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Thread: GenCon Indy Survival Guide: The Return!

  1. #1
    Regular Member Sketch's Avatar
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    GenCon Indy Survival Guide: The Return!

    GenCon Indy Survival Guide

    Big props to TripsEX and rAn for their contributions and editing help! This is a repost from 2011, enjoy!

    GENCON SURVIVAL GUIDE

    If you take the advice contained within to heart, it will save your wallet, your mind, your sense of smell, and probably your sanity. GenCon is an exciting trip filled with awesome people and great memories, the following list of tips is guaranteed to help make your weekend one you will never forget!

    1. Food. Eating is important!

    Never eat at the Convention Center, ever. The food is outrageously overpriced and is not that good - think cheap nasty pizza, hot dogs and cold sandwiches, stadium food at above stadium prices. Tournament coordinators do realize that their players are human and need to eat, and will allow for breaks accordingly. UFS is notoriously flexible with tournament timing, you will be able to take a break and eat, trust me. With that said, when you DO get your break, go to the mall food court attached to the Convention Center. It's maybe a ten minute walk, you will get to see the general population of Indianapolis wrap their brains around the weirdos in costume toting foam swords everywhere, and while it's still mall prices on food, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than the convention center proper. There's a pretty good range of food there, your standard fast food/mall spread like Chik-Fil-A and Taco Bell, and a great cheesesteak place called The Great Escape. Expect Atlanta to be in line there pretty often. There's also an arcade upstairs from the food court, if you are so inclined.

    Another good way to save money and time is to bring stuff from outside the convention in your bag. Whether you like chips, powerbars, Skittles, or whatever, give yourself a few small snacks for the day. Stick 'em in the front pocket of your bag so when you find yourself starving between rounds and there's seemingly no break insight, you have a small snack to eat. Me, I buy a box of Clif Bars before the con and stuff a couple in my bag every morning, works pretty well for me. Some great energy snacks for conventions are nuts, any kind of granola bar (as long as it isn't filled with sugar), or fruit [Just don't go and make a mess of it. --TripsEX].

    Most hotels do a complimentary continental breakfast, get your butt out of bed (or off the floor, off the radiator you are perched on, whatever) and take advantage of it! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and by getting your fill of a good breakfast early, your wallet and your stomach will thank you by round three!

    2. Drinks. Stay Hydrated!

    This ties in to #1. DO NOT buy drinks at the Convention Center, ever.. (Seeing a trend here?) I just bring a Nalgene bottle, toss it in my backpack, and fill it up with water every chance I get. There are water fountains in the convention center at almost every turn, so it's rather easy for me to fill that bottle. You will want to stay hydrated, believe me. If you're a soda fiend, cool, do your thing [Soda is probably on the worst things you can drink in an attempt to hyrdate yourself at a convention, especially one as big as GenCon. It won't rehydrate you, just put flavour in your mouth. Nothing works good as water! --TripsEX -- Agreed! -- Sketch], but bring bottled or canned from outside the con; this isn't a stadium, they won't kick you out for bringing in your own non-alcoholic drinks and you'll save a LOT of money.

    3. Important Convention Materials. Lose this stuff and we'll all laugh at you!

    Having your badge on you at all times is very important, even when you're not doing things related with GenCon. Some places give a discount if you're in town for GenCon, and have a badge to show it, so keep it on the whole weekend. The best way to get your badge is by online, but if you didn't come early to registration. The lines are through the roof usually Day 1, so make sure you're ready to wait in line.

    Registering for events is a great way to manage the events you're playing in, and not have to worry about having tons of Generics on you the entire weekend. As a bonus, GenCon looks at the amount of players signed up for events, so getting a pre-registered ticket is a huge help to showing just how many people love UFS. There are going to be lots of other side events you'll want to participate in, so make sure you get at least a few other Generics to have in your wallet at all times. (Also, if you end up with too many Generics at one point, you can probably trade them back to cash with other UFS players if you need to; making sure we don't have people waiting in lines for no reason!)

    4. Clothing! It's Mandatory!

    This should be pretty obvious, but I'll go ahead and throw it out there anyway. Unless you're in costume, wear comfortable stuff that you're not going to be sweating your brains out in, this includes comfortable footwear. You will do a LOT of walking around the convention center during the day, and the city late night if you hang with the UFS crew. There's nothing worse than having your feet kill you for the entire weekend.

