Friday, September 07, 2007

Looking Ahead and Back
Gen Cons Past

This past Gen Con came the announcement that D&D 4e was coming out next May. I didn't attend the announcement and to be honest, I still feel rather ho-hum about the entire thing. I will still check out the rules and changes when I get the time, but I'm happy with my 3.5 right now, thank you very much.

The 4e Announcement made me think back to the days when 3e was announced and released. And after listening to episode 68 of Fear the Boot, I started thinking about it even more. I was there, and shot video of it. Both the announcement and the day it was released a year later. Did it then because we were hot & heavy doing the Wounds Unlimited webzine.

The release was crazy. Because I was press, I was allowed to go into the Exhibitor's Hall early and get a good spot to shoot the throngs that came running in. It was a friggin' madhouse, more so than is shown in the video.

What is in the clip? Well, I have bits and pieces from the announcement session in 1999, with Peter Adkinson, Ryan Dancey (along with some humor as to why 3e was being released), and appearances by Gargy G and Dave Arneson. Some shots of concept sketches and a little reaction from a fan at the session. Then we jump forward to 2000, and where you see a bit of the press conference for the release, then to the real action where folks are rushing in, and a walkthrough of the line of people waiting & hoping to pick up their copy (WotC had 10K copies of the 3e PHB, if memory serves).

What impressed me the most about the 3e release and made it exciting for me, was the legitimacy that Ryan Dancey and WotC efforted to put on the entire event. From the announcement in '99 to the press conference and release party in 2000 (got a sweet D&D shot class that eventually broke). Any effort to make our hobby more mainstream is good in my book.

I ask for forgiveness for the shaky elements in the video. I was usually far away and with no tripod. Also, the audio was weak in some spots, mostly due to the old tape.

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