First Timer’s Guide to OrcaCon

So, it’s your first time at OrcaCon! There’s a lot happening, so we would like to welcome you and offer up some first timer tips. OrcaCon is a registered 501c3 and completely volunteer run. We hope you enjoy your time at OrcaCon and meet lots of amazing people! You can join our Discord here – Join the OrcaCon Games Convention Discord Server! 

First up is important info. Next, some cool things you might not know that OrcaCon has going on. And lastly, games and how to play them! 

Bellevue Hilton Information
  • 300 112th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98004
  • Parking is free while you attend OrcaCon
  • Hotel Registration is on the 3rd floor
  • OrcaCon registration is on the 1st floor
 
How to get to OrcaCon via public transit

Here’s a transit map: https://www.soundtransit.org/get-to-know-us/maps

If you’re flying in, you can take the Light Rail to King St Station and then take one of the Bellevue buses. Preferred route is the 560 to the Bellevue Transit Center and then the 240 to Renton. There is a stop right outside of the hotel. 

Registration & What to Expect

When you get to OrcaCon, you’ll come into the hotel via the first floor, or from the 3rd floor where registration is located. At registration, present proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test administered within the last 72 hours, each to be verified with a valid, government issued ID.

For the safety of everyone attending our event, OrcaCon requires that every person wear a mask in our designated OrcaCon space, with exceptions for brief periods when actively eating or drinking. This also includes the Food Truck areas, for safety of not just OrcaCon attendees, guests, and volunteers, but also for the Food Truck staff. Masks that provide KN95 or better protection are required in all convention spaces.

OrcaCon Badges

The OrcaCon badges won’t have your name on them. We have a station set up with sharpies so you can sign your name, nickname, and decorate it up! We also have pronoun ribbons and communication buttons. These are all free to you. Our volunteers can help you with questions about these things. 

You can also stop by our Info Booth, which will have extra masks, plenty of information for directions and such. It’s attached to our OrcaCon Merchandise table, where you can also grab pride pins for free! The Info Booth will also have a First Timer ribbon, so come by and get them and say hello to our friendly volunteers!

Info Booth

The Info Desk will be on the first floor near Community Row. Our friendly volunteers will be there to give you directions, hand out masks in case you need a new one, and answer any questions you might have about OrcaCon or the surrounding area. 

OrcaCon Program 

Our volunteer Jesse F. has put together a lovely program! Feel free to download and print it out if you wish! You’ll find all of our policies, full hotel map, profiles on all our Special Guests, and more! You can find it here: https://bit.ly/OrcaCon2024Program

Food Trucks & Dining

Our final food truck schedule is live: https://www.orcacon.org/food-trucks/ There are designated eating areas in the hotel on the 1st floor and outside by the food trucks in the garage area. 

If you’re looking for something else the hotel does not offer, you can order DoorDash or UberEats. There’s also a great new service in Bellevue! There is a free on-demand shuttle in case you want to head to Bellevue Square, Uwajimaya, Whole Foods, H Mart, Mox Boarding House or other places you can get food. https://www.visitbellevuewa.com/bellhop/

Special Guests

We are very excited to have Special Guests again at OrcaCon! You can find them mostly in the panel rooms and also out there running games themselves! Drop by Our Family Plays Games table in the main ballroom, and you can find other guests on the OrcaCon schedule! Read more about all our Special Guests. https://www.orcacon.org/panels/special-guests/

Panels, talks, and events

When you’re not in a game, you can head up to our Panel & Events room. Our Special Guests and other speakers have some great things planned. There’s interesting panels about the game industry, the social aspects around gaming as a hobby, a fun game show, and an Actual Play of The Expanse RPG! Descriptions of panels can be found here: https://bit.ly/2024Panels

Merchant Halls

We have two Merchant Halls at OrcaCon! We were able to expand out from previous years, so be sure to drop into both of the rooms. We have some returning favorite vendors, and a few new ones joining us at this show. You’ll find games, game accessories, dice, art, books, and more! You will find the Merchant Halls on the 1st floor to the right of the elevators. Meet our Merchants here: https://www.orcacon.org/merchant-hall-exhibitors-2024/

