(Topic ID: 228537)

Midwest Gaming Classic 2019

By balt

1 year ago

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  • 193 posts
  • 50 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by boustrophedonic
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    #3 1 year ago

    Yup, finally got around to posting it today!

    And, just in case anyone missed this info, the picture above is half of the game room (the rest was mainly console), and we are DOUBLING the size of it for next year!

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballplusMN:

    Hope the snow is done for the season. 2018 was a nightmare driving back

    I guarantee that it was more of a nightmare for us running the show than for anyone else. Having said that, if we were at the Sheraton, the tent would have had to be abandoned on Sunday and the show would officially be over. At least what happened allows the show to continue.

    And, although I can't fix plowing the roads if it does, we have already worked with the Wisconsin Center to implement a bunch of changes for move out to make it easier, snow or not.

    1 month later
    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from Backyardace:

    Looking forward to attending this show for the first time.
    Has Nolan Bushnell ever been at the show? Would love to meet him.

    Not at our show. We did have both Ted Dabney and Ralph Baer join us via Skype, but neither could travel to visit with us.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from Backyardace:

    Thanks. I have Ralph’s autograph.
    So would Nolan be someone you might invite?

    We've invited him in the past and have a more or less standing offer. Without going into too many details, things just haven't worked out for us yet.

    Quoted from pfcjimmy:

    The VIG mentions inclusion to the Overdrive Reality After Party on Saturday.
    Is that the same after party as previous years or something new this year?

    The Official Midwest Gaming Classic Overdrive Reality After Party is NOT the game hall after party. It is held across the street at the Hilton and is including many little special events. So far, the main one that has been announced is Johnny Gioeli is performing at it. I have already confirmed some new, brand new things for it.

    We are hoping and planning to add a page hopefully tonight, actually, where you can get a VIG package for game bringers that wouldn't include the regular show tickets or the after party later tonight, in case people still want the extra bonuses that come with it. There are a few of these options we need to create, actually.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    So what is the trailer plan for this year? Would love to bring a game or two. In addition to my booth.

    There are a lot of moving parts with it, but in short...

    Either park up top, or we'll have a relatively nearby location that would also be free for use.

    Details still coming. I keep getting distracted with other things that have been coming up quickly. Nailing down game bringing details is near the top of the list, but it involves talking to about 20 different people (sadly, not an exaggeration) before I can fully finish that, and I haven't been able to pull it off. Yet.

    Soon, but the above will hold. We won't let it happen another way, just like last year. But, unlike last year, we'll communicate that our better, promise

    4 weeks later
    #23 1 year ago

    I'm getting there! I've got a slew of interesting phone calls today, and we're just about done with a brand new, significantly updated web site! Game bringing info will be part of that when it launches

    #26 1 year ago

    We have a new web site!


    We have new bringing game info, including procedures on how to leave. Ask away on any questions about how that will work here, and I should be able to reply to them now, as we're much more "set" on how it's all going to work


    We're going to be adding a "Benefits" page for the bring machines page soon, where we get the auction going, talk about some other deals that we're going to have for people this year, and so on. I hope to get that page up and running later this week

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinzap:

    Are the tournaments at MGC still non-IFPA?

    Read into this what you may...

    Clock Chaos and PinGolf are non-IFPA tournaments to ensure that we keep them as a laid back type of affair, accessible to as many people as possible on Friday night.


    We haven't had any news about any other tournaments yet, but expect to later this week.

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from lpeters82:

    Thanks, it looks like with the updates I should be able to bring a game again this year.


    I didn't say this on that page because there wasn't space for it, but long story short - last year we were not allowed to run move in or especially out the way we wanted to. This year, we can run them both how we want. This will result in us shuffling cars at the top of the loading dock, so we don't have people picking up one machine stuck waiting for people loading up vendor booths, which should solve the majority of the delays by itself. Then, the people who are helping us to run this is the same moving company that we use to move our stuff. They are well versed in moving arcade video and pinball machines (I usually just pass off my keys to them), and they will be happy to help load machines for people. And they'll have dollies, so you don't have to bring one.

