Tekko 2015: Day 2, Saturday

As I mentioned yesterday, Day 2 started awfully early for us.  9:30 am.

There's a 9:30...in the morning, too?

There’s a 9:30…in the morning, too?

Our young ward met up with her friends and went to a panel about an anime that the wife and I are too out of the loop to know anything about (they did a group cosplay from the anime, and we had no idea who either of them were supposed to be).  We decided to throw on our Hitatare outfits and wore them to the convention.

So, while our ward was away, we decided to head over to the Godfathers of Anime panel that my nameless friend I mentioned yesterday (the guy who ran the RTK panel a few years ago).  We walked in around halfway through because 9:30 was strenuous enough, there was no way I was getting there before 9:00.  He had some pretty good information, I wish we’d have been able to see the whole thing.  Definitely interesting.

We were going to hang around and chat with him and his ladyfriend afterward, but a big group approached him to chat and we were…well, still not entirely awake.

Us at 10:00 am.

Us at 10:00 am.

Next up we wandered around the convention center again, checked out the gaming area, trying to wake ourselves up some.  It didn’t work.  So we figured we would go veg out in the Premium Lounge for a few hours until Uncle Yo’s Magical Girl Bootcamp panel started.  It was 10:00 and the panel didn’t start until 12:30.  Good God, what were we going to do?

We zombie-crawled our way into the Premium Lounge (one of the perks of getting Premium Badges, and actually a pretty nice feature we have to admit).  We figured we could grab a bottle of water and get a few snacks, maybe try to get some fluids and food through us to try to wake ourselves up.  While we were there the Maid of Hearts Café group was running one of their events.

We were invited to play a game of Bullshit with the maids and a few other attendees.  I won.  Thus proving that every time I say that I can’t lie I am apparently lying.  We played a second round with a bigger group and I’m still going to claim victory, because at the end of the game I had the fewest cards of the group.

It was actually pretty fun and it helped to wake us up a lot, too.  The Maids were very interesting and fun to hang out with.  And they gave us a few trinkets before we left.  The wife got a plastic folding fan and I took a nifty Pop Art Disney Princess Bag, as they called it.

It pays to be a good Bullshitter in a café full of maids.

It pays to be a good Bullshitter in a café full of maids.

Yes, that’s Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, and Pocahontas in teary-eyed mode.

Jasmine says, “I didn’t even know his name!” Which, taken out of context, is a pretty whorey line.

Ariel says, “But Daddy…I love him!”

Belle says, in all her Stockholm Syndrome glory, “Please don’t leave me…I love you!”

And we finish it off with Pocahontas saying, “I can’t leave you!”

And on the side of the bag it even says, “It’s tough being a princess!”

The wife says I’m creepy, but I find it amusing.

So then we went to Uncle Yo’s Magical Girl Bootcamp panel.  I’m not sure what I was expecting from this panel.  It was Uncle Yo, so I figured it would be hilarious.  I thought he’d just riff on Magical Girl Anime.

I was wrong.

It was better than that!

It was better than that!

It was an intellectual panel on women’s equality, as told through the allegory of magical girl.  It was as hilarious as I expected from Uncle Yo, but it was also very poignant and thought-provoking.  I strongly recommend attending it in the future, if you have the chance.

We took a lunch break with our ward and a few of her friends.  Any guess where we took the poor girls to?

No, seriously.  Why have I not approached them for ad revenue, yet?

No, seriously. Why have I not approached them for ad revenue, yet?

With a lunch break in we did a quick jaunt through the dealer’s room and artist alley (which they have combined and are just calling the Exhibition Hall now) to see what we might be interested in purchasing later.  After that we decided there were no panels we were interested in.  Well, no, that’s not true.  We actually decided there were no panels we could stay awake through.  We made a quick trip back to the parking garage and slept for an hour and a half in my van.  With a good nap we made our way back to the convention and attended the Disability in Video Games panel.

The panel was hosted by a pair of women, I do not remember their names.  In my defense…I had just awoken from a nap and I’m generally bad with names any way.  One of the women suffered from anxiety issues and the other suffered from a deformed right hand.  At a few times in their panel they came off as a little whiny, but I’ll give them a pass because…in their situation I probably would have whine twice as much as them.

