Review: Dev Con 2016
Dev Con is a convention ran by none other than Asu West itself, the convention is held on the campus of the ASU West by the Anime Club. The main attraction to this convention is that it’s
completely free. Doesn’t matter how old you are or what you’d like to do. It’s going to be free. Granted, food and the merch sold by vendors will have a price tag but the convention itself is free which is a major plus in my book. The other perk about the convention is the fact they have free parking that is close by the convention. I had a wonderful time parking, waling to the convention and getting to hang out in the vendor hall to chat it up with the vendors who set up shop.
For being a small convention, it pulled a number of people even on a weekend saturated in Free Comic Book Day and Mothers Day. The appeal of being free was one of the biggest draws to Dev Con. The vendor area is only so big with roughly 20 vendors or so stationed and most of the time you could walk through the hall in a matter of five minutes. There weren’t any major guests announced or ground breaking events. However, you could strike up a convention with who ever you’d like and they were more than happy to hang out and chat. It’s something that you just can not do at the larger conventions. I found myself chatting with an artist by the name of Joshua Green for an hour about Anime and then turned around and spoke to Sara Moni about cosplay for another thirty minutes in a very chill environment.
They had a number of panels throughout the weekend from cosplay contests to tutorials on how to build props. At other conventions you can typically find con goers in the vendor hall shopping or hanging out. However, because the campus is drop dead gorgeous and the day was so cool, most con goers were outside hanging out under the clouds. This made for wonderful photo shoots for photographers and cosplayers, more than likely this time next month many of us will be sweating profusely in the summer sun.
One awesome feature they had was an entire second floor dedicated to Imperial Outpost Games who held a number of games to be played by you and your friends with staff wandering around to help anyone who has questions. I personally played Dungeon Crawl which had a scenario where each player took control of four peasants and fought against creatures far stronger than them. Everyone at the table lost characters and one player even lost all four of his characters. It was a ton of fun and the staff was incredibly kind to both veterans and new players alike.
Overall I had a wonderful time at Dev Con. Despite the fact it was on a weekend that had to compete with Mothers Day and Free Comic Book Day, it he’d it’s own as convention goers came to have fun and support local artists. Their food choice was restricted to simple snacks or the food vendors already installed in the ASU building, I would have loved if a food truck was present to increase the variety. Though the convention was small, it would have been a perfect opportunity to invite local cosplayers to come as guests to be featured in ads. While speaking of advertisements, I found out about Dev Con only a few weeks prior to the con day and was surprised by underground nature of it all. If I could give advice to the club, my suggestions for improvements would be a food truck, local guests featured in ads, more advertisements, and having the convention on a day away from Free Comic Book Day and Mother’s day. But again, you can’t really argue with a free convention!