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Everything posted by dorkatlarge

  1. What do the lonely people at ACen do?

    During ACen 2018, I might bring my Nintendo Switch and a couple of multiplayer / party games. They should be entertaining while waiting in lines. That said, my card games are inexpensive and durable. They're also easy to understand, and just about as fun during convention lines...
  2. Countdown Until ACen's Old Enough to Drink!

    32 days until ACen 2018 Friday.
  3. What Are You Currently Playing?

    I've been playing the 3DS remake of Dragon Quest 7 on and off. It improves on the Playstation version in almost every way. This remake makes it less tedious to look for shards in order to advance to the next section. The new translation gives the characters more personality. Visible encounters can be annoying, but I prefer them to invisible enemies. I'm ready to start the 3DS remake of Dragon Quest 8 soon.
  4. What do the lonely people at ACen do?

    I first went to ACen in the mid-2000s, and attended the con alone. The first time that I knew someone who was interested in going was 2014. (I wore a costume for the first time last year. Even though it was simple, I got three or four compliments.) That said, I make efforts to be social. I strive to start conversations. Sometimes they're brief. However, I aim to be polite and welcoming. Since I expect to end up in at least one lengthy line at ACen, I make sure to bring at least one card game. I talk with people in lines, and ask them if they're interested. Maybe this year I'll bring the Slash card game.
  5. My Visual Novel Can't Be This Fun

    I have attended and liked this panel in the recent past. If I have time and energy this year, I might attend it again. I began going to panels at fan conventions about a decade ago. At the time, visual novels were considered a dark corner of English speaking anime-manga fandom. It was a challenge at the time to find a title available in English that had genuine plot and characterization, or a consistent and coherent translation. I recall seeing articles published in well-regarded blogs and magazines that had a cynical attitude about VNs. As of 2016, not everything is wonderful. But there is now a larger variety of localized visual novels for computers, mobile devices, and even some consoles. Indie creators can publish their stories and games on iTunes, Google Play, Steam, and other stores. There has been a slow increase in diversity in art styles, especially for fans who are willing to look into the freeware VN scene.
  6. What Are You Currently Playing?

    I've been enjoying Justice Chronicles on 3DS. It's partly because the game has things I enjoy -- 2D sprite graphics, a low difficulty level, and characters who can be amusing. Sometimes it has thought-provoking story moments.
  7. Where to go at ACen?

    If you have a hotel near ACen, then I recommend bringing food that does not require refrigeration, and that can be prepared safely. Few hotels near the con will have microwaves, so call first to be safe. Also, when you leave your hotel, I recommend bringing at least a small amount of portable and easy-to-eat food. Granola bars and canned tuna / chicken (if you have a clean portable spoon) are decent choices. Over the last few years, food has been sold for reasonable prices inside the Hyatt lobby. From the late morning through early evening hours of Friday and Saturday, you can order some pretty good sandwiches for about $6 or $7 each. Any person can order there, and you do not need to have a hotel room. From what I recall, the Expoteria (inside the con center) and the convenience store in the Hyatt usually have higher prices. If possible, ask the staff first in order to understand how much a menu item will cost. There's a pretty good food court inside the Fashion Outlets of Chicago. Keep in mind that it's a several minute walk away from any con events. Also, the Chicago Fire Oven restaurant (inside the Crowne Plaza hotel) is not especially cheap or convenient, but I have enjoyed going there. Mariano's is a relatively upscale grocery store. The location closest to ACen is located at 1900 S Cumberland Ave, Park Ridge, Illinois 60068. If it helps, the store is just north of the Cumberland stop on the CTA Blue Line.
  8. Parking near the convention center.

    I searched for "Rosemont parking," and found a detailed guide at Parkopedia. It mentions the one which Magishine referred to, which is the MB Financial Park's garage. $13 for twenty four hours. Again, if you're staying at a hotel, that might be a better option. Contact them first. Rosemont Blue Line parking is between $5 and $12. They do not guarantee your car's safety, so do not leave anything valuable in sight! If you leave, you will not be able to reclaim your spot. Be sure to check CTA's site first for details.
  9. Buying a badge on Thursday

    I had to wait in the Thursday pre-registration line a couple years ago. Here's how it went: * I arrived as early as I could, which was about 4:30 PM. * Found a person on staff, and made absolutely sure that I was in the correct line. * Waited outside a while with several hundred people also planning to attend the con. * Tried to be patient as the line slowly moved indoors. It took at least two hours. That said, there have been good and bad years in regards to registration. Sometimes at-con reg is faster, and sometimes it isn't. Just be prepared! I recommend bringing things such as... 1. Weather appropriate clothes 2. An umbrella for shade and/or rain 3. A healthy snack and a water bottle 4. Patience and a good attitude 5. Something to talk about with other attendees 6. Durable portable entertainment -- perhaps a card game that doesn't require much time
  10. Private places to change into costume?

