Midwinter Gaming Convention was held at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.
The Hilton in downtown Milwaukee is not a pretty sight from outside, but the interior is lovely. And there's a piano bar on the second floor. I don't want to say I spent a LOT of time there, but I did spend SOME time there.
I got into Milwaukee in the evening. Just enough time to have dinner and hang around in the hotel piano bar for a while.
I manned my demo table from 10am to 6pm on Friday. It was a little slow for my liking. Plenty of traffic, but there are only so many people interested in trying out an RPG they've never heard of. That said, I ran a few tables. I also talked to a bunch of people, handed out business cards, and gave the elevator pitch a bunch of times.
Better than that, there were several people who, even though they couldn't hang around to demo just then, spent five minutes or so talking to me about M&A. A few promised to bring a group back later (later Friday or maybe Saturday). One of them followed through before Friday was out.
My demo table was situated on a main corridor, across from the dealer hall. The guy in the blue shirt is Eloy LaSanta, the main dude at Third Eye Games. He's a cool guy who has provided me with much advice in my endeavors to bring M&A to life. Check out his website and buy his games.
Here's my demo table, pre-people. The mirror makes the game look bigger. :-)
Here are some of the folks who were my neighbors in the demo area.
First up is The Nerdologues. They're the members of an improv comedy troupe who created a fun brawling card game (via Kickstarter) called Fisticuffs.
Next is Front Room Games. These guys had several games available for play. Their website (frontroomgames.com) seems to be down right now (check back later), but you can go HERE for their Facebook page.
Friday evening, I hung out with Milwaukee friends at the Safe House, a spy-themed bar and grill. I hadn't been there in over a decade. Good times.
On Saturday, I manned my demo table from 10am to 6pm again. As was the case on Friday, the attendee traffic was good, but the stop-bys at my table were a little slower than I'd like. That said, I did run some demos and, once again, talked to a bunch of people for more than just the elevator pitch and handed out website business cards.
A fellow from the Guys, Games, and Beer Podcast stopped by to invite me to be on his show to discuss M&A. I'll be on the podcast at some point to pimp the game and build my audience.
I also touched base with my friend Jim (in the Packer jersey), who is a regular guest on the NerdBurger Podcast and who contributed a short piece of fiction for the Murders & Acquisitions game book. I also got to touch base with his wife, who will be creating the M&A Kickstarter video in a few weeks. She's a professional video editor who has givenme the "friends and family" discount on this. Awesome lady. My thanks to her.
AND...I finally met their super-cool kid, who totally rocked his character in an M&A demo, blowing stuff up with fire, ice, and earth bolts like crazy.
Murders & Acquisitions is a family game. Who knew?
The fourth person in the photo above is Tim, who I know from many summers performing at the Bristol Renaissance Faire lo those many years ago. He has volunteered to run M&A demos at a weekly game day near his home that has a crap ton of attendees. Huzzah for marketing! Tim is awesome.
On Saturday evening, I played my in a modified/home-brew D&D game with my friend Bret as the DM. I played in his game for a while when I still lived in Milwaukee. It was quite the experience. A decade later, Bret still runs his game like he did when I lived in town. Waves of nostalgia washed over me throughout the evening, as I battled evil people and monsters with good friends from Milwaukee.
All in all, it was a great (long) weekend. Game convention plus hanging with Milwaukee friends plus visiting my family in NE Wisconsin made for an excellent vacation.
The con organizers were inviting and friendly. They gave me a great spot to run my demos. I can't over-pimp this con enough. It was excellent. Many thanks to all who helped me bring Murders & Acquisitions to the con, especially Anne Holmes. Thanks, Anne. I had a ton of fun.
I feel reinvigorated in many ways. Now I have to get back to editing the M&A manuscript, finalizing Apocalypse rules (and getting some playtests going), working with my artists and graphic designer to make M&A pretty, and prepping to create a Kickstarter for this bad boy.
Oh, one more thing. The demo area was visited several times by a dude in an excellent orc costume. He interacted with everyone in the area and kept "in orc character" the entire time.
How can you not LOVE that?!?