    All of that is stuff we were told we couldn't do last year, and all of that stuff was something I said we HAVE to do this year to sign again. Now, we can do it

    Quoted from kcZ:

    Goatdan... The king of announcing an announcement.

    Assume you meant this... and damn right

    Hey, the web site is a big deal at least for me! I just couldn't confirm the rest of the stuff that I wanted to until the web site was finished. I just confirmed a ColorDMD deal earlier today, for instance, and am working on some other bonuses now too. The new web site was a serious key that is allowing me to fly through getting stuff done now, I'm honestly stunned by how much I'm plowing through today alone

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from f3honda4me:

    What moving company do you use? Just curious. I have a company I use that does well, but they are pretty expensive.

    I don't honestly remember their name as it has changed. It's run by a guy named JT, and we came across them by randomly calling people a few years ago to help move our own stuff. Most of them didn't want to work at night. JT told us they were fine with that, and asked about what they were moving. When I told him about the games, he said he used to work for an operator and so he knows all that stuff.

    They've been great with my stuff, and we love having them. They keep certain employees year to year specifically to do our show because they all enjoy doing it so much

    I should probably figure out the company's name :-/

    Quoted from Whysnow:

    new website is a HUGE improvement!!!

    Thanks! It was a HUGE amount of work!

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from goatdan:

    We haven't had any news about any other tournaments yet, but expect to later this week.

    Today, the IFPA and Midwest Gaming Classic announced the return of WPPR-ranked pinball tournaments to the Wisconsin Center! Same basic rules as the last few years, found a workaround!

    Our last IFPA sanctioned tournament in 2016, if played this last year, would have been the third largest standard tournament in the country by player volume only behind Pinburgh and the Northwest show. We're intending to keep that up this year!

    As I think many people don't realize, the modern IFPA was launched at the MGC in 2006. We always wanted to remain a part of the structure, but certain things made that difficult and we didn't have a decent workaround. We figured something out, and we're excited to bring it back!

    The question has been asked if this might bring back trophies. In short, if we can get enough sponsorship, the solution that we have does allow for it. I will be looking for pinball tournament sponsors (and quite frankly, show sponsors as a whole) soon, so if you know anyone that might be interested, this more than anything is the thing players missed the most and I hope we can afford to bring them back!

    (they aren't expensive on their own, but there are other factors we need to be aware of that does raise their price to us. I can explain to anyone if you want to pm me.)

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    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinzap:

    This would make complete sense for one of the largest pinball shows in the Midwest.

    What we figured out would allow it now. In fact, part of the reason this got figured out is we have a video game tournament that is going to have a major prize announced sometime soon...

    1 week later
    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    Deals will be Available. Full details soon I’m Sure.

    I gave everyone who wants to tell me a deal until next week before we roll them out. I expect we'll have deals from Stern and at least one or two others, although certain groups are dragging their feet.

    #43 1 year ago

    New show art from Greg Freres! The stack is the official show poster, and we'll be using individual "postcards" on various other things...

    What do you think?

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    #47 1 year ago
    Quoted from Phat_Jay:

    Fun, like the use of the fonz.....very...retro. Still, quite a change from dirty Donny lol.

    We *loved* the Dirty Donny art from last year.

    But, at the end of last year, we were thinking about how we wanted to keep the poster thing going, and the idea came up to have a different artist every year from within the MGC world do a different take on it, knowing that it would result in wildly different things. Incredibly, Gary and I decided the person to ask this coming year was Greg Freres... and before we did, Greg reached out to me and said that he loved the poster idea and asked if we had a plan on who was going to do 2019, throwing his hat in to be considered.

    We immediately said yes and he got to work. It was his goal to create something both familiar but outside his "regular" work, which is there this one came in.

    I love it. It's obviously completely different than Donny's art, but it's also very Greg Freres, even though it is different.

    The Fonz part is funny. About half the people see it and get it, and the other half don't get it at all. Having said that, somewhere there is a picture of the bronze Fonz wearing an MGC staff shirt from about 10 years ago

    #48 1 year ago

    Stern deal official! More to come, I'm hoping to FINALLY update the Bring-A-Game page either tonight or tomorrow with this and a bunch of other fun stuff. This weather (and the subsequent WEEK off that my kids have had) have thrown a bit of a monkey wrench in my time! Anyway... the deal!

