Wednesday, August 7, 2013

7 Days to Judgement Day

...or at least that's what my wife told me this morning.

In a mere 7 days there are going to be over 40,000 gamers gathering in the wonderful city of Indianapolis, Indiana for the largest gaming convention in the US that is not related to video games.  That's right boys and girls, it's time for GenCon which really is a great time of year.  They call it the biggest 4 days in gaming, and if you haven't ever gone, it is something that you need to experience.  For myself, this will be the12th time attending the convention in just 13 years.  I look forward to seeing old friends, making new ones, playing awesome games and having a great time doing all of it.

This is also the time of year that I get the most anxious.  It used to be that I went to GenCon to participate in the largest tournaments for whatever card game I happened to be playing at the time.  However, in the last two years, I've switched that focus from playing collectible card games into designing board games.  So now I'm competing in a very different arena in trying to convince a publisher to publish one of my games.

Now it isn't that I'm unprepared for this event, I've been getting things ready for the past 6 weeks.  I've got one game already under consideration, and one game that is completely ready for publication in addition to five (!!!) more that I will be bringing with me to GenCon in various stages of development.  This is completely different from last year when I was completely underprepared but didn't know any better.  No, this year I've upped the ante, overcome my rookie mistakes and I've plotted a course for success.  But even now, there is a chance that I don't succeed.

"Always know if the juice is worth the squeeze."
- Kelly, The Girl Next Door

I've competed on some of the biggest gaming stages in the past, numerous times.  It's not the stress of the competition that is affecting me, it's more the idea that even in all of my preparations, I've missed something that causes me to fail.  When I played cards, I would playtest for hours.  Build different decks, play different opponents, over and over and over again.  I would analyize the results, change the decks, and do it again and again.  This was natural to me, but in the publishing "game" you don't get to playtest like this.  You don't have a great feel for what the metagame of the field is going to be (aka - what the publishers want.)  This makes it exciting and terrifying all at the same time.

"You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take."
- Wayne Gretzky

Now hopefully you're not reading this and thinking that I'm going to choke, or that I'm going to sabotoge my chances to succeed because that isn't the case at all.  I'm just writing this more as a reminder to myself, as well as an assurance to anyone else out there who happens to be in a similar situation to remind them that they aren't alone.  Also, this is what you get for a blog post instead of me skipping a second week due to spending as much free time as I possibly can in preparation for this event.

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