Community Row

We love to support our local communities, charities, and other non-profit organizations, and want to feature some of the best at OrcaCon! We’ll have a mix of game groups, other local conventions, and charity organizations in Community Row. It’s located outside the main ballroom on the first floor. Stop by and say hello to all these lovely folks! Get to know them ahead of time here: https://www.orcacon.org/community-row-2024/

OrcaCon Merchandise

We are back to having the official convention shirt available for purchase in our Merch area. We have received requests for hoodies, so we have made them available, too! We will have the usual dice and such, and we are adding in enamel pins for the first time, too! You will find the OrcaCon Merch Tables in the first floor lobby.

BIPOC Lounge

You’ll find the BIPOC Lounge on the 4th floor. Once you step out of the elevator, it will be right in front of you! There’s also a quiet gaming area outside the door. There will be coffee/tea/water and some individually bagged snacks. We are aware of people’s dietary needs, so there won’t be any major allergens.Your hosts will be Sam and Jillian. It has a wheel-chair accessible restroom, which will also be stocked with our menstruation stations and scent free soap.

Quiet Room

You’ll find the Quiet Room up on the 10th Floor. We will have puzzles, coloring books/pages, and a nice place to relax. You can view the rules for the Quiet Room here: https://www.orcacon.org/quiet-room-policy/

Comforts & Compassion

On the first floor, you’ll find a mens room and an All-General Room. The 2nd & 3rd floor hotel has mens & ladies room. For extra accessible restrooms, the BIPOC Lounge and the Quiet Room both have private accessible restrooms. In all our restrooms, you’ll find a Menstruation Station and Scent-Free soap. Please let a volunteer know if the restroom you’re in is running low on supplies and we’ll get it restocked! 

And finally…GAME GAMES GAAAAAMES!!

We have SO many games! Here are the various kinds of gaming you’ll find at OrcaCon.

Scheduled Games – You’ll find all the scheduled games on our Tabletop.Events site. https://tabletop.events/conventions/orcacon-2024 Click on “Attend” and “Events Schedule”. You can sort the type of events you are looking for such as Demo Game, Panel, Tournament, and such. If you need assistance, there is our Games Admin table in the first floor main ballroom. The lovely volunteers can help you find games on the schedule and answer any questions!

Open Games Library – In the first floor ballroom, you’ll find our open play library. You are welcome to check out games with our lovely volunteers. You can take them to any official OrcaCon play spaces and bring them back when you are finished. You can find our current open play library here: https://tabletop.events/conventions/orcacon-2024/library 

Play & Win Library – In the 2nd floor ballroom, you’ll find our Play & Win library. Our volunteers will help you pick games, check them out, and then enter you in the drawing to possibly win the games you played! Read more about Play & Win here: https://www.orcacon.org/play-win/

Demo Tables – We have a number of tables set aside for people demoing their games! They are under the schedule. When you go to “Attend” and “Events Schedule”, you can search just for Demo Games! These games are all walk ups, so you don’t need to sign up for anything. They’ll be running their demos for everyone at your leisure. Demo Tables are in the 1st floor main ballroom.

PlaytestNW – The lovely folks with PlaytestNW will be staffed with game designers who will teach you their games, and get your feedback. It’s a great way to meet some excellent folks and see games that aren’t into production yet! The PlaytestNW folks will be in the 1st floor main ballroom.

Open Play tables – There are open play tables in the main ballrooms, and in the smaller rooms, on the 2nd and 3rd floors. There are official convention open play tables, 4th, 5th, and 6th floors. The 9th and 10th floor have unofficial con space tables, but they’re great for relaxing. For all rooms on the 4th and above, please note that these are in the lobbies where there are hotel guests. Be sure if you are playing at night, that you aren’t disturbing anyone who might be sleeping!