Sometimes, you can really get to know someone by taking a look at his or her interests and hobbies. Today, we’ll look at one of our consultants and try to understand the man behind the madness – by examining his schedule for this weekend’s GenCon 2013 gaming convention in Indianapolis.
10am-2pm, Outbreak: Undead – House on the Hill: A zombie survival game? No matter where you run or where you hide, they’ll catch up and they’ll find you. Somewhat similar to infographics – they certainly can haunt your dreams.
4pm-6pm, Battletech – Grinder: Old school resource management mixed with mega-mecha goodness? It makes the robots in Pacific Rim shudder with jealousy and wish they had a PPC (particle projection cannon, naturally). The Grinder part of the game means if your robot gets blown up, you get another one and keep playing. In that way, this is very similar to consulting – win or lose the battle, you keep showing up for the war of sweet SEO attrition every day to fight more robots.
7pm-11pm, A Night With Dungeons and Dragons: A whole evening of what’s next with D&D Next – the latest edition of the world’s most popular role playing game. Last year we had cocktails and Q&A – who knows what we’ll get this year? The palpable excitement of geeks awaiting the info frenzy is comparable to a consultant’s mindset just before a big client presentation – can hardly sleep with all the anticipation!
10am-12:30pm, Stars Without Number – Milk Run: Old school renaissance space adventure RPG based on a version of the popular D&D rules set. Very much like consulting in regards to how we use tried and true tactics to provide results for different clients. It’s not one size fits all – there’s a custom element to everything – but the experts know what works and what doesn’t, and build a campaign game plan accordingly.
6pm-11pm, DCCRPG – Skytower of the Blue Men: a soon-to-be legendary romp through portals to other worlds to wreak havoc on some skinny cyan fellows and the Beholder-like creatures that stole the map to the secret dwarven treasure. OK, so “Lord of the Rings” it ain’t—but since it’s a home-penned module and the consultant in question will be the GM (Game Master) for the session, it’s a great demonstration of a consultant’s creativity and project management skills. Have you ever tried to slay every character with just one disintegrating eye-beam? Don’t talk to me about project management until you have.
12pm-4pm, Swords and Wizardry 1975: A classic adventure with a classic system’s creator. This is what GenCon is all about – playing with the legends and the greats, and playing systems old and new. Likewise, legacy clients can be some of the most fun accounts to work on, as the trust and rapport with these clients makes trying new projects and coming up with creative solutions together all the more fun.
4pm-8pm, D&D Next – Murder in Baldur’s Gate: It wouldn’t be GenCon without trying a new game. The consultant in question missed last year’s D&D Next playtests, so this will be new territory… making it eerily similar to onboarding a new client. You’ve got to figure out how much damage that broad sword does before you go a-swingin’ it at some goblins. Likewise, taking the right measure of any new client is key to ensuring campaign success.
10am-2pm, Star Wars Edge of the Empire – Matter of Life and Death: Did I mention GenCon is one of the geekiest weekends of the entire year, anywhere in the world? And I say geekiest in the nicest, kindest way – I know the consultant in question wears it like a badge of honor. So to do DigitalRelevance consultants pride themselves on how technically geeky we can be. There’s a clamor to be the first to know industry updates or to discover a new tool or technique to make us more efficient and get the job done. It’s good to be in the know, and it’s good to be fast – because everyone knows that Han Shot First.
So, there you have it – a breakdown of a consultant by his GenCon schedule, in all its geeky glory. Whether you’re sitting across the boardroom table talking the effectiveness of infographics supporting ebook content, or staring down a stubborn GM behind the game screen awaiting your next d20 roll to cast Magic Missile, your GenCon schedule says something about you – and in this case, it says a lot about the skills it takes to be a DigitalRelevance consultant.