EVL Meetup & SotA Con 2018 In Austin, TX Recap
Two years ago EVL had our first meetup in Austin, TX and many an avatar came from far and wide to meet and hang out with fellow EVL members as well as developers. This year we continued the tradition with an EVL meetup during this years SotA Con in Austin, TX. Here is a quick recap of every thing that went down with tons of pictures and some info that I felt might not be well known.
I got to Austin around 6pm and Brickbat picked me up from the airport. Brickbat was pretty much EVERYONE’s airport shuttle so big shout out to him for doing that. The first night we headed the ice breaker at Opal Devine’s and we all had dinner and a pint to kick things off. I ended up playing a “speed round” of Akalabeth (his original game) with Richard Garriott aka Lord British and a few others that were hanging around late with drinks. It was a fun game, but we all died in the end due to an undiscovered secret exit from an otherwise blank room.
Friday morning was when the Shroud of the Avatar convention really kicked off and on my way to check in for the convention I ran into Chris Spears (Atos) and snagged a pic with him before he headed off to ACL with his daughter.
The opening stuff was probably one of the best sessions as they went over where we are so far and a look forward to 2019 in all areas. They kept saying they would deep dive some of this stuff, but when the time came for that panel there was not THAT much more then what they initially presented. Both Darkstarr (Starr Long) & Lord British were at the opening panel and you can see Justyn and Wolftam standing guard during opening ceremonies!
Funny pic with Darkstarr
I certainly focused more on having a good time than taking notes about new info! After the first set of panels we took a break and then all the attendees gathered on the stairs for a big group photo! I took a selfie of all this just after the photographer grabbed a great shot.
Heading into lunch was one of the most anticipated elements for me personally. That Friday just happened to coincide with Richard’s 10th anniversary of launching in space so Winfield, along with support from EVL, hosted the Astronauts lunch and we all got to hear Richard talk about his space experiences. I enjoyed hearing his story about how he got Scottie (from Star Trek fame’s) ashes aboard the ISS secretly using business cards and the practical jokes his mom helped him pull off in space.
After lunch we all hopped on a shuttle to go back to the Renaissance hotel (the convention was at the Ren, but the lunch was at the hotel EVL was staying at). Did some more deep dive panels on world building, again I did not take many notes but it seemed that most of the info was not completely new!
Later in the day Ludger Longlastname stood up and represented EVL in a quick overview of what we do and who we are. Thanks for representing Ludger and check out that sweet quest hat!
The Kings Dinner & The Baron’s Men Play
After all the convention panels were done, everyone got ready for the big dinner that Winfield had prepared at a lakeside venue that was amazing all you can eat BBQ! There were almost 150 people in attendance and once again EVL stepped up to help make things run smoothly. Here is a few pictures of the entrance, helpers, and the decor of the place.
The place started to fill in and Darkstarr & Lord British tossed out coins to the common folk and we kicked off a great dinner with Iolo singing too!
I bring this travel gnome with me when I leave my daughter at home and I ended up taking a bunch of pictures with him and SotA friends.
After dinner it was on to the Baron’s Men Theater that is a scale replica of an old theater and it is right on Richard’s property! I had a great time doing this at the last meetup and this time I was even more impressed!
The play ended late and Ludger and I met up with the rest of EVL at the hotel who were chillen in the after part room and then I went to bed ready for the next day!
Day three started off with more panels in the morning and I happened to remember to catch atleast this one slide that showed the new land masses coming in Episode 2. I also got a great picture with Sannio the developer!
While the rest of SotA Con went out to lunch at a crappy taco place, EVL and 2 distinguished guests decided to hit up a greek place for lunch and we did a quick photo of every at lunch which included all the EVL members in attendance.
The rest of the day flew by with panels and then the closing ceremonies. We all went back to the hotel to get ready for the night and a little dance party! The dance party was fun and I got to talk to LB a bit more and also watch him try to juggle these light balls that I ended up taking apart and using for earrings. DJ Darkstarr was on the tables with Justyn and Wolftam helping out. Ludger and I held out for some prizes then headed back to our hotel for the afterparty where about 15 or so Avatars were hanging out, drinking and conversing.
We ended up staying up almost 4am and I will say that damn I was hung over the next morning at breakfast! Everyone said goodbye at breakfast and started departing for the airport. My flight did not leave until 5:30 so Brickbat and I decided to go into Austin and get some lunch. On the way there he decided to drive me by the brand new Portalarium offices to see how close they were to the old ones. As were were pulling away, I noticed List Rostov (aka Travis the developer) getting out of his car and he was kind enough to let me and Brickbat up to check out the new offices!
What a GREAT way to end the trip with this chance encounter! Love the staff at Portalarium and the hospitality they have always show EVL when we come to Austin. That’s it! Hope you enjoyed my little journey through the SotA Con and EVL meetups.
See you in game Avatars!