204 – Gen Con and other Virtual Conventions – The Family Gamers Podcast

Gen Con Online
Gen Con Online

We’re going to talk about Gen Con, Gen Can’t, and virtual conventions in general.

Fun Fact: There are exactly 204 ways to place three non-attacking queens on a chessboard!

Thanks to our sponsor, First Move Financial. We talk about the sunk-cost fallacy

What We’ve Been Playing

Concluzio (Puzzling Pixel Games) – a pure deduction game that plays a bit like Hanabi. Hold one card face out and get clues about what your card matches (or not).

Adventure Land (HABA) – see our review.

Sparkle*Kingdom (Breaking Games) – get the coloring sheets and rules at sparklekingdom.com

Knot Dice (Black Oak Games) – see our review.

Dragonology – picked up this game from the thrift store. Roll-and-move with set collection; so a lot of random chance and much longer than it needs to be. But not terrible; thematicallly great.

Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising (The OP) – a very frustrating cooperative game. Defeat Voldemort and the Death Eaters, primarily through dice rolls.

We discuss the difference between cooperative games that are heavily chance-dependent versus ones that have very little chance.

Endangered (Grand Gamers Guild) – in which we find out that Anitra is a terrible breeder of tigers. Listen to our interview with Joe Hopkins, the creator, and keep watch for the expansion (more animal types!) coming soon to Kickstarter.

My City (KOSMOS) – we’ve been excited for this since Andrew saw it at NY Toy Fair.

The Crew (KOSMOS) – trick taking that’s cooperative and with goals. We’re hopeful this will train us to be better at trick-taking!

Quirky Circuits (Plaid Hat Games) – our review is linked below.

Biblios (IELLO)

Qwingo (Gamewright) – we’re reminded why we like it so much and why we gave it such a glowing review.

Hues and Cues (The OP) – we played over Zoom and it was fun.


There will be a sequel to Cartographers, one of our favorite roll-and-write (flip and writes)! It’s called Heroes.

SNAP Review: Quirky Circuits

Cooperate to program robots in this game from Plaid Hat Games. Just one catch – you’re not allowed to talk, and you must play at least one card from your hand every round.

Find more pictures at our SNAP review.

For Science!

We try the Apple Pie Kit Kat. Very artificial, but not bad!

Gen Can’t

The original un-convention is still happening too! Oddly, it feels smaller than Gen Con, even though it can theoretically reach more people.

There will be a photo contest, a mini-painting contest, and a raffle, along with a few hosted events: Mega Plays hosted by Ruel Gaviola, Mandi Hutchinson, Girls Game Shelf; some fun Quiz Shows with Bruce Voge; Jackbox; karaoke; and interactive story times.

Everything with Gen Can’t is 100% free, most things don’t require registration, and you can participate on your own schedule. :)

Gen Con

Gen Con is this coming weekend! You can register for a badge for free – do that at GenCon.com

Tons of related events. Once you have a badge, sign up for events and get tickets. Some events cost, some are free. (Seminars, board game sessions, RPG sessions, tournaments, crafts, and all sorts of entertainment! Literally thousands of events. Did a ton of scrolling of family-friendly events still open and only got up to Thursday evening.)

We love that virtual cons mean you can do full play-throughs of a brand new game: on the show floor, you’ll get abbreviated demos instead.

Let’s talk about virtual cons in general. Honestly most virtual cons have already happened this year but this is probably a trend that will continue not only while we still deal with COVID, but it may be the new way we do these things – with a virtual to supplement the actual.

Companies have started putting on their own virtual conventions, because they’ve already put most of their games into virtual board game engines. Doing a virtual con on their own schedule means good things and bad things. 1. They don’t need to share the spotlight. 2. They can show things when they’re ready, not rush things for a third party’s schedule.

Online conventions work for people who are good at planning – and are great for seeing things you already KNOW you want to see. We don’t think the virtual con can re-create the browsing experience you get at an in-person convention.

Gary Chavez gives us tips for attending a virtual con: https://www.meeplemountain.com/top-six/top-6-tips-for-attending-an-online-board-game-convention/

We like this list of online cons from Meeple Mountain: https://www.meeplemountain.com/articles/the-board-gamers-guide-to-board-game-conventions/#online

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The Family Gamers is sponsored by First Move Financial. Go to FirstMoveFinancial.com/familygamers to learn how the team at First Move Financial can help you pile up the victory points.

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