Being a game developer I have to say that I’m glad I attended the panel.  They talked about lack of positive portrayals of disabled people and disabilities as a whole in games.  I wholeheartedly agree with that, but I was already thinking of that kind of stuff.  What they brought up in the second section of the panel, however, was something that I had never thought of as an Indie Developer: Accessibility.

I make computer games so I don’t have to deal with how useless a Playstation controller is to a person with only one hand or arm.  However placing keyboard shortcuts far from each other lowers the accessibility for disabled players, same with requiring the mouse and keyboard to be used at the same time.  I’ll definitely take that into consideration in future titles.  This is especially important in RPGs and Visual Novels, the most likely titles for Nic3Ntertainment to produce.

After the disability panel was over we collected our ward and went home, because we were all sleep deprived and the nap had only let us make it as far as we had gotten.  So we missed the surprise fire drill that happened about a half hour or so after we left.

And that was Saturday.  Tomorrow we’ll talk about Sunday and the overall review of the convention this year.

~RCS

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Tekko 2015: Day 1, Friday

So our day started out around 11:30 a.m.  We got into the convention center and, since we had pre-registered, walked right up to the registration booth.  We had our badges and were inside the convention within 5 minutes.

I must say, Tekko has really impressed me with how organized they’ve gotten.  They seem to have improved every year since we started going again.  This year was no different, at least as far as getting inside.

The first thing we did was walk into Con Ops, because both of my panels this year were on Friday.  We checked in and had a little scare.  You see, I had been informed that two of my panels proposals were accepted and that one was on the maybe list.  But when the time came for the convention to start, I had not received anything saying that my maybe was accepted.

So lo and behold when the guy at Con Ops says, “Okay, so you’ve got…3 panels, right?”

“‘Scuse me, wha…?”

I searched the schedule, the Wife searched the schedule, he searched the schedule, he called another woman over to search the schedule, and none of us could find the third panel listed.  So we finally decided that their list must not differentiate between okayed panels and maybe list panels.

So, after a touch of a scare, we got everything checked in and wandered around for a bit until the panel before ours ended.  Then we headed to Panel Room #3 and set up for the How To Avoid Bad Writing Panel.

Now last year I ran two panels and they were fairly average as far as attendance went.  One panel had about fifteen people in it and the other had about twenty.  More than I had expected, certainly, but still nothing super great.

But this year?  There was probably around 40-50 people in each panel.  The only panel we went to that had more people in it than my panels was one of the celeb panels, Uncle Yo’s Magical Girl Bootcamp.  I’ll get to more about that panel in tomorrow’s post.

So, anyway, the panel went off without much of a hitch.  We had a great audience, a lot of great questions were asked in the Q&A section of the panel.  Ultimately I was very pleased with how things went.

Several people approached at the end of the panel and the next panel’s host actually wound up having to chase me out of the room because I was still answering fantastic questions and chatting with people.

As a matter of fact people came up to me all day long to talk about their own writing, ask me for advice on how to handle this event, that style, this character, or simply to ask what I thought about one of their works-in-progress.  It was great!

The next thing we did was a little more roaming to get the lay of the convention center better before going into Panel Room #1 to host the History of Sengoku Japan panel.  Now what we should have done was change out my camcorder’s battery, because I hadn’t realized it only had 30 minutes of recording time left on it.

So we set up for the second panel and once again…room was pretty full.  The writing panel definitely had more people in it, but the Sengoku panel was certainly not empty by any means, a little closer to 40 than 50 in this one.

Once again a few good questions, but for the most part they just let me tell interesting stories about samurai.  And once again a group of people came up to me and chatted about the topic.

I was re-introduced to the fellow who did the RTK panel I watched a few years back.  His panel style is actually what my own are based off of.  I watched what he did and copied it, then modified the system to suit my own presentation style.  And through the whole thing I forgot to ask his name.  Go me, for derping on that.

We hit the restroom and popped a squat in the panel room we had just presented in for the How to Hibachi panel.  The Hibachi chef that was running the panel, Josh I believe, worked for Shogun in Monroeville, PA if I remember correctly.

