I think a large part of why I love GenCon so much is because of all the people I get to meet. Or see again. Or meet in person for the first time.
For example, one of the people I often work with is Arnaud. He's an employee of Matagot. He's a very pleasant person to deal with, and I look forward to working on Matagot's games because it means I get to work with Hicham and Arnaud and (previously) Doria.
I finally had the opportunity to meet Arnaud in person yesterday. Our conversation was short, because I was setting up and then running demos - but he made a point of checking in with me today, which I appreciated.
Since I was running Cyclades: Titans most of the day, I was actually running one of their games, too. And one I really like. Cyclades has been a favorite of mine for many years.
There is a gentleman who I demoed a few games with last year, and spent late evenings gaming with in the tournament area. I can't for the life of me remember his name, but I am known for being terrible with names. He stopped by today and I got him into a couple of games, as well.
There is a group of four kids we know, too. Well, we call them kids, but they're ... um ... seventeen through nineteen, now. We first met them when the oldest was twelve and we were demoing Senji. At the time, they were obnoxious brats, but they weren't squeezing anyone else out, so we demoed the games for them. And they had enough fun that they came back the next year. And the next. And the next ... and they've grown into some pretty cool people.
And then there's the demo team. By now, I know and recognize and can remember the names for most of the demo crew who've done this a few times. Justin and Giancarlo and Louis and Kim and Joel and Marie-Eve and Ben and ...
Alexandre was a part of the demo team ... seven or eight years ago. I'm so glad he's back this year. He's one of my favorite people to spend time around.
But I feel bad because I don't remember all of their names. And I only know a few of the names for the newer crew. I'm trying, but I'm still along ways off. Elizabeth and Dave and ... um ... Raphael and Josh. Or is Josh a returning member of the crew? There were times today when I couldn't remember my own name, much less anyone else's.
And then there are the designers. I recognize most of them by now. And I can even name which games are theirs more often than not. Antoine Bauza was in the booth today. Bruno Cathala is in the booth a lot, too. They're not the only designers in the booth, either, most of the time. And - without fail - the designers are some of the nicest people around.
Bruno Cathala seems to magically appear two steps behind me and to the right every time I'm demoing one of his games. It's unnerving. I'll hit a small question and will half-turn to grab the rulebook, and there he is. He's smiling and friendly and very very funny. And, after the last few years, he recognizes me. I don't know if he knows my name or not, but he definitely recognizes me.