Metatopia 2014 Report – Summary

Well, everyone, thank you for joining me for this inaugural miniseries of blog posts recounting my experiences at this year's Metatopia.  For this final (and much shorter) installment, I thought I'd collect and summarize the other posts, and wrap up with a few additional thoughts and highlights that weren't in the first parts.

Part 1
In which I cover the games and people that I already knew I wanted to see when I pre-registered for the convention: Epiphany by James D'Amato and Kat Murphy and Project: Dark by Will Hindmarch.

Part 2
In which I cover two different games by the same designer: Medias Res and Terra Incognita by Vivian Abraham.

Part 3
In which I cover Starjump Chronicles by Dev Purkayastha, Writer's Block by Aaron Trammell, and Novapunk by Shane Harsch.

Stuff I Didn't Cover Before
There were some other highlights that didn't involve playtesting, but which still bear noting.  Firstly, it was very nice that I was able to attend the convention with my girlfriend, Tabitha, and we even got the chance to attend a couple slots together, which was pretty fun.  I also got to meet another person high up on my admiration list: Kenneth Hite.  Again, it was one of those weird situations where the voice is so much a part of my life via podcasts, but the actual person is brand new.  It was a thrill to jump the guy in the lobby and shake his hand.  I'm also 99% sure that at some point I shared an elevator with Cam Banks, but he was in conversation, so I didn't interrupt to weird him out.  I'm sure, too, that I passed all sorts of people in the hallway that I would have been really excited to talk to if I had known their faces.  This is the effect of following people's books, articles, and online text.

And last, but in no way least, big ups to Raul's Empanadas Town: delicious, walking distance from the hotel, inexpensive, filling, and open late -- everything a hungry con-goer wants.  Not only was its greatness reflected in the number of times that Tabitha and I showed up there ourselves, but also in the number of times we showed up there and it was full of people sitting at tables eating empanadas and talking about some tricky card mechanic that they were trying to iron out.  Metatopia not only creates a unique and wonderful world inside it, but all around it.

Stuff I Didn't See or Do
The nature of the convention (and any convention, really) is that I'll never be able to schedule everything I want.  Leaving aside even the quantum laws that I can't be in two places at once, even the ordinary concerns of logistics and biology prevent me from scheduling everything I want -- and sometimes even prevent me from attending what I scheduled, which is always a bummer.  I scratched on two slots, Champion of the Realm and SBURBia, which of course I'm not proud of, but which was sadly unavoidable.  I ended up seeing a grand total of zero panels, which I'm not that upset about, since on this particular occasion, I came to play, but I know I missed out on a lot of interesting discussions and probably extra fun.  So it goes.  I was also highly RPG-focused for this trip, only having one slot for a board/card game (perhaps two, if you count Medias Res as well as Writer's Block), and no slots for LARP.

Had I more time, stamina, or clones, I would have sat in on at least a few panels.  I think I would have also tried for at least one thing that was powered by the Apocalypse.  I'm also sad that I didn't sit in on anything by Quinn Murphy.  I didn't get a chance to check out the Ars Magica GUMSHOE stuff, but I'm sure that isn't going to be a quiet development. There were also many (many!) people of whom I am an admirer that I knew were in attendance but that I didn't get a chance to meet.  Which is perfectly fine; I feel like this is the kind of con where designers can really get some good stuff done, so I don't want to take up people's time with nonsense.  Plus I hope there will be more chances to come.  And in general, this list of "regrets" are nothing like complaints.  If anything, it's to highlight just how packed Metatopia is with interesting stuff.  I had a great time in the events I had, and I'm already looking forward to next year.


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