And here we are, the first official day of Fanfest! There's going to be two posts about Thursday, one covering what I did from 9:30am through 11:45am, and a second post for the rest. I apologize for the delay in getting these posts out, but you'll understand before too long. ;-)
I was up until 2am the previous evening socializing, drinking, and writing. Fortunately, I don't need much sleep. So I was up bright and early on Thursday, figuring (accurately) that EVE players would queue up early to register for Fanfest. I also figured (sadly, also accurately) that my situation wouldn't be as easy as most people's so that was all the more reason to get there early. The first official activities were at noon. I arrived about 9:30am. To find myself about 250th in line.
Ah well. ;-) It was windy but at least it wasn't too terribly cold.
In due course, we started streaming into the building and I found myself at the registration desk. "Good morning," I said, giving my name. The only official proof that I'd be able to attend Fanfest was an e-mail from CCP Tyr (which I printed and had with me) that said I was allowed to attend. Would it be enough? Apparently not. The lady at the registration desk didn't have my name on file. "Hm, OK," I said. "Well, I run a Community Fansite. Is there another line for them?" I asked. I had chatted with CCP Manifest Wednesday night and he had mentioned that there should be such a badge waiting for me. She brightened and pointed me toward that line.
Where I wasn't listed, either. Still, I got to spy on the list and see who was here. That made finding people during the day much easier since the Fansite badges are purple whereas most badges are yellow.
I was then placed into the hands of CCP Falcon, who was guiding problem children to an upstairs registration desk for people who hadn't bought their tickets in advance. Only my name wasn't there, either.
Is this an appropriate time to :ccp:? ;-)
It was pretty clear that I was caught in a classic right hand-left hand situation. And to be completely fair, there were more than a thousand people in the building and of those a good 10-15% appeared to be problem children like myself. To say things were chaotic is understating. CCP devs moved back and forth, back and forth, trying to contain the chaos. Still, it was hard not to get a little aggravated. Was I going to be stuck outside, pressing my face against the glass? If what I suspect is going to happen Saturday actually happens, that would be pretty damn ironic, don't you think?
"Hm, OK. I have this e-mail from CCP Tyr," I said, producing it, "and CCP Manifest said there should be a badge for me. If we could find either of them, they should be able to sort me in about two minutes." She agreed to pass the word, and I stepped aside. A few minutes before while in line, I had encountered Trebor Daehdoow (who is every bit as nice a guy in person as he appears in various chats and videos) and he also agreed to see if he could find someone who could help me.
I don't want to belabor this story. Just suffice it to say that the good news is that my placement right next to the problem child desk made me really easy to find. I met a half-dozen prominent EVE players while waiting (including Xenuria... and his mom). Want to know who eventually sorted out my badge?
CCP Dolan. Dolan sorted out my badge. I spotted him walking past and shanghaied him into the group that was trying to help me, and in about 10 minutes, he had it done. Just something to keep in mind the next time you (or I, honestly) feel the need to bad-mouth Dolan.
By this time, I had been in the building for about two hours and the first sessions were about to start. More about that in my next post.