GEN CON. WAS. AMAZING. Thanks very much to the fantastic attendees as well as the wonderful work of the planners and organizers of the event! We wanted to share a brief write-up of our favorite experiences and some of our main takeaways from the event.
Connecting with the tabletop gaming community
Obviously, our favorite part of Gen Con was the opportunity we had to connect with the amazing people in the broader gaming community. It was so great to see people outside of our local community in Kansas City be as excited about Diabolical! as we are. We got the opportunity to talk to thousands of people over the course of the four day event, and it was astounding the degree of kindness and enthusiasm we saw among the attendees we spoke with. It was so much fun y’all. Thanks for that.
Gaining insight on what it means to be an indie game company
Gen Con represented for us a pretty significant shift towards making this game a reality. When we started work on this project, we were just a couple of passionate hobbyists wanting to contribute to an area which adds a lot of joy to our lives. While we’re still fundamentally those same passionate hobbyists, this event caused us to open our eyes to some of the realities of what it means to work in this industry. Having an opportunity to learn from folks in the industry – including other designers, shop owners, publishers, manufacturers, and bloggers – was inspiring and will surely prove invaluable as we continue our journey.
Meeting other fantastic exhibitors
Along these same lines, we made great connections with other exhibitors at the event. I left the event with a wallet stuffed to the brim with business cards of interesting folks. While we didn’t have as much time as we would’ve liked to walk the convention center floor, it was so cool to see all the neat things that everyone is working on, including gaming goliaths like Asmodee and Paizo, as well as small-timers like us. Some of the smaller companies that stood out were the fine folks over at Heroic Games, Devious Devices, and God Hates Games (NSFW-ish). You should check them out! 🙂
Gaining valuable feedback from playtesters
At Gen Con, we had the opportunity to participate in the First Exposure Playtesting Hall. It was an incredible experience getting to watch people check out the game first hand and to see how they reacted to it. We’ve been testing the game for quite some time now, but the opportunity to test with the Gen Con attendees proved particularly insightful. Generally, people reacted very positively to the game. One group even said that Diabolical! was one of the best games they’ve ever tested, and they’ve been testing games at Gen Con for several years! Playtesting overall definitely confirms that we’re on the right track (although there’s definitely some issues to be resolved yet).