KublaCon 2017

I spent the weekend at KublaCon, which is a four day gaming convention held in Burlingame near the San Francisco airport. It’s really the only large gaming convention I’ve ever attended, and it’s been a few years since I’ve gone. Quite a bit has changed since the last time I was there. The Hyatt Regency went through a significant remodel, mostly dealing with the atrium level.

hyatt regency burlingameThey took out some of the trees, which was one of the things I liked the most about the space, but worst of all, they removed the pub. I admit that there is a lot more space for open gaming. That was actually quite nice. There is a bar, but it’s not nearly as inviting as the old one, and it’s out in the open with everything else, so it doesn’t feel like a place to escape to when you are tired of gaming.

Every day I’m shuffling

If you wanted to sign up for any type of game this weekend, you had to use the Shuffler, which sounds like a lame super villain. You just put those back in order but I, the Shuffler, have now randomized them! Mwahaha! Back when I was attending regularly, the shuffler was only used for the RPG events. If you wanted to participate in board game events then you would sign up using binders that were kept near where the event was to be held. Now everything runs through the shuffler. As far as I could tell, nobody likes the shuffler, but change is never easy. It will probably be great once they get the kinks out. By the way, when you design a website, don’t have a black background with grey text, because there’s no way in hell I can read it on my phone.

I didn’t participate in any gaming events. I thought about it, but got frustrated with the shuffler interface. I actually only played two games the entire time I was there. One was a pirate themed game that didn’t do much for me. The other game was Klank! which is quite good. I did attend a seminar on using role-playing games in education. It was very interesting, and it sounds like it would be a good addition to existing social emotional learning programs. Can I write off the cost of my trip now?

Speaking of costs, I didn’t spend much in the vendor room. There was a lot of very cool stuff, and Endgame had their booth set up, but I am lucky to have a great local game store, and I would rather give them my money. I did end up buying a game box organizer from The Broken Token booth, but that was only because my friend Josh gave me a $10 off voucher that he won in some event. Thanks Josh!

Hi-diddle-dee-dee The auction room for me

I spent most of the day Sunday in the auction room. For $54, I was able to get a copy of Snow Tails, Owner’s Choice, Olympus, and two expansions for Combat Commander. I was looking for some older wargames to play with my nephew, and I was hoping that I could find a copy of Manhattan. That didn’t really pan out, but I had a nice day hanging out. The people who run the auction do a really good job.

I went by myself this year, and thank goodness I was able to meet up with some friends. They really made my weekend at the convention, and if they hadn’t been there, I probably would have left. Don’t get me wrong, KublaCon is a great con and all of the people are very nice; however, for whatever reason, I sometimes experience social anxiety at big events like this. I’m not sure why that happens, but I had a tough time this weekend. Luckily, I was able to spend most of my time with close friends, and I was able to relax when they were around. Thanks John, Kelly, Tracy, and Josh!

Does anyone else deal with this when you are at a big convention? I never feel like that when I go to smaller events. If you have thoughts on that or just want to comment about your convention experiences this last weekend, please feel free to comment below.

4 Comments

  1. John Snyder

    I think the key to enjoying a con is to do whatever makes you happy. I get caught up in feeling like I’m not doing what I “should” be doing; (i.e playing as many games as humanly possible) and then I get exhausted and anxious. My best cons have always been when I just go with the flow and do what I want, and take time to go hide in my room for part of each day to recharge. This was one such Kubla for me, and it was one of my favorites. I’m really glad you made it out!

  2. Scott Martin

    I think Kubla is bad about creating anxiety, because you have to wait until the day to find out if you will get to participate in the fun thing you’ve been anticipating, and have to wing it if denied. The stress of “can’t plan ahead, because the computer hasn’t assigned my fun yet” is very particular to Kubla.

    I know that scheduling time in the room is critical; Jennifer and I got snappy halfway through GenCon SoCal because we were exhausted. Fortunately, power nap straightened us out, but like John notes, it’s important to build recharge time [and a place, which you noted that you lacked] into your schedule.

    • I didn’t realize that it was something special about KublaCon, since I haven’t been to another big convention.

      Since I was staying with my in-laws who live about 30 minutes away, I basically had to stay or leave for the day.

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