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Thoughts on Continuum 2012

Continuum 2012
My room is somewhere here!

Good Things

* Look and Feel:
Continuum has a generally leisurely feel, especially the gaps between the gaming slots. Totally different to the frenetic feel of Furnace. I'm actually glad we're trying the longer meal breaks at Furnace 2012, as it was a great opportunity to catch up and get something to eat.

* Balance:
There was a good, balanced choice of games at the convention. Four years ago, the freeform / desktop RPG balance was completely out which resulted in a dearth of games. This time it felt about right, although sometimes the signing up process meant that you would miss the chance to play a game because the sheet went up during a slot when you were GM-ing. I do think that Continuum could consider giving GM's advance sign up rights in a similar way to Furnace to counteract this.

* Standards: The desktop games were of good standard. I especially enjoyed the good Doctor Galeotti's Wordplay: 1510. And the challenge he set me to release Singularities before he releases 1510 in 2013. The players were also great, supportive and getting into the swing of things. I overcame my terror at having a 'great old one' of the UK roleplaying scene (Phil Masters) sign up for my Wordplay: Utopia scenario, and hopefully he enjoyed the the game as much as I did!

* Catch-up: As ever, Continuum gives me a chance to catch up with people I only see on Facebook or via the Internet for two years at a time. That's always a plus. The nature of the convention also means that it's a lot easier to get people to play the games you want to try, but would could never do with your local group because they just want to play Pathfinder (or D&D, or... you get the picture).

* Selling stuff:
The Bring and Buy is brilliant, as it's twice helped me to fund the whole convention attendance and also get brownie-points with the better half as I get rid of some of my older, underplayed or unwanted games.

* Organisers: The openness of the convention committee is a great plus - they are willing to listen to suggestions, and also help out, even if they're meant to be on a break.

* Environment: Although it was warm, the heat seemed much less oppressive this year. Whether it was weather dependent, or whether things had genuinely got better, I'm not sure. All I know is that I didn't melt like I did in 2008!

Opportunities I originally called this 'bad things', but it doesn't warrant that moniker as they are more niggles.

* Wifi access: free WiFi is always a bonus (especially as the venue wipes out Orange and 3's signal) but it was a real pain logging in and out every time a device went to sleep. However, that's more the University's issue rather than the committee's.

* Food prices were deceptive. The food was better than I remember (where was the soggy pizza?) but if you wanted to do something crazy like have some vegetables with your 'sausage and mash' then you really paid for it (green beans for £1!). I sorted this by buying a mound of fruit from Asda which served my Wordplay: Utopia and 'A Taste for Murder' games well.

* Now for the biggy. The Real Ale shortage. Hailing from Yorkshire these days, I was overjoyed that the bar had 'Black Sheep' on, and further satisfied that Timothy Taylor's 'Landlord' followed it on Saturday. And then they ran out. This needs to be sorted in the future.

Finally; to absent friends. Two larger-than-life Continuees were missing; Loz Whittaker and Tom Zunder. Gentlemen, you were missed. I hope to see you return!