    I do not remember seeing family restrooms in the con center, nearby restaurants, or nearby hotels. That said, you might benefit by calling hotels and restaurants before Friday morning, and asking if they have a publicly accessible family restroom. If one says yes, then make sure that you know where it is, and how long it will be open. If you know people who will stay in a hotel near con events, then politely ask them if you can use their room for a few minutes.
  11. Feeling anxious/sick before ACen? Help!

    Right now I have a nagging headache, possibly due to congestion. I'll make every effort to deal with it before the con starts. The ACen weekend is a busy one. There will be crowds and lines almost everywhere. It can be stressful even if you're not in charge of anything. So be sure to rest, have healthy food, and drink water. Deliberately pace yourself in order to stay well.
  12. Hello Hello Hello

    Welcome! I've found it helpful to become look for groups in places such as... * Meetup.com. You can become a member for free, though if you want to start your own group, you'll need to pay. You can search the site by interest, or just look for activities within a few miles of where you live. * Facebook. * Local libraries and bookstores. * Your place of worship (if applicable). Start by attending one or two groups. Be polite and willing to contribute.
  13. Cosplaying and Public Transports

    Unless the weather is horrible, I'll take a single Pace Bus to ACen on Friday, and two at most on Saturday. My costume is just slightly offbeat. Also, it should not get in the way, since I will not carry a fake weapon, and since it will not have any large or obstructive parts. If you need to take a CTA train or a Chicago bus from late night through early morning, then be careful and travel with at least one other reliable person.
  14. What Are You Currently Playing?

    Ultimate NES Remix has been entertaining, especially during break times. Though it has reminded me that I'm not exactly good at playing about five of the games. I'm about to resume where I left off on Super Mario 3D Land. I like the isometric perspective. I also appreciate how it's easy to move around the world without having camera problems.
  15. Vegan food near convention?

    According to their site, there is one at 190 N Northwest Highway, Park Ridge IL 60068. It's store #698, and it's in an interesting suburban downtown area. Trader Joe's store #705 just opened just north of Woodfield Mall at 1426 E Golf Rd Schaumburg, IL 60173. You can get there by taking Pace Bus 606 from the Rosemont Blue Line station. Signal for the bus to stop at either the signpost next to Bank of America, or the signpost right before the Hooters restaurant.
  16. One Piece 2015

    I've got most of the pieces for my Trafalgar Law costume. The next step: using a fabric marker to decorate jeans which I do not mind damaging.
  17. Vegan food near convention?

    Food near Rosemont is often expensive. If you're staying at a hotel, politely ask if that hotel's restaurant can provide genuine vegan food. Aside from Maoz Vegetarian, there are few places nearby which will have more than a few options that will meet your needs. Be sure to check the ACen Survival Map at http://bit.ly/survivalmap. Plan ahead, and seriously consider getting food which you can preserve before convention events start on Friday morning. If you drive in Chicagoland to get food, please keep in mind that there's a lot of construction lately. If you rely on CTA trains and buses, and also suburban Pace buses, please keep in mind that you will need to purchase a Ventra card first. Think carefully about your options and plan ahead. Mariano's Grocery is a short drive or a modest CTA train trip from Anime Central. In my opinion, it has more vegan food options than most grocery stores. If you want to get there by train, first walk to the Rosemont Blue Line stop, which is about two blocks north of the convention center and the nearby hotels. Take the inbound (toward Chicago) train one stop to the Cumberland Blue Line station. The grocery is a few minutes' walk north from there, and across a street. Whole Foods grocery has a number of locations around Chicagoland. They have some restaurant style food as well as vegan options for groceries. As far as I can tell, the closest ones to Rosemont are in Park Ridge and Sauganash. The location in Schaumburg is somewhat remote, but I know that you can take Pace Bus #600 (two stops only, just Monday-Friday) or Pace Bus #606 (every day until 9 or 10 PM) from just outside the Rosemont Blue Line station all the way to the transportation center outside of Woodfield Mall. It will be less than a five minute walk from there. One last thought. If you have time and interest in exploring Chicago, you will find some vegan or vegetarian restaurants. Yelp's page is a good place to begin. Since ACen is a busy weekend, be sure to use your time carefully!
  18. Countdown to ACen 2015

    It's now April 29 2015. Sixteen days left until the Friday when ACen begins.
  19. My Visual Novel Can't Be This Fun

    1. If you look through the Guidebook page for ACen 2014 and look through the list of events, you will see that there were panels dedicated to otome games on Friday as well as Sunday. I don't know if either panel will return in 2015. 2. A visual novel can be any story told through the form of a video game. There can be any kind of relationship, or none at all. Most VNs tell their stories through a combination of words, pictures, and music. (I've seen a few that chose not to include pictures. I would be interested in seeing an experimental visual novel which would convey a story just through images, or perhaps just through music.)
  20. Anyone ever buy from.....?

