Cyphacon 2016…A Bad Horse Perspective
by Adam Sibille
Cyphacon 2016, what can I say that hasn’t already been said in other reviews? I had an amazing time. I haven’t had as much fun at any other con I’ve been to than what I did at Cyphacon. From an activities standpoint, they had a little bit of something for everyone. My son, who is a huge Pokemon fan, spent most of his hours roaming around looking for every trainer so he could gather all the gym badges for his collection. They may have only been a little magnet, but to him, he was living the dream. Each trainer was especially nice to him and treated him like he was one of their own. I felt that was a nice touch by the Pokemon group and gave my younger son something to do during the downtime.
After getting my band and walking in, I walked through the first floor and passed by Johnny Segura’s booth. Johnny Segura always has an excellent selection of work and I enjoy his style. I have followed Johnny for quite sometime and if you haven’t seen his work, I feel you’re really missing something special. Johnny is a regular at local art shows and if you missed him at Cyphacon, then stop by a local show and drop him a line. I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you’re a hermit, then check out Johnny on Facebook at The Art of Johnny J. Segura III.
I was also able to catch Ashley Royer’s Belle cosplay from Beauty and the Beast which was absolutely beautiful. The epic detail that went into Ashley’s costume was top-notch and I have to commend her for putting in the hours to really bring the whole character to life. Adding The Beast and baby Belle really put the icing on the cake and I feel that having both baby Belle and The Beast completed the cosplay experience. I know I’ve gone on and one about Ashley’s magnificent cosplay, however, what I haven’t mentioned is how well done her art work is. If you haven’t followed Ashley Royer on Facebook, go to her page and hit the Like button, you won’t be disappointed.
The rest of the day I spent walking around with my son so he could continue his Pokemon training. This allowed us to go to the third floor and pass through the shops and take a look at the wares. Many of the booths had action figures, stuffed animals, and some prints. The prints were good, but I prefer more original artwork and I like to support our local artists instead of buying a print I can get off the Internet.
Paper Heroes had a booth setup on the third floor and I always like to see what Kevin has to offer. We didn’t purchase anything this weekend, but I think a run to the shop is in my near future. Kevin is always friendly and greets everyone with a smile. His character shows why Paper Heroes is the absolute premier store to get your comics and collectables in Lake Charles.
The beautiful Lafitte’s Ladies were in full cosplay while on their skates. They rolled around the con dressed as Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and their typical derby gear. Don’t let their beauty fool you though, these ladies are not to be trifled with. If you don’t believe me, take a trip down to one of their events listed on their Facebook page and if your car is dirty, stop by a car wash and get it cleaned. The Ladies do frequent car wash fundraisers and would love your support.
After satisfying his Pokemon fighting, Alex and I went downstairs and checked out an indie game developed by King Crow Studios. If you haven’t checked out Quest of Souls yet, then you need to stop what you’re doing and pick up the game off Steam. I was able to chat about the game with Charity, an artist for the game, while Alex was able to blast through the game while Cody Louviere, creator, coached Alex through slaying countless monsters. There’s a ton to say about the project and we’ll do a detailed write-up on the game at a later date.
I spent the majority of my time early morning at The Lake Charles Mind’s Eye Society’s table. If you’re looking for a premium LARP look no further. The Mind’s Eye Society is a group of ladies and gentlemen who were extremely welcoming. Whether you want to be a werewolf, vampire, or changeling, this is the group for you. I unfortunately missed the LARP, but from the costumes I saw this group wearing, this is something truly special. If you’re interested in joining up then hit up the Facebook page and drop a line. The community is friendly and would love to have you join up.
After venturing out from The Mind’s Eye’s booth, my wife took my son up to meet Monica Rial. My son is a huge Dragonball Z fan and he dressed as Trunks to meet Bulma. As soon as Monica saw him she immediately screamed “SON!!” and gave him a hug. I’ve met quite a few celebrities at many different cons, but none have been as friendly as Monica. Not only did she give Alex a photograph of Bulma, but she autographed it and asked him for a picture. This single moment made my son glow in pure happiness and I can not express my appreciation for Ms. Rial.
The rest of the day Saturday, I spent most of my day down in the gaming section watching the Scion ESports tournaments. The amount of work that went into the esports event was astronomical. When I stepped into the esports arena, it was like being transported into a professional gaming event. There were multiple monitors on the right and left stage posts so you could see each team playing while in the center there was a projector streaming the game that was being cast on Twitch. The projector seemed to have a minor frame rate issue, but it wasn’t unbearable and was only really noticeable to me during the faster games such as Smash Brothers and Street Fighter V. The commentators were all top-notch and were knowledgeable in their game of choice.
The Smash Brothers tournament was quite disorganized, however, I don’t feel this was the admin’s fault. Many of the players who signed up to play in the tournament did not show making their job exceptionally frustrating. I feel some sort of paging system may have helped, but I’m not sure if that would have truly helped all that much. Overall the Smash Players were all very patient and were able to carry into Sunday for the grand finals.
Rocket League was a nice addition to the Scion roster. The crowd seemed to really respond to the game since it’s an easy game to understand and individuals without any knowledge of the game can understand exactly what is going on. I really hope they continue Rocket League in the Thanksgiving open because I think that it will draw quite a crowd especially with the possible addition of Rocket League basketball in the near future.
I also noticed the crowd responded much better to the Heroes of the Storm tournament than they did in the Thanksgiving open. There were four Heroes teams this year which is also a step up in the right direction for the Heroes community. There was a bit of disorganization with sign ups, but that was resolved on site by the Scion staff. The admins for the Heroes tournaments did an exceptional job with the tournament and I really feel the real hero for the Heroes division was Rayth. Rayth’s commentating was absolutely spectacular. His camera work was amazing considering the spectator interface for Heroes of the Storm is still quite difficult to manipulate. Without Rayth on the mic, I don’t think the energy would have been there for the big fights. The Heroes tournament did run quite a bit late and I would have like to have had the grand finals on Sunday instead of staying up so late.
I arrived a bit late on Sunday due to the lack of sleep from Saturday night. Sunday was a bit of a slow day for us. We went back up to the Mind’s Eye booth to see if they needed any assistance before going downstairs into the arcade area.
Sammy Hayes at Southern Technologies was kind enough to bring his personal arcade for everyone to enjoy. There were arcade cabinets to Atari 2600s to Gamecubes. We spent the rest of the day Sunday playing each console while I showed Alex the classic games, and even some of the horrific games, that I grew up with as a child.
As we wrapped up our Cyphacon experience, we were exhausted. I was mentally and physically drained, but I felt good. The overall con was a blast and we were able to make quite a few memories that will last us for the rest of our lives. I would like to personally thank the Cyphacon staff that made this event possible. I know it couldn’t have been easy to accomplish, but you did an excellent job once again this year.