IGR’s WonderCon 2017 Report

WonderCon 2017, the Comic-Con International spin-off that took place in Orange County from March 31st through April 2nd, had fans of mainstream video games covered: Legend of Zelda T-shirts, more Pokemon merchandise than you could shake a stick at, and even the chance to shake gauntlets with Cas Anvar, the voice of Assassin’s Creed protagonist Altair Ibn-La’Ahad.

Apart from the occasional piece of unlicensed Undertale fan art, though, was there much for indie game enthusiasts? Yes, if you knew where to look!

Never Boring Board Games

If the indie video game scene wasn’t widely represented, the same couldn’t be said for the tabletop game scene. In addition to various tournaments throughout the weekend and a number of vendor booths, attendees also had the chance to check out custom tabletop game furniture from Geek Chic, which also crafts a fine assortment of accessories, like wooden dice and card boxes.

Geek Chic at WonderCon - image courtesy Geek Chic Faceobook page
Geek Chic at WonderCon – image courtesy Geek Chic Facebook page

One of the most interesting tabletop games on offer: Psychosis, from newcomers Serious Side Projects. A board game based on children trapped in a Victorian-era asylum and basing “character classes” on psychiatric diagnoses, Psychosis is like an Emilie Autumn song in board game form or a tabletop version of Neverending Nightmares. While the game is still in development, WonderCon attendees did have the chance to play-test it in the gaming area, and it looks incredibly promising.

Psychosis art, courtesy Serious Side Projects Facebook page
Psychosis art, courtesy Serious Side Projects Facebook page

Comic Books and Other Virtual Realities

WonderCon also saw the collision of the newest medium with the oldest (at least if you count hieroglyphs and cave paintings as “comic books”) in the form of Moriarty: Endgame. A VR adaptation of Daniel Corey’s graphic novels, Moriarty: Endgame is an interactive comic book experience based on the Sherlock Holmes stories but set in a post-apocalyptic future. Developed by Transmedia Entertainment, Moriarty: Endgame was released last week on Steam for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Moriarty: Endgame screenshot courtesy Transmedia Entertainment
Moriarty: Endgame screenshot courtesy Transmedia Entertainment

WonderCon also hosted a Friday evening panel, Secrets of Storytelling in VR and AR, that included contributions from Brett Thomason of Mandt VR and Tony Mugavero of LittlStar, among others.

While comic books – and increasingly their film and television adaptations – remain the mainstay of WonderCon and other official Comic-Con International events, WonderCon 2017 did have some indie game-related gems and was well worth the visit.

Were you there? What impressed you? Let us know in the comments.

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