Sunday, April 10, 2016

Who's Yer Con 2016 in Review (Part 2)

   Greetings!  In my last post I talked about my general impressions about Who's Yer Con 2016.  Today I'll go over some basics you should know and then what I did this year and what I learned from it!

   The first year (last year) we attended WYC we did not preregister, but this year we opted to register online.  I 100% endorse preregistering.  We got there about 11:30 on Friday morning and there was a probably 20-30 minute line for registration, however there was no line for those that signed up online.  I hate standing in lines if I can avoid it.  All we did was walk up, give our name and *BAM* we had our badges and schedule.  It's worth noting that while the event is free, you can upgrade to a contributing member for $25 and you get a t-shirt and a tote with a few games in it.
   A few weeks before the convention, the event catalog is put online.  This has everything the convention offers along with times/dates.  Depending on the type and popularity of game, there may only be a few times available to play it.  I recommend looking through the catalog and preregistering for a slot if there are certain games you have your heart set on playing.

   I could talk about industrialization and men's fashion the horrors of con food all day, but let it suffice to say that the food there isn't great.  Your options are basically mediocre burgers, pizza and nachos.  However, it's an easy fix because they are pretty chill about people bringing in their own food.  We discovered there is a Jimmy Johns 1/2 a mile away so that was super helpful!
Water coolers are also available throughout the hallways, so it's not tough to stay hydrated if you are mindful of it, just bring your own bottle.  As the convention continues to grow, parking will get harder I am sure.  However this year we were able to find parking without too much trouble.  Saturday seems to be the busiest day and I'd recommend getting there early if you want a spot without too much walking.  Parking is free and in the hotel's lot, so it does fill up quickly.

Daily Highlights

   Friday - On Friday we opted to browse the different vendors and play game from the board games library.  The have a free library of close to 450 games that you can borrow with an ID and play at various tables throughout the convention area.  Some of the games were brand new and I got to punch out the tokens for them, which is one of my favorite things to do, period.  It's like bubble wrap, but better.  I wish that there had been more open tables for play though, we kept running into tables that were booked for other games.  Hopefully they add more open play tables next year.  Friday night we ended up walking by the Brickyard ballroom right as the trivia was starting, so we ended up grouped with 3 other people and had a great time.  Our team mates were super nice and we ended up gaming with them throughout the next couple days.  We didn't win, but we didn't come in last, and we had lots of fun.

   Saturday - Definitely my busiest day.  This year I wanted to try some new things, so I registered for SciFi Yoga and T.I.M.E. Stories.  I love yoga and the description promised to integrate geeky things into it, so yes, of course I signed up.  It was a blast!  All the background music was from LOTR, Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc. and our instructor even integrated Middle Earth references into familiar poses.  How did I not connect the Ents to tree pose before this?  Yoga was a good choice since the afternoon was a lot of sitting still.  T.I.M.E. Stories can take up to 5 hours.  Normally I do not play games that last over 2, because let's face it, I get bored too easily.  But it has had so much buzz and had such a cool theme (choose your own adventure + time travel?!) I couldn't pass it up.  (I wrote about my impressions of the games itself over on Boards & Brews).  I think WYC is such a good environment to try something you don't normally do or a game you have no experience with but just think sounds cool.  I can get major anxiety when it comes to learning games, and I have found WYC to be a pretty safe space for learning, which I appreciate. No one in our game had played before and the instructor didn't bat an eye and was glad to explain things.

   Sunday - I hit up the Indypendant Show, a local, creator driven mini convention held every Spring & Fall.  They have it it on the last day of WYC which is super nice because it's like 2 cons in 1!  I picked up some comics/art from one of my favorite local comic creators, Ron Braun.  I mean, a comic book about a girl and a platypus? Shut up and take my money.

   All in all, I had a great time at Who's Yer Con and I cant wait to go again next year.  One other item worth noting though, and that is the temperature.  Last year it was really warm, this year it was cold.  I'm talking Hoth level cold in certain areas.  I don't know if the con staff could do anything about this or if it was just the hotel, but I hope it gets straightened out next year.  I think it's good practice to keep weird temperatures in mind when dressing for any convention.  Layers are your friend.  I hope you found my thoughts beneficial and if you are in the area, I'd love to see you next year at WYC 2017!

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