Last Saturday I attended the GameStorm convention in Vancouver, WA. Teos (@Alphastream) gave car-less me a lift while Ian (@Reg06) from Going Last podcast helped set me up with a badge – for which I’m immensely grateful to both of them! It was an unexpected trip, so I hadn’t planned my trip to take advantage of the many awesome events going on there but I did get to see a lot of the convention, play some games, and hang out with some awesome people.
GameStorm is quite the growing convention. According to the coordinator I spoke with, over a thousand people attended this year and they’re expecting an increase in attendance next year. Taking up several event rooms in the Vancouver Hilton, it’s larger than your average local con but still not as big as the giants of the gaming conventions. The best part about this is that it makes the convention feel very friendly and familiar, I saw lots of people I’ve gamed with or met at other events, making it really fun to flag people down and catch up on what games they’ve been playing lately.
The star of GameStorm I’d have to say is their main hall. An enormous space dedicated to games. Near the entrance is a library of games you can check out with just your badge number. An orange traffic cone on your table lets you advertise you’re looking for players – or spot a table and swoop in to join a new game. A section of the floor was devoted to the “Game Lab” where you could playtest games in development and earn rewards. Visiting the Dealer’s Room I had some great discussions with various vendors and few indie game developers. I also perused the wargaming room, an area devoted to children’s gaming, a console gaming room, free play lan room, checked out the LARP listings, and then I RSVP’d to play some Ashes of Athas. The tabletop RPG room was split between D&D and Pathfinder tables.
I wish I could say more, like about some cool new game I played but I didn’t have the chance to play anything particularly new. I really wanted to try the new Lords of Waterdeep but alas, no luck! I did get to sit down to play some other games I had never tried before. I enjoyed a couple of sessions of Ashes of Athas and got to watch The Doubleclicks play, followed by a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity with them, the Going Last guys, and several others. It was a busy day crammed with as much as I could get out of GameStorm in one Saturday. Next year, my scheduling willing, I think I’ll try to register for the weekend and try to get the whole experience of GameStorm next time.