GenCon Event Registation — Disappointment at the Click of a Button

Okay, so maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, I mean, we got all of our events last year and most of our events this year.  But let me tell you how this works first.

So every year, the GenCon event list is released on a certain date; this year the list was released early may and registration was Sunday, May 15th.  Before the registration date, patrons are encouraged to look through the events and add ones they like or are interested in to their wishlist, which they can submit at noon Eastern time on event registration day.  There are many different types of events to choose from; while game playing is a majority of the events, there are also events based around video games, anime, LARPing, miniatures, and many more (including a cool event about learning to make sushi, which I’m totally doing this year.)

On the day of event registration, everyone submit their event lists and get a number in line.  The way this is done is still slightly a mystery to me, but my understanding is that VIGs (Very Important Gamers, the $500 tickets, woohoo) get to pick their events first, and then everyone else after that is randomly assigned a lottery number, where they wait for all the people “in front of them” in line to submit their wishlists and buy their events, all the way until they get their own turn.

This year, when Ethan and I submitted out events, we were in the two thousands and three thousands respectively.  We pressed submit at 11 and both had our events paid for by about 12, so the process went by rather quickly, much more quickly than last year, so it seemed.  The problem with this year was that one of our events sold out lightening quick.  No problem, we still had a few other events and it was an event similar to one we’d done before, so no big.  Then, our number in line wasn’t getting updated.  Luckily I was refreshing often, but when I didn’t, it stayed on the same number for a quite a long time.  Ethan got his wishlist first and submitted his loner events as well as the events we were doing together, and luckily all but the one event was still available.  About20 minutes later, my wishlist was up, which contained all my solo events.  I put everything in the cart, and submitted it, when I realized that there was only one event submitted.  I went back and checked again, and I realized 3 of my events were never shown as sold out, but were sold out when I submitted.  So, I only got one of my solo events.

Now, I know this is really only a minor issue.  The wait was fine and sold out events happen, but I don’t understand what happened with the website malfunctions.  We’re not the only ones that had similar problems either, Reddit and Twitter both showed instances of the same thing happening.  Many people cried out that it was partially because of this lottery system, and how it was really unfair anyway!  And people such as Rob Daviau, who should just be an automatic VIP because who wants to piss off the guy with the number one game on BGG, didn’t even get their events.  Is it time for GenCon to reevaluate the way they handle people’s wishlists?  Is GenCon becoming too big for itself, as it was suggested?  Or are people just getting bent out of shape?

As much as I’m a bit heart broken that I won’t get to try out Trickerion, or do an Escape Room, or play Werewolf Survivor, I’ll live.  And I’ll have fun.  Because nothing’s better than not recognizing one of your favorite game designers and meeting a ton of fantastic people.

Now that we’re not competing with tens of thousands of people for spots at these events, here’s a look at what we’ll be getting up to during Gen Con 2016!

Gen Con Schedule

But what are we looking forward to?


I think the one event I’m looking forward to the most is the Burlesque.  Last year, we saw the D20 Nerdlesque and it was amazing!  Not only were there scantily clad women (and a man!), but they were hilarious and super well done!  We got to see a great show (and Burlesque Carl Sagan and an Ent, what what) and helped support a great bunch of people.  I have friends in the burlesque community that have really opened my eyes to the fun and exciting (18+ only kids!) event that promotes artists and comfort in sexuality.

Oh, and Pathfinder.  Being a part of a thousand person game of Pathfinder was an amazing experience.  Unfortunately, our DM was a bit lacking, but it was crazy to hear everyone roleplaying, rolling dice, and contributing to the greater Pathfinder Society Good.  Though I don’t always agree with the Pathfinder Society’s methods (don’t tell Kreighton Shaine, whom I hate with the fiery passions of a thousand suns), it’s nice to have missions for the greater good of the world.  My drunk barbarian and I will have a grand ole time, as long as there’s a pub around.

AND SUSHI.  I love eating sushi.  How will I do at making sushi?  Who knows.  Who cares.  It all ends up in the same place, right?


One of my favorite things to do at Gen Con is participate in tournaments.  I enjoy them partly because it’s a chance to play some of my favorite games in a different context than playing at home or game night, and partly because it gives me an opportunity to be super-competitive without worrying about having fewer friends (or having to sleep on the couch) afterwards!  This year I’m entering tournaments for Liar’s Dice (which I’ve played online, but never in person), Onitama (which I got to play for the first time on Tabletop Day this year and enjoyed greatly), SET (for which I want redemption from my defeat last year), and most importantly, Hungry Hungry Hippos.  Last year I didn’t manage to actually win any tournaments, but I did get some consolation prizes and promos for participation.  I’m hoping for a better showing this year, but even if not, I still enjoy the opportunity to compete!

Though it’s technically also a tournament, I’m also highly interested in the One Night Ultimate World Championship purely for the spectacle of it.  From the description, it will consist of 22 simultaneous games of One Night Ultimate Werewolf/Daybreak/Vampire, with the same roles and soundtrack for all the games.  The One Night games were very popular with our gaming group when they came out, and they saw plays at just about every meetup for a while, until they got played out.  However, seeing 176 people in one big room all playing games of One Night that are the same but separate should be enough to bring back the novelty.  And while I’m not expecting to do that well (after all, it is a social deduction game with complete strangers), I definitely think it’ll be enjoyable!

One other thing I’m excited for is World Championship Russian Roulette, and no, it’s not just because I’m inexplicably drawn to events with “Chamionship” in the title.  This is a game that we were able to preview last Gen Con, and I’ve been looking forward to its release ever since!  While it will be starting a Kickstarter campaign next Tuesday, May 24, I’m assuming that it won’t be released until Gen Con or later.  The game is a great combination of bluffing and press-your-luck, and I’m really excited to play it again!

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