So, after spending some time with my cousins and my Aunt on Thursday, Charlene and I drove to downtown Columbus, Ohio and checked in to the Double Tree hotel. Oh, I guess a little backstory might help. Charlene is my best friend since we were like 8 years old. She will also be helping me write the dialogue for Save Me From Myself.
Anyways, so we didn’t have time to go up to the hotel room before we had to go get checked in to GDEx for our booth setup. So I ran in to check in, grabbed the hotel keys and drove us over to the COSI center.
We spent the rest of the afternoon setting up, and helping some of our other friends from Cleveland set up as well. We were all set up and decided to take off around 5pm to go shower and get ready for the #GAMESinCLE pre-GDEx Kickoff.
So, we headed back to the hotel. It was an awesome hotel! It had a living room, a kitchen nook and the bedroom was separated from everything by some French doors. Freakin’ amazing.
So, by this time, Charlene and I had met up with Bill and Jeff, some of the members from the Youngstown Game Developers who were sharing a room with us. We all left for the #GAMESinCLE pre-GDEx Kickoff, which was at a bar (I forget the name) and chilled with other game devs from our Cleveland group.
#GAMESinCLE pre-GDEx Kickoff
Keith bought us all a round of drinks and some yummy food and we had a blast networking and making new friends. By about 7:30 pm we left to head back to the hotel. I was wearing a warm coat, and it was a lot warmer than I was expecting it to be. Bill decided to get some sleep and stayed at the hotel.
So, Jeff, Charlene and I went to the GDEx Kickoff party at the Land Grant bar. We had some yummy Whisky Ale drinks and and made some new friends from Stray Cat Studios. Jeff also ate some yummy fried potatoes from a delicious Jewish deli food truck.. they were so good that I also had to have some.
We left the bar around 11:30, got back to the hotel and went to sleep. Saturday was going to be a long day.
Saturday at GDEx
And it was. Charlene and I mostly hung around the booth and went to a few speech panels. Lots of people played my game demo for Save Me From Myself, and I got some excellent feedback. I met so many cool people, saw some old dev friends and had a lot of fun!
At 5pm, we all started to shut down our booths for the night, putting our stuff under our tables. Bill and Jeff had left for the Planetarium show and were going to go get dinner at the hotel. Charlene and I got done around 5:30. Charlene ended up going back to the hotel to sleep and I stayed for an Exhibitor dinner party, had a drink and ate some burgers and chips. Hung out with some of the other devs and left around 6:45 to head back to the hotel.
16 Bit Bar Arcade and the Walrus Dance Party
I was soooo tired at this point, but I wanted to go to the dance party and 16 bit arcade bar to do more networking and fun. I did not have time for a nap, so I just took a shower and got dressed for the night, then left to meet Jeff and Bill at the 16 bit bar.
We hung out at the bar, and around 9:30 Bill left to go get some sleep and Jeff and I went over to the dance party at the Walrus. I danced like was 22 again, drank and sang like I was a famous singer. Everyone was having soooo much fun. By around 11:30, the dance party was over, so a bunch of us went back to 16 bit bar arcade. I wanted to play some Mario Kart 64.
And I played Mario Kart 64 and had my bum handed to me a few times. Time flew since we were having so much fun, and by 2:30 the bar was closed, so we went and got some Late Night Pizza. Which we took back to the hotel with us. Oh! we also met some girls while standing in line who were dressed up as Alvin and the Chipmunks and the girl dressed as Theodore was named Kendra too!
Late Night Pizza Got Me
So Jeff, other Jeff, theChet and I all walked back to the hotel with our yummy pizza. Took about 15 or so minutes… maybe. I don’t know. The other Jeff took an Uber to his hotel, and Jeff was ready to pass out, so he headed up to the hotel room. TheChet and I chilled in the lobby talking about random things and eating the hottest pepper pizza, ever. It made me cry a little, but it hurt so good!! I would eat it again, although, not after an evening of drinking again.
The next morning morning I had heart burn and was soooooo tired. TheChet brought over some Alkaseltzer bc he was having heartburn, too. Cody ran around with a cart of Red Bull for all of the exhibitors. Half way through the day, I went to the All Access Pass chill room, and took a micro nap on a chair.
Was It Worth It
By the end of the day, my feet were swollen, my knees were throbbing, and body soreness pain was everywhere. At 5pm, the show was over and everyone started tearing down their booths. The Cleveland #GAMESinCLE super booth took until about 7:45 to tear down. It was crazy.
After all that, we all gave each other hugs, said we’d see each other at the Global Game Jam in Cleveland and wished each other safe drives. Charlene and I had to run and get gas, and finally got on the road around 8pm. We drove, and stopped at every rest stop to get coffee and a candy bar so I could stay awake while I drove. Was super not safe, but I had work the next morning and couldn’t call off. Next year, I will definitely not be working on the day after the event so I can spend the night and recoup from the event.
The Drive Home
We ran into a couple traffic jams in Akron, which delayed us from getting home even more. I finally got to Charlene’s place around 10:45 and then to my place at around 11 pm. I was so tired I just left everything in the car. I went inside, said hello to my boyfriend, told him I love him and that I would tell him all about it tomorrow. I needed sleep.
There was tons that happened, but if I wrote it all in this post, it would be a book. Who knows? Maybe that’s a good book idea?
Do It Again: Abso-freakin-lutely
Sop, now it’s Monday night and I’m about to go to sleep. I’m still worn out and tired from the event. My legs and feet are throbbing from all of the walking and standing I did over the weekend. But would I do it again? Hells yes. I would even do it if it were more than that many days. Why?
Because it is worth it to hang out with all of these like minded people, learn and share game development techniques, get feedback from people playing your game, network and best of all, have fun.
So, to all the guys behind #GDEx; I’ll see you next year.
Okay. I’m soooooooo tired. Good night.
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