    I had heard positive things about Challengers Comics on the north side of Chicago. Dropped by about a month ago, and it was not bad. But the selection of translated comics could've been better. Chicago Comics is still quirky and fascinating after all these years. Again, there aren't too many recent manga, but it's worth a visit if you like varied series for mature audiences. The Kinokinuya Bookstore that's located inside Mitsuwa has a pretty good selection. I can't always find the latest books, or exactly what I want, but I browse it here and there. Family Video never grew too large, and it still maintains several rental stores around Chicago. I've passed two of their locations in the recent past, and reminded myself to give it a chance soon. As of this writing, only five FYE stores remain open in Chicagoland. It's always been competent rather than great, but for me, it represents a part of fandom. This weekend, I'll drop by one location to see if I can find a competitively priced recent video there.
  21. Countdown to ACen 2015

    It's Thursday, April 23. Just twenty-two days left. The informal pre-convention events start in three weeks...
  22. Be sure to read the ACen rules, and click on the Costumes and Props section. The relevant forum thread is the Prop Acceptability Checklist. Ask there if you have questions. If you need to ask con staff, first make effort to find someone, and then be polite and patient. If they have concerns with your prop, then treat them with respect.
  23. Easiest way to get from RCC to Round 1?

    I sometimes drop by the Half Price Books that's on Army Trail road or the Best Buy near it. However, it has been years since I was at Stratford Square. There are few Pace Bus routes near it. Bus #757 does, but only on weekdays, and only until about 7 PM. Also, keep in mind that its stops are nowhere near Chicago or Rosemont. One alternative is the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield. However, getting there without a car is slow, not especially cheap, and a bit challenging. If you're willing, then first travel to Union Station in downtown Chicago, and get round trip tickets for the Congress Park stop on the BNSF line Metra train. Keep in mind that your CTA Ventra card will not work on Metra. If you want a local arcade experience that is easy to access without a car, consider the following: * If you don't mind staying in Rosemont for a while, there is bowling and billiards available at Kings. It's within a reasonable walk of the convention center and hotels. There's also a free shuttle which operates most hours, stopping at the entertainment district, the fashion mall, and the Blue Line CTA. * Want an arcade in Chicago? There is a Dave and Busters on the north side, just a couple blocks from two Red Line CTA stations. The neighborhood could be better, so travel in groups especially after dark. Also, consider a few independent arcades that are reviewed on Yelp. I have been to Logan Arcade, which is sometimes known by the name "Logan Hardware." * Willing to take a bus to Schaumburg for a local Gameworks? If so, then go to Rosemont's Blue Line CTA station, and take either Pace Bus #606 or the much more limited Pace Bus #600. Both go to the transportation center just outside Woodfield Mall, and across the street from Gameworks. (There was indoor golf at Woodfield, but it quietly closed earlier this year.) Bus 606 runs every day until about 10:30 PM. Bus 600 is more efficient, but operates only on weekdays, and only until 6:50 PM.
  24. ACEN 2015 Plans

    I'll be wearing a costume for the first time. I will spend the next few weeks checking and working on the details. *Perhaps* it will help me socialize with fellow fans, and talk for more than a couple minutes. If it's not too heavy or difficult, I will try to assemble another one in the near future. I will make sure it's pretty easy to recognize and age-appropriate. The weekend is short, but I intend to enjoy it. I'll spend reasonable amounts of time in artist alley, going to other photoshoots, playing card/board games, and attending panels. In fandom, there's a lot of petty in-fighting between people who like specific series, art styles, types of games, and so on. Some of it seems to boil down to an argument of "My show is more mainstream, mature, and cool than yours." See the Geek Hierarchy chart for more. The English speaking visual novel fandom is still a small group. There were few coherent translations until the 2000s, and there have been few four quadrant stories. The English speaking anime-manga fandom might be decreasing in size, but it's still a much larger group. Also, people who focus on serious business animanga series such as Naoki Urasawa's stories, the Ghost in the Shell universe, or Wandering Son might look down on VN fans. There's been a lot of laughably terrible visual novels. As long as the format exists, there always will be. I don't currently have an interest in looking for low quality VNs or anime or manga or anything else. If I see a VN that isn't personally interesting -- whether it's a professional translation, freeware, or an experimental indie product on Steam -- I just ignore it. I'll be in my corner playing Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 2nd Season, and laughing when something intentionally absurd occurs.
  25. School Bully in Anime