Two cons. Two weeks.
Updated: May 29
Hey, hey, hey everybody! 2020 is here! Man, we just finished January and I feel like it’s been a whole season already (and that’s not just because of this Ohio weather). We’ve done a lot in January, and it’s only going to get crazier from there. So without further ado, on with the rest of the post!
Let’s start off with Magfest. This year we were put on a waiting list for attendees, so if anyone dropped, we’d get in. Magfest was right after New Year’s, and for some reason, someone dropped just three days before the event. Of course, three days is some pretty short notice, so unfortunately, we had to tell the wonderful crew at MIVS we couldn’t make it. I sent that email out close to 3 am. Cut to a few hours later, and we announce on Twitter that we’re not going to be able to make it; and then we got the coolest DM! Kait Paschall of Epic Games (acting of her own accord, of course, not in any official capacity) asked how much it would cost to get a small team to Magfest. After just a few minutes, she pulled her husband, Alexander (who also works for Epic), into the conversation, and straight up gifted us the amount we needed to go to DC. Apparently it was all because of our work in accessibility. Holy crap! How awesome are they!? Seriously, this was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for us!
So I immediately work things out with the MIVS team (who were happy to have us), and then started planning our Magfest trip!
Yeah, this trip was going to be incredibly tight. Adam, who would normally be there, couldn’t even make it. It was just me and Chris for the core team, but luckily, Griffin was there for other reasons (helping out a couple other booths), and Glenn is there every year. Spoiler alert: Glenn helps run Chipspace, so we didn’t even get to see him at all!
So Steve drove me to the airport, and Chris’ mom dropped him off. Somehow, our flight ended up overbooked! What this meant is, they had to put us on the next available flight. We showed up at the airport at, like, 5:30 am. The next flight was at noon! There were many apologies given, but ultimately, we ended up just camping out in the food court. One of the things about MIVS that is pretty cool, but I can never get the hang of, is unlike certain events, where you pay for your booth and that’s it, MIVS gives you a booth for free; but it’s only for the best of the best. In exchange for this free booth, you have to agree to what are called “core hours”. If you aren’t at your booth during core hours, you lose both your booth and your badges. That nearly happened to us last year due to my crummy phone reception. Because of the plane situation, there was no way we were making core hours. So there I am, in an airport food court, desperately trying to get hold of anyone from MIVS to make sure we still have our spot. It was a nightmare!
Luckily, this constituted an emergency, so we were allowed to keep our spot. Noon rolled around, and we were in a “special boarding group” because of our bump from before. So Chris scans his pass, moves forward, waiting for me a little bit; next guy gets in line, scans his pass; and then it’s my turn. So the lady looks at me (dead in the eyes) and says, “Not you.” So I said, “Wait, what?”
“You’re not getting on the plane.”
“That man just took our last seat,” as she pointed to the man in front of me.
All the while I’m starting to have a panic attack, explaining to her that Chris can’t even get into Magfest without me. The lady next to her, helping the gentleman who just took my seat, says to him, “Are you Tom?”
He replies, “No, Tom’s my dad.”
Without skipping a beat, the lady who’s talking to me whips around, pointing at him, practically yelling, and says, “No. You told me you were Tom.”
“No. Tom’s my dad.”
The lady he was talking with said, “Is Tom here?”
He responded, “No. He got on the other flight.” I presume he meant the flight that we were bumped off of too.
The lady who was talking to me, still pointing at him, says, “You’re off,” starts pointing at me, “he’s on.”
I guess I was on.
Before anyone could tell me otherwise, I scan my ticket and get on the plane.
When I get to my seat, the one on the ticket, there was someone already sitting in it. The woman says, “Oh, sorry. I can move if you want me to.” See, apparently, there was a man sitting in her seat already. He was across the aisle. He apologized too. They apparently had the same seat marked on their tickets, so she ended up sitting in my seat; because I had taken so long, she thought it was empty. There was a clear seat pretty close by, and I was about to go sit there, when the flight attendant comes up and starts yelling at her for being in the wrong seat. I had assumed that the reason the man and woman had the same seat on their ticket was because they were together and bought their tickets at the same time, so I say, “Oh, I can sit in that other seat so they can stay together.” And the woman looks at me and says, “No, we’re not together. We just have the same seat.”
So then we land.
We find ourselves at the Gaylord Hotel, we run our booth, hang out with Griffin, Alex from Two Scoop Games, Michael and Morgan (whom we had met at IndiePrize), and then even occasionally bump into the Super Soul team (who we really wanted to hang out with, but for some reason just couldn’t work that out). That was basically the weekend. Played some awesome pinball, showed off the game, it was nice. We flew home without incident. It’s a shame, really. While we had an amazing time at Magfest, the memories of it already are overclouded by the initial hassle of just getting on a plane. I will say, though, that as usual, Collapsus blew people away. That’s really what it’s all about.
While we were away at Magfest, something crazy awesome happened. Final voting for the I Can Play That accessibility awards went on. We won in our category! We were named “Most Dedicated to Accessibility Indie/Solo Dev”. It was so cool! We were up there with so many of the big boys in the games accessibility field! They’re even mailing us a trophy! We are all so proud!
Literally the next weekend, we were off to Ohayocon for the Ohayocon Indie Games Showcase. Unlike Magfest, there were four of us this time. Joining me and Chris were Adam and Lucas. This was actually Lucas’ first Ohayocon!
I don’t have all that much to say about Ohayocon, honestly. Which, to be completely real, was my favorite thing about it! Since we were full up on team members, there was a lot of time to actually go out and enjoy the rest of the con. However, I don’t really talk about downtime, and, unlike last year, 50% of this was downtime for all of us.
You can really say that events like GDEX, Ohayocon, and Vector are special to us. We’ve been going for so long that there’s a comfortable groove there that we just slide into. Everyone knows our name… staff, other exhibitors, and even returning attendees. When you can literally have recurring inside jokes with past visitors (even ones that make it into the official program), it’s less like work, and more like going home.
I wish I could say more on it, but the fact that it was so comfortable and that the staff, attendees, and our fellow exhibitors were all just so happy to be there, what else is there? It keeps growing every year; getting better and better! We’re so happy to watch it grow!
Oh, that and Total Nuclear Annihilation pinball… Seriously. GO HUNT IT DOWN AND PLAY IT.
But yeah. Sorry it took a whole month to get this one out. We’re prepping for something really big over here and we wrote this in 2 parts. Honestly could have made the Magfest & Ohayocon posts two separate ones, but that just didn’t “feel” right. Either way, keep a close eye on us over on Twitter the next couple weeks for something awesome. You won’t wanna miss it!