Each and every year the frothing hordes of gamers the world over crash land in Indianapolis, IN for the best four days in gaming. Of course we’re talking about GEN CON, the Super Bowl of tabletop gaming. This year the IGDN was there en masse. Our companies were represented well and everyone had a complete and total blast. To all those who came by our booths and played our games and hung out, thank you! Here is a recap of some the goings-on from IGDNers.
The ENnie Awards
“Evil Hat’s Bubblegumshoe was in fierce competition for the Best Family Game, along with two other amazing IGDN games: Epyllion and Masks: A New Generation. But the care taken by Tiara Lynn Agresta in making it beautiful and readable, and by the whole creative team in making it a game adults and younger folks could enjoy seems to have paid off. It felt good to see the Silver go to Magpie’s Masks. So many thanks to the people who fell in love with our sleuths and gave Bubblegumshoe the gold!”
– Emily Care Boss
The ENnies, EN World’s annual award show, is an industry shaper. That site is the one-stop shop for RPG reviews online, so we’re very pleased to have had numerous winners and nominees across many categories!
One of the highlights of the evening was Bubblegumshoe, co-designed by our very own Emily Care Boss, taking the gold in the Best Family Game category. This category also featured Magpie Games’ Masks (which won silver) and Epyllion.
John Wick Presents took home the silver for Best Cartography, Best Game, Best Supplement, and Product of the Year, plus the gold for Best Free Product and Best Rules for 7th Sea!
In addition, Eloy Lasanta and Third Eye Games’ Ninja Crusade received a Judge’s Spotlight award and Baby Bestiary Handbook Vol. 2 from Metal Weave Games was nominated for best interior art. All in all, it was a magical night highlighting some of the coolest games produced by IGDNers this year.
IGDN Social & Indie Groundbreakers
“Two things at this year’s Gen Con made me very happy. First, the widespread use of pronoun ribbons and ally/gaymer ribbons was heartwarming. Second, the enthusiasm of the play testers at the First Exposure Playtest Hall. They were so excited to play games in various stages of development it was extremely encouraging to this game designer.”
– Beth Rimmels
While the ENnies are a big deal, and an exciting time for the industry, the Indie Groundbreaker awards were created to specifically highlight excellence in small, independent game publishing. These are games that push the boundaries of what RPGs and story games can do, how they can make us feel, and what they can allow us to experience and think about. This year the IGDN started the evening with a great social at Loughmilers in Indianapolis where the winners would be announced. Food and drink were shared, friendships were rekindled, and all waited in anticipation for the victors to be announced.
Those winners were…
Best Art: Fellowship
Best Setting: Warbirds
Best Rules: Masks: A New Generation
Most Innovative: The Beast
Game of the Year: Seven Wonders
The IGDN booth on the massive vendor floor is always a highlight, drawing lots of attention from people interested in breaking into new and fresh games. New books this year, like The Book of Tarrasque, Murders & Acquisitions, Wrath of the Autarch, Threadbare, and Screenplay, along with some of the standard heavy hitters were presented to gamers new and returning to great responses.
I played Jason Pitre’s Sig, which makes riveting plane-hopping drama easy and fun. I had three very successful games of Just Got Real, a collaborative action RPG coming soon to DriveThruRPG. And being around the indie circles at Gen Con, IGDN and Games on Demand in particular, reminded me that we really are in an industry of welcoming, compassionate geeks who love nothing more than sharing what they love with everyone they meet.
– Jim Dagg
Running my Faux Dungeon game, the Urist Axebeard cried out. “There must be true, and honest stone, beneath my feet. I’m tired of this dungeon, I want to find the real stone floor.”
To which I, as the GM, replied, “So just to make sure, you’re attempting to disbelieve the dungeon?”
– Jonathan Lavallee
Nine Dragons thanks John Easley for representing Hong Kong in Indianapolis and for running 8 stunningly successful games of Honour 1.5! John’s own personal highlight was the support he received from the staff running the IGDN Game Room, they were great! Our highlight was this comment from Felicity about the Honour system, “I really, really liked the Yin/Yang system. It was something totally unique that I hadn’t seen in an RPG before, and it was great to see the tone and setting expressed mechanically as well as in flavor like that.”.
Peace. Love. Game
We at the IGDN have maintained our own game room for some time now. It’s a nice oasis outside the hullabaloo of the main areas of the con, which are often packed to the brim. The setting is quiet enough for GMs and publishers to show off their games, get to know players, and enjoy their gaming time. The IGDN game room was brimming with RPG goodness at all hours, exposing folks to new games and forging new friendships.
Meeting lots of people, old friends and new, including the IGDN crew. Getting 15 bids at the Ennie auction on my silent auction donation. Shaking hands with Robin Laws in the bathroom. Getting invited to the Lamentations of the Flame Princess room party. Running randomly into 5 different Facebook friends I’d never met from far and wide and being able to pick them out in the crowd.
– Jeffrey S. Moeller
GenCon never ceases to amaze, and 2017 was no different. It was a great year for IGDN, too, as a budding part of this wonderful industry. In the end, each year comes down to people. All the late hours (though fun), all the standing (though good), and the hours and hours of prep time are always for those people who love to game. We love playing with them and celebrating them, IGDN members or not, and we can’t wait until 2018! Until then, keep on playing and enjoying indie games!