Sunday, April 10, 2011

AdeptiCon: Thank you

The photos from today’s post were taken on Saturday, when there was no official Killzone activity on the schedule. Because there is simply no such thing as “too much,” Chris, Joe, and I seized the opportunity not only to revel in the unparalleled glory of AdeptiCon but also to squeeze a game of Killzone ourselves. We played on the first table (the exterior table inspired by Sir Sidney Roundwood’s trenches). And so, both Dr. Dakkasteef and Gutgrope G. appeared on the horizon pitted against an unlikely coalition of Joe’s beautiful Deathwatch and Chris’s malevolent Chaos warband. Enjoy these photos while I talk about something else for a moment.

With the mention of Chris and Joe (half-pictured to the left), I come to the real matter of this post. There are a number of people that deserve much more accolade than they have received to date, and I intend to correct that immediately.  

Tall Paul, obviously, deserves an incredible dollop of gratitude not only on account of his willingness to embrace a hobby that is not his own, but also because his stunning carpentry skills made the tables possible. Full stop.

Matt W deserves significant thanks for the work he did/does before, during, and after AdeptiCon. He breathes this stuff. It is amazing. Last year was my first outing at AdpetiCon, and I will admit that I was a bit of a lurker –I only attended two mind-blowing seminars then skulked about the rest of my time at the event. Still, I enjoyed myself tremendously and vowed that the next year I would be more involved. I had no idea how much so. Thank you Matt for bringing me into the fold.

Thank you Big Jim for creating Killzone. There were at least 20 encounters during which someone asked me if Big Jim was in attendance. I regretted to say that he was not, but genuinely felt that he could have been there, just out of sight. His presence on the weekend was writ between the lines of every rule and every bit of Killzone (mis)adventure. It is his world, and we were merely borrowing it for the weekend. Next year, big guy. Next year.

And then there is That Guy James. I have neither mentioned nor thanked James enough for his absolutely, jaw-dropping contributions to KZ generally, and to these tables specifically. Several months ago, when I sent out my plea for design assistance, James enthusiastically offered his services. I was hoping to find some help creating solid imagery for the KZ cards, which James nonchalantly kicked through the uprights as if he had them already prepared and waiting. I do not really need to say that the cards are stunning, as at least 300 of you already know this from the downloads on Jim’s site. You likely do not know, however, that James also created a much more subtle, but nevertheless exquisite, contribution in what we have come to know as the “alacrity wallpaper” (thank you Karitas for that name).

All of the tiny, evocative details on the AdeptiCon tables were designed by James (in the photo above you can only see the chevrons on the pipeline and the "SECTOR VII" sign on the wall in the back right but there are loads more on every table). Within a week of my asking, James sent me a file  again seemingly prepared before I knew that I needed it -five pages filled with all manner and ilk of banner, control panel, leaflet, video monitor screen, you name it. Moreover, they were accomplished with a real sense of the gritty 41st millennium as well as a cheeky sense of humor. The panels, for example, had small messages included on the screen some rather benign, some as follows: “please do not discharge weapons near this panel. Thank you for your compliance” or “abnormal system status… cannot compute… die human.” These are small details, to be sure, and I will hazard that 90% of the gamers never saw them. The brilliance in this gesture, however, is that the details on the tables continued to reward the gamer that wanted to look closer.  Just brilliant.  The tables could not have looked so compelling without his work. You can spot two more subtle examples in these following photographs:

 A small detail, you may say. I believe that a game like this is really won or lost not on mission points, but on hundreds of these small details. If you look back across all the KZ photos from the weekend, you will find James’ fingerprints everywhere. Glorious.

Finally, I must thank Chris, Joe, and Ernie –the group of talented, knowledgeable, and exceedingly calm individuals that quietly sorted every inch of the work beyond my ability. The three of these fine fellows came over on the Sunday before AdeptiCon and helped finish the painting on tables one through four. Then, Joe appeared on Thursday night to help lug the tables into the venue (no easy feat). Here I must also add that Joe, in particular, deserves special thanks for sticking it out through every single minute of each event. I would have been utterly lost without his personable skill with these kinds of events. I should also mention that Joe's Deathwatch (who were ringing in the hands of Skarvald on Sunday) nearly won best painted against some incredibly stiff competition. Well done, sir.

In sum, I feel quite strongly that this meager post is little by way of the appreciation I owe you, but please accept my gratitude such as I am able to offer here. Thank you one and all. I am looking forward to doing this all again next year. wait. what?

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