chadu (chadu) wrote,

Dreamation 2010 Report

Good morningafternoon, Internets! Did you miss me?

If anything cool, fun, or important has happened since Thursday night, please let me know in comments.

Behind the cut, below, I'm going to talk about what I did at Dreamation 2010 this past weekend. LJ usernames will not be used to protect the innocent because I'm too lazy to look them all up. (I apologize in advance for misspellings and flat-out wrong names; mea culpa.)




  • Drove up to Rob Donoghue's house at ZOMG o'clock.
  • Got on the road around 5:30 am.
  • Much great gaming geekery discussion, ranging from design matters to personalities to industry ideas.
  • Got to the Hyatt in Morristown; half-hour parking lot hell.
  • Check-in, got ourselves situated; see many people, many handshakes and hugs; lunch with Ryan Macklin and Matt Gandy.
  • General hanging out, with a particular "gobsmack Chad" moment:

    • MACKLIN: "You think you're pretty damn cool, don't you?"
    • YOUR HUMBLE: "Yup."
    • MACKLIN: "I bet you think you deserve a motherfucking medal for just being you, for just being Chad Underkoffler, don't you?"
    • YOUR HUMBLE: "Abso-friggin'-lutely."
    • MACKLIN: "Alright, then, bitch!" (fumbles in bag, produces a medal)
    • YOUR HUMBLE: (pole-axed; gapes like a goldfish; starts laughing hysterically)
    • MACKLIN: (to puzzled onlookers) "It's the Silver ENnie for S7S I accepted for him at GenCon."
    • [Well played, sir. Well played.]

  • Sushi for dinner with Gregory Phillips, Brennan Taylor, and the delightful Lilith Taylor (who we all bored to tears for awhile talking about -- God help me, that I did this -- the economy, CDOs, the Move Your Money concept, yadda yadda. (Sorry, Lilith. The three of us we being old farts.)
  • Played in a game of 3:16 -- Carnage Amongst the Stars (which I got from the "Haiti Bundle" on RPGNow/DTRPG), GM'd by Matt Weber. Much bug-huntin' and "officers are idiots/douchebags" fun. Think Aliens meets the Starship Troopers movie.
  • Through the kind introduction of Darren Watts, and the sufferance of Vinny, got into the late-night Texas Hold 'Em game ($20 buy-in). Only had to wait about a half-hour before a seat opened up. I was writing off that $20 as an "entertainment and education expense" -- you see, almost all of my poker playing has been computer/online, so I have very few table skills. I saw this as an opportunity to learn those, and was happy to pay for the privilege, and said as much going in. I made mistakes, I learned, I had fun, and in the end, I made money: when I cashed out at 3 am, I was up $29. (That money helped with some of the Purchases below. Thanks, guys!)
  • A little under 3.5 hrs sleeps, and then...


  • When taking my morning shower, one of my greatest fears happened:

    • I slipped and fell in the extremely slick hotel tub.
    • I fell completely out of the tub, ripping the shower curtains free.
    • I narrowly missed cracking my skull open on the toilet, avoiding a porcelain slam to the brainpan that would have resulted in leaking blood and brains onto the lineoleum.
    • As it was, I landed on my... pride. (And we all know my "pride" is very well-padded.)
    • Lesson learned? I don't care: I'll wear my fake Crocs into hotel showers from now on.
    • BONUS: It's also darkly funny, in a way: "WET NAKED FAT MAN FALLS DOWN IN BATHROOM; FILM AT 11."

  • Paid $20 for coffee and a small plate of scrambled eggs and bacon.
  • Played Ganakagok in the am, GM'd by Jeff Collyer. Think tribal mythopoetical "Inuit-esque" folks, before the first rising of the Sun. The first Ganakagok game I'm been in NOT run by the author/designer (Bill White), and the most soap-opera-y thus far -- much of the play was all about social ties, relationships, status, and the Village.
  • Pizza for lunch with Joanna and Connie and others.
  • Spent first part of the afternoon sitting at a table in the hallway between the hotel lobby and the conference center with Rob Donoghue:

    • Shootin' the shit with whoever passed by.
    • Gave an academic interview to Bill White on North American jeepform/freeform play.
    • Talked with Vinny regarding some of the stuff I'll touch on in the Sunday Indie Roundtable discussion below.
    • Farted around with Rob and a deck of cards, trying to see if there was a good card-based resolution system for the sort of "give-and-take" in conflicts one sees in fiction and movies.

  • Played in Dan Solis' Happy Birthday, Robot. It's a fantastic all-ages game, and can RAWK as a "generic" party game with non-gamer geeks. (Any game that can credibly survive the input of an over-caffinated/over-sugared 7 yr old has serious chops.) This one's a winner, folks. (muskrat_john, this is an Out of the Box game just waiting to happen. SRSLY.)
  • Dinner, with much discussion of semiotics. ROCK ON!
  • While waiting for the stars to align, Jared Sorensen (that magnificent bastard) tricked a bunch of us into playing several rounds of JUNGLE ADVENTURE, a Parsely game. . . and thus assured I'd buy ACTION CASTLE the next day (see below, Purchases). (Parsely games are PERFECT party games, BUT I do have to note it may be only perfect for those of us at a certain age. I don't really know if the whippersnappers would get into infocom-style text adventures. I welcome insights.)
  • My attempt to Make Macklin Cry (by running Mythender) more or less fails. Mac's on top of his game, and handles it with aplomb and fun. CURSES!
  • Awesome lobby socialization.
  • Sleep the sleep of the Dead.


  • $20 bacon and eggs, again.
  • Looking at the sched, I figured there was a decent chance of getting into a Fiasco game: many tables, early Sunday, rock on.
  • Have ridiculous amount of fun with Fiasco. (Jason, was it "Besting" or "Breaking" or "Busting" when talking about one's "Jonx"?)
  • Fantastic, if short, chat with Remi Treuer.
  • Many hugging goodbyes.
  • The Indie Roundtable, where:

    • Vinny laid out some ideas for a separate, Indie publisher/designer-focused mini-con. More deets will be forthcoming -- but I find the idea of a robust practical game design seminar track, a publishable academic "Proceedings" document, the idea that demos could be video'd and YouTube'd, and a central online forum/resource site VERY HOT. (Think of this mini-con idea as "Indie Roundtable, all the time!")
    • I offered my arrogant opinion on many topics.
    • Kudos to the Robs (Bohl and Donoghue) for emcee-ing.

  • Saddlin' up with Rob D. for the drive south.
  • Much great discussion, ranging from gaming stuff to fiction stuff to genealogical/family history stuff to philosophical explorations.
  • Get my car from Donoghue land; drive home; magically find an appropriate parking spot. Unpack/do required chores. Crash.


    And now I am doing laundry.
Tags: asmp, books, conventions, evilhat, game design, gaming, interviews, mad rpg theory, mental health, pdq, philosophy, poker, s7s, truth-and-justice, wtf?

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