An Interesting Idea for Future Gaming Conventions

Thanks to the great horror that is COVID-19 / The Coronavirus many conventions have been canceled. Emerald City Comic Con, SXSW, GDC, and plenty others have all closed up shop due to the health concerns.

Speaking to an acquaintance of mine who happens to work for a publisher about their recent trip to PAX east and future con plans, my brain suddenly had a thought.

Right now, the biggest issue with a virtual convention is “Networking Opportunities”. Those situations where you and another can meet up and chat. Plenty of publishers use these conventions to meet upcoming dev teams, influencers, and forge relationships that go beyond just showcasing a game.

Conventions are an amazing experience. I remember my first real gaming convention last year, when I went to Guardian Con 2019. It was a small convention by most standards, only hitting about 30000 sqft and having only a few major booths and some vendors. But it was…awesome. I have been looking forward to the rebranded GCX since.

Conventions are also costly however. And with these cancellations smaller studios lose a huge chance to get noticed.

So how do we address this? Virtual conventions seems like an easy idea right? Hell, Geoff Keighley and the Game Awards did that in 2019 thru Steam, allowing folx like me to play the indie game demos shown at the awards for the duration! But this still misses something. That…connection you can make with a real person.

Then I recalled a very strange little game I once messed with on steam called “Anarcy Arcade” and my brain started…percolating.

What if some ambitious game dev out there created, well, a first person virtual convention SPACE. You basically build an MMO like piece of software. You build a 3d Enviroment with booths. You allow developers to “customize” the booths (uploading art and assests). You let guests and exhibitors customize an avatar on an account system. You allow vendors to setup booths as well that link directly to their online stores.

Hell, you could even implement collison, voice chat by proximity, and lines, so people would get the full experience of hanging out in line and chatting with each other.

Doesnt need to be VR either. We already know HOW to create FPS controls. You would get the entire experience of a convention, all the chances to “speak” as it were face to face with others, but never have to leave your home.

Obviously such an undertaking would take time. But I imagine if a studio out there decided to setup this idea up and then charge for both attendance to the virtual conventions AND for renting out “digital space” (at an appropriate price, after all) you would basically have created the first ever fully virtual Convention Center.

Thats what we need.

a Virtual Convention Center in 3D.

It would let disabled people easily attend, people could create “Digital Cosplay” for their avatars, it would let folx who have issues with money or travel attend these things, hell it would help small devs find an audience!

And with space not really being an issue (its virtual, after all) you could create much larger spaces.

I am surprised no one has done this yet.

But I don’t think this is a terrible idea…. So there is my gift to you devs out there. Someone, build the first Virtual Convention Hall! Lets move forward into the future together!

Games are good, games are awesome, and deserve to be seen by as many people as possible.

My Trip to GuardianCon 2019 – Borderlands 3, Control, and More! (Vlog)

Hey everyone! Today I bring you a VLog showcasing my trip to Guardian Con 2019 in Orlando. I got to be hands on with demos of Origin of Storms, Borderlands 3, Littlewood, and Control and had an absolute blast during my day there overall.  Everyone I met and spoke with was amazing and friendly, the artists and vendors were awesome, the cosplay I saw was stellar, and overall it was just a complete treat from start to finish.  I cannot wait for next year!

Next year, the show will be titled “Gaming Community Expo” (I misspoke in the vid and goofed the name) and tickets can be purchased at gcxevent.com for the 2 days of gaming, 6/27 & 6/28 in 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando. I fully intend to be there.

To check out the games / devs I talk about visit the following:

I hope you enjoy the video and please pardon the quality.  Cell phone camera is not best camera lol

Clay vs Cons Part 2: A Solution?!

So a few days ago, right when Gen Con 2018 was in full swing, I wrote a post called “Clay vs Cons” where I broke down the issues I would face going to a convention, due mostly to simple cost.

However, since that date, a few things have changed. Mostly, my wife has decided that she is not too keen on going to a con with me. One part is cost, she knows that if I went alone the cost would be drastically reduced, but the second is that she really doesnt like the idea of being around that many people. She is very very shy you see.

However, she has a requirement. I can only go to a con with a friend she trusts there as a buddy.

My buddy Saevrick, who just got done with Gen Con 2018 is already planning on going again next year. Originally, me and him discussed on Saturday about going to Pax Unplugged, but apparently Gen Con was such a life changing experience he will only do that one for sure.

This got me thinking: I have an opening now, but how do I manage this?  My patreon goal is still going to be there, as I discussed, and while costs are lower by a decent amount, its still going to be a struggle. Based on my math, I would need, after taxes, around $1400 to still cover hotel, airfare, and my food/expenses.  My patreon can cover that eventually, but not in time really.  Plus that requires people to be willing to pay each month, and not everyone can afford that.

I was then struck by a second thought: If everyone who followed me on twitter, all 5800 of em, gave me $1, why that would be $5800…which is WAY more then what I would need to go to a convention!

But how could people donate?

Then the second thought, as I sat on my ride home, hit me.  I have a Ko-Fi.  Ko-Fi is a site that lets people donate in increments of $3, and mine is not really used.  You can set goals on Ko-Fi as well.  So why not setup a goal on Ko-Fi, and see if my followers will put their money where their mouth is.  Saevrick and me are already discussing plans on me sharing a hotel room with him (because I trust him, and he is willing to put up with my issues) so that covers a chunk of expenses.  Here is what I am looking at cost wise:

  • Airfare: $300-$400
  • Hotel: $300-$400
  • Expenses: $400-$600 (Food, Gas, Fun Stuff, Emergency Funds for my Health Issues. Gifts)
  • Badge $110-$120 (estimate)

Hence the $1400 cost.  Now, I still have to pay taxes on any money I collect, and thats still estimated at 30%.  So in order to have $1400 remaining, I need to raise $2000.  Obviously I am over estimating by a GREAT deal but I would rather be over then under, as I always say.

So how can you help me reach my goal?  And when is the deadline?

Well sadly the deadline is poorly defined.  I dont know why Saevrick will need to book the hotel by, obviously sometime in Jan/Feb of 2019, which means I need to have the money for at LEAST my Airfare and Badge by then to even THINK about going.  Thats $500.  Me and Saev can sort out the rest as long as I hit that and have some spending money (which I SHOULD by GenCon lol). If I dont make it in 2019, any funds will be moved to 2020.

So if you want to see me at a Convention, specifically Gen Con 2019, you need to click on the image below, which will ya send ya to me KoFi.  I already got $6 to go towards it.  I will be sharing this every so often as well online.  The image below and the current status will also change as the days go on.

Get me to Gen Con 2019.  IF YOU CAN NERDS.

Current Goal Status as of 8/7/18 – 20% (HOLY SHIT)

Also, if you view THIS TWEET by Shimmerwind, once I reach 60% goal he is going to be giving away a badass mini he painted. Go check the tweet to see its amazing.  Also, when I hit 100% Mithril Punk is going to make one of their adventures on the DMs Guild totally free for a week!  Thanks to both these fine folks / groups for doing this, they didnt have to but they chose to!