Indie Games Explosion at Dreamation 2011

It’s that time of year again. Snow in the air, Christmas music on the radio, and the aroma of great gaming just over the horizon! Dreamation 2011 will be held at the Morristown Hyatt in Morristown, NJ from Thursday, February 24 to Sunday, February 27, 2011. Will you be there? Do you dare to have that much fun?

There will be an Indie Games Explosion at Dreamation. Dozens and dozens of the most blisteringly awesome independent games will be run at the con. Plus, all attendees have a shot at a coveted starring role in the sure-to-be Internet smash “One Cool Thing I Saw At Dreamation 2011.”

However, the Explosion needs your help! We need you to come to the con and play games. We need you to come to the con and RUN games! Here’s how:

Come and play
If you just want to come to Morristown and have a blast, here’s how you can help make the Explosion great:

1) Go to the registration page and pre-register for the con.
2) Watch this thread for announcements of what events people are planning to run.
3) When the official schedule is up, around February 14-16, register for the games you want to play.
4) Come to Morristown and bring your A-game!

Come and run
The nitroglycerin at the heart of every Indie Games Explosion are all the great folks who come out with a game in hand, ready to rock the house. If you’ve got a game session in your soul, burning to get out, here’s how you can help:

1) Post your event description here, or on your blog, or wherever the kids are chattering these days. Get people excited about your game.
2) Send an e-mail to the IGE gmail account: indiegamesexplosion At that point, Kat will send you a Google document that contains all the information we need from you in order to officially register the event. Fill it out and return it BEFORE January 14, 2011.
3) If you run at least three events, you will receive a GM badge to the convention. At some point in January, we will send you a code you can use on the registration page.
4) When the official schedule is up, around February 14-16, register for the games you want to play.
5) Come to Morristown and revel!

A Note on Small Events

Games sessions for 4 players are a bit of a sticky situation. On the one hand, they take up an entire table for an entire gaming slot while only entertaining a few people. On the other hand, some of the best indie games are only built for 4 and create less fun for everybody if expanded. It’s a pickle.

Here’s my proposal for this year. I’m going to ask you to consider running sessions for 5 or 6 players. By “consider,” I don’t mean “you must” or “you should” or “you will be shunned unless.” I simply mean “think about it.” Step away from the Internet for a moment, look at your game shelf, and ask yourself if you have a 5 or 6 player game you’ve been wanting to run. Can you stretch your abilities in that direction? Do you want to? Can you run Game A for 6 players in addition to running Game B for 4 players?

I can’t answer those questions. I’d just like you to answer them for yourself and your own situation. If the answer is “I want to run a bunch of 4 player games,” then that’s fine and we want you on-board for the Explosion.

Playtests
Dreamation is a great place for games-in-development to get put through their paces. Not only is it easy to get people you don’t know to sign up for the game you’re working on, but some of the sharpest game designers will be there looking for new games to test.

We’ve tried a number of different things in the past. We’re going back to the 2009 rules. If your game isn’t done, but you think it is at a point where it can probably entertain people for 3 to 4 hours, then register it as a regular event. Just please include the word “Playtest” in your event description.

If your game isn’t done, and you don’t know whether it works at all, it’s probably not ready to run as a regular event. However, don’t lose hope! Post about it here and see if people are interested. It’s easy to arrange an informal playtest session at Dreamation, where a bunch of people meet in the lobby or a hotel room and give your game a workout.

Assorted Other Stuff

We usually hold an Indie Games Roundtable on Sunday to discuss games in development and other matters. Attendance at the Roundtable seemed down last year. Is it still worthwhile? Would a different time work better? How can it be better? Is there anyone willing to facilitate it?

In years past, we used to hold an Indie Games Party on Saturday night. It was a lot of fun, but as the community has grown, so has the workload of running the party. If anyone is up to the job, let me know and we’ll do what we can to help out.

I’m posting this on Story Games, but there’s probably other places on the Internet that might want to get involved. If you know of such a place, please invite them to participate. The more, the merrier.

None of the above is set in stone. If you’ve got suggestions, I want to hear them. Kat and I will be doing our best to monitor these threads for questions and the like. However, if we haven’t responded in timely fashion, please e-mail the indiegamesexplosion address with a link to the question. Thanks for your help.

See you in February!

Games on Demand at Gen Con 2010

Games on Demand is back at Gen Con for 2010! The event will take place on Friday and Saturday (August 6-7) from 10am – 6pm in Grand Central Ballroom B of the Crown Plaza Hotel.

Once you’re there, look for the groups of excited gamers at tables 1-6. Find the event hosts, tell them what you’re interested in playing and let them guide you to the fun.

While you do not need to register for games, generic tickets are required to play at GoD. The best time to find open games is at the start of a session (10am or 2pm). You can also show up with a game ready and volunteer to run it at an open table!

If you’re interested in signing up as a host or GM, contact Scott Acker or talk with one of the hosts at the event for more information.

For additional updates online, watch this site and the @Games_On_Demand account on Twitter.