[This is part of a series of articles, the first of which is here]
As the weekend continued at Tekkocon 2014, I noticed no shortage of TekkoShodown players but gamers of all types were welcome across the board!
The video game room at Tekkocon 2014 was not one to disappoint; there we plenty of tournaments (which are all tallied and covered live; find more info here) and no shortage of opponents!
A Dance Dance Revolution set-up (with heavy duty metal controllers) dominated the game room’s center, with a LAN hub for Call of Duty clustered behind it. One half of the room had several projection screens all rocking old school good times with a catalog of different games and arcade joysticks, a Rock Band area, and one of two Wii-U consoles. The other half is where the meat was: dozens of fighters, most with arcade joysticks available for use and ranging across half as many gaming systems. Tournaments focused on these games (Super Smash Bros., Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and many, many more) and offered up several cash prizes for the winners.
Conclusion? Definitely something to hit up, and worth the time of any hardcore video gamer (or casual digital explorer).
Collectible Card Gamers
Overlooking the expansive dealers room, there were dozens of tables made available for sanctioned tournaments; Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon were all in the mix. Some of the prizes were pretty sweet—including a free con badge for next year. A Hanabi contest had a particularly sizable reward, but the goal of this part of Tekkocon 2014 was clearly more about playing. Between all the games they had on hand and what people brought (including a homemade Naruto Risk, I think) there was no shortage of selection in that regard. Plenty of easy to learn games were available beside quick to play games, party style games, and a host of independent works. There was also, of course, some adults only games (scheduled for the evening!) of stuff like Cards Against Humanity.
This part of the con was as accessible to everyone as it was easy to reach: definitely a bonus! If you often find yourself wandering a convention and in need of a quick, fun diversion, Tekkocon has your back.
Honestly, I did not expect much from the RPG room at Tekkocon 2014—how wrong I was!
The fellas working the room explained that essentially, they’ve got an atmosphere of a mini-convention within Tekkocon—and they were right!
Most of what you’d expect—Dungeons & Dragons, World of Darkness and Pathfinder games—was available but they offered spookier, darker, and ultimately more mature content after hours (and were on point with security: they checked IDs at the door!) Around 80% of the scheduled games were played, but even then, there was always something to jump into! Player responses were all uniformly positive as well: GMs were willing to teach folks new to various game systems, they had games prepared for folks-on-the-go to jump into and out of all weekend long, and there was also Terror at Tekkocon. If you’ve ever thought, “what if Cthulhu came to the convention I’m at?”, you have something in common with the Tekkocon staff!
Every roleplaying game enthusiast in Pittsburgh can look to Tekkocon as a place for a weekend of good dice rolling, and I strongly recommend it to any tabletop players with a hankering for a good convention experience.
Palladium Organized Play with Author and Megaversal Ambassador Chris Altobelli
One of the highlights of Tekkocon 2014’s RPG room was their cast of great GMs, but I think the most dedicated among them was Chris Altobelli, perhaps the most hardcore Rifts enthusiast I have ever met.
Chris drove all the way from New Jersey, dropping everything on his schedule to bring some great gaming to the convention! He brought swag too—free print products for participants (totally free of charge)—and was representing Palladium’s efforts at organized play: the Megaversal Ambassador System. The convention exclusive program is focused on customer satisfaction, includes that loot mentioned above, and player rewards (best roleplaying, best plan, best player, etc.).
All told, it’s a great effort clearly worked by some really authentic fans that love the system. If you’re a Rifts player and looking for more information about it (or want to hire Chris out, as he’s authored a few tomes for Rifts), you can reach Chris at caltolook (at) live.com!
Keep an eye out for one last article on Tekkocon 2014—a batch of interviews with celebrity guests Greggo, Uncle David Yo, and Brittney Karbowski!