Geeks are taking over the Greater Columbus Convention Center once again this weekend for the 2015 Origins Game Fair. Origins is one of the biggest gaming conventions in the country, and it has a long history right here in Columbus. Run by the non-profit Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the convention highlights independent and small-press tabletop games, miniatures wargames, card games, and role-playing games alongside offerings from big names like Wizards of the Coast (publishers of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering) and WizKids (makers of HeroClix).

Though the exhibitor hall doesn’t open until Thursday and the big events don’t get started until Friday, the convention itself officially starts on Wednesday, June 3rd, and scheduled events run well into the night every day from then until the convention’s end on Sunday, June 7th. The official book of scheduled events is nearly 250 black-and-white, text-only pages. There’s never a question of whether there’s anything to do at any given moment at Origins, there’s only the matter of choosing what out of all the abundance of options sounds best — and how to fit eating and sleeping into that schedule.

Some of those scheduled events are indie games run by their own creators, giving people a chance to play a new game they might otherwise have never heard of or never been able to talk enough friends into playing with them. The exhibitor hall will be filled with small game publishers alongside the bigger companies, making it a great place to find something new to play while supporting a small business.

Many of them are even based right here in Columbus, like Sea Dog Game Studios, who will be showing off their Sailpower and TechCommander games throughout the weekend. The Artist Guest of Honor, Jeff Carlisle, is also one of Cbus’s own. A graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design, Jeff is a serious Star Wars fan who now includes Lucasfilm among the many clients for whom he’s provided art.

There are also scheduled tournaments for well-established competitive games. WizKids is holding world tournaments for several of their games at Origins, including HeroClix, and Mayfair Games is holding their Catan national qualifiers at the show.

In addition to games, there will be a variety of writing workshops throughout the weekend from sci-fi and fantasy writers, including Author Guest of Honor Dennis McKiernan. For those interested in writing about magical worlds as well as role-playing in them, these workshops intend to help you hone your writing, you characters, and your worldbuilding skills.

Origins is adventurous in a way larger conventions often lose as they grow. And it’s not just the adventures you can have role-playing knights and elves on epic dungeon crawls, it’s the adventures of trying out a new game and learning a new set of rules — not to mention meeting new people. In an environment where big entertainment companies are buying out, cashing in, and making generic our favorite geek cons (yes, looking at you, Wizard World), Origins remains remarkably small, intimate, and community-minded for such a big show.