August 29, 2016
Dragon*Con Starts This Friday
Join us at our Panel Saturday at 2:30 PM!
CON STARTS THIS WEEK!!! This is one of my favorite AE traditions. I have been going to DragonCon for years and getting to meet up there with some of our most diehard fans is always a great experience. We've have had people come from England and even as far away as New Zealand just to attend our now legendary DragonCon panels!
THE AQ3D 2016 PANEL!
WHEN: Saturday, September 3rd, 2:30-3:30 PM
WHERE: Westin Hotel, Ballrooms E-G
This year, it will be Artix, Dage, Stryche and me and we will be talking about AQ3D. We will be giving secret info and spoilers about what we're working on and what we have planned for the game, and giving away a few Closed Beta keys that will work for either the Steam or Android versions of the game!
There will be no fan table again this year, but we'll be running around the con so don't be afraid to say hi and give us a high five in the hallway. A LOT of the famous people at con will sign something for you if you pay them, but lucky for YOU we're NOT FAMOUS AT ALL! All you have to do is give us a marker. We will sign ANYTHING. I mean that. Artix and I signed a dude's neckback in 2011.
WAIT...WHAT IS DRAGONCON?
Quite a few people don't know what DRAGONCON is so we should probably cover that first.
Since 1987 people have been coming to Atlanta, Georgia (roughly 8 hours drive from The Secret Underground Lab) for DragonCon which has become one of the largest Sci-Fi, Fantasy conventions in the world. They say that they get about 40,000-45,000 people every year but it's closer to 65,000 or 70,000 and every year, it keeps growing.
This is the floor of just ONE of the SEVEN hotels that make up DragonCon and this is just at midnight on opening night!
There is so much to see that it can actually short out your brain. it happened to me on my first year. When I got back my friends asked me how it was and I actually needed a few days to process all that I had seen and done, heard and tasted, battled and escaped from before I could talk to them about it.
There are panels about everything from making your own functional steampunk R2-D2, to meet-and-greets with some of the biggest names in TVs, Movies, Gaming and Books. There are thousands of people dressed up as their favorite characters, movie marathons, a sea of tables for table top games like Dungeons and Dragons, card games like Pokémon, Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh, board games like Risk, Settlers of Catan and King of Tokyo. There are several WAREHOUSE sized rooms stocked to the gills with Attack On Titan Jackets and titan skinsuits, Lightsabers, Steampunk Goggles, Nerdy T-shirts, Comic Books, Video Games, Card Games, Board Games and other types of game, Art and anything else you can imagine for sale. There are nightly raves, Firefly themed shindigs, vampire masquerade balls and a constant stream of Concerts featuring people like Voltaire, I Fight Dragons, and One-Eyed Doll... and, of course, our own Artix Entertainment Fan Panel.
Sure, sometimes you have to share an elevator with a dalek, but we're all here for fun.
We are a small company with a small but loyal fan base who keep showing up no matter how awful the panel was the year before. In fact, they keep giving us bigger rooms and better time-slots every single year.
At the panel we get to meet and hang out with some of our biggest fans, we talk about what is coming up, have a question and answer session, and Artix usually shows some movies that he's made over the past year. In the past we've had some amazing panels including a fight between Artix, Chairman Platinum and Sepulchure himself fighting surrounded by screaming AE fans cheering Artix on. A few people even stepped in front of our friendly paladin to protect him from the DoomKnight. The people running the room were AMAZED by how excited our players got compared to the other panels on the Gaming and MMO tracks. We even have special guests! Voltaire has shown up and even played a few songs in a surprise concert for his AE fans before.
Voltaire and I posing for a few player photo requests.
And Oh yeah... can't forget about the Artix Panel Item! Every year we come up with some ideas for a special item for people who made the long trek out to visit us. It's traditionally been an AQW item but with so much AQ3D hype we might have a vote during the panel about AQW vs. AQ3D!
Found the pic!
NOTE: WE DO NOT RUN DRAGONCON! AE has nothing to do with the set-up or funding of the convention. We just attend like everyone else. It's an institution in Atlanta and has been held there for the last quarter century so asking us to have it in YOUR hometown next year is impossible on every level. This is also the closest, biggest convention that we can get to. We would LOVE to come to the convention in your town or in your country but we simply can't afford to travel that far.
If this is your first Con, then you should carefully read...
Cysero's Con Survival Guide! (revised 2016 edition)
DragonCon starts NEXT WEEKEND and, as has become tradition, I am imparting my knowledge and experience to you all. This year I've decided to break it down into ESSENTIAL items for survival and another area for GOOD IDEA items! This is Cysero's Con Survival Guide '16!
---------------------------------- ESSENTIAL SURVIVAL ITEMS! ----------------------------------
- A Large Bag.
You're going to to be carrying a LOT of stuff around with you and picking up a lot of stuff as you con so a large bag is necessary. And when I say bag I DO NOT mean a large plastic grocery bag. I mean a sturdy courier bag or backpack. I will be bringing my N7 Canvas courier bag, hardened for con survival.
My trusty canvas N7 con bag!
- A Towel.