    The Midwest Gaming Classic, in conjunction with Marco Specialties and Stern Pinball, Inc., is excited to offer special show pricing on new Stern Pinball Machines set up for play during MGC. This partnership allows you as the buyer a chance to own a machine fresh from the Stern factory at a reduced cost, in exchange for the game being set-up and on the game floor for the entirety of the show. In addition, the purchase of a game for demo at the show qualifies you for a free weekend admission to the MGC, as well as free admission to the popular MGC on-site after party Saturday, April 13th. Our goal is always to have as many new Stern pinball machines as possible set up for people to enjoy, and this partnership with Marco and Stern allows for a unique way to create a win-win for all involved. Specific terms and conditions are as follows:

    Terms for Show-Game Purchases:

    - Games must be ordered and paid for in advance of the Midwest Gaming Classic. Note: Games will NOT be available for purchase at or after the show at the discounted price.

    - Don’t delay in ordering if you are interested, as some games are already limited in availability. Availability fluctuates daily.

    - Games MUST be shipped directly to the Midwest Gaming Classic.

    - All demo games are to be displayed and set to free play within the Marco Specialties booth throughout the duration of the show (until 5:00pm Sunday, April 14th).

    - Games must be set up for play on Friday, April 12th. Buyers are welcome to set up their games, but if you can not be available for Friday, MGC and Marco reserve the right to set up the game on your behalf.

    - Payment by credit card is available, but a 3% transaction fee will be added.

    - At the conclusion of the Midwest Gaming Classic on Sunday April 14th (5:00pm), the buyer will be responsible for the removal of their pinball machine from the game hall and convention center.

    - All machines will include the standard 60 Day Factory parts warranty.

    - 3rd party game modifications are not allowed before or during the show (i.e. protectors, artwork, electrical, mechanical).

    The following titles are currently available:

    Munsters Pro
    Munsters Premium
    Deadpool Pro
    Deadpool Premium
    Iron Maiden Pro
    Iron Maiden Premium
    Guardians of the Galaxy Pro
    Guardians of the Galaxy Premium
    Star Wars Pro
    Star Wars Premium
    Batman 66' Premium
    Ghostbusters Premium
    Metallica Pro
    Metallica Premium - Monsters
    Star Trek Pro – Vault Edition
    Star Trek Premium – Vault Edition
    AC/DC Pro
    AC/DC Premium – Luci Version
    AC/DC Premium – Vault Edition

    Please contact Aaron at akatz@midwestgamingclassic.com if you are interested. SERIOUS inquiries only.

    #52 1 year ago
    Quoted from HamsterHerder:

    Loved the show last year, but can't make it this year. Even though I am not going, I am sending out the flyers in my customers orders again this year. Did the inverted colors version again this year to save Toner/Ink. Single and double flyer versions. Thanks for the great show Dan, hope it is a great hit in 2019.

    Thanks, you rock Hope to see you back next year!

    #55 1 year ago
    Quoted from Grangeomatic:

    What kind of discount are we talking about from Marco?
    Or do I need to ask them directly?

    Yes, it's the rule that we can't post or say online the pricing... so we don't

    #63 1 year ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    Nothing is what happens.
    You get the discount for having your game available at the show. There's no insurance offered. It's like any other game you bring to a show.

    This is correct.

    I'll add to this that while we do our best to ensure that everything and everyone does their best, we can't guarantee anything. If that concerns you, buying a show game probably isn't the right fit for you.

    If, on the flip side, you don't mind a bunch of people getting the chance to play your game, it's a great way to get a discount and meet other people. I also personally love the fact you're essentially getting your game "stress tested" for the show with a bunch of people on hand to help tweak it and make it play properly. New games have issues, and having the people who designed it checking they are doing their best really helps things out

    #70 1 year ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    it is a good deal IMHO. You get a reasonable discount IME and the positive of being able to shake out any bugs with a coupld hundred plays is a good thing when you have a bunch of experts on hand to help tweak and adjust. It is also super fun to be part of that unboxing party

    I run the show so I always feel like I'm a terrible person to throw out my opinion but...

