Catalyst Game Labs Gen Con 2010 Wrap-Up

What a fantastic Gen Con.

So many things to talk about; so many cool products premiered by a host of companies; so many great people met; so many awesome games to play: it absolutely lived up to its title of “The Best Four Days In Gaming.”

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At Gen Con 2010 Catalyst released a slew of new products, from the gorgeous full-color Sixth World Almanac exploring Shadowrun like never before, to Technical Readout: 3085 bringing a horde of new units to any BattleTech battlefield, with spot lights on conventional infantry and the dramatic return of Land-Air BattleMechs.

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In addition to our fantastic location at the main doors, it was great to see Geek Chic holding our left flank with their amazing tables we drooled over all 4 days (thanks for the loan of two tables to run demos!).

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Iron Wind Metals was kitty-corner to our booth as well and had a great show selling the first Lance Pack for Technical Readout: 3085, as well as their full line of miniatures. Always great to see Mike Noe and his crew bringing the metal to our heavy-metal mayhem.

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In addition to the numerous booth demos (thanks to all the volunteers that staffed our constantly running tables in the booth), we ran a huge amount of games throughout the convention.


Catalyst Game Labs ran 42 Mission sessions, 29 non-Mission sessions, and a variety of other events from the big Shadowrun tournament involving 72 players, to a GM Bootcamp seminar, to a LARP, and more.

All told we received more than 670 tickets from hundreds of attendees and ran them through almost 500 gaming hours of shooting people in the face for money! Congratulations to the tournament winners…hope you got those fantastic burnt-finish bokens home okay.

Catalyst would like to extend a huge thank you to Chuck Burhanna and his entire Shadowrun team for pulling off such a large, fantastic set of runs!

More Shadowrun details can be found at


From a wall of grinder events teaching people how to play the game, to the traditional Clan Grand Melee and Trial of Bloodright, to the mega canon event games surrounding the Liberation of Terra: there was a swath of BattleTech action carved out in the miniatures hall.

Randall, Loren, Brent, Matt and numerous others also participated in the Masters Vs. Minions game from 11PM to 2:30AM-ish Saturday night…second year-in-a row. The Masters came out on top 3 games to 2 and Catalyst had a great, fun time…we hope to see a new set of players trying to take the “masters” down next year.

Over 1,700 tickets from hundreds of attendees added up to over 2,500 hours of heavy-metal mayhem! Once more, congratulations to the winners of the very tournaments!

Thanks to Mike “Southpaw” Miller and the largest crew of volunteers ever assembled that ran more BattleTech, attended by more people, than since the height of FASA-era BattleTech in the mid 90s.

In addition to all the fantastic games run, the crew once again generated a brilliant diorama showcasing their formidable talents. So many great miniatures and details…you could stare at it for twenty minutes and still keep finding cool, new details to marvel at (hope you snapped a pile of photos to go in Interstellar Operations!).

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Finally, the Virtual World Tesla Pods were present again this year, staffed by Nick Smith and his crew, and ran twenty-four seven for four straight days, providing some awesome spectacles of Solaris gladiatorial combat!

Details on coming BattleTech books can be found at


We’re just starting to get our casual games up off the ground, but already we’re starting to hit a good stride.

In addition to the near constant demos we ran in the booth, in the Boardgame Hall we also ran almost 300 people through games of Merchants, Ergo and High School Drama (all already on store shelves) as well as Balance of Power and Hex-A-Gon (games hitting stores shelves later this year).

Thanks to Lucas Reed and his team for running so many games and pushing the idea to the gaming community that Catalyst is much more than just BattleTech and Shadowrun, now.


As Catalyst Game Labs works on finalizing its new alternate history/steampunk air action miniatures game, preparing it for release in the future, we demoed it heavily at Gen Con. In fact the demand was so high for demos we had to generate additional material Thursday night to expand our demo capacity for the rest of the show.

Both in-booth games at a dedicated table, as well as in the miniatures hall, we ran well over 200 hours of demos.

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Thanks to Laura Perry and her crew for keeping the flags flying in the stiff breeze of so many people and their great questions.

Check out, which includes a pile of fiction, free and purchasable PDFs, a host of development blogs, forums and more!


We also premiered a first look at our new young adult fiction series, Star Challengers. In partnership with the Challenger Centers and New York Times Best-Selling Authors Rebecca Moesta & Kevin J. Anderson, the goal for the series is to increase interest in the space program and careers in science and technology.

The cover artist, John E. Kauffman, was on hand to sign books and to showcase is talents for generating jaw-dropping illustrations of real-world astronomical events. He’s slated to tackle future novel covers in this series, as well as the games Catalyst is developing for the Star Challengers universe.

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The first copies of book one, Moonbase Crises, will be handed out by Challenger Center founder June Scobee Rodgers as a highlight of the national Challenger Center conference in St. Louis, August 17th. The next two novels in the series will be released in 2011.


Catalyst Game Labs is pleased and humbled by the number of ENnie Awards we won this year…thanks to everyone that voted!

  • Silver for Best Cover Art: Eclipse Phase (in conjunction with Posthuman Studios)
  • Silver for Best Interior Art: Shadowrun 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Gold for Best Writing: Eclipse Phase (in conjunction with Posthuman Studios)
  • Silver for Best Production Values: Shadowrun 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Silver for Best RPG Related Product: BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction
  • Silver for Best Game: Shadowrun 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Silver for Product of the Year: Eclipse Phase (in conjunction with Posthuman Studios)

For those interested in watching the ENnies, you can find a livestream of the three-hour event here.

Thanks to Posthuman Studios for partnering with us to bring such a great product in Eclipse Phase to publication. As they take full control of the game and publish their own material moving into the future we can’t wait to see what they do (Randall read most of Sunward on the plane ride home…great, great stuff…check it out!)

Congratulations to all of the winners this year…so many fantastic products to bring to any gaming table. We hope to be crossing swords/guns with the next batch of cool products next year!


To anyone not mentioned above that helped Catalyst get to and through Gen Con…we’re very aware of the huge volunteer apparatus that helps every year, and we’re are humbly grateful.

To the host of people that interviewed and/or simply took pictures and talked about what Catalyst is doing on your blogs, podcasts, and more. I know we’re missing plenty, but these are just the few found to date: ScrapYard Armory, Men of Action, NeonCon [a long, live interview with Randall…just not sure where it’s buried in their long hours of footage], Beasts of War [interview with Randall…not yet posted].

To the fantastic freelancer authors/artists that gave of their time to sign autographs in our booth…we had a great turnout.

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Author Michael Stackpole & Artist Echo Chernik

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Artist Klaus Scherwinski & Artist Alex Iglesias (with a booth volunteer)

Most of all…to all those that played in a game, to those that attended a seminar, or to those that stopped by the booth to grab the latest books or simply struck up a conversation: thank you!

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Gaming has been, and always will be, about the community. And Catalyst is every bit a group of gamers that’s always excited to publish new product, interact with the fantastic communities for each of our properties, and just have fun playing great games.

See you all in 2011!

4 thoughts on “Catalyst Game Labs Gen Con 2010 Wrap-Up

  1. Congratulations on the ENnies! What on Earth was that song they played when you went up to collect your awards, and where can I download it? :)

  2. aluco, yes, yes Nick is.

    Wade, that was “He Is Not Dead Yet”, from Spamalot (the musical based on Monty Python’s Holy Grail. If you like Monty Python, Spamalot will have you crying you’ll be laughing so hard.

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