So, you're sat in a pub in Edinburgh, nursing your lemonade (because you barely have any cash because you have lost your wallet) and you are sitting with people you have spoken to online but barely met but who all know each other. Opposite you is one of the world's most well received independent games writers and to your right is arguably one of the most influential men in rpgs. You've decided that, at this moment in time, it might be better to hold back your normal gregarious nature, shut up and listen. And then one of the people turns around and says ' Hey Neil? Did you get anywhere with the Sharpe licence?'
Welcome to my weekend!
In many ways Conpulsion was a mixed bag of successes and failures. On a personal note it was a massive success. I got to finally meet a slew of people from the etheral world of t'interweb face to face and see them at their gaming work. I ran a really rather pleasing successful demo/test/session of Duty & Honour which ran perfectly well and gave me a great deal of enthusiasm back after a week of what could have been termed hard slog. I did a fun session of Hot War which was horrific in a pleasing fashion for me. I played Piledrivers & Powerbombs, an excellent light wrestling game and won the World Title and I played Burning Empires and saw what happens when you take all those words and turn them into a game - and it works really well.
On the downsides, the convention was sparesly attended and there were so many fractured events running at the same time that the crowd was spread very thinly indeed. Plenary events were booked against normal sessions (I was in competition with the Auction, for example) which seemed like a schoolboy error. As a result the Collective Endeavour stall never seemed too busy with custom although it took a fair bit of cash. From a CE point of view I think that there were a number of organisational balls dropped which hampered things at points and a general lack of leadership and discipline that lead to a few questionable decisions being made by individuals. I learned a lot.
Indeed yes, I learned a lot. I learned that the people posting on Story Games about mutualism being dead have never obviously experienced the people associated with Collective Endeavour! I was humbled by the enthusiasm and support that these relative strangers gave to me for my project and how they offered up so much in the way of advice and general egging on. When someone who you have never seen in the flesh before PIMPS you and your game to strangers better than you can yourself, thats something to behold! Any cobwebs of self doubt definitely get blown away in those circumstances.
So yes, that was my weekend. Swimming with the sharks, warm cuddly sharks with tangy lemon pie and plentiful advice about printers....