    I like buying the show machines whenever possible. Four of my games are show games, and I wouldn't buy new in another way. In fact, in one case my machine was used for five or six shows before I got it, and my discount was pretty minor on that particular game.

    The group that sold it to me added a few extras, and made multiple tweaks on it to ensure it was playing just right. To me, that's worth more than the discount.

    #84 1 year ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    I realize ongoing discussion answered the actual question here, but I'll post the details anyway. Dan was going to get this on the 'Bring a game' page, but is perpetually busy and hasn't done that yet.
    The ColorDMD deal is: $50 off on a display picked up at the show (and I can help you install it if needed), for display in a game on the show floor during the show, with a "ColorDMD" sign taped to the top. Typically you just have to email randy@colordmd.com to get in on the deal, I would assume that still works.

    Yeah, between the cold snap and some stupid health stuff that has happened (I'm fine, just couldn't sleep for like... Ten days. That was fun and you can all imagine how productive that makes someone...), I got way behind. I'm hoping to do this tonight, seriously. If not, it will happen tomorrow. I need it done for my own mental stability!

    #89 1 year ago

    This isn't public yet, but can anyone check it and weigh in on your thoughts? I think it's good to go, and want to make sure I didn't miss anything:



    #92 1 year ago
    Quoted from KingPinGames:

    Ha, that might need some clarification.
    "Kingpin will deliver any game purchased from them and paid for before the show."
    Good times, thanks Dan.
    Fyi, it does clarify it if you click on it.

    Hmmmm... Anyone have an idea how I can put that in short.

    I tried "new game", but it isn't just new games.

    I tried "Buy A Game, Pick Up At Show through KingPin" but it's silly long.

    "Get a Game at the Show From Kingpin" seems like we're giving away a ton of games.

    I mean, do I have to say that you need to expand the sections?

    Does, "Game Deals with KingPin" work better?

    #96 1 year ago
    Quoted from KingPinGames:

    It's okay. I'm sure they will figure it out.

    Clearly, they aren't figuring it out.

    Although if I thought I would get free games delivered to my door, I might not figure it out either.

    I think I'm going to go with Game Deals from KingPin and Kiddie Ride Deals from KingPin.

    #98 1 year ago
    Quoted from f3honda4me:

    I was joking lol

    I know, I still changed it.

    #105 1 year ago
    Quoted from waldo34:

    I'll second that, love my Dialed In from the show last year.

    I third that. Chris is awesome and stands behind his stuff.

    #113 1 year ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Let's hope old man winter is getting everything out of his system now to leave April free and clear!

    Yeah, yeesh. This snow is killing me. Tough to get stuff done when I can never make solid plans for meetings because my kids keep ending up home with me :-/

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    #122 1 year ago
    Quoted from janus:

    Dan, I don't see a link for bringing a machine. I assume you want this arranged ahead of time.

    No one is finding this so I have to rethink where to put it on the web site... You can register here!


    #124 1 year ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    honest feedback, nothing is really intuitive to find on the website. The redesign and style are huge improvements but it take me multiple clicks to find anything I am looking for.

    Not saying that you're wrong, but what is strange about that is that the actual structure of the vast majority of the site didn't change at all. There is actually nothing different about how you find the deeper pages other than the top pages were renamed, and then there were content got slightly new formatting to match the new site and that's it.

    If you (or anyone) can better explain what the problem is, I can definitely relook at fixing it better, but I'm personally lost on what to try to fix. The oddest one to me is we get someone stating they can't find hotel information at least once a week, and it's at the top of every page on desktop and the first menu item on mobile. I'd love to have more people find it, but I don't know how to make it more obvious.

    #128 1 year ago
    Quoted from animesuperj:

    I do agree with the more content statement. It honestly took me about 10 minutes to find the 'compete' part you were talking about because the only place to find it is off the homepage. I expected it to be under 'Play'. I guess I don't expect a ton of information off the homepage past general info about the show -- when is it, where is it, and drive into the site.

    I can add a "compete" button under the "play" button series too, which isn't a bad idea at all.

    Getting off into the weeds for a second here, we're actively trying to do a few things with the site that I do sort of want to point out and give reasons for...

