after awhile, they started to look cute. I didn't hold a tarantula.

Excuse me sir, there's a big lizard on your table
It's tongue tickled!

Stay tuned next week for some of the fun indie games I saw at the convention!

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