This was my first year attending FyreCon and the second year of this new convention overall. After LTUE in February, I was looking for other writing conventions where I could potentially make a splash as a presenter, and a couple of friends pointed me to FyreCon.
So, here is Drew Gerken with the participants from our Lean Worldbuilding Workshop. This was the final hour of the final day (and also my 7th hour in front of folks talking about gaming and writing in some capacity).
FyreCon was a fun, if modestly-attended, event. I’m considering attending again next year. But first–
The trouble with tacking on gaming at a writing con: it feels like gaming has been tacked on to a writing con.
Yes, there is a ton of overlap.
Yes, FyreCon is focused on genres like sci-fi, fantasy, and horror writing and these are very common in gaming.
It doesn’t mean the majority of attendees are there to talk/learn about writing for games and game design in general.
Also, most of the game sessions were in random rooms in a separate building from registration and the dealer hall. I felt like they might have garnered better attendance if it weren’t a hike/scavenger hunt to get to them.
Finally, Layton is a long drive for me personally. I had to sport for a hotel.
Similar to LTUE earlier this year, The game track needed a boost. Unlike LTUE, there were quite a few excellent panels and workshops lined up, just not enough folks there to attend. Marvelous game designers and writers like Shawn Carman, Alan Bahr, Charles Gannon, and more came to talk, and I frequently saw audiences ranging from 2-5 attendees. Great for those 2-5 people! It’s worth debating if the time special guests spent was a waste.
There are a lot of things to like about FyreCon.
The facilities are roomy and well laid out. They were also convenient except for the sessions in the far building. The dealer hall was quite spacious. Common areas were pretty nice with lots of seating.
The sessions I attended were informative and worth going to. I particularly enjoyed Chuck, Shawn, and Alan and the information they provided and the good conversations we had. It almost felt like I had them all to myself at times.
I enormously enjoyed the ability to participate as a moderator, a panelist, and a presenter. The Lean Worldbuilding Workshop Drew and I ran was not only a complete blast to run, but it was also well attended, and everyone enjoyed it. We had such a great time, we’ve submitted a proposal to rerun it at LTUE in 2019, and we may or may not be in the early stages of developing a game around the concept.
Before and during FyreCon, I had some opportunity to converse with one of the excellent organizers, DawnRay Ammon. Her willingness to hear my thoughts and share thoughts with me about how the organizers are considering improvements for the game track next year impressed me.
I suspect that next year will be even better for FyreCon as this is a convention just getting started (remember, it’s only in its second year). Thanks so much for having me!
The real thing I always love about these events is the people. I hung out and talked and played games with many good friends and brand-new ones. We’ll go alphabetically: Alan, Chuck, Drew, JC, Larry, Michael, Natasha, Patrick, Rock, Shawn, Steve, and the people I inevitably forgot (dumb brain), you made this con for me. Thank you!
Moment of the Con
For after-hours gaming at Alan’s house, he ran the original Tomb of Horrors D&D module. I’ve seldom had such a blast or laughed so hard. Shawn Carman manufactured a background for his monk that had folks blushing and howling with laughter simultaneously. We also saw the advent of the great and mighty professional henchman Bronar who in many ways stole the show. Patrick Tracy’s creation spawned an entire series of flash fiction bits you can find here.
For my character’s part, the erstwhile fighter had something in the neighborhood of 4 wisdom (them’s the rolls) and eventually ended up teleported to the opening of the tomb naked and penniless without a sword in his hand.
All in all, I had a great time, maybe helped some budding writers, and met some people I hope to see again. See you next year, FyreCon?