    First, on the topic of content - I'm not sure what you mean here, so I may be answering something that isn't what you intended and if that is so, sorry! But...

    Starting a few years ago, we have been on a quest to remove and "generalize" as much of the content as possible. This was for a few different reasons, all of which are important for us:

    1) So many people feed us content super late, it causes the site to come together at the very very last minute, and becomes super stressful. Less content means that we're not spending hours the final weeks leading up to the show wrangling and frantically trying to update content. This also allows us to announce things earlier, and then we can worry about the timing of it later.

    2) Perhaps more importantly, we found out that basically no one actually ever read the content before. A couple years ago to try to see what people were really caring about, we went and really reviewed the analytics, and found that some of the deeper pages where we had a lot of the information were viewed by almost no one. In one case, we made a page that was seen by a grand total of about 10 people. That made that content for all practical purposes really silly to do.

    3) Along with this, it was our goal to create as much flat, "three click" design as possible. In the past, we had content as deep as 9 clicks away from the front page (that was the case in the page that ten people saw, for instance).

    4) Finally, one of our goals was to go much more image heavy as it allowed people to really "see" the show. We have the difficulty of trying to convey what the show is when it is fifty different things put together.

    Hopefully, that helps to explain what we're doing with it and directions we do and don't want to go.

    The biggest change happened in the tickets page because we had a lot of complaints about how much you had to go through and how confusing it was. We stole the general concept for this style from the Wizard World series of events, but then tried flattening it to better fit what we had before. None of the things actually changed categories (Tom's was in Special Events before, it still is), but I do agree that it is a little more difficult to find things since we aren't *forcing* people through the process... but at the same time, we have had far less complaints about the process being too long and confusing.

    I'm all ears for ideas. I have the add the Compete button to the Play one as one of my ideas.

    I will also say this - I'm not personally positive that the "Verb Buttons" are obvious enough as places to go get information. The problem is that they are more obvious I think on Mobile (they are in the top menu there), but it seems no one finds the top menu. Since "Hotels" is the biggest problem I have heard about now and it's heavily featured on both mobile and desktop (and actually changed from the Verb "Stay" to "Hotels" to try to be *even more obvious* after launch, which hasn't seemed to help), I don't know that placing more up there is the answer.

    I'm all ears. As always, I can't do every idea at once, but I'm open to any further ones that people might have. Probably best to email me (or contact me through here) so I can keep them straight, and I don't need to devolve this thread into a huge "hey, let's revise the MGC" site thread, but I'm happy if you want to post them here too

    3 weeks later
    #135 1 year ago

    Whoa, lot of people who make pinball machines are coming this year. I thought last year we had a lot... I think I just got a list with more people on it than we have announced on our site so far...

    #137 1 year ago
    Quoted from kcZ:

    Is this an announcement for an announcement?

    No, because I have no idea when I'll announce this! . It takes a lot to gather and find all those pics!

    While I'm here, we've got like ten tickets for Tom Taylors open house left! I don't know why, last year we sold out of the same number of tickets by December 1st. They can be found under special events if you want them, it's a great collection with more than 300 playable machines (347 playable pinball machines last I spoke to him!) and is available Friday before the show. You can drop off your game if you're bringing one either before or after the time too!

    #142 1 year ago
    Quoted from Tomahawkjim:

    Is Tom Taylor's included in the do everything pass? May be a dumb questions, maybe I can't read?

    No, the do everything pass is just onsite. Tom Taylor's is actually limited to just 100 people. VIG is around 300 that we can handle.

    #143 1 year ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    How late can you purchase tickets online?

    Depends on what it is for.

    Saturday and Sunday we usually close sales for on the Wednesday night before the show.

    Friday usually sells out late March. It seems to be closer because of VIG right now, however.

    VIG we've never done like this before, and it's really hard to tell. A couple weeks ago, we were doing 10+ tickets a day. The last few days have been like 2. So... between a few days and four weeks from now I expect it will sell out.

    Tom's usually sells out by December, so I don't know what's up there.

    Hope that helps! If it is possible for you to purchase earlier, we do appreciate that, as it does help us to afford more cool stuff earlier on

    #145 1 year ago

    Kingpin is an almost mythic game to pinball collectors and players, and the team at Circus Maximus are finally putting it into production so everyone can see what they are missing with this Mark Ritchie designed game. Come give it a play at the Wisconsin Center April 12-14 to see what all the fuss is about!

