For a con where I started with being sick to the point of vomiting I had a really good time. I spent Friday and the first half of Saturday alternating lying in bed and helping chase the kids. meerkat1 took pity on me and took over the kids so I could hear Lois' reading. Then (yay!) the babysitter finally showed and let her go (sure, she'd heard Lois read that chapter before, but I wouldn't pass up a 2nd chance). Then I wound up sitting in the lobby because the sitter wanted to avoid my germs (fair enough). One of the gamers tried to talk me into playing MechWarrior but I explained I knew too much engineering to play with mecha.
Steve Jackson's presentation was interesting. He's trying to do a lot of stuff to diversify the company. Most of it into computer and card games as opposed to the ones that I play, but I'll wish him well. I did suggest Awful Green Things would make a good first-person shooter, he was amused. There's still hope for Ogre Minis but GURPS India is Not To Be. Sigh. The "All Star Jam" GURPS book may be the first of a series. He didn't say this, but he might be aiming at those (like, sigh, me) who pick up the books more as reading material than to use for games. He got a guaranteed sale to me by putting archangelbeth on the roster. If it sells it'll be an annual series. I like the idea--a grab-bag of unconnected high-quality ideas is more interesting and inspiring than a unified book with some good stuff towing boring but necessary appendices. Some interesting comments on the differences between American and German game designers--Americans start with a story or other concept and try to figure out game mechanics to implement it. Germans develop a smooth mechanic and then paste on a story to the finished game. He's releasing more Munchkin books. "Muchkin D20--that works. GURPS Munchkin would be Wrong."
Ran into SJ again later chatting with patgund, who gave me a beautifully smooth straight line for mentioning my Ogre article in submission to Pyramid. SJ: "It's good to have a slush pile." Smooth evasion . . . Later SJ was trying to talk patgund into buying Tribes. I told them I was playing the live-action version.
celticdragonfly and I treated patgund to dinner at the Saltgrass steakhouse as part of the move-to-Texas lobbying campaign. After that we wandered through the room parties (I liked finally being healthy enough to socialize). I finally had a chance to meet p_o_u_n_c_e_r & co in person--hopefully we'll see more of them since we live so close. We found dartpoly and gnosticelf but the baby dragged us off for a feeding so we didn't get to chat long, sigh. We looked for them later with no luck. We wound up in meerkat1 and tygerr's room again with a bunch of Bujold listies, discussing all things under this and other suns, and trading backrubs. Much fun was had by all.
Sunday I went to the VorGURPS panel with Steve and Lois. The third artist has burned down, fallen over, and sunk into the swamp. The fourth artist's name is being kept secret in hopes avoiding whatever evil entity had noticed the first three. Steve: "I'm avoiding that word that begins with "C" and ends with "D" and has an "ur" in the middle." Lois: "I'm not." The two of them appeared to be very comfortable working on the project together, or maybe they're just feeling predator pressure. Lois is looking forward to having a reference book so she can look up everything about some planet she's revisiting. "Offhand remarks, the bane of continuity." Her agent will be getting a case of the books as story bibles for anyone wanting movie/TV options on her books. If this artist survives we'll get the book in 2005 (sigh). The good news is SJ is moving upscale, so we get hardcover, color illustrations, and more pages (yay!). Steve thinks Chalion would be tough to turn into an RPG, since the stories center about god-touched people who are very rare, rather than being more common adventurers.
Then it was celticdragonfly's turn to go to panels while I dealt with the kids. I took them to McD's for a late lunch. It was right across the street from the hotel but I went way out of my way to cross at the light. I'd cross that street by myself. I'd even cross in the middle of the block with Brendan. But I will not play Frogger with the twin stroller. Got back after the last panels got out, joined everyone socializing in the lobby. Maggie wanted to run around and around and around and finally wore me out. tygerr and patgund took some Maggie shifts but I passed on the dinner expedition and went up to the room so Maggie could get a much-needed nap (I wouldn't have minded one myself).
When the dinner crowd came back we had more chatting. Aaron introduced Brendan to the Squeak educational code and was impressed by how quickly he was picking up the language. I've always thought Brendan might have a future as a programmer, it's nice to see a CS prof agreeing. We're going to have to get Brendan a PC of his own with Squeak and maybe Python one of these . . . (sigh) years. I will say that as trying as Brendan can be at times he was a very good kid at this con. We finally had to go home so I could go to bed but we were having a great time.
Hopefully we can go to some more cons soon. Fencon is a definite. Aaron and Joy are trying to talk us into going to DragonCon but that's only a two-day weekend for me so that could be tough. But if I have the vacation time saved up it would be a great time. Linucon is also tempting. Though I think the best cons are the ones with Lois there, because that's where we'll find our friends.