    Let me repeat that, in case you didn't hear it the first time. NO SANDALS. (<rAn> @ sandals, worst mistake of my life. I only brought sandals one year, it was terrible)

    5. Personal Belongings, Think Minimalist!

    You will want a backpack or shoulder bag. Trust me on this. Make it a good one, with padded shoulder support and a spot to holster a water bottle or soda bottle. I don't care what kind of backpack you get, just make sure it's comfortable for you and the amount of stuff you plan on carrying, for the amount of time you'll have it on. [You will realistically be wearing it for 4 - 6 hours at a time. --TripsEX]

    Here's what I'll be toting around with me this year for the convention in my backpack:

    a. Water. 22 Oz metal water bottle I'll be refilling throughout the weekend.
    b. Snacks. 2 Clif Bars per day, in the front pocket of my bag.
    c. Decks. 1 or 2 deck boxes with my UFS decks for that day in them. With extra sleeves in case some break. (Important!)
    d. Trade Binder. My team's trade binder of UFS stuff.
    e. Playmat. It's a playmat. Not really necessary, but it's neat.
    f. Small Notebook and a few extra pens. This is for life totals, taking notes on matches, registering your deck, getting phone numbers of hot Morrigan cosplayers, counting how many times Scott Gaines says Salty or Pasta, the usual.

    That's it, just six things. You honestly don't -need- a laptop, your copy of the Necronomincon, your Leatherman, a flashlight, and an entire box of Hostess Fruit Pies to make it through a tournament. Save your back, pack light. This also leaves room for you to hold on to stuff you may pick up at the dealer room - posters and whatnot obviously won't fit in here, but just about everything else should, within reason. If not, prepare to lug around an extra bag for the rest of the day, and keep track of it as well. If you do want to lug around a laptop though, the convention center does have free WiFi, so there's that. Of course, the usual stuff - keys, wallet, ID (crucial!), cellphone, cell charger (more crucial than you'd think!), etc - go without saying. Just don't forget your room key!

    6. The Dealer Hall. Money-Sucking Deathtrap!

    You will get to see all sorts of new games being premiered, demo stuff, buy and sell pretty much anything, kick it with gamers from all over the planet, it's great. Just keep your budget in mind, you still gotta eat! An easy way to do this is to set a limit on how much you're going to spend, and leaving the instant you hit that limit, not looking at anything else as you leave. If you have trouble setting a limit, have someone help keep you in check by going to the Dealer Hall with you. CoolStuffInc has a booth in the Dealer Hall, so remember to stop by and look at UFS singles if you need some! [Do not haggle with the dealers, even on the last day of the event. If a dealer is willing to haggle with you, they'll put up a sign and you can go from there. I've worked at dozens of conventions and the worst thing to do if you're trying to get a deal is haggle needlessly. If you can't afford it, don't attempt to buy it. --TripsEX]

    If you get time, help Jason and the Jasco Games crew demo some UFS! It's a great way to help promote the game, and who knows, maybe you'll meet some people from your area of the planet who want to play this game!

    7. Drinking. (The fun kind!)

    Main things to remember? No booze in the convention center itself, the security there is relentless, and will confiscate that sweet tankard you just got from The Ram. [Happened to me. -- Sketch] The other, be of legal drinking age. Nothing will take the wind out of your convention fun like being arrested for underage drinking. Simply, do not do it.

    Speaking of The Ram... The UFS community loves itself some late-night. If you are of legal drinking age, you will probably be corraled in to at least going to The Ram with all of us. They have great house-brewed beer, a full bar, a solid menu, and are always packed, but it's tradition so we go anyway. They do awesome stuff like GenCon themed tankards of whatever beer you want that you get to take home, make SURE you leave backpack space for this if you get one, it's big. If you ARE going to drink with us, try to not get yourself arrested, we'd appreciate it. If you're going to go to a room party for booze, don't be a douche. Toss your host a few bucks to cover their alcohol cost or bring some of your own, it's a good move.

    8. Timing. Don't be that guy!

    Timing is everything, and when at GenCon it's no different. Remember to show up for your events on time, with at least 15 minutes to spare, with your entry in hand. Showing up late is rude to all other players, even if you were out all last night partying and drinking with them. If 20+ people can make it to an event on time, so can you.

    9. General Useful Tips [Written by me! --TripsEX]

    a. Use the guidebook that GenCon gives you! It's full of useful information including what events will happen, special promotions, and even coupons for the actual convention.

    b. If you don't know something, ask someone! UFS players are all generally nice, so don't be afraid to ask someone. GenCon and The Indianapolis Convention Center all have copious amounts of staff on duty, and they're in positions to help you.

    c. Don't get yourself into trouble. Self explanitory why you shouldn't get arrested.

    d. Have the ability to take notes, keep a pen and paper on you all the time. Get names of people to add on G+/FB, write down stories of what happened that day; whatever you need to write down, be able to write it.