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    #149 1 year ago

    John Borg is coming, because he makes awesome games!

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    #150 1 year ago

    Brian Eddy is also coming, because he makes great games too!

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    #151 1 year ago

    I don't even know where / how to make all these announcements, so if you have ever wanted to meet Waison Cheng, Lyman Sheats, Mike Kyzivat, Harrison Drake, Tanio Klyce, Dwight Sullivan, Elliot Eismin, Rick Naegele, Tim Sexton, George Gomez, Mark Weyna, Chuck Bleich, Keith Elwyn, John Borg, Steve Ritchie, Mike Vinikour, Greg Freres, Steven Martin, Justin Frait, Tom Kyzivat, Chuck Ernst, Josh Clay, Danai Kittivanthana, Mark Sullivan, Tammy Parham, Pat Powers, Dave Carver, Carson Gunby, John Buscaglia, Doug Score, Mark Galvez, Corey Stup, Brett Rubin, Brian Eddy, Dean Grover, Jim Belt, Sonia Madalinski, Ernie Perez, Andrew Triana or Mark Guidarelli from Stern Pinball, they'll all be on hand at the show.

    #155 1 year ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    I don't know how you and your crew manage it Dan. MGC keeps getting better every year !
    LTG : )

    Thanks Lloyd! Any word yet on if you're going to make it out? I've got a VIP graphic all ready for you if it can happen again

    #160 1 year ago
    Quoted from HamsterHerder:

    Glad to see you guys ran with the keychain idea this year for bringing machines. I brought those 3D printed ones last year and not going to be there this year so wasn't feeling motivated to do them again. I am sure it will be cooler than my real cheap ones.

    That was you? I totally saw one on a Keychain for someone's game I was fixing and that's what motivated me to make it happen. They said to me it was their favorite souvenir from last year.

    I don't mind showing this, they'll look like this, die cast!

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    #161 1 year ago
    Quoted from f3honda4me:

    Are there food vendors or booths at MGC? Are we able to leave and come back in if we go eat someplace offsite?

    There are about five or six different groups on site. We use wristbands so you may absolutely leave and come back also, and there are about ten great restaurants within about two blocks in any direction!

    #163 1 year ago

    Build a Breakfast, Build a Burger is a terrible name I think, but I love their food. I eat there a couple times a month during the winter when I'm stopping down by the Wisconsin Center. There is a place called Gyro MKE that is kitty corner from it that is excellent too for faster food. Those are both one block away if you go out the exit near the Hilton Skywalk

    1 week later
    #172 1 year ago

    Legendary pinball designer Steve Ritchie will be at the Wisconsin Center April 13 and 14! Steve got his start with Atari Pinball before moving to Williams Pinball and designing many of their most beloved tables including Black Knight, Terminator 2 and Star Trek The Next Generation! Today he works for Stern Pinball where the "King of Flow" continues to churn out hits like Spider-Man, ACDC and Star Wars!

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    2 weeks later
    #184 1 year ago
    Quoted from mr2xbass:

    Compared to when it was at the Sheraton, how relatively bright/dark is the arcade hall? I sadly missed last years debut at the new location. I recall having the lights turned down low during the after party back years past. I’m guessing with the overall size of the new hall and amount of vendor stuff in the same area, the lights stay pretty bright all day eh? Like if a Sega Viper Night Driving was there, would the UV glow ball effect be lost? -or is the hall dim enough to get the effect?

    First, loving that you mentioned Vnd!

    Long story short if you turn off the lights at the WI Center, they take like 30 minutes to go back on. Last year, I was told I couldn't mess with them in case I turned off too many. This year, I intend to mess.

    We don't plan to make it dark dark, but every other ish set of lights will probably be off.

    If the led upgrade they were supposed to get happened, well then I will play a lot more.

    #185 1 year ago
    Quoted from stuckey_t:

    Is Dirty Donnie gonna be there this year! I purchased and love his Gaming classic glow in the dark shirt from last year.

    Stay turned. Last minute things still going on!

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