A regular trick, the Onion Volcano.  Always cool to watch.

A regular trick, the Onion Volcano. Always cool to watch.

It was pretty nifty to watch him do some of the tricks and to give us the low-down on some of the tricks of the trade.  He explained what all the items on the cart were, how much butter and vodka they go through every night (the vodka is for cleaning and setting fires), and how they modified their tools to let them do their tricks.

He had some pretty good jokes and a decent presentation skill.  He ended on this one…

What sound does a White Chicken make? Bak, bak, bak!

What sound does a Chinese Chicken make?  Meow, meow…

Overall it was informative and entertaining, which is how panels should be.  And it made me hungry for a Hibachi dinner.  So, mission accomplished if the restaurant sent him there to represent them.

After that was dinner.  Can you guess where?

You're goddamn right we ate there!

You’re goddamn right we ate there!

Of course it was.  During the weekend the wife’s younger cousin was staying with us and we treated her to some delicious Sharp Edge food.  Got her addicted to the delicious pudding.  Yumm…y’know I really should start charging them for the advertising at this stage.

Anyway, we went back to the convention and sat in on the “I Know Where to Put It” Complications of Rule 34 panel.  In case you aren’t aware the panel is referencing Internet Rule #34: If it exists…here is porn of it on the Internet.

They showed strange occurrences within the porno-sphere of the internet.  Things like Maleficent holding Tinkerbell by the wings, dangling the little faerie above her mouth while she ate Tinkerbell out.  Which was strangely arousing in a weird sort of way (it was very well drawn).

There was some weird shit in that panel.  But the wife and I discovered that we are apparently pretty freaky.  There were people who walked out of the panel in disgust.  The wife’s brother was one of them; he hit his limit when they showed the General Lee (the  car from Dukes of Hazard) ass-raping Boss Hogg.  Yeah, like I said…weird shit.

But it’s nothing as bad as we’ve seen on the internet.  These people have clearly never heard of Shadman, Spazkid, or eFukt.

If you’re at work…please do not do a Google Search with those terms.

All in all Friday was a fantastic day.  Tekko was definitely starting to show how much they had improved over the years.  Not without hiccups, but nothing major that went wrong.

So, come back tomorrow and see what we did and what we thought of Day 2.  Which started pretty early for us because our ward for the weekend wanted to see a panel at 9:30 in the morning.

~RCS

Tekko 2014 Review: Day 1 (Part 1)

As you all know I was very critical of Tekkoshocon a few years back. I decided to give the convention another chance this year. And that was a good decision. A lot of the problems they had before, they had fixed. Not to say there weren’t a few hiccups, something that big always will have something go wrong, but it was much better organized this year.

So here’s my complete review of Tekkoshocon 2014, starting with Day 1. Well, actually Day 2…we didn’t go to the Thursday events, opting to utilize the day for a set up period. So we’ll call Friday Day 1, for all intents and purposes.

 

First off we hit registration somewhere after noon. We had gotten the Premium Badges again this year, but our friend who went with us just got the regular badge. This opened her to a slew of jokes about abandoning her and going to the special Premium Lounge without her all weekend.

The Registration was something I had talked about before as being pretty poor, and it usually was every year. Getting the chance to go through Otakon’s registration was a delight…

This is the Premium Line?

This is the Premium Line?

So the last time I talked about Tekko registration I had mentioned I didn’t have any idea how to improve registration. Well the good news is somebody else must have, because Registration was a breeze. We Preemies…err, that’s a poor choice of name for that. Uhh…we…Snobby Cocksuckers?

I almost like Preemie better.

I almost like Preemie better.

Anyway, the Premium line was a simple process and we were done in about two minutes. Our friend didn’t even pre-register and she was still done with her regular badge in about fifteen minutes.

The last time we were at Tekko it took over half an hour for us to get through registration, and we pre-registered last time, too. So they’ve definitely hit a sweet spot with their registration set up this year. They need to keep doing whatever they did…it was over so quickly I couldn’t even be sure about what they were doing to make it go so smoothly. Ten points for Griff–Tekkoshocon 2014.