    10. Personal Hygiene. Clean yo'self!

    Shower. Brush your teeth. Keep your nails trimmed.

    Everything you would do at home, around someone you are on a date with or trying to impress, do at GenCon. Shower everyday, wear deodorant, shave if needed. Conventions are already filled with people who do not shower and stay up all night in MTG events. The best thing you can do to help your fellow players out is to keep yourself fresh.

    Cologne or perfume is a great way to keep yourself smelling great, just don't overdo it. Deodorant is a must, no matter what day it is. Brush your teeth any time you are in your room, for whatever reason. If you have foot odor, use baby powder in your shoes.

    Axe is not a replacement for showering. Do yourself a favor, take care of your hygiene at GenCon and hope that karma has others do the same.

    That's it! Keep these tips in mind, and your GenCon experience is sure to be an awesome one. Can't wait to see you all there!

  2. #2
    Senior Member HypeMan!'s Avatar
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    Also of note, keep an eye on your bag. UFS people are nice and responsible, but it's a big convention and no telling who's playing outside of our little corner.

    Good idea for budget control, figure out how much money you have for the weekend, divide it up between each day, and only put that cash in your wallet. Might not work for everyone but works for me. When I open my wallet and nothing's there, guess I'm done for the day. (Save money for Saturday night Bucca raid)

    GenCon:

    Be smart.
    The infinite hype machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by ATLDrew View Post
    Ya'll should be Team Emotional Rollercoaster. Thomas is super hype about everything, Syclic is super sad about everything, and Trips just says whatever the hell he is thinking.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Dillon's Avatar
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    I want to go to Gencon just to wear flip flops and prove to you guys that you are all just pansies when it comes to feet.

  4. #4
    Regular Member Jane10lo's Avatar
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    I agree with all of these things, but I would like to add something. I'm sure most people are very good about this, since the UFS crowd is generally an over 18 population... but please do not stop in the middle of a hallway, the dealers room, in front of a table, etc. and TALK/TEXT to your friends or on your cellphone. Yes, occasionally this is unavoidable, but I get so frustrated at these crowded events where people feel their chatting time is an obligation of space when people are trying to get to an event. Some hallways are narrow, and sometimes there are just a lot of people at one time, so it is not okay to just stop and talk right in the middle.

    I am sure most people are very aware of this and will have the manners to step to the side or out of the way, but I seriously am not going to be above smacking a cell-phone out of someone's hand if they are blocking my art table this year.

  5. #5
    Scout S_OBrien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    CoolStuffInc has a booth in the Dealer Hall, so remember to stop by and look at UFS singles if you need some!
    You forgot to mention that Rochester CCG will also be there with UFS singles!
    Sean O'Brien
    Owner Rochester CCG

    We are always buying and selling UFS! Check us out:
    www.rochesterccg.com

    2012 Team Canadian National Champion
    2015 Team United States National Champion

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dillon View Post
    I want to go to Gencon just to wear flip flops and prove to you guys that you are all just pansies when it comes to feet.
    No. You will be destroyed. Trust me. I have like Indian Pathfinder feet and it shelved me. Sketch included this section because i was the case study sample!
    http://forums.jascogames.com/forums/...ntastic-Deals!

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    Senior Member Dillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLDrew View Post
    No. You will be destroyed. Trust me. I have like Indian Pathfinder feet and it shelved me. Sketch included this section because i was the case study sample!
    I take an hour long walk in flip flops every day, I also carry a 20 pound backpack around school while wearing flip flops. My skin was irritated so badly by my flip flops that I literally started bleeding, BUT I DON'T GIVE A .

  8. #8
    Scout
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillon View Post
    I take an hour long walk in flip flops every day, I also carry a 20 pound backpack around school while wearing flip flops. My skin was irritated so badly by my flip flops that I literally started bleeding, BUT I DON'T GIVE A .
    ok, now try walking around for 9-14 hours in those flipflops. 3-4 days in a row.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syclic View Post
    ok, now try walking around for 9-14 hours in those flipflops. 3-4 days in a row.
    I've been to many conventions with the same setup, I also love the flea market.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dutpotd's Avatar
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    Bah! Survival guide to gencon, I lose my voice every year but my spirit remains

    I should note, sleep, unlike clothes is apparantly not mandatory!!!
    "No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin Chin."

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