Your hotel room will probably come equipped with these but I always prefer to bring a large, beach-sized towel with me wherever I go. Hitchikers listed most of the uses, but for a more practical example: I have fallen asleep in the hallways of more than one convention hotel and it's always nice to have a towel for a blanket or pillow.
- Bottle Of Water.
You may not starve but you might dehydrate. The floor can get HOT with that many people and Atlanta is not a cool place this time of year. Also good for waking up wierdos who are sleeping in the hallways of your hotel under beach towels. I speak from experience. Note: There are plenty of free places to fill up your bottle in the hallways of the various Con hotels.
- Smartphone or Tablet + Charger (Backup Battery Pack is AWESOMELY HANDY).
This one has become a given because who doesn't carry around their phone now? You can show us how well AQ3D runs on your Android phone or tablet and get the DragonCon App that has maps and schedules! Con gives out paper schedules and you might want a hard-copy verion for novelty or because you're a hispter or Luddite, but you'll lose it.
Everyone has something to charge now so finding an open power outlet can be a real challenge but just like you never know when you will get to eat, the same goes for your phone. Finding a free place to plug in is hard but carrying a backup power pack for your phone is SO easy.
- Good Walking Shoes.
Trust me. Even if you're just going for one day... good shoes.
---------------------------------- GOOD IDEA ITEMS! ----------------------------------
You never know what you'll run into at con. Be prepared.
- Extra Strength Energy Shots.
You know, those little bottles of energy booster that they sell everywhere. These things are not great for you, but caffeine and sugar have no effect on MY metabolism unless delivered in MASSIVE doses and you might be built the same way. Con goes day and night, all weekend long. And it's a holiday weekend. I consider them a necessity during Con. We can sleep when we're dead.
- Energy Bars.
Meals come unpredictably during con and staying alive can be hard. You never know when you'll be stuck at a table-top gaming session that lasts 14 hours straight... and if you leave the brutal GM will just kill you.
There are thousands of people from all over the world at con and many of them have brought strange, exotic diseases with them. All these diseases mingle together and become some sort of super-flu affectionately called "Con Rot" that WILL infect you. Keeping your body's defenses up during con severely reduces the time and number of limbs you will lose to the Con Rot after you leave the convention.
- Hand Sanitizer.
- Cash (Well Hidden).
As you explore the convention you WILL encounter some stuff you NEED to own. Swords, pithy shirts, novels, William Shattner selling autographs... and there is a 50% chance that the thing you want to buy, you can't buy with plastic. If you plan on falling asleep in a hall somewhere, be sure that your cash is in your sock or in the secret pocket in your boxers, or cloak... you don't want to wake up broke.
DragonCon Merch Room Map
A Good Friend.
The buddy system is always a good idea. That's why I usually bring Alces. He's my best friend and I've known him since middle school. He's part Dr. Gonzo, part Chief Medical Officer and part Tech Support. If you have a friend who has been before and can show you around the ever changing paths of the convention, bonus.
Glow Sticks or a Dance Party App.
In 2010 Alces and I accidentally found ourselves in a mobile rave. One guy was wearing the sound system and power supply on his back and his two friends were each wearing giant speakers converted into backpacks. The party never stopped moving. Alces and I took a chance, caught a cab, went to an all night market and bought $44 worth of glowsticks to give to share with our fellow mobile partiers. We were gone about 4 minutes, but when we returned to the street corner, they had moved on. We spent the next hour following the sound of those booming speakers until we caught up. If on'y we'd had the glow sticks on us.
A Zorbak Plushy.
It's the ultimate ice-breaker. "Can I get a picture of you holding this guy, please?" "Sure... what is he?".
That time Zorbak met George Tekai at DragonCon!
- An Umbrella or Poncho.
In 2011 the Venture Brothers panel line was long enough that it went outside the hotel and Alces and I found ourselves in the middle of a rain storm. With all of the weather coming from Tropical Storm Isaac headed toward Atlanta just in time for con. I suggest packing weather protection. A poncho will fit in your bag but an unmbrella makes you look swanky if you rock it right.
Duct Tape (DUCK TAPE).
This is just something you should have all the time anyway, BUT there are a LOT of people in a LOT of costumes and things start falling apart on day one. A well timed piece of duct tape can make you a lot of friends very quickly.
That should be, more or less, everything that you need to pack. Other options include: clean clothes, costumes, things you want autographed, video camera, your Battleon Battle Card deck (teach a stranger how to play!), a map of the con (some of us like getting lost), a pair of scissors (for a lock of Kevin Sorbo's hair while he's passed out in a fountain somewhere), a sketchbook (for ideas), a steampunk R2 unit, 8 channel programmable remote control, Sonic Screwdriver, or grappling hook... just cause.
You Guys Are Coming With Me!
It always seems that we have a TON of fans at our panel but they represent a tiny fraction of you guys and we really do which you could ALL be there. I'm going to try really hard to keep a contact stream of Twitter, Facebook and Vine spam coming your way so you can come with me and live DragonCon through my eyes (camera).
Artix, Dage, Stryche and I will be hopping in the car early on NEXT Thursday morning, so be packed and ready to ride to Atlanta with us!