Anyway we had about an hour and a half to kill so we went to the Disney in Japan panel. The panel was basically an excuse to talk about the movie Frozen for half an hour. The first half was a lesson about Disneyland Japan from someone who had never been there; but she did have first-hand accounts from workers and visitors, so at least she knew something of what she was talking about. And she was very up front about her total lack of first-hand knowledge.

It was interesting and the last half of the panel was a comparison between American trailers and Japanese trailers for the movie Frozen, followed by a short discussion about the movie. Which I am plenty okay with; if you haven’t seen Frozen, yet, you really should. Children or not it’s a pretty awesome movie.

 

And that brings us to, what my wife calls, one of the best panels of the convention. The History Behind Sengoku Basara panel, hosted by yours truly and presented by Dickjutsu.com. Which I pointed out numerous times during the panel, because that was the whole point of the panel: To get paid to advertise this very site.

…okay, well actually that was only half of it. I really love talking about this stuff and it was a chance to get paid for talking about something that I care about deeply. Oh, and advertise the site, if I didn’t mention that already.

If I got a nickel for every time I used this picture...I'd use this picture a lot more.

If I got a nickel for every time I used this picture…I’d use this picture a lot more.

For those of you who came out to see it, I thank you. I hope you enjoyed listening to me talk at you as much as I enjoyed talking about Sengoku Japan. And my wife enjoyed it because I wasn’t directing all of my nerd air at her, alone…trapped with no recourse but to listen to me nerd-out, like usual.

...and then, when Oda Nobunaga was fifteen he...

…and then, when Oda Nobunaga was fifteen he…

 

Intermission

Now this is the point where I’d like to talk about dinner. It was at the Sharp Edge on Penn Avenue. That means it was delicious. We brought our friend to it, and indoctrinated her. Now everyone should go eat at the Sharp Edge– Wait a minute, I should charge advertising for how much I shill for that restaurant.

Can I at least a free pudding?

Can I at least get a free pudding?

Anyway, after dinner we headed back to the convention. This is already a step up from the last time we were there when we had dinner and decided we’d rather walk around Pittsburgh, even though it smelled like hobo semen, than go back to the convention.

So Tekko’s definitely making progress.

 

Back to the Story at Hand!

When we returned to the convention we went straight on to our second panel, the History Behind Dynasty Warriors. Like I mentioned before it was getting paid to talk about something I’m very passionate about and get some free advertising for the site.

Once again…thanks to those who came and I hope you enjoyed the panel.

Immediately after my panel was the Attitudes Toward Plus Size Cosplay panel, which was actually one of the bigger issues with scheduling. Normally all the panels had a 30 minute set up/tear down period, but there was no such period between my panel and theirs. I tried to get out of their way as quickly as possible, but oh well, a minor hiccup compared to the kind of stuff that used to happen at Tekko.

We decided to stay for the next panel and that was probably a mistake. The ladies handling the panel had a good idea, their premise was to stir debate about the attitudes toward plus size cosplay; hence the title of their panel, I imagine. A good idea. But they handled it poorly, especially when the debate broke out.

A small-framed young man stood up and shattered their whole plan by actually coming up with a counter-point and calling up a moment of hypocrisy in their suggestions.

All in all I can see both sides of the coin. What they were saying was right, but what he said was also right. He lacked tact, as far as he just stood up and called hem on their bullshit instead of going at it from a more diplomatic avenue. But when they accused him of not having a viable opinion in the debate on cosplay attitudes because he wasn’t a fat woman, she showed that she had even less tact than him.

We’ll be going into more detail on this later, but we’ll leave it at that for now. This post is about Tekko as a whole, not a rant on a single panel. I will say, however, that we got disgusted by the ladies running the panel when they singled the poor guy out and made fun of him…right as they started discussion on engaging with detractors and to always ignore them and take the high road. By the way, though, ignoring those who speak out against you…not a good policy for ‘starting a debate.’

Moving on we went to the Anime Horrors panel. But I’m sure you have something productive to do right now. So we’ll take a little break here and pick this up tomorrow. Your homework for next class is to like, share, and comment on this post. Haha, and you thought I could only shill for Sharp Edge–goddamnit I do need to charge for